Punching Above His Weight

Another example of draping yourself in Calvin’s mantle on women but not on heretics:

This misquote actually drives directly at the heart — directly at the heart — of the current discussion of sexuality. When the dust settles on the Trinitarian debates, even if that time is years away, the church will still have to work out her theology of sexuality. In the Reformed world, Calvin’s own view will be one that carries weight.

And, Calvin thought sex meant something in civil society.

Serious Reformed men who differ from this view should be honest that their views are innovations explicitly rejected by our fathers in the faith.

What if our fathers in the faith put us at odds with the Founding Fathers? This weekend is a good time to consider.

A related consideration is recognizing it may be time to walk on our own in civil society and not rely on those Protestants who still held out for Constantinianism. Medieval Europe is not the standard for Christian reflection about civil society. The Bible is. And it’s hard to find Peter or Paul invoking Moses to correct Nero.

(And don’t even go to Calvin’s views on the Trinity. Nothing to see there.)

What’s To Prevent the Nationality of the Church?

I have already wondered where the PCA’s corporate confession of the sin of racism will lead. Sean Lucas’ article on the spirituality of the church in the freshly e-minted theological journal, Reformed Faith and Practice, makes me wonder more.

One of the takeaways of Lucas’ article is the fair point that Southern Presbyterian ministers and assemblies used the spirituality of the church to avoid speaking out about Jim Crow or even to defend white supremacy. Lucas makes that point stick when he observes the way that Presbyterians ignored the spirituality of the church when it came to alcohol or evolution:

And southern Presbyterians had a difficult time knowing where the line was between spiritual and secular realms. One example of this was the church’s long-standing support and advocacy of abstinence from alcohol. From 1862 on, the southern Presbyterian General Assembly repeatedly advocated teetotalism, reprobated the sale of beverage alcohol, and urged people to “use all legitimate means for its banishment from the land.” Finally, in 1914, as the political process began that would produce the Volstead Act, the General Assembly declared, “We are in hearty favor of National Constitutional Prohibition, and will do all properly within our power to secure the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution forever prohibiting the sale, manufacture for sale, transportation for sale, importation for sale, and exportation for sale of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes in the United States.” Notably, there was no hue and cry in the Presbyterian papers by conservatives about this action as a violation of the spiritual mission of the church.[11]

Another example of blurring the lines between the so-called spiritual and secular realms occurred in the 1920s over the teaching of evolution in the public schools. In North Carolina, the key leaders who opposed evolution both in the public schools and at the University of North Carolina were Presbyterian ministers, Albert Sidney Johnson and William P. McCorkle. In 1925, the Synod of North Carolina adopted resolutions that called for “a closer supervision to prevent teaching anything [in the public schools]…[that contradicted] Christian truths as revealed in the Word of God.” They also “demanded the removal of teachers found guilty of teaching evolution ‘as a fact.’” Again, beyond the rightness or wrongness of the action, the main point here is that the spirituality of the church doctrine did not prevent these Presbyterians from intermeddling in civil affairs outside the “spiritual” realm of the church.[12]

But does inconsistency really invalidate the principle? Political conservatives argue for U.S. independence in foreign affairs and then turn around and support a big military and wars of intervention in the Middle East. So we forget the policy and just send more troops to Syria? Or do you perhaps think about reaffirming the wisdom of the policy in the face of the inconsistency and ask for practice to reflect doctrine?

The problem is that Lucas is not merely calling for the PCA to be consistent. He wants the church to bring transformational grace to the world:

. . . the way forward for all of us will be our common commitment to what the church as church should be and should be doing. Central to that life together will be the ministry of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, and prayer. And as we use these effectual means of our salvation, what we will find is that the grace that comes to us through them will transform us. It will drive us out into our world to share the Good News of Jesus, but also to live that transforming Gospel in tangible ways, as we love justice and mercy, as we extend ourselves in risky ways into the lives of our neighbors. This Gospel will not leave us alone and cannot leave us the same. After all, King Jesus is making his world new now through you and me—his grace transforms everything.

That sounds pretty good, as if the world will be better when we stop erecting boundaries that cut “off the ‘spiritual’ from the rest of life.” But surely, Lucas recognizes the value of making distinctions between the civil and ecclesiastical realms. I mean, would he want the PCA to affirm a motion that called for the United States to make Christianity the official religion? Or would he want the PCA to endorse a roster of political candidates — Clinton over Trump? Or how about the PCA being salt and light with the State Department and opening diplomatic talks with North Korea? Does the ministry of the word, administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, or church discipline give the PCA leverage to apply its spiritual insights to the secular and temporal affairs of U.S. politics? Why stop with national borders? Why not Europe? Why not the world? I can’t believe Lucas favors that kind of mission creep. But from the Baylys in the Rust Belt to Tim Keller in NYC, many in the PCA want the communion to be transformational. Is race really the way to do this?

This is an odd development since the point of the spirituality of the church seems evident to many who are not even Machen groupies. Paul Helm once again contrasts favorably two-kingdom theology to the medieval one-kingdom approach among those nostalgic for Christendom:

The current focus on the Two Kingdoms has been on secular society and the fact that it is distinct from the church. That’s freedom, we rightly think, to be free from such things as the obligation to transform culture in the name of Christ. But actually it is only one side of freedom. Christian freedom has not only to do what we are commanded to do or to abstain from doing by the government of the day, but also from what some church or sect, or social group or cultural mood, may try to require of us, or do require of us, that would be sinful. Not permitted by the Word of God, but forbidden by it.

Meanwhile, Carl Trueman comes out for the Benedict Option precisely because of the inherent problems of ecclesiastical overreach:

Maybe the Benedict Option and my own proposed Calvary Option are really two ways of saying the same thing—that the church needs to be the church and Christians need first and foremost to be Christians before they engage the civic sphere. Maybe our current problem is therefore not that society is secularizing but rather the opposite—that the American church is finally being forced to desecularize. This will be painful. It will involve hard choices. It will involve increasingly obvious differences between the church and the world.

I doubt either Helm or Trueman would disapprove of efforts to acknowledge the racism that sometimes lurked among the proponents of the spirituality of the church. But does that acknowledgment necessarily involve abandoning a distinction between the kingdom of grace and the civil kingdom, between grace and the world, between redemption and external justice?

Why you can’t apologize for racism (in other ways) and continue to support the spirituality of the church is beyond me.

You Can Make This Up

You would think that between Heidelblog and Old Life, the Brothers B would have enough 2k material to critique and even ridicule. But last week they turned their sights on David VanDrunen and me and had to make up a 2k opinion to suit their purposes. (Maybe the Malware protection on their computers prevents access here and over at Heidelblog.)

In yet another brief against 2k, the BBs argue on the basis of polling statistics that the United States is still an overwhelmingly Christian land and so 2kers are gagging the sovereign people:

Rants like this, whether found raw on forums of cackling hyenas or well-cooked on thousands of pages written by seminary profs, have been successful in gagging God’s authority and Word across these United States to such a degree that anyone who speaks of God’s authority or quotes Scripture out there in public is assumed to be a member of Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church. Christians seduced by the R2K/Two-Kingdom error condemn such faithful witnesses for being harsh and “giving believers a bad name.” So we have entered a new age of starvation for the Word of God in North America when God’s servants, the prophets, have been placed in Two-Kingdom handcuffs and gagged with R2K duct tape. . . .

It turns out back in 1999 when Covenant Theological Seminary’s professor of theology, David Jones, publicly called for the repeal of sodomy laws, at least 78% of his fellow Americans were Christians. That means almost eight out of every ten human beings flourishing in the hamlets and cities across our nation have received Trinitarian baptism and would be welcomed to the Lord’s Table by almost every Reformed elder and pastor of the Presbyterian Church in America and sister Reformed denominations such as the Christian Reformed Church, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches. And even today as the number of Americans confessing Christian faith has dwindled, it still hovers above 70%, and thus we’re left with the vast majority of citizens of these United States claiming faith in Jesus Christ. Why does this matter?

Tim Bayly goes on to say that the overwhelming Christian character of the nation leaves VanDrunen and me in a morass:

either they deny the legitimacy of the confession of Christian faith of the vast majority of their fellow citizens or they are forced to give up their incessant denunciations of Christian witness and prophecy in the public square.

Well, not to put too fine a point on it but when did confessional Presbyterians, those who left mainline churches to form communions that number only in the 5 or 6 figures (compared to Rome’s glorious 10), ever trust the confession of faith of the vast majority of Americans? Maybe conservative Presbyterians have been skeptical to a fault, but the point of first opposing liberalism and then leaving behind evangelicals who wouldn’t act against liberalism, was to wonder about the plausibility of the Christian witness of lots of persons and churches. Sure, someone might talk about Jesus, but was it really a Christian witness? Anyone who grew up with that mindset (one that goes back to the Reformation — ahem) will not look at the polls and have warm and fuzzy feelings. (Could it be that the Brothers B stayed too long in the PCUSA?)

In the post in question, the BBs even concede President Obama’s claim to be a Christian:

A man like President Barack Obama claims Christian faith and we must not hold him accountable to the Word of God because of our nation’s commitment to separation of church and state?

So if the President attended a service at Clearnote or Christ the Word, the pastors B would have no trouble allowing him to participate in the Lord’s Supper?

Meanwhile, the BBs charity to the Christian profession of 70% of Americans doesn’t extend to those with whom they are in fellowship or fraternal relations (and I don’t just mean VanDrunen and me). In a subsequent post Tim takes issue with Table Talk magazine and a piece that Scott Sauls wrote for it:

Yes, yes; of course. Pastor Sauls was asked to handle the Seventh Commandment because the Church in America today—particularly the rich Reformed church—is looking for “a way forward for those who are tired of taking sides.” And the teaching of Pastor Sauls is perfect-pitch for those who want to pay lip service to God and His Word without taking up their crosses. Pastor Scott Sauls teaches and writes in such a way that none of us need feel the slightest twinge of guilt as we studiously avoid “taking sides” as we go gently into that good night.

So to clarify. The Brothers B want 2k to back down because the U.S. is such a Christian place with so many professions of faith that would gain 7 out of 10 Americans admittance to the Lord’s Supper. (This point had the unfortunate timing of preceding the latest Pew findings about the decline of Christianity in the United States.) But then they don’t trust pastors who have been vetted and approved by officers in one of their very own communions.

As Smitty was in the habit of asking, “What gives?”

The Reformed Episcopal Church

The only communion where you kneel to receive grape juice and you have a priest who is able to mix it up with the BBs. Consider the following exchange (over Tim Bayly’s recommendation of a Roman Catholic Cardinal’s views on — can you believe it — masculinity:

Bill Smith – January 14, 2015 – 5:20pm
Excellent counsel here for how to enable men to be more manly:

“The goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all. This is despite the fact that it was a long tradition in the Church, especially through the devotion of St. Joseph, to stress the manly character of the man who sacrifices his life for the sake of the home, who prepares with chivalry to defend his wife and his children and who works to provide the livelihood for the family. So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.”

“Going to Confession and to Sunday Mass, praying the Rosary together as a family in the evening, eating meals together, all these things give practical direction in the Christian life. ”

“As an example, it became politically incorrect to talk about the Knights of the Altar, an idea that is highly appealing to young men. The Knights of the Altar emphasize the idea that young men offer their chivalrous service at the altar to defend Christ in the sacred realities of the Church. This idea is not welcome in many places today.”

“In many places the Mass became very priest‑centered, it was like the “priest show”. This type of abuse leads to a loss of the sense of the sacred, taking the essential mystery out of the Mass. The reality of Christ Himself coming down on the altar to make present His sacrifice on Cavalry gets lost. Men are drawn to the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice but tune out when the Mass becomes a “priest show” or trite.”

“Young men and men respond to rigor and precision and excellence. When I was trained to be a server, the training lasted for several weeks and you had to memorize the prayers at the foot of the altar. It was a rigorous and a carefully executed service. All of a sudden, in the wake of Vatican II, the celebration of the liturgy became very sloppy in many places. It became less attractive to young men, for it was slipshod.

The introduction of girl servers also led many boys to abandon altar service. Young boys don’t want to do things with girls. It’s just natural. The girls were also very good at altar service. So many boys drifted away over time. I want to emphasize that the practice of having exclusively boys as altar servers has nothing to do with inequality of women in the Church.

I think that this has contributed to a loss of priestly vocations. It requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar boy in service at the side of priest, and most priests have their first deep experiences of the liturgy as altar boys. If we are not training young men as altar boys, giving them an experience of serving God in the liturgy, we should not be surprised that vocations have fallen dramatically.”

“…the Church must make a concentrated effort to evangelize men by delivering a strong and consistent message about what it means to be a faithful Catholic man. Men need to be addressed very directly about the demanding and noble challenge of serving Jesus Christ the Eternal King and His Catholic Church. Men are hungry and thirsty for meaning beyond the everyday world.”

“We need to catechize men about the profound realities of the Mass. As I mentioned, catechesis has been poor, especially the catechesis of men. Catechizing men and celebrating the Mass in a reverent way will make a big difference. It is also clear that many men will respond to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the rite celebrated before the Vatican II Council reforms.”

“Confession becomes a mysteriously beautiful experience for a man. For a man can know with certainty that he has personally expressed his sorrow for his sins to God, he can hear the freeing words of God through His minister and that his sins are forgiven and absolved.”

Tim Bayly – January 14, 2015 – 5:45pm
Dear Bill,

The interview was not commended for its practical counsel concerning the formation of manhood. Rather I commended it for its forthright recognition of the abandonment of sexuality and manhood these past few decades.

I’m confident Baylyblog readers are skilled at differentiating between wheat and chaff.

Love, . . .

Bill Smith – January 15, 2015 – 10:28am
Patriarchy puts one into bed with strange fellows. Cardinal Burke the Roman Catholic who commends to us traditional Roman Catholicism is an ally who is willing to go outslde the camp of human approval, to be hated by the world, and to fill up the sufferings of Christ with us. On the other hand Tim Keller, the evangelical who preaches the Gospel if Christ, though not the gospel of patrimony, is rejected and warned against. It get curiouser and curiouser. . . .

Tim Bayly – January 15, 2015 – 11:52am
Bill, you are a mere scoffer. Please move on.


Bill Smith – January 15, 2015 – 12:10pm
Tim, I am not the one who commended Cardinal Burke and linked to the inteview with him in which he recommends traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and practice as the path to the recovery of manhood. I am not the one who attacks and warns against Tim Keller. I am not one who turns patriarchy into gospel and scoffs at those who do not see it and practice it as I understand it. In these cases that would be you.


While separating wheat from chaff, I wonder if the BBs readers know that wheat is hermaphroditic both male and female.

All About (Liberal) Me

It doesn’t get much better for one of Machen’s warrior children to be lumped with folks who provoke combat but never fight:

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that three men have been standouts in the volume of Baylyblog posts warning against them: Tom (N. T.) Wright, Darryl Hart, and Tim Keller. Each of these men has shown himself adept at drawing away disciples after him who will join in his rebellion against crucial parts of Biblical faith. Tom Wright denies God’s Creation Order, Darryl Hart denies the Church’s calling to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all creation, and Tim Keller denies the Biblical doctrines of sexuality, Creation, and Hell.

The most striking thing about these men is their abuse of language…

All three write to the end that their readers and listeners will pride themselves over being among the chosen ones smart enough to appreciate their deep insights: “What erudition!” “What command of the language!” “What rapier wit!” Truth set to the side, flattery is a writer’s best friend. A man’s chest swells with pride as he tastes Tom, Darryl, and Tim’s dainty morsels, but their flattery of their readers carries a stiff price.

That noise you hear is Kathy Keller cackling.

Woman Up

While love was hoping all things, the BBs have piled on the situation in Houston in a way that raises a number of interesting questions about persecution. Tim Bayly himself insists that the difficulties contemporary Christians confront increasingly resembles what Chicken Little faced:

. . . the persecution suffered by Christians in this country is powerful, silencing the witness and confession of the Gospel everywhere and constantly. To act as if we don’t see or care about this low-grade persecution because it hasn’t yet come for us and our job and children, or because it hasn’t yet come to our city or school system, or because our mayor is not a lesbian who is subpoenaing the sermons of the churches in our city, is to refuse to read our times as closely and well as we read the clouds. It is to sleep when we should be preparing our children to stand against social pressures, stigmas, and loss of income so in the not-very-distant future they will be able to stand against imprisonment and execution.

Sure, it sounds histrionic to speak of the iron fist of diversity, inclusivity, and pluralism as a real threat to the civil liberties of Christians today. Unless, of course, one has studied the growth of the persecution and martyrdom suffered by our brothers and sisters in Christ under the iron fist of that same diversity, inclusivity, and pluralism enforced across the ancient Roman Empire.

As an American who still thinks that the point of the United States had to do with opposition to centralized and consolidated government, I can sympathize with small-government types who object to the politics of Houston. But as a Christian, I have trouble thinking that this qualifies as persecution or that we should oppose it. After all, the New Testament is replete with calls to Christians to bear their cross:

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. (1 Pet 4:1-3 ESV)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:7-12 ESV)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:3-12 ESV)

This doesn’t mean that Christians should be masochists who look for ways to experience pain or that we should somehow lose a capacity to distinguish quiet and peaceful lives from one characterized by affliction. But it does suggest that persecution is not something about which we should bitch. It goes with the turf and may actually be evidence (pay attention Obedience Boys) of a lively faith.

At the same time, does a subpoena rise to the level of persecution? Consider a piece by Ross Douthat some time back:

If the federal government suddenly closed all religious schools in the United States, banned homeschooling, and instituted an anti-religious curriculum in public schools, I would absolutely call it persecution. But a step like denying religious colleges access to public dollars would not rise to the same level. It would certainly create hardship and disruption, and weaken institutional religion in significant ways. But it would leave the basic liberty to educate one’s children in one’s own faith intact, and I cannot see the warrant for claiming that a given faith is “persecuted” by the government’s decision to withhold a subsidy. Again: Disadvantaged, yes; persecuted, no.

Likewise, if the government suddenly required businesses to fire Christians, or instituted a policy of discrimination that prevented them from being hired, that would clearly be a form of persecution. But having the rules of a few professions suddenly pose new ethical dilemmas for religious believers is the kind of thing that can happen in any time and place. It’s a challenge, a hardship, a form of pressure … but it’s not really persecution as I think most people understand the term.

And to Dreher’s point that this definition would imply that there haven’t been that many cases of sustained persecution in the United States — well, I suppose I think that’s right. I wouldn’t use “persecution” to describe the rules that kept Jews out of Ivy League schools and country clubs, for instance, or the experience of atheist parents before the Supreme Court rolled back school prayer, or the hostility and scrutiny that Muslims sometimes face in the post-9/11 U.S.A. Or to use my own faith to bring the distinction to a finer point: In the 19th century, the Ursuline convent riots were a case of actual anti-Catholic persecution; the climate of anti-Catholicism that produced the Blaine amendments was not. This isn’t to minimize the anti-Catholicism of the 1870s and 1880s; it’s just to say that not every form of hostility deserves the same label as the work of a Diocletian or a Nero.

And using the “persecution” label too promiscuously, I think, carries three risks beyond intellectual inaccuracy. First, as Dreher sort of concedes, it doesn’t do enough to acknowledge the vast gulf separating the situation of Western Christians and the incredible heroism of our co-believers overseas, who face eliminative violence on an increasingly-dramatic scale. Second, as I tried to suggest in the column, it doesn’t do enough to acknowledge the gulf separating the situation of Western Christians and the situation of gays and lesbians, past and present, facing persecution at the hands of religiously-motivated actors. And finally, it doesn’t actually prepare conservative believers for a future as a (hopefully creative) religious minority, because it conditions them/us to constantly expect some kind of grand tribulation that probably won’t actually emerge.

Could it be then that by invoking the language of persecution Christians are simply showing their desire to get in the line of victims? After all, this is the recent and easy way to achieve status in the United States, namely, to show that you are the object of oppression (even to the point of having your feelings hurt). But that was hardly the attitude that characterized the early Christian martyrs who knew a thing or two about persecution. Here the BBs may want to take a page — of all things — from a woman named Perpetua:

But the mob asked that their bodies be brought out into the open that their eyes might be the guilty witnesses of the sword that pierced their flesh. And so the martyrs got up and went to the spot of their own accord as the people wanted them to, and kissing one another they sealed their martyrdom with the ritual kiss of peace. The others took the sword in silence and without moving, especially Saturus, who being the first to climb the stairway was the first to die. For once again he was waiting for Perpetual Perpetua, however, had yet to taste more pain. She screamed as she was struck on the bone; then she took the trembling hand of the young gladiator and guided it to her throat. It was as though so great a woman, feared as she was by the unclean spirit, could not be dispatched unless she herself were willing.

Ah, most valiant and blessed martyrs! Truly are you called and chosen for the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord! And any man who exalts, honours, and worships his glory should read for the consolation of the Church these new deeds of heroism which are no less significant than the tales of old. For these new manifestations of virtue will bear witness to one and the same Spirit who still operates, and to God the Father almighty, to his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom is splendour and immeasurable power for all the ages. Amen.

There is persecution and then there is persecution (thanks to our mid-West correspondent).

Love Hopes All Things

So I hope the BBs won’t accuse Brian Lee of being a sissy preacher for the way he reacts to the recent news of Houston’s civil magistrates wanting to inspect pastors sermons (don’t you think they are simply doing what Geneva’s city council did to Calvin and the Company of Pastors?):

“The city of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons.” This headline, within hours of being posted on Foxnews.com, was forwarded multiple times to my inbox, with comments such as “unbelievable.”

My response? So what? Sermons are public proclamation, aren’t they?

If a government entity comes to me and demands that I turn over my sermon manuscripts, well… I think I’d be inclined to send them along. And I’d be sure to send each one with a carefully written cover letter explaining exactly how the blood of Christ redeems sinners from death and the grave. (Although good luck deciphering my rough outline, and reading my marginal handwriting. I can send you a link to the audio.)

Sermons aren’t exactly what the legal profession would call “privileged information.” (News reports suggest, however, that other “pastoral communications” might be a part of the subpoena, and insofar as those are private communications of pastors, I would fight their release.)

I grant that there are complex legal issues involved. And, seeing how it has just been a few hours since this story started to bubble up on the Fox News outrage-of-the-week radar, I make no claim to understanding the merits of the legal case.

All I can tell so far is that the city passed a controversial non-discrimination ordinance, which among other things, would allow biological males to use the ladies room, and vice versa. A petition in opposition garnered 50,000 signatures, then was thrown out on a technicality. Next, a lawsuit against the ordinance was filed, to which the city responded with a subpoena for sermons from pastors associated with churches opposed to the ordinance.

And why, I ask, should pastors be unwilling to send their sermons to whoever should request a copy?

Remember, though, that in the world of 2k, we don’t all agree on the secular stuff.