A long time ago, King David was like “well, time to die,” and he stayed in bed all day waiting for it to happen. His aides were like “is there any way we can help you not die?” and David was like “I’m cold.” Then his aides looked at each other and whispered “we know how to fix that” and they did the creepy eyebrow thing and made the wakka wakka guitar sound with their mouths.
So David’s aides went out and found the hottest young babe in all the land and had her get in bed with David. It’s unclear if the girl had a choice in the matter, but maybe, because if you were a girl back then you got married to whoever had the most sheep and had nonstop pregnancies until you died horrifically in childbirth at 24, so it’s not like there was anything else to look forward to. So the hot babe got under the covers with old King David. Then David realized that his sling and two smooth stones didn’t work anymore so he was like “okay, yeah, I’m definitely not sticking around.”
But before David died, he called in his son Solomon for one last Dad Speech. Then David was like “so there’s this guy who said mean words about me but I swore to the Lord that I wouldn’t hurt him. But if you hurt him, that’s a loophole. So whack that guy.” And maybe that technically was a loophole, but if David had spent less time on revenge fantasies and more time at Absalom and Adonijah’s t-ball games, maybe Israel wouldn’t have looked like House Lannister.
All throughout Scripture there are other instances of Godly people getting weird in old age: Noah and his vineyard, Moses in the desert, and Isaac blessing the wrong son (come on man, you don’t know your own son?) King Saul started okay and later went nuts; King Asa started well and–spoiler alert–went full pagan by the end. You never want to go full pagan.
But that was then; now that we live in the modern era we never HA HA JUST KIDDING IT STILL HAPPENS. Only now, every time some decrepit believer crawls out of the crypt long enough to mumble something into a microphone, we all clutch our pearls and freak out like DC Talk is getting back together.
We stomp out of our ivory towers to yell at 120-year-old Pat Robertson and collect our enlightenment points every time he says something strange. We lost our minds when Tony Campolo switched sides on gay marriage. Then when Eugene Peterson was like “hold my beer, Tony” and he switched sides on gay marriage TWICE, we squeezed like a whole week of outrage out of that one, even though some of us didn’t even know Eugene Peterson was still alive.
There is no graceful way to age when you’re a famous Christian. Old people are weird anyway, but when you add to that the bubble of Christian celebrity–of people constantly giving you compliments and reverence–it’s a recipe for tweets about sexy stones. Even Billy Graham got weird. I mean we think he did… no one knows for sure, because as soon as Billy Graham got old he was like “uh oh, getting old,” and he beat the system by retreating from public view deep inside a castle of Christmas shoeboxes that his son built for him. The lesson, as always, is that Billy Graham is the best.
Probably a good idea would be to pick an age (maybe 73 or something) and agree to never get upset by something a Christian says once they’ve crossed that line. We could call it the King David Line, or the King David Rule.
James Dobson just endorsed Alex Jones for President? Bless his heart, he’s over the King David Line.
Joyce Meyer asked her followers to buy her 24k gold pantsuits? I mean I’m not going to send in a faith gift, but she’s over the King David Line.
John MacArthur said something bad? Jim Bakker predicted the rapture? Bill Gaither punched a baby? King David Rule.
I mean we can still disagree with old Christians. We can still challenge them. But the important thing is that we save up all our outrage for the younger Christians who haven’t totally become jaded and cynical yet. Young Christians, just walking around with those weird haircuts and enthusiasm for the Gospel. Ugh, young Christians are the worst.
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