Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
Throughout the years I have found God’s timing to be impeccable. Anyone who walks with him daily could, no doubt, testify to this fact. I was reminded of that recently by a head on collision between my Bible reading and my news listening.
Among other times and ways I read the Bible, one of those ways is that each week I video myself reading it and put the reading on Facebook each day at noon. I have been told that for some, including two blind gentlemen, this is their Bible time each day. That being the case, I try to be utterly flawless in my delivery.
But while reading through the book of Jeremiah, I ran into a near disaster. It was another one of those “God has a sense of humor” things that so often crop up in Scripture. So much of Jeremiah is bleak and ominous; but in the midst of all that, while reading with a straight face, I came to Jeremiah 30:6 which says, “Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?”
In other words, God said, “Hey, folks, men don’t get pregnant; so why are all of you bros doubled over and screaming like a woman going into labor?”
I had a very hard time keeping a straight face; I thought sure I was going to have to start that chapter over and try again.
God, in driving home a truth of prophetic events to come, utilized the most absurd picture imaginable. He asked a question that he knew had such an obvious answer that no one could possibly miss it, “Does a man get pregnant? Does a man go into labor?” He knew that anyone, religious, non religious, rich, poor, educated, not educated, would come up with the obvious answer: “no.”
And then a little while later I wandered into the living room and heard the newscaster say, “The phrase ‘a woman’s right to choose’ is now coming under fire, since, in the view of some, ‘men can now be pregnant too.’ ”
Now you see the head on collision I was talking about.
Men do not get pregnant. This is actually not at all a religious statement, just a fairly obvious statement of fact. Fifty years ago one could have asked 100% of theists or atheists the question “Do men get pregnant?” and in every case there would have been a bewildered look at even having to hear such a foolish question with such an obvious answer. Mind you, the science on this has not changed in the past fifty years; it is our relationship with the truth that has changed.
In room 101 of George Orwell’s book 1984, O’Brien the tormenter looked down at poor Winston and said, “Do you remember writing in your diary that ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four?’ ” A few moments later Winston was shouting, “Four! Five! Four! Anything you like, only stop it, stop the pain!”
“You are a slow learner, Winston,” O’Brien said gently.
“How can I help it?” he blubbered, “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
“Sometimes, Winston.” O’Brien replied. “Sometimes they are five, sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
Winston was finally “properly educated.” Truth was whatever he was now told it was, even if it was different from what was true the week before, and even if it was patently, obviously untrue. And not only would he mouth words agreeing to the new “truth,” he would literally be forced to love it and the ones propagating it.
It seems that Orwell wrote a prescient book, he merely chose the wrong name by about thirty-five years.
Freedom is still the freedom to say “two plus two is four.” It is also still the freedom to say, “Men do not get pregnant” and “Your horse is not actually a unicorn” and “You are not trans-aged, you are sixty, and the playground and all of our children are off limits to you.”
Jeremiah must have burst out in laughter when God asked, “Does a man get pregnant?’ He wouldn’t be laughing if he were here today, he would be wondering why everyone else is so deathly afraid to laugh.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Feature photo by Bo and Dana Wagner)