Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Puce or Mauve

Lileks used puce in today's Bleat.  I thought it was a color -- like puke, perhaps, so I looked it up:

puce -- a colour varying from deep red to dark purplish-brown

I thought, Wait, that sounds like the carpet we had in a house, which I was told to call "mauve".

mauve -- a moderate grayish violet to reddish purple, or, any of various pale to moderate pinkish-purple or bluish-purple colours

What does any of that even mean?  And where does is leave my all-time favorite color, maroon?

 maroon -- a dark reddish brown to dark purplish red.

Purplish red or reddish purple, of course, that's a huge difference.

You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, How have we wearied him? By saying, Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them. Or by asking, Where is the God of justice?  -- Malachi 2:17
For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are wise—in doing evil!  But how to do good they know not. -- Jeremiah 4:22

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! -- Isaiah 5:20

Like puce, maroon, and mauve (the gay puce), a lot of things in the world are really shades of gray.  They are nuanced.  The distinctions are not always clear cut, and how we see a situation does vary, depending on the light.  Customs and attitudes that made perfect sense in a more agricultural, family-farm, Waltons kind of world have to be re-examined for the high-tech, social media, urbanized environment today. 

Yet, there is good.  There is evil.  There are things that ought not be done.  Some cultures are rotten, wicked, and vile.  Some aspects of our culture are disgusting. 

I don’t know what puce is – and neither does anybody else.  You want to call it puce?  It’s puce.  You want to call homosexuality normal?  It’s not.  It’s a pathological state that is often associated with extremely self-destructive behavior.  I know that it was acceptable in Greek culture.  So what?  Infanticide and slavery were also acceptable that same culture.  It doesn’t sound too enlightened to me. 

I don’t mean to pick on homosexuals.  Calling stealing “wealth redistribution” doesn’t make it right, either.  Promiscuity, fornication, adultery, divorce – those things are all bad, no matter how common they are these days.   Self-defense is good.  Killing those who pose no threat is bad.  Making women less than human – whether done by Islam or feminism – is wrong.  Lying and deception – even especially when done by the government, is evil.   

Like Charlie Daniels, I am a simple man.  There’s the law of the jungle:  might makes right.  There is the law of the mob, AKA, democracy.  Then there is the law of the land.  In this country, it is the Constitution.   If a person doesn’t like the Constitution, there are a whole bunch of other countries in the world. 

The same is true with God’s law.  His law is truth and reality.  The fact that we don’t always like it and that it sometimes thwarts our desires doesn’t change it.  This is how things are.  This is good.  We can call it evil.  We can rail against it.  We can pass our own laws to counter it.  In the end, we will conform to it or be judged and broken by it. 

As we were saying yesterday, once we are in Christ, the law is written on our hearts.  We receive the clean heart and steadfast spirit for which David pleaded (Psalm 51:10).   We see things differently, clearly.  The carpet is definitely maroon.



julie said...

Funny, this resOnates quite strongly with the class I had tonight. Actually, as a bit of a refreshing counterpoint in some respects. Too tired to go into details, but as always your thoughts are relevant, helpful, and deeply appreciated.

mushroom said...

Thanks, Julie.