The Sparkling Gleam of Poisonous Champagne
Recently, Dr. Owen Strachan wrote an excellent piece regarding the events which have unfolded in Canada. He pointed out how Canadian pastors, then truckers, have opposed tyranny for the glory of God and the good of freedom. Praise God for the heroic stands which have been made! Notably, he made this powerful point:
“The truckers have given the world an example of how to advocate for liberty and defy tyranny — tyranny of a distinctly Trudeauian kind. Call it “champagne tyranny,” for although Canada’s foremost political leader projects a cosmopolitan air, if you look beneath the half-smile and the flowing locks, you see an emerging totalitarian.”1
This particular description set forth by Dr. Strachan is immensely powerful. He aptly describes the way by which 21st-century tyranny fashions itself to appear elegant on the outside, yet is horrifyingly wicked to the core. This era’s tyranny frequently comes from “leaders” fancying themselves in the height of style, posturing themselves as passionate freedom fighters, brazenly wearing smiles on their face, yet all the while seeking to shackle the people. These individuals have the ability to make others think they are freedom-lovers, while in reality, they are tyrants who are merely dressed to appeal to the culture. Part of what makes the masses drink the champagne of tyranny in our day is the fanciful sparkle of the cup presented to them which they do not know carries nothing but pleasant-looking poison.
Dr. Strachan’s article about tyrannical leaders quickly put my mind in action seeing how so many of the theological battles we face today are due to the same pitfall. Ideologies and belief systems opposed to the Christian faith are disguised in shimmering garb appealing to many. This issue stems from the same root problem as what Dr. Strachan pointed to in his article. Ultimately, champagne tyranny and champagne theology are two sides of the same coin, each wreaking devastating impacts. Just as horrific political leaders quite often put on a hypocrite’s mask, so also do false teachers. The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, made this reality abundantly clear:
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Make no mistake, false teaching and heretical doctrine will disguise itself attempting to appear as the most kind of friends. It starts with a man pouring his unbiblical theology into the glass of another individual. As the substance trickles out of the bottle into the cup, it shines beautifully as the sunlight hits it through the window. One can see the bright stream in the middle of the air as the recipient’s mouth begins to water. Hitting the bottom of the cup, the false teacher entices the individual as to how smooth it looks. He speaks as to its taste, urging his prey to merely take a sip, to only dabble at entertaining the lie of doctrine contradicting the Scripture. The man takes a drink, then another, and another. Raising the bottle, the false teacher gives him another cup of false doctrine. He leads him further down the path of lies while each step of the way, the individual is amazed at the seemingly pleasant nature of the experience. That individual plunges deeper down the dark path of sin, deceived to the point he believes he is following an angel of light.
Resisting The Champagne
Seeing so many deceived today, we must ask the pivotal question, how do we stand firmly ourselves? Ultimately, we need to be upfront in recognizing a foundational fact. All of us as human beings have bought into the lies of champagne doctrine. Every single one of us was born a sinner rebelling against God (see Psalm 51:5 and Romans 3:23). Before we came to Christ, we were dead in our sins with no spiritual understanding and did not care to seek after God (see Ephesians 2:1 and Romans 3:10-12). It was as though we had drunk the champagne of sin, having no desire for God, His righteousness, or His holy ways, but instead believing ourselves to be morally good on our own.
Yet, as believers, we have tasted the living waters of Christ, bringing healing to our souls. While we were still dead in sin, God put the cup to our mouth, giving us the water which brings spiritual life. Christ has made this reality clear in John 7:37-39 which states:
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” -John 7:37-39
Once you have tasted the cup of Christ, you throw away the champagne of the world, the flesh, and the devil as poisonous garbage. Certainly, the temptations of the flesh remain, but fundamentally we as Christians have died to ourselves to live for Christ, meaning we grow in sanctification by His grace, increasingly living in obedience to His Word. The remedy to the world’s champagne is the living waters of Christ. We must drink of Christ, finding the richness of salvation in Him by repenting of our sins and placing faith in Him all by the power of His grace. We must continually wash ourselves in the water of the Word that we may grow in maturity.
Ultimately, refusing the visually appealing lies of the world comes down to knowing Christ and holding to Him. It is a commitment to honor Him in all things by living according to Scripture in everything. We must not take a sip of the champagne in any area of life, for dabbling in false doctrine is an immensely dangerous action to take. Instead, we must take in the water of Christ in every way by aligning ourselves with the pure truth of His Word. So, friends, don’t be fooled by champagne tyrants or theologians, instead, walk in Christ having been saved by Christ striving to live for the glory of His name!