From the Mailbag … Jack takes Pastor Bret to the Woodshed … Bret Demurs.

As I look at the list of authors you seem to adhere to, who are the usual suspects tied to Christian reconstruction, it is no shock at all you speak out against folks like Horton, because it is a necessity on your part. It is also not a shock to see one who is tied to Christian reconstruction twist what one has to say, because it has been my experience to witness this being the case. As an example, in the quote you supply by Horton, he does not in any way say, “Islam is not an external threat to the United States.” Rather, what Horton actually said was, “Islam is not an external threat to Christianity.” Let us look at the quote you supply again,

“Islam is not an external threat in the United State to Christianity”

There is a tremendous difference between saying, “Islam is not an external threat IN the United States” as opposed to saying, “Islam is not an external threat TO the United States” as you have Horton saying. In other words, Horton is saying, Islam is not in any way an external threat to Christianity in the U.S. If you are under the impression Islam is a threat to Christianity, then I would have to wonder who you think is in charge? In other words, if it is Christ who is advancing His Kingdom, then how can Islam, or anything else be a threat to this advancement? The bottom line here is though, Horton does not say anything, “about Islam not being an external threat to the US” as you have him saying. Therefore, one is not reading very carefully. Or are they are being less than honest about what was actually said?

Allow me to end here by saying, I have no stomach at all for, Christian nationalism, Christian reconstruction, Federal vision, and the like. I have no interest in engaging in the culture wars. Because you see, while a large portion of the Church has been so preoccupied with what is going on outside the Church, with the likes of science, the homosexuals, abortionists, and what Disney World is doing, it has failed to actually nurture those inside the Church. It is a fact that the Church has involved itself in the culture wars, and it is a fact the Church has lost the war. The Church lost the war, not because of science, homosexuals, abortionists, and Disney World, but rather because the Church itself has produced more atheists, than any of these other perceived threats, because the Church is more concerned about culture, (what was going on outside the Church) than it is about what was going on inside the Church. Therefore, while the Church was so busy outside, it’s children were leaving the Church in droves, as atheists. Maybe it is time for the Chruch to worry about those inside the Church, ensuring the flock is thoroughly equipped, getting the Gospel correct, in order for the flock to go out in order to share the true Gospel to a world in desperate need, instead of being under the impression that law has the power to save us as opposed to Gospel.

This sort of reminds me of when Paul said,

“For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?”

So then, it does not seem as if Paul was concerned with the behavior of those outside the Church. Rather, his concern seems to be with those inside. Just before Paul said this, he had this to say,

“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”

Again, where is the focus? Is it with the culture war? My point is, maybe it is time for the Chruch to focus upon those who name the Name of Christ, instead upon those who do not? In this way, instead of the Church boycotting the likes of Disney World, who does not name the Name of Christ, we would instead boycott those ministries who do name the Name of Christ who are preaching a false Gospel forbidding any of our members from supporting such ministries. If this were the case, it would have been impossible to have such ministries as, Praise the Lord Club, Oral Roberts, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and the like. Instead, we are concerned about Disney.

Jack O’Neal Hanley

1.) As I read your comment I see that you are a fanboy of some kind of version of Radical Two Kingdom theology. It’s not a shock that you speak against people like me or that you have a bad case of understanding historic Biblical Christianity as that is a necessity for your Weltanschauung.

2.) Reconstruction is basic Christianity. Reconstruction is an inescapable category. By your refusal to engage the culture wars (culture is merely religion externalized) you are, by your retreat, reconstructing the culture in a non-Christian direction inasmuch as your absence allows the wicked to reconstruct religion externalized as they like without your loyalty to Jesus Christ being advanced in the culture (which is defined as religion externalized). All who reconstruct by not reconstructing are cowards. That’s right. I called you a coward. A Nancy boy. A Pajama boy. One of Christ’s soldiers who refuses to engage the enemy under a cloak of pietistic “but we’re not supposed to hate that which is evil and cling to that which is good.” We’re not really supposed to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” We’re not really supposed to be “pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” You say to me … “Don’t you know that Christianity is a private matter. It is not supposed to impact the public square.”

3.) Your sophistry is epic. On the one hand you fault me for saying that Horton did not say the Islam was not a threat to the US while on the other hand you say that because God is sovereign therefore Islam can not be a threat to Christianity in the US. But if God is sovereign than it is also true that Islam can’t be a threat to the US. If God is sovereign Islam was never a threat to the northern littoral of Africa in the 7th century and neither was Islam ever a threat to Christianity in the Northern littoral of Africa in the 7th century. Indeed, we may as well lose the word “threatening” since God is sovereign. God is sovereign therefore stupidity is no threat to your ability to reason. God is sovereign therefore the enemies design on His Kingdom can never be spoken of as a “threat.”

The fact that I might think that Islam is a threat to Christianity is grounded in the on the ground facts we are living. It is not a confession that Islam will stop God’s Kingdom advance. It is not surrendering. It is merely saying that God has ordained means to His sovereign ends and those sovereign means to His sovereign ends means conceding that certain areas are threatening.
As another example, when I say your kind of stupidity is a threat to Biblical Christianity, I don’t mean that in the end, I think your kind of stupidity might actually conquer all, though there are some days when my faith is smaller than other days.

4.) Yes you have no stomach for nationalism, Christian Reconstructionism, Federal Vision and the like. And you probably gag at the notion of shooting firearms, eating hot peppers, bench pressing weights, getting dirty or competing in any arena. I imagine when you filled out your Passport form when it asked for your sex you checked “other.”

And just for the record… this blog is filled with anti-Federal Vision posts. That was a swing and a miss on your part.

5.)  “Failed to nurture those inside the Church”

LOL … I’ve heard your Escondido preacher-boys preach. Don’t try to tell me that they are “nurturing the Church.” The Escondido boys traverse land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, they make him twice as much a son of hell as they are. The Escondido boys are poisonous sacks infecting the whole visible Church with their Gnosticism and their Reformed Dispensationalism. If they win out the Church will either collapse until the Augean R2K stables are cleaned out in some certain future day or the Church will end up being a pale reflection of the culture (religion externalized) as it already currently is.

6.) “It is a fact that the Church has lost the culture wars.”

a.) Can you give me a brief time period when the Church was fighting the culture wars? The Church has been filled with pietists and quietists and retreatists like you for decades if not centuries in America.

b.) Since God is sovereign how can you dare say that the Church has lost the culture wars? Here, I would have to wonder who you think is in charge? In other words, if it is Christ who is advancing His Kingdom, then how can the Church lose the culture war? (Psst… that’s a “you’ve been hoisted on your own petard argument.)

c.) Certainly the Church as asleep has lost the culture wars. Certainly the Church as disobedient has lost the culture wars. Certainly the Church effeminate has lost the culture wars.

7.)

“The Church lost the war, not because of science, homosexuals, abortionists, and Disney World, but rather because the Church itself has produced more atheists, than any of these other perceived threats, because the Church is more concerned about culture, (what was going on outside the Church) than it is about what was going on inside the Church.”

The Church lost you tihspid because it quit being salt and light to the area where religion is externalized (culture). The loss began way back in the American revision of the WCF where the American Presbyterians anabaptized the document by playing with the section on the Magistrate. The church lost because it turned Christianity into a privatized affair that is only relevant as between the individual and God and as occurring in the individuals “heart.” The Church lost because in the movement from Princeton to Westminster the pestiferous Dutch theologians with their ruinous Amillennialism changed the Reformed narrative from Postmillennialism to Amillennialism. Because of this the Church thinks it is winning when it is losing. “It’s the way it is supposed to happen according to the Bible,” says the militant Amillennialists. “Jesus is going to come rescue us just when it looks like we are swirling the drain.” The Church lost because it didn’t intellectually engage with the myth of Scientism. The Church lost because it didn’t insist that Homosexuality and infant murder remain capital crimes. The Church lost because it lost the backbone of men like Calvin, Knox, Rutherford, Cromwell, and Goodman. The Church lost because they got more of their theology from Walt Disney than they did Groen Van Prinisterer.

Finally, my little plaything, lets keep in mind that it was only because of the above explanation that the Church needed to start addressing Abortion, Sodomy, Disney, and Scientism because those came into the Church because the Church refused to FIGHT.

8.) “Getting the Gospel correct”

LOL … yep boys… belly up to the R2K bar where Reformed Dispensationalism and Rot Gut Lutheran Law and Gospel are the house specials. At the R2K “Bar & Grill” we will teach you the proper ordo salutis. We will teach you the proper view of Lapsarianism. We will teach you a High Presbyterian ecclesiology. At the R2K Bar and Grill you’ll be able to learn to recite the Westminster catechism (the long one even) but what you will never ever be equipped to do is to take that sharp sword and know how to use it. All we teach you will be abstractions. Concrete praxis need not apply. Worldviews? We don’t do no stinking worldviews. After all, we are too busy getting the Gospel correct.

I despise the R2K Gospel. I spit on it. Any Gospel that apriori diminishes and negates the Mediatorial Kingship of Jesus Christ over every area of life is complete emesis. Any Gospel that says that there are some areas wherein Christ’s Kingdom never touch so as to be Reformed along Biblical lines is a treasonous proposition.

9.) “Law has the power to save.”

Insert loud buzzer sound.

Insert announcer’s voiceover: “I’m sorry Mr. Hanley you guessed wrong on the subject you chose: “What do Reconstructionists believe.” We are sorry to inform you Mr. Contestant that now Reconstructionists believes that the Law saves. You can now continue on with the game and experience ever increasing embarrassment and shame at being so consistently in error or you can quit now with your tail between your legs and save whatever little dignity you have left.

 No Reconstructionists believes the law saves. However, basic Christianity does hold to the 2nd use (politicus usus) of the law and so there is a place for Christians to insist that the Magistrate rule by God’s law and God’s law alone. You do remember John the B. telling the Pagan Herod that he was not to have his Brother’s wife? Stupid John the Baptist… didn’t he know that the law did not have the power to save Herod?

Dude, your categories are so buggered up that I’d have to reconstruct them before I could thoroughly show you how completely wrong you are.

We agree … the law has no power to save. We do not agree that because God’s law in it’s first use cannot save therefore we should not employ God’s second use of the law as in the civil realm.

10.) “the Church itself has produced more atheists, than any of these other perceived threats,”

Now, I’m going to resist listing the prominent Reformed Pillars of the Church and their sons by name who have gone off the rails because I’m a polite guy. But I can think of five just off the top of my head. All of these sons were nurtured in the Church that you envision and all of them went belly up doctrinally or morally.

Which son can we NOT add to that list? I know … we can’t add Mark Rushdoony, son of the Reconstructionist R. J. Rushdoony.

11.) Now in terms of your spoof texting:  Here i am Bubba … judging you who is in the Church just as you are Judging me who is in the Church. How’s that going for you?

12.)  That’s God’s law is totalistic and applicable to all men is seen in Jonah’s ministry to pagan (non-covenant) Nineveh. It is seen in Daniel’s declaration to Nebuchadnezzar. Let’s remember the pagan Canaanites whose cup of wickedness was not yet full when God spoke to Father Abraham but when it became full God judged them for their violations against His law-Character.

It is seen in Paul’s words to Timothy;

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,”

Now … go away before you begin to irk me.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

3 thoughts on “From the Mailbag … Jack takes Pastor Bret to the Woodshed … Bret Demurs.”

  1. The threat to Christianity in America is not Islam. It’s the fact that on any given Sunday people, including people who call themselves Christians, are sleeping in, going to brunch, mowing the lawn, watching the talk shows — in short, anything at all except go to church. The percentage of Americans who are active in church has been sinking for decades. The problem, in other words, is that Americans have been thoroughly secularized, and there’s no reason to think that will change any time soon.

    I have nothing kind to say about Islam. I lived in the Middle East for three years where I had multiple opportunity to observe its worst aspects. But the 1% or so of the American population that’s Muslim isn’t the threat. It’s the 90% of Americans that have tuned out of religion altogether, even if nominally they still call themselves Christian. We’re not living in Israel under an apostate monarch; we’re living in Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar.

    1. Kathleen,

      There are many threats to Christianity in American and Islam is indeed one of them. See

      https://virtueonline.org/what-islam-isnt-dr-peter-hammond

      I quite agree that Americans are no longer Christian. It is not that they have been secularized, if by secularized you mean that they are no longer adherents to a religion. The problem is that they are now Humanists which is a far thing from being secularized.

      And of course it is not possible to tune out religion. All men are equally hopelessly religious. Religion never goes away.

      Finally, I understand your point about living under Nebuchadnezzar and not under an apostate monarch though I might argue here that as America was founded as a Christian nation we are indeed living under an apostate Monarch.

      Thank you for writing.

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