First Presbyterian, Columbia, SC Disowns Thornwell and Palmer

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

In the early to mid 80’s I often attended 1st Presbyterian Church in Columbia South Carolina. I was in Seminary at the time and the Church would often hold meetings, conferences, and get togethers for the Seminary students. I also worshiped at 1st Presbyterian from time to time during this same time frame. At the time Dr. Glenn Knecht served the saints at First Presbyterian in Columbia.

Fast forward now 35 years and First Presbyterian has decided to bow to, and so join the Cultural Marxist band wagon. First Pres. announced today on John Calvin’s Birthday that

“The Community Relations Committee ( 1st Presbyterian, Columbia, SC) also addressed the issue of the use of the names of James Henley Thornwell and Benjamin Morgan Palmer, and the Session unanimously agreed the following calling for the “immediate removal of the Thornwell and Palmer names on church buildings, the summer lecture series, and church publications.”

The reason that First Pres. had to be so explicit here is due to the fact that J. H. Thornwell served as a Pastor for First Pres. once upon a time. Also recently, National Public Radio did a hit piece on First Pres. and their association with Thornwell in the last week. Obviously the NPR hit piece scared the Session and so it decided to join the Cultural Marxist virtue signaling throngs.

Per the session of First Presbyterian,

“Thornwell held that slavery was Biblically justified. Tragically, this view was not his alone, but widely embraced and influential. First Presbyterian Church regards his positions on race and slavery as directly contrary to Biblical teaching. “

This is, of course, a blanket statement that includes all of Thornwell’s writings on race and slavery. As such I wonder if First Pres. thinks the below quote from Thornwell is directly contrary to Biblical teaching?

” It is a public testimony to our faith that the Negro is of one blood with ourselves that he has sinned as we have and that he has an equal interest with us in the great redemption. Science falsely so called may attempt to exclude him from the brotherhood of humanity. Men may be seeking eminence and distinction by arguments which link him with the brute but the instinctive impulses of our nature combined with the plainest declarations of the Word of God lead us to recognize in his form and lineaments in his moral religious and intellectual nature the same humanity in which we glory as the image of God. We are not ashamed to call him our brother.”

J. H. Thornwell
Southern Theologian
Sermon — The Christian Doctrine of Slavery

First, clearly, nobody on the Session is familiar with the writings of Thornwell. If they had been they would have been more careful about their wording in dismissing Thornwell. As such we find them condemning Thornwell’s positions on race and slavery but without even being familiar with Thornwell’s particular positions of race and slavery. Such a repudiation is moronic and is but one more example of the success of cancel culture.

Second, I’d like to see the session of First Pres. prove for me, from the Scripture, that slavery is not biblically justified. Now, they may want to try and say that unbiblical slavery is not justified (though even St. Paul’s words to slaves in what was Roman unbiblical slavery makes that difficult) but there is no way in Hades they can prove from Scripture that biblical slavery is not biblically justified. What do these ecclesiastical clowns do with the book of Philemon, never mind the injunctions in Colossians and Ephesians for slaves to obey their Masters?

In the end we find 1st Pres. violating the fifth commandment by libeling and slandering one of their former Pastors and all to appease the Cultural Marxist vultures who will never be satisfied no matter how many sacrifices are offered up to it.

The hypocrisy here is breathtaking. Southern Churches find themselves thinking it is necessary to flog themselves over slavery and race while it is the case that Northern Churches can glory in their support of the rape, murder, theft, and mayhem visited upon their Christian brothers in the South. Where is the apologies from Northern denominations and congregations for the sin of abolitionism, the sin of Jacobinism, the sin of egalitarianism? No, apologies necessary for these sins but any Church in the South that wants to function has to repudiate its own past in order to make sure the jackals don’t descend upon it to rip it apart.

This violation of the fifth commandment on the part of First Presbyterian is a serious matter. There are plenty of their own sins that need to be confessed without confessing the sins of their own Fathers. All this confession and repudiation are is virtue signalling.

The First Presbyterian Session stood by itself and prayed, ‘God, I thank You that we are not like the other churches — racially insensitive, anti- egalitarian, not willing to denounce their fathers, or even like J. H. Thornwell and Benjamin Morgan Palmer. We renounce fake sins and libel our Fathers.

Scripture does not speak well of this kind of cowardice on display by First Presbyterian in Columbia, SC.

“But the cowardly …. they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *