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.

 

 

Friends of Rightly Ordered Loves = Pariah / Friends of Disordered Loves = Defenders of the Faith

So… let me get this straight;

And please correct me where I’m wrong because it is kind of murky.
John Little Bradley and Robert Alistair and Mrs. Alistair (Annie Sue) — three participants who were instrumental in the new Dreyfuss affair are, through their relationship with the organization MereOrthodoxy,  supporters of and close friends with one former Queen of Spain –who by the way is or was from the island of Lesbo, and who wrote at least one fiction book describing lesbian, er, umm…. joint intimacy.

A blurb marketing the former Queen of Spain’s book;

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

And here are a couple reviews of the same book.

“Diabolical…A wicked original …

—Janet Maslin, The New York Times 

“Sharp as a shard of broken mirror…a formidable burlesque by  the former Queen of Spain ….
   
New York Times Book Review

So John, Robert and Anne Sue, defenders of Christendom against the interloping presence of a dreaded “Kinist” are themselves supporters of and friends with a current or former citizen of the island of Lesbo — working together with a woman who has written rather descriptive books about the intimacy of two naked women getting it on together?

Also, it seems that Robert Alistair (one of the Dreyfuss affair conspirators) cohosts Mere Fidelity with 3 other chaps, including one . It seems that Lee Matthews is on the advisory committee for Revoice…a sodomite organization to help same sex attracted people feel welcome in the church.

Is all this right … is that the reality?

Cuz, I want to make sure and get this right. I don’t want to be guilty of any wild accusations. If this chronicling of hypocrisy on the part of John Little Bradley and team Alistair is false I want to find out so I can stop this from spreading.

However, we can remain glad that Robert Allistair, John Little Bradley, and company rid our modern day Dreyfuss from the visible church even if their intimate associations with dysfunctional people makes them questionable members of the visible church.

HC Question 29 — Jesus as Jehovah’s Salvation

Question 29: Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is, a Savior?

Answer: Because He saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins;1 and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other.2

Remember the Heidelberg Catechism (HC) is in Section II (our Deliverance) as a significant portion explaining the meaning of Apostle’s Creed (AC). We have looked at the first strophe of the AC and now we turn to the second strophe that confesses the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind before we press on that the meaning of the AC that we have confessed as mere Christianity has already left much of the Christian Church in the West as strangers to the true meaning of Biblical Christianity. The high view of God’s Sovereignty set forth already in the HC has separated us from Arminians (All Pentecostals, Wesleyans, Nazarenes, Church of God, Methodists, Free Methodists, etc.)  and Roman Catholics. We may all mouth the same words when confessing the AC but we are each clearly filling those words with different meaning. Nobody, among the various expressions of Christianity has the high view of God that the Reformed have as has been set forth in the HC. This means that the Reformed vis-a-vis the other expressions of Christianity have a very different feel about them. The upshot of that is that we Reformed are not only strangers to the world but we don’t exactly fit in with the non-Reformed crowd either.

As we come to HC Q. 29 the catechizers turn to consider the magnificent Lord Jesus Christ as the bringer and provider of our salvation. The Catechizers point out here the essence of the name and title of our Deliverer.

Jesus has the name He has because He saves us from our sins.

1Matt. 1:21, And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.

The name “Jesus” literally means “Jehovah is Salvation.”  Jesus’ name in English comes from the Latin Isus, which is a transliteration of the Greek Iesous, which is a transliteration of the Aramaic name Yeshua, which comes from the Hebrew Yehoshua, or Joshua. The name comes from the Hebrew verb yasha, which means “he saves,” and the proper name “Ya,” which is short for the name Yahweh.

Paying close attention here we understand that the Joshua of the OT in his work then is a prefiguring of the Jesus which was to come. Just as Joshua was faithful in bringing God’s people into the Promised land so Jesus brings God’s people into God’s Kingdom. Joshua as God’s warrior for God’s people is a preview of Jesus being God’s warrior for God’s people. Joshua fights the enemies of God and Jesus does the same, triumphing over them as Joshua did. Jesus is thus the greater Joshua in the deliverance/salvation He provides. Joshua provided only a temporal deliverance. Jesus provides an eternal deliverance from our sins.

The sins which Jesus saves us from are those acts whereby we seek to de-God, God while seeking to en-God ourselves as God. The sins which Jesus saves us from are our acts of treason and rebellion against the rightful ruler of the cosmos. The sins which Jesus saves us from includes our sin nature as from our Father Adam, our own lack of conformity to God’s law standard and any violation of the same. Jesus as savior saves us from sin, self, and Satan’s hegemony over us as his vassals, and most importantly from the just wrath of God. When we think of Jesus the first reality that we should think of is that Jesus is our salvation.

All men who refuse this salvation live their whole lives seeking to find some kind of salvation precisely because they refuse to be saved with the only salvation that can save them. It is only in the Christ of the Bible wherein men can cease their pursuits of pseudo-salvations and know the peace that deliverance from danger brings. The people you know or meet who are not saved by this Jesus are people who are twisted by their rebellion, and their instinctual understanding that God’s wrath remains upon them. That twistedness that comes from a lack of being saved will demonstrate itself in a host of possible permutations.

The unsaved refuse to learn that we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other.2

This teaches the hard exclusivity that is characteristic of Biblical Christianity. Christianity teaches that there is no way to salvation (to be right and so have peace with God by our sins being extinguished) except through He who was provided by God the Father Almighty as the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.

 2Acts 4:12, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

If we will not be saved from our sins by He who is named “Jehovah is salvation,” then we will not be saved. This of course means that all those who put their hope in religions other than Biblical Christianity remain dead in their sins and so remain unsaved. Our compassion on unsaved men compels us to tell Muslims, Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Roman Catholics (see HC Q. & A. 30) Eastern Orthodox, etc. that it is only the Jesus of the Bible that can save.

Out of love for God and for those unsaved we placard and herald Jesus Christ as the only way for lost, wearied, and sad men to have salvation and so find peace with God.

Kevin DeYoung … Also Clueless When it Comes to Nationalism

“Is this (the conclusions in Stephen Wolfe’s book) really the direction we’re to be pushed by the gospel? Are we really to pursue a social ordering on earth so different from that which is present in heaven? Are we really so sure that our love for people like us and our ostracism of people unlike us are God-given inclinations and not fallen ones?”

Rev. Dr. Kevin DeYoung
PCA “Clergy”

1.) If Jesus is the Gospel than I’d say that, “yes” Wolfe’s book is really the direction we’re to be pushed to the Gospel;

22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

This passage teaches the great grace of the Lord Christ to all men. It teaches the necessity to be importunate in prayer. It teaches the centrality of faith. And by today’s standard among the “clergy” and the Church in the West it demonstrates that Jesus was a racist and that He understood the idea of properly ordered affections. Keep in mind that “dogs” is a pejorative term that is not loaded with any expression of kindness.  

2.) DeYoung misreads the book of Revelation thinking that Revelation teaches that Heaven is an amalgamationist paradise, when in point of fact the book of Revelation teaches that the Saints are present in the New Jerusalem as belonging to their Nations (See Rev. 21).

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

The New Jerusalem is not inhabited by atomistic individuals but by people as still belonging to their respective nations. Heaven is inhabited by the Church as that Church belonged to their respective nations. Thus, the New Jerusalem finds nations remaining yet distinct, yet together united in their worship of the great and magnificent Lord Jesus Christ. This is the concept of the One and the Many incarnated into the Church in the New Jerusalem.

DeYoung’s ham-fisted reading of Scripture, interpreting it to be a place where “all colors bleed into one” is irresponsible, and in this climate, criminal exegesis.

3.) I’d love to see a quote from Wolfe’s book where he is insisting that we need to ostracize people unlike us. Am I ostracizing people when I spend my paycheck providing for my wife and family? Am I ostracizing other women when I don’t bed them while only bedding my wife?

The “Conservative” Guru of the PCA writes,

Likewise, Wolfe’s argument doesn’t reckon with the way the Bible relativizes our sense of family (Mark 3:31–35), tears down dividing walls between people groups (Eph. 2:11–22), and presents a multitribal and multilingual reality (and hoped-for future) as a heavenly good (Rev. 5:9–10).

1.) I dealt with DeYoung’s eisegesis in #2 above.

2.) Next, the Ephesians passage. I am working here to expose why DeYoung shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a pulpit;

The dividing wall in Ephesians is a reference to the Mosaic Law. Christ tears down the “dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances” (Eph 2:14b-15a).

When Christ died, God no longer imposed on Jews the rules that once separated them from Gentiles. The purpose of those aspects of the law has now been fulfilled. The laws that specifically divided Jew and Gentile are now done away with. It is not just the ceremonial laws that are now gone, but the old covenant to which they were intricately attached has been replaced by the new covenant. Under the new covenant God no longer imposes these expectations on his children. This arrangement grants Gentiles wide open access to enter the kingdom of God as Gentiles. Gentiles don’t have to become religio-cultural Jews in order to become Christian.

Further, in Ephesians Paul is not talking about generic ethnic divides but specifically the aspects of the law-covenant that divided Jew from Gentiles. Therefore, someone cannot impose ethnic distinctions onto Paul’s words. The apostle has something uniquely covenantal in mind.

Second, the dividing wall was originally the will of God. To take the word “hostility” in and apply it to racism is dangerous. The dividing wall to which Paul is referring is the Mosaic Law, and the Mosaic Law was God’s idea. He made the wall; then he removed it in Christ. The division that stood between Jew and Gentile in the Old Covenant was God’s will, not the by-product of human sin. “Racism,” (where it can genuinely be found) on the other hand, is the result of human sin and never is the result of what God commands. By applying Ephesians 2:14 to ethnic strife today you effectively turn God into a “racist.”

Third, did Christ remove, by his death, the various differences between cultures today? Not at all. Before Christ’s death, one culture may prefer beer. Another culture may prefer wine. After the death of Christ the first culture still likes beer and the second culture still likes wine. The death of Christ was not intended to move the needle on these types of cultural differences (except for the aspects of man’s culture that are sinful). Nor did it overturn other aspects of human relations grounded in creation, biology, and nature.

(Note: — The above 5 paragraphs were largely crafted by a chap who is now in hiding from the Stalinists cancel culture maniacs.)

Similarly Christ’s death did not remove the tendencies that belong to different ethnic peoples. Before Christ’s death Cretans were liars and gluttons. After Christ’s death Christian Cretans doubtless had to battle the besetting sin of lying and gluttony. The death of Christ does not destroy nature. For centuries McAtees have been hopelessly stubborn. I have been converted for decades now and a sinful stubbornness/defiance remains a besetting sin (ask my wife). The same is true for my children. It was true of my Father and it was true of his parents. This trait is in our genes. It is a characteristic long associated with the Scots. Peoples remain different, even after conversion. There is no sin in acknowledging that. Did Christ remove, by his death, the various differences between ethnicities today? Not at all.

(Note: In the previous paragraph we see why contra Doug Wilson that race/ethnicity is not merely about skin.)

We have the words of an OT scholar Martin Wyngaarden that bears on this issue. Please Rev. Dr. DeYoung listen to Calvin Seminary Dr. Professor Martin Wyngaarden from the 1960’s on Isaiah 19;

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 REMAINS NATIONALLY 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.” 19:25.

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.”

Wyngaarden, pp. 101-102.

3.) Now the Mark 3 passage

32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

 DeYoung insists that the passage above relativizes our sense of family. I’d dearly like to hear DeYoung explain what he means by “relativizes.” If he simply means that the family can’t be raised above our union with Christ or that loyalty to family/people can’t rise above our loyalty to Christ who could ever argue? However, if “relativizes” means that family does not remain a priority, in its proper place, DeYoung has to deal with;

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

Clearly, our Great Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, does not relativize family/people to the point that somehow they become eclipsed in our responsibilities to them.

Then there are the words of God that teach that family most certainly is not over relativized;

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

DeYoung and many like him are creating false dichotomies in order to avoid a Nationalism that is ethno by definition.

DeYoung is not a wise man on several matters. This is but one.

But why should be be the only clergy who is not wise in this regard?

I may have more in a future entry to say about DeYoungs misfiring in his analysis of Wolfe’s book.

Reading the Fall of Western Civilization in 500 words

One of the consequences of the War of Northern Aggression was the destruction of the USA as a constitutional Confederated Republic as replaced by the consolidated National Union. One impact of that was the death of regionalism which had characterized America for its first 80 years.

Regionalism was to be replaced with Unitarian Nationalism. People would be known post War Against the Constitution not as Virginians or Pennsylvanians but as vanilla “Americans.” In that way the Jacobin war of 1861-1877 was a war against distinctions.

Here we are now 160 years later and the war on distinctions that was began in the garden of Eden, and could be traced through the French Revolution, the European Revolutions of 1815 and 1848, the Jacobin war in America beginning in 1861, and on and on that same long Revolution continues to be waged today. The Kinists understand this history and are doing all they can to stop the West from sliding further down a slippery slope that began centuries ago. The Kinists alone understand where this all ends if we don’t start returning to distinctions that the Jacobin left has been fighting to eliminate since the fall of the Bastille.

The Kinists see the big picture and the big picture is survival of man as man. There is no hatred for the other in the Kinist but a love for a civilization that  never ceases its mad frenzy to eliminate distinctions.

But we have slid so far into the egalitarian maw that now even the conservative Church is in league with the enemy and screams Hari Kari that the Kinists are heretics. When they do so all I hear is the Revolutionaries in Paris demanding “off with their head,” or the abolitionists in New York breathing fire against the South or the Bolsheviks screaming “Workers of the World Unite,” or the denunciations in Mao’s re-education centers during the cultural Revolution. It’s all a piece as littered across the last 240 years.

The Alienists today are just the most recent incarnation of that Jacobin spirit. When I hear a Dreher or a Roberts or a Littlejohn or a Brito, or a McDurman or a Marinov or a Wilson speak if I close my eyes I can hear a Beast Butler, or a Sherman, or a Thaddeus Stevens, or a Sheridan or a Stanton or a Robespierre or a St. Just, or a Danton speaking in just the same way, with the twist that the former sprinkles their speech with Jesus talk.

But make no mistake about it. The Revolutionary spirit lives on and its ugly face has been seen quite without its usual mask in the recent desire to destroy the life of a mousey academic living in the Louisiana backwaters.