Explaining the Descent of America’s Clergy Corps

To any part time observer it is clear that America’s clergy corps has a good deal in common with the clergy corps of the West at the time leading up to the Reformation. At that time the clergy were stupid besotted with a incantational-superstitious theology. It is said that we get the phrase “hocus-pocus,” from the rush of the clergy of that time saying the Latin phrase during the Mass; “Hoc est corpus meum.”

Today, the clergy corps in the US is likewise at a low ebb. In this post I hope to explain some of the reason that might account for that.

1.) The clergy, generally speaking, like all others, is saturated for their first 22 years of life in a educational system that is committed to a anti-Christ agenda. In their most formative years, future clergy will learn to not think in a systematic/systemic/organic fashion, be trained instead to think compartmentally. As such those who will become clergy have little to no capacity to see the inter-connectedness of all of life. This, in turn, emasculates the ability to think through the implications of anything.

Further, because of this education, any foundational presuppositions they have will be humanist in principle since that is all they have ever absorbed. Even the way they learn to read the bible, if they are even exposed to that in their homes growing up, is going to be conditioned by a humanist world and life view. It is possible, after all, to know the bible from cover to cover and still be completely clueless as to what it is communicating. Now add that we are so far into this problem that even if they had old men as their ministers when the would be future clergy were young the odds are very small that those old ministers themselves were not also saturated in humanism.

So, the problem with our clergy today stems first and foremost from a lack of training in thinking as starting from first principles in the most formative years. People don’t realize how hard it is to change the original mapping of the mind when that mind has been trained to think one particular way in the first 22 years or so. We are training our children to think in a Revolutionary and subversive manner by putting them in sub-standard humanist schools for the most formative years of their lives (and these schools come in all varieties) and then we expect them to become clergy who can think as Christians. Here the old proverb comes to mind about trying to make silk purses out of the ears of old sows’.

So, here we have these young men who decide to become clergy and they have no capacity to think so as to trace through beginning premises. This lack of epistemological self-consciousness ensures a lack of consistency across fields of study and ensures the presence of one contradiction after another in their thought life. Again, it boils down to the fact that they just can’t think systematically.

Then, all this bad education from kindergarten through college, is expected to be washed away by three years of Seminary. Now, to be sure, if our imaginary clergy member attends a good Seminary he may be able to get a good start, but the bad news here is that most of our Seminaries are terribly compromised with Professors themselves who are merely baptized humanists. Even at the best of Seminary it is atypical to get a emphasis on Worldview thinking or inter-disciplinary studies that is approached from a Reformed/Biblical perspective.

So, three years of Seminary — even at a good Seminary (assuming they are out there) — is not enough of time to undo all the damage that has been done and re-map the mind’s ability to think conceptually and Biblically. The results, at best, are Seminary graduates who are earnest with the best of intentions but woefully unprepared for what he has been called to do.

Keep in mind that the complaint here is not so much that the future clergy have not been taught the proper “what” is their thinking. The complaint is that future clergy are not being taught how to think. The “what” does them little good if the how of their thinking is bumfuzzled.

As a result of this, the clergy are now easy prey to reinterpret Christianity through whatever grid the zeitgeist and their culture is pressing down upon them. Christianity thus is yoked to and becomes in service of an alien world and life view. The outside of the cup is clean but the inside of the cup is filthy.

2.) Denominationalism is structured in such a way that it discourages ministers from thinking. Learning to think biblically means one begins to see the problems with the current Church and its lack of Biblical Christianity. Should some young man start to insist that his fellow members of the clergy corps are not thinking biblically that young man will be immediately told to sit down and shut up. If our young minister refuses to do that and continues to press the crown rights of King Jesus upon the denominational structure he will be brought up on charges and bounced or eliminated in some other way. The modern church will do everything it can to mow down any prophetic voice that God raises up.

Harmonious with the observation about Denominations is the truth that individual congregations do the same. Individual congregations like denominations do not desire to hear from the pulpit a man who is learning to think biblically. Individual congregations are themselves filled with laymen who themselves have no capacity to think biblically and are not interested in continuing to support their minister if all of a sudden their minister starts making hamburger of the favorite cultural cows of the laity he is serving.

I understand that there are exceptions to all this. I am speaking here of what is generally true. I am not speaking of that which is universally true.

3.) Once clergy enter into their new charges they forget their study. Young clergy especially need to be pounding back great books in as many fields of study as they can. This departure from the study and the books may arise because of the demands of the congregation that have to be met. More often however, I suspect that men don’t want to do the work required and prefer the social side of being clergy (visitation, public presence at events, etc.). Spending days and days with the great minds in great books is hardly exciting to most men in the ministry.  All of this is complicated by the fact that even should ministers be willing to do the hard work of putting the meat in the seat so as to read till they bleed, because of earlier observations they are going to be reading the wrong material, favoring counseling and psychology books over and above Church History, Systematic theology, Biblical Theology, Historical Theology, History, Sociology, Biblical Philosophy, Apologetics, Great Novels, Biblical Economics, Political Philosophy, Law, Worldview, Education, History of Science, Art, Polemics, etc.

Even when we find good Ministers reading good books, too often they are restricting their reading to formal theology books. The pursuit of that habit will likely lead to a minister excelling at abstractions while sucking terribly at casuistry and/or concrete application.

4.) It is likely true that throughout Church history there has been a type among the minister class who are fixated on climbing the denominational ladder to become movers and shakers. This class of individuals is forever licking their fingers and sticking it in the wind to see which way the wind is blowing before they determine what it is that they are going to say. They are more worried about their careers and status then they are just stating the unvarnished but necessary truth. If they have convictions they will seek to advance their convictions dialectically if needs be. They will become experts at triangulation and at the techniques of Machiavelli. They will develop the ability to cover all their bases in what they say or write so that it is anybody’s guess as to what their true position really is. Beware the minister who is consumed with his career.

Another aspect of this that ought to be mentioned is the “follow the money” principle. I am convinced, just by way of gut feeling, that there is a large contingency in our ministerial leadership corps in America (those reputed to be pillars in the Church) that are being paid off. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and my instincts are telling (quite without any hard proof) that Big Eva has a number of high flyers who are being paid off. Take that for whatever it is worth.



My Time In Purgatory V — Final Installment

I wanted to take one more installment to tie up some loose ends and to give a peek into some of the Clown Reformed Church Characters I knew. I will change the names so that the average reader can see the person without knowing the name.

I.) Loose Ends

A.) In three or four places I’ve used some scatological language. I do not apologize for that because I do believe there is a time and a place for everything under the sun. The malfeasance, malevolence, and mendacity of the Clown Reformed Church deserves stiffer language than I tagged it with. When one considers their disregard for the sheep by ordaining women and by ordaining men who had no business being ordained the outrage over this assault on the Church of Jesus Christ should know no boundaries. When one considers how the CRC destroyed the career of a faithful minister of Jesus Christ for the ecclesiastical equivalent of jaywalking — and then had to bury the exculpatory evidence to get it done — one should be outraged. When one considers the dissembling, the chicanery, and the distortions, (only my inherent easy-going nature keeps me from saying “lies”) that the CRC invoked in order to sling mud at a doctrine (“Natural Relations” sometimes called “Kinism”) that the Church has embraced for 2000 years, as seen in a cursory examination of the historical record, (get the Dow & Achord book) it requires language that would make widow’s cringe and virgin’s blush. I probably haven’t been direct enough in these pieces.

B.) I said I would return to a couple of sentences in the letter recommending my honorable release from the supervising Council. Those sentences were;

“In recent times, however, Rev. McAtee’s writings have been appropriated by a movement within the Reformed community known as “Kinism.” Though Rev. McAtee claims no affiliation among them, because of appropriation of his intellectual property, he has over the past two years been linked by accusations with having common cause.”

a.) I need to say here I do not recall ever making this claim.

b.) If I did claim no affiliation among them it is because, as I said earlier in this piece, there is no organization for me to affiliate with. There are no Kinists who have membership cards that get them a discount on the cost of the next Klan meeting. (That’s a joke for the humor-impaired among us.)

c.) Clearly, if some people were appropriating my intellectual property, it would be because those people believed my ideas had an affiliation with their ideas.

d.) I have common cause with everybody who agrees with me.

C.) Touching the word “Kinism”

Many have opined that we need to dump the word because of how successful the enemy has been in slinging mud at it. For a time, I agreed with that and started using the word “Famialism.” Same content. Different word. One could also use words like, “oikaphilia,” “ethno-nationalists,” and “racial-realist.” However, I have resorted to using the word “Kinism” again because;

a.) it’s easier to spell

b.) I have determined that all because the enemy is successful in prejudicing the language I shouldn’t, therefore, give up on the language. There are many idiotic Christians that I don’t want anything to do with but on that basis, I don’t start using a different word besides “Christian” to self-identify. (But believe me I’ve considered it.) In the same way, there are some Kinists who are way over the top and so bring reproach on what I believe. However, I’m not going to quit using the word “Kinism” either because my enemies are purposefully distorting the meaning, or because there are some dopes out there who are mauling the word.

D.) Why I wrote all this

I probably would have never have returned to this if the Clown Reformed Church had not decided to continue its attack on me. I let it slide after the misrepresentations in their District meeting that dismissed me. I let it slide after the Synod that referred to the situation repeatedly going so far as to pass overtures against a strawmen’s caricature of “kinism.”  They essentially crushed something I never believed. They did all this without using my name or the Church’s name and yet one would have had to have been an imbecile to not know who they were going after. Still, I let it slide and did not respond. However, when the Clown Reformed Chruch decided to jump on the Southern Poverty Law Center comical denunciation of myself and the Church I serve I determined I had had enough. It is clear that they are never going to let this go and will trot it out whenever it is convenient for them to virtue signal. As such, I determined that even though I would never have the platform those people had, I had to set the record straight — if only for the people who were getting splashed with mud whom I served.

II.) Clown Reformed World Personalities

Those that I’ve already dealt with in some measure I won’t bring up again.

Brun Hilda — This woman was really the reason for the intensifying of much of what transpired in the last few years. She fancied herself an expert on theology and would even introduce herself in such a matter. “Hello, my name is Brun Hilda, and I’m an expert in theology.” The funny thing was that the woman didn’t even know the meaning of the word “propitiation.” Experts in theology know what “propitation” means. She attended some high brow Liberal University in the Low Countries and it showed. She was a social justice warrior and feminist beyond measure. She even lobbied for “Social Justice” sermons from her Pastor and when the man said “no,” his life soon became severely troubled.

Malcolm Z — Malcolm Z is an African-American and is perhaps the #1 Social Justice Warrior in the Clown Reformed Church. He is convinced that what the White Boer South African Farmers are facing in terms of attempted genocide is all lies. Like all SJW’s he walks around begging people to disturb the chip that is on his shoulder. He once visited the Church I serve and I witnessed many of the people invite him to stay for our fellowship meal. When he finally reported on the service all he could note is that he knew something awful was present because we prayed for the White Boer farmers during the long Pastoral prayer and how we would have accused him of heresy if he had brought his white wife and family to church. The chip on the shoulder doesn’t take much to disturb it.

Percy Blakeney — One of the few good guys in the story. Percy was conservative by way of instinct. Percy did all he could do to help me out when I was on the hot seat but he was in a tough situation himself. Trying to help out someone seen by everyone else as a dirty racist is not a good position to be in. However, he did the best he could in a tough situation short of sacrificing himself and his career. I counted him a friend though I have not seen him since the whole thing mercifully ended. He was a kind and jovial man. Quick with laughter and always ready for a good conversation. I owe him a debt of gratitude for alone fighting for me in a Kangaroo court situation.

Thomas Beckett — Thomas was another of the guys in a white hat. He is the minister who was executed for ecclesiastical jaywalking. Brun Hilda asked the question, “Who will deliver me of this meddlesome Priest?,” — and the Elder board and the District did the deed. Thomas spent some time in a Communist country as a missionary before going into the ministry and as such Thomas was one of the few guys who understood the dangers of Marxism in the Church. This is one reason why he refused to start preaching Social Justice sermons contra Brun Hilda’s demand. The main reason however was that Thomas understood that the pulpit needs to be reserved for the Gospel and he wasn’t going to muddle up the pulpit or the Gospel with Social Justice bilge. Thomas was in a difficult spot the moment he arrived at the flagship church because he was an orthodox man coming to serve a congregation that had been fed on Liberal Barthian Higher Critical preaching for decades by Dr. Rev. Dusty Lugnut.

A funny story here. Not long after Thomas arrived on the scene he asked me to serve as his mentor. I refused for several months reasoning that there was no way in Hades that a minister serving at that Liberal Church genuinely wanted me to mentor him. I mean would Karl Barth ask J. Gresham Machen to mentor him? I figured it was just not possible that Thomas could be anything but a raging liberal and I had had my belly full of them. Thomas finally won me over when at a meeting he mentioned something derisive about the Liberal nature of the Bannaner. Shortly, thereafter we started meeting. I can say in all honesty that Thomas was the only epistemologically self-conscious conservative minister that I met during my almost 25 years in the CRC. I still count him as a friend and we talk often. We’ve both been through the fires.

P. T. Barnum — P. T. was a very likable man who was conservative by impulse but woefully unable to defend his conservatism when pushed to the wall by even the most hackneyed liberal. P. T. was a businessman/salesman before he was anything else (like a minister) and he had the ability to put the meat in the seats. (Put people in pews.) And to be honest, he probably was able to give his people all they could handle in terms of food for their souls. I remember P. T. if only because I cringed when he reported he was going to have a traveling strongman troupe in to give the Gospel and they would do so while tearing in half, thick phone books and bending thick bars of steel around their necks.

P. T. provided a funny memory for me as one time his Church was responsible to host a District meeting. The host at these meetings was responsible to provide worship leaders. Well, P. T. on that Saturday provided an Evangelical lounge singer’s version of “Tony Orlando & Dawn.” I think it was the only time in 20 years that the liberal clowns and I shared a conviction and it was on not caring for the Evangelical version of “Tony Orlando & Dawn,” as worship leader. The libs would have preferred Meagan Thee Stallion and I would have preferred the Three Tenors.

Cyrano de Bergerac — Cyrano was a fresh Seminary grad who was unmarried. He got engaged after meeting a girl in an online chat room. I tried to warn him off said girl because she was not Reformed and had never heard of things like the Heidelberg catechism and other Reformed staples. He, of course, ignored me and was married. Only a few years later he was asking different ministers for counseling advice for a troubled marriage. I liked Cyrano. He had an inquisitive mind, even if he staked out some strange positions. He genuinely wanted to be God’s instrument in helping people in the Kingdom. I admired him because of his willingness to continue to work in a place that was small. Speaking from experience I knew those charges were sometimes discouraging.

There were more. Many more enemies but it would do little good to regale you will all the stories about their oddities and villainy. It was a terrible place to be in for over 20 years but I guess that is what purgatory is all about.

My Time In Purgatory IV

So mendacious and malevolent were my crimes against the Cultural Marxist norm that the Clown Reformed Church felt it necessary to pass overtures at their annual Clown World Synod (CWS) in 2019 shadow boxing against Kinism. In this entry of my “Time in Purgatory,” I take a look at the results as well as some of the quotes that were provided by Dr. Rev. Dusty Lugnut who served at CWS 2019 as something like a roving reporter.

I.) Synod Example “A”

1.) A delegate presents the following motion:

That synod, given the recent history of Kinist teaching in a particular church of the CRCNA, admonish councils and classes to promote confessional fidelity and mutually to pursue special discipline of an officebearer who is found to hold views contrary to our standards.


a. The pastor who was teaching Kinist views was able to do so for

several years without special discipline being successful.

b. By admonishing councils and classes to encourage confessional
fidelity and special discipline when applicable, it sends a strong
message from the broadest body of our denomination that Kinist

teaching will not be tolerated in our churches.


1.) The Church I serve was never a particular Church in the CRC. This Church was started by the Clown Reformed Church back in 1965 when I was 5 years old. By the time I arrived in 1995 those original Churches had long cut ties with their “daughter” Church. The Church was operating essentially as an independent church that was dating the CRC trying to determine if it ever wanted to get married and jump in bed. From the very beginning of my time here we had our own counsel, we set our own budgets, we took in our own members, and we distributed the Sacraments with officers unordained by the Clown Reformed Church. We were a defacto Independent Church who was still dating the CRC trying to determine if we would become a particular Church.

a.) Special Discipline was NEVER successful because special discipline was NEVER attempted. They certainly had every opportunity in the world to enact special discipline if they wanted but they didn’t do that and they didn’t do that because they knew that their own Cultural Marxism would be exposed if they went after me in the Church courts.

Not once was there ever a substantive conversation with anybody in the Classis about what I understood Kinism to mean. Not once did anybody refer to anything I had written (and I had written tons) as somehow proving that my views were out of bounds. Indeed, the Church council that was assigned the task of overseeing us and was largely in name only (something that only took place after nearly 20 years of being completely independent) explicitly praised me to the Denominational District and recommended my being given an “honorable release.” Something that the vindicative Cultural Marxist feminists and churchmen of the District could in no way allow. The letter from the supervising counsel stated in part,

“Rev. Bret McAtee has served in ministry in the Charlotte Clown Reformed Church, Charlotte, MI for the past 2o years (?), faithfully serving the flock committed to his care. He has labored tirelessly among them, offering the comfort with which Christ has comforted us, providing godly council and expounding on the Word of God. He has also provided direction for their homeschooling efforts, often teaching World History, History of philosophy, and Worldview Formation.

Rev. McAtee also has developed a significant web presence through his years of ministry at Charlotte CRC, including his personal blog, ironink.org. Through his writings, he has gained a following online and has expanded his influence by writing articles for ezines….

His involvement with groups promoting Christian Reconstruction has caused some consternation for colleagues in the denomination and some peers outside the denomination. Rev. McAtee has engaged in the rigorous defense of his beliefs, but always with a spirit of Christian unity — as evidence by his long participation in a peer group among the Classis Lake Eerie pastors in Michigan. It (spirit of Christian unity) is also evidenced by his willingness to change his rhetorical methods when some in the classis felt he crossed a line of collegiality with his comments. (i.e. — The earlier mentioned meeting where a fellow Pastor was raped and destroyed by their Kangaroo court.)…

The Council of _____ _____ ______  (the supervising council) proposes that Classis Lake Eerie grant the request of Rev. Bret McAtee to be released from his calling as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Clown Reformed Church, in accordance with article 14-b of the Church Order. We also propose that his release be declared honorable.


1.) Rev. McAtee’s long service at Charlotte CRC should be commended 
2.) His request comes as a result of his own reflection and understanding that his theological commitments will continue to disturb the peace within the Clown Reformed Church.”

Except for two sentences which I will return to later this is what the supervising council recommended. You will notice that they saw no danger. They saw zero need for any “special discipline.” They understood that any problematic Kinism they saw was by others wrongly attaching my name to what other people had written under the rubric of Kinism — material that I had and would now disavow. Just as there is a great deal of what passes as Christianity today that high-profile Christians write that I would vehemently disavow. My supervising council gave me the ecclesiastical version of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. However, unlike the District as a whole, and the Synod as a whole, this Church was not a den of raging Cultural Marxists and the minister of the supervising Church was a Conservative by impulse.

Now at one point, before the above letter was written, there was an occasion when the Classis start bandying about charges of “racism” (whatever the hell that means) against me but all of that was done completely contrary to their own book of Church order yet even then all they did was wag their fingers arriving at no-decision though their virtue signaling had them all clapping each other on the back.

b.) The Classis I was located in had multiple opportunities to pursue “special discipline” but instead of bringing charges simply allowed me to go my own way consistent with my request. The reason for that is those clowns knew they did not have a leg to stand on. There was never, at any time, any teaching on my part, that was not consistent with both the Scriptures and 2000 years of Church History.

II.) Synod Example “B”

That 2019 Clown Reformed (CRC) synod accede to Overture 7, section XI, A-D.

Ground: Kinist theology and practice is neither biblical nor Reformed.

Rather, Kinism is a twisting of Reformed doctrine. The Bible makes

clear that God’s ideal is a family of every tribe and nation being considered equal in every way. Kinist principles and praxis distort this truth.


Bret responds,

God’s ideal is a family of every tribe and nation being considered equal in EVERY way?

Really … God’s ideal is all families are equal in beauty? In intelligence? In height? In achievement? Clan McAtee is equal in every way to the House of Windsor in wealth and influence? All families are equal in artistic gifting? All families are equal in athletic ability? All families equal in income? In opportunity?

The ability to pile shit this high without realizing that one is doing so is truly breath-taking.

Might one be allowed to ask; “Where in the Bible does it make clear that God’s ideal is a family of every tribe and nation being considered equal in every way?” Chapter and verse, please. I want to read this with my own eyes.

Can you imagine hundreds of Reformed synodical delegates voting to confirm such an obviously dumbass statement and all that in the name of Jesus Christ? And yet that is what was done by the CRC in 2019. This statement is Marxism on steroids. God’s ideal is a family of every tribe and nation being considered equal in every way?

Karl Marx… call your office.

And our roving reporter Dr. Rev. Dusty Lugnut provided these quotes from some of the delegates;

Joey Reckoma, Classis Central California, said, “Kinism says that people of color are less than human.”

Bret Responds,

Actually Joey if you didn’t have your head so far up your most southerly aperture that you had to unzip your zipper to have a conversation you would realize that no Kinist has ever said that people of color are less than human. That is a Christian Identity conviction among only the more extreme CI types.

Jake Boring, Classis Alberta North, said what makes Kinism a heresy is that it distorts the central Christian teaching that all humans are created in the image of God. Some wondered how kinism could have been tolerated for so long in the CRC.

Bret responds,

Again … this is a confusion with the most extreme version of Christian Identity. Kinism is NOT CI. All kinists affirm that all humans are the Imago Dei.

Something that should be added here just as way of information is that kinists come in all colors. I have good friends who are black who are kinist. I have good friends who are Asian who are kinist. I have good friends who are from the sub-continent of India who are kinist. And this because we are each and all Christian and understand that what is called Kinism today is merely vanilla historic Christianity, believed in all times, and in all places, among all Christian people until 1950 or so.

Tigh Wagontrain asked, “How does a pastor like this not get disciplined?” He presented a motion passed by synod that “councils and classes be admonished to promote confessional fidelity.” The language of the synod declaration on kinism calls it a “twisting” of Reformed teaching.

Bret responds,

A.) A pastor like this does not get disciplined because he didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe Tigh you think Kuyper should have been disciplined? Have you read what he wrote on different races? Or maybe Guillaume Von Prinisterer likewise should have been disciplined for holding views very similar to mine.

B.) If you read Achord & Dow’s Anthology Tigh you will see that Kinism is in no way a twisting of Reformed teaching. But maybe reading isn’t your strength?

C.) Confessional fidelity? LOL … this coming from a man who is in a denomination that long ago embraced women in office and now is toying with accepting sodomy. Sorry, Tigh, you passed the Confessional fidelity exit decades ago Bro.

Randy Rancid, Classis California South: “Kinism is the Americanization of apartheid.”

Bret responds,

Apartheid cannot be successful apart from force. I have written and taught in the past that I am opposed to the use of force believing instead in the freedom of assembly. We are seeing now that force isn’t necessary to achieve segregation. In the past week, I’ve read articles reporting how universities are having segregated graduation ceremonies as demanded by the students. It seems minorities want to graduate with their own people and I don’t blame them in the least.

I wonder if Randy Rancid believes that Korean Churches in the CRC or Hmong Churches in the CRC when they worship on Sundays are examples of “The Americanization of apartheid.”

Just another doltish thing to say by another chap who has repeatedly demonstrated his doltishness. (I know Randy.)

My Time In Purgatory — Part I

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.  Proverbs 18:17

For 25 years I have turned the other cheek while I’ve been slandered and libeled by the Clown Reformed Church (hereinafter referred to as “CRC”) but in this document, I am telling, in the words of Paul Harvey, the rest of the story.

We showed up in 1995 after United Airlines (UA) decided to close operations in Columbia South Carolina. From 1989-1995 I Pastored the first Church I served while at the same time working part-time for the Airlines. With UA’s decision, there was no way that I could support my family on the small rural Church’s salary alone and so my wife and I decided we would take UA up on its offer to pay for our move to one of six cities of our choosing. Our #1 bid was Grand Rapids Michigan, primarily because my kin lived in and surrounding that area and also because there was a Seminary there where I could do my next level of degree work if we decided that was possible.

In our visits to Grand Rapids to set up shop one of the first things we did was to check out with the local Seminary if there were any area churches that needed pulpit supply. I had been preaching on Sundays for nearly 7 years and it seemed like a good idea to at least investigate the possibility of pulpit supply while living in Michigan. We contacted the appropriate person in the bowels of the bureaucracy of the CRC and he told us that there was indeed a Church that routinely needed pulpit supply and that it would be good for them to have someone who would be a constant for them in this regard. He went on to say, however, that we would have to talk to another person as well about this opportunity and immediately ushered down to another office to talk to yet another bureaucrat but not without first giving us a contact name for the small Church that needed the pulpit supply.

We waited in the waiting room of the office and soon an older rounded man asked us into his office. The first chap we spoke to popped in again and explained what was going on. Having explained the situation the first chap promptly left. The second chap just stared at the door that the first chap departed out of. He then stared at us for a moment and returned again to his staring at the door. This happened for some little while the 2nd chap caught his bearings. Finally, in the first words he spoke to us, he said, “You can’t do this.” I simply responded by saying “OK.” For 5 minutes he kept repeating over and over in different ways, “You can’t do this,” and for 5 minutes I kept saying “OK.” I already had the local contact name and so I knew that once I finally was finished with the 2nd chap saying, “You can’t do this,” I would make a beeline for the phone to call the contact number. I never saw the older rounded man again.

I contacted the number given to me by the first chap and the man on the other end of the line seemed genuinely excited to know that I was interested in not only filling their pulpit but also quite possibly living in their parsonage. They were a small congregation that could not, like the congregation I had been serving in South Carolina, afford a full-time man, though they could afford a “tentmaker.” That is what I was offering them. Long story short here, we met several times with the contact man and within a month I was filling the pulpit and within a month of that, the small Church received approval from the District denominational authorities that I would be allowed to be pulpit supply for this small struggling Church. The district authorities were gleeful for me likewise because I solved a problem that they had in trying to figure out what to do with this congregation For years the District was allotting a small percentage of their budget to keep the Church afloat but with my presence, the District no longer had to cut checks for this Church because the Church could make it by paying me a small salary ($ 300.00 a week) while I continued tent-making working for UA in Grand Rapids. Indeed, there had even been discussion among the District Denomination to close this Church before I arrived. I was a solution for many parties. I was a solution for the congregation itself. I was a solution for the Seminary guy always having to find pulpit supply for this Church every week. I was a solution to the District’s problem of spending money on a mission Church that they were convinced would never be self-supporting.

This worked for three years before my health began to burnout. I was working nearly full-time for UA while working full-time for the Church. At the end of 1998 UA made it nearly impossible, by their purposeful scheduling of me to work on Sundays, (Station Politics) for me to keep tent-making at UA in Grand Rapids while pastoring. At that point, Jane and I made a proposal to the local Church that if they could meet a very modest salary we would step out in faith and quit UA and pastor full time in Charlotte. The Church, to their credit, resolved to meet that modest salary and I quit UA and the tent-making I had done for nearly a decade.

One result was that I got to know my children who I had seen comparatively little of for those ten years. Eventually, another result was that I had to, once again, deal with denominational politics. For the most part, the Denomination left me and the Church alone. However, they had assigned me a “mentor,” by the name of Dr. Dusty Lugnut. Dr. Lugnut was the Pastor of the flagship Church in the District 40 miles up the road and had the endearing virtue of always thinking very well of himself as combined with letting you know that he thought very well of himself. The problem with Dr. Lugnut and me is that Dr. Lugnut was a full-on Barthian (Neo-Orthodox) while I had sworn my life to extinguishing Barthians. Putting the two of us together in a mentor-mentee relationship was like tying two polecats together at the tail and slinging them over a clothesline. I think we met twice before we both realized that we were not going to be best pals.

At that point, the condescending Dr. Lugnut just decided to ignore me and ignore the Church. Now, keep in mind he had been assigned by the District to shepherd me into an official capacity in the Denomination while at the same time working to make sure that the Church I was serving moved from a “mission church” to an “organized” church. However, Dr. Lugnut determined he was going to show me and us that he was in charge and so he just ignored us for nearly 14 years. Just try to imagine how disappointed I was.

Every so often during those 14 years (maybe three times), we would be contacted by either Dr. Lugnut or by some other District chieftain. I remember one time there was a Minister from Toledo who phoned me and told me about his big plans for the District now that he had been elected moderator and that he wanted me to be part of that and so he was going to bring me in. I just grunted agreement suspecting that like so many times before this was just so much talk. I was right. In six months he transferred to another Church and that was the end of his maniacal plan to shape the District in his image.

I would occasionally attend District denominational meetings of the Clown Reformed Church (CRC), and would inevitably return home in a rage with my blood pressure in the stratosphere. These meetings were held twice annually. At one of the meetings, I remember the Anabaptist and so Pacificst John Howard Yoder being invoked as a guru on war theory with the whole floor adding their Amens. I finally couldn’t bear it any longer and stood up and said, “It is amazing to me that a room full of putatively Reformed people are kissing the arse of an Anabaptist and Pacifist. I get not agreeing with this war, but invoking an Anabaptist intellectual? What is wrong with you people. I thought you were Reformed.” A deep and spooky silence blanketed the floor.

Another time at the District Denominational meeting a discussion was had on the floor about the necessity to extend to homosexual ministers insurance benefits. I sat there with my mouth agape because I had been persuaded that there was no such thing as homosexual ministers. I arose to object and that created its own fun firestorm until one of the tenured Ministers realized that this discussion was not going well and was able to table it.

Over the years I witnessed many amazing things at these District meetings and I will return to more of these shocking things in subsequent installments. Most commonly what shell-shocked me was the low snake-shit standard for ordination. I saw a man ordained who couldn’t answer one question put to them. (I kid you not –not one.) I witnessed another chap get ordained who had no answer to the question; “What is Original Sin.” Another chap, when asked “what books he enjoyed reading,” responded with, “I don’t really like reading books.” Another chap I saw ordained explicitly denied “Justification by Faith Alone.” More than one chap could not explain the meaning of infant-Baptism. I saw one woman ordained who told us that as a chaplain she was not allowed to be explicit about the necessity of Jesus Christ for salvation with the dying patients she ministered to in the hospital per hospital policy and that she abided by that rule. I saw another woman ordained whose husband was a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. It was so bad that I finally got to the point where I just checked out of the meetings. If I went I would sit in the back by myself and listen to lectures on my Zune or read a book. I can honestly say these were some of the most enraging, depressing, and discouraging moments in my life. To see the Church of Jesus Christ be staffed with such people and to see the Church of Jesus Christ not care about who they were staffing the Church with just ripped my heart out.

Finally, in 2009, fourteen years after serving as “stated supply” for this mission Church the denomination decided that they better push hard to make me official. After a great deal of wrangling characterized by my previous foot-dragging on these issues, the District finally corralled me into agreeing to take a one-week hermeneutics class at their Grand Rapids Seminary. I had angled for a Church history class dealing with the Continental Dutch Church but they insisted on hermeneutics.

And so I suffered through a week of hermeneutics as taught by someone who embraced higher criticism and subsequently stood for an ordination exam. The only person who gave me a hard time was Dr. Lugnut but it should be known that I gave as good as I got from Dr. Lugnut during his attempt at grilling me. I passed the ordination exam despite Dr. Lugnut’s fury with my position on women in office (I opposed it) without any problems though according to the denominations Book of Church Order it was not a legitimate ordination exam since there were only two representatives from Synod present as opposed to the required three. (The BCO used the language; “There shall be three officers from synod present.”) So, I passed the exam but not by the Denomination’s own standards.

Further, by the denomination’s own standards I was never finally ordained in the Denomination. I really wasn’t conversant with the Book of Church Order and only later had to become conversant with it and so I did not know that the BCO required ordained men in the denomination to be present at Ordination/Installation services in order to ordain and install me. I did not have any denominationally ordained men at my ordination/installation service and so according to the denomination’s own book of church order I was never officially ordained in the denomination. In point of fact, I did not have any ordained men from any denomination present at my ordination/installation service. So, per their own book of Church order, I never sustained a legitimate ordination exam and I was never legitimately ordained in their denomination. I learned this only when I was seeking to leave the denomination – which according to their own BCO I did not have to do since I was never in their denomination per their own standards, to begin with. It was the oddest thing. Here I was resigning from a denomination I was never a part of and requesting a release from a denomination in which I had never been accepted.

Jerry Seinfeld captured this situation perfectly,


Trump Exposes Division in Visible Church

It is interesting that God has used the whole Trump phenomenon to expose the cleavage that has existed in the Church for quite some time now as between the Biblical Christians on one side and the Cultural Marxist / R2K “Christians” on the other side of the chasm. This has been seen again most recently with the hue and outcry being breathed out by the Liberation theology type Churches over what they consider to be the absconding of their Christian symbols as used in the Trump march. These types expressed by the likes of Wheaton College, and Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville Kentucky (Where Al Mohler attends). These and others have been hyperventilating that Jesus was desecrated by the Christians marching on 06 January 2021 in DC. They are doing all they can to create distance between themselves and those who marched in DC.

Now, as a large contingency of those marching in DC are from the Pentecostal strain of Christianity I have my own problems with many in that crew of marchers – enough so that I also don’t really care to be associated with their erratic theology and behavior. However, on the issue of where the chief danger in this country lies count me a Pentecostal fanboy. On this subject, the Pentecostal ecstatics are far closer to the truth than the “we want to be as close as possible to those who hate Christ and still claim to be distinct” Evangelicals who populate the R2K “Reformed,” Southern Baptist, and Evangelical world. For simplicity’s sake let’s call them the “Soy Boy” crowd.

The Soy Boy crowd communicate that they desperately desire to be neutral in the current kulturkampf that we are experiencing. They consistently suggest that Jesus doesn’t really care about the kulturkampf and that for all they know Antonio Gramsci may be as close to the truth on cultural matters as R. L. Dabney was though they are certain that R. J. Rushdoony is a dunce. On one hand, they present a studied indifference to the kulturkampf while on the other hand, they are constantly letting their slip show that there is more Herbert Marcuse about them on cultural issues than there is John Calvin. They are forever raising dire warnings about “Christian America” theology but are never heard sounding the klaxon on the Sovietization of America. They trip all over themselves rushing to the mic to denounce Pastors who have opened their Churches to worship Christ (looking at you RSC) while at the same time you never hear a peep from them in denouncing those who are forbidding us from worshiping Christ and doing so via contrived reasoning. They seem to be blind to the irony of strip joints and pot dispenser businesses remaining open while the houses that are responsible for Word and Sacrament remain under tight closure orders in many states. John Knox wouldn’t recognize them as ministers of Christ. Neither do I.

These chaps spent too much time reading Harvey Conn, Meredith Kline, and the Frankfurt authors and not enough time reading Calvin, Knox, and Rutherford. Their studies find them more beholden to humanist authors than Christian authors. They are passing that legacy on to those who will pilot pulpits in the West today.

The Reformed Church in the West needs another grand Reformation and it needs that Reformation as coming out of the “conservative” Reformed denominations.