My Day At The Mall

Today I spent the day with my Grandchildren who live 2.5 hours North of us. We met them half way in Saginaw, Michigan. Saginaw is a city of 46K, and has all the accouterments of a city that size including malls, which, is where we met up with our daughter and the grandchildren.

The first thing that hit me was how empty this large mall was. That was followed by being shocked by how many venues (storefronts) were unoccupied. The next thing I wondered is how any of the stores which were still operating could make enough revenue to stay open.

I don’t get out, in this kind of context, often and so all of this was a bit of an education for me. I can remember the days when malls were hopping. I even worked as a night security/janitor in a mall once upon a time in my college days and cleaning up at night was busy work because the mall had had so much traffic during the day.

Of course that was before online services basically gutted the shopping mall model.

However, while the traffic at the mall was slight, it remained interesting and I found myself wondering if malls now doubled as circuses. While at the mall today I saw a clown. I don’t think the person intended to be a clown but I don’t know what else you would call what I saw. This clown made me do a triple take to make sure I was seeing what I had seen with the first take and then the second take.

This was, I think, a blond hair male of about 23 years of age, who stood about 6 foot tall… or would have stood 6feet tall if he had not had on 6 inch black platform tennis shoes. His blond air had been spray painted with streaks of pink and he wore a tight black t-shirt with black tights. Over his t-shirt and tights he wore something that approximated a blue ballerina tutu, or maybe it was a short mini-skirt. I was desperately trying not to stare. Across his shoulders he carried a hiked up back pack that was shaped like a panda bear. This is not the kind of thing I see every day. Bring in the clowns indeed.

The circus like effect was augmented by the fresh pile of dog crap that lay in the middle of one of the walk ways. I mean, if one goes to the circus one expects animal droppings. The problem here, beyond the obvious, is it seemed like people delighted in stepping in it and smearing it all over the mall.

There were of course the various other freak shows you find at a circus. Bearded ladies, and the tattooed woman, and ears with giant holes in them. In one store the employee working behind the counter had a kind of pea-green colored hair with one of those upside down horseshoes in her nose, accompanied by boldly colored eye shadow and  screaming colored lipstick. I must admit, I found myself asking, “What was it that found those who interviewed her for the job compelled to say to themselves; ‘Yep, she’s what we are looking for our face to the public.'”

I’m not done yet.

There was a store dedicated to sell clothing for women who are of ample size. Nothing wrong with that…. except when you advertise your product by putting a life-size photo of a very large woman on your store front window as regaled in a bikini that has far less cloth than she has flesh. I must admit I found myself admiring that model, if only for her courage. It had to take a great deal of courage to submit for that photo shoot knowing a photo that looked like that was going to be the storefront window display for this company chain. It brought back memories of 

There were some encouraging aspects. I saw a Tim Keller book on the “we really want to give this away because nobody will buy it” priced table. That was a balm for my soul. We saw a sign for sale that said, “Christ Alone is our only Hope.” I think it was buried behind the other “a witch and warlock live here” signs, and the “He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Mephistopheles” signs and the “We get drunk every day here at 5pm,” signs. BUT it was there.

I bought a scarf for my daughter. The check out clerk scared me. I tried to be extra polite because I didn’t want to give her a reason to snarl at me. I’ve had plenty of experience with angry pit-bulls and I care not to have any further experiences.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my grandchildren, but they are growing up in a very different world than the one I grew up. May God protect them from our current insane culture, and may he give me the equilibrium to never see any of this as normal.

From the Mailbag… Rachelle Smith Writes For Help Defending Kinism — Part II

Pastor Geoff writes,

Is he just saying Italians are good at pasta and Indians at curry?

Bret responds,
“No.”

Pastor Geoff writes,

Is he saying we should remain distinct based on physiological differences? If he is arguing for a separation of the races (which he does in other posts and comments), then he is dividing the family of God into unbiblical distinctives and is teaching something contrary to the gospel (Acts 17:26; Rom. 3:29; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gal. 3:28; Gal. 2:12, 14; Rev. 5:9). Though his conclusion is not clear based only on this article, his other writings make abundantly clear what his objective is.

Bret responds,

Here the wheels finally completely come off of this chap’s argument.

I am dividing the family of God by merely suggesting that men should honor God’s distinctions among races? If I am, look what good company I am in Rachelle.

This from A. W. Tozer. One of my 20th century heroes in the faith;

“You can’t change my mind about God having made us the way we are. The yellow man and the white man and the black man. God made our races. I know the Marxists and the bubbleheads say: “Oh, that’s old-fashioned baloney! Everybody should get together and intermarry and pretty soon there won’t be races, and where there are no races there won’t be any hate, and if there’s no hate, there won’t be any war.” Oh, for cotton batting to stuff in the mouths of people who don’t know better than that!…

Let me remind you of the warbler, almost universally distributed in this country, and will you believe that there are 120 species of this bird called the warbler in the United States? One hundred and twenty varieties, with only the slightest differences of feather, or wing, or stripe or spot. In these 120 varieties, we are told, there is no crossing the line, they mate within their own racial strain, hatch and have little ones. Nobody puts them through college, but when they get big enough to hop out on the edge of the nest and begin looking for another warbler, they always pick one

like themselves, and stay within their own strain.

Now, you get a Communist or a starry-eyed American fellow traveler working on that, and he will say: “That’s an evidence of race hate, and it’s a proof those warblers hate each other!” Hate each other – your grandmother’s nightcap! They don’t quarrel, they never fight, they just go on living and warbling. They’ve got sense enough to know that God made 120 kinds of warblers just for fun to show what He could do, and He doesn’t mean for them to cross over and make one warbler out of 120!”

Or we could learn from another Christian minister who was theologically quite different from Tozer. In context here this minister is explaining why a denomination is splitting. Note the reasons that he gives/

Causes of Separation in 1973 (PCA separates from PCUS)

John Edwards Richards

  • The Socialist, who declares all men are equal.  Therefore there must be a great leveling of humanity and oneness of privilege and possession.
  • The Racial Amalgamationist, who preaches that the various races should be merged into one race and differences erased in oneness.
  • The Communist, who would have one mass of humanity coerced into oneness by a totalitarian state and guided exclusively by Marxist philosophy.
  • The Internationalist, who insists on co-existence between all peoples and nations that they be as one regardless of ideology or history.

    John Edwards Richards, who was one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America could write elsewhere;

    “No human can measure the anguish of personality that goes on within the children of miscegenation… Let those who would erase the racial diversity of God’s creation beware lest the consequence of their evil be visited upon their children.”

    John Edwards Richards
    One of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)

    Finally Dr. Edwards adds,

    “The vast majority of good thinking people prefer to associate with, and intermarry with, people of their respective race; this is part of the God-given inclination to honor and uphold the distinctiveness of separate races. But there are many false prophets of oneness, and many shallow stooges, who seek to force the amalgamation of the races.” ~

    Dr. John E. Richards


So your “Pastor” Geoff says I am dividing the family of God into un-biblical distinctives and yet all of Church history screams with me that your Pastor Geoff is advocating a historically Marxist position. Maybe I will refer to him as “Red Geoff” the rest of the way? I know Red Geoff doesn’t intend to be doing the work of the devil, he doesn’t intend to contribute to the destruction of Western Civilization, and he only intends to be full of roses and pussy willows, but “Red Geoff” is just another “Pastor Lovejoy” of “The Simpsons” fame. What “Red Geoff” intends to do and what he is doing are opposed like heaven and hell.

“Red Geoff” says I am dividing the family of God into un-biblical distinctives. I have a number of Christian friends that belong to different races. They are kinists like myself. We have no barrier to fellowship. Being a Kinist does not divide the family of God. It merely recognizes these God ordained creaturely distinctives are God ordained. All because I might worship with a Mongolian Christian doesn’t mean I should think that our children should marry?

Theologian Dr. John Frame speaks to your “Red Geoff”

“Scripture, as I read it, does not require societies, or even churches, to be integrated racially. Jews and Gentiles were brought together by God’s grace into one body. They were expected to love one another and to accept one another as brothers in the faith. But the Jewish Christians continued to maintain a distinct culture, and house churches were not required to include members of both groups.”

John Frame,
“Racism, Sexism, Marxism”


“Pastor Geoff continues on”

and (Pastor Bret) is teaching something contrary to the gospel (Acts 17:26; Rom. 3:29; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gal. 3:28; Gal. 2:12, 14; Rev. 5:9).

Bret responds,

Rachelle, your “Pastor Geoff” choosing these text suggests to me that you should not be entrusting your souls to his teaching. Choosing these texts to try and prove his point is a example of badly handling Scripture. Let’s consider these one by one;

1.) Acts 17:26 And He has made from one man every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

One man… many nations. Keep in mind that nations in the NT understanding means “a descent from a common patriarch.” This text supports my position Rachelle and not Pastor Geoff’s.

2.) 1 Cor. 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

a.) Note it is Jews and Greeks how are Baptized into one body. Do you suppose that after Baptism they were no longer Jews and Greeks?

b.) One body… many members, which is exactly what I am advocating. One body comprised of many member nations.

c.) Of course this is speaking in terms of spiritual realities. Arguing that we lose our racial/ethnic distinctives because we are baptized into one body would necessitate that we also argue that we lose our gender identity because we are baptized into one body.

d.) St. Paul is speaking here of unity in Christ. There is a distinction between unity in Christ and a uniformity where all Christians wear some form of Mao suits because, after all, we are all one.

e.) With all believers everywhere, regardless of race, sex, or class, I am a member of the one body of Christ. However, as members in one musical band are all members in that one band not all are Trumpets, not all are Bassoons, not all are Saxophones or Piccolos. They are distinct yet complimentary. The same is true of the body of Christ. There are many parts (races/ethnicities) but one body.

3.) Gal. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

https://ironink.org/2021/03/galatians-326f-the-indiscriminate-nature-of-the-gospel-and-the-foolishness-of-social-egalitarianism/

https://ironink.org/2012/06/galatians-328-egalitarianism/

4.) Galatians 2:12, 14;

https://ironink.org/2022/11/galatians-21-10-paul-titus-the-issue-of-circumcision/

https://ironink.org/2022/11/galatians-211-21/

5.) Revelation 5:9

9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

I completely affirm this. God will have a redeemed people from all peoples of the world throughout time. However, all the Kinist observes is that people are saved as God’s work in saving peoples. I now this is true Rachelle, because in the same book of Revelation we read that the nations come into the new Jerusalem as in their nations and that their the nations are all healed

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

22:4 The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Nations as nations are all over the book of Revelation. We should not be surprised by this for as Theologian Dr. Martin Wyngaarden noted;

“Now the predicates of the covenant are applied in Isa. 19 to the Gentiles of the future, — “Egypt my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, mine inheritance,” Egypt, the people of “Jehovah of hosts,” (Isa. 19:25) is therefore also expected to live up to the covenant obligations, implied for Jehovah’s people. And Assyria comes under similar obligations and privileges. These nations are representative of the great Gentile world, to which the covenant privileges will, therefore, be extended.”

Martin J. Wyngaarden, The Future of the Kingdom in Prophecy and Fulfillment: A Study of the Scope of “Spiritualization” in Scripture (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2011), p. 94.

And again,


“More than a dozen excellent commentaries could be mentioned that all interpret Israel as thus inclusive of Jew and Gentile, in this verse, — the Gentile adherents thus being merged with the covenant people of Israel, though each nationality remains distinct.”


“For, though Israel is frequently called Jehovah’s People, the work of his hands, his inheritance, yet these three epithets severally are applied not only to Israel, but also to Assyria and to Egypt: “Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, mine inheritance.”


Thus the highest description of Jehovah’s covenant people is applied to Egypt, — “my people,” — showing that the Gentiles will share the covenant blessings, not less than Israel. Yet the several nationalities are here kept distinct, even when Gentiles share, in the covenant blessing, on a level of equality with Israel. Egypt, Assyria, and Israel are not nationally merged. And the same principles, that nationalities are not obliterated, by membership in the covenant, applies, of course, also in the New Testament dispensation.”

Martin Wyngaarden

The Future of the Kingdom in Prophecy and Fulfillment: A Study of the Scope of “Spiritualization” in Scripture — pp. 101-102.

But I suppose “Red Geoff” says every freaking Christian theologian before him were sinning by “dividing the body of Christ?”

“Red Geoff’s” problem, is the same problem of nearly all modern and contemporary clergy. That problem is that they can only think in terms of the individual. They have completely lost corporate categories. Clergy did not always think this way and Reformed clergy who are genuinely Reformed have NEVER thought this way. I’ve given plenty of examples already, but here is another one from a great Doctor of the Church of a past era;

Romans 11:17, 19, with its “branches broken off” metaphor has frequently been viewed as proof of the relativity and changeability of election, and it is pointed out that at the end of vs. 23, the Gentile Christians are threatened with being cut off in case they do not continue in the kindness of God. But wrongly. Already this image of engrafting should have restrained such an explanation. This image is nowhere and never used of the implanting of an individual Christian, into the mystical body of Christ by regeneration. Rather, it signifies the reception of a racial line or national line into the dispensation of the covenant or their exclusion from it. This reception of course occurs by faith in the preached word, and to that extent, with this engrafting of a race or a nation, there is also connected the implanting of individuals into the body of Christ. The cutting off, of course, occurs by unbelief; not, however, by the unbelief of person who first believed, but solely by the remaining in unbelief of those who, by virtue of their belonging to the racial line, should have believed and were reckoned as believers. So, a rejection ( = multiple rejections) of an elect race is possible, without it being connected to a reprobation of elect believers. Certainly, however, the rejection of a race or nation involves at the same time the personal reprobation of a sequence of people. Nearly all the Israelites who are born and die between the rejection of Israel as a nation and the reception of Israel at the end times appear to belong to those reprobated. And the thread of Romans 11:22 (of being broken off) is not directed to the Gentile Christians as individual believers but to them considered racially.”

Geerhardus Vos
Dogmatic Theology Vol. 1 – pg. 118

Red Geoff writes;

I found the Iron Ink blog and looked around at the content. And I want to say in no uncertain terms that this man is not behaving as a Christian.

Bret responds,

Here Red Geoff goes from being jejune to being just not nice. I’m telling you Rachelle, my feelings are so hurt now that I just don’t know how I can go on.

Allow me to return volley here. Red Geoff is wearing the robes of anti-Christ. He is being an apostle of Marx. Red Geoff is calling evil, “good,” and good, “evil,” and unless he repents his soul is in mortal danger.

All the evidence from Church history is on my side Rachelle. All the Biblical evidence, when not handled like a starving rat handles the meat when set loose in a butcher shop, is on my side. I am merely holding what the church has taught in all times and in all places where God has been pleased to grant the Church orthodoxy.

If your “Pastor Geoff” wants to sling around this kind of language then he should spend the time in finding all the quotes from Church history that supports his universalist humanist position. He might find some, but those he finds will be from Anabaptist nutcases as combined with the heretic Cathari, Albigensians, and Bogomils.

If I am not behaving like a Christian, Red Geoff is behaving like a madman.

Red Geoff writes,

He is unapologetically a kinist which is patently and obviously against the Bible’s teaching of the unity of the body of Christ.

Bret responds,

1.) Actually, to be precise, I am unapologetically a Christian – Kinism is just a part of basic Christianity.

2.) Patently and obviously against the Bible’s teaching of the unity of the body of Christ? LOL… only when looking through the lenses of racial Marxism. Quite to the contrary it is Red Geoff who is sitting the Scriptures on their head and making them say on this subject the exact opposite of what they do say.

Rachelle Smith writes,

He (Geoff) links to articles like, “Top Ten Reasons ‘Anti Semite’ Is a Compliment” in which the writer tries to redefine the term to make it ok.

Bret responds,

Well, when anti-Semite is now defined as “anyone who disagrees with a Jew” then, yeah, I have no problem with being “anti-semite.” Honestly, the sting of these names cast at me as coming from leftists, anti-Christs, have completely lost their sting. I respond now typically just by shrugging my shoulders and saying, “whatever, you idiot.” Imagine how bad St. Augustine would feel when insulted by a Manichean and you can begin to grasp how little this bothers me.

RS writes quoting Red Geoff,

He (Bret) equates kinism with the rejection of Darwinian social evolution, but in fact is a rejection of the texts I listed above. I am not saying things too strongly when I say this man (Bret) is teaching poison that will only serve to divide the body of Christ.

Bret responds,

This man is a 5 year old searching for a lost toy with a lighter in an ammo dump.

Red Geoff destroys the meaning of God’s word and then turns around and declared that I am rejecting the texts that he ham-fistedly offered as “proof,” of a position that is neither supported by Scripture, nor by two thousand years of Church history.

RS quoting Red Geoff

I would strongly encourage you to remove yourselves from the mailing list of this blog and not allow yourself to be influenced by such a man.
Bret responds,

Well, given that you have corresponded with me, after Red Geoff’s counsel, I see that you utterly rejected his counsel. Good for you.

RS quoting Red Geoff,

Though not everything he says is without merit (of course), he will not encourage you to embrace the body of Christ which is one and does not recognize distinctions of value and/or belonging based on race.

Bret responds,

Rachelle, I could only hope for you that you would have as many Christian non-Caucasian friends as I have. I have one chap who lives in Europe who phones me monthly who is perhaps, more a kinist than I’ll ever be. I have a Christian friend on the East Coast who I speak to every once in a while who is a kinist. I have a Filipino friend online who has been very generous to us over the years. We are all Kinists and we all belong to different people groups. We all understand that we are one in Christ but we also understand that our oneness in Christ does not destroy our creational distinctions.

You Pastor is not a wise man. That is my nice way of saying he is an idiot. You should flee for the good of your soul from this Pastoral hack.

RS writes quoting Red Geoff,

In fact, knowing you are sympathetic to such a man could serve to greatly alienate brothers and sisters in our current church and cause tremendous division. I’d be happy to sit down with you to talk through these things in more detail. Hope I didn’t say it too strongly. Love you lots.

Bret responds

Dear sweet Rachelle, I am sorry that you are now in this position. It takes great courage to swim upstream. You and your husband will have to decide what to do from here. I can tell you, that it is unlikely that you will find any other Church or clergy member who will be any better than your Red Geoff. So, you can keep these beliefs on the down low and get along, or you can sever yourself from this body and be lonely, like tons of people I know, who refuse to compromise on this issue.

However, Biblical Christianity, and so Kinism, will one day win out. Reality cannot be ignored without eventually snapping back.

If I can be of any more service to you and your husband let me know. Write me. Phone me. I am available to minister to you as I can.

The Blessings of Christ be upon you and your Kin,

Pastor Bret

 

From the Mailbag… Rachelle Smith Writes For Help Defending Kinism — Part I

RS writes,

I have been receiving emails from Iron Ink for about 2 yrs and I always enjoy reading them. I am trying to learn more about kinism. At this point it is a highly contentious term and I would like to know more about it. I believe that my husband and myself are of this persuasion but whenever race is brought up in conversation at our church, the claim being made is that it is sinful.

BLMc responds,

Rachelle, it seems at time that the only thing that the modern church can get outraged by any more is a truth that is clearly taught in Scripture;

https://thereformedconservative.org/ai_story_collection/on-natural-communities/?fbclid=IwAR0DzGsPf28-mx_o0NtwgXbI6s8YIPQaVmT5NEgCXP4fBzuQ0gChQA-_6TY

A Biblical Defense of Ethno-Nationalism

And has been so been universally held throughout Church history that it can be said that it is a doctrine that has been believed in all times and in all places where God has been pleased to grant the Church orthodoxy. The evidence is magnificently overwhelming that the Church has always been kinist.

https://www.amazon.com/Survey-Racialism-Christian-Sacred-Tradition/dp/B0CTKVNRMB/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ITK8GFTO6SYO&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.7iYkqY9EgikRnF3WFhqTdeUWTw5fLBUEX8nVaGauE9XWlumcv2XjEVZoUGSQRAL7AX2uv6wXL2JYbPemruKuHfu9gTf6QeI1xr_quRLH0OqQU_nMnqdzjCLcM6pE-Z5Pqr7-GkOmN-OM0DNGiclYXCAsjk0g-epAM1Z8lVjBj6LAliiRvmxpHuN2BAqmqRWqUypD5ZkgkxOEDtgvE8h1KjcXDir4Y4aYpl095uC0Pfw.2s-FcGjCt9AhHLPfi8ezl9ELZvg9lm-ZNqnWKFZUkB0&dib_tag=se&keywords=A+survey+of+Racialism+in+Christian&qid=1709072263&sprefix=a+survey+of+racialism+in+christian%2Caps%2C136&sr=8-1

Even into the mid 20th century the Church was Kinist or, if one prefers proto-kinist. Indeed, up until the last 30 years or so we didn’t even need a term such as “Kinism” because what is taught by Kinism was once just assumed to be part and parcel of the idea of Christianity. So, while we will talk about Kinism here, let it be said that I’d prefer to just talk about standard Christianity because that is all Kinism is.

So, it is simply the case that those at your church who are saying that “Kinism is sinful,” are themselves in sin since they are calling evil something that God calls good.

Kinist is indeed a “contentious term,” but then so was “Christian” once upon a time.

Rachelle writes,

I don’t believe it is a sin. I’m not able to effectively defend the arguments being made against kinism because I am learning myself. Our eyes have recently been opened to so many things we thought we knew, from the War between the States, or what we thought we knew about the “Civil war” to what we thought we knew about Hitler and the Jews. All lies, especially the one about not seeing color and only whites are racist. I don’t know why my husband and I are being made aware of so many issues that the church seems to be completely in the dark about, nothing special about us, they just seem to be very real threats and you are the only one we have found to write about it plainly in your articles.

Bret responds,

It is not a sin. Indeed kinism is righteousness. Opposition to Kinism is wicked.

Don’t be too discouraged that you are not able to make counter arguments against those who berate you. We have all so grown up in this anti-Christ egalitarian mindset that it is only with difficulty that we beign to see through the shell game the opposition is playing on us.

There are others out there writing on this subject. Here are a couple good links;

https://tribaltheocrat.com/2013/08/what-is-kinism/
https://faithandheritage.com/blog/

Now, in providing these links I do not affirm that I agree everything that you will find in them. I would agree with much of it. However, all I’m trying to do here is to show that writing on this subject is not somehow unique to me.

Rachelle writes,

I recently got into a conversation at church about kinism, it got a bit heated. I was attempting to make a case that it is not sinful to be a kinist.

Bret responds,

Yes, conversations surrounding can get a bit heated. I have been involved in them for a very long time now. I am sorry that you are drawing fire for a doctrine that is essential to the Christian faith. I genuinely wish I could there be with you to defend you from the slings and arrows. I’ve been wounded myself repeatedly in these kinds of conversations. I have been consigned to the deepest hell by those considered pillars in the Church. All that for merely defending the faith once and forever delivered unto the saints.

RS writes,

I sent my Pastor your blog and asked for him to look at it and give me his thoughts. This is what he shared with me:

Bret responds,

Rachelle, I am going to tell you before I wade into this that your Pastor’s response is an absolute embarrassment to the historical Reformed faith. It is an embarrassment to him as it testifies he has little ability to rightly divide the Scripture. It is an embarrassment because it demonstrates an ill educated man. Geoff may be a nice guy. He may make great conversations and he may be able to run a great church service, but this reasoning below is beyond horrid as well will soon see.

Pastor Geoff writes

I finally got around to reading through this article. My initial response is that there is nothing objectionable to noting differences between cultures or races on a very broad level. A couple of things that do create a fairly serious problem:

The derogatory tone toward his opponents (ie. “per this idiot podcast”) is not in line with 2 Tim 2:24-26. That same attitude comes out in his other posts and some of the comments that he makes on his blog. Most people that adopt this posture are struggling with pride, though I admit I do not know this man at all;

Pastor Bret responds,

First, as to the appeal to being nice (for lack of a better word) as found in II Timothy. I certainly agree. How could I not? But let us not forget that II Timothy must be read in conjunction with the not nice engagements we find in Scripture. Would Pastor Geoff say that St. Paul was violating II Timothy when he told the Galatians that he wished that they would go all the way and emasculate themselves. How about when St. Paul said of his opponents, “Let them be anathema (eternally cursed)?”

Then, of course there is the example of our Lord-Jesus who did not mince words with his opponents. “Whited sepulchers, filled with dead men’s bones.” Then there is this passage;

44Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without even noticing.” 45 One of the experts in the law told Him, “Teacher, when You say these things, You insult us as well.” 46“Woe to you as well, experts in the law!” He replied. “You weigh men down with heavy burdens, but you yourselves will not lift a finger to lighten their load.

Jesus is told basically, “You’re not being nice,” and He responds with another verbal left hook to the jaw.

John Calvin gives solid counsel on this matter;

The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.”

So, Rachelle, I have two voices and I deal with packs of wolves on a continuous basis and when I deal with wolves I offer no apology for using direct and stern language.

This was the pattern of the Reformers. Luther and Calvin especially could be both salty and earthy when necessary.

Look, this is not some small subject. If we lose here Rachelle so that egalitarian Christianity covers the globe we will further descend into a new Babylonian captivity of the Church. The effort to avoid that is worthy of some directness and perhaps even invective.

Of course I struggle with pride. What son of Adam doesn’t? But to suggest that I struggle with pride because I’m defending Biblical Christianity must give way to a counter idea that I am full of zeal for God’s honor on this matter. At least I an not crafting whips in order to whip the backs of my enemies who are dishonoring God. And that is what opposition to Kinism is… it is dishonoring God. Opposition to Kinism is a means of destroying Christianity by the work of humanism that would erase all the distinctions that God ordained.

I mean, can’t people see where we are and how we got here? I can draw a straight line connecting the dots that began with the pragmatic denial of racial distinctions beginning with Virginia vs. Loving, to the unmaking of womanhood by the attack on the distinction of femininity engaged in via the Griswold vs. Connecticut and Roe vs. Wade decisions, to the attack on the distinctions required for sexual relations in Lawrence vs. Texas, and for marriage in Obergefell vs. Hodges to the current attack on distinctions between what even constitutes male vs. female. Kinism stands against this destruction of the distinctions that God ordains and the root of all these distinction denials began with Virginia vs. Loving. Historically, behind all our history stands the French, Russian, and Chinese Revolution which each and all warred against God ordained distinctions and all ended in rivers of blood and mountains of skulls.

The goal in all this? To destroy the distinction between God and man. In such a way man can finally ascend to the most high and proclaim his divinity. We will never roll back this warfare against God ordained distinctions until we roll back the first one. Pull the root and the plant will die.

So, this is not an intramural battle. This is not an unimportant issue. If we lose here Christians return to the catacombs. We can not ignore any aspect of this battle hoping to avoid the fight without being called “unfaithful.”

Rachelle, I sense you are groping towards this realization. I urge you to continue to pursue truth. I’m glad to answer any questions you might have.

Pastor Geoff writes,

It is unclear to me what the significance of this observation is simply stated on its own.

Bret responds,

Well, I think above I gave the significance of my observation.

Pastor Geoff writes,

What is he arguing to be the impact or importance of these broad “superiorities”?

Bret responds,

Let’s be clear here. It’s always been my position that superiorities and inferiorities run through all races. If one looks at the NBA or NFL one might rightly conclude that Blacks have a superiority in athletics. That is just one example of the importance of these broad superiorities. If one looks at the civilizations built by the Christian white man one might say there is a broad superiority that has some impact when compared to the civilizations built by the pagan Aztecs or by Genghis Khan or Pol Pot or Mao or some other Asian dictator, or even when compared to Christian Auca Indians, or the Christian Sawi of Papua, New Guinea.

The impact or importance of that? Well, I should think that is now fairly obvious.

Pastor Geoff writes,

Is he just saying Italians are good at pasta and Indians at curry?

Bret responds,

“No.”

Habakkuk’s Resolve

Habakkuk 3:17Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Here we have, in my estimation, one of the most beautiful prayers in the OT. Certainly it is one that I have turned to repeatedly in my own life. It is one I reference almost weekly in my long prayer when I pray; “In wrath remember mercy.” (Hbk 3:2)

Habakkuk was the prophet of resolution. He stared face flush into the pit of coming darkness and standing resolute He makes the good confession of faith. He was a philosopher, like Job, examining the mystery of God’s ways with men. Like the Psalmist in 73 he is asking the question “why do the wicked prosper,” and like that Psalmist he finally is able to see that, in the words of Longfellow,

Though the mills of God grind slowly

Yet they grind exceedingly small:

Though with patience He stands waiting,

With exactness grinds He all.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Retribution

And in that conviction here in this passage Habakkuk makes a prayer/confession that regardless of the visible circumstances he will look and consider that which is unseen but even more certain. He lifts his eyes above the smoke of battle that sees a crumbling agricultural social order infrastructure and says, “I shall be not be moved in my confidence nor undimmed in my joy, that God shall have the final word. Though all may disintegrate around me yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior.

Truly all our joy is, to be in Him in whom is all Good, who is all Goodness and all Love.

And Habakkuk had a good reason to think that the destruction he posits could indeed come to pass. The context of the book finds God raising the wicked and ruthless Chaldeans up in order to be His rod of punishment against faithless Israel.

Tyranny, chaos, and lawlessness were rampant in Judah. The wicked leaders of Judah had raised up strife and contention (1:1), oppressed righteous people (1:2, 13), lived in open sin (2:4, 5, 15, 16), worshiped idols (1:4, 14, 15). Habakkuk’s time was dark. He faced a complete and utter disregard for God’s law, the certainty of a pending invasion, contentiousness among the people of Judah.

The book opens with Habakkuk complaining about wicked Judah and God responds… “Not to worry. I’ve got this. Indeed, my solution is bringing in the Chaldeans to have His judgment upon Judah. In vs. 12-17 of Habakkuk the prophet is aghast at such a prospect. He, understandably finds that a case of going from the proverbial frying pan to the fire.

Habakkuk found God’s ways here difficult to understand and justify in his thinking, though he learns in God’s second soliloquy (2:2-4) that God will bring about His justice in His good time. The prophet learns;

“God has all the ages which to demonstrate his justice. The testing of time will reveal what men are, as fire separates gold from dross. The Chaldeans may prosper in their wickedness for a season, and seem to triumph over a people more righteous than they. Yet they carry in themselves ‘the germs of certain ruin.’ The years, which are the crucible of God, will make manifest the essential weakness of an ungodly people.”

Harrell

Then in the rest of chapter 2 following 2:4 God pronounces a series of five woes on the wicked. That is then followed by the anthem of praise and resolution in chapter 3 that we are looking at.

As we come to these verses we are looking at a grizzardly old prophet rocked by the circumstances of life, standing alone as living among a defiant people creating and bending to a wicked social order with the only prospect in his pocket that all of that was the good news.

But amidst all the uncertainty there remains one place and one place only to stand and on that one place he resolves to be unmovable. And that one place to stand is the certainty of the reality of God.

And so he becomes a hero for us today in the words that follow.

I.) Note first Habakkuk’s technique in overcoming

Habakkuk talks back to himself.

We’ve talked about this before here over the years but it is worth repeating. Habakkuk is in danger of being governed by his fears of what might happen to him in the future. He is understandably uncertain and we might even say fearful. Who wouldn’t be? He has been doubting God’s wisdom and sovereignty and ability to deliver him in his circumstances.

And here if vs. 17 he begins to take himself in hand and he begins to talk back to himself. You see don’t you, that Habakkuk is, as we might say, “getting a grip on himself.” He is finding his voice of courage to drown out his voice of fear and doubt. He says that come hell or high water, no matter if the very worse I can imagine could happen, I am not going to give up my confidence in God. I am not going to allow it to steal my joy in God my savior. I am not going to allow it to steal my ability to rejoice.

This technique of talking back to one’s self is found all throughout the Psalms. We see in Psalm;

43:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 42:5

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him for the salvation of His presence.

Psalm 42:11

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Fellow saints we need to learn this technique because should we not learn to talk back to ourselves, I can promise you we will certainly be overcome by our fears… fears which in the times we are living in — times not greatly different from those of Habakkuk – we will surrender to despair or perhaps worse yet we will compromise our convictions for a little relief.

As a Pastor I have to repeatedly tell people to not listen to their fears. I have to tell them to talk back to themselves with the truths about God’s character.

I tell the young lady who has unjustly lost her job that God has not abandoned her and she needs to talk back to herself that truth.

I tell the spouse that is going through divorce for cause that they must talk back to themselves regarding that God still loves them for the sake of Christ.

More than once I have had to tell parents who have lost a child or who have had a child born unhealthy that they must talk back to themselves and not allow their understandable discouragement be the louder voice.

I tell them, as I must often tell myself repeatedly, that we can yet still rejoice in God.

Now, I would not suggest this is easy. I doubt it was easy for Habakkuk but it was needful all the same. And speaking of personal experience if we don’t talk back to ourselves we are sure to sink in the slough of despond.

II.) Note Second the resolve in the Prophet Habakkuk

We are no longer an Agrarian people and so we have a hard time understanding the scenario here that the prophet paints.

3:17Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

This is a description of full and final desolation. This describes apocalypse of death and famine. The closest I have read on this in my life is what happened in the Holodomor. This was the political starvation of the Christian Ukrainians by the Atheist Jewish Bolsheviks in the 1930s when millions of people were purposely starved to death in order to bring them into subjection.

From my reading, starvation is a slow, torturous and particularly painful death. Yet despite the prospects of such a possibility what the prophet resolved on doing, when all nature and every seeming hope is dead is to say, “I will rejoice.”

This is supernatural. Almost beyond comprehension. And yet we have other accounts like this that come down to us from history. One I have told here before;

An old covenanter father and son during the 17th century Bishop Laud persecutions found themselves arrested and imprisoned. One day in the dank, cramped, filthy, and vermin filled cell the authorities came for the son. Hours passed until the door opened again and something was tossed in the cell. Covered with clothes the old father peeled back the clothes to see what it was that had been tossed only to discover his son’s severed head.

His response was as an example of talking back to himself was

“This is from the Lord…. it is good it is good.”

I can truly say that I do not have that amount of faith – of Habakkuk or of the Covenanter. I can only pray that should such a day come I would be given the grace to have that kind of faith to anchor myself in the real reality of God that lies beyond desperate and dreadful circumstances.

Of course all this is anchored in that foundational biblical and Reformed conviction that God is sovereign. If we can not convince ourselves of that… if we must put limits on God’s sovereignty, if we are not convinced that circumstances are beyond God’s control, we will not be able to talk back to ourselves, we will not be able to have this theocratic optimism that we find characteristic of Habakkuk and characteristic of our Reformed Faith & Fathers.

We can have no resolve… no grit … no ability to rise above our circumstances, our setbacks, or our challenges unless we believe in God’s sovereignty.
We see this in what we finally note here

III.) The Prophet’s Vision of God

In this section we see that Habakkuk escapes the thoughts of sufferings of this life to believing joy in God.

He speaks here of God as “The Sovereign Lord,” and it is this understanding of God that is the source of Habakkuk’s immeasurable joy.

He is rejoicing as vs. 18 says … “In the Lord, the Unchangeable God, “who is and was and is to come,” the great I am. He is rejocing in, as he says, “the God of my salvation.”

Here we hear the echoes of the name of Jesus for the name Jesus means Jehovah is salvation. Augustine even notes here;

Augustine, de Civ. D. xviii. 32:

“To me what some manuscripts have; ‘I will rejoice in God my Jesus,’ seems better than what they have, who have not set the Name itself (but saving) which to us it is more loving and sweeter to name.”) “in God my Jesus.” In Him his joy begins, to Him and in Him it flows back and on; before he ventures, amid all the desolation, to speak of joy, he names the Name of God, and, as it were, stays himself in God, is enveloped and wrapped round in God; and I((the words stand in this order) “and I in the Lord would shout for joy.”

Augustine, following some manuscripts thought the Habakkuk text should read; “ I will be joyful in God my Jesus.”

Let us turn our attention then to vs. 19. which also speaks of Habakkuk’s vision of God.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

The idea that God is to make his feet like hind’s feet (the feet of deer) refers to swift footed, which was a qualification of a warrior (II Sam. 1:23, I Chronicles 12:8). This swiftness of foot enabled the warrior to make a flash attack upon the enemy and then to pursue him vigorously. Habakkuk uses this expression for the fresh and joyous strength in God, which Isaiah refers to “rising up on eagle’s wings.”

Habakkuk uses this phrase to point to the reality that God gives His people the victory over the enemy.

Keil and Delitzsch offer here that this phrase regarding deer’s feet

“Simply denotes the ultimate triumph of the people of God over all oppression on the part of the power of the world, altogether apart from the local standing which the kingdom of God will have upon the earth, either by the side of or in antagonism to the kingdom of the world.”

If this is accurate then Habakkuk is breathing a theocratic optimism here. He has seen God high and lifted up and He knows that He knows that God is going to give the victory in His time.

And here we find the basis of our eschatological optimism. There is no conquering ourselves or our enemies apart from a confidence that when all is said and done in space and time history, God wins.

If a man becomes what He believes then being confident that God is going to make us warriors by making us swift footed to pursue and conquer the enemy is foundational to our faith.

The bottom line is, is if our theology teaches us we will be conquered and lose then our believing that will make it a self-fulfilled prophecy. Habakkuk does not allow us to go there and despite the heavily majority report on this subject that rebukes us postmill folks on this, my word is … fear not, for God will make us swift footed to conquer them also.

Conclusion

A sermon like this needs to be preached because the church is currently being sifted and that sifting work is going to only increase in the days ahead. Western Civilization and the Christianity that created it are being attacked in every corner. God’s people are being squeezed increasingly regarding their Christian convictions. Friends correspond with me telling me how they have to keep their Christian convictions on the down low if they are to survive in their work place. Parents come to me weeping that if it is found out what their Christian convictions are they may well lose their children in custody issues before a hard left judge. Churches by the droves are abandoning the historic Christian faith that their father at all times and in all places once embraced in favor of a egalitarian Marxist version of Christianity.

We are being sifted. I don’t know where this ends but I do know that if any of us are to survive this we must be able to pray like Habakkuk. We must be able to have the vision of God that Habakkuk had. A vision that says that come hell or high water I am not quitting on God. I will rejoice in God my Jesus – my salvation. I will continue to look past the seen and felt hardships of battle and will see the unseen …. the Sovereign Lord (who) is my strength.

Our Father of Job had this same spirit. Job could write along with Habakkuk, “Though He slays me, yet I will trust in God.”

If I stoop

Into a dark tremendous cloud,

It is but for a time; I press God’s lamp

Close to my breast; its splendor, soon or late,

Will pierce the gloom: I shall emerge one day.

Robert Browning

Paracelsus

Leithart’s Analysis On The Reasons For Trump Support Are Wrong

Peter Leithart is one of those “dumbest smart people who have ever lived” types. Over here he moves in the opposite direction of Occam’s razor seeking to complicate what is profoundly simple, trying to explain why Trump remains so popular among elements of the Christian community.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2024/02/why-trump-is-still-wildly-popular

Trump remains popular among middle class, rural, blue-collar, white Christians because those middle class, rural, blue-collar, white Christians for primarily one reason and that reason is because the middle class, rural, blue-collar, white Christians believe (rightly or wrongly) that Trump is the man who is going to keep them from continuing to be vomited upon by the Uni-party globalists that now occupy Washington. This voting bloc is supporting Trump because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that he is the embodiment for who they are. This voting bloc believes (rightly or wrongly) that Trump is the vehicle through which the Christian values of Nationalism, particularity, opposition to crime, and the requirement to be armed,  will be returned to and sustained.

Instead of realizing this simple reality Leithart goes on and on with the “scapegoat who refuses to be the scapegoat” metaphor. He waxes eloquent citing French scholar Renee’ Girard.

Trump is also being supported because the establishment DC uni-party hates him so thoroughly. This voting bloc supporting Trump can smell and feel the vitriol and animus glowing from the Trotskyite Republicans and Stalinesque Democrats and because this voting bloc has the same feelings towards the Trotskyite Republican party and the Stalinesque Democratic party the best way to show their animus is by wildly supporting Trump. This wild support of Trump is animal defiance to the uni-party coming from the voting bloc of which we are speaking.

One doesn’t have to reach for Girard or scapegoats to explain the wild support for Trump among Christians.

Leithart writes errantly,

“American society is at a critical moment. It’s not exactly a war of all against all, but a war of faction against faction against faction against faction. And, just as the script prescribes, one faction trots out an orange-haired scapegoat, President Donald Trump. For many of our elites, Trump is a mortal threat to democracy, the chief source of disorder, the mobilizer of the deplorables. Remove him, and peace will flow like a river. One man must be destroyed to save the polity.”

The error in the above is found in Leithart’s belief that “for many of our elites, Trump is a mortal threat to democracy.” I do not believe that is true. What many of the elites are afraid of in point of fact is that their own threat to Republican form of government is threatened by Trump. It is true that  many of our elites say that they believe that Trump is a threat to Democracy but we need to keep in mind here of the old Alinsky principle that holds to accuse your enemy of what you yourself are guilty.  It is the elites who are a threat to our Constitutional Republican form of government but what better way to mask that then to blame Trump of the same thing. The elites are afraid that somehow Trump is an end to their desire to absolutely control American society. Our elites desire to implement a social credit control system on America such as is found in China. Trump is a threat to that program.

So, Leithart’s analysis is just in error because he over complicates the painfully obvious. Christians are wildly supporting Trump because they believe the uni-party desires to destroy them and, rightly or wrongly, the voting bloc we are talking about wildly supports Trump.

I write all of this as one who has never voted for Trump, nor ever will vote for Trump because I do not believe about Trump what many of those Christians who wildly support Trump believe about him. I do not agree with their wild support but I understand it and sympathize with their support. After all, who wants to die when a possible champion might take up your cause against a powerful enemy?

And make no mistake about it… the uni-party in DC desires to snuff out the MAGA crowd, and especially all those Christians who are wildly supporting Trump.