This name comes from church historian Carl R. Trueman. “The sempiternal orgiast [is] the one who lives for the pleasure of the moment.” Trueman goes on to say, “Once the end of human existence was identified with happiness and happiness came to be identified with pleasure and pleasure came to be identified primarily with sexual gratification, the game was up for history. For the sempiternal orgiast has no need for history for he has no time – no past and no future, just the intensify of the pleasure of the present moment.”
With the rise of the sempiternal orgiast mentality, Trueman maintains we no longer have a culture, but rather an anti-culture. “If we define [culture] as the elaborate structures and materials built into the very fabric of society for the refinement and transmission of its beliefs and its forms of life from generation to generation, connecting past, present, and future,” Trueman contends,” then we really have none.” We no longer have a culture to engage with the hope of reform. If the West is now an anti-culture, the church will need to provide the culture.
Why say all this in a blog for men? Because if there is a real possibility that we have lost not only “the cultural wars” but also culture itself, then the wildmen of this blog will need to become “a resistance movement” in our society. Some observers now refer to a church being in “exile” in America or visualize a “Babylonian captivity.” Peter when writing his first letter addressed the believers as “exiles” living in “Babylon.” I maintain that we are not to flee from our society but rather infiltrate society with a “subversive spirituality.” What is called for is a new perspective on how to live out the gospel in America. What will be asked of men in our day?
Certainly we must prepare ourselves, our families and our churches for greater opposition to the kingdom reign of Jesus. An anti-culture in which no God is allowed to reign supreme will revolt at the words of Jesus in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Submission to such a God in America today will bring opposition resulting in suffering.
Near the end of his first letter Peter gave this encouragement, “You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ – eternal and glorious plans they are! – will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes he does” (I Pet 5:11-12 – Message). Men who have a deep sense of calling to follow Jesus are beginning to prepare themselves to resist, while living within our fallen culture. What are some characteristics of men in a resistance movement?
I suggest three characteristics. First, they will be resistance fighters. As “followers of the Lamb” they will be strong, courageous, but also loving and humble. They will resist by being humble, loving followers of Jesus, no matter the cost. Secondly, they will be defenders. They will fight with, “the praise of God in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands” (Ps 149:6). And thirdly, they will be protectors. Living a life of integrity they will protect their families and churches from the lies of the enemy. “The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up” (I Peter 5:8 – Message).