“More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Do you want to know why this nation is considering legalizing Sodomy? Why we have fallen prey to the chimera that is Statist Death care? Why are we even discussing the seizing of our guns?
The answer is simple. Men have forgotten God. When men forget God then a vacuum is created that is filled by godless man. Godless man, by definition, is a demon and he will seek to destroy all social order that is related to the social order of the true God.
Men have forgotten God and in doing so have become beasts. Man can not forget God without losing his own humanity, and yet fallen man would rather embrace living in the ugly environs of the beasts, where nature is red in tooth and claw, then remember God and His Christ.
Men have forgotten God and so they enter into the war of all against all as each individual man seeks to exercise his godhood as over against the godhood of his neighbor. When men forget God it becomes me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world and all of us against the infidel. When men forget God, all men seek to be god and so all men seek to destroy one another. Gods cannot abide competition.
Men have forgotten God and so they shred all God ordained design and distinction in favor of a world where all colors bleed into one. In forgetting God, man seeks to integrate himself downward into the void since integrating upwards into God’s design is no longer an option since men have forgotten God.
Men have forgotten God and so they lose even the idea of the author in literature. The idea of an author who must be considered in understanding a given piece of literature must be rejected since such an understanding hints to much at the idea that there is an Author whose intent must be considered when it comes to life. When men forget God, there is not only no God and no God intent, there are no authors and no authorial intent. The disappearance of God requires the disappearance of the Author.
When men forget God all is chaos and we return to old chaos and dark night. When men forget God they turn to chaos to find order. Order can no more be birthed from chaos then beauty can be birthed out of Cultural Marxism.
When men forget God, life has no value, sex has no intimacy, death has no solution, thought has no meaning, joy has no reference point, and meaning is illusory.
When men forget God, sexually transmitted diseases become as common as abortion, integrity becomes as rare as a virgin on her wedding night, and the bodies start piling up.
What can be done, then, to form a new generation, immune to the multiculturalism produced by the anti-Christ faith of Cultural Marxism? What can be done to form a new generation that is immersed in the fresh springs of a culture which reflects our undoubted catholic Christian faith? (Which, by the way, is the authentic form of “Western” culture.)
The first thing to remember in this regard is the most fundamental. True “culture” is, in its origins, that which surrounds and reflects the “cult.” The true “cult,” of course, has at its core the work of God in Christ redeeming the world unto Himself. An organic culture then — one not artificially engendered — is one which develops out of man’s response to the reality of this act of sacrifice. The most primordial forms of culture, then, are those actions, behaviors, attitudes, and art forms which surround and constitute our union with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
Take the cult of Christ out of culture and all you have left is fiat culture and humanist illusion culture of one form or another.
The second thing is consistent with the first thing to remember and it is that since genuine culture is Objective in orientation (it depends upon and reflects truths that are outside of it) the whole notion of culture as a “social construct” can only be embraced at the price of giving up belief in the Objective nature of cult and culture. Culture that is seen as subjective in nature is culture that is not worth either living for or fighting to maintain, for if culture is merely subjective then why should anyone, beyond the vagaries of personal preference, wish to maintain culture? In keeping with this we need to realize that if we are going to embrace the whole idea of culture as “social construct” we also have to embrace the idea of truth as relative. Obviously, no one can consistently embrace either culture as “social construct” or truth as relative.
The third thing that we must remember in order to build up our immune system against the anti-culture that is the culture of the Cultural Marxists is the necessity to train our children well. In Deuteronomy 6 God calls upon His people to keep His truth before them at all times.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
The Cultural Marxists get Deuteronomy 6. They have created a culture where their truth is before all the people all the time in a myriad of ways. They have impressed their truths on the hearts of the children of the West through the media outlets, through the secondary Schools and the Universities, through the “Churches,” and through the career world. And If you step outside the cultural marxist anti-culture you will be slapped down. They talk about their commandments all the time in novels, top 40, and Broadway plays.
Christians, on the other hand, going all pietistic, have given up on the culture or have adopted the Cultural Marxist culture and have sought to call it “Christian.” We do not obey God’s command in Deuteronomy 6 to keep His word before us at all times. Because of that we are all cultural Marxists now.
The only way to undo this is to be willing to un-train ourselves and then train our children. A new culture to fight the culture of death offered by Cultural Marxists will not be built until we become extraordinarily intentional in the raising of our children. We must train them, that at least until God gives Reformation, that living in this anti-culture culture requires them to have a “us against them” mentality.
The fourth thing we must try and do is build community. It is difficult to do that because there are so few of us who understand how besieged we really are. However, try we must. As much as possible we need to find kindred spirits, who we can ally with. As a three stranded cord is not easily broken, so a worldview and culture embraced in community by several families is not easily broken.
Institutions and cultures crumble when they no longer share a set belief system. Denominations fold, and cultures go into civil unrest when a people’s belief system is no longer widely and uniformly embraced. When shared belief system’s among a people are shattered one can look for significant balkanization.
However, when the balkanization is underway the Institutions or cultures will try to stave of the inevitable coming crumbling by,
This usually entails crying for unity and the attempt to change the subject whenever the conversation turns to the friction of belief systems.
The thinking by the elites figures the way to make sure the crack up doesn’t happen is by drawing all societal or institutional roles to the center. The edifice is crumbling and only by the control of the elites can the edifice be kept safe.
This means, as it pertains to Institutions, that only company men are advanced in the bureaucratic structure. What this means is that the worst of men are put in leadership positions because the company men are the men who are the most timid and are those who refuse to deal with the problem because their interest is not in solving the belief system dissolution but their interest is in the Institution itself.
Naturally, what this reinforces in the failing Institution and culture is the merit of never saying anything that can be construed as controversial to the Institution. In our culture and for our Institutions what this means is the rise of the timid liberal who wants to avoid the Liberal “extremes” but who avoids even more any notion of Biblical Conservatism because he knows the wind is blowing in the direction of the Liberal extreme.
4.) Frenetic Activity
Failing Institutions and culture suddenly get a case of the “busies.” New programs, new vision statements, new projects are introduced. This is all done in order to distract from the reality that the edifice is coming down. It is the Germans partying while the Soviet Tanks are getting to roll into Berlin. It is sound and fury meaning nothing.
5.) Social Ostracization
The final phase is to throw out the ones who are seen to be the threat to the Institution or culture that is failing. Such Institutions and cultures tell themselves that if they can just get rid of the ones who are stalling “progress” (the new name for the changed belief system) then everything will be alright.
And things may get better for a season but usually this Ostracization ends up hurting the Institution or culture in the long run because those who are the ones Ostracized are often the best and brightest.
Consider these as you consider the death of the West.
Subscript — Also notice how dying Institutions and Cultures end up being incredibly strong mechanisms for conformity to bureaucratically prescribed norms.
“I know of no surer way of a people’s perishing than by being led by one who does not speak out straight, and honestly denounce evil. If the minister halts between two opinions, do you wonder that the congregation is undecided? If the preacher trims and twists to please all parties, can you expect his people to be honest? If I wink at your inconsistencies will you not soon be hardened in them?
Like priest, like people. A cowardly preacher suits hardened sinners. Those who are afraid to rebuke sin, or to probe the conscience, will have much to answer for. May God save you from being led into the ditch by a blind guide.
And yet is not a mingle-mangle of Christ and Belial the common religion of the day? Is not worldly piety, or pious worldliness, the current religion of England? They live among godly people, and God chastens them, and they therefore fear him, but not enough to give their hearts to him. They seek out a trimming teacher who is not too precise and plain-spoken, and they settle down comfortably to a mongrel faith, half truth, half error, and a mongrel worship half dead form, and half orthodoxy.
God have mercy upon men, and bring them out from the world; for he will not have a compound of world and grace. “Come ye out from among them,” saith he, “be ye separate: touch not the unclean thing.” “If God be God, serve him: if Baal be God, serve him.” There can be no alliance between the two. Jehovah and Baal can never be friends. “Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” “No man can serve two masters.” All attempts at compromise or comprehensiveness in matters of truth and purity are founded on falsehood, and falsehood is all that can come of them. May God save us from such hateful doublemindedness.
This original exchange between Eisenbach and Keller is about 3 years old now. And for three years this exchange has been festering under my skin like an embedded thorn trying to work its way out. You can find the exchange on youtube here,
I take this on because Keller has become the darling of so many “Reformed” people today and yet I’m convinced that the man’s theology is deeply deeply flawed and that he really should be assigned a “Priscilla and Aquila” to tutor him before he is allowed to teach. Of course that won’t happen.
Here are a couple other places where some fine analysis of Keller’s incipient Marxism takes place,
If Keller is Confessional and Biblical Reformed then I’m groupie of D. G. Hart.
Professor EISENBACH begins the dialogue with Keller,
…I wrote a book about the gay rights movement because I was appalled by the oppression and the discrimination against homosexuals in my America [KELLER: uhhmm..]. And this questioner asks, ‘What do so many of the churches have against homosexuals? And what about your church’s approach to homosexuality, is it a sin? Are they going to Hell?
Now this question could have been easily answered by responding to the last two questions above with,
“Yes and Yes.”
A Christian minister might have thrown in a couple references from Scripture to support his affirmatives,
I Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
It also would have been interesting for Keller to ask Eisenbach for some examples of the appalling treatment of Sodomites that Eisenbach references. After Eisenbach answered that Keller could have cited examples of the appalling treatment of Christians and then made a point that in a sin ravaged world appalling treatment is a equal opportunity employer. Personally, I refuse to allow the GLBT crowd play the victim card.
But Keller decides to nuance the question disarming the intensity of the question by using humor thus giving himself some breathing space and time to think,
KELLER: uhhh…let’s talk about my church first which will be a little easier than trying to answer for all the other churches of the world….but I’ll try [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]. I’m representing all the churches of the world alright, you know? [EISENBACH: but Christianity I mean….you, you…] Yeah, I know but let’s start with mine.
I actually applaud Keller here. Humor can be a great way to take the sting out of a question and clearly Keller was being set up here by Eisenbach. There is nothing wrong with using humor as a opportunity to re-frame the question. However, I’m not satisfied with Keller’s re-framing.
Eisenbach returns to the question and Keller responds,
EISENBACH:…. You go to the Bible quite often and there are many evangelicals who would say it is listed as a sin in the Bible [KELLER: sin in the Bible, right.]…and these people are going to Hell.
KELLER: Right. Now…What you..first…ughhhh…Let’s talk about my church again [nervous laughter]. Let’s go back here. What we would say is…I think it’s unavoidable. (1) I think most Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox Christians over the years have said, you read the Bible and the Bible has reservations. (2) The Bible says homosexuality is not God’s original design for sexuality. (3) Ok? There we are…you have it. (4) The Bible also says, ‘Love your neighbor’. The Bible…in fact, The Good Samaritan parable which is how Jesus tells us to love our neighbor…you put a Jew and a Samaritan there. So, what Jesus is trying to say is everybody is your neighbor. (5) Gay people are your neighbors. Uhhh…people who are of other faiths are your neighbors. People of other….. other…uhhhh….uhhh…races are your neighbors. (6) And it’s the job of a Christian to do what Jesus did on the cross which was to give himself for people who were opposing Him and people who were diff….believe….didn’t believe in Him even. (7) And so, a Christian is supposed to say, ‘I serve the needs and interests of all of my neighbors in the city, whether gay or straight, whether Hindu or Muslim.(8) I mean Hindus, for example, don’t believe in the Trinity. (8a) It’s a different view than what the Bible says. (9) Gay people have a different view of sexuality than generally what you see in the NT. I’m supposed to love my neighbors. (10) So, what I don’t see is…at this point, I see some churches that are…basically, ignoring the places in the Bible that talk about homosexuality in order to love their gay neighbor. (11) And I see other Christian churches taking very seriously what the Bible says about homosexuality but in a very self-righteous way. So, they actually do single out gay people. I mean, there are a number of conservative churches that will love their Hindu neighbors and will love their Muslim neighbors, and not their gay neighbors. And I really don’t think there is any excuse for that. So…that’s what [EISENBACH: Is…is] (12) I mean, I…I….Therefore, I have to take some responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals.
(1.) The Bible has RESERVATIONS about sodomy? Reservations? To have reservations is to have doubts or misgivings. The Bible does not have reservations about sodomy. The Scriptures everywhere inveigh against it as sin. Shall we say that the Scriptures have reservations about wife swapping? Do the Scriptures have reservations about blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Do the Scriptures offer reservations regarding idolatry?
For Pete’s sake … reservations?
(2.) The Bible says homosexuality is not God’s original design for sexuality?
Note, here, as above, the word “sin” is avoided. The bible has reservations. The Bible says homosexuality is not God’s original design. What circumlocution will we get next? The Bible frowns slightly on men sleeping with men?
Note in I Corinthians 5 when St. Paul was given a question about sin he didn’t tap dance around the issue with circumlocutions.
It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 [a]You have become [b]arrogant and [c]have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and [d]I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord [e]Jesus.
If Keller had to deal with the situation St. Paul speaks of he would have written something like,
“I have some reservations about this man having his Father’s wife and want you to know that such untowardness is not God’s original design. I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already commended all of you for not being judgmental. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to make known my reservations about this behavior not being according to God’s original design. ”
(3.) “Ok … there we are … you have it.”
Bang … right between the eyes.
Never a man spoke with more clarity regarding sin.
(4.) “Love your Neighbor.”
And that means what concretely?
Is Keller implying that loving your neighbor means telling them that God has reservations about Sodomy? Is Keller implying that denouncing sodomy as sin is not loving? What is Keller implying when he reminds us of the necessity to Love our neighbor? Some Christians might think that loving your Sodomite neighbor is to bake cookies for them without giving them law and Gospel.
(5.) Yes, I know who my neighbor is and I know that I am supposed to love them. The most loving thing I can do to my neighbor who is of another faith or who struggles with immorality is to give them law and Gospel. Oh sure, I bake cookies for them, and invite them over to the house but if all that happens without telling them of God’s command for all men everywhere to repent, I’m not being loving to my neighbor.
(6.) Jesus died to give his life as a ransom for many. It is not my job to die to ransom a people.
And when the Christian tells the truth about sodomy, greed, lust, or any sin, at that very moment the Christian is giving himself for those who oppose both myself and my Elder Brother, the Lord Christ. Love is not a word that I get to fill with my own content. Love is defined as acting consistent with God’s law towards others. Love to God and to others is to treat them consistent with God’s propositional revelation.
(7.) The Christian first serves the interest of God before he serves the interest of all those types of people that Keller lists. Indeed, I can’t know how to serve the interests of all those people that Keller lists unless I first serve God’s interests.
Secondly, does Keller understand that how the Christian understands the interests of the non-Christian is monumentally different then how the non-Christian understands their own interests. As such, I could be serving the interests of the non Christian while the non-Christian at the same time is howling at me and gnashing his teeth at me because he does not believe I am serving his interests.
For example, I am serving the interests of the Muslim when I oppose allowing a Mosque to be built. Does the Muslim believe I am serving his interests when I do all I can to oppose Mosque building? For example, I am serving the interests of the GLBT crowd when I oppose their curriculum being taught in the Government schools. Does the GLBT crowd see that as serving their needs or interests?
Keller’s answers are glib and not well thought through.
(8.) (8a) (9.) Hindus have a different view of the Trinity than the Bible? Gay people have a different view of sexuality than generally what you see in the NT
A different view?
Than generally what you see in the NT?
Does this guy ever eat meat?
Why do we limit God’s teaching on the subject to the NT?
(10.) At least Keller here admits that some Churches are ignoring the sin (he doesn’t use that word) of homosexuality in order to love their gay neighbor. But the problem is, is that if the Churches in questions are not confronting the issue of homosexuality as sin then, contra Keller, those Churches are not loving the Sodomite. It is not love to ignore the issue Tim.
(11.) (12.) The question starts with the issue of Homosexuality and in these sentences we see Keller’s harshest words for Christians. The way he speaks here turns the sodomite into a poor poor victim of nasty Christian meanness.
Can Christians be mean? Absolutely. Can Christians be self righteous? All the time. But calling out Homosexuality as sin is not mean and not always self righteous. And the fact that Christians might be inconsistent in calling out Homosexuality and not other sins is not unfair to homosexuals. What is unfair is that they are not calling out other sins as sin. If there are 8 cars going 95 miles an hour and I get pulled for going 95 mph it is not unfair that I get a ticket for speeding all because the other cars got away with it. Just so, if there are a host of different sins being engaged upon and only one of them gets hammered as sin, that does not make it unfair to the sin that was rightly called out all because the others weren’t called out.
And lets keep in mind also at this point that the GLBT crowd are the ones who are organizing in order to mainstream their sin into our society and culture. It is they who are the ones who are forever keeping this subject alive so that Christians have no choice but to respond to it. The love that once dare not speak its name now won’t shut up. What else can Christians do except to respond to it. If liars or kleptomaniacs or the greedy were to officially organize as liars, kleptomaniacs and the greedy in order to advance the cause of liars, kleptomaniacs and the greedy the Church would have to speak just as regularly against those organizations. So, away with all this nonsense that somehow the Church has a fixation on the issue of sodomy. If the sodomites would quit screaming their ruddy lungs out in order to advance their agenda the Church wouldn’t have to whisper back about “reservations, and that sodomy is not according to God’s original design.
EISENBACH: Are committing homosexual acts sin….against God?
KELLER: uhhhh….What do you mean by ‘sin’? The answer is ‘yes’.
Well, at least he said, “yes,” even if he had to ask what was meant by sin.
KELLER: Now see. Here’s the problem with that. You don’t go to Hell for being a homosexual…..
This is so facile it is beyond belief. Keller here begins to introduce a false dichotomy.
Of course a person goes to Hell ultimately because they have not trusted Christ alone. But when a person doesn’t trust Christ alone the consequence is that they remain in their sin and so not having their sins covered they are thrown into hell by God because of their assorted sins.
EISENBACH: …..but committing homosexual acts will get you to go to Hell?
KELLER: Noooo. Wait a minute. Wait, wait [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER].
Why is the audience laughing? They are laughing because they know that despite of Keller’s tap-dancing he is on the horns of a dilemma. And Keller knowing what the audience knows raises his protest “Noooo. Wait a minute. Wait, wait.”
EISENBACH: well, you know. Some people say, ‘Well, it’s not the homosexuality or being gay. It’s being/doing gay stuff that’s the problem’.
KELLER: No, no.
Despite, Keller’s seeming dismissal of Eisenbach offering, I do think it is possible for one to have the besetting temptation to homosexuality and yet have no sin because they resist temptation and don’t do gay stuff.
KELLER: First of all, heterosexuality does not get you to heaven. I happen to know this [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER/CLAPPING]. So, how in the world could homosexuality send you to Hell? And actually…uhhh…The Bible…Listen…..This is…this is true. Jesus talks about greed 10x more than he talks about adultery, for example. Now, one of the problems Christians have here is partly…let’s be nice to Christians. You know when you’re committing adultery. I mean you don’t say, ‘Ohhh, you’re not my wife’ [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]. I mean you know when you are committing adultery. But, almost nobody knows when they’re greedy. Nobody admits…thinks they’re greedy. You know cause everybody is comparing yourself to other people and so, it’s a frog in the kettle kind of thing. Ahhh….however, the fact of the matter is…the Bible is much harder on greed/materialism. It’s a horrible sin, terrible sin. Will greed send you to Hell? No! What sends you to Hell is self-righteousness – thinking that you can be your own savior and lord. What sends you to heaven is getting a connection with Christ because you realize you’re a sinner and you need intervention from outside. That’s why it is very misleading actually to say, even to say, ‘Homosexuality is a sin’ because most people…Yes, of course homosexuality is a sin because greed is a sin, because all kinds of things are sins. But what most Christians mean when they say that and certainly what non-Christians think they hear when they hear that is ‘If you’re gay, you are going to Hell for being gay’. It’s just not true. Absolutely not true.
When Keller does his little humor bit about heterosexuality and homosexuality it might be easy to conclude that sexuality makes no difference whatsoever in terms of heaven and hell.
Keller then goes on to talk about greed thus seemingly suggesting that Christians who oppose homosexuality are being hypocritical because they don’t oppose greed adamantly enough.
Next, we have to note Keller continuing in his false dichotomies. It is true that self righteousness is that which sends you to hell but Homosexuals and all those (greedy, materialists, adulterers) who are embracing their sins are by definition those who are seeking to establish their own righteousness and so are by definition “self-righteous.” So Homosexuality does send one to hell because the Homosexual is by definition “self-righteous (i.e. — one who has rejected Christ’s righteousness for his own).
Keller seems to want to communicate to sodomites that sodomy doesn’t preclude the possibility of God’s grace and forgiveness but if that is what he is trying to say he could have been far far clearer.
Note that Keller says it is misleading to say that homosexuality is sin even though he immediately contradicts himself by saying … ‘yes of course homosexuality is sin.” Which is it Tim?
And how does the below come close to making any sense,
“of course homosexuality is a sin because greed is a sin, because all kinds of things are sins.” (?)
Of course what it seems Keller is trying to do here is to suggest that all sins are equal therefore it is wrong to focus on homosexuality.
And yes Tim … if the homosexual doesn’t repent they will go to hell for their homosexuality which was part of their attempt to establish their own righteousness.
EISENBACH: So then, what’s….then how is homosexuality a ‘sin’. I’m not….
KELLER: ….Well, homo…[sigh]..Greed is a sin. In other words, it doesn’t help human flourishing. Basically, Christianity has an account of what we think human beings were built to do and what will therefore, help human flourishing. So, we would say if you spend all of your money on yourself, that’s bad….not only for your own soul, but for everybody elses. We would say homosexuality is not the original design for sexuality. Therefore, it’s not good for human flourishing. We want people to do things that are good for human flourishing. But that’s not what sends you to heaven or Hell. Now, there…maybe we ought to talk about that [NERVOUS LAUGHTER]. What sends you to heaven or Hell really has to do with your faith in the Gospel which is that you can’t….uhhh…be your own savior through your performance and your good works. Now here, I’m coming at this like a protestant now. You know…ummm…everybody’s gotta be a particular kind of Christian and there’s differences of opinion within Christianity about this. But uhhhh…no. being gay doesn’t send you to hell and sin doesn’t send you to Hell like that. The sin underneath the sin is, ‘I am my own savior and my lord’. And that’s the reason why pharisaism, moralism, Bible-believing people who are proud and think God is going to take people to heaven because they’re good…that’s sending them to Hell. I mean, I know that this is a lot to take in at once.
Homosexuality is seen as sin according to Keller because it doesn’t help human flourishing. Tim doesn’t mention that homosexuality is sin first and foremost because it is rebellion against God and His law word. Certainly it is true that homosexuality doesn’t help human flourishing, but homosexuality is a sin because it is rebellion against God before it is a sin because it doesn’t help human flourishing. When we treat sin only as a horizontal problem we lose the majesty of God and His authoritative Word.
Keller then seems to imply that his Protestantism is just one of the Baskin-Robbins flavors of Christianity among which one can legitimately choose from. Hints of postmodernism is all over this answer from beginning to end.
And Keller, in a question that has to do with whether or not Homosexuality is a sin, saves his harshest words for false Christians. Now, I quite agree that false Christians are not going to heaven but for Pete’s sake this question was about Homosexuality.
EISENBACH: It’s a lot.
KELLER: I’m…well…yeah…I mean….[EISENBACH: I want to go back to……]but inside our church…[EISENBACH: right.] There’s just not going to be this disdain of homosexuals [EISENBACH: right.] There just can’t be…not when I’m teaching the gospel like that.
No Christian congregation should have disdain for any individual who is looking for answers to their sins. However, there should be great and heaping disdain for any individual who looks to mainstream their sin and demands that Christians speak in even softer terms regarding homosexuality then even Keller does.
These two links should be read back to back. The first one doesn’t pretend to be Christian and offers,
Event director Giuliana Berry ’14 told Campus Reform in an interview on Monday that the workshop was brought to campus to teach students not to automatically judge people who may have engaged in these sorts of activities, but rather to respond with “understanding” and “compassion.”
“People do engage in some of these activities that we believe only for example perverts engage in,” she said. “What the goal is is to increase compassion for people who may engage in activities that are not what you would personally consider normal.”
The second link is written by an ordained Christian minister with whom I am an acquaintance. He writes,
“Here in the absence of words to defend myself, without examples, without models, I began to believe voices in my head – that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable.”
Hearing those words from anyone ought to give us pause.
The deep-seated pain and hours of tormented anxiety that lead one to devalue one’s own life and to consider oneself unlovable ought to cause our heart to break. It ought to move us to do what we can to protect the vulnerability of one who has felt ostracized from society.
Put these words into the mouth of a transgender individual, however, and all too often our response is less Christ-like.
But what if we were to put these words into the mouth of a pederast or of a necrophiliac or of someone who likes bedding farm animals? Should we then be moved to do what we can to protect the vulnerability of the pederast, necrophiliac or beastie who has felt ostracized from society or should we thank God that they are ostracized from society? Certainly our hearts should break but should they not break because of the affects of sin on image bearers and not because somehow those who God considers perverts are ostracized from civilized society? Sure, we must have compassion on Transgender people but compassion comes in the form of pleading with them to repent of their sin and not in normalizing their sin.
And all of this is said with a full understanding of a condition called Klinefelter syndrome, where the phenotypically male patients have an extra X chromosome, making them XXY, and they are known to exhibit strange behavior. This chromosomal aberration related to gender has serious complications, and it is no surprise that those who insist in wanting the other gender as their own sexual identity will have their own mental and emotional problems too.
Still, having acknowledged that some of these medical abnormalities arise this is hardly reason to want to normalize for society what is clearly aberrant non Klinefelter behavior. Our Christ-like response has to not only consider the feelings of Transgenders but also the mind of God who has made His mind known regarding male and female roles.
My pastoral acquaintance writes,
Many Christians are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with transgender. When the city of Gainesville, Fla., proposed and later passed an ordinance in 2008 guaranteeing freedom from discrimination for transgender individuals, the response of the Christian community was to run a sensationalized media campaign about the dangers of lecherous men using the women’s restroom.
“What if, instead of responding out of our fear or anxiety, we learned to listen to the heart of those who make us uncomfortable?”
Why would one assume that being concerned for the safety of other people was a response driven by fear and anxiety and not one driven by love and compassion for people who are not Transgender? Consider that though gay and transgender youth represent just 5 percent to 7 percent of the nation’s overall youth population, they compose 13 percent to 15 percent of those currently in the juvenile justice system. Apparently there are reasons for the community at large to be concerned about mainstreaming transgendered people.
Secondly, I hope my acquaintance will see that in responding to his article I am listening to the heart of one who makes me uncomfortable. I’m sure I make him uncomfortable in this response. Will he listen to my heart?
My acquaintance writes,
When we refuse to give space for those who struggle with gender identity, when we draw clearly demarcated lines of male and female and demand that everyone fit within those boxes, when we try to ignore the very real questions of so many young people, we force people like Lana to live in invisibility, in a world where death can seem preferable to life, where being loved by another is an unattainable ideal.
Understand that the Lana in question was born a man and is now transgendered. She is in a relationship with another man. The Church used to call that sin. Now we are being asked to “give space,” and to not “draw clearly demarcated lines of male and female and demand that everyone fit within those boxes.” How is it love or loving to allow someone created in the image of God to go on attacking the image of God place upon him by not pleading with compassion that such a person repent?
What of the lack of compassion towards other little boys and girls in society who will grow up seeing Transgenderism in our culture as normal and as one option that they may now choose from? How is it loving to those little boys and girls to allow them to think that there is something healthy and normal about Transgenderism? Are we not at that point causing the little ones to stumble?
And finally, if Transgenderism is mainstreamed is it not I and other Biblical Christians who will be now forced to live lives of invisibility as our convictions about the abnormality of Transgenderism is squelched so that we dare not come out of the closet? As what heretofore was considered sexual perversion comes out of the closet and is mainstreamed what was once mainstreamed (Biblical Christianity) is that which is now the oddity and must be shoved into the closet.
My acquaintance writes,
What does it look like for the church to have a theology of gender that leaves room for those who struggle with gender expectations? What does it look like for the church to have a doctrine of humanity that incorporates not only “standard” XX and XY chromosomal men and women but also those whom we regularly deem anomalies? What does it look like for the church to be a place that welcomes the discussion over gender identity? Are our churches a place where a man or a woman can share their struggles to fit in to cultural expectations of gender norms? What would it look like for the church to stand up to the gender stereotypes in marketing and advertising that help to perpetuate gender roles and cause inner turmoil for those who don’t somehow fit in?
I suspect that if we’re going to get there, we first need to learn to listen. We need to hear what Lana and others like her are saying.
My acquaintance asks all questions in the blockquote immediately above. I wish he had answered his own questions so that we would know what he thinks the answers to those questions are, thus giving us a better idea of both his Theology and anthropology.
Question #1 – Certainly the Church should allow sinners to continue to learn to put off the old man and put on the new man. The early Church had these kinds of people in their churches.
I Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
However, clearly note that St. Paul notes that this is what they once were but now that they are in Christ they are no longer that. Former Transgenders may be in the Church and may still struggle with the besetting sin of Transgenderism and the Church may have need to be patient with that and loving through that, but the expectation is that the old man of Transgenderism will be put off and the new man of heterosexuality will be put on.
Question #2 — Here we come up against the doctrine of anthropology and by extension human sexuality. The premise of my acquaintance’s question seems to be the Church is responsible to incorporate what our Fathers called “perversion.” Also, except for the medical oddity that will arise in a very low percentage of cases, God made all people either as XX or XY. It is a very postmodern mindset that thinks that we can create categories that are other then male or female. I see nowhere in the Scripture where such a postmodern move is considered normative. Clearly in the Corinthians 6 passage above the Holy Spirit’s expectation is that Transgenders in order to be incorporated into the Church must repent of their Transgenderism and be washed, justified and sanctified in the Lord Christ.
Question #3 — What kind of discussion does my acquaintance want to have about gender identity. Does he want a discussion where the conclusion could be that God was wrong about these matters and the Church must give up their centuries long objection to such behavior, or does he want a discussion where the Church welcomes those confused about gender identity and holds out the Gospel of Jesus Christ which can deliver them from their alienation from God, self, and others as expressed in Transgenderism?
Question #4 — I would hope our churches are safe places where repenting sinners can share their struggles with their besetting sins. The Church is a hospital where recovering sinners can look for the tonic of grace to help them in their recovery.
Question #5 — It would help to know just exactly what gender roles my acquaintance is protesting against in our marketing and advertising. Is he protesting women being displayed as sex objects? If so, who couldn’t agree with such a protest? Or is he protesting men and women being displayed as men and women? It is hard to address this question until one knows the exact gender misrepresenting that is going on in advertising and marketing.
Still, all in all it sounds as if my acquaintance has been caught up in the postmodern gender bending craze that insists that gender is merely a social construct. If that is the case then I can only offer that it is my conviction that the whole idea of nearly everything being a social construct is itself a social construct.
In closing, I can’t believe it has come to the point where an apologetic has to be provided for this kind of thing inside the Church.
“Entirely different objections were entertained against Theater-going. In itself there is nothing sinful in fiction—the power of the imagination is a precious gift of God Himself. Neither is there any special evil in dramatic imagination. How highly did Milton appreciate Shakespeare’s Drama, and did not he himself write in dramatic form? Nor did the evil lie in public theatrical representations, as such. Public performances were given for all the people at Geneva, in the Market Place, in Calvin’s time, and with his approval. No, that which offended our ancestors was not the comedy or tragedy, nor should have been the opera, in itself, but the moral sacrifice which as a rule was demanded of actors and actresses for the amusement of the public. A theatrical troop, in those days especially, stood, morally, rather low. This low moral standard resulted partly from the fact that the constant and ever-changing presentation of the character of another person finally hampers the molding of your personal character; and partly because our modern Theaters, unlike the Greek, have introduced the presence of women on the stage, the prosperity of the Theater being too often gauged by the measure in which a woman jeopardizes the most sacred treasures God entrusts to her, her stainless name, and irreproachable conduct. Certainly, a strictly normal Theater is very well conceivable; but with the exception of a few large cities, such Theaters would neither be sufficiently patronized nor could exist financially ; and the actual fact remains that, taking all the world over, the prosperity of a Theater often increases in proportion to the moral degradation of the actors. Too often therefore … the prosperity of Theaters is purchased at the cost of manly character, and of female purity. And the purchase of delight for the ear and the eye at the price of such a moral hecatomb, the Calvinist, who honored whatever was human in man for the sake of God, could not but condemn.”
Lectures on Calvinism
Clearly many involved in Drama are genuine Christians. All because someone involves themselves or their children in one play doesn’t mean that they are not Christian. Theoretically, the play could be an opportunity for the children to engage in Worldview thinking. I mean, for the rest of their lives those children are going to have to reinterpret the world around them. Why not start in a environment that is relatively safe and is controlled to a certain degree? The key is for the parents to help their children reinterpret all that is being communicated in the play worldview wise. But of course, if the parents have not been taught to see with and not just through the eyes the Parents cannot help their children reinterpret very much.
Second, in my previous post I was not intending to give a blanket condemnation to all that HPA is. I’m only pleading that Parents be wise about all the dynamics of Theater, youth culture and priorities chosen. Theater can be God glorifying but if handled apart from wisdom it can be destructive to the souls of children.
All I’m pleading for is discretion.
And while I’m at it, I’m going to list here my concerns with the youth culture that HPA provides. When children are placed together in the way they are in the context of HPA there is created a youth subculture. The avoidance of youth culture is supposed to be one reason why Christians don’t want their children in government schools and yet when we major on these kinds of adult sparse organizations we create the very thing we were seeking to avoid by homeschooling.
In a culture that doesn’t create a youth culture, young people typically aspire to be like the adults in their lives. They emulate the adults. They strive to be adults. They want to be adults. When you create a youth subculture children now emulate their peers. Children, because they no longer emulate adults, have a passion to fit into their peer group (and what Adult fits into youth culture?). As such children are prone to remain children longer. When we create a youth sub culture, children are retarded in developing adult tastes, and in the desire to think like adults. (Of course since too many adults think like children today, we’ve largely lost out there even when we manage to get them to want to be like adults.) Youth culture breeds immaturity and disrespect for adults because youth culture by its very definition is anti-adult. This burgeoning youth culture explains, at least in part, the phenomenon social scientist are seeing as they see increasing numbers of men in their 20′s refusing to take on the responsibility of men. Our whole culture, from elderly on down emulate youth culture.
So, HPA helps our children to remain children when it is indulged in as a way of life. (And for some of those children HPA is a way of life). There is not enough adult supervision at HPA to disperse the presence of youth culture. (And 19 and 20 year old supervision doesn’t count as “Adult.”) I understand that as an organization HPA can’t be held responsible for what Parents allow their children to be involved in, but I can at least wish that Parents and HPA adult leaders would think through these kinds of things and not be hostile when I broach the subject.
(And as a codicil, I wish I could say that all this analysis is original to me. It is not. I learned it from a host of people I’ve read and studied. Some pastors still spend their lives trying to understand these kinds of things.)
As is hinted at by the Kuyper quote above, drama can mess with a child’s sense of identity. Children need stability to form a stable sense of who they are. When drama is engaged in as a way of life for children the stability is brought into question because the child has no singular identity but rather their identity is connected to whatever role they are currently playing. They are subtly being taught that they can slip in and out of whatever character or personality might suit them at any given time. Who are they? Whoever they need to be.
Finally, I do have this against drama; ( — not only the performance of it but also the partaking of it –) it rewires the mind from an ability to be engaged with a text such as one finds in reading, to a passive “my mind is a canvas, write on it approach.” When we replace the word and the text for the image we at the same time replace,
a.) The active interaction demanded of a text for the passivity which comes with the image
b.) The ability to think critically with being mindlessly caught up with the story presented with the image
c.) The ability to think sequentially (which comes from the linearity of the text) for a thinking abstractly that is encouraged by the image.
d.) The loss of detail in our thinking which is acquired by reading books that reason closely, for an ability to think in grand sweeping narratives such are most often represented in Drama. (Just think how plot and character development have diminished in films over the decades as we’ve shifted increasingly from a Linear-textual culture to a abstract-image culture).
I am not anti-drama, but I am “if we are going to do drama lets do it in a epistemologically self conscious Christian way.” Maybe that will mean plays just for boys and men and separate plays just for girls and women. Maybe it means doing family plays where family life is nourished to some degree. Maybe it means doing a worldview study concurrent with the play so that children are taught not only to act but to think.
My plea is only that we think about what we are doing.
“All children who are born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the death of grown persons…. Therefore … we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use.
Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlement in all marshy and unwholesome situations. But above all we should reprobate specific remedies for ravaging diseases; and restrain those benevolent, but much mistaken men, who have thought they are doing a service to mankind by projecting schemes for the total extirpation of particular disorders.”
An Essay on the Principle of Population
1.) Keep in mind that R2K teaches that it would be morally wrong for a Minister to speak against this kind of agenda from the Pulpit because a Malthusian worldview is a matter for the common realm and not the Church realm.
2.) If you go to youtube and look for “Agenda 21″ you will see that this kind of ideology is being pursued by the United Nations in terms of their official policy. They have written position papers that echo this Malthusian approach.
3.) Clearly the whole Planned Parenthood enterprise, beginning with Margaret Sanger, and right up until today has more than a whiff of this Malthusian worldview. It is a not much discussed fact that Sanger began her campaign with the goal of keeping Blacks and Jews from breeding successfully.
In the April 1933 issue of the Birth Control Review, Sanger said that “[Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are] human weeds … a deadweight of human waste … [Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a] menace to the race. … Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need … We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock.”
Sanger advocated a program that would;
“… hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
When liberal clergy support Abortion they are supporting the same racial population control that Margaret Sanger supported.
4.) Of course this is part of the anti-Christ worldview where evil is called good, and good is called evil. For Malthus, charity and philanthropy would be to help reduce the surplus population of the earth by doing the good works of insuring that people die. The solution for the “problem” of too high of birth rates would be to abort the babies and sterilize (and maybe even kill) the Mothers.
On the last Panetta Announcement we were informed women would war
(We were assured that woman would manage and our power would be even more)
They would battle till broken and crippled, while our men carried the shame
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “In war ye shall list only male names”
1.) A 6’5″ 220 pound Marine is injured in combat. Is his 130 pound female colleague going to carry or even drag him out of danger?
Consider that the average American female soldier is five inches shorter than her male counterpart. She has half the upper-body strength and 37 percent less muscle mass. Women also have 25 to 30 percent less aerobic capacity, which reduces their endurance.
2.) A female soldier is captured. Her cries of anguish while being repeatedly raped by the enemy is heard by her male colleagues across enemy lines. Will the male soldiers successfully repress the normal male urge to protect the woman or will they cast caution aside and go to their deaths in a vain but noble attempt to rescue the maiden in distress?
Israel is the only nation with real-world experience putting women in combat. Having gained that experience, Israel has banned women from combat units since 1950. Israel’s lessons were hard-won; the feminists in Congress have yet to learn them.
The first lesson is that men could be taught to kill strangers, but they would not stop caring for women. That is as it should be: civilized countries want to create soldiers, not savages. During the 1948 War of Liberation Israeli men would abandon their missions to come to the aid of women in distress, thereby endangering their missions, their units and themselves.
3.) And what of this normal male urge to protect the female? What will this mean in the context of battle? In the context of training?
In his insightful essay “Women Can’t Fight,” James Webb retells the story of how a naval-academy first-classman was reprimanded by his company commander during the first week of the academic year, the week that was traditionally the most rigorous week of the academic year for plebes. His offense? He had “upset” a female plebe. He had repeatedly corrected her table manners to no effect. In frustration, the upperclassman had ordered her to eat her next meal with oversized utensils, which was an extremely mild reproach. Her response was to burst into tears. Her female roommate hastened to the company commander and protested her friend’s punishment because it would be embarrassing. The upperclassman was ordered to stop harassing the girl.
4.) How will women be treated by Muslims when taken as POW’s when the Muslim believes that the Woman is a lower being? Will the insult of a having a woman killing Muslim men lead to tortures unknown once women are captured?
When the Muslim opposition discovered that they were fighting women in battle with Israel, the Arabs spontaneously chose to fight to the death. The very thought of being defeated by a band of women was so shameful to them that it made them implacable. They would not surrender to women. Every encounter became bitter and protracted.
5.) Are women, who are on the whole physically weaker then men, going to reduce the fighting capacity of front line units?
Consider that women assigned to artillery units are often too weak to lift the ammunition. These are tasks that are expected for these military occupational specialties so, clearly, standards are being dumbed down to accommodate women.
Also consider a study of military personnel who have reached the rank of colonel revealed that 5 to 6 percent of men had permanent orthopedic damage due to the rigors of military life. The number for women was thirty percent. As a Nation are we good with abusing women like this?
6.) Will surprise attacks on front line units find troops not being alert because those troops are having sex? At the very least jealousies between troops could easily wreck front line combat units as they have their morale deteriorated because of competing competition for the female troops affections.
All of this is just another example of the Jacobin insistence that reality must conform to their preconceived worldview. This progressive worldview insists, quite despite the evidence, that men and women are the same and are interchangeable cogs where no difference is discovered when one is replaced with the other. All of this is in worship of the philosophy of Egalitarianism. Egalitarianism teaches that sex roles are mere social constructs that can be changed at will and that men and women are not really different. And so, many women will be sacrificed to support this lie and our Military will exchange male testosterone for Female Breasts.
In closing, make no mistake. This is not an agenda being pushed by people who do not know the above stated facts. Oh sure, there are always the useful idiots who are the true believers in such lunacy. However, the NWO oligarchy, who are at the top of the Bureaucratic food chain, full well know that women can neither be men nor fight like men. The push for equality is merely a tool towards a larger goal and higher end. Equality is being used as a tool to eliminate Biblical Christianity and the Historic West. All of this is about overturning a Christian social order and dethroning God in favor of humanistic dark chaos and old night and the enthronement of soul-less misogynist misanthropic humanistic man.
But the God’s of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.
A great deal of the statistics and accounts are drawn from,
Speaking of the dangers of an immoderate reading of fiction, R. L. Dabney wrote,
“But there is also an injury to the moral character as well as to the habits of mental industry, which is a necessary result of the fundamental laws of feeling. Exercise is the great instrument ordained by God to strengthen the active principles of the heart. On the other hand, all the passive susceptibilities are worn out and deadened by frequent impressions. Illustrations of these two truths are familiar to every one; but there is one well-known instance which offers us at once an example of the truth of both of them. It is that of the experienced and benevolent physician. The active principle of benevolence is strengthened by his daily occupations until it becomes a spontaneous and habitual thing in him to respond to every call of distress, regardless of personal fatigue, and to find happiness in doing so. But at the same time, his susceptibilities to the painful impressions of distressing scenes are so deadened that he can act with nerve and coolness in the midst of suffering, the sight of which would at first have unmanned him.
Now, all works of fiction are full of scenes of imaginary distress, which are constructed to impress the sensibilities. The fatal objection to the habitual contemplation of these scenes is this, that while they deaden the sensibilities, they afford no occasion or call for the exercise of active sympathies. Thus the feelings of the heart are cultivated into a monstrous, an unnatural, and unamiable disproportion. He who goes forth in the works of active benevolence among the real sufferings of his fellow creatures will have his sensibilities impressed, and at the same time will have opportunity to cultivate the principle of benevolence by its exercise. Thus the qualities of his heart will be nurtured in beautiful harmony, until they become an ornament to his character and a blessing to his race. This is God’s “school of morals.” This is God’s plan for developing and training the emotions and moral impulses. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” And the adaptation of this plan of cultivation to the laws of man’s nature shows that the inventor is the same wise Being who created man. It is by practicing this precept of the gospel that man is truly humanized. But the beholder of these fictitious sorrows has his sympathies impressed, and therefore deadened, while those sympathies must necessarily remain inert and passive, because the whole scene is imaginary. And thus, by equal steps, he becomes at once sentimental and inhuman. While the Christian, whose heart has been trained in the school of duty, goes forth with cheerful and active sympathies in exercises of beneficence towards the real woes of his neighbor, the novel reader sits weeping over the sorrows of imaginary heroes and heroines, too selfish and lazy to lay down the fascinating volume and reach forth his hand to relieve an actual sufferer at his door.”
1.) This is not to throw out all reading of fiction. It is merely to note the effect of a constant diet of fiction upon the Christian mind. And since we are going to be saying something about the pulpit, this isn’t intended to communicate that the Sermon story has no place whatsoever.
2.) We need to keep in mind that whatever Dabney has to say here about the immoderate reading of fiction would apply to the immoderate viewing of films, plays, and television.
3.) I’ve spent a significant portion of time in my adult life reading sermons. I can tell you that over the last two to three hundred years sermons have changed a great deal. If you listen to sermons today as compared to a sermon from almost any of the Puritans you see the centrality of the sentimental in sermons and interestingly enough that happens quite often via the telling of the fiction story from the pulpit as part of (and often central to) the sermon. In the Preacher business this is called “narrative preaching.”
4.) Dabney’s point is that the saturation of the feelings, via the absorption of fiction, without some kind of corresponding action leaves one to rot, much like a sponge that soaks up water that is never squeezed out. If this is true and if it is true that the sermon has largely become a platform for story telling, then one is left to wonder if much of our modern sermonizing is resulting, not in building up the saints, but is working to leave them to rot.
5.) Story telling from the pulpit and fiction in general is like a drug for the person who is hooked. Once hooked the fiction and story telling must get better and better — more and more sentimental and sensational — in order to work within the listener or reader the desired effect. Pity the Preacher who doesn’t do the sappy and sentimental story because a generation raised on story telling and fiction is a generation that will not abide a Preacher who is didactic as opposed to sentimental and sensational.
6.) Dabney writes, “it is by practicing this precept of the gospel that man is truly humanized.” Based on this statement Dabney would be chastised by many Reformed people today since according to R2K it is not possible for the Gospel to be practiced by men since the Gospel, according to these definitions, is only what God does. Silly Dabney.
7.) I’m going to contend that this push towards the fiction in our culture but also in the Church is closely tied up with the feminization of the culture and the Church. Fiction fills the role of wooing the reader. Biblically speaking, it is women who have been wooed and men are active in the wooing. Fiction feminizes men because it casts men in the role of the one wooed.
For a two good books that go into this subject with greater depth see,
A friend posted this quote, this morning. He is a Filipino Doctor practicing medicine somewhere in these united States,
“Methinks I hear England’s passing bell go. Let us shed some tears over dying England. Let us bewail our intestine divisions. England’s divisions have been fatal. They brought in the Saxons, Danes, Normans. ‘If a kingdom divided cannot stand’, how do we stand but by a miracle of free grace? Truth is fallen and peace is fled. England’s fine coat of peace is torn and, like Joseph’s coat, dipped in blood.”
Thomas Watson — Reformed Doctor of the Church
“The Beatitudes- An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12″, chapter 5, ‘Blessed Are They That Mourn.’
If, even if Watson’s time, among the Doctors of the Church, there existed an awareness of the dangers of heterogeneity, in a culture and social order where the heterogeneity bemoaned was far less fractious then what we are experimenting with today in this country how much more should we be aware of the dangers of balkanization today when the balkanization that is being forced upon us is characterized by a far greater degree of separation between faiths and people groups then they were seeking to slam together in Watson’s own time?
Just keep in mind, that what is going on with the current immigration policy of the West is a drive towards a New World Order where, in the words of Bertolt Brecht,
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writer’s Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
I agree with the great Reformed minister Thomas Watson and the 20th century poet Bertolt Brecht regarding the dangers of Babylonian Multiculturalism.
MY orders are to fight; Then if I bleed, or fail, Or strongly win, what matters it? God only doth prevail. The servant craveth naught, Except to serve with might. I was not told to win or lose, – My orders are to fight. ~ Ethelwyn Wetherald
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