In Apologies To Johnny Cash

While we have been vacationing in California I received an e-mail from a good friend who dearly loves me (given the quality of her character it is quite humbling that she loves me). She said in her e-mail in a jesting and playful way that she missed the resident local crank. I softly chuckled at her playfulness and dismissed it as the good natured ribbing that it was.

I wouldn’t have thought about it again until today a reader responded to my most recent post characterizing me as a ‘grumpy guy.’

Now, I am as sensitive as the next guy when it comes to these kind of things and like most people I don’t want to be stuck with a negative reputation, though I admit that I might be fighting a losing battle when it comes to the ‘grumpy, and cranky’ sobriquet being applied to me.

Still, if I can’t avoid being pigeon holed with this characterization I guess I will try to wear it as comfortably as possible. Maybe I can do for ‘grumpy’ and ‘crank’ what Johnny Cash did for black.

Sung to the tune of ‘Man In Black’

The Resident Crank

Well, you wonder why I always am a crank
Why you often hear me applying a verbal spank
And why does my language seem to have a grumpy tone
Well, there’s a reason for my low rhetorical groan

I’m a grump in a church that’s no longer sane
sayin’ things that are well beyond inane
So when living in times that require ashes and dust
The diplomatic side of me now has some rust

I’m a grump for those who might be saved
By a tart tongued response sagely made
rescued from the fog manufactured by our hapless clergy
who are busy playin’ to audience’s sensibilities

Well, the Church is doin’ just splendid, I guess
With our Emergents masquerading our duress
But just so we’re reminded that it’s really dark and dank
Somewhere there needs to be a well known crank

I’m grumpy for the grumps who’ve gone before
For Tozer, Chesterton, Calvin and many more
I’m a crank in mournin’ for the new borns led astray
Each week the Church glides further from ‘the way’

And, I’m cranky for the billions who have died,
Who never knew what it meant to be alive
I’m a grump because the Church is sleeping in the light
Or maybe even snoozing in the night

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin’ everywhere you go,
But ’till we start to pick off some of our omnipresent lice
You’ll always see me struggle with being ‘nice’

Ah, I’d love to be ‘Mr. Chuckles’ every day,
And tell the Church that everything’s OK,
But while there’s hope for more fruit from Jesse’s virile stump
It looks like I play the part of grump

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

10 thoughts on “In Apologies To Johnny Cash”

  1. There is a difference between a crank and a pundit. I wouldn’t say you’re a crank. Pundits often like to hide behind the euphemism of being a crank or some such innocuous title because it makes their yakety-yak seem folksy. But punditry is really about arrogance.

  2. “I’m a grump in a church that’s no longer sane
    sayin’ things that are well beyond inane
    So when living in times that require ashes and dust
    The diplomatic side of me now has some rust”

    Better to be called a curmudgeon
    than joining the insane in their dungeon.

  3. Zrim,

    Such a pleasure to have you stop by and make the distinction between cranky and ‘arrogant.’

    The distinction you make is why I at least try to avoid labeling other people as, or implying that other people are, ‘arrogant’ since such labeling or implying tends to display an attitude on the labeler’s part of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions. In short, its arrogant to call people arrogant or imply that people are arrogant.

    Let us both continue to seek to avoid that.


  4. But punditry is really about arrogance.

    I am thinking of Joy Gresham who once asked an associate of Lewis, “Do you have a point or are you just being stupid?”

  5. pundit (plural pundits)

    1. A learned Hindu, a scholar, especially having knowledge of Sanskrit, philosophy, religion and law.

    So originally a pundit was a Hindu pharisee. I’m more like the guy who sleeps on nails. Calvinists always prefer cold, prickly over warm, fuzzy.

  6. Calvinists always prefer cold, prickly over warm, fuzzy.

    Au contraire. You have no idea what warm fuzzies I get when the errant climb up on those cold (but irrefutable) points with me.

  7. Bret, I always appreciate your poetry. A man with poetry in his soul can’t be too cranky :-). You can make what you like of that last sentence.

    After spending a week with you and Jane, I’ve come to believe that we are both going to have to work on our communications skills as the real person is not at all like the perceived public persona. Or maybe there are some readers who need to perfect their literacy skills. Love the Joy Gresham quote.

  8. Bret

    I just wanted say how much I appreciate all you do. It is refreshing to see a minister of the gospel that understands that he has an obligation to speak the truth and confront our culture. I can always count on reading something of value here. Thank you for pressing the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ in every sphere of life. If your critics can look around and not feel a bit cranky when they see this Christ hating culture and the complacency of the church, then I think it speaks volumes about them.

Leave a Reply

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