I just had a conversation with a fine loyal soldier who has served before the colours for 30 years. A man who was an RSM of the Coldstream Guards and today serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Air Corps. Anyway he was interested to learn what imbued meant as I had spoken about the way in which we are imbued with nonsense from popular culture. I explained - " To inspire or influence thoroughly; pervade: work imbued with the revolutionary spirit." The translates into us inadvertently being influenced, learning, absorbing, accepting received wisdom (often wrongly called common sense), all the nonsense the world would have us believe. The medium is the media, TV, talk shows, current affairs, political rhetoric and urban myth that is shared in bars, restaurants and cafes.
I submit to you that much of your "knowledge, beliefs and convictions" are in fact an amalgam of the stuff that you have been absorbing all your life. That it is time you considered that the lens in which you view the world is corrupted and in fact how you are seeing things is corrupted and you are therefore not seeing things as they really are! Now that, if true, is a powerful statement that should give you cause for concern. Let’s discuss:
Would you admit to adopting the views, habits and opinions that most attract you? I was a particularly strange youth who took to listening to current affairs programming on the radio from an early age. I loved the liberal libertarian mindset that said you could be all you want to be, argue over morality and the person with the convincing argument gets the most votes and wins the day! Of course this allowed me to shape the world to suit my proclivities which of course unfettered were sex, drugs and rock and roll. I didn’t have to look far for the company of those who shared my passions. I chose the sailing, rugby and horse riding crowd, all the debauchery you want with a touch of supposed class. Did we have a good time? Yes and often. With our energy, enthusiasm, stamina, sense of sporting passion and testosterone of course we had a great time. Singing rugby songs with gusto, playing bar games with abandon, seeking to entertain and have a grand old time.
However, and this is the big however, there was no sense of boundary, no sense of purpose, no sense of what’s it all for. Philosophers call it hedonism, having a good time for good a times sake. The result is energy and passions being consumed in a selfish way that could have been used to love and serve people. Men being encouraged to be sexual predators instead of recognising their role to love, serve and honour the weaker sex and respect and defer to those who are older and wiser. I’ll tell you how long ago this was. I remember a couple of fellas in their mid thirties occasionally joining in with our revelry and being impressed that these older men were still getting stuck in with the younger crowd.
What I missed was good counsel, honest guidance and truth from men around me. Yes there were opinions expressed, there was occasional disapproval if one couldn’t function well due to the effects of alcohol but nobody to say these are the ultimate consequences of your action. Nobody asking what character are you seeking to nurture, what person do you suppose will emerge as a result of this behaviour and mindset? What effect would you like to have on the world around you, what sort of legacy do you hope to show, how so you intend to lean into the future? Nobody saying “I tell you the truth, I speak from love, I care about you”. Don’t dismiss these questions. I did have ideas of character, morality and legacy but these were cultivated in a culture that celebrated young men behaving like idiots, encouraged excess and couldn’t care less about the outcome. Where was my father during this time, my friends’ fathers, the fathers of the women whose bodies I was hoping would carelessly give away their bodies, where were the uncles, godfathers, where were the patriarchs? I’ll tell you. They were emasculated by an overbearing liberal led feminist ideology that had somehow convinced them that the wisdom that had lasted for millennia about the roles of man and women was all nonsense and that equality and diversity was the new religion. There is no truth, we can all formulate our own truth and morality and it is the height of arrogance to suppose you have any right to tell me what to do. We took a vote and you lost! Well check out the streets people, see the prison population, see the incident of domestic violence and the divorce courts and see just how profoundly you have lost?
Why did men lose the vote? Because a three hundred year enlightenment experiment, two world wars, twentieth century conflict and a raft of convincing existential philosophers knocked all the conviction and belief out of people. People leading ordinary lives, without the time to examine the circumstances, left the reigns of power to the liberal intelligentsia bent on social engineering drawn from Marxist theories about religious power plays. And women tired of macho wars, chauvinism and weak men spotted their chance, like their mother Eve, to have control and grabbed it. You are left with the masses being free to choose the life so beautifully captured in Trainspotting. Is that not uber ironic. This iconic movie of the 80s that illustrates, in all the gory details, the consequences of a social framework that breeds dependency on the state, while telling us we are all individuals with rights to die in our addictions and take our offspring down with us. It’s no wonder radical Islam, with its controlling legalistic religion wants to see western society and all it represents wiped off the earth; let’s face it, it’s not very attractive?
Of course it’s not attractive but it’s no less attractive than the alternative Islam offers of Hijabs and Sharia Law. The point is that non of us are perfect or attractive to a perfect and beautiful God. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory of God and the good news is, well you know the good news already, but do you really know it? Do you really know that He absorbed the wrath that you deserve, He who knew no sin became sin so that I could have his righteousness? Just stay with me a little longer and suppose, hypothesise just for a moment that there is a Creator God that exists beyond time and this material universe. Just use your imagination to suppose that something cannot come from nothing and before there was anything God existed for eternity, living in perfect relationship as an outpouring of love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Have you got that image of love? Good. Now think; all you have to do is believe and you have His righteousness. You do nothing else, no chants, no praying five times a day, just recognise that he loves you, he willingly died for you. He knew you before time began and has power over all the creative forces ultimately illustrated in the historically recorded event of being resurrected from the dead!
Now that changes everything. The course of your life, the purpose you have each time you go out to party, the meaning of spending time amongst people and serving them, loving them. Be you a nurse, checkout girl, soldier, banker or baker you have a soul and a purpose. Now get out and party hard, dance hard, crank up the volume, have a great time but do it knowing that it has a purpose and that’s to enjoy your Father’s love. So stay in control, practice moderation be in a position to help people who need help when they fall victim to addiction, emptiness, drunkenness and sadness. Even if your earthly father failed you that’s okay. People will continue to fail you, we’re just people but knowing that we are loved beyond measure no matter what this corrupted and degenerating temporary world throws at you is awesome news. Let’s party like its 1999!