Blurred Lines

A curious thing has happened: every time I try to bring up some command from the old testament, fellow Christians try to blur its application sufficiently that it cannot possibly be obeyed. For instance, the command that a man shall not wear a woman’s clothing and vice verse is met with claims that, well in fact, some men wore skirts in Scotland and other men wore makeup in England. Thus, this command is sufficiently blended and fuzzy that it cannot possibly be obeyed in any objective sense beyond whatever the culture around us happens to say. So, if our culture says men and women can look, dress, and act the same, then what was an abomination in God’s eyes at one point – effeminate masculinity and masculine femininity – is not so any longer. History need not be on the right side of God, God moves to the right side of history. 

If you haven’t picked it up yet, this is in-fleshed pomo category-blending. Not necessarily, they say, sometimes women from one culture look like men from another. But I never see these men marrying such women, or better said, those women marrying such men. Sometimes men from one culture dress like women from another. But our men don’t dress like them. Yet, this misses the point entirely. Men and women in the same culture ought not to look like one another.  To do so blends the categories of distinction that God created good, and essentially says “not necessarily” to his design. No one looking at a Scotsman in kilt and sash from the 17th century has any doubt of his manhood. Anyone looking at a metrosexual skinny jean smooth faced male from the 21st century would ask questions. No one looking at 18th century males in powdered whigs would confuse them with the females of the day. But what is the difference between today’s women’s jeans and men’s jeans? Tightness and rotundity?

I can feel the responses: Yea, but where is the line? You can’t definitively say this is wrong and that is ok! Sure, just like God couldn’t. It’s just a principle. Follow your heart, which in today’s terms means your culturally-conditioned perspectival interpretive community. But these are all variations on a theme which my pomo experts will diffuse into an ambient glow of warm feelings. Grace, grace. God has no standards, because he is love; and perfect love casts out form. 

Another question, and more fundamental, is how we got here. How did it come about that guys wear skinny jeans and girls also wear skin-tight everything? When they started wearing them, the older generations said it was foolish. Not necessarily, said the young bucks. Why not? Because, nuh huh. That’s why. Well, that in fact is exactly why. Rebellion. Rebel without a cause, they’re going gender neutral. Gender neutrality didn’t spring from ideological neutrality. Inclusivism sprang from historical exclusivism. And here is the rub: if whatever one culture does by way of, say, dress or arts is morally ok in God’s eyes, then why in the West does each successive generation reject the moral expressions of their parents and reinvent its own? If God doesn’t reject theirs, why do they reject their parents’? Those who do such things, and then argue that everything is relative, have no basis either for what they do or what they say. If everything is relative, why reject one relativity for another? If for the new, the novel, then why is novelty to be preferred over antiquity? Wouldn’t that mean a value distinction in taste is being made? Perhaps God has such a taste. Perhaps he has communicated his proclivities. But all this is too narrow and defined too tightly – the moral equivalent of skinny jeans.

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