And yesterday’s dual Supreme Court rulings in the United States showcase two competing meta-stories, battling for nothing less than the future of our cultures.
Ah, but hark. Yesterday a national leader assured people that the followers of one story will still be free to enjoy their traditions at least within their own spheres. Let us call this a well-meant gesture. But it covers a secret assumption: that the new story is the default story.
Do any of you know cause, or just impediment, why these two stories should not be joined together in holy matrimony?
Yes. Such a union is broken before it begins, citing irreconcilable differences.
In the new-religious story, humans have evolved by random chance. Our old ancestors created religious mythologies to attempt understanding their world, unify their cultures and promote moral codes, and of course to help the powerful keep their control.
But now those myths are past their expiration date, and it’s time to replace them with new myths-held-as-fact, new stories. In this new story, a peculiar old-mythology tradition called marriage is due for a reboot. Previously this idea of marriage was a good thing, because it endorsed individual desires and liberty above all else. But because this is the chief end, why not extend it to everyone regardless of his/her personal desires? Now after yesterday’s rulings, it is time to move into that brave new speculative story’s future. Those who cling to the old ways can be tolerated at first, but because they are bigots, this cannot last long.
In the old-religious story, God is the Prime Director of the universe, its Creator and later, Savior, for His glory and mankind’s good. Early on He revealed Himself to His people. The first of these rebelled against Him. Yet He pursued in love, giving His Law and then Himself to fulfill that Law, die under His own punishment for our breaking it, and rise again.
In his death and resurrection, He now calls His people to die and rise, and live new life on this old earth as training for the New Earth. This age is dying, and the world groans for its redemption. Until then our planet’s would-be caretakers of their physical and spiritual environment are pillaging the planet. Old-way guardians must show them love but also truth: that the Creator gave marriage with the chief end to show Himself and His love.
Recently a rallying cry of the new-story insurrection has been against this idea of marriage. Some may ask: did the old guardians failed to carry out their duties? Did they too intensely battle the new order while failing to show the first love that brought them into their Story?1
Whatever the cause, the old ones’ defeat is certain. And followers of the new story cheer.
Guardians of the Old Ways
Where do these irreconcilable story differences this leave us?
The new story makes the next generation into a New Moral Order. I daresay it will soon become a subtle spiritual wasteland. Large-city buildings may be fine, Terminators not necessary, and zombies or Districts or overt dictators may be nowhere in sight. Still the successful new-story revolution will silently, quietly bring forth its long-awaited dystopia.
The Old Story and its Guardians will live on. Biblical Christians are now the Old Ones. Society may shun us, yet we do not retreat, for we must lovingly yet with strength guard the Old Ways. In that wasteland, we must host the oasis — and refuse to let it be poisoned.
Thus, both now and decades hence we can be ready. Just as some descendants of the Old Ways forsook that story, descendants of the new-story religion will tire of its lovelessness and legalism. Literal children of redefined unions may discover their leaders tried to base an existence on mere speculation — a what-if question to which reality answered no.
Especially for that time, the Old Way Guardians must be prepared.
And we must be prepared not first with statistics, arguments and Enlightenment-era logic, but with our Story — the Story of reality, of beauty and truth, and most vitally, of a Person.
- One article suggests that the old guardians wrongly made their case using only moral reasoning and head-level logic. Meanwhile, the new order tries some of that, but mainly appeals to emotions, using storytelling and “memes” slowly to modify public perception. “Television, songs, friends, and personal experience shape what people believe about love and marriage far more than intellectual argumentation. In short, unconscious influences shape culture in the form of social and personal narratives and emotion.” What do we need now? The author answers: We need our own narratives and emotions. To that I reply, flagrantly breaking this column’s character, You don’t say! We just now figured this out?! ↩