Current Events

Critical Theory and the Unity of the Church

This seems helpful.

TheEcclesialCalvinist

The undersigned concerned individuals are constrained, indeed compelled, to speak to ideological dangers that threaten and subvert the unity of the Body of Christ.

Some in the conservative Reformed community evince a laudable desire to overcome racial injustice, but they often seek to understand racial divisions by relying on categories drawn from the “critical theory” of secular academia (e.g., notions of “white privilege,” “white guilt,” “intersectionality,” and more broadly the power-analysis tradition that stems from Marx, Foucault, and others) rather than from Scripture and the Christian tradition.  As a result of this uncritical borrowing, some in the church are falling headlong into the divisive identity politics that now plague the broader culture and particularly higher education.

These secular categories are often unhelpful.  For example, what are often taken to be examples of “white privilege” are simply the rights and opportunities that should be enjoyed by all, and the appropriate response…

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Problems with the Nashville Statement

The Nashville Statement is troublingly ambiguous on the sinfulness of same sex attraction:

“Article 8. WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.”

Is this Christian’s purity of life attained by repenting and mortifying the sinful “sexual attraction for the same sex”, or are these desires somehow compatible with such purity? It seems they mean the latter, which is unbiblical, and a heretical denial of the sinfulness of sinful lusts.  The authors of the statement had no trouble being crystal clear on the sinfulness of many sins.  Why the lack of clarity here, on one of the most confronting issues of our time?  I take it as a denial that same sex erotic attraction is sinful, which is a huge mistake because:

1. It seems to deny that some sins are more heinous than others.  

One area where Christians need to be taught better, is the degree of heinousness of sins.

Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 150. Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

All sins are heinous, but some are more heinous than others due to several aggravating factors. One of the aggravating factors that the Larger Catechism lists in Answer 151 is that a sin is more heinous if it be against the “light of nature.” For this reason, in this respect, same sex attraction is more heinous even than lust for the opposite sex, which is not, essentially, against nature. Same sex attraction is not the moral equivalent of opposite sex attraction, which God gave us for the purpose of procreation.  The recent confusion among the Reformed and Evangelicals over the sinfulness of same sex attraction shows this deficiency.
2. It denies the Christian doctrine of original sin. 

The statement that a Christian can live a pure life despite experiencing erotic desires toward persons of the same sex, suggests that such proneness and proclivity to enter into temptation are not sin unless they are acted upon.  But this flies in the face of Scripture and the traditional Augustinian teaching on original sin.  “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” James 1:14 Temptation arises from our sinful nature, which is itself sin, and calls down God’s wrath upon us. By grace, those whom God has regenerated, get the victory eventually over their indwelling sin, by mortifying it daily. This teaching is sorely lacking in the church today. It is being said that our sinful nature, and the temptations that arise from it, are not sin, as if to raise up Pelagius from the grave.  If the Church ceases to maintain the historic, orthodox, definition of Original Sin, she will fall utterly.

I am concerned that the Nashville Statement adds to the confusion and false teaching on sin rampant in the Church today.

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Please forgive my indifference…

A voice of reason.

Wife with Purpose

I’m trying, but you’re making it hard.

There were a number of ways I could have written this blog, but I figured I would write it as genuinely and honestly as I could. So here it goes.

I’m having a hard time with you, and I am referring to the Reformed (or Reforming) African-American crowd (you know, some of the people who like to write for RAAN or the women who host Truth’s Table). I’m really having a hard time. And no, I’m not white. I’m actually an African-American woman who is a Baptist in a conservative PCA church in the South. And though I can consider you to be my “brothers and sisters by color”, I really struggle to not roll my eyes when I hear you speak and read your blogs.

And I know that may sound strange. I mean, I might sound like one of those…

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Has the PCA Caved to Cultural Marxism?

Has the PCA caved to Cultural Marxism?
I have permission from the author to post this anonymously, so for my FB friends’ edification:
In answer to the question, has the PCA caved to Cultural Marxism as far as the Black Lives Matters Movment?
“No but there are those that confuse breaking down barriers that exist with embracing and/or tolerating some really bad theology.
I’ve noticed something about so-called “paternalistic” or “intolerant” conservatives that I haven’t noticed about those whose Gospel lens is focused only in the “racial reconciliation” direction.
I read about all these conservative types (the bane of progress and reconciliation) who are traveling to foreign countries to help train ministers or encourage the Saints in dangerous lands. Dr. Aquila teaches in Egypt and other parts of Africa as well as in South America. Dr. Pipa recently returned from Turkey. Dr. Beeke goes all over the world at other’s invitation.
Maybe I’m missing it but I don’t see Christians in other far-flung places of the world inviting Michelle Higgins to come talk to them about racial reconciliation. It seems to be a distinctively elite American phenomena that the rest of the persecuted and far-flung Church cares little to nothing about. Viewed globally, I think the effort is a bit provincial.
I know there are well-meaning men and women who care about this issue but I think that many are getting caught up in micro-aggression theories and making the pattern for reconciliation so complicated that you need to constantly study specific theories of culture or constantly worry every time a new culture enters in that you haven’t done something to “micro-aggress” them by failing to recognize that you’re the dominant culture.
When you’re actually in another culture, you don’t even think about the idea that people are being “micro-aggressive” toward you or are trying to force you into their mold. You recognize and appreciate the cultural expressions and are thankful for the manners they show kindness to you even if it’s not the way you would demonstrate kindness. You recognize things that might seem rude to us as not necessarily rude.
In America, with all this race theory and micro-aggressions, we’ve turned cultural norms into pathologies and made basically decent people into monsters because they (unaware of their own culture) are trying to be nice but are told they are being racist or micro-aggressive. Should we take care to get to know people and not assume they are altogether like us? Of course we should but there is far more going on here. There’s sort of the idea that the culture itself is a form of oppression. “White Privilege” pervades and is a form of “sin” that favors some and disfavors others. If we were in Japan then we might be subject to “Japanese privilege” and the fact that we don’t slurp our soup would disadvantage us in society and we would not see that as a cultural difference but as a pervasive sin that all Japanese people do certain things a certain way or think or talk or act a certain way and don’t think anything of the fact that people that can’t navigate the culture will not be able to be in positions of influence.
Within the Church, then, I see a growing move toward an orthodoxy of “white privilege” that we must accept. Ironically, from the very ministers that generally eschew our Confession as a standard exegesis of the Scriptures and a willingness to be squishy on things like paedocommunion or the RPW or the Sabbath in order to have a big tent, the issue of “white privilege” seems to be fast becoming a given. It’s not exegetically derived but simply assumed to be the case and calls for social justice as part of the Gospel have become non-negotiables in many quarters. There’s sort of a gnostic “…you just can’t know…” idea that casts doubt on the ability of a white man to communicate the Word of God to a “person of color” unless he also acknowledges white privilege and is engaged in socio-economic and political change as well.
But, as I said, some of the ideas that stodgy White dudes who aren’t into social justice can’t communicate past their race group are belied by the fact that it’s these same stodgy guys who are being requested by far flung parts of the world while the “enlightened” seem provincial. That’s my observation at least. If I hadn’t lived overseas and actually served with other cultures then I might buy into some of this and doubt my ability to communicate the real message of reconciliation but I just can’t buy into this stuff that they’re peddling and wonder if the PCA will wake up to the fact that they’re reproducing the trajectory of Walter Rauschenbusch. We seem to think that theological liberalism came from bad intentions but, because ours are good, we’ll escape the fate of everyone who came before us.”
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British National Anthem

Today the government of the United Kingdom triggered Brexit, its exit from the European Union. In honor of this development, allow me to post the second verse of the British national anthem:

2. O Lord our God arise, 

Scatter her enemies 

And make them fall; 

Confound their politics, 

Frustrate their popish tricks, 

On Thee our hopes we fix, 

God save us all! 

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A Call to Pray for Revival

Prayer is an ordinary means of grace that God has often answered in extraordinary power.  God has promised to bless it.  There is no guarantee that God will reward our prayers with such a powerful outpouring of His Spirit that we hope for.  But He encourages us to pray tenaciously, to say, as Jacob, “I… Continue Reading

Source: A Call to Pray for Revival

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Churches unite in prayer for genuine Revival

 

pray4revivalmeme1_2

 

Several churches in the Presbytery of The Dakotas and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church have decided to unite in prayer for Revival at specific times. How to join in prayer:

Please share, and pray.  Details: http://pray4revival.info

Anyone paying attention in recent days can see the dire spiritual condition of the United States of America.  Men cannot help us, God is our only hope.  The great 18th century Presbyterian preacher: Samuel Davies said, “an extraordinary outpouring of the Spirit is the only remedy for a ruined country.”  Several churches in our region have decided to unite together in prayer for a genuine, Spirit-wrought revival.  Would you please join us in prayer, in churches and other groups, and share the above link with others?

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What is a Christian in the USA to do after Obergefell v. Hodges?

What to do in the wake of Obergefell vs. Hodges, what is a Christian to do in the United States of America?

1. Strengthen Marriages

Your witness for the truth of God’s word, and the sanctity of marriage, isn’t very convincing to a confused and hurting world if you are busy not loving your wife, secretly watching pornography, flirting, or disobeying your husband. Make God the center of your marriage, among other reasons, to prove to your children and neighbors that you mean what you say, and to guard against compromise. If we are so disgusted with a perversion of marriage, what are we doing to assert the true definition, and more than that, to persuade others that it’s the way to go? Lead first by example.

2. Teach children in the Lord

Give your children, or use your gifts to help parents in your church to give their children, an education in the Christian faith. Teach them the Scriptures. Teach them to pray and to read the Scriptures for themselves. Make use of the Shorter or Heidelberg Catechism as an introduction to the Christian faith. If at all possible, keep them out of the public schools where they will not only be bombarded, but be tempted to compromise with the world and all its false doctrine at an early and vulnerable age. It’s not like when many of us went to public school. Conscientious dissent in the name of religion will no longer be tolerated. Teach them that they will be hated for the sake of Christ, experiencing persecution much worse than you did in your lifetime, but to rejoice in tribulation, that if they persevere to the end they will receive a crown of glory in heaven.

3. Strengthen the Church

If you’ve been dating the church, marry her now. Join a faithful Bible-believing and preaching church. She needs you as much as you need her. Sure, she has warts, but be an encouragement and not a criticizer. Treat your brothers and sisters in Christ as family, loving them unconditionally, because you are family. And all you have in this world is one another. This world is not our home. We are a holy nation in exile like Israel in Babylon. Let’s not forget Jerusalem but cultivate her fellowship and distinctive ways constantly by investing time, resources, and relationships to strengthen her. As Theodore de Bèze said, “the church is an anvil that has worn out manny a hammer.” America will pass away, but the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which is preeminently manifested through Church on earth, endures forever.

4. Keep the main thing the main thing.

Political battles, hobbies, careers, will try to suck up your time. It takes money to live on, and we can still vote for as long as we still have the vote, but focus more on being a witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Seek opportunities to bring up the gospel in conversation instead of the 2016 presidential elections, or the Supreme Court. The latter will vanish like smoke in the wind, but our Lord Jesus Christ reigns forever, and we are his ambassadors laboring in this earthly kingdom of darkness. Let’s be found doing principally that which he sent us to do.

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6 Ways to Deal With Encroaching Wickedness

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