When You Write, That’s How We Hear From You

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Mea Culpa

I clicked on “good ones” expecting to see more lovely pictures. There was one of a girl on the floor leaning into her knees. The comments that were included are quite offensive. I hope you will consider removing this!

Sharon

Sharon, thanks for the heads up. That link was entirely accidental, and I don’t know how it happened. It is fixed now, and my deep apologies.

How’dja Know?

I’ve seen you state in various places that pedophilia “was always the end” of the gay agenda, or some variation of this. As it happens, you were right. But can you explain how you foresaw this? I understand the judgement of God that is homosexuality and gender confusion (a la Rom. 1). But where and how did you foresee the assault upon children? Does the Bible speak to this abomination?

Lance

Lance, it basically runs like this. Lust wants everything. It demands no limits, which means nothing can be off limits. Lust wants to hump the world. But those consumed with such lust have a brain, and so they know that to demand too much too soon will provoke a reaction from the troglodytes, and they won’t get anything. And so they start at the shallow end, with things that they think they can do a good PR job with. Lesbianism, then the guys, then polyamory, and so on. But they were always aiming to destroy every taboo.

Infant Salvation

I just watched your new Man Rampant episode with Voddie Baucham and loved it as expected. But I did have a follow-up question about your answer to the Q&A questioner who asked about the fate of aborted babies. Do you think it is dangerous to say that they all are not damned without qualification? It seems to me that if that is the case, then the a loving parent who wants to guarantee their child’s salvation could abort to confirm eternity. Obviously that is unbiblical but if Paul could wish he could take the punishment in place of his kinsmen, then a parent could wish the same and in this case enact it. I have always responded that it is in the hands of God. We can hope but in the end it is trusting His judgement regardless of what that may be.

Stephen

Stephen, no, I think that logic fails. When Paul wished he could be damned (if possible) for the sake of his kinsman, the thing he wished for was entirely in the hands of God. But this logic takes up the matter into our own hands, defying the law of God in doing so. A willingness to do something like that would indicate a radical misunderstanding of God, His law, and the world. Such a person could wind up becoming the abortionist because all the children he kills are ultimately saved. The logic even works if most of them are saved. Our standard must be God’s law for us, not our convoluted reasoning.

Great Question, But Sorry

Re: No post in particular. Pastor Wilson—I’m wondering if you can recommend any books or articles that dive into the relationship between King David and his cousin/General, Joab. Each time I listen to or read 1 & II Samuel I feel a great deal of unease with the overriding narrative that King David is awesome, and Joab is a vindictive sleazebag. I will grant that King David IS generally awesome, and that Joab IS generally a vindictive sleazebag, but there are several accounts in the text that turn those narratives on their head, in my opinion. I am thinking of David’s census of Israel and David’s response to Absalom’s traitorous power grab, as two specific examples. Is there a deep dive into this relationship? I’d like to resolve some of this unease. Thanks for your ministry and wit.

John

John, the subject is worthy of a book, but I am not aware of one. And I agree. Joab was a hard-bitten man of the world, but there were occasions where he saw things more clearly than David did.

Sabbatarian Sabbath-Breaking

Due to the lack of faithful Presbyterian churches in the south of Ireland, I attend a Reformed Baptist church. I recently discovered that the pastor teaches children should not play with toys on the Lord’s day at all, as in all day.

This seemed strange to me as it obviously increases the burden on the parents and the kids being kids just find other ways of occupying themselves.

I was surprised to see the wording of the Westminster in relation to this and I also came across discussions on organised sports on the Lord’s day, the church prohibits this also. The pastor told a story about how he refused to join a tug-of-war game because it fell on the Lord’s day, not because it clashed with his duties as such.

Is it not true that for some people recreation IS rest? Can recreation not be done to the glory of God?

Obviously this can have its limits and shouldn’t interrupt the worship service or be held up as an idol, but to deny any form of recreation, especially for the kids, would leave us counting down the minutes in eager anticipation for the day’s end.

I fail to see how even twiddling one’s thumbs would not fall into the category of recreation. Maybe straight jackets are the only cure but then are we not told by our Lord that sin comes from the heart?

Is there a general rule we can apply given the comments from Christ himself on the issue? How does your church deal with young ones in the congregation generally during the worship service?

With thanks, your ministry is a blessing.

Reza

Reza, correct. Straight jackets and hair shirts. The problem with this is that it is a complex form of sabbath-breaking, and exhibits the mentality about the sabbath that Jesus repeatedly collided with. Looking at the 4th commandment, a certain kind of person immediately gravitates to the things we can’t do. But that inverts the command, and reads it upside down. If I look at kids playing with a frisbee in the yard on the Lord’s Day, and somebody challenged me on it, I would simply ask, “Are they doing schoolwork?”

The Challenge of Rights

I was reading an old blog post of yours from 2012 (A silent God would be silent on rights) because I’m trying to get a grasp on what people mean by “God-given rights.” I think the term is used because of the language in the American Constitution and it’s convenient to say, but if those rights are not actually given by God, it’s problematic that Christians keep on saying it.

It would be great to have yourCoonstitution here in the would-be communist state of Australia but we don’t even have a bill of rights, which is why we are still being messed around over Covid 2019 when it’s currently 2023.

Is it possible, without citing the US Constitution to demonstrate that rights are actually given by God? By that I don’t mean that God expects us as individuals to respect the rights of other individuals (I know that loving my neighbour involves respecting his rights) but that I have a leg to stand on if I claim that my rights to free speech, freedom of movement, bodily autonomy (or any other right) is God given? We have nothing more than vague inferences that Australians have the above mentioned rights and there are caveats allowing the government to curtail those rights for whatever reason they choose. In other words, they are far from inalienable.

Thanks for any response,

Your nephew

Dave

Dave, for further study, I would recommend Glenn Sunshine’s Slaying Levithan and the Huguenot book Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. A robust biblical case can be made for human rights (God-given, not autonomous rights). You could probably make out the case for a whole range of rights from looking at David’s responses to the persecution of Saul.

Parents In Media Res

My husband and I have raised our kids in a Bible teaching/sola Scriptura church since they were born. It has been wonderful in teaching us the word of God.

We ran into Canon Press a few years ago and began devouring book after book, we’ve been encouraged and inspired to make big changes in how we were parenting (and the reasons behind decisions) thanks to all of the books, audio, and series available for families and parents in the thick of raising children.

At the same time, we feel that we’ve almost found all of this applicable information a little too late—as we have a few teens now and the oldest specifically has become fairly rebellious (as you’ve said before—we did not instruct and discipline well when they were younger so that we could release restrictions and give more freedom as they age, we are seeing now where we went wrong).

Is there any content for families in these type of situations, who aren’t sure how to move forward in parenting /guiding our older children now that we know there is a better way- especially considering the push back from older children that is much more complex/difficult in this season of life than when they are younger?

Thank you for all you do- Canon Press is helping change lives and families!

Kindly,

Grace

Grace, yes. This subject is addressed in all our material, but I am not sure where. Perhaps I could crowd source this question? If you know a chapter or a section that deals with this, please chime in. Also if you know of any material elsewhere that might be helpful, please share that also. In the meantime, my father used to say that God picks us up where we are, not where we should have been.

A Bit More Reading

Looks to me like you read more now than you used to.

How come?

And thanks.

Jason

Jason, thanks for the question. Yes, my reading program has picked up a bit. I think some of this is due to life circumstances, on the one hand, but the big one has been technology and tools. I now live in the country (big ten minute commute), and a Audible account, and a truck that will play wonderful books for me.

Juneteenth

First of all, thank you for all you do. Your work has been a blessing to my family for years.

I am an 18-year-old hospital receptionist in Northern California. Recently, a coworker said something about Juneteenth that seems off. She claimed that this holiday should replace Independence Day because it represents the freedom of black slaves, who were assumedly not included in the Declaration of Independence. According to her, Juneteenth marks the completed liberation of the American people.

In the words of one founding father, “I smell a rat.” Or maybe a logical fallacy.

How would you respond to this argument?

Joan

Joan, I have no problem with marking a day like Juneteenth, one that is actually anchored in actual history—unlike a manufactured holiday like Kwanzaa. But the reason it should not replace Independence Day is because liberty does not operate with a binary on/off switch. There is growth and development through history, and there is no problem celebrating advances, which American independence certainly was. But if your standard is “nobody celebrates until everyone is free,” then that eliminates Juneteenth also—because everybody is not free from oppression yet.

Self-Loathing

Not a question regarding any one particular book, just seeking some kind wisdom, if I might be so bold.

I’m struggling with pride in the veil of deep depression and self loathing. I look at my family and my job, and all I see is my own failure as a man to live up to what God calls me to be. I’m in sin in multiple different areas of life, and my heart wants to end it all so that I’m no longer a burden on everyone else. I’m not stating intention of suicide, and I do believe in Christ and His promise to save those who trust in Him. I just don’t know how to get out of the cycle of self loathing and wanting to die. Do you have any advice for someone like me?

Anonymous

Anonymous, I think you should seek out wise pastoral help in order to walk through the basic issues here. And I do think you will need to walk through them over time. But this is the place where I think you should start. As I have dealt with folks in your position, I have found that they are eager to get out a muckrake in order to go through a pile of any number of potential sins. But the one sin they won’t accuse themselves of is the sin of morbid introspection, which is simply pride in the fetal position. So the problem is not that you accuse yourself of sin all the time. The problem is that you are not accusing yourself with regard to the central sin that has you by the throat, the one you are actually committing.

Pastors and Political Theology

Regarding “My Kingdom is Not of This World,” Which Is Why We Were Instructed to Pray for it to Come Real question: Why are pastors so terrible at political philosophy? It seems to me that most pastors just assume a modern political theory of democracy, constitutionalism, liberalism, or republicanism and then read it into the Bible.

Jackson

Jackson, they are woefully ill-informed because they have never studied it, or read any books on it. But then a crisis hits, and because they are up front and in a position of leadership, everyone looks at them. What do we do now? And so they wing it.

Canon-Pilled

I recently was Canon-Pilled by some friends of the Church I attend. We serve at an SBC Church and are fighting what seems to be an uphill battle. Your content and the rest of the content on Canon Plus are refreshing and motivate me to be an effective witness for Christ in our world. I have held to postmillennialism for some time now, but you have shown me what it truly means to believe in postmillennialism. Thank you for that. May we continue to proclaim that Jesus is Lord to the world in the coming weeks, months, and years.

Christ is Lord,

Ryan

Ryan, thank you, and amen.

Sounds Like a Fun Jag

I’m on a “war history” jag, currently reading “Reminisces” by Douglas MacArthur. A brilliant, courageous, and great man, whose political statements nevertheless seem inflated with the zeitgeist of his own time. I wonder if his “modern” reforms at West Point (c. 1919 and on) were entirely wholesome. Curiosity about this and other historical points (throw your quip about modern boot camps into the mix) leads me to ask, any recommended reading re: the evolution of military command and/or training philosophy?

Douglas

Douglas responding to Douglas about Douglas: I think this subject is a big deal, and worthy of study, but I am not current on it. But I think there is something about his West Point reforms in a really fun book I read years ago called How Football Explains America.

Practical Questions About Mere Christendom

I finished “Mere Christendom” and have some questions regarding your thoughts on free speech. What kinds of speech (if any) would be banned? Would pornography be banned? Would the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence be banned? Would drag shows (even those for adults) and strip clubs be banned?

Sam

Sam, yes, porn would be banned. And for the rest, I would begin by getting all of that stuff out of the public square. I would begin with restrictions and isolation and after that, play the ball as it lays.

Girard and the Violence of Our Moment

On “Our Plantain Republic” Having never read Girard, I find the overall idea of the “war of all against all” transforming into a “war of all against one” compelling. I wonder if it would be possible, however, to see such a scapegoating happen in microcosm or in blocs as opposed to a true “all against one” catharsis. Not to read too much into our societal tea leaves, but it would seem with how far down the divide in our culture goes in basic worldview assumptions (such that “Normies” and “Clown World” inhabit completely different realities), that either side of that fault line could choose it’s own scapegoat to kill. That Clown World has chosen Trump as its locus of cathartic ire seems clear enough; do you think what has recently transpired with the likes of Bud Light and Target might represent a similar choice on the part of the Normies? I guess I don’t see our current situation as being something that could turn into a war of all against one, excepting reformation and gospel repentance that rightly locates the scapegoat necessity in its ultimate fulfillment in Christ and the forgiveness and reconciliation He brings. But where Reality itself remains contested—the real starchiness in this burgeoning plantain republic—is there even the possibility of a Girardian turn from all against all to all against one?

Patrick

Patrick, you have put your finger on another aspect of this that needs to be teased out. The mob mentality on the left is seeking to build up to a scapegoat release. But in a situation like ours, when there is stiff resistance to that move, the end result is usually a civil war.

Middle of the Road

Re: Puritan Yeast

Putting on my Trinitarian Glasses, it looks like conservatives bend toward unity, while liberals bend toward diversity. Radicals make noise at either end of the spectrum, but change is defined by where the middle goes.

So far, human history has done remarkably well with spreading the yeast!

John

John, amen.

I appreciated you discussing the difficulties with the progressive and conservative categories. I started rethinking those terms as I have noticed our society regressing towards paganism. We really shouldn’t consider ourselves conservatives. As post-millennial Christians we are working towards progressing the world away from paganism and towards the kingdom of Christ. The so called progressive are really trying to retard our society back to paganism. There are certainly values from our history we would like to conserve. However, those values were still incomplete and need to be perfected and progressed towards the kingdom of Christ. I also wanted to address this point you made.

“The problem this approach faces is the problem that sex creates for them. This is because sex means children, and children mean generations, and histories, and developments, and customs, and a heritage, and after 175 years of this, what you have is a nation, a people, who are held together by far more than that original idea.”

Isn’t this one of the issues with the war between the states? The original conception of these United States was more of a confederation of sovereign nations. Each one developing a particular character with different Christian denominations, customs and cultures. This is why southern generals had more of a love for their state than they did the Union. Don’t you think this fact subverts your point of us historically being a unified people?

Another historical issue your point doesn’t account for is the nearly continuous influx of immigrants from various regions from Europe at first, then Africa and now South America. This shaped us and has kept us from really sharing a common culture. I am not saying there aren’t ways in which we have things in common with other Americans, both now and historically. Also since the war between the states we have experienced varying degrees of shared unity and culture. However, we as a nation, post civil war, have not really ever been a unified people or nation for an extended period of time similar to the Swedes, French, or Japanese. The point is there are far more traits that define Swedish people and what they have in common than Americans have with each other.

The public schools I attended in the south had large populations of black students. I had many friends who were black. Something I noticed about them is most didn’t see our founding fathers as their people. Obviously this fact has only revealed itself more acutely in recent developments. Doesn’t this undermine your claims of our nation sharing a historical perspective?

Many Christians who remember the 50s or who have a romantic view of it seem to think the perceived unity of that period is proof that America is a nation in the ethnic sense. That period of tranquility and unity was barely a second. This could be said of nearly every time in our history where we have experienced some level of unity. Many of us Americans have a shared history. It’s mostly a history of division, ethnic change, and fighting. Various groups have had greater degrees of influence on America as a whole, for example the Puritans, Scots Irish, and now blacks. Soon America as a whole will experience more change due to the growing Hispanic population. This has been a long winded post to get to my actual second question, how would you define what specific traits, customs, and culture that characterize an American?

Thanks for your time,

John

John, I think you are right that we are not nearly as unified as a small monoethnic country like Japan is. But I think we are far more unified than any number of sprawling empires have been. We are something of a mutt in this regard. And I think the federal nature of our system does lean against a melting pot conception of unity, but not against a tossed salad conception of it.

Household Voting

I can’t remember which book I first saw it in (I’m guessing Mother Kirk), but your policy on household voting has really resonated with me. I’ve found a few old posts you’ve written on it as well, and I’m in full agreement with your position. However, I brought it up to my church leadership recently, and while my pastor was sympathetic to the view, he was skeptical that we could ever get everyone “up to speed” and implement it. I’m not sure if this is because of creeping egalitarianism, a perceived “threat” to a 200-year tradition of women’s suffrage, or what. I’m just curious if this was something that Christ Church has always done, or how you bridged that chasm. The initial conversation was discouraging, to say the least.

Tim

Tim, yes. I believe there is something on that in Mother Kirk also. It is hard to remember our transition because it was so many years ago, but there was no controversy. But I think that was because we implemented it at the time we brought in the congregation voting at all.

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Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 months ago

Great advice I gleaned from… I often pray the Lord would make a miracle ..like the one of crossing the red sea. Blessings to you all.

Nathan James
Nathan James
7 months ago

Doug, you missed Stephen’s point about the salvation of aborted babies. If you are correct that aborted babies are saved, then it follows that what was not possible for Paul to do for the Jews (be damned in order to save them) is entirely possible for American parents to do for their unborn babies. I shudder to think. But it does follow.

Zeph
Zeph
7 months ago

Joan, next time your colleague suggests Juneteenth as a national independence day, point out to her the issue of Native Americans. They weren’t deemed citizens until the 1920s and Alaska Natives were still wards of the government until after WW2. Lum v. Mississippi required segregated schools for Asian Americans. It goes on and on.

Cherrera
Cherrera
7 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

Speaking of Native Americans, some of them still owned black slaves after 6/19/1865. But don’t confuse the woke with facts; they like their nice, clean narratives no matter how inconsistent they are!

Zeph
Zeph
7 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Most Natives didn’t have anything to do with the African slave trade. Cherokee mostly.

Cherrera
Cherrera
7 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

The point is that slavery didn’t end on “Juneteenth” nor were all slaveowners white. There were also a lot of white slaves sent from England and even slave auctions long before this. The fact they were indentured servants meant many were worked to death since their owners had them for a limited time. But don’t expect their modern-day Appalachian descendants to get any holidays.

Zeph
Zeph
7 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

Lum was in the 1920s

Zeph
Zeph
7 months ago

As far as my touchstone verse regarding salvation of the unborn and infants is concerned is Romans 7:9. From that verse and the surrounding text, I understand that when a child first knowingly sins, then they die and need salvation. That is why the Pilgrims and Puritans were so aggressive about evangelizing their young as early as possible. In an era where at least one of your children would die by five, they understood the necessity of it. An unborn and newborn haven’t sinned, so they haven’t died yet.

Last edited 7 months ago by Zeph
mo
mo
7 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

“An unborn and newborn haven’t sinned, so they haven’t died yet.” Are you saying the unborn are morally neutral? That they did not fall with Adam? I think the wisest thing regarding this question is to remain agnostic. We can’t know with 100% surety that anyone is saved. I believe there are many in every evengelical, reformed church who will say, “Lord, Lord…” and He will respond, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

Ken B
Ken B
7 months ago
Reply to  mo

I agree with you that as far as babies and infants who die we can only really believe the Judge of all the earth will do right, as scripture as far as I can see doesn’t clearly reveal anything else. We may also never be absolutely certain who really is authentically saved in this life, but I part company with you if you extend this to our personal assurance. If we have been justified by faith and God has given us the Spirit (which are both found in the first few verses of Rom 5) then we can have assurance.… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Ken B
John Middleton
John Middleton
7 months ago

The problem with the idea of Juneteenth replacing Independence day is that the two are not commemorating the same kind of thing at all. One has to do with political existence and one has to do with personal freedom.

Nathan
Nathan
7 months ago
Reply to  John Middleton

Not to mention that both are well worth their own celebration.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
7 months ago

Juneteempf will never replace July 4th and is a Top Five contender for World’s Stupidest Portmanteau.

Nevertheless, we should lean into it heavily. After all, it was originally a Texas thang — Texas being a red state — and Republicans freeing all the Democrats’ slaves is certainly worthy of celebration.

Cherrera
Cherrera
7 months ago

While I’m not a fan of any race having month/week/year, I’d be willing to have the following compromise for a while:

  • Stop celebrating the plagiarizing, heretical, woman-beating serial adulterer in January
  • Move Black History Month to June. Or call the whole month Juneteenth.
  • Get rid of Groomer Month (the best outcome of all this)
P Month.png
David Douglas
David Douglas
7 months ago

Doug, Re: How’d Jya Know? “But they were always aiming to destroy every taboo.”  I have been exceedingly blessed by your admonitions over the years about “the play they are running on us” and as a result have had a good grid to understand the present madness of unrestrained lust, which truly seeks to be free of any limits. There’s a straight line from Sodom’s attempt to rape angels to the Sanhedrin’s desire to kill Jesus. But I would want to perhaps augment the mechanism you describe. There may be some bwahaha-saying hand-wringing string-pullers in every age, but it seems as if most… Read more »

Kristina
Kristina
7 months ago
Reply to  David Douglas

Older people like Sullivan grew up when there was still plenty of that “leftover Christian capital” floating around.

David Douglas
David Douglas
7 months ago
Reply to  Kristina

Kristina,
My point exactly. We act, rebelling or reforming, from the sensibilities developed from our environment and era.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
7 months ago

1) Is there any chance of the Twitter comment login ever getting fixed? 2) For Grace: CCM (ccmbooks.org) has a couple of resources you might find useful. First, How to Lead Your Wayward Children Back to the Lord—your kids may not be quite that far gone, but you could probably glean some good principles from it. Second, Saturation Love—this essay may be included in the Wayward Children booklet. I can’t recall off the top of my head. You can also get it as a standalone booklet. And it’s also included in How to Be Free from Bitterness, which has all… Read more »