Category Archives: Christianity

The Sarkeesian Effect?

Oh boy! Seriously, who knew that gaming culture has been so taken over and terrorized by the PC police, apparently now called Social Justice Warriors. What a joke. Those fools aren’t warring against anything except their own cognitive dissonance. (To be clear, these fools refers to the SJW’s, not the people who made the video. Some have apparently misread this.) And since they are always whining that they are being attacked and how they don’t feel safe, I’m sure if they were exposed to actual warrioring, they would quickly crap their pants and assume the fetal position. Their influence has become so noxious, that now a couple of fellows have decided to make a movie about it. Here is their spiel.

Here is the web page the above video is from.

The second guy seems a bit odd, unless he is putting on an act, which may detract from whatever product they end up putting together, but he describes himself as a neoreactionary monarchist, so he can’t be all bad.

But I don’t get this. These Social (sic) Justice (sic) Warriors (sic) have apparently exerted a lot of influence across multiple subcultures. Apparently they are wreaking havoc in the atheist subculture as well. Because, you know, Darwinian theory obviously rules out the possibility of gender roles and racial differences. I don’t know this because I have any use for atheism. I’ve just run across the issue in my travels through the alt right sphere. How can such obviously unserious people gain so much power? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they seem to have disproportionate influence in communities that are already somewhat marginalized, like gaming and God-hating. For intellectually serious people, the first time one of these thought slave stooges utters the word cis she should be consigned to intellectual irrelevancy.

My Thoughts on the Mark Driscoll Drama

The church affiliation and planting ministry that Mark Driscoll founded, Acts 29, has removed Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church from their network and asked Driscoll to step down. Since I first read about this story, LifeWay Christian Bookstores has announced they are going to stop selling his books. This is all very unfortunate, although some nuance is called for.

As I said below, I do think that some of what Driscoll said and did was indecorous and intemperate, but he has largely admitted as much and apologized. He said in the past that he thought rabble rousing on a forum under a pseudonym was not the right way to go about it, and he apologized. This new brouhaha is largely because those posts which he apologized for and admitted were unwise have surfaced.

But here is the problem. All the above conceded, Driscoll’s fundamental points are correct. The Bible, history and nature do testify to the reality and importance of gender differences and gender roles. And Christian men, and American men in general, have stopped acting like men. And not only is Driscoll correct, but these are issues of utmost importance that desperately need saying if we have any hope of salvaging the Christian Church as we know it.

The feminization of American men, both behaviorally and biologically, has been much commented on in dissident right circles and is largely the impetus, along with the concomitant masculinization of women, behind the growth of the so-called manosphere. (I have a strong hunch that Driscoll is familiar with the manosphere, because he sounds like he is.) But the manosphere is largely amoral and often dismissively refers to those of us who encourage sexual continence as tradcons. Do we really want to cede primary advocacy of gender roles and masculinization to people hostile or indifferent to Christianity? This is why we need Christian voices speaking out on this matter who care about the state of the Church and the country who aren’t just looking for a way to get women in bed.

By booting Driscoll out of the Acts 29 Network, without the appropriate finesse, Acts 29 is empowering the Rachel Held Evans of the world. By not selling his book, without making the action and behavior vs. thought distinction, LifeWay is empowering PC ninnies like  Warren Throckmorton. Do they really want to do that? What are Acts 29 and LifeWay objecting to, actions or beliefs? The fact that they took these actions in response to a PC outcry makes it look like they are accepting the PC narrative unless they make it entirely clear that they aren’t, which they haven’t.

So you know that I’m not just cheerleading for Driscoll, I do think Driscoll is somewhat the victim of his own devices. He is closely associated with the emerging church movement, but in my understanding has distanced himself from it and is, as far as I can tell, doctrinally sound on the essentials.  Unlike Rob Bell, for example, who has clearly flown the coup. But in the doctrinally conservative wing of the emergent church movement’s efforts to make the Church relevant, they largely adopted “contemporary” modes of worship. I don’t think I’m breaking new ground to suggest that contemporary worship is an arguably feminized form of worship that appeals to female sensibilities. You want to man and woman up your Church? Then wear coats and ties and dresses and stop singing praise songs that sound like “Jesus is My Boyfriend.” Grab a hymnal and sing “There is Power in the Blood.”

For those who didn’t quite get my earlier attempt at humor, by feigning outrage at a minor point, I was primarily dismissing or belittling the larger outrage. But there was a little more method to my madness. In every picture I have ever seen of Driscoll, he is wearing a vest (not sweater) and looks like he needs a shave. I’m not dissing vests or facial hair. In fact, from the standpoint of masculinity, I think there is something to be said for facial hair. But the distinction that Driscoll seems to be making is a tame or lame vs. cutting edge or unconventional distinction, with tame associated with femininity and cutting edge associated with manliness. While there may be some truth to this in the milieu and context Driscoll finds himself in, this is a problem with his milieu. In the grand scheme of things, a traditional combination of loafers, khakis and an oxford cloth button down says man’s man much more so than does a vest and whatever Driscoll’s footwear of choice may be. In fact, the best way to be counter-cultural in our crazy modern world is to be radically traditional, affectionately referred to as rad trad. (For the record, once I lose weight … err … I mean my wife quits shrinking my clothes … and invest in a new wardrobe, I’m going rad trad all the way!) If Driscoll paired his vest with a suit and a pocket watch and a pair of wingtips, he would be making a much more masculine and traditional statement than he does now. Actions, not words on a forum, speak loudest.

Now that I’ve  ticked off every possible element, please discuss.

Another View on the Ann Coulter Ebola Column

Ann Coulter sure has a knack for stirring up trouble. Her Ebola column has a caused an interesting division on the right which is chronicled here.

Below, Alan Cornett takes the contra Coulter view. Tom Piatak defends Coulter at Chronicles.

I see both sides, although I have no problem with them bringing the Ebola infected doctor and nurse back to the US which seems to be a lot of people’s issue. The likelihood of Ebola spreading to the US because of those two patients is vanishingly small. Discuss.

Update: links fixed

Ann Coulter, Dr. Brantly, & the False Choice

by Alan Cornett

Ann Coulter, she of blonde and bombast, posted a jaw-dropping column yesterday in which she called Dr. Kent Brantly, who is a real medical hero, “idiotic” for his decision to go to Africa to treat the needy. It was a choice that led to his (and nurse Nancy Writebol’s) infection with the deadly Ebola virus.

Brantly’s apparent idiocy, according to Coulter, has led to Samaritan’s Purse spending more than $2 million to bring him back. “Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did,” she writes, “has now been overwhelmed” by that tremendous financial cost. Because making a cost-benefit analysis of helping others is what the Biblical Good Samaritan is best known for.

“Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa?” Coulter asks incredulously. Missionaries like Brantly “slink off to Third World countries…to do good works” when their real need is here in America, “the most consequential nation on Earth.” Brantly should have “served the needy in some deadbeat Texas town” instead of engaging in “Christian narcissism.” This is the Coulter worldview.

I know there are some, many, in fact, who in essence agree with Coulter. I have spoken with Christians who think just this way. We have enough work to do here, why go somewhere else?

But Coulter has presented us with a false choice. For us to complain that Dr. Brantly should have stayed here to do his work is, 1) to presume that we have any right to control what Dr. Brantly should do (I thought that was one of the fears of Obamacare, that doctors would be told where to work), and 2) that Dr. Brantly is the only doctor who can do volunteer and charity work.

I have made ten trips to foreign countries doing missionary work (in a teaching, not a medical, role). I have good friends who have traveled to Sierra Leone where Ebola is now spreading. And I know people who know Dr. Brantly. I understand why people decide to “go.”

When someone decides to go to a foreign field to do needed work, they are not the only ones who are capable of a certain role. Dr. Brantly is not the only doctor from Texas. There are doctors in Texas who have no desire, or ability, to go to Africa like Dr. Brantly did. That’s perfectly fine. But they don’t have to wait for Dr. Brantly to get well, decide to abandon Africa, and return to Ann Coulter’s deadbeat Texas town. No, they could go do that work themselves right now.

There are always more who stay than those who go. To criticize those who go for not staying is to make the false assumption that all our resources are currently being utilized to their fullest capacity. It is to assume that the missionary who goes does not leave behind scores—hundreds—of others perfectly capable of doing the same work here.

Paul of Tarsus spent a couple of decades traveling from city to city in the eastern Roman Empire preaching the gospel. Barnabas found Paul (still Saul at the time) in his hometown of Tarsus, but convinced him to leave to come to Antioch to help out. That began Paul’s journey far afield, a journey that would lead to him being stoned, beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and eventually martyred. Couldn’t Paul have stayed in the deadbeat town of Tarsus and just preached there? Was Paul an idiot to leave, just a Christian narcissist?

Philip the Evangelist spent some early time “going,” traveling to Samaria, encountering the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza (dangerous places, eh?). But Philip ended up in Caesarea where the account of Acts leaves him. Paul comes through Caesarea in Acts 21 where he stays with Philip, who apparently has been there all this time, probably for twenty years. Philip had decided to “stay.” We have no record of his work, but no doubt he had been busy doing what needed to be done in the deadbeat town of Caesarea.

Neither path was wrong, both Paul’s and Philip’s work were needed. As the body has many parts, and each with its own role, so we do not need to judge the one who goes nor the one who stays.

Sadly, those who often criticize those who choose to go, as Dr. Brantly went, are those who are really afraid that with those workers gone, they themselves might be expected to step into the gap.

So when Ann Coulter criticizes Dr. Brantly, is it because she laments the loss of his help in serving others, or is it because with him gone, she might be afraid someone will expect she do it herself? Ann, there’s a deadbeat Texas town just waiting for you.

Alan Cornett is a former assistant to Russell Kirk. He blogs at PinstripePulpit.com. You can follow him @alancornett. He writes from Lexington, Kentucky.

The Rachel Held Evans vs. Mark Driscoll Throwdown

Rachel Held Evans is an ex-evangelical Christian turned liberal “Christian” blogger who whines a lot about traditional Christian gender roles, sexual rules, etc. as she plays the role of ex-conservative (religiously speaking) Christian trying to come to grips with doubt and uncertainty while wholeheartedly embracing modern PC mores. You know the type, of which she is a virtual caricature. To illustrate the kind of insufferable foolishness we are dealing with here, in her blog post accusing Driscoll of a “disturbed mind” she warns her readers that the post contains “crude language, slurs, misogyny, homophobia.” Oh no, not that dreaded homophobia. Get it? If you don’t embrace wholly modern PC norms, then you have a disturbed mind. Meaning, I guess, that every human being that ever lived on the earth prior to 50 years ago +/- had a disturbed mind.

Mark Driscoll is the Pastor of the Mars Hill mega church in Seattle, WA. There is something to be said for decorum, and I believe that Driscoll does at times use indecorous and unwise language. The Church should be clear, for example, that the Bible explicitly condemns all sex outside of marriage, but discussing licit sex within marriage from the pulpit is generally unwise and in popular intended books is questionable at best. It is a subject that is best left to individual counseling and perhaps a specialty book. Some of the stuff Held holds up as evidence of Driscoll’s disturbed mind is intemperate, although for context he was writing anonymously on a blog with the intent of shaking people up. But all that said, his basic underlying premises which are upholding Biblical, historic and natural gender roles and bemoaning the sorry state of the modern American male desperately need saying. What we need is a more gentlemanly and prudish Mark Driscoll to compete against the Rachel Held Evans types and the largely amoral manosphere.

Mark Driscoll Has Done Crossed a Line!

“And the pastel cashmere wearing sensible haircut clean shaven loafer wearing minivan driving suburban sympathizers contend “But they really really love each other.”” ~ Pastor Mark Driscoll

Ok, that does it! Driscoll has done gone and crossed a line! How dare he insinuate that there is something wrong with loafers?! Yeah, pastel cashmere is too much, but loafers, khakis and an oxford cloth button down are about as much of a man uniform as you are going to find. Personally, I’m a wingtip guy, but what kind of un-American freak disparages an American icon like loafers?! Dissing loafers is like dissing apple pie and baseball. What is this guy? Some sort of communist? What’s next? Will he be recommending Extra-Crispy? May the spirit of G. H. Bass haunt him ’till his dying day!?

Addendum: I suppose I should clarify for those who don’t get the context, there is a serious issue here that I’m playing off of that we might call the Rachel Held Evans vs. Mark Driscoll throwdown. I’ll comment on that separately.

Christ Alone Movie: This Looks Interesting

This is a FaceBook post from Chuck Baldwin. Looks interesting.

A brand new documentary film has just be released by Golden Ratio Media. It features notable leaders such as Dr. Alan Keyes, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Don McAlvany, Attorney Tim Baldwin, Ty Bollinger, George Hunt, and yours truly. The movie is the masterful production of filmmaker Jason Paul Charles. I had the privilege of seeing the premiere screening of this movie at the theater in Whitefish, Montana over the weekend.

The name of the film is “Christ Alone.” But don’t let the title fool you. This is anything but a typical “religious” movie. With the aid of state of the art graphics, a first-rate script, and powerful narration, the film delves deeply into many of the burning issues of the day that affect Christians and non-Christians alike. Anyone who watches–no matter what their faith–will be mesmerized by this film. Every pastor and church should watch “Christ Alone.” I highly recommend this film to my Facebook friends.

Here is the website where you can order the DVD of this fantastic film:

http://christalonemovie.com

I haven’t seen this movie, and I have some concerns. As I said before, I’m skeptical that the “Natural Law” idea, especially as it is understood by most who use the term today, is a Biblical concept. But, based on the trailer, it incorporates the kind of esoterica that some in our sphere like, and it goes after usury and banking which is something modern Christians need to hear.

ISIS Destroys Tomb of Jonah

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Russia Today reports on ISIS’s destruction of the Tomb of Jonas. RT estimates the original site dates back to the eighth century BC.

The Tomb was a holy site for both Christians and Muslim (as well as Jews?). It is just one of a number of holy sites recently destroyed by ISIS, which must view them as false idols. According to RT: “Thirty shrines and 15 hussainias and mosques in the Mosul area have been destroyed by IS in recent months.”

ISIS would have never risen to power without US aid given to Syrian rebels. Whenever the US gets involved in the Middle East, we see archaeological sites and museums looted, ancient ethnic minorities chased out (especially Christians, some of the oldest Christian communities), and world heritage sites destroyed.

And of course in America, there are increasing calls for destroying native heritage sites here.

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Blasts US For Incompetence In Iraq

Maybe this interview will cause Catholic pundits like Michael Novak and George Weigel to take notes, and do a lot of earnest soul-searching about having supported the neoconservative foreign policy program.

The Americans were here and made many mistakes. The present situation is their fault. Why replace a regime with a situation that is worse? That happened after 2003. The Americans deposed a dictator. But at least back then under Saddam Hussein we had security and work. And what do we have now? Confusion, anarchy and chaos. The same thing happened in Libya and Syria.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.  Novak & Co. are at least as likely to accuse the patriarch of flirting with bigotry, since he makes the “racist” claim that “[i]t is impossible to establish here a democracy on the Western model.”

Personally, I think His Excellency errs in criticizing the West’s lack of interest in the situation.  Were I in his shoes, the last thing I’d want is more deranged Western busybodies poking their noses into Iraq.  In lamenting the flight of Christians from the troubled region and warning that “[o]ur identity is threatened,” the patriarch reveals that he doesn’t really understand his Anglo counterparts.  A few honorable exceptions aside, American Catholic leaders are no different from other members of the Western political elite, in that they see the elimination of inherited identity and historic community as a good thing.  Hoo-ray diversity!

Liberal Cognitive Dissonance on Hobby Lobby Decision

Here is a prime example of liberal cognitive dissonance: atheist Darwinian liberals decry the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision on birth control. Ummm geniuses … isn’t reproduction kind of a Darwinian imperative? I’ve got news for you. Creationists Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are kicking your rear in the Darwinian race. This counts as both cognitive dissonance and sweet irony. Another absurdity is people claiming that contraception is an essential part of health care. No it isn’t, because reproducing your species is not a disease. Contraception is a modern convenience. Whether it’s a good or bad one is for a different post.

Preach It Brother Dale, Preach It!

Dale Peterson has another video out. I’m not sure what moral decline has to do with the Auditor’s job, but this is good stuff. It’s the same backdrop as the “Leaving Americans Behind” video. I’m sure it was shot at the same time. I don’t know if he writes this stuff himself. I doubt it. But he sure knows how to deliver it. It feels like an old fashion camp meeting hell fire and brimstone sermon, although I don’t like to hear God referred to as ‘The Big Guy.” It’s too casual.

Presbyterian “Church” (USA) Recognizes Same Sex “Marriages”

This is absurd and disgusting. The Bible could not be more clear in its denunciation of homosexual acts. Even if you believe that homosexual inclinations may be hard wired in some people, the Biblical prohibition against homosexual acts remains crystal clear. Since it can be assumed that married gay couples will engage in homosexual acts, then condoning gay marriage is flagrantly condoning sin. There is no way around this, so the PC USA is either declaring that they know better than God and/or they don’t really believe God wrote those laws. Either way, they are in essences declaring that they are no longer a Christian denomination. They are like the Unitarians, a group with Christians roots but that has strayed into being something else besides Christian. I have some sympathy for conservative Christians who remain in liberalizing mainline denominations in an effort to reform them, but if you’re in the PC USA, it’s time to get out.

Keep in mind that this is the mainline PC USA. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and several other break off groups remain orthodox, and shouldn’t be confused with the PC USA.

As the linked article notes, the PC USA has already lost many congregations in protest to earlier acts, which partially explains their continued liberal drift.

Rod Dreher vs. Tom Piatak (re. Irish Catholic Orphanage Story)

Good grief! It didn’t take long for this to get ugly.

Rod Dreher has been following the story about the bodies buried outside a Catholic orphanage in Ireland from the start. Here, Tom Paitak criticizes him for uncritically accepting the story which is now falling apart. Rod Dreher replies here, and it’s not pretty.

He calls Piatak “a stringer for a turgid Midwestern monthly.” First of all, I didn’t know there was any more than the standard Chronicles vs. TAC and staunch Catholic vs. ex-Catholic bad blood between them, but there  must be. Dreher seems to have taken personally Piatak’s criticism of TAC over the gay marriage issue. I didn’t know Dreher was so defensive of TAC because Dreher was on the other side of that issue anyway, and TAC well deserved that criticism.  Also, I didn’t know that Dreher was hostile to Chronicles per se rather than just disinterested. What’s that about? Is there some bad blood there I don’t recall? I know it was widely suggested that Dreher’s Crunchy Conservatism was just paleo light, but did that ever play out in the pages of Chronicles?

Dreher is taking some heat in the comments. I have made two comments. The second one has not been approved at the time of this post.

“Every Use of the Word ‘Racism’ Is Meaningless”

Reactionary Catholic physics professor Bonald analyzes the concept of racism.  He is unimpressed by disingenuous liberal theologians who have identified racism as the deadliest of sins:

If by “racism”, one means “the sin of having a special loyalty and preference for one’s own group”, then [one is] trying to define a natural and non-sinful attitude to be sinful.  “Racism” as “the sinful belief that one race is superior in some way to another” is also guilty [of trying to define a natural and non-sinful attitude to be sinful] because such a belief may be true or false, but there is nothing inherently wicked in entertaining it.

The comments which follow are fascinating.  By the way, not only is having a special loyalty and preference for one’s own group not a sin, we have it on good authority that it IS a sin to LACK that special loyalty and preference.  (1 Timothy 5:8)

Read more…

Music, The Sacred, & Science

At Catholic World Report Jerry Salyer reviews Roger Scruton’s latest book The Soul of the WorldAs the review notes, Scruton devotes considerable attention to aesthetics:

In this age of democracy über alles the claim that certain kinds of music are base and others noble invites the charge of elitism [...]  At the risk of sounding elitist myself, I must observe that Scruton has on his side not only Western philosophy’s godfather Plato—who was convinced that a proper moral education begins with a proper appreciation of music—but also the great Eastern sage, Confucius, who advised his followers to “be perfected by music” and condemned certain tunes as “wanton”. To dismiss out of hand the idea that different musical styles can have different influences on a child’s developing psyche seems almost as foolish as dismissing the idea that a child’s diet can impact his health.

Read more here:

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3150/the_search_for_soul_in_a_fallen_world.aspx

 

Some More Thoughts on “Baldwin Churches”

Sorry for my recent absence from CHT. I was on vacation and away from internet access for a week.

This is a follow-up to my previous post on this subject.

Currently the tab for the application process at the Baldwin Liberty Church Project website is not functioning. I just sent them an e-mail asking when they think it might be working because I am seriously interested in trying to launch such a project in my area. I have made a few inquiries to guage potential interest. I have been giving this a lot of thought, and I see this as a project that has a lot of promise, but is also frought with potential peril.

First of all, I am currently happily churched in a healthy and active church. I have some theological disagreements with the church’s statement of faith, but not so much that I am overwhelmingly uncomfortable there. We have many good friends there. Most importantly, my wife and kids are happy there, and I am sure would resist a major change. I foresee myself initially as engaging this project in addition to my regular church attendence. That is why I prefer the concept of a “fellowship” as opposed to a church initially. Also, I like the idea of having the service on Sunday afternoon, as they do in Montana, which I suspect is at least partially intended to accommodate such dual congregants.

Second, I am not crazy about the heavy focus on the concept of “Biblical Natural Law” and “liberty.” Biblical Natural Law is both a theologically and philosophically problematic formulation and is arguably an oxymoron. And I don’t believe that the Bible’s focus is “liberty” nearly as much as it is obedience to God’s law. But this is a subject for a separate thread. That said, I am sure Chuck Baldwin is no libertine or antinomian, and I suspect this formulation is largely intended to appeal to a certain segment of the “liberty movement” that isn’t also hostile to Christianity and traditional morality. It’s just theologically and philosophically confused.

If I am involved in launching such a project, I would be very weary about poaching people who are already churched in other healthy, doctrinally sound churches. Therefore, I believe the initial focus for building a healthy fellowship would have to be on devout Christians who are currently unchurched for principled reasons, most likely the tax exempt issue. Building by bringing in the unchurched and new converts would likely have to follow the establishment of a healthy core. So you would have a small pool to draw from to begin with, and let’s be honest, one that is potentially filled with a disproportionate number of malcontents and outliers. As I commented in my first post, strong leadership will be essential to make this work right.

Those concerns stated, here is what I see as potentially promising. As I said above, I have some theological disagreements with my current church. But one reason I remain there is because I would almost certainly have theological disagreements with any church I might join. (Our Catholic friends would say that is a fundamental problem with Protestantism, but again, that is for another thread.) For the record, you can relax. I am orthodox (small o) in my beliefs and certainly do not reject any of the fundamentals of the Faith (the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, etc.). It is on some non-essentials that I have a hodgepodge of beliefs that I believe reflect the Bible but don’t usually come as a whole. (Some things I don’t so much disbelieve outright as I just don’t see that the Bible is definitive enough on the subject to be dogmatic about. The subjects of church government and end times come to mind)

Theology tends to come in packages. You have your Reformed. You have your Wesleyan. You have your Baptistic. Etc. For example, while I reject turning the political concept of separation of church and state into a theological dogma, as my own Baptists do, which might otherwise tend me toward the Reformed tradition, I reject the infant baptism and sacraments as a “means of grace” that comes with that package. As far as I know, there is no package that incorporates all my beliefs. So what is a Christian such as I to do?

As I indicated in my first post, I like the concept of a Christian fellowship united on the fundamentals (which IMO includes basically the historic creeds plus Protestant soteriology), but which allows wide latitude on the nonessential secondary issues. This shows humility that we acknowledge that we really don’t have it all figured out, and allows for sincere Christians to embrace membership without reservations if they don’t fit into a specific theological package.

I was once a part of a model such as this when I attended chapel in the military. I would not recommend this alternative all the time because much depends on the Chaplain, but we had a theologically sound Chaplain. The Sunday School and Bible studies that we had were some of the best I have ever participated in. They were not echo chambers. We had serious discussions about issues from a variety of theological standpoints.

But my main reason for hoping to see a “Baldwin Church” established in my area, is because I feel really strongly about the 501c3 issue, and I think it is important enough to take precedence over many other theological and practical concerns. A church that voluntarily allows itself to be censored by the State is arguably guilty of idolatry as it is allowing something to come between it and the whole proclamation of God’s Word. While the charge of idolatry is likely unhelpfully argumentative, it does indicate the seriousness of the issue at hand. People should be judged in the context of the milieu they are in, and since 501c3 status is currently the norm, I don’t want to be overly harsh. Many people who participate in such mean well and likely don’t know the alternative, but the current state of affairs is very misguided to say the least. As I said in my first post, churches should be non-taxable as opposed to tax exempt. As I understand it, this was essentially the state of affairs before the relatively recent development of the 501c3 status. But also as I said in my first post, since 501c3 status is normative these days, unincorporated churches are potentially wild cards, both theology wise and membership wise. As far as I know, we have only one unincorporated church in my area, but it is a Reconstructionist church so it comes with the whole Reformed package. Having a theologically sound but less doctrinally exclusive alternative would be a blessing IMO.

This post has essentially been me thinking out loud, so I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Thanks.

Chuck Baldwin Seeks to Launch Liberty Churches Nationwide

This is interesting.

For many months now, I have been making preparations for this moment. Hundreds of man-hours have gone into the planning of this project. Now, I am ready.

Over the past couple of years, hundreds of people from across the country have pleaded with me to help them start new independent, unorganized, unincorporated, non-501c3 churches and Christian fellowships. It has become painfully obvious to many patriotic believers that the vast majority of establishment 501c3 churches and pastors have made a deliberate decision to NOT engage the liberty fight. For the most part, these pastors and churches have been completely muzzled by State incorporation and the 501c3 government tax-status. And, sadly, these pastors and churches have absolutely no desire to change. They are cemented in lethargy and indifference. Meanwhile, our nation is spiraling downward toward certain destruction–and the biggest reason for this calamitous situation is the absence of patriot-pulpits.

See more here…

Here is the website for the project.

I’ll give my thoughts in the comments, because I don’t want to detract from something I’m largely supportive of, with criticism.

National Saints

At Mark Hackard’s excellent inventory of new and classic translations Soul of the East, we encounter Russian science fiction writer Natalya Irtenina’s comments regarding Russian saints and their role in Russian identity:

Russian saints have been wholly undeservedly forgotten and ousted beyond the frontiers of modern non-Church culture. They’ve become but another “tradition out of deep antiquity.” And this is not only a misunderstanding; in the final analysis, it is a crime against Russian history and culture, from which the heart has practically been excised [...]

The moral and spiritual authority of the saints was very high: they could give orders to rulers, and by the force of their words and personality subdue rebellious tempers. And, of course, it is impossible to compare anything with the spiritual and moral influence of the saints on the Russian people as a whole.

National saints are, of course, found in places other than Russia.

For that matter even 21st-Century multicultural America has its own “saints,” though they represent a quite different faith.