First: A “He said, He Said” Story..

In the event any of you are in the market for a good fresh dose of weapons-grade insanity, ponder the Nicholas Kuhnhausen story and the utterly bizarre way 48 Hours chose to tell it.   It begins with the disappearance of 17 year old girl named Nikki, who is, of course, missed by her friends and family.  She loved theatrical makeup, adventures, social media and modeling.  She was always up “for an adventure.”  True to the 48 Hours style guide, we are encouraged to believe we are about to hear the story of a bright light the world will sorely miss.

But the producers, in the first five minutes of the show, are trying to do to the audience what “Nikki” did to her lover–with disastrous consequences. We are told, in no uncertain terms, this is the story of a young woman gone missing, but “Nikki” is really Nicholas — the product of a broken home and a mother who appears to be something of an emotional zombie;  she gives sleepy approval to her son’s gender confusion, as do the boy’s friends–who applaud his skill at applying makeup.  Surprise, surprise, the boy winds up being drug-addicted, depressed, and violent.  His mother admits he could not finish his homework unless he was high. Prior to going missing, he survived six gunshot wounds in a drug (or sex?) deal gone bad, and even with that drama, he is not convalescing at home.  “Nikki,” at seventeen, is out on “her” own.

..Where at five in the morning, after a snap-chat introduction, “Nikki” meets her bubba, David Bogdanov, a young man swilling vodka and not too happy to find out, in the back seat, that “Nikki” didn’t have all the right girl parts.

At this point, the story is something of a “he said, he said” affair, but Bogdanov claims Nicholas was deeply annoyed at not being taken for a girl and reacted violently.  Obviously, Bogdanov wasn’t in a chipper mood either.  Bogdanov’s lawyers claim their client acted in self defense, but the story ends with “Nikki” strangled and dead–thrown over the side of a hill in a deeply forested Vancouver, Washington.  Bogdanov received a 19 year prison sentence and the sanctimonious sermonizing of a judge who clearly believed he was forging civil rights history.

Scripture teaches me to see at least three different kinds of insanity at play here, proceeding from the mild to the obscene, in this order..

  • Young men:  chasing tail at five in the morning over vodka is much less wise than just finding a good woman and marrying her.  Proverbs 18:22
  • “Nikki’s” real killer was her “mother.”  Encouraging a gender-confused person to indulge their own insane delusions is actually dangerous, as this case makes clear.  Even if all the cheerleaders on the squad love the way you do makeup, and even if you fool a drunken cowboy right up to the point of showing him your manhood, you will never be taken for a woman.  Never.  You want what cannot be and never will be.  You don’t see yourself as an abomination, but read the comments on the 48 Hour YouTube link. Most people see you as a devious con-man, or worse.   Deuteronomy 22:5
  • Legal and media elites who indulge this nonsense–who demand that sexual false advertising be tolerated and embraced–represent peak insanity, because they have the power to render the sickness general.  Sexual confusion has become almost a course requirement in public schools and it won’t be long until a furry-identifying adolescent demands the right to pee on fire hydrants.  It’s one thing to contend with insanity; it’s quite another to make everyone in the world coddle it.  Isaiah 5:20

Folks, scripture solved all these problems centuries ago.  See what happens when you cut away your anchor?  You want your children sitting with this across the dinner table?

Now, on to the Church..

You might think the church itself might represent a bulwark against this insanity, but I’m not so certain.  Even among Bible-believing, personally holy, family-oriented congregations, the gospel of “nice” has a way of turning God’s gritty owner’s manual into a kind of meaningless, spiritual lemon-spritz.

Ponder Samson: I listened to a local pastor’s sermon on Judges 14:8-20 the other day, and I could tell the fellow had good intentions.  He wanted to encourage the congregation in their personal battle against sin, and that’s a fine thing, even a necessary thing, but he turned an Old Testament justice story into incomprehensible pietistic bilge.  When confronted with a story about a political and military deliverance, the pastor tidied it all up by taking out all the blood justice and turning it into a personal holiness struggle.  Now, again, there’s nothing wrong with a sermon about struggling for holiness, but there’s no need to ignore the lessons taught us by a man who kills lions with his bare hands either.

You see, in this passage, Samson, with God’s approval, has just “picked a fight” with the Philistines.  He has asked his parents to go get him a Philistine girl, because “she pleases me well” and because Samson has the courage to take the fight to the enemy.  At this time in Biblical history, the children of Israel are under the boot of the Philistines and — contrary to God’s very specific commands — Samson seeks to marry outside the flock by taking one of the enemy’s daughters.  It’s an interesting exploration of a Biblical theme — the law, like the Sabbath, was made for man, not man for the law.  By way of example, the Hebrew midwives lied to Pharaoh and the wise men disobeyed Herod.  The Bible is full of the law being broken when it furthers God’s plans.  Furthermore, Samson’s actions represent an insult to the Philistines:  “I have so little fear of you, I’ll take your women if they please me.”

Samson even toys with 30 Philistine companions at the wedding by proposing a riddle they can’t solve, and laying a wager on it.  When the Philistines fail to come up with the answer, they threaten Samson’s betrothed if she doesn’t “entice” him to reveal the secret.  They actually threaten to burn her family alive if she doesn’t get the answer from Samson.  She betrays her husband-to-be and Samson kills all 30 of the Philistines.

Now, whatever this story represents, let’s be clear: it’s considerably larger, and more practical, than a 21st century personal holiness battle.  It’s not about you looking at a lingerie catalogue too long or struggling with family gossip.  It’s about killing enemies.  It’s about political liberation.  It’s about Samson being “full of the spirit of God” and cutting down all the Dagon-worshipping pagans who threatened to kill his bride, and it’s about running headlong away from a woman who betrays you.  Practical stuff.  Real stuff.  Political stuff. Even sexual stuff.  (A woman who uses her sexuality to control you should be abandoned.  Right?)

Right now, we live in a world where “worthless fellows” (a Biblical term) engage in smash and grab robberies, where perverted drag queens read stories to children, where CRT-inspired race violence results in torture and murder — and all of these stories have specific remedies, real-world remedies, civil and criminal remedies, in scripture.   The Bible puts it very plainly.  Murderers must be executed.  Thieves must be punished.  Rapists must face the gallows.  Sexual perverts need to be put outside the camp.

But the church won’t even allow itself to believe what Jesus promised:  “ALL Authority in Heaven and ON EARTH is given unto me.”   The church looks at a Samson, executing justice on the wicked, and it won’t even allow itself to dream of such a world, let alone preach about it, or advocate for it.  The church doesn’t remind political leaders, BY NAME, that they have a Romans 13 obligation to praise the good and be an agent of wrath against the wicked.   The church, today, is unmanly, quiet, polite, and thoroughly ineffective.

And it happens, ultimately, because we don’t have the courage to read The Word for what it really says.  We tenderize it.  We spiritualize it.  We drop everything into the “battle not against flesh and blood” bucket because we really don’t want a “battle” at all — not against spiritual evil, and certainly not against physical evil.  We mistake cowardice for holiness.

..and this is the world we inherit as a result.