Collective Guilt

At first I thought I was clear because I’m not Tim Bayly, Tim Keller, or PCA:

Bayly Blog has published a piece by Lucas Weeks, an assistant pastor at Clearnote Church, in which he argues that the root of abortion is feminism. He contends that the PCA soft-peddles feminism; thus the PCA is complicit in the acceptance of and practice of abortion. The PCA needs to repent:

We must never forget that the blood sacrifice for feminism is abortion, and if we really desire to live in a nation free from the bloody slaughter of abortion, we must repent of our feminism. Regardless of the brand of feminism we’re talking about, the vampire that has been feeding on the blood of our children for decades was unleashed by our sexual sin and our rebellion against the very simple and easy to understand words of Scripture regarding manhood and womanhood. Whether it’s the hard-core leftist feminism of Camille Paglia and Sallie Tisdale, or the soft-peddled feminism that’s increasingly common in the PCA, or even the Sarah Palin style of feminism within the GOP, the rejection of God’s clear Word is the same.

In the discussion that followed among those who have not offended the patriarchs of patriarchy to the point of being banned one brother questioned Weeks’ words about the PCA. This provoked Fr. Tim himself to write even stronger words, taking aim at one of his favorite targets, Tim Keller:

To say that conservative Reformed denominations like the PCA are responsible for the continuation of abortion in our country is an unassailable truth, as I see it. The most influential pastor of the PCA brags about not preaching against abortion and claims this is an effective tool in opposing abortion. But of course, every pastor knows why we avoid preaching against abortion, and it’s not because we believe it’s an effective technique in stopping abortion.

So that pastor and all the many pastors who mimic him in his conflict avoidance are responsible for little babies being killed in their congregations who would have lived had their pastors warned their mothers and fathers (and grandmothers and grandfathers) not to murder their unborn. As Pastor Weeks wrote, this is the fruit of feminism. Preaching against abortion is seen as anti-women’s-rights and male pastors will do almost anything to avoid any accusation that we’re anti-women’s-rights.

Then I was feeling pretty good that it’s okay that I’m not nice (which Mrs. Hart has long known but the cats, Kibbles prostitutes that they are, don’t):

In Galatians 5, Paul contrasts the qualities of fleshly, worldly people with the qualities of Spirit-filled, godly people. He lists the fruit of the Spirit, those character traits that ought to mark God’s people, saying, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (vv. 22–23). Conspicuously absent from Paul’s list is niceness. Kindness is there; patience and gentleness too. But not niceness.

But then I had a wake-up call. Even though I am a Canadian trapped in an American body, I am still an American and have bigger problems:

Today is the seventieth anniversary of Hiroshima. On this day, seventy years ago, the United States used an atomic bomb in warfare for the first time in history. Another would follow, dropped on Nagasaki three days later. It is no exaggeration to say that since that time the world has been fixated on making sure that no nuclear weapon is ever used again. At this very time the American Congress debates whether or not to support President Obama’s recent agreement with Iran, designed to prevent Iran from attaining the capability the United States already used against Japan a lifetime ago.

The single bomb used on this day, August 6, was not used against a military target. It was dropped on an urban area, a major population center with hundreds of thousands of civilians, including the elderly, women, and children. Some 85,000 people were killed either instantly or within the first day. Many, many more died in the days and months following. Within four months the death toll reached as high as 165,000, the vast majority of whom were civilians. For the survivors, that was just the beginning of the ordeal. . . .

In fact, both arguments – that the United States was justified in using the atomic bomb against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and that the United States is justified in bombing Iran should it develop nuclear weapons today – are flatly contradictory to classic Christian just war theory. This is hard for patriotic American Christians to admit, but it is no less clear for that.

Matt Tuininga’s point — if he is correct about just war and the bomb — that sin is deep and profound is a good one, though I’m not sure why he thinks a social gospel will remedy the social aspects of sin. We live on this side of racism, segregation, slavery, and Hiroshima. A society or group cannot go back to a point of prior innocence. History does not work that way. Maybe we simply have to live in a perpetual state of knowing we are guilty and our only hope is a glorified existence. (Imagine what that sense would to outrage porn.)

But the earlier thought that I was without sin, and the later recognition of my guilt, did make me wonder about the propriety of such public calls for repentance. If we have no possible way of making restoration, then what good is the call for repentance other than saying something about the caller? Isn’t the caller as guilty as I am? So why is he throwing the first stone?

42 thoughts on “Collective Guilt

  1. Hmmm, how are the Baylys not complicit in the promotion of feminism by shaming men, in order to establish their moral superiority? Pretty sure the Bayly’s are women trapped in men’s bodies.


  2. Is it hypocritical to denounce feminism when you giggle and cackle like a little school girl for half of your sermon?


  3. Feminism is the root of abortion?? Ha! Apparently he has never read, nor does he understand it if he has, Genesis 3:16. Feminism has been with us from the very beginning and the various atrocities connected to it have occurred throughout all the centuries. It’s only being magnified these days because we’re approaching the end, where every kind of hideous sin will spring forth so it can be exposed for what it is and gotten rid of once and for all.


  4. 2 different subjects here. As for abortion, it is too complicated a subject to say that it is all feminism’s fault just as feminism is to diverse to say that its only concern is abortion. People also need to realize that feminism has taken individualist turn, and that for the worse, rather than staying collective. In addition, when the abortion debate was hot and heave here and when Roe v. Wade was decided, it wasn’t feminism that was the only issue, it was saving the lives of desperate women who out of desperation were making horrible choices.

    As for PCA ministers not talking about abortion, that isn’t true of the Church I attend when visiting the daughter and her family. At home, I belong to the OPC. But at her house, i attend a PCA church and the minister does talk about abortion and the deaths of so many unborn children.

    As for using the atomic bomb and just war theory, the problem becomes how us Reformed people are content to read the past without either developing it further or adjusting for a different world. For unlike the times in which that theory developed, we have the weaponry to destroy most, if not all, human life on the planet. Perhaps one should add to that just war theory the Russell-Einstein Manifesto and the works of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Finally, yea, the world is screwed up. But the Christian’s duty, besides preaching the Gospel, isn’t to provide a silver bullet that will solve all of our problems. It is the Christian’s duty as a representative of Christ to work to improve things over what they are. And even the Social Gospel will have a more positive effect on the world than pursuing the god of personal peace who tells his/her followers to live quiet lives and only pay selective attention to their immediate neighborhood.


  5. Curt, the Christian’s duty is to “work to improve things over what they are.” Thank you John Dewey.

    No, thank you, apostle Paul:

    The Whole Armor of God

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV)

    Looks to me like Paul was worried about withstanding the wicked powers, not triumphing over them. Likely, he knew that wouldn’t happen until Christ’s return. But if you expand the incarnation wide enough, or if you bleed the borders of salvation, yeah, “we can do this.”


  6. collective guilt? for an individual to experience collective guilt, he must perceptually shift from thinking of oneself in terms of ‘‘meeee’ to ‘us’

    the root of abortion is feminism? that simplistic claim could be make, but men seem to ensure continued control in the exploiting business of wage inequality, women trafficking, domestic violence, the pornography business. The root of abortion for the women and men involved- each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust; then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14-15 ; and watch those videos for example – the deceitfulness of sin hardening hearts.There is only one innocent party in an abortion.

    what good is the call for repentance ? that you may be healed and that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

    Looks to me like Paul was worried about withstanding the wicked powers, not triumphing over them.
    -For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5: 4
    -Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Rom 12:21;for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 2 Peter 2:19
    -I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one; because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. He who overcomes…. 1 John 2:13-14; 4:4 ; Rev 2-3


  7. “conflict avoidance ; preaching against abortion is seen as anti-women’s-rights and male pastors will do almost anything to avoid any accusation that we’re anti-women’s-rights.”

    and excuse for other things not preached? eg…..
    “Just Grow Up Men”. I think, in particular, it’s young men. Perhaps to some degree it is young women as well, but we’re finding more women are getting better grades, more women are graduating high school, more women are graduating college, more women are buying homes, more women are doing things that are more adult and responsible. We’ve created this. It’s a sociological category. It used to be you go from “boy” to “man,” and now you go from “boy” to “guy” to “man.” There is this whole new creation of a “guy.”It’s just extended adolescence, where 20s, 30s, sometimes even in his 40s, he doesn’t really want to get married, doesn’t really want to have kids, doesn’t really want to pursue a career. He has a lot of hobbies, got a lot of buddies, watches a lot of porn, gambles, has a lot of fun, maybe plays in some band or is in a guild of World of Warcraft, or something ridiculous like that. And they’ve even got little [mottos] like, “It’s all good” and, “Bros before hos.” It’s just this whole adolescent, juvenile culture. Kind of the Adam Sandler-esque view of life, and there is this whole genre of comedy movies built around these kind of inept, irresponsible, immature guys, and I think part of the problem is, as well, that the Church in large part has accommodated that.Those guys tend not to go to church. If those guys do show up at church, it’s usually just to find a couple of gals to break the commandments with. And the Church doesn’t really know what to do with them, so the least likely person in America to go to church is a guy in his 20s who is single. Without knowing what to do with those guys, they commit crimes, they get women pregnant, they’re a drain on social services, they don’t raise their kids, they don’t contribute to church, they’re not getting ready to lead the next generation. I’d say it’s nothing short of a crisis, it’s a real problem.Part of it is the unintended consequences of divorce. Forty percent of kids go to bed at night without a father. Not to be disparaging toward single moms, but if you’re a single mom and you’re working 60 hours a week, and you’ve got a boy, and he’s home all by himself with no parents and no dad, he’s just going to be hanging out with his buddies, feeding himself pizza rolls.The number one consumer of online pornography is 12- to 17-year-old boys. What that means is he’s home eating junk food, drinking Monster energy drinks, downloading porn, masturbating and screwing around with his friends. That really doesn’t prepare you for responsible adulthood. That’s a really sad picture, especially if you’re a single gal hoping to get married someday. You’re like: “Seriously, that’s the candidate pool? You’ve got to be kidding me.” That’s why 41 percent of births right now are to unmarried women. A lot of women have decided: “I’m never going to find a guy who is actually dependable and responsible to have a life with. So I’ll just get a career and have a baby and just intentionally be a single mother because there are no guys worth spending life with.”I don’t know, I’m always getting in trouble for something. I’m just really focused on, at this point, men and women. It’s really interesting because if you took all the women in my church who were sexually abused, raped, molested, assaulted in some way, I’d still have a megachurch. I’d have a couple thousand victims. So a lot of my time is spent with women who are abuse victims, it’s a huge part of what we do, and guys who are totally responsible and part of the problem. (exerpt from an old Relevant mag article –Mark Driscoll)


  8. Ali, so the point is Mark Driscoll was the par examplar for a grown up? Seems like he perpetuates the problem. I also don’t buy women as victims of extended adolescent men, necessarily or predominately. They make ‘interesting choices’ all on their own.


  9. Sean:the point is Mark Driscoll was the par examplar for a grown up?
    nope; but flawed messenger doesn’t negate truth of a message; though yes, agree, definitely sin really messes things up

    Sean:They make ‘interesting choices’ all on their own.
    Agreed. Sin really messes things up.


  10. @ Ali: Granted that Driscoll fingers a lot of alarming symptoms. But does he have the right cause?

    The irresponsible behavior of men today strikes me as very similar to the irresponsible behavior of men in other ages and cultures during times of economic depression. I would have a lot more confidence in Driscoll’s analysis if he showed evidence of interaction with sociology.


  11. Driscoll is one of the last people I want to see quoted positively in any way, shape, or form on Old Life.

    Unless it was meant as a funny joke… in that case, good one!!!


  12. Luther—Do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner


  13. The PCA has some problem areas, as does every group. To attack the whole denomination as unclean and gleefully participating in the accusations stated is reckless.

    And not a surprise considering who it is…


  14. Greg, have you ever wondered whether a constant focus on Those Bad People Out There keeps us from dealing with issues that are local and personal? The parable of the good Samaritan is an illustration of men either dealing with or ignoring a situation close to home that could actually inconvenience them. Offhand I don’t recall the parable about a duty to denounce bad people in a far-off city.


  15. MG asks: “Greg, have you ever wondered whether a constant focus on Those Bad People Out There keeps us from dealing with issues that are local and personal?”
    No Muddy, I never wonder that at all. It is absolutely the truth and pretty much what I’ve been saying ever since I’ve been around here. (Darryl will get that)

    My only point above was that, in my experience, Kent is right. The PCA is far from perfect, but the one’s I know at least, are not easy on or quiet about abortion in the least.


  16. D.G.,
    It seems that you were rather selective in quoting me and then calling me John Dewey. I seem unable to recall John Dewey believing that one of our duties is to preach the Gospel. After all, isn’;t this what I wrote:

    But the Christian’s duty, besides preaching the Gospel, isn’t to provide a silver bullet that will solve all of our problems. It is the Christian’s duty as a representative of Christ to work to improve things over what they are.

    Here, the real issue is whether the Christian is charged with building their own island existence so that they only minister to whom they want to. Even if you stick with the Great Commission, that hardly seems to be an option.

    In addition, what you quoted from Ephesians in no way contradicts what I wrote unless Paul would use it to contradict his interest in helping the poor (Galatians 2:10).

    The issue between us is whether Christians have a choice to live that fantasy island existence–an existence that seems to be more based on the American Dream than the New Testament.


  17. Curt, I gather one builds their own island existence by either:

    1) Getting an education suitable to one’s potential, not breaking the law, not boozing/drugging/whoring themselves into ruin, getting a job, doing their job, maybe raising a family as best as they can while juggling work, spending even more limited energy building their local church… you get the picture… applying all those imperatives on every page of the Epistles to live a quiet and holy life in the Light…..


    2) sitting there telling everyone what is wrong with trying to accomplish the first definition, doing little more than this

    and you can shift between these 2 modes depending on health, work history, the economy, one’s ambition’s, a whole ton of luck (which can be seen as Providence by those inclined) for one’s existence on the planet…


  18. Curt, as long as you admit that this is the issue between you and Christ and his apostles. No improvement there. Only honor the emperor and submit to the powers that be and live quiet and peaceful lives as aliens and strangers.

    I could go on.

    You can’t.


  19. D.G.,
    What location is to real estate, context is to exegesis. So when you write about living the quiet life, realize why it was written in I Thessalonians 4:9-11:

    9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

    Let me ask you since the purpose of Paul’s statement was that we should win the respect of outsiders and that we are not dependent on others: How do the concerns of that passage apply to the Social Gospel especially since we are living in a democracy rather than under an emperor?

    You refer to Scriptures about leading the quiet life and obeying the emperor as if there have been no changes in context. Here’s a news flash: We have no emperor. We have been given more opportunities to control the gov’t than were given to the Christians of Paul’s time. And yet, as you have stated in a previous discussion, you want to control the number of people you are called to care about to a small group. Ok, do that, But don’t act like that is what is required of Christians. And don’t pretend that such wins the respect of outsiders. This means don’t refer to Scripture passages outside of their context to condemn what you are unwilling to do.


  20. Kent,
    So in addition to one’s job and family, being involved with those who are vulnerable and trying to use God given, since they are ordained by the gov’t and its laws, opportunities to lessen the oppression of others outside one’s immediate group is building an island?


  21. Curt, You get improvement out of that? Are you kidding? It reads precisely as being left alone and with a good reputation to allow such isolation.

    Sorry, your notions of improvement and progress are much more Enlightenment than NT.

    Here’s a flash back at you: Paul says to submit to all authorities. That might even mean Wall St.

    Didn’t see that one coming, did you?


  22. Curt says: “Here, the real issue is whether the Christian is charged with building their own island existence so that they only minister to whom they want to. Even if you stick with the Great Commission, that hardly seems to be an option.”
    What do you persist in seeing that as the only other option to your liberation socialism? Here, this is from my Facebook written to a dear sister who as wrong as you are and was praising that Marxist abomination Obamacare:
    Of course these are huge topics and the danger of oversimplification looms ever large on all sides. A few points though. My one and only concern is the biblical witness on any given topic.

    Let me start by saying that my views are well considered, decades old and are not grounded in any particular disdain for Barack Obama and his administration. He is just the latest inevitable chapter in a trend that started before he was born.

    Though legalized theft in the form of socialistic taxation, is very wrong, it is not the primary issue with me. Souls are the primary issue. What does it profit a man if he gains all his bills paid and has health insurance and loses his own soul.?

    The purpose of the church caring for the legitimately poor, especially among the household of faith, is not mainly to see their needs met. That is only a vehicle. The purpose is to be a witness of the love of God shed abroad through those who have been made new creatures in Christ..

    The most pressing issue on this earth is NOT poverty and or injustice. It is sin. Of which poverty and injustice are merely symptoms.

    You simply must hear my heart. I pray you do. Here is the trouble with what you’re saying, Even forgetting for the moment about the morality of coercing unregenerate strangers into supporting people they don’t know. A bad witness in itself when they see the church doing it. Providing for people’s needs with unsanctified taxpayer money points them away from Christ, not to Him. It makes their life without Him more comfortable and demonstrates to them that godless pagan politicians care more about them than Christians do. Money talks. It leaves a vastly different impression if they know it’s YOUR money or it came from the taxpayers. Which brings me to my next point.

    Politicians (99% of them) of any party, would sell their own mother for reelection. They could not care Less about you, me or anybody or anything except POWER and more of it. Obamacare is not about care. It’s about POWER and getting people to trust their very lives to their nanny state benefactors. Once they have manipulated life and death into their decree, they can then dictate every aspect of what we do or say. It’s already started. They know most people will do literally anything to live. All they have to do is condition your medical care upon their rules and they OWN you.

    It is with no joy that I say this, but mark my words brothers and sisters. The day IS coming and sooner than you think when you WILL sit with your head in your hands crying “WHAT HAVE WE DONE!”. I hasten to reiterate. This did not start with Barack Obama. I do not care about personalities or parties. He could be anybody. All I care about is biblical principles. They are formed from the scriptures alone and apply to absolutely everybody and every circumstance equally. Regardless of who I like or who I don’t.

    If the driving motivation is physical provision then forced redistribution of productivity is the obvious answer. For a while. Until other people’s money runs out. Which actually happened by rights decades ago because we’ve had a national debt ever since. Growing toward fiscal Armageddon every day. We are well on our way to Greece.

    If however the driving motivation is the clear unencumbered proclamation of the Gospel, like the scriptures command, then the quest for justice and financial provision must be subsumed under the cross and unpolluted by the filthy lucre of a power mongering, sodomite, child murdering government. God does not see those ends as justifying those means. There is no biblical case for that. Believe me I’ve looked.

    Think of it like this. A simplified but illustrative scenario. This is the best I can do without writing a whole essay.

    Two impoverished men who can’t swim are drowning in rough stormy water. Flopping around moments from death having been blown in off the dock by the wind..

    On the dock are two other men. One has a government life preserver and one does not. The one with the life preserver yells down to the first man, “I have your salvation right here, provided by your caring benevolent government. Grab hold!! it will save you and then we’ll sign you up for all kinds of help. You can show your gratitude by giving them the glory and voting for them as long as you want to live. You will have to do, speak and think what they say though. No publicly opposing homosexuality for instance. Oh yeah. Jesus loves you, but this life preserver was paid for by unbelieving politicians and tax payers.”
    In desperation the man does what he’s told. He gets all his bills paid, is nursed back to health, maybe even gets some training and a job. He is VERY grateful to those who helped him and he dies and goes to hell.

    The second man on a different section of the dock, yells down to the second drowning man, “I’m sorry sir, I’m too poor to have a life preserver and have no way to save your earthly life. What I DO have I give to you now!! PLEASE!! Before you die, throw your heart at the feet of the living God and ask in faith that the blood of His Son Jesus Christ wash away your sins and that you enter His presence moments from now, a new creature, forgiven in full and justified to stand in His presence for all eternity!!! Today, you can be with Him in paradise.”
    This man does what he’s told too. With his last agonizing gurgling breaths.

    Which one was really helped?


  23. D.G.,
    Again, the reason of his command there is his concern the reputation of the Gospel. So how can you use that verse to contradict working to improve things? That is what the issue was and why you referred to those words. And if working for improvement is out of love for neighbor, then we already have enough reasons to work for improvement. But if we don’t work for improvement because we have no love for neighbor, then I Thessalonians 4:9ff is not our biggest concern

    So what will unbelievers say about the Gospel when those who are to preach it have no concern with improving things, and by things I am referring to the result of injustices practiced against the vulnerable, because they love so few neighbors while those inspired by the enlightenment work to improve things partially because they are concerned about people?


  24. Cookie Monster Greg,
    Yes, because preaching the Gospel is so much a part of how you view liberation soclalism, isn’t it? You seem to forget that I include preaching the Gospel to improving things.

    And nowhere have I insisted that liberation socialism be part of improving things. Just because there can be agreement on what problems there are, doesn’t imply that there is agreement on the solutions.

    BTW, if gov’t is not allowed to help the poor, how can we say that gov’t represents the poor? And if gov’t doesn’t represent the poor, is gov’t only there to represent those who have made it? And who is the Church to decide who are legitimately poor in society? Certainly the Church can decide who it wants to help. But if the Church refuses to help someone, does that mean they are left to die?

    And realize that if the Church is the only organization that is to help the poor, it must be a privileged institution in society in order to carry out its mandate. Now besides the fact that the Church has neither the resources nor the will to help all who need help, making the Church a privileged entity in society goes against certain notions of equality and religious freedom.

    Yes, the most pressing issue is sin. But refusing to help those in need not only provides stumbling blocks to people who would hear the remedy for sin, it is sin. We should note that time and again, the OT talks about helping the vulnerable as both acts of compassion and justice. The latter should concern us because classifying such help as justice means that all have an obligation to fulfill it.


  25. Curt says: “You seem to forget that I include preaching the Gospel to improving things.”
    And see now there’s your problem. You “include” preaching the gospel to “improving things. The biblical model (You know? The one in the bible?), uses “improving things TO “preach the gospel. Governments, and most especially this one, cannot do that. Reread my above piece please. How can two walk together if they be not agreed? God will never EVER use dirty money to accomplish righteousness.

    Curt asks: “BTW, if gov’t is not allowed to help the poor, how can we say that gov’t represents the poor?”
    Could you please enlighten me as to how it follows that the failure to give someone other people’s stolen money renders them incapable of representing them? (I just know I’m gonna be sorry I asked this question)

    Curt says:”And realize that if the Church is the only organization that is to help the poor, it must be a privileged institution in society in order to carry out its mandate.”
    That is total crap. You can’t find me a single syllable of scripture to justify such an idiotic statement.
    Here’s part of the next part of the conversation on my page:

    The rubber meets the road in people’s wallets and in their time. How many do you know who are more than happy to see other people’s money help the poor while they have plenty of their own? The American dream is an idol. There. I’ve said it.

    Nobody can tell anybody else how much God says is enough for them, but what if Christians told God that they will keep no more of their income than what is necessary to live a decent comfortable middle class life and they’ll give all the rest away?

    Just a hypothetical. That’s not a biblical law, but what if everybody claiming Christ in this country did it? Instead of watching 30 hours of TV a week and building bigger barns, they spent that time and money actually helping those in need around them?

    It would take care of the need, be an unstoppable witness for Christ AND would greatly edify those who did it AND their children who saw their parents living for others.

    Much easier to fill in some boxes and feel good about letting somebody else pay for it. This is way down where we actually live now.

    I SURRENDER ALL, All to thee my blessed savior, I surrender alllll!!!!!

    Do we really?”
    You’ll sneer and rightly so, that that will NEVER happen and that’s true. The American church is a pathetic godless caricature of the biblical standard. The solution is not to pollute the name of the spotlessly pure Lamb of God with money legally extorted from unbelieving citizens by wicked politicians.


  26. Curt, if caring about the reputation of the Gospel is what you mean by improvement, then Machen’s dressing down of the Progressives’ social gospel was improvement.


  27. Collective(or national) guilt isn’t helpful, because collective(or national) repentance isn’t helpful.

    “The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing but, first, of denouncing the conduct of others.” C.S. Lewis (

    It’s not very helpful for politics or sanctification.


  28. Greg-

    They [politicians] could not care Less about you, me or anybody or anything except POWER and more of it

    I would say for politicians it is more vanity than anything, with power and money as perks. The power is in those who selected them and dictate their platforms and daily actions- party machinery, but more importantly the larger corporate and lobby interests funding it all.


  29. D.G.,
    You are either unable or unwilling to understand. Improvement isn’t caring for the reputation of the Gospel; rather, caring for the reputation of the Gospel is just one motivation for working for improvement. And those who are content with living a privileged way of life will never understand the impetus for improvement until they step outside to see the world from views other than that of the Reformed library. We need to see the view from the street where people live. Look at the world from the perspective of how different people live is the first part of loving one’s neighbor.


  30. Curt: We need to see the view from the street where people live.

    And those of us who take responsibility for our lives do our 100% best to try to raise people who aren’t going to wind up there if it’s even 1% possible to avoid it

    to put it in the vernacular, as Chris Rock said, we try to keep our baby “off the pole”

    and to help out those that we can if we are fortunate enough to half more than our portion…


  31. Curt, great, you have your motivation. You can’t make it mine.

    But until you eliminate howlers like this, I’m going to have trouble thinking you’re doing anything more than whining:

    And those who are content with living a privileged way of life will never understand the impetus for improvement until they step outside to see the world from views other than that of the Reformed library.

    You don’t think that the people who work in government and media and enjoy a privileged life don’t want improvement or don’t understand an impetus for improvement that is essentially egalitarian and materialistic?

    Meanwhile, I don’t have money for more than a dumb phone.


  32. whomever: And those who are content with living a privileged way of life will never understand the impetus for improvement until they step outside to see the world from views other than that of the Reformed library.

    Sounds like someone who slept through his decades of work for the government, did nothing useful, and then retired into a gold-plated pension.


  33. D.G.,
    It isn’t having been placed in a privilege way of life that is the crime, it is what we do with that privilege that can be the crime. The statement you quoted is a general statement and applies to all who are comfortable with the status quo. In addition, it shows how separated we are from each other so that we don’t see life as those who are different by virtue of having a lack of privilege see it. We seek to maintain that comfort. The question is, does God’s Word call us out of that comfort zone to minister to all sorts of people including those who have no privilege?

    And yes, there are others who revel in privilege such as the ones you mentioned.

    And finally, I don’t have much money either. But sharing money is not the only way we can help others.


  34. Kent,
    What if one of your kids did fall to the dark side, what kind of help for your kid would you want to be available? There are a number of ways to help others. One must include looking at the system that produces so many people who need help. See, we need to realize how interdependent we are. The idea that we are independent is an illusion.


  35. Curt, no children, never wanted them, never allowed myself to foolishly dabble in sinful behaviour that would have led to siring out of wedlock. Others can fornicate 24/7 and laugh and get away with it, I get to suffer the various effects of their actions without having any fun myself….

    The natural path is ending up in the gutter, those of us fortunate enough to have escaped it (so far) have an obligation to help those who have a chance to not willfully plunge into the gutter. The local church has a membership that should be helping out where they have gifts and talents and felt needs. I have my niche service in going out of my way to spend my time and money on those who have a shot in life at getting to use their brains.


  36. Kent,
    First, if we were all like you, what would eventually happen to us?

    Second, again, helping is individuals is vital and should be treasured. However, we also need to examine the systems used to maintain the status quo to see if they incite or curb sin.


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