When We Budget for Stupidity, What Line Does It Go On?
Given that we’re “Budgeting for Stupidity” and taking as tacit reality that incompetence likely outweighs malevolence—at least in the manifested reality of bureaucracy, though not in the human heart—as we’ve seen carried out by ten thousands of HR department heads and federal agencies over the last year with mask mandates and crashing the economy around the ears of the remaining 99.9% humanity that didn’t die of COVID . . . what is a wise and prudent approach towards the vaccine, at least if it becomes mandatory to engage in society in any semblance of normalcy? This is coming from a perspective that thinks Jonas Salk and Edward Jenner did remarkable work and likely were God’s instruments in saving untold millions of lives, but also that recognizes that while many of the lower echelon cronies of government agencies are merely nodding their heads to the beat of the drum of the those higher up the ladder, those very ones at the top of the ladder may indeed be of the ‘malevolent’ category, differentiated from their ‘stupid’ constituents who sit inferior to their position on the totem pole, and might actually have the end goal of totalitarian compliance in mind. That is to say, overall I believe vaccines to be a blessing in the “taking dominion over creation mandate” sense, but am skeptical of overreaching tyrannical authorities who use Goebbels-style propaganda to make the unvaccinated the enemies of the State, or at least the new regime. Thus, is not getting the vaccine an appropriate hill to die on? Should it be considered something like a relatively benign (though not completely) social security number that one can mostly overlook in order to be able to largely participate in and simultaneously speak prophetically to culture while possessing it or should it be viewed as a gateway malignancy into participation in the new globalist regime, and the slope only gets slippery from here? Asking with sincere, humble honesty.
Seth, thanks. I am a fan of genuine vaccines, provided they are not derived unethically (e.g. fetal tissue). But this one is different—the way it was rushed through, the way it operates differently from other vaccines, the way they lie about the threat it is supposed to be addressing, and the way they are wanting to enforce compliance with a club. In my view, this is not about COVID, but rather about control. This is not about public health, but rather about outrageous overreach by dictatorial government officials. The appropriate response is what we are seeing in the protests across Europe—or rather, would be seeing if we were not being constantly lied to.
In an effort to cordon the “stupid” or malevolent from power do you think a civil government use the hiring standard the apostle Paul proffers in 1 Timothy 3? i.e. for someone to exercise governmental power they must qualify under said standard? Further, is not the apostle Paul setting the standard for who qualifies for the exercise of power in 1 Timothy 3? If not, then why not.
Ty, I believe that the standards for church officers should be used by us as we consider political leaders, but not straight across (e.g. apt to teach). They are different governments, after all. But I do believe that the character issues reflect a good standard.
Budgeting for Stupidity
First, hey now, what do you have against redheads? Are you calling redheads stupid? Do you really believe redheads are to be confronted? You almost sound like a Black Hebrew Israelite? LOL! Just kidding.
In all seriousness, I agree that we have to be able to account for the stupid people because yes there’s probably a bigger number of them than there are malevolent people and intelligent people. However, in your example of stupid health professionals, yes, there were stupid health officials, but the problem with the COVID tyranny were the malevolent people behind them manipulating the stupid. The problem with the COVID tyranny wasn’t the stupid health experts, it was the malevolent Faucis and Bill Gates’ and the WHOs and the Chinas and the World Economic Forums.
I would argue that the real, demonic war being waged is behind the malevolent people, not the stupid people. The stupid people are the patsies. The stupid people are the people easily manipulated by the malevolent. The spiritual warfare is where the real malice resides, not where the stupidity resides, because malice is the sin, as defined in the Bible, against God. Last I checked being stupid, as you’ve defined it in this blog, wasn’t necessarily a sin against God. If I’m wrong on that last point, feel free to correct me, with Scripture, showing me where stupidity is a sin.
Trey, I do agree that the malevolent are using the stupid ones. As far as being stupid goes, to the extent that it maps onto the biblical category of folly, as a great deal of it does, I do believe that it is sinful.
Is it lawful to limit our family at four children thru a vasectomy?
I am a young man with a godly beautiful wife, two boys, and one on the way. We hope to have a fourth as well. We’ve been married 4 years and I have a state government job making ~$33k. We love our children dearly and strive to raise them to honor Christ.
If it is lawful thanks, I feel better. If not, what are the implications for those who do? (I know several by-all-fruit-appearances godly men who made this decision after having a few children themselves).
We are strongly considering a vasectomy as an exercise in wisdom, and do recognize it as a modern luxury of choice. Though Scripture says children are a gift, my wife (and her mental health) is a jewel of great worth as well. I feel this decision can be made with honest intentions before God, but I also recognize that feelings are fumes, and not the jet fuel of truth our lives should run on.
We will continue to pray over this, but I value your opinion as someone who speaks truth bluntly with love. I do feel this issue is under-addressed in the Church and appreciate any wisdom you can offer.
Jon, I try to avoid calling anything unlawful if Scripture does not address it, and Scripture does not address birth control directly. But it does talk about children, and the blessing of children, a lot, and so if you are thinking about a fifth child as a “mental health” issue, I would encourage you to go very slowly and examine your foundational assumptions—and where you might have gotten. That said, here is something I wrote a while ago on the general topic.
This is in reference to the video below:
I agree with everything you said except for one part and that’s your conception of what blockchain can and can’t do. This happens to be an area where I’m an expert and I can tell you for certain that blockchain doesn’t magically add decentralization to data, which is what I think your conception of blockchain is.
Here’s an article I wrote a few years ago that has over 500k views that may give you a bit more insight:
I’ve also written several books about Bitcoin including one from a Christian perspective:
Anyway, I love your courage and stances the past year in regards to both the authoritarianism of the COVID19 policies and the cultural commentary on the BLM movement. I hope my small bit of insight may be of use to you.
Jimmy, thanks. The comment you are responding to is just after the six minute mark, where I refer to the “implications of blockchain.” I do apologize for the ambiguous phrasing. I was talking about the implications of blockchain, not applications of blockchain. I read your article, which I appreciated, and I agree with the thrust of it. But I don’t believe that decentralization is the fruit of blockchain. Rather, I believe that blockchain is a fruit of decentralization—among numerous other things that are in the process of getting away from the authorities. I may be reasoning a bit differently than Gilder does, but I am in sympathy with him. “Even though bitcoin may not, after all, represent the potential for a new gold standard, its underlying technology will unbundle the roles of money. This can finally clarify and enable the necessary distinction between the medium of exchange and the measuring stick. Disaggregated will be all the GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft conglomerates)—the clouds of concentrated computing and commerce.” I might want to say the “logic of the technology . . .” instead of “the technology . . .” but I do believe that a large decentralization is afoot.
Effeminacy in Men
Regarding past articles on effeminacy in men:
Doug, I remember you writing a letter to a young man struggling with homosexual tendencies. You asked him to take stock of which stereotypes applied to him in particular, and suggested learning to throw a baseball. I’ve been friends with a few guys who have this struggle and I want to share a general epiphany that applies to all men who struggle with effeminacy, which can really help if it is just recognized.
The epiphany came from a book on animation, the animator realized that a man was gay, 50 feet away out of his peripheral vision. How did he know? The walk. Check out this link for very detailed specifics on biological walk differences. The application here is to exhort those who struggle to “walk like a man.” He may need to actually learn to swing his shoulders and start taking wider steps to be masculine.
In conclusion, there are other stereotypes that I would now exhort my younger self to recognize and call out in those friends. Here is an politically incorrect list of things men shouldn’t let other men do:
1) Talk on the phone like a girl. Men get information. Girls get emotional connection.
2) Talk like a girl. Lower your voice and stop lisping
3) Walk like a girl. Everyone sees it, but few can actually put their finger on why
4) Watch Downton Abby.
5) Go to Princeton Seminary
My wife and I are members of a credobaptist church. We have become convinced of infant baptism in recent years and have young children who we would like to get baptized, but it is not a good move to leave our church. The elders are open to us following our conviction and getting them baptized (but not by them), but would still require a credobaptism if our children were ever to become members of the church when older. They would accept this credobaptism even if our children believed their infant baptism was the legitimate one, and were only participating in this second ‘baptism’ for the sake of the elders & to allow church membership.
Is submitting to such ‘rebaptism’ a sin? Would it be best to just forego any infant baptisms now, so that when our children in God’s grace profess faith they can have a credobaptism where both sides agree it is a legitimate one?
Your thoughts on the best course appreciated,
Henry, part of that depends on how early the elders would accept a profession of faith. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t submit to a baptism that I believed was unnecessary. I would ask rather whether your children could be de facto members of the church, if not de jure.
Red Pill Questions
From your very interesting post “Beware of Peru Rising”:
“If my suspicions are correct, it is also why, in just a few years, we are going to be working at advancing the kingdom in an angry red pill world.”
I had a very clear conviction of idolatry while reading this line . . . and I had to ask myself the uncomfortable question—why would I want Douglas Wilson’s suspicion to be prophetically true? Why would I want an angry red-pilled world? Why?
Can such a thing be anymore more spiritually healthy than wanting a woke angry world?
Pray for me.
Roger, I don’t want an angry red pill world, but I would prefer it to a woke angry world. I think that stance can be taken without idolatry. But it is also possible that there is idolatry involved if I am just putting a Jesus shine on red pill talking points.
Maybe I missed it but have you described this “red pill” response elsewhere? (I’m familiar with the metaphor, just not your application in this context)
BJ, no, I don’t believe I have described it in depth. I have made the point in various places, such as here. What I basically mean is a hard ball reaction on the part of cultural and traditional conservatives, in which they do a number of things that Christians cannot approve of, but nevertheless which benefit us.
‘Beware of Peru Rising’ was an excellent, excellent essay. One very small caveat: I don’t think advancing the gospel in an angry red pill world, should we be so fortunate to receive such a blessing, will be so bad as you imagine. Too much of ‘the red pill’ is just seeing that, on pretty much any question where there’s some specially modern wisdom, the modern authorities are either stupid or subversive, and the ancients and medievals—usually just meaning ‘what you’d get from a plain reading of the Bible’—were right. At least on Gab, the sort of people who throw around jeers like ‘christcuck’ certainly don’t appear to be winning, and routinely get told (correctly) they’re doing and thinking exactly what their woke globalist overlords want them to. The big issue is going to be that a lot of the angry red-pilled believe (as I do) that Tim Keller, Russell Moore, David French, Matthew Hall, Al Mohler, and most everyone else whose names would be mentioned in the same breath, really were the saboteurs on the left (heh) all along, who should’ve been given flying lessons right off the ramparts decades ago; and believe (as I do not . . . yet . . .) that anyone still counting them as the nice guys on the right is flagging himself as one of them.
Big losers in Angry Redpill World: Big Eva, Israel-can-do-no-wrong dispensationalists, big Reformed denominations (the PCA especially), Presbyterians in general, megachurches, papists in general, nice guys, churches that are very proud of their huge ESL outreach programs. Neutral: mainline denominations, which I expect will hang around longer than anyone expects, weekend entertainment for blue-checkmarks who want to feel ‘spiritual’ on occasion without a hangover the next morning. Big winners: small, insular denominations; Tridentine Mass Catholics; house churches; anyone who figures out how to remind the disaffected of Hebrews 10:25, anyone selling reprints of Dabney or Thornwell.
I don’t see Angry Redpill World coming—or if it does, it’ll be inside the camps the commies stuff us all into, and gulags are angry and redpilled by definition. But if it does come, it’ll be—if it isn’t strangled first by respectables—a Great Awakening our dying West doesn’t deserve.
Buford, thanks. Many of your points have merit!
I just read the Case for Classical Christian Education. Thank you, it was very eye-opening and edifying. I live in Australia, I teach at a Christian school, and have 3 children enrolled there, but like pretty much all Christian schools here, it doesn’t live up to its mission, not even close. In Australia, Christian school are generously funded by the government provided they teach the state or national curriculum which is needless to say, not a Christian curriculum. Christians schools add a more or less superficial religious overlay to the curriculum and label it ‘Christ-centered’ learning, the vast majority of these schools enroll non-Christian kids from non-Christian homes. I teach Visual Art and Design and am a reformed Bible believer, which means I generally feel like an outsider most of the time. When I learned about Classical Christian Schools earlier this year I was both elated and exasperated because there are no CCE schools in Australia except for a 11 student strong CCE homeschool group on the other side of the country and a school proposed for 2023, also in another state, that proposes to integrate the state curriculum with CCE, somehow. My next move, is for me and my wife, is to home-school our 3 school-aged children with Logos Press coursework until something Classical becomes viable. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Shaun, my only thought is “God bless you and keep you.” But don’t despise the day of small beginnings.
Thanks for the Recommendation
I recently watched the 1970 movie Cromwell. I was curious as to your thoughts about it. I picked up several good lines relevant to our times such as “We need men who fear God but not the enemy” and “Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.“ Thanks for all the wonderful work you do at this blog. I have been greatly blessed by your Biblical voice addressing our culture.
Aaron, I can’t say anything, not having seen it. But thanks for the recommendation.
Here’s An Idea
I would be most interested in Rev. Wilson doing a substantive critique of the recent ad interim committee report on human sexuality submitted to this years PCA GA.
Brian, thanks for the idea. Let’s see what happens.
Some Recent Press
I admire the work of the saints in Idaho. I just came across this very positive, albeit slightly skewed, description in The Critic, a magazine based in the UK and not Christian as far as I know. That article is a year old, but a recent article was very disturbing about how Christian beliefs are considered increasingly criminal in the UK and other European nations despite legal protections for free speech.
Although the US is deeply flawed, I remain hopeful that the Lord will open the eyes of Christian governors to grow a pair (or borrow some) and “just say no” to federal overreach. Modern era governors caved on the TSA, Roe v Wade, Obergefell, and numerous other SC decisions. However, the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott decision finally got ante bellum governors and others riled up, so not impossible for something in our time.
As you cruise down the open road in your relatively new truck, do you spot anything on the horizon that would increase gubernatorial testosterone levels high enough to incite a legal riot?
PS Titania McGrath/Andrew Doyle is a regular columnist for The Critic. I wish Christians had more satirists of that caliber. The Babylon Bee is excellent, but it would be great to see worthy satirists at CT, TGC, and other serious-acting publications. It is July, but maybe there’s a chance of snow.
John, as I look around, I see reasons for despair everywhere. Also, signs of hope. At the time, I did respond to Crawford Gribben’s article here.
I’m a recent convert to Postmillennialism and can see quite clearly in Scripture the idea that Christ’s Kingdom is a slowly progressing and ever expanding agency in the world until Christ returns at the end of history. I know that 1 Corinthians 15:21-28 is clear on that. This, I take it, means that Postmils do not hold to an imminent return of Christ. I am struggling with one passage. 1 John 2:28 and 1 John 3:2-3. These passages seem to speak of His return as something they’re expecting, utilizing the “We” and the fact that this event is something that would breed confidence in the first century believers. I took this, at first, to meaning His coming in judgement in Jerusalem. But 1 John 3:2-3 seems to show that there’s a transformative aspect to this “coming” and “appearing,” aka, “we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.” That seems to indicate the second coming at the end of history, and it seems to indicate the first century believers should be expecting it in their time. Can you assist me with understanding these texts?
Corey, thanks. I agree that the appearing in 1 John 3:2-3 is transformative, and I take it as referring to the Final Coming of the Lord—which makes the earlier reference in 2:28 likely about the same thing. But there is no explicit time stamp in those passages, like soon or at hand. The most you have is an implied possible immanent coming, which I think is spiritually healthy for all of us. While I don’t think that the Lord’s return is immanent, living in the light of His appearing is still a good thing to cultivate. After all, our deaths really are immanent, and we will be with the Lord then.
The only issue I take with you, Pastor Wilson, is your belief that the church will usher in the Kingdom (your postmillenial eschatology). Now, granted, this eschatology really helps to ward off anxiety and trust the Lord. However, your encouragement for us to “assume the middle” sounds a lot like critical theory. Yep. It sounds a lot like critical race theory in which everyone is categorized as oppressed or the oppressor. Not everything boils down to those in power and those without power. That’s what you’re saying basically; that there were times in history when the church had more power and now we don’t have as much power anymore. But you are sure our time in power is right around the corner. Right? Please clarify.
Rachel, it is not the two categories of oppressor/oppressed, but rather the two categories of believing/unbelieving. Sometimes the believers are harried, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they are compromised, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes these two alternative map onto each other, and sometimes they do not. This in turn is a function of how they are responding to the covenant promises—in faith, or not.
Masculinity and EO
From The Masculinest: Rod Dreher wrote about former pickup artist Roosh Valizadeh’s conversion to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Thought it interesting the comment about it being “active” and not just “sitting passively in the pew processing theological arguments in your head.” How do we as reformed believers also communicate the “activeness” of faith from our perspective? Why is Orthodoxy so attractive to men? I think it’s because it is masculine without being macho. What does it mean to say it is “masculine”? This is not easy for me to understand; I feel it more than I understand it. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that somehow, Orthodox liturgy and spirituality is emotionally powerful without being sentimental. It also has a lot to do with the fact that it challenges men to do something — to wage war on their own sinfulness, to make sacrifices, including physical sacrifices (during the fasts), to die to themselves and live in Christ. Orthodox spirituality requires you to use your body in worship and discipleship—not only in the candles, the icons, the incense, the prostrations, and so forth, but also in fasting during Lent and other fasting seasons. Put another way, Orthodox spirituality is not about sitting passively in the pew processing theological arguments in your head, and/or arranging your emotions in a certain way. Yes, theology is very important, and engaging the heart is even more important in Orthodoxy than engaging the head. But there’s something about Orthodoxy that integrates those two and transcends them. I am not smart enough to explain how that works, but I know from sixteen years of experience that it does work.
BJ, I do agree that Reformed worship should engage the whole man, which is something we have labored to do. But we need to engage the body the way God says to do it—otherwise we will go off the rails. On the question of effeminacy in the Western church (Roman and Protestant both), I was persuaded by Leon Podles’ argument, found here. Pair that with Ann Douglas’s great book, The Feminization of American Culture, and you will be hot on the trail.
A Very Practical Question
I have been a long-time listener of your sermons and reading your blog, as well as reading several of your books, so I have a high level of confidence in your biblical wisdom . . .
How’s that for a build up? I just started going to a new church with my wife, and my daughter and her family started going there too, with my four grandchildren. We were notified right away that there is a convicted child molester that is a member of the church, and the Pastor beliefs him to be regenerate. We love the church, but this is a huge sticking point, I can’t trust this member at all, we are all constantly on edge around him at church functions. I have attached the church policy regarding sex offenders (see page 8). I feel like we should all look for another church, but what do you think of the policy? Would you do something different at your church?
I appreciate any insight you could offer, I know you are very busy, even if you could send me a copy of your church’s policy for comparison?
Henry, as there wasn’t an attachment, I can’t comment. But in brief, our policy is that the brunt of any extra measures should be taken by the offender, and not by others. In our case, a convicted sex offender can be welcome at church, but he must be accompanied by a trained chaperone.
Back to the Jews
When I saw your video title “Antisemitism as a False Flag Operation”, I thought, “Yes!” But when I watched the video, it was not what I expected. FWIW, I love Jews and pray for God to save them, even as Jesus and Paul prayed. And I think Romans 11 teaches a future mass conversion of Jews worldwide.
However, my love for them does not conflict with exposing their sins and crimes.
Regarding A.S., what do you think of this admission by a former Israeli Minister of Education?
Also, type the word “Jewish” in the search box then click:
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Greg, the problem is not with recognizing crimes when they have occurred. I am more than willing to do that. The problem is not with acknowledging that Israel has done some bad stuff. I am willing to do that also. Facts are facts. But to point to a particular crime, and then to blame it on “the Jews” is a standard that none of can afford to adopt. The Supreme Court of our nation is responsible for the dismemberment of tens of millions of unborn children. I blame “the whites” for this.
Aha. Were “Antisemitism as a False Flag Operation” and “Beware of Peru Rising!” meant to be read together? In other words, was your choice to use the language you did in the former an attempt to find out who the sentries on the right are when making a point they would otherwise nod eagerly in agreement with?
Aaron, that might have been a good strategy to adopt if I had been bright enough.
I was wondering if you had any thoughts or historical reference for what the “deeds of the Nicolaitans” would have been. I have always felt that the revealing of their deeds would be a relevant wake up call for the current generation. I have looked and asked around for leads for several years as it comes up but have yet to find anything. Since you are my favorite smart fella I thought I would ask.
Revelation 2:6 (NKJV): But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Matt, this is not something that can be proven, but I think that it is likely, given the other errors that were being advanced in the seven churches, that the Nicolaitans were urging something like what “that woman Jezebel” was teaching, or those who held the “doctrine of Balaam.” In other words, I think it was a blessing that was being placed on sexual immorality. If that is the case, you are correct about it being a wake-up call for us. We have our own Nicolaitans.
You’ve brought up the topic of digital evidence before and since you spoke about it again in Plodcast #200, I thought I’d try to help shed some light. I’ve been a cybersecurity engineer for nine years. While I don’t do much with digital forensics on a day-to-day basis, I have had some in-depth training in it. Please take all of the following as appropriate information for a general audience. There can be exceptions to what I’m about to say so if there’s any forensics experts out there, be kind.
Law enforcement should treat any sort of device containing digital evidence like they would finding a weapon at the scene of a crime. Once acquired, there needs to be a clear chain of custody with that evidence. Any sort of tampering with digital evidence would be treated the same as any other evidence with the appropriate penalties, etc.
So let’s say that a computer hard drive has been seized and needs to be examined. A digital forensics examiner will first make a copy of the hard drive and then make a copy of the copy. He will do his forensics work on the copy of the copy to ensure that the original gets left alone as much as possible. If something happens to his copy of the copy, he can just make a new copy out of the first copy.
To ensure that he is examining an exact copy of the original, he will take a hash of all three of them and compare their output to see if they’re exactly the same. A hash is a mathematical algorithm that chews through the data and spits out a unique string of numbers (0-9) and letters (A-F). For example, here is a hash of the word ‘plodcast’:
If you change even one letter (or jot or tittle) on the hard drive and perform the same hashing algorithm on it again, you are guaranteed to get a completely different output. If the hash of your copy doesn’t match, it means you got a bad copy or your copy has been altered in some way. Here is a hash of the word ‘podcast’. Notice how it is completely different from the above hash.
What if someone plants evidence on a hard drive? Everything that is done on a computer is logged and tracked in multiple ways and locations. Every login of a user, plugged in USB drive, and copied files are logged and timestamped. The files themselves carry metadata that shows when they were created, modified, or accessed (right-click on any file in Windows 10 and select ‘Properties’ and you can see an example of these dates). Files that have been copied onto a hard drive should stick out like sore thumbs to a trained digital forensics expert. The files themselves don’t tell you who did it, but put together multiple pieces of hard drive evidence and you can put together a story that shows what account was logged in at the time, whether or not that account was logged in locally or over the network, online activity when that account was logged on, folders and applications that were accessed, inserted USBs, new files that were created, and when the account logged off.
But the above can only show you what activities were happening within the computer. It cannot tell you who was at the keyboard. There will need to be external evidence showing that a suspect was actually there typing away.
While the evidence on a hard drive will be there, there are items and processes that require some trust. Did the official gathering the evidence tamper with it? Is the forensics examiner in on the scheme? Did the forensics examiner miss anything? Can the software the forensics examiner is using be trusted to give accurate results? Is the forensics examiner biased in any way or is he reporting only the evidence he sees? I believe that your typical prosecution and defense attorneys will have/hire their own digital forensics experts on the stand to make their respective cases. After that it is up to the jury to consider all the evidence.
With so many avenues to go hunting for digital evidence, your average criminal will not have the ability to completely cover his tracks. Even deleted information can be recovered most of the time. This is not to say that well-funded attackers from nation states (including the US) cannot completely erase their tracks. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. However, as the estimated dwell time before an attacker gets detected in company is 95 days, they don’t need to be too worried about their digital tracks just yet. But that’s a different topic altogether.
Ultimately, your typical digital evidence that shows up in court can be shown to be trustworthy. However, other digital evidence that we know exists *cough* Hillary’sEmailServer *cough* will likely never see the light of day.
James, thank you. I don’t dispute that processes could ensure that digital evidence is not tinkered with. But there is always the human element, and as we saw with Hillary’s server, or Hunter’s laptop, or chain of custody ballots in Georgia, or intelligence agencies spying on Trump, the fact that you have processes does not mean that they are followed, or that violations are punished appropriately.
Transition in Minneapolis
Pastor Doug, that article on Julie Roys, which is the leftist and ‘progressive’ version of Pulpit & Pen made worse, reads like you are the primary target or reason for why Bethlehem is going through what they’re going through. That the Elders somehow in your mold of sorts. Basically, it seems like it is designed to try to manipulate people in general, but also specifically Bethlehem Elders, to reject everything they claim you are for and those things and institutions that you are associated with. This is “we still got to get this Wilson guy cancelled”.
Trey, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that is the point. But it certainly could be one of them
I think one question that is on the minds of many people is, “What can I do?” And with that question comes a certain frustration with the fact that most of us are simply just going to have to go along for the ride. I know I have struggled to both frame that question and deal with the accompanying frustration.
But that doesn’t mean we are totally impotent. In fact, when you write that we should “Assume the center,” I think that there are many “little” things that one can do that will contribute towards that, even in small ways, leaving it all to God to bless as He wills.
Here’s one: I just recently updated my resume with a “personal statement” at the end that reads as follows:
“As a committed Christian, and especially because of my military service in defense of my country, I am very thankful for the blessings God has bestowed upon my nation and the freedoms we enjoy. Foremost among these is the right to free speech, articulated in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Therefore, it is my personal conviction that I will not support or partake in any endeavor which infringes on free speech. This includes, but is not limited to, non-disclosure agreements, being told what I can and cannot say, being told with whom I can and cannot speak, “personal pronoun” requirements and other so-called “Diversity and Inclusion” guidance, prohibitions or actions against “misinformation”, or any other company policy or culture that prohibits, stifles, or discourages free speech. As a professional who has a distinguished record of excellence in both work and character, you will just have to trust that I will maintain the highest standards of professionalism, performance, and personality. If you find these convictions to be at odds with your company, then I respectfully decline to commit myself to your organization.”
I think this is one way we can assume the center and take a stand, by refusing to work for employers who are going down the path of today’s zeitgeist. I realize that this would most likely severely limit the pool of potential employers and that not everyone is the position to do so, but I offer this as a hopefully helpful suggestion for some.
Guymon, very good. And check out Red Balloon.
I recently purchased the Canon App and watched the episode of Man Rampant with Walter Kirn. As I said in a tweet I sent to Mr. Kirn, “It resonated with me on a level I am struggling to comprehend. It was the kind of thing that, afterward, one cannot bear to hear any sound for a while. Twitter is too limited to express it fully.” I am sure you have had such experiences a time or two in your life.
I was particularly struck by the insights he had in response to your question about how he goes about being observant, as a writer must, and his comment, I think near the same context, that many people are afraid to acknowledge what they know because the truth hurts too much. I took it as a clarion call to begin trying to really observe and think about the world around me. What I really heard him saying was something like, “Get to a place where you can actually see what is happening around you, as opposed to what everybody thinks is happening, and then be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you see”. I was burdened, in a good way, by the thought that I have heretofore not been as observant and unflinchingly honest with myself as I ought to have been, or, worse, as I think I have been.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed that episode or how much I probably needed to hear those things said in just the way they were. Mr. Kirn, provided I am not under the spell of some momentary fancy, may have just changed my life for the better. My only regret is that I will never again get to watch that conversation for the first time. I will be watching/listening to it a couple more times because there is just no way to absorb all of something like that in one take. Thank you for having him on and for being an interviewer who does not step on the answers to the questions he asks. Mr. Kirn is absolutely fascinating.
This is getting long already, but I had another thought about his observation that outsiders can see more clearly what is actually going on. My favorite author is Flannery O’Connor. I have never been to the South, but at this point in time, much of what is called Evangelicalism is just as “Christ haunted” as she once observed the South to be. So her piercing insights into such a phenomenon, although in a different context, are quite striking. It occurred to me that the reason she was able to see the Protestant South for what it was, was owing to her being a Roman Catholic in the Protestant South. She was an outsider to the world in which she lived and about which she wrote. All of that to say that she is evidence that Walter Kirn is onto something. Time to get outside and start watching.
P.S. Have you ever thought about getting, or tried to get, an opportunity to have a discussion like that with Jordan Peterson? I suspect that would be a terribly interesting conversation as well.
Andrew, thank you. And I would love to interview Peterson. In God’s good time perhaps . . .
A Question I Have Not Fielded Before
I am deeply indebted to your ministry and especially that of your wife and daughters. Thank you all for your tireless service.
My question is not related to a post that I’m aware of. I’m a homeschool mom and my kids have been learning about Joan of Arc. If you have the time, can you give me some guidance in thinking biblically about her as concerns Deut. 22:5?
Thank you. May God continue to bless you.
Amy, just two things. First, I do think any warrior queen business is a violation of Deut. 22:5. And the second is that history is funny, and God often draws straight with crooked lines.
Assuming the Center
It seems that there is intended to be a connection between the current plethora of available information and the sovereignty of God. If there is a connection, I missed it. Or maybe one was not intended. Put another way, it seems we are being encouraged to have hope that the current controllers of information will very soon no longer be able to do so due to the plethora of information. But I am not sure that this necessarily follows based on the sovereignty of God. God may decide to continue to allow the evil authorities to continue to prevail in spite of the flood of data. Not sure how Doug can be so sure that an abundance of information leads necessarily to the loss of control of information by the traditional controllers of it.
Peter, I think it is how this kind of story goes. It is a sorcerer’s apprentice kind of thing. When the water coming out of the hose was a trickle, they could hold the hose fine, and we let them. Now that information is coming at us from every direction, it is very difficult for us to pretend that it is all coming out of the hose. And all of this is under the sovereignty of God