Challenging Orthodoxy

by Aaron



I finally watched the news this week and saw the most bizarre thing ever: a beauty contest not based on beauty but upon particular beliefs. If you haven’t seen the news it is really odd. Apparently the front runner for Miss USA believed marriage was between a man and a woman (exclusively). This set off a tirade against her from popular blogger Perez Hilton.

The debate at this point is not what you believe in regard to marriage but more how a belief can determine if you are qualified to win a beauty contest. It seems ridiculous that beauty contestants need to be politically savvy (because most don’t seem that smart) unless we understand what has actually started to happen...a new orthodoxy (right belief) is emerging into power in the world.

In his great book on satire A Serrated Edge (A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking)Doug Wilson observes the following:


In the same way, God has divided the world between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and since that time ridicule has been inescapable. It is not whether we will ridicule a group, it is which group we will ridicule—and whether we will notice when we have done so. Whenever ridicule is applied from within a particular worldview to those outside it, that ridicule is almost always invisible to most of those within the ridiculing group. Satire, ridicule, and invective, however, are always immediately obvious to those outside the group that produced it.

To illustrate this, in our culture today it is common to divide society into two groups—victims and oppressors. If someone falls into the category of an “oppressor,” then he is fair game. If someone is a “victim,” then to strike against him verbally is a hate crime. This is not a novelty; the only thing that is different (at any time) is how the two groups are defined. Every society has an orthodoxy (which is invisible to most adherents of it), and every society has its heretics, those who challenge that orthodoxy. The heretics may be taunted and assaulted verbally (and at times, physically). In times of transition, when one orthodoxy is being supplanted by another, there is usually a pretence of neutrality until the new orthodoxy consolidates its forces—and its abilities to enforce the new codes.

Christians who do not understand what is going on see themselves as victims of foul play within this new order, But according to the definitions of the new orthodoxy, biblical Christianity is in the oppressor category—the tyrant which must be overthrown. “Why won’t you let us be the victims?” Christians complain. “Because you are not,” comes the reply. By definition.

Older forms of insult (which presupposed an out-of-date orthodoxy) are highly offensive to us today. But recently minted forms of insult (which reflect the reigning orthodoxy) are not seen as such at all. In our culture today, protection of authorized victim status is the reigning orthodoxy. Again, it is not whether there is an orthodoxy, it is which orthodoxy there is.

This is because every orthodoxy protects its sacred things with blasphemy laws. Because our culture likes to keep up its secularist pretence, we do not use the term orthodoxy or blasphemy. But we do have politically correct thought, and we do have laws against hate speech. Furthermore, and related to this, every established orthodoxy maintains the definitions of arrogance...The orthodoxy is the keeper of the keys, and those keys include the definitions.

Everyone must be aware of what is happening, and understand that the truth of Christ is still truth and as things change we must be able to speak truth into this new orthodoxy in a way that those who need Christ can understand. That will not typically be done by protesting, holding signs, or arguing till we are blue in the face...but by simply living as Jesus calls us to.

When Jesus walked he challenged the reigning orthodoxy as well...and He was killed for it.