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
In an article, selected by an Evangelical magazine which is going the way of the United Church Observer; a missionally-minded blogger serves as proxy to reflect that magazine editors’ disdain towards those who advocate and join a boycott of Target; a retail outlet, which is spearheading a campaign for transgender rights in the use of their public bathrooms. The essence of Aaron Wilson’s argument is that taking a firm, public, and meaningful ethical stand in this manner will undermine efforts to “engage our culture with conversations that gracefully illuminate the reason for our hope.”
Continue reading “Spineless Christianity”
The State of Israel and the American Jew has not found a more supportive constituency within the United States than the American Evangelical. This is about to change. This change shall occur largely because of a subterranean spiritual deterioration within Evangelicalism, which has now undeniable in light of the 2016 Republican Primaries and the Trump phenomenon. This change shall occur because of changes within Evangelicalism in which the Dispensationalists and their “Left Behind” eschatology decline in credibility and influence, relative to their “supersessionist” counterparts. This change shall occur because the political needs and actions of the American Diasporic Jew tend to work against Evangelical interests, even to the point of now threatening the latter’s socioeconomic welfare. This change shall occur because the prevailing cultural notions within Jewish society are contrary to the prevailing cultural notions of the host country.
Continue reading “The American Jew in Light of the Implosion of Evangelicalism”
I do not like corporate prayer; nor do I do it very well. True corporate prayer is as intimate as sexual relations. And the former can and has very much led to the latter. True corporate prayer means vulnerability. And in anyone who has received a steady diet of barbs and rejection by the visible church over the years, such are disinclined to be that exposed. I do not know how to reconcile this.
Most of what I have observed and experienced in corporate prayer is formulaic and at arms-length. I have been to one men’s group in which each man took dutiful turn praying for one of the others in a painfully formalist exercise. I expect that it is all quite ineffectual and worthless.
Wednesday prayer meetings are the worst. Above eighty percent of prayers offered deal with someone’s sickness or some other malady with pleas for recovery. I am seriously tempted to go “full heretic” and pray that someone that I know be killed off.
And then there are those who self-ordain themselves as prayer warriors. These tend to hog the allocated prayer time with largely incoherent mumbles. They might as well as be praying in tongues. Actually, it would be an improvement since we could then demand an interpreter of the tongue.
Some have complained on this count. I have hitherto tended to excuse such prayer warriors; although I have often prayed, during those ordeals, that I was snoring narcoleptic. However, there was a recent incident, in which one self-styled prayer warrior was quick and indeed manifested a readied preparation beforehand to reject a personal request in a somewhat desperate situation.
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15–6)
Consequently, my belief is that unless one is willing to be the sacrificial conduit in the fulfillment of those muttered prayers, those mumbles are but one long and tedious liturgical blasphemy. For if the prayer of concern is not matched by a conduct of concern, it emits the stench of disingenuity and hypocrisy. Certainly, this would inherently reduce the length of those warrior’s prayers.
Imputed Injustice – Calvin Against the Calvinists
It is my empirically justified belief that modern Protestant Evangelicalism, and particularly its seminarian elite, have little comprehension of the nature and principles of Justice, including that of due process. In this, the seminarians have seriously failed to uphold the triumvirate of concerns that Christ Jesus deemed primary: judgment/justice, faith, and compassion (Matt 23:23). And if one does not comprehend the nature and principles of Justice, one cannot comprehend the Justice in the Justification in the Atonement.
A, if not THE primary argument deployed to validate the notion of humanity’s collective guilt in Adams’s sin is proof by blackmail. If one repudiates the imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt upon all, neither can one subscribe to the imputation of Christ Jesus’s work on behalf of those who put their faith in Him. We would thereby still be hopelessly dead in our sins. Continue reading “Imputed Injustice – The Judicial Importance of Consent”
The Defrocking (Firing) of Darrin Patrick – Part 1
The Defrocking (Firing) of Darrin Patrick – Part 2
The Defrocking (Firing) of Darrin Patrick – Part 3
Mars Hill imploded a little while after my brief flirtation with Harvest Bible Chapel. While at Harvest, I met young males who were initially quite enthused about the masculine Christianity that Driscoll represented. As for myself, I have complicated thoughts and feelings about this now “Goldstein” in the New Calvinist pantheon. This is as it should be. Contrary to the Manichean stick figures of Hollywood, the larger part of humanity are a complexity.
I do not wish to speak to Driscoll’s attitudes, personality, and failings; nor to the hostile milieu which confronted him, globally, locally, and within his own multisite megachurch; nor the interaction between such, which contributed to greater contention in feedback loop. Others, many with personal acquaintance with the actors involved, have better testimonies to those elements.
Rather, it is Mars Hill’s Church Discipline in the Bible (2012) in-house document, which I found of greater pertinence and enduring import. For contained therein is a systemic theological understanding and ecclesiological practice, common with other New Calvinist churches. The purpose of this essay is to suggest a traceable link between those systemic understandings and the various scandals that consistently plague New Calvinist churches in various forms. Continue reading “The Defrocking (Firing) of Darrin Patrick – Church Discipline”
The potential for Donald Trump to be next American President first brought to mind the last scene in an old, historically inaccurate, and tad overwrought movie, The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), whereby the imperial title of Caesar was being auctioned off after the death of Commodus, and closing with this somber warning of Ariel Durant.
This was the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire. A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.
The title had once been auctioned off to a wealthy senator, Didius Julianus, in 193 AD by the Praetorian Guard. But this was one emperor removed and three months after Commodus. Disgust by local Romans to that “election” would thereupon encourage military generals to vie for the throne.
But while culturally, America may be in that interregnum between Marcus Aurelius and the Crisis of the Third Century, the wrong Fall and the wrong plutocrat is being referenced. A more appropriate historical parallel is the fall of the Roman Republic in first century BC. The more appropriate plutocrat was Crassus who, along with Pompey and Julius Caesar, constituted the First Triumvirate. Continue reading “American Crassus”
Yet we still quarrel. We still contend with the Almighty. We still assume that somehow God did us wrong and that we suffer as innocent victims of God’s judgment. Such sentiments only confirm the radical degree of our fallenness. When we think like this, we are thinking like Adam’s children. Such blasphemous thoughts only underline in red how accurately we were represented by Adam.
According to R.C. Sproul, repudiating the imputation of legal guilt for Adam’s sin upon ourselves as his descendants constitutes blasphemous thoughts, indicative of the radical degree of our fallenness. Then I am the chief of blasphemers; having visceral and vehement contempt and detestation for this ecclesiastical innovation! Had I first heard this nonsense, confirmed by the larger part of Christendom, I would have rejected Christianity outright as perversely absurd and unjust. I would have been as Christopher Hitchens, as Sam Harris, or as Richard Dawkins. Thank God that He saved me from His church, albeit in a most painful way.
Apparently, I am not alone in my radical blasphemer and radical degree of fallenness. Continue reading “Imputed Injustice – Calvin Against the Calvinists”