The post started me thinking about regret and repentance. In particular, about the misguided notion that regret and repentance are essentially synonymous -- to the point that the mere feeling or expression of regret automatically qualifies as repentance.
Regret and repentance do shadow the same ground in many ways, but they are not necessarily the same. Not by a long shot.
Although repentance necessarily involves regret, regret does not necessarily need to involve repentance.
A good example of the latter is a restaurant patron who forgoes his trusted choice at his favorite restaurant in favor of sampling a new dish on the menu. After he tries it, he finds it bland and regrets not sticking to his usual menu choice.
The restaurant patron's regret may be authentic and deeply felt, but it does not require repentance because he has committed no wrongdoing. Nor has he engaged in sin. He simply made a bad personal choice. Though the choice certainly affected his enjoyment of the evening, it did not oppose or work against God and Creation.
The same applies to other mistakes and poor choices that lead to negative consequences. A married couple who purchase their first home at the peak of a housing bubble may regret their decision later when prices crater, but they do not need to repent it.
A man who chose to study law rather than medicine may regret his choice if he finds legal work unfulfilling. However, the regret he experiences regarding his choice of vocation requires no repentance (unless the work he engages in directly opposes God and Creation, but that’s a separate issue).
Simply put, feelings of disappointment or sadness over the unfavorable consequences of past decisions that did not oppose God and Creation require no repentance. Past decisions that opposed God and Creation do require repentance.
These feelings of disappointment or sadness should help us to distinguish when repentance is needed and when it is not. Unfortunately, regret often does more to hinder than aid repentance.
Things start to get tricky when decisions that oppose God and Creation instill no sense of regret, which is almost always a sign of deep spiritual disconnect.
Most individuals who feel no regret over their opposition to God and Creation are either willfully unaware of God or directly opposed to God. But what about individuals who profess to believe in God and claim to understand the reality of sin and the need for repentance?
This is where the birdemic and the peck become "problematic", especially for Christians.
Many Christians have begun expressing regret for their decision to take the peck. The vast majority of this regret stems from the apparent ineffectiveness of the peck and/or its reported adverse health effects, which leads me to wonder – would that regret exist if the peck had been “safe and effective” as advertised?
Would the Christians who now lament taking the peck show any sign of regret if the peck had protected them from transmission and not presented any potential side effects?
I hate to say this, but I don’t think many of them would.
Moreover, I firmly believe that most would feel immensely good about themselves and their decision.
Furthermore, I posit that few of them would be all that troubled about the totalitarian technocratic surveillance society the Ahramanic bureaucrats so passionately wanted – and still want -- to make permanent via a peck program or some similar demonic configuration.
I have encountered very few pecked Christians whose regret for having taken the peck extends beyond “safe and effective” concerns.
I have encountered very few pecked Christians who recognize and understand that the decision to take the peck, even under the sway of ruthless coercion, was in direct opposition to God and Creation.
I have encountered very few pecked Christians who have comprehended, let alone expressed, the need to repent the thoughts, actions, and behavior they exhibited during the birdemic and its peck campaign.
Barely any of the pecked Christians I know have regretted, let alone repented, their direct or indirect involvement in the peck program’s extended totalitarian atrocities, wicked coercion, dehumanizing measures, demonizing tactics, and degrading practices.
On the contrary, most are under the impression that their peck-related thoughts and actions require no repentance at all. Regret? Sure. But repentance? Nah!
As far as they are concerned, the peck-related decisions they made are akin to the example of the restaurant patron’s decision described above – a regrettable choice, but not wrong and certainly not against God and Creation; hence, no need to repent.
I ask the following of Christians who hold such views: Was anything related to the birdemic and its peck campaign even remotely True, Beautiful, Virtuous, or Good? I realize that all of it was vehemently promoted as such, even by most church authorities and leaders, but was it so?
The prerequisite for repentance is the acknowledgment of sin. Without the acknowledgment of sin, there can be no repentance – only regret -- maybe.
Although I sympathize with all the regret pecked Christians are feeling at the moment, I sincerely believe such regret to be insufficient, primarily because it works against the acknowledgment of sin and the very real need for repentance.
I say this not as some holier-than-thou authority on sin and repentance whose thoughts and actions are sinless and pure, but as a fellow sinner who understands that the problem for Christians is not sinning, so much as the refusal to repent.
The spiritual disconnect between birdemic/peck sin and the refusal to repent is too massive to ignore, refute, or dismiss. Christians who continue to ignore, refute, or dismiss the need for such repentance are inevitably on the wrong side and will remain there until the need for repentance is acknowledged.
Note added: This will likely be my last post on the birdemic/peck and repentance. Christians who still don't get it are intentionally refusing to "get it", and there's not much that can be done about that.