A Sparkly Lunatic

Fair Warning

Just so that you have ample warning beforehand, I would like to provide an advance heads up that I intend to lay about myself like a coruscating berserker. So that you don’t have to resort to google, what that basically means is “sparkly lunatic.” Some of you may have guessed — from the picture — which direction I intend to go first, and I will give you that. Good guess. But there are some other directions involved also and, as the author of the Volsung Saga once put it, berserkers can turn on a dime.Falwell Trump

An Infelicitous Wall Hanging

Let us roll up our sleeves, spit on our hands, and start with the obvious first. Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki are here photo-opping with the Donald against a wall of various magazine covers that featured Trump, including, right over Becki’s left shoulder, a copy of America’s premier one-handed magazine. In this alliance, such as it is, it is obvious which side is doing all the bending. Donald remains exactly what he was and has been the whole time, no compromise. No compromise is a phrase that has fallen out of the evangelical lexicon of late, and so it is that leaders of the evangelical movement are being schooled in what it means to “not budge” by a shameless fornicator.

The best construction I can put on Falwell’s appalling behavior is that he is craven. In other words, he knows full  well that Trump is a skeeze, but he also knows that Hillary would sink Liberty University to the bottom of the deep blue sea. The Clintons have scores to settle, and I have no doubt that the name Falwell is on their list. I don’t know about you, but I suspect that the Clintons know how to settle scores. In fact, the word “wheelhouse” comes to mind. But it is a sad day when the best defense you can come up with is cowardice. And even with that personal threat as a possible factor, it should be remembered that Falwell endorsed Trump early on, when there were still a number of respectable and viable options for him.

If you are the heir of the Moral Majority, and you have lost the majority part, the responsible move is not to ditch the moral part. Once you get past a certain point in your compromises, the law of gravity takes over for you, and the results are less of a slide and more of a free fall. At this point in our monkey house follies, it would not matter if that wall were covered with pictures of all the top women that Trump had bonked. There still would not be a shortage of evangelical leaders — should we still call them leaders? — willing to shimmy up next to Trump and grin for the camera.

Even if this kind of thing were something you anticipated and predicted, still it is really sad, like that time the sun fell down a hole.

But Wait . . .

So all that was really bad, and I mean pig’s-breakfast-bad, but it was not the worst. The worst was from Russell Moore, whose response to the fiasco was this snide aside:

“If you wondered why younger, theological, gospel-centered evangelicals reacted neg to the old guard Religious Right, well, now you know.”

This is, first, a cheap shot at the old guard Religious Right. It is, secondly, unctuous flattery of gospel-centered hipsters. And it is, third, entirely arbitrary on Moore’s part. I want to say something briefly about the first two, and then settle down for a bit with the third.

When I think of the old guard Religious Right, I think of men like Francis Schaeffer, C. Everett Koop, and Jerry Falwell, Sr. That movement also had its gaudy spectacles — think Pat Robertson — but there were men there like Schaeffer who were used by God to virtually create the evangelical pro-life conscience. For someone like Moore to take this moment, of all moments, to give the back of his hand to someone like Schaeffer is simply gross and ungrateful.

Secondly, from the very start of the next generation, there have been a number of youngsters who were too cool for school, who did not want to give up the notion of “cultural engagement,” but also did not want to be involved in anything so gauche as pro-life activism. And so they went full-tilt into fair trade coffee. Moore calls them “theological,” which means they could justify not picketing an abortion mill with words like perichoretic, and could justify their economic illiteracy with words like communitarian.

One qualification to the above: Moore himself is explicitly pro-life, and as far as he is concerned, has given the cool kids permission to imitate him in that. But lots of them don’t.

Make no mistake. The old guard Religious Right was not above criticism, and that criticism needed to come from younger, theological, gospel-centered evangelicals. But that should mean more Bible, less compromise, more challenges to the ways of the world. Not quarrels over which way we should drift.

It would not look anything like Moore’s project. And here is why.

Prevailing Winds

Falwell lives in a different climate than does Moore, and so Falwell is bending before a different prevailing wind than that which causes Moore to sway so elegantly. Moore is objecting to the direction that Falwell is compromising, not to the fact of the compromise. He is all about the fact of compromise.

When Falwell bends, Moore objects. When Chief Justice Roy Moore refuses to bend, Moore objects. We pipe, and Moore does not dance. We mourn, and he does not weep. The only conclusion is that Moore wants us all to bend in a particular direction. He wants us all to bend in the same direction he is bending.

On another occasion, Russell Moore said that it would be all right with him if Christians started going to same sex mirage wedding receptions. He thought that we shouldn’t go to the ceremony, but that we could go to the reception afterward. I wrote about that at the time, and the link to my response is here. But the link to the video in the article is now dead — that video is now private. Went down the memory hole or something.

But Moore did say that it would be okay for Christians to go to a wedding reception where two dudes were going to kiss, have their first dance, cut the cake, and all of that. And there we are in the corner, Moore-disciples, wide-eyed and eating our reception mints and cashews. One of us whispers . . . are we supposed to clap when they kiss? What about if they give each other tongue?

This is the very same high level of incoherence as was displayed by Falwell in front of Trump’s egoistic wall of shame. But there are two differences. First, Falwell is bending to a reactionary worldliness and Moore is bending to a cool-kids kind of worldliness. That’s why they are bending in different directions. But second, Moore’s compromises are far more dangerous. His prevailing wind, the one from the left, is the real threat.

In other words, Falwell disgraced himself. But Moore’s proposed way is far more disgraceful, and many more people are likely to go for it.

Moore is famous for being embarrassed by the Confederate flag, but I decline to take this as a demonstration of high principle. Appomattox was a century and a half ago. Closer to home, he is also embarrassed by the word evangelical, and refuses to answer to it. I conclude that the problem might be that he is easily embarrassed. More to the point, he is of an embarrassable substance. That kind of guy is easy to steer.

The Southern Baptists would do well to get him away from the helm.

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Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

Trump is the antichrist but Hillary is the beast. Vote for the antichrist; he’s just as evil but not as destructive.

JP Stewart
Member

You’re describing every election since 1992 (and quite a few before that).

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

Are you sure you don’t mean 1988?

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Suppose this was A.D 116 and we were electing one of two caesars. One of them says he’s going to kill all the Christians he can find. The other one says he’s going to limit the killing to, say, a few hundred per year.
I wouldn’t like either choice, but I’d vote for the guy who advertises for limits.
As for the guys doing photo-ops with Trump, well, happy is the man who doesn’t condemn himself in what he approves. (Rom 14:22)

John
Guest
John

I don’t think that verse applies here. The context makes it clear that Paul is talking about one’s actions complying with one’s moral beliefs about issues that are inherently amoral (not immoral). To do something that you think is wrong is wrong for you, even if the action itself isn’t inherently wrong. That’s very different from celebrating and supporting things that clearly go against the teachings of Christ. I understand Christians who vote for Trump as the lesser of two evils. For them it’s a vote against Hillary, not for Trump, but I’ll never understand Christians who actually like and… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Have you tried to understand why people like him?

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Plus, wise men have to consider what the alternative will be.

For example, the next POTUS will pick at least one, possibly three or for SCOTUS positions. We know what Clinton will do. Trump has also presented a list of possible nominees. We at least know what he SAID he will do.

Stuck with the binary choice of Hillary or Trump, pro-life people need to push against the Clinton/Molech ticket.

ashv
Guest
ashv

You’re not ready for the historic first of having a Muslim first lady?

Jill Smith
Member

I think I really have tried, ashv, and while I believe I can understand why some people like him, I have trouble seeing the attitudes underlying that liking as Christian. Natural and human, yes, but not Christian. A willingness to say exactly what is on your mind, with zero regard for whether it is true or helpful or kind, appeals to people who believe they have lost their voice. A willingness to offend people in the defense of truth is often a good thing, but a willingness to offend people in defense of one’s own ego is not. It is… Read more »

Jane
Member

I understand why people like him quite well, not by means of projection or armchair analysis, but by means of hearing what they have to say. I also understand why people like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders and Hillary. Trump supporters really need to get over this idea that other people don’t “get” what they like about Trump. We get what y’all like about him; what we don’t get is how people who claim to follow the Bible as their source of wisdom find those things appealing, and are willing to sacrifice other principles because of the things you like… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Dear Jane, if you could explain why anyone likes Hillary, it would clear up a mystery for me. I have friends who plan to vote for her while they are secretly hoping that Biden or Schumer or Anyone But Hillary gets drafted at the convention. But I have never talked to anyone who says they like her. That is actually quite sad.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I was specifically responding to “I’ll never understand Christians who actually like and want Trump as their political leader” — I wanted to confirm whether this lack of understanding was willful, and so far it seems to be.

(What I find appealing about Trump is that he poses a meaningful threat to American democracy and American principles in general.)

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

But does that explain why the general run of his supporters like him? I’m thinking not. I do wish you could convince them of what you see in him though.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Shocking that someone with a confederate flag as a profile pic would support Trump.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I don’t support Trump.

wtrsims
Member

You smoked another’n out

JP Stewart
Member

Shocking that someone shocked by such a (false) association would support the Lizard Queen.

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

A confederate flag? Really?

You expect people to take you seriously with that emblem of traitors and slavery?

JP Stewart
Member

Traitors based on what? Here’s a interesting take from a website you probably like:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/9/84493/-

“As for ‘treason,’ suffice it to say the Radical Republican lawyers tried, and failed, to come up with a colorable theory to put Jefferson Davis on trial.”

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

Nevertheless, they seceded when they didn’t have to when they felt that their enslaved capital might be devalued, And, they would have killed my great grandfather, who was part of Sherman’s March to the Sea to end the reign of a slave holding plutocracy. Pres. Johnson should never have given any of them clemency. That was a campaign that used census reports to bring the war to the rural wealthy were were both profiting from the war and yet were otherwise isolated from the effects of the war. Hum…since Jefferson Davis’ citizenship was restored in 1979, something I thought was… Read more »

Christopher
Member

“And, they would have killed my great grandfather, who was part of Sherman’s March to the Sea to end the reign of a slave holding plutocracy.”

The civil war wasn’t about ending slavery, and it would be foolish to say it was the good guys in the north defeating the evil guys in the south.

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

You’re right that the Union didn’t begin to fight about ending slavery. It was to keep the Union together. That’s probably mainly what my great-grandfather fought for, preserving the Union. However, slavery was the root cause of the Civil War. The confederacy was ruled by a slave holding plutocracy. Even Southern white people who didn’t own slaves had a stake in the slave system, in the same way that when I lived in rural Nebraska, I had a stake in farm equipment even though I just had a lot in the village. Owning slaves was something to which many Southern… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

The USA flag is an emblem of traitors and slavery. How do you feel about it?

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

The difference is that the USA flag symbolized, however much America has failed horribly at realizing it, the ideal that “All men are created equal.” And later, women as well.

The confederacy never aspired to that. There is a reason why the preamble to the confederate constitution mentions God, and the Constitution doesn’t. Confederates and neo-confederates believed that God confers white male Christian privilege upon them.The Constitution’s preamble aspired to “We the people.”

ashv
Guest
ashv

So outcomes don’t matter nearly as much as intentions.

Where have I heard that before?

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

I don’t think I wrote that. Intentions matter, but outcomes are intentions realized…unless of courses, they have unintended and unwanted consequences.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The outcome of the ideal “All men are created equal” is a government formed by traitors and slaveowners, and that now glorifies sodomy and abortion.

The Confederacy doesn’t exist, and you heap blame upon it. The USA exists (and still wants your money) and you excuse it from fault. Why is that?

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

Yet moral and intellectual bankrupts waving confederate flags and spouting the usual outrageous, self privileging bigotry still exist.

Christopher
Member

And you know they’re intellectually and morally bankrupt becsuse they’re waving confederate flags…

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

Right…using a banner used when fighting for a slave holding plutocracy and white supremacy is a moral and intellectually pure activity.

Christopher
Member

Moral purity is defined by the bible, I’m not sure what intellectual purity would mean.

ashv
Guest
ashv

*gasp* WHERE??

Seriously though, who cares.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Confederates and neo-confederates believed that God confers white male Christian privilege upon them.

As opposed to progressives who believe the Devil did it? ;)

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

Progressives don’t need the devil to explain why white privilege attract’s immoral people.

ashv
Guest
ashv

So if you don’t believe God confers white male privilege… who did?

Christopher
Member

“The difference is that the USA flag symbolized, however much America has failed horribly at realizing it, the ideal that “All men are created equal.” And later, women as well.”

Except for the native americans of course.

wtrsims
Member

TWO IN ONE DAY!!

I might start calling you the fastest gun on Mablog with all your triggering!

Nat
Guest
Nat

chlamydia vs gonorrhoea Not saying which might be which

Jim-N-NC
Guest
Jim-N-NC

Per the Washington Post, “[Liberty] Students now receive over $800 million dollars a year in federal aid”. What, pray tell, would happen to the institution if the spigot of Federal dollars was turned off?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/07/15/liberty-university-a-hub-of-conservative-politics-owes-rapid-growth-to-federal-student-loans/

John
Guest
John

diploma mill

Katecho
Member

Perhaps the cost of a college degree might correct back down to market value?

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Best response of the day.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Perhaps the cost of a college degree might correct back down to market value?

Problem is, they wouldn’t turn it off for everybody. And those for whom they did turn it off would instantly become ex-institutions.

Jim-N-NC
Guest
Jim-N-NC

One part of the problem is related to the standard by which the government will use to deem acceptable speech. The trajectory is already apparent there. The other part of the problem would be the choices that Christian institutions make that would increase the likelihood of dependence on the Government. I have no idea of how Liberty’s finances are structured, but would think that if that level of funding disappeared it would cease to exist.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

“We’re not FORCING you to close down. If you like your university, you can keep your university. And we’re not FORCING you to change your beliefs. But if you don’t change your beliefs, we will stop giving you money while we continue giving money to your competitors. But we’re not FORCING you to do anything. That would be unconstitutional, and we’re all about the Constitution, you know.” Edit: P.S. This can be applied to many different situations in the US. It is a big reason why I am in favor of an attempt at peaceful secession. It’s also an illustration… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Our government is using the power of fiat currency to control behavior. The sooner they are stripped of this power, the better. They are creating moral hazards, destroying price discovery, and making generations of people into debt slaves. Unfortunately, they may only be stripped of this power through the failure of the fiat currency itself. It won’t be pretty, and it may take a long time, given how willing we are to continue to believe in the fiat paper. It may look like Venezuela. Edit: We need some lesser magistrates, who are not slaves of their own human nature, to… Read more »

adad0
Member

I thought student loans, aka “federal aid” were paid by students ?

Are “Obama and democrats” going to start paying “their fair share”? ????

Jane
Member

Not all aid is loans, some is direct grants. So the feds are definitely paying some of it.

Katecho
Member

The federal government is also searching diligently as to how they can forgive the student loans. They just have to do the calculus on whether taxpayers will care about being handed the bill, and whether that will outnumber the students whose votes will have been purchased through the forgiveness of the debt. It’s all just fiat paper, right?

PB
Guest
PB

Excellent article. Does Al Mohler ever express any dissent from Russell Moore and his followers?

John
Guest
John

Mohler is the one who put him in power. He was Mohler’s protoge at SBTS for years.

AMA
Guest
AMA

Just last week, Mohler gave Moore the SBTS Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award.

JP Stewart
Member

Was that for his support of mosque building?

AMA
Guest
AMA

Given the public record of Moore’s theological pronouncements (e.g., Christians should attend gay wedding receptions), it’s very irritating that Mohler and SBTS would give him that award.

Bonhoeffer1945
Guest
Bonhoeffer1945

You’re kidding, right?

Andrew Lindsey
Guest
Andrew Lindsey

Re: “When I think of the old guard Religious Right…”

-Isn’t it possible that you are using reader-response hermeneutics here? If Moore intended others than those you mentioned, and if he specifically would honor Schaeffer, then doesn’t much of your argument fall apart?

Matthew Heimiller
Guest

This is petty. A better interpretation of the quote would be if the old guard acts like Jr, It’s their own fault, while not all of the old guard acted like him, the rejection of Jr. is a legitimate rejection. Sons are like fathers after all so maybe don’t write off the root of youthful disaffection.

wtrsims
Member

I like appreciate this. As I’ve said many times before, there are plenty of reasons to dislike Trump, but a fair number of those who support him are just trying to make diamonds out of the coal they’ve been given and men like Moore & Co.–as represented by such prestigious acronyms like CBMW, TGC, ERLC)–shoot them in the back. There very well may be worldly excesses in the direction of the right, but contrary to Thabiti’s characterizations, it’s the full-fledged hedonistic-like bounding to the left that’s the real issue at hand. The KKK, even in its heyday (if murdering blacks… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

For someone like Moore to take this moment, of all moments, to give the back of his hand to someone like Schaeffer is simply gross and ungrateful.

I’ve got my qualms with Moore, but I read his “old guard” statement similar to how I read Wilson’s statement about small breasted ninnymugginses, or whatever it was. I didn’t take it for all women, and I took Moore to only mean folks like Dobson and Falwell Jr. and Franklin Graham (those old guards who are actually betraying us), not stalwarts like Schaeffer and Koop.

JP Stewart
Member

Dobson, Falwell and Franklin Graham have betrayed us, but oh-so-progressive-and-tolerant Moore hasn’t?

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Dobson, Falwell and Franklin Graham have betrayed us, but oh-so-progressive-and-tolerant Moore hasn’t?

In some ways, yes he has. But that doesn’t mean he was giving the back of his hand to Schaeffer.

Jefferson White
Guest

I have long thought that serious Christians need to engage in what the Confucians called “the rectification of names.” Our vocabulary is simply no longer suited to the times. I believe, for example, that the word “progressive” is no longer anything more than a euphemism for the word “pagan.” So that is the word we should use. Of course, there are problems to be worked out. For example, what do we call those pagans who are political conservatives and are neither Christians nor Jews, but who are our allies? What do we call those evangelical Christians who call themselves progressives… Read more »

John
Guest
John

I disagree that they are equivalent. Paganism describes one’s relation to God. Progressivism describes one’s political goals. It’s very possibly for a pagan to not be a progressive. Many libertarians or conservative atheists might fit into that description.

Jefferson White
Guest

The twin moral pillars of the progressive are the mass murder of the unborn and the mainstreaming of sexual perversion. These are political goals which serve the progressive’s spiritual goal, which is the creation of a new kind of society based upon “the equality of all human identities.” No one who is a Christian can possibly serve these goals. These are the goals of paganism in our time. Progressives are pagans. That is their defining characteristic. It is time that we start calling them that. The pseudo-identities of “liberal” and “conservative” are fading as terms that describe reality. We have… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

“Progressive” is an important term because it captures a specific heresy descended from the Puritans. Ignoring their history makes them more difficult to understand.

Jefferson White
Guest

To pretend that we are engaged in a primarily political battle in dealing with progressives or that we are battling a particular Christian heresy, rather than warring with the full-blooded return of paganism, is to fundamentally misunderstand the character of our time.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Paganism in the pre-Christian sense can’t return; its remnants (Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, etc) aren’t growing and are being diluted by Christianity and various deformations of it. The only growing religions are Christianity and its heresies (Islam, Mormonism, and liberalism).

Jefferson White
Guest

The early church divided the world into Christian, Jew, and pagan. That is the sense in which I use the word pagan.
Also: the ancient pagan world shared a common religious conscious in the very multiplicity of their beliefs, since all beliefs were assumed to be at bottom the same belief. In that same sense, today’s pagan believes in “the equality of all identities.”
In the ancient pagan world, the gods, nature, and the state were all one entity. So, too, is the belief of today’s pagans.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Yes, we call it the “early church” because it didn’t have large established heresies to combat. :-)

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Christianity is actually a heresy of Zoroastrianism.

ashv
Guest
ashv

So’s your mom.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I see Katecho’s silliness is wearing off on you. Someone really needs to develop a vaccine for it.

jonmnoel
Member

ashv, Can you explain this comment more? What specific heresy do you refer to? Does the term come from them?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Today’s progressives are the spiritual (and sometimes biological) descendants of the Puritans via their children the Unitarians. They retained the Puritan views about work, liberty, and society while throwing out all that inconvenient God and Bible stuff.

jonmnoel
Member

Their theology led directly to the Unitarians? How so?
I’m reading about the French Reformed Churches; I just started reading about Cameron, and the huge effect he had within French Reformed churches, and how his theological followers also veered into unitarianism, or at least this is what I’ve gathered so far. Is it a similar connection? I would have thought reformed theology would have had to travel a far and winding road through arminianism to get to the Unitarians, who don’t believe in much of anything.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The short answer is “The Half-way Covenant” — here’s one version of the long answer, as documented by the Unitarians: http://uudb.org/articles/unitariancontroversy.html

As you say, they did travel that road through Arminianism, and were a long way down it by the time of the American Revolution.

ashv
Guest
ashv

This quote from Time Magazine in 1942 illustrates the connection, describing the globalist agenda of “organized U.S. Protestantism’s super-protestant new program for a just and durable peace”: https://nickbsteves.wordpress.com/foundational-readings/american-malvern/

jonmnoel
Member

Thanks, this is pretty remarkable. One more reason to me to stay away from autonomous, independent, Congregational church governments, accountable only to the flock. But also, the whole idea of refusing communion to confessing believers, and demanding some kind of regeneration experience instead of simply expecting people to obey God’s commands, and ex-communicating them when they refuse to, both seem to have had far-reaching consequences.

Evan Logan
Guest
Evan Logan

I think some clarification is due on your part to actually find out what “old guard” Moore is referring to. As one of the younger, theological, gospel-centered evangelicals (and SBC member), I resonated with his tweet because of the context of this year’s Southern Baptist Convention, where the generational divide was contrasted more than ever. I’m not surprised by the Jr.s, Paula Whites, etc. being on the list and I don’t think Moore would be either. But I interpreted “old guard” as the SBC old guard of Ronnie Floyd, Jack Graham and Robert Jeffress who carry a lot of clout… Read more »

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”

ashv
Guest
ashv

It’s a bit rich for a man whose “pro-life conscience” doesn’t extend to holding women responsible for killing their children to accuse Falwell of compromise and cravenness.

AMA
Guest
AMA

Transplanted back to the 19th century, Moore’s logic would have him defending plantation owners against prosecution for buying slaves. After all, they are merely the unknowing victims of the predatory slave auctioneers, right?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Moore? I am referring to Wilson.

AMA
Guest
AMA

Well, I am referring to Moore.

Ben
Guest
Ben

When has Wilson espoused that view? I’m genuinely curious.

ashv
Guest
ashv
Ben
Guest
Ben

Wow. Thanks.

Katecho
Member

Wilson doesn’t give women a blanket pass, but he does recognize there are a lot of young women who have been raised in a cultural bath that teaches that, at a certain stage of pregnancy, the fetus is just a lump of cells. Wilson has argued that this doesn’t change the fact of the dead baby, but that we need to distinguish manslaughter from first degree murder. Wilson wrote: And the view about the mothers, taken as a class, is that they have been fraudulently manipulated into a form of negligent manslaughter. That kind of problem is best answered with… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

So the act of having an abortion is to be put in the same category as when someone, say, accidentally runs over a child while driving over the speed limit in a school zone? I don’t see the similarity there at all. The woman or girl is acting with the intention of killing the child. She doesn’t “accidentally” wander into an abortion clinic. Perhaps the reason so many women don’t understand the gravity of what they’re doing (and that’s a pretty big assumption in and of itself) is because they’re never held accountable for this behavior. If we treat them… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Ben wrote: The woman or girl is acting with the intention of killing the child. Ben seems to be ignoring the situation that I described, where a young woman has been raised in a culture that has told her, repeatedly and forcefully, that the fetus is just a lump of cells at that stage, and nothing like a person. It is one thing to assume motives and intents, and it is another thing to prove them in a court, under a murder charge. Now someone could dispute the ratio of such young women to those who do know that their… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

It seems that, in the scenario you’re describing, the girl or woman has NEVER been exposed to arguments which counter her understanding of the fetus as merely a lump of tissue. In the information age that seems quite unlikely. Let’s say that, conservatively, 90% of women who have abortions were exposed to pro-life arguments at some point in their life. I’ll grant your and Doug’s approach to the other 10% for the sake of this argument. But those remaining 90% made a CHOICE about which view they would hold to and act upon, and they chose the one involving the… Read more »

Katecho
Member

The information age does not preclude information ghettos, and information echo chambers. None of this is an excuse for abortion. God knows the hearts of every one of these young women, but the civil magistrate doesn’t. The standards of proof are high for first-degree murder conviction, and should be. It seems that Ben is no longer disagreeing with Wilson, in principle, but only in degree. Fine. I may be closer to Ben than to Wilson in terms of the degree to which women are specifically aware of what they are doing. However, it is not the case that Wilson has… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

You’ve established a false dichotomy by suggesting that a focus on adequate punishment for abortion comes at the expense of a focus on saving lives. I grant no such thing. I would suggest just the opposite. In a previous post above, I theorized a way in which punishment for abortion could lead to less reckless behavior on the part of the woman in the future, including of course getting pregnant. I could come up with several other theories about how punishing abortions could reduce abortions. Don’t you believe that it’s the government’s job to punish wicked and violent behavior? And… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Ben wrote: You’ve established a false dichotomy by suggesting that a focus on adequate punishment for abortion comes at the expense of a focus on saving lives. I grant no such thing. I would suggest just the opposite. Ironically, Ben (the anarchist), seems to be arguing from a position of idealized totalitarian control, where he assumes the power to just reach out and push both buttons to immediately enact protections and punishments. He forgets where he is in the story, and how we are still in a culture that has the law on its side, leaving us with the burden… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Perhaps I painted with too broad a brush — but it seems to me that it’s also inaccurate to call a man cowardly for approving of a front-runner on the one hand, and then ding him for giving that endorsement back when there was plenty of doubt he’d come out on top.

bethyada
Member

ashv’s “tweet” comment didn’t bring out the nuances of your post.

Perhaps Moore’s tweet wasn’t long enough to be nuanced?

Ben
Guest
Ben

I feel there’s no need to fret about this situation. At some point, Moore will overreach in a big way that can’t be ignored, and he’ll be sent packing, resulting in a pendulum swing toward hard conservatism within the SBC. It’s happened before, it will happen again. Either that or the SBC will go the way of mainline leftist protestantism (unlikely).

Everything is always and forever a trajectory. Time will rectify this matter.

Jim F.
Guest
Jim F.

This is the smartest response I’ve read yet. Yes, it will be either/or. Although if I had to guess, I’d say the SBC will go the way of the mainline. Moore has powerful backers and I see a pretty large exodus coming from rank-and-file and some pastors.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

You might be right about the fate of the SBC. What, if anything, do you think will take it’s place as the big evangelical denomination?

Katecho
Member

Perhaps the Church in Africa, or in China? If that is the case, it might be a big charismatic evangelical denomination.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

That doesn’t sound like a good thing. I don’t mean the part about in Africa or China, I mean the charismatic part. Somewhere in the world some Church needs to take the place once occupied by the Anglophone Church, or else maybe we’ve come near the end of all things. I can’t know that, but I can’t help wondering.

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Russell Moore Powerful Backer = George Soros Athiest Globalist

Michael C.
Guest
Michael C.

I think you’ve read too much of your own meaning into Moore’s tweet. Here’s what I get from it: the Religious Right gradually sacrificed principle to maintain a seat at the table; Falwell Jr has taken this weakness of the movement to absurd new heights. The RR was used by the GOP then, and it’s being used by Trump now.

ashv
Guest
ashv

It would have been the same either way… as demonstrated by Wilson’s endorsement of Cruz.

wtrsims
Member

The Hellion of Havana, The Bruiser from New Brunswick, The Golden Fists of the Golden Plates — TED CRUZ!!

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

You forgot Canadian

Matthew Grant McDaniel
Guest
Matthew Grant McDaniel

I think you’re painting a picture of baby+bathwater with giant strokes. Moore isn’t back-handing Schaeffer, and I think he has plenty of rebuke for the “cool kids” of which you write.

This was a well-aimed and deserved slap in Richard Land’s face.

Stephen Anderson
Guest

“Evangelical”, a term that is rapidly coming to mean “a Christian becoming a liberal”.
As far as Trump, my current thought is to pull the Republican lever to cancel out a Hillary supporter. But the results will be determined by God, and probably a demonstration of His wrath on a nation that has forgotten Him.

Consistorian
Guest

Russell Moore has issues. John Piper has issues. Doug Wilson has issues. But I love and respect and listen to all of them. Do I like Russell’s playing to the hipsters? No. Nor do I like Doug’s playing to the federal visionaries. But I listen to each of them where their thinking and teaching corresponds to the scriptures. Accept what is good and leave the chaff behind. I chose to leave this post behind.

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

“…they are bending in different directions. But second, Moore’s compromises are far more dangerous. His prevailing wind, the one from the left, is the real threat.”

Matt
Guest
Matt

“Closer to home, he is also embarrassed by the word evangelical, and refuses to answer to it.”

Does he? Well it does have a bad reputation. And the usual proposed remedy from the righties is to just do all the things caused the bad reputation in the first place, only harder this time.

wtrsims
Member

Well, only if you reject those who think that whatever the particular issue should have a bad reputation. The Left has functioned that way for a long, long time. Is being gay a bad thing? Then be gayer, and this time do so in the middle of the street. Do Christians think that everyone should be Christian? Then, when a Muslim shoots up a gay bar on Latin night, blame Christians for it! The Right has acted in some ways similar, but never to a degree that any leftward/pagan creep was stopped rather than only slowed. It’s about time that… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

It is interesting that Moore seems to take a “it’s mostly (or all) our fault” with regard to racial issues, but he completely rejects assigning any guilt to Christianity for Orlando.

Matthew Heimiller
Guest

While I’m around. This idea that any position other than Christendom, Christian Nationhood, or Wilson’s pet eschatology is “bending the knee” to “liberals” needs to stop. If marriage is intractably religious then religious dissent is covered as free exercise. That is, to eschew the DOMA/obergefell style battles over a single meaning for a word and instead say that the government should recognize dissenting definitions regardless of SSM or the traditional definition being the prevailing hegemony at any given moment. But don’t listen to me, honest disagreement isn’t possible. Just say I’m going wobbly on this crucial issue and then take… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Personally, I think it’s naïve to think that the government will both recognize SSM as equal to traditional marriage while also recognizing and respecting dissenting definitions of marriage.

AMA
Guest
AMA

Exactly. The view that the State can be neutral on anything is a myth borne out of the Enlightenment.

ashv
Guest
ashv

“Free exercise of religion” is a liberal concept. Why exactly do we need to stop pointing this out?

David Henry
Guest
David Henry

I took Serrated Edge to be a defense of satire directed against the old guard Religious Right. But maybe I was reading the snarky attitude of parts of Moscow too much into that particular work?

1689Williams
Guest
1689Williams

“More to the point, he is of an embarrassable substance.”

I see what you did there.

Roger
Guest
Roger

I am generally a fan of Russell Moore, but that being said, I really do appreciate your criticism here–I think it’s on point. A huge, HUGE temptation for any younger person (believer or not) is the great sense of satisfaction one gets from correcting or rebuking one’s elders. All those people who told you to sit down and be quiet, who smacked away your teen idealism with “you’ll understand when you’re older,” all those people who wouldn’t let you hang out with the cool kids when it’s not like you were going to drink or anything….and now you get the… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

To continue your train of thought, don’t be surprised if egalitarianism, open borders, celebration of sodomy, etc. all become uncool and boring in five to ten years.

wtrsims
Member

Didn’t Salon already post an article a day or so ago about some 16 y-o girl (now 18) choosing to lose her virginity to her dad because she “never felt comfortable with another man” or some such garbage?

ashv
Guest
ashv

It’s sure going to be tough to sort out the journalists that need millstones hung around their necks from the ones that just need to be strung up from the lampposts.

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

A lynch joke from a person with a confederate flag symbol. Who could have predicted that!

JD Hall
Guest

Oh, thank you so much for this article. I appreciate it greatly. I pray people will soon understand that the polemicists have been right about him for some time, and be well-warned.

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Thank you JD for informing of this long ago!!!

Occidoxy
Guest

By “one handed magazine,” I’m sure you meant to suggest its unequal treatment of the sexes.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Attack the presumptive Republican nominee so that Hillary wins. brilliant.

Katecho
Member

Just because the Democratic party is bankrupt, it doesn’t mean that the Republican party can’t be bankrupt too. We need to fear God more than we fear Hillary (or Trump). This didn’t happen over night.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Agreed. We should also use the tools at hand to do good; destroying Hillary and the gop wing of Codevilla’s ruling class is a positive good. The Reagan Coalition has chosen Trump as the means of destruction. It is very interesting that the Christian laity is ignoring their “leadership” on this issue. Its like the Holy Spirit is moving on the waters, confounding the wise and the learned. His people hear His voice. My role in this election is to just pray. Ending the evils of multi-culturalism and godless globalism will not happen easily. Which segues into another point. During… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

At least Hillary is a grown up who understands basic governance. She would be bad; he would be catastrophic.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Of course he would be catastrophic! That’s the point. Wailing and gnashing of teeth among team heathen is just the muzak on the elevator up to the executive suite!

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Who’s wailing and gnashing their teeth? If Trump actually is the GOP nominee, I predict Hillary will carry at least 40 states and maybe 45. According to the latest polling data, with Trump heading the ticket even Texas is starting to turn purple.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Timothy, Do you write off as heathens everyone who objects to Trump, including everyone who has done so on this blog? And do you really think Trump is other than?

timothy
Guest
timothy

No.
I don’t know what your second question is.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

A heathen.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Trump has stated that he is a Presbyterian, which, presumably, makes him a brother in Christ.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Ask yourself why you feel compelled to hedge it with “presumably”. Ask yourself if you presume the same about Hillary, she whose destruction you stated would be a positive good, because you have same reason to presume she is a sister in Christ.

timothy
Guest
timothy

There is no hedge on my part. The “presumably” was for your benefit.

I see God working on and in Mr. Trump, as He does with all of us who love Him.

There is no truth in Hillary.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Well, you based your presumably on the fact that Trump stated he is a Presbyterian, and nothing else about him. By that reasoning you should presume Clinton, long known to have identified as Methodist, is a sister in Christ. Now, God worked has worked through heathens (though not to their credit) to chastise His people before, and sometimes to punish other heathens, so in that sense I suppose it’s possible we might see God working through Trump. What you haven’t seen is Trump following the admonition of John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:8. On the other hand we have heard… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

This is not true. I see the Lord at work in Him. You do not. I cannot convince you of this, but you asked me why I do what I do. As for “brother in Christ” The Lord is true to His. My reliance and faith is in Him, not Presbyterians or Baptists or Catholics or…. I have experienced first-hand His mercy . You speak of Trump’s crassness, the guy is a piker compared to what I was…and yet the Lord is working, faithfully, in me. He did not abandon me when I did far worse than Trump. Do you… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

What part of what I said isn’t true Timothy? You said : “Trump has stated that he is a Presbyterian, which, presumably, makes him a brother in Christ.” I.e. stating he is a Presbyterian makes him a brother in Christ. So it wasn’t that. Clinton does identify as a Methodist. So it wasn’t that As regards God working though heathens, though not to their credit – I can give you Scripture references if you like. That part is not untrue. Now unless you can show me where Trump has professed repentance, and born fruit in keeping with repentance, that part… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

JohnM,

You are not the Lord. You are not the/a filter through which I see what is in front of my eyes.

For fruits, I see the love of his children. I see the devotion to his wife and their child. I see a strong love for his people and, most importantly, I see a man who states that he is a Christian and I see the Holy Spirit working .

Why are you trying to convince me otherwise?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I am not the Lord. Don’t look for a filter through which to see reality, but if you must have one, let it be the Bible. Do you think loving one’s children makes one a Christian or constitutes fruit of repentance? It does not. Hindus love their children. Muslims love their children. Animists love their children. Atheists love their children. No religion-ists love their children. By the way, when you speak of “devotion to his wife..” which one do you mean? Is he as “devoted” to the current one as he has been to past ones? Why am I trying… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

There is a Catholic writer I follow. He is huge on orthodoxy, yet… https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/defend-the-faithful/ The Mass started off okay, but irritated me that the priest seemed intent on doing some little, showy things that were not part of the Mass. When he went into his homily, my blood began to boil…for he made it clear there was no real resurrection, but that Jesus was merely resurrected “in our hearts.” (Chicago priests seem particularly prone to this ‘no real resurrection’ heresy, thinking Christ merely a soothing fairy tale. Something they and atheists have in common, only disagreeing about whether or not… Read more »

bethyada
Member

He also lives in a culture where (some of) these things are viewed positively. I think one can always find in a specific man beliefs or actions that coincide with Christianity. A helpful way to ask this question is: Is a man becoming more like Christ?

timothy
Guest
timothy

bingo.

Jill Smith
Member

Dearest Timothy, please reassure me that the capital H in your first sentence was a typo!

timothy
Guest
timothy

heh. thank you.

“I see the Lord at work in him.”

On a side note, in some programming languages there is a form of naming named CamelCase, WhereinTheProgrammerStringsTogetherWordsWithoutSpacesButDeliniatedWithCapitalLettersLikeThis.

A Side Effect Of This is That it bleeds Out Into real Life!

perhapSasolutioNiStOcapitalizEtheElasTletteRbuTaSyoUcaNseEthEeffecTiSnoTverYconducivEtOclaritY

Jill Smith
Member

A migraine waiting to happen.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

At least you’re a grown up who values basic governance.

K2, I fear Hillary will be equally catastrophic, just in a longer run. Basic governance skills matter, but that’s not all that matters.

You are correct Clinton will be bad, but why do you think so? I know why I think so, but I wouldn’t think your reasons would be the same as all of mine.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

For all the thunder from the right about how she’s practically a Marxist, if you look at her actual policy positions, record in the Senate, and record as Secretary of State, she’s actually not much of a leftist at all. I worry that she would start another war in the Middle East, ramp up the war on drugs that Obama has been trying to wind down, and be too close to Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. I fear that her support for globalization and free trade will undermine American jobs, and I really don’t like her ties… Read more »

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Russell Moore was an aide to Democrat US Representative Gene Taylor of Mississippi so this is to be expected. It has always been his agenda.

Tony Huy
Guest
Tony Huy

I only follow this blog from time to time. That’s not because I don’t appreciate it. I really do. Few seems to connect the dots so clearly as Doug Wilson. Though at the end of the day, I’m not always sure I agree with the conclusion, I don’t remember if I’ve ever thought “Wow, that argument didn’t flow from that argument at all.” Other people, I think that often. This being the case, I’m baffled that Doug would make the leap of “old-guard” as a bash against Schaeffer. That seems a bit uncalled for and if the conclusion from that… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Wilson doesn’t normally do guest posts on his blog, but he has posted a very similar critique from a friend, and he intends to follow up. So it doesn’t appear that Wilson is deaf to this specific criticism, or that he wants to silence it. We’ll see how he responds.

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

Even if Wilson’s assumptions about Moore’s comments are totally unjustified, whatever Moore might have said to Wilson if Wilson had reached out to him before writing this post would have nothing to do with what Moore has to say to the hipsters, and I think that’s a fair point to comment on, particularly given Moore’s status as a public figure and spokesman for certain ideas, even if Wilson did get it wrong.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Here is a very interesting piece, written by an outspoken Christianity-hating atheist, on the relationship between Trump and evangelicals. You will mostly disagree with his comments about Christianity, but it’s hard to argue with his commentary on the state of evangelical influence on politics:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2016/06/22/our-job-is-done-atheists/

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Something like the pope summoning a Norman warlord to the defense of Rome, perhaps.

Ilíon
Member

Douglas Wilson:… when there were still a number of respectable and viable options for him.

I think that by “number”, you mean “one” … and by “one”, you mean one of the two Constitutionally-illegal non-natural born citizens. who were in the race.

James
Guest
James

Another misguided critique from Willson. He makes a good point about flippantly dismissing wholesale the Moral Majority, but then he turns around and commits the same error himself. As in his post about the confederate flag, he reads legions into the opponents of the position in question. Moore wasn’t justifying all “young evangelicals” – his qualification was not intended to define all of them – but rather delimit a sadly small subset (most of whom in my experience are proactively pro-life). But Wilson’s cynical eye can only see self-flattery here … and compromise…where there is none apparent.

Coyote287
Guest
Coyote287

So that you don’t have to resort to google, what that basically means is “sparkly lunatic.”

Too late, I didn’t read the next sentence.

cborah
Member

This is all kinds of off, Doug. Have you read any Moore? You’re smarter than this dross.

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Yes, he is fully aware of Russell Moore’s agenda THAT is why he has written this article. And the rest of us are catching on.

jon edwards
Guest
jon edwards

The first few paragraphs are great, Doug. Thanks for that. The invective against Moore that follows is a case study in the arbitrariness you’re attempting to pin on him. I mean…like…this little rant, sparkly as it was, came out of left field. Or maybe not even from the field of play at all. At least Moore’s commentary had the benefit of a connection between the public life of the current Religious Right’s leadership and the disposition of younger evangelicals as it relates to said leadership’s…well…”leadership.” Which connection, by the way, disqualifies Moore’s comments as arbitrary. Your screed suffers from no… Read more »

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Russell Moore Fan Boy

jon edwards
Guest
jon edwards

Dear self-important, Dougie Wils Kool-aide drinking, patronizing, conspiracy theorist malcontent:
I never read, listen to, talk about, or even pay attention to Russell Moore. But think me a fanboy if it anneals the axe you’re attempting to grind. Perhaps it is appropriate that you advocate church membership where doctrinal concern is scant enough to eschew denominational affiliation. Less there to get your dander up.

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Not sure what you said but more power to you

jon edwards
Guest
jon edwards

.

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

Former…because of Russell Moore. And all of you should be Former Baptists also!!! It’s the only way to shut down Russell Moore. Go to a non denominational church instead to help shut down the 3-4 million dollar Russell Moore ERLC budget. Can you believe it?!?! Southern Baptists laying off 600-800 missionaries so they have the money to pay Russell Moore (a former Democrat aide to Gene Taylor of Mississippi), his six figure salary and 3-4 million dollar ERLC budget all while laying off missionaries!!! DO NOT TITHE TO THE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS!!!!!!!!! Your tithes are paying for Russell Moore and his… Read more »

Former Baptist
Guest
Former Baptist

So, the Russell Moore Fan Boys are out in full force now to defend him. Too late

JP Stewart
Member

Looks like the UK is leaving the EU. A good development, and one related to the Trump phenomenon in the U.S. http://affluentinvestor.com/2016/06/trump-brexit/

“Under EU law, anyone with a European passport is entitled to move anywhere else in Europe. The UK has no legal right under EU law to control its own borders. This is the primary argument in favor of Brexit, which is why it’s been dismissed by elites as nothing more than an expression of racism.”

Maybe the European elites can have their own sit-ins with bathroom breaks and catered food.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Russell Moore doesn’t hate Trump because of his lifestyle or anything like that.

Russell Moore hates Trump because the NYT hates Trump.

And the NYT hates Trump because Trump doesn’t hate white people.

timothy
Guest
timothy

CHUCK TODD: Very quickly, Dr. James Dobson, a long-time evangelical leader has said that very recently, Donald Trump accepted a relationship with Christ and that he is now a “baby Christian”, that within the last few weeks, he became a born-again Christian. What can you tell me about that? And is that a fair way to describe him? Is he now an evangelical Christian? Is that the way to describe Donald Trump’s faith? https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/06/26/paul-manafort-nails-it-clinton-is-a-globalist-donald-trump-is-not-chuck-todd-interview-video/#more-117958 The Holy Spirit is very, very sneaky! Look guys, He loves these sorts of surprises. You have all these comfortable, full-of-themselves theological types huffing and puffing… Read more »

vRico
Guest
vRico

So who are you interested in for Prez Doug?

Abiy Markos Kaltiso
Guest
Abiy Markos Kaltiso

To assert that Moore was referring to Schaeffer as part of the Old guard is a reach if I have ever seen one.

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

You don’t think that Falwell Senior wouldn’t be acting just like his son? He would have been in the thick of things just sucking up attention like the Death Star in the Star Wars movie sucked up stars.

Christopher
Member

You mean the starkiller base?

Gregory Peterson
Guest
Gregory Peterson

Yes I did, thanks! I had forgotten its name.