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Everybody’s a Critic

” I do not know what possessed him to strangle the SCOTUS nomination of Merrick Garland in the cradle . . .” Under the circumstances, where are the metaphor police, when you really need them?

A Dad

A Dad, it’s an expression. From the olden days.

Trump Hesitancy

Your description of your hesitancy in voting for Trump mirrors my own, and I beg you to not be too hard on yourself (or me) for misreading the signs. The signs were, even in retrospect, that Trump was not to be trusted, and in many important ways, I still believe that is worth mulling, should he gear up for a 2024 run. The only conclusion I can draw regarding Trump’s role in the abolition of Roe is that, like in the fight between David and Goliath, God always wins His battles in the end. It was not Trump, and it was not the Trump supporters, who won last week.

But the lesson is worth noting, and I hope we learn the right one. I hope we do not start looking for other Trumps in the future. His character flaws are still many, and the evidence clearly shows that he is no Constitutional scholar.

No, Trump is a pragmatist. And he made a bargain with Conservatives who were themselves unwilling from a position of authority to take on the left and the media (but I repeat myself) on judges. Unlike the “reputable Republicans” we’ve become accustomed to (and angry at) over the years, Trump’s pragmatism demanded that he keep his word on judges. And he did. By God’s grace, he did.

We don’t need to chase after another Trump, whose signals are difficult to read and whose actions are difficult to predict because of his greatly publicized flaws. We just need someone who will do what he says he’s going to do, who **also** says he will do the right thing. Self-government is meaningless if the people cannot predict—at least in broad strokes—how someone will govern in office.

For decades we have voted for “reputable” people who we thought would do what they said they would, but didn’t. They voted for a promise that turned out to be false, and therefore could not say that they were governing themselves. And many people didn’t trust Trump because his character indicated he wouldn’t do what he said he would do. To reasonable people, he was unpredictable. That isn’t any more “self-government” than flipping a coin or rolling dice. Our lesson ought not be that we should roll the dice.

So let us be both grateful and humble. God wins his battles in the end. He is gracious. But we must walk faithfully whatever path that is before us, not try to “game the system” for our own glory.

Cam

Cam, thanks for the feedback. I do believe that I had grounds for my doubts back then. I wasn’t hallucinating. All my reasons still make sense to me—so I haven’t apologized for my 2016. But I am acknowledging the swing and a miss of my 2016 vote. And I can’t get away from the irony of the fact that the pragmatist Trump was far more principled than the principled ones, who are far more pragmatic, as they see it, than he was.

Roe Reversal

On Roe Reversal Rainbow Month: I’m a pretty staunch Federalist/Libertarian, and this goes along with my engineering degree—it’s not only important that the right thing be done, but at least as important that it gets done correctly. So for me seeing Roe tossed out is almost as much a victory for fixing our system’s mechanics as it is for saving lives. Which leads me to my next point: I think the way to fight for life at the Federal level would NOT be to enact legislation to regulate abortions, but to try and settle the definition in our legal system of when personhood begins—and let all that entails shake itself out afterwards. Thoughts?

Ian

Ian, I do agree that the battle should be over personhood, which means we will have to debate why there is such a thing as personhood at all. Which takes us straight back to Darwin.

Enjoying praise and worship on the day Roe died, I ran across this piece, and thought of you.

Justin

Justin, heh.

Honoring Parents

Do any of your books or blog posts address the question of honoring parents? I’ve had conversations recently with people who tend to see it as very malleable—as strict or permissive as one wants it to be. They might give lip service to the concept but in reality dismiss any opportunity to obey or show deference to their parents’ opinions or input, saying that that commandment does not mean they had to do what their parents asked in that situation. Obviously, I don’t think the commandments requires us to obey all requests from our parents (speaking as an adult), so I was hoping for some insight into the topic! Thanks!

Noel

Noel, I would start here.

A Different Sort of Question

First off I’d like to say that you and your work have been a huge blessing for me, so thank you for everything you’ve written and for being the stalwart Puritan Cavalier that you are. I recently became aware of the Tripartite/Bipartite debate within Christianity, and I was wondering where you land on the issue and if you had any resources on the matter that you would recommend reading.

Luke

Luke, thanks for the kind words. I haven’t fully landed. I lean toward the triparite position (that we are made up of body, soul, and spirit), but I read something fairly recently in Berkof that brought me back a couple of ticks (toward the position that we are body and soul). Currently I would just say that if the tripartite position is true, Hebrews says that we are in no position to describe it in any detail (Heb. 4:12)

Laws of Attraction

In regards to your post, Laws of Attraction, I’d like some advice for my current situation. As I measure myself to what a man must (labeled the “need to have”) be prior to a relationship, I find myself disheartened by the absence of those qualities in myself. My question would just be, where do I go from here? What do I do? Need guidance.

Josh

Josh, two things. First, factor in your personality when it comes to how you would assess yourself. Are you an introspective type, in other words? But if your negative assessment is more objective than that, then find the strongest church you know of, join it, and throw yourself into the pursuit of God.

I dated and intimately involved with a man in my church (sexually and emotionally) and was led to believe we were on our way to the altar. He had a mysterious change of heart and I’ve been confused, angry and ashamed of myself for the sexual sin and for not guarding my heart. Problem now is that I have a nearly unbearable amount of stress seeing this man at church. Someone outside of my church suggested I start attending a new church but I can’t bear the thought of losing my beloved church community (where both family and the majority of my friends attend) in addition to the loss of the relationship. Do I stay or do I go and if I do stay, any advice for how to overcome the stress/pain I still feel knowing he’s going to be there? For the most part I’m okay and staying busy/happy but then when Sunday rolls around I get dizzy from the stress and my stomach is in knots. It definitely feels like a divorce, and sometimes a death. Your content in the Dawson/Darla letters resonates deeply. Curious how you’d counsel people in the same church community dealing with a broken relationship where sinful intimacy was involved.

Darla’s sister

Darla’s sister, there are two things going on here. One is the hurt from the broken relationship (and perhaps your hopes that it will all still work out somehow), but the other thing is the unresolved issue of sin. Has he sought your forgiveness for his behavior, and have you sought his? If not, then I would seek pastoral help in getting through that. This should not be an attempt to get back together, but rather an attempt to clear up things in your heart that are hindering your ability to worship. But I wouldn’t change churches over something like this.

The Art of Attraction

Just a couple thoughts that occurred to me as I read. One is that nowadays plenty of women who focus on career and marry later seem to do quite well at attracting the kind of men that are attractive to women, and at making babies with them too. It seems to be a matter of proximity and association. Like marries like. Well educated men marry well educated women. Less educated women end up with less educated men who are of relatively lower socio-economic status; men who don’t top the male attractiveness chart. It seems to me the kind of man you would commend as attractive to a woman is the kind of man more likely to have gone to college and to have the focus and discipline to be well launched into a career himself. A very young, less educated, woman is less likely to be in association with such men or even what they are really looking for. What you say about the consequences of a woman postponing marriage and focusing on career sounds intuitively correct to me too, but my intuition is contradicted by my observation, if I’m honest. I think our intuition may be a little dated and perhaps 40 really is the new 30, etc.

Your advice to Darla has it that she is a Rachel. What if she is a Leah? What can we say to those women? What advice do you give women, or men for that matter, who are not major league material?

John

John, while I know there are exceptions, I believe we have a much larger contingent of older unmarrieds than did previous generations. As for your last question, this comes down to us rejecting the flattery of our entertainment standards. A lot of men, and a lot of women too, do not understand what league they are in. Put bluntly, there are plenty of men who are not major league material either. Part of our problem is that people hold out for something that is not going to happen.

A Reasonable Question

Why are you not posting on Gab anymore?

Daisy

Daisy, it is simply a question of hours in the day. I am not posting nearly as much on the other platforms either, and it is because I am swamped. Time is being taken up with all the Canon+ stuff.

Church Discipline; Questions

Can you explain a little more about putting someone who has confessed and repented of sin under church discipline as a “cautionary measure”? I thought church discipline stops when confession and repentance happens because “if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” Does church discipline as a cautionary measure fall under the “how to tell if repentance is genuine” category?

grh

GRH, it depends on how you are understanding “cautionary measure.” Sins are like grapes, they come in bunches. Let’s say a situation blows up, and that a professing Christian is caught molesting a child. He confesses that sin (the one he was caught in), and so he would not be suspended from the Supper for failing to confess that particular sin, because he has confessed it. But in the immediate aftermath of this coming out, he could be suspended from the Supper as a means of uncovering the other instances of the same sin, which are very likely there. But as soon as the elders are satisfied that they know the whole story, and he has repented for all of it, then the suspension is lifted.

I listened to your sermon on church discipline and I wanted to learn more about excommunication because of how you defined it. I was kicked out of my former church (really I left and they excommunicated me after). I always understood excommunication as that you no longer communicate with the person and that you shunned them from Christian fellowship but are nice to them and ask them to repent. In my former church I am shunned because of the COVID shenaniganary. If someone in my former church does see me they encourage me to repent and that’s about it. When you said excommunication is more in line with keeping someone from communion that blew me away and made me rethink everything especially that they aren’t kicked out and are just barred from the Supper. I know the importance of the Lord’s Supper and would feel broken from being told I’m unable to take it but this lead me to two questions about church discipline that I would love to hear from you about. Are there circumstances in church discipline cases that it would be appropriate to say to a person it is best for you to no longer attend this local church until you repent? Is there a stronger response towards those who are told to no longer take the Lord’s Supper to go forward with stronger forms of discipline?

Thank you

Shawn

Shawn, as a formal matter, there is nothing stronger than being excommunicated. But if someone was excommunicated for heresy, say, (e.g. denying the Deity of Christ), and if they continued to attend, and continued to be disruptive, they could also be told to move along. But if they were willing to peaceably hear the Word, and not be disruptive, they would be welcome to attend.

Ask Doug

Just a quick recommendation for your ‘Ask Doug’ series on youtube. It would be great to see you respond to some of AOC’s (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) stuff she puts out on her Instagram. Here is a video she made about the Roe V Wade Supreme court decision and abortion in general. She has a massive following online with 8.5 million followers on Instagram alone, so a lot of people are seeing these videos she puts out. Why not throw some wisdom at these videos and maybe hit a few of her followers in the head?

Tony

Tony, thanks for the idea.

Femininity Is . . .

I’m writing to you in regards to the common catch cry heard throughout your videos, podcasts and blogs: “Masculinity is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility”. However most of the time I hear that I don’t hear (or perhaps it’s not sunk in to my thick skull) what the complimentary catch cry might be for femininity?

If I were to say complete this sentence: Masculinity is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility and femininity is the_______. What would the result be?

Yours in Christ,

Daniel

Daniel, thanks. Great question. We really need to hammer something out. My rough cut response would be “femininity is a glad responsiveness to masculine initiative, filling, helping, completing, and glorifying it.”

O Good Grief

The Doctrinal Watchdog channel responded to your Doug Reacts video “Are Christians Evil?”, and claimed that you contradict what the Gospels and Revelation say about the existence of a “fire and brimstone” picture of hell, and that this is the inevitable result of reading the Bible “allegorically.”

Some of the Scripture he uses to refute you includes Mark 9:43-44: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where “Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'”

Do you have other resources where you explain your view of hell? And what do you mean in your video by “serious theologies”? I look forward to your response.

Thank you,

Chris

Chris, I hope to write something more detailed on damnation at some point, but there is a section in Mere Fundamentalism on it. And here is a blog post. The short form is that damnation is real, and that if the lake of fire in Revelation is literal, it is a horrific reality. My position is that if the lake of fire is symbolic (because symbols are always less than the reality), then the fact of damnation is worse than a literal fire.

How would you classify homosexual “love”? I’m not talking about the obvious burning lust that certainly is rampant, the kind that God gave us over to when we exchanged the truth of God for a lie, but the kind that two “married” men may say they have for each other. Is it lust disguised? Is it genuine storge love? Or a confused phileo? Is it the right kind of love placed on the wrong object? Not sure how to respond to these statements that “love is love” and all that. And while I’m on the topic, any good books on the subject of homosexuality that have been helpful to you?

Thanks,

Tim

Tim, check out Greg Bahnsen’s book entitled Homosexuality. As for how to categorize the non-erotic elements of love between homosexuals, I would say it is a confused jumble of the things you mention. But even though it is the non-erotic aspect, at least as far as an explicit eroticism goes, such loves can still be disordered through effeminacy.

Soft Anglicans

Is it fair to say that Wilkins and Leithart, with their views on baptism and liturgy, are soft Anglicans with Presbyterian church government?

Jonty

Jonty, no, not exactly. They are Presbyterian/Reformed regarding church government, but for the rest I would say it is more of an amalgam—Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, etc.

Revelation Question

Question: In your book “When the Man Comes Around”, on page 4 it says “ The things he saw are described as things that must shortly come to pass (taxos—speedily, quickly, swiftly). I can not find the Greek word “Taxos” anywhere. Just confirming, is taxos a Greek word?

Also, in all your conversations with Christopher Hitchens, did you get any indication that he may have received Christ? Reason for this question: My Grandpa was a proclaimed Atheist, and when he found out that I became a Born Again Christian, he said, “I thought you were smarter than that!” Well, he died at 98 yrs old, and at his Funeral an unknown woman showed up and told our Family that my Grandpa received Christ with her! She was the bus driver who drove my Grandpa to free Senior lunches at her Church in his neighborhood. Always hoping, and with God, all things . . .

Linda

Linda, I can say that before he died, I wrote to Christopher and laid out the gospel for him. And I believe there are clear indications (as Larry Taunton showed in his book on Hitchens) that Christopher was clearly thinking about it.

As for taxos, it is found (for example) in Rev. 1:1. Things that shortly must come to pass.

Singleness as Affliction

This letter is concerning your post Singleness as Affliction, posted 25th November, 2020.

I understand that this is concerning an older post, but I am quite late to your material. I have only been a Christian for a relatively short time, but have come to your sermons and content through Peter Hitchens. I am currently 30 years old. I decided open my heart to Christ seriously only when I was 27.

I have been with my girlfriend for almost six years. I proposed to her more than three years ago. She is almost ten years older.

I have prayed often about what I should do, but I seem to be compelled in both directions on what action to take. For a week, I will be taken by an unstoppable conviction that I must bring this to an end as I am only creating misery for us both (The sticking point is having children, which I very much want, but which she cannot bring herself to want at this time). I am hit with a sense that I am in denial and I should sacrifice the relationship and my current contentedness is the result of cowardice. Then, the next week, I am taken by an equally immovable conviction that I would be committing a great sin if I were to do this. A betrayal of loyalty, patience, longsuffering, the abandoning of a divine gift whose like I will never receive again. The prioritising of my own selfish will of becoming a parent (which I may not be qualified for in any case) over caring protection, fidelity and loyalty to my ‘potential’ spouse. In addition, if I were to end it here, and seek someone else, would this not mean that I and they would be guilty of adultery once I actually get married to a Christian woman who wants the same as I do?

Now, one of these convictions could be a response to my prayers. But not both. One is hopefully God’s will, and the other must be my sinful desire. But I cannot for the life of me distinguish between the two, because both have cycle continually over these long periods of time. In other situations, I have been able to see his will clearly, but in this, I am completely at sea.

To reference your post, I can safely say that I am not gifted with celibacy now, and never have been in the past, so that can be ruled out.

You can also see that I am not a knowledgeable Christian, yet, though I follow the Book of Common Prayer for my cycle of four daily lessons with Morning and Evening Prayer.

Would you have any advice to give on this problem?

Yours faithfully,

Tim

Tim, take all the obvious qualifications into account first. I am a long way away, and all that. But your desire for children is not “selfish.” Can two walk together unless they are agreed?

Juneteenth

For the past 2 years in June my urban church leadership has taken time from pulpit to extol virtues of Juneteenth holiday and encourage laity to participate in local public celebrations. I spoke to them about wisdom of endorsing this holiday as I see it akin to endorsing participation in public Labor day (oddly day when no one works) celebrations. I see ‘mischief’ in origin and nature of both holidays and am suspicious. Do you think I’m being a curmudgeon or a male resident of Issachar or something else?

Carl

Carl, the origins of Juneteenth (in Texas, I believe) were not at all suspect, and if release from slavery is not a cause for celebration, then nothing is. But its introduction into the national scene during these woke times is beyond suspect. Blecch.

Female Deacons

In your last batch of letters, someone wrote in about female deacons. One other note that might be helpful (and might we return?). Deaconesses were needed because in Jewish society, married men didn’t touch other women. It was improper. So who was going to baptize the women converts? The deaconesses. Who was going to go to the homes and help with more private matters? The deaconesses.

Oh that a return of deaconesses meant a reinstatement of such etiquette in society. One can hope.

Tyler

Tyler, one can hope. But one should hope without holding one’s breath.

What do I do when my wife deliberately says no and does the opposite? I take responsibility for failures leading to this situation, but don’t know what to do when this happens, which is very infrequent. My tendency is to think “your wife just took control of the house, get it back by any means.” For instance if she said “no” and left with the car, my mind says “its not in her name, call the police,” or “call the pastor and get him to call her and say go home right now” or “see if you can see her iPhone gps and find her.”

I’ve been told recently the better approach is allow the sin to occur temporarily. I can’t control the situation. Her sin is before God. Don’t do anything but pray and address the situation later when heads are cooler. For some reason my perception of losing control of the house in that moment seems to be a much larger sin than when I sin against her by being harsh, or by being blatantly selfish and saying “no” when she asks me to help with the dishes. I don’t think my mindset is correct. While understanding that there are many faults leading to this point and that we have done a lot of counseling and our marriage is greatly improved, are you able to address what to do in this specific instance? If you do so on your blog or YouTube channel, feel free to edit for length. Just looking for wisdom.

Grant

Grant, what I would encourage you to do, given what you say here, is to remain in counseling. You really should be working on your marriage generally, and it is good that things are “greatly improved.” So when there is a specific incident, do not escalate it. But agree together with your wife (when things are calm) that you want to walk through that specific incident together with her, the next time you have a counseling appointment.

Inheritance Question

First thanks for your labors for the kingdom of God in our time. I observe from afar in Pennsylvania and have appreciated many of your thoughts.

I have a question about the biblical principles and attendant wisdom in structuring an estate plan to dispense with our personal property at times appointed for us by the Lord.

As much as it pains me to say it, my wife and I are facing a situation where some of our children appear to lack the requisite wisdom and discipline to deal with large sums of money and property; another has apparently fallen away, denying the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and taken up with a like-minded person. On one hand, it doesn’t seem wise to “punish” our children by denying them our earthly possessions. At the same time, we have other children who have clearly honored us, are following the Lord, and who appear to have reasonable wisdom for their ages.

We recognize all that we have are the Lord’s gifts to us (the entirety of it), and we have a real burden to do with it as He would want us to do. I’m well aware that Christ died for us while we were still His enemies, and a part of me hopes (perhaps unrealistically) that giving them something they know they don’t deserve may be part of what convinces them of God’s grace. At other times, it seems like a complete waste to give them a share when they have dishonored us, the Lord, and themselves.

What to do?

Ralph

Ralph, I don’t know your kids, or the extent of the rebellion and/or lack of wisdom. But here is the principle. Each government that God has established has an ultimate sanction. The civil government has execution, the church has excommunication, and the family has disinheritance. You need to make the decision concerning how egregious the situation is with each of your children. To make up an extreme example, I believe that wealthy Christian parents should not bestow a lot of money on a son, for example, who founded Atheists Are Us. But children who are not wise are in a different category—perhaps leave them something in a trust that they will receive when they are ten years wiser than they are now. And the kids who are walking with God get their inheritance immediately.

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Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago

Doug wrote,

“Daniel, thanks. Great question. We really need to hammer something out. My rough cut response would be “femininity is a glad responsiveness to masculine initiative, filling, helping, completing, and glorifying it.”

Here’s what he really means.

comment image&f=1&nofb=1

Swoon worthy!

Last edited 1 month ago by Prince of Tides
Context Police
Context Police
1 month ago

My humble guess is that 99% of people who post this quote have never read Fidelity.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  Context Police

Are you referring to the book where he “counsels” a husband, who is HIV positive, to have sex with his wife because HIV doesn’t cause Aids, because Aids is a hoax? Now that’s Fidelity!

How’s that for some context?

Last edited 1 month ago by Prince of Tides
Context Police
Context Police
1 month ago

So if you guys have such a problem with Doug, why do all religiously come here to post and cherry-pick quotations? Even though you can’t stand him, you just can’t live life without him. All seems very weird.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago

How’s that for some context?”

Quite poor.

I haven’t read the book, and your description which gives no direct quotes in no way communicates what it is he was talking about. Lets take you at face value and assume Doug claimed Aids is a hoax.

What exactly does that have to do with the azquote you posted?

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

It has nothing to do with the quote. It’s in response to the Context Police’s “humble guess”. So take it up with him.

https://dougwilsonbelieves.com/beliefs/aids-is-not-a-real-infectious-disease/

Last edited 1 month ago by Prince of Tides
Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago

But I would encourage married couples in the position you describe to read up on it, and I would encourage them to read both sides—Duesberg included.

I think it is legitimate to criticise DW for this view of AIDS, but to be fair you need to take into account the full quotation of his views, which includes the above. He is not speaking ex cathedra on this, as it were.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

By the way, you’d make a great hall monitor!

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago

……. heh?

You ought to change your name to Prince of Non-sequitur.

You specifically brought up the aids story to show your knowledge of the context of the quote. Whatever insult you’re trying, you’re going to have to try harder. I respond to a lot of comments I guess? I agree. Sorry? Is that something to apologize for?

Nathan Ryan James
Nathan Ryan James
1 month ago

blocked

Appalachian Mtn Man
Appalachian Mtn Man
1 month ago

Swoon worthy or not, what is incorrect about Doug’s statement?

A man penetrates and a woman submits in marital sexual relations.

I reckon you probably know how it works, although something tells me you may not be able to differentiate a woman vs a man.

My wife popped out 2 kids and counting so far and the way that happened was exactly as per the above quote.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago

So let me get this straight, you conquered your wife? Wow, I feel sorry for both of you. Don’t be surprised, if one day she walks out with the kids.

Last edited 1 month ago by Prince of Tides
Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago

Nah, only in your corner of the world do “women” do that or react like this post-Roe v. Wade

Post R.png
Last edited 1 month ago by C Herrera
Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago

Based on the Prince of Lies’ political party preference, he/she/preferred pronoun is fine with men penetrating each other. There’s quite a bit of “conquering” with that as well.

Last edited 1 month ago by C Herrera
Zeph .
Zeph .
1 month ago

Darla’s sister, be sure to confess your sins to God first. You will never be in the Joy of the Lord before that happens. That is for all sins. That is a big part of why you are miserable. You’re not in the Joy of the Lord.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeph .

That is a huge problem. I know that my church, when they excommunicate someone will call the other local churches often times to warn them about the person trying to join.

me
me
1 month ago

I don’t really understand the issue of excommunication in a modern, Protestant/evangelical setting where people have so little to lose. I understand how it would cost one dearly in an Amish, Catholic, Orthodox, or even Mormon context, where one’s life would be turned upside down via excommunication. But in the evangelical world, all one has to do is just go down the street to the next McChurch, tell their sob story, and be welcomed with open arms (and sometimes even gifts for first-time visitors). Of course, the whole mess will likely begin anew at some point when things go sideways… Read more »

Sam Rutherford
Sam Rutherford
1 month ago
Reply to  me

me, is it possible this is because we don’t have a biblical view of the church that is taught anymore?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  me

You’re assuming the purpose of excommunication is strictly for the benefit of the person being excommunicated. The church body itself is the primary thing you are protecting with the practice.

me
me
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

True enough. But the next “church body” will be likely affected by the troublemaker once he shows up at his new “home.” I’ve also seen cases where some troublemaker was asked to leave, and others left too because the ordeal was seen as “mean.”

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  me

I acknowledge the problem you address. You’re addressing it though almost as if it is an easily fixable issue, as though its a condemnation on Evangelicals, rather than a naturally inevitable result of circumstance. What is it exactly you’re asking for?

Nathan Ryan James
Nathan Ryan James
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I don’t know what “me” is asking for, but the solution is tighter church communities and *more* excommunication, in addition to a bit of background checking on new members/congregants.

Eric
Eric
1 month ago
Reply to  me

Your criticism is valid. It displays a disorder in the church sphere that the church lacks authority, or that many churches do not accept the authority of any other church. Imagine a civil government sphere that operated the same way and you can see that the result would be chaos. There’s an obvious crisis of authority within the church, and also in the family and civil spheres. We need to recover an understanding of authority, what it is and where it comes from.

me
me
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric

Authority is the issue I keep coming back to in my mind. In the evangelical world anyone (and his wife by proxy – glad this isn’t the case with airline pilots and brain surgeons…) can be a pastor, and anyone can have a church. The result _is_ chaos.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  me

The problem you’re striking isn’t an absence of authority, but the sinfulness of man. There’s no organizational structure that circumvents that problem. Add the maximum amount of authority and you have the Catholic church. Are they wildly better of? Or do they have rampant apostacy and enforced paganism from corrupt authority?

It isn’t possible for us to create a utopian church structure. We shouldn’t try.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Actually the modern Catholic church is much looser on excommunication than are many evangelical churches. The vast majority of excommunications are not externally imposed–no one ordinarily tells you that you have placed yourself outside the body of the faithful. You’re simply aware that your unrepented/unconfessed sin is of such gravity that you’ve incurred a penalty of excommunication (even if you’re the only person on earth who knows about it) and that you must not receive communion until you’ve dealt with it. When a very high profile Catholic’s grave sin is causing public scandal, a bishop might make a public announcement… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

That’s interesting to know Jill, but not quite why I made the comparison. “me” was calling for “authority”. Whether or not the Catholic church employs its authority to that particular end, it certainly contains a more rigid authority structure than “evangelicalism”. The point being that I don’t think more or less authority really solves most of these problems. Much as I might, as a Protestant, be tempted to think that denying the Catholic church’s authority places us in a better position, the problem with the Catholic church was never really the authority, but the sin. Much as I might think… Read more »

me
me
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Ok. Perhaps “authority” is not the best term. Maybe something more like “legitimacy.” Much of what passes for a “church” in the evangelical world is a joke (harsh I realize) and it’s almost always about nothing more than who the pastor is (and anyone at any time can be a pastor). Change the pastor and the whole “vision” changes with it. At least the Catholics and Orthodox have this right. Example: One of these little McChurches popped up in my neighborhood in the last couple years. I went to the website and noticed they had all the latest bells and… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  me

“Much of what passes for a “church” in the evangelical world is a joke (harsh I realize)” Oh, you don’t have to sell me on this. Not harsh enough in my book. I’m about to use generalizations. Please don’t misunderstand me as speaking of all churches. I grew up in a fiercely devout Christian family that never regularly went to church. Why? Because why would a devout Christian go to these churches? They serve no purpose, neither God nor man. They’re little more than elaborate sewing circles. They have no principles, no standards, no goals. The grandest idea of serving… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I agree completely. When the Catholic church actually exercised its authority both temporal and spiritual, the result was often horrifying. Often the sins it sought to restrain were less lurid and less destructive than the sins of the enforcers. People are too sinful to be entrusted with that kind of power, and both rebellion and mindless submission foster sins of their own among the flock. Messiness is unpleasant but it is much less unpleasant than tyranny.

Eric
Eric
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Sin diminishes authority until it’s addressed, because it breaks the connection with the source of all authority. Part of understanding authority is the understanding of extents and limits, or jurisdictions. If an office acts outside it’s authority or fails to act within its jurisdiction, their authority is diminished also because of the disorder it causes.

arwenb
arwenb
1 month ago
Reply to  me

“ In the evangelical world anyone (and his wife by proxy) can be a pastor” The most useful fix for this would be to require that a pastor actually meet the qualifications for eldership listed in…whichever of Paul’s letters that was. Which in the case of Random Dude starting his own church down the street, would require potential congregants to interview him before the congregants start attending. (Insert caveats about starting churches in places where no church has been before/where everyone in the area has self-consciously fallen away from the church, and it works better to have some one come in… Read more »

Jane
Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  arwenb

So you’re saying that a problem that is caused by widespread neglect of scripture, can be significantly addressed by wider obedience to scripture? Fascinating! :-)

Nelly Aspen
Nelly Aspen
1 month ago

I just wanted to say to Darla’s sister, I’ve had very similar experiences. I would understand if this isn’t something you were comfortable with, but I wanted to give you an option if you wanted to talk to another woman my email is [email protected]

In either case, God is faithful, and he has given us the ministry of reconciliation, and that he can take exes and make them behave as brothers and sisters in his glorious family,

RM
RM
1 month ago

Regarding the Roe reversal…. and as you stated…. this ruling was by the sheer grace of God. But that is where I might draw the line. As for being grateful for Donald J. Trump, I think the real sheer grace is that God did something good for His people in spite of Donald J. Trump. Do you not think any republican president worthy the office would have done the same, appointing conservative judges who would defend life? Anyway, it was Mitch McConnell that is to be credited, pushing the appointments through at great opposition. Yes, God raises and removes kings… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

“Do you not think any ” president worthy the office would have done the same, appointing conservative judges who would defend life?” Nope, because none of them did, not even Reagan. There were times when 8 or 9 of the justices were supposedly conservative, but it never happened. Despite his faults, Trump was a yuge breath of fresh air after spineless neo-con presidents and candidates like both Bushes, Bob Dole, McCain, Romney, etc. If you want to cast stones, take aim at NeverTrumpers like David French, who would rather spend 99% of their time criticizing conservatives. And he’s a member… Read more »

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Last edited 1 month ago by C Herrera
RM
RM
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I’m pretty sure there were not 8 or 9 “conservative” justices during Reagans term, not all at the same time anyway. There was also a lack of courage to go against Roe v Wade so early after its decision. Yes, even judges flip flop due to lack of courage of their convictions. My whole point is we are slipping into the abyss as conservatives/evangelicals and don’t even realize it. Just how much compromise do we accept in voting for a president? Is there a line in the sand? Do we trade one evil for another? Even presidents have devolved into… Read more »

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

A large majority of Evangelicals have already sold their birthright to Trump for a bowl of orange porridge. If the majority of commenters here are any indication, there appears to be no going back.

On the bright side, their hypocrisy is in full view for all to see.

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago

Yes, instead of saving babies, join the Prince of Lies’ party, where open sin and rank hypocrisy are tolerated, but Biblical truth isn’t.

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Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

There may not have been 9 conservative (term used loosely) justices, but I’m pretty sure there were 8 or 9 nominated by Republicans at some points. Look at the nominees by president: Richard Nixon (R): 4 Gerald Ford (R): 1 Jimmy Carter (D): 0 Ronald Reagon (R): 3 George H.W. Bush (R): 2 So you have a 20 year period with 10 nominations by Republican presidents and 0 by Dems. So the point stands. Republicans had two decades to nominate judges with the backbone to overturn Roe but they didn’t. A “lack of courage to go against Roe v Wade… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

“Do you not think any republican president worthy the office would have done the same, appointing conservative judges who would defend life?” Forgive the rude question but if I may ask, how old are you and how long have you been following politics? Republican Presidents have been failing at this for decades. There is no reason, none whatever, to assume that any particular Republican President would have done this. “ I think immoral leaders, regardless of their party affiliation will have a detrimental effect on society at large which will not be fully understood until all is made known.” This is… Read more »

RM
RM
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

My age is why I have come to the place where I will no longer toe the party line for whichever conservative is nominated just because I have no other viable choice. That goes for most of the past nominees/presidents in my life time. Voting for the “lesser of two evils” just doesn’t make sense in God’s economy. To do so makes me beholden to the “conservative” party and not God. Maybe He was waiting to see if His elect would get their priorities right before He acted on abortion. He must have had a higher purpose, while we mortals… Read more »

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

So, here’s the thing. I can absolutely agree that we should have picked a more righteous candidate in the 2016 primary. I can imagine a couple that could plausibly have had at least as good of pro-life intentions as Trump, and may even have been competent enough to push through with an equal or better result. But to insist that it would have been better, once Trump was selected, to allow Hilary to win just so we didn’t have to suffer through four years of historically the most effectively pro-life presidency in most of the last century… no. I don’t… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

“If you have a choice between a thoroughly wicked and deliberately destructive candidate and one who is only partly wicked and occasionally destructive, you pick the second one and go back to discipling your part of the nation.” It’s also worth noting that Trump’s indifference to all of the hate he received from Dems/the MSM/RINO’s was an asset in many ways. A more respectable, career politician Republican might make a better (at least more predictable) dinner guest. But their concerns about playing nice, not burning bridges, earning the grudging respect of progressives, etc., may prevent them from doing some things… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by C Herrera
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

“My age is why I have come to the place where I will no longer toe the party line for whichever conservative is nominated just because I have no other viable choice.” Great. Neither do I. What does this have to do with what we were talking about? Nobody suggested you were obligated to wear a MAGA hat. “Voting for the “lesser of two evils” just doesn’t make sense in God’s economy.” Nobody said you had to do that, and it isn’t relevant to the topic at hand. “To do so makes me beholden to the “conservative” party and not… Read more »