That Time Russell Moore Ran Over My Dog

Introduction

I believe that a few people are wondering if Russell Moore ran over my dog or something. In a post last week I said that Moore was setting the stage for a cultural abdication that I did not want to see happen, and in saying this I am afraid that I annoyed some people. Consider this post an explanation and amplification of that first post, alongside an actual offer to retract the statements I made in the first one if that proves necessary.trump-gay-flag

There is nothing personal here. Although I have never met Russell Moore, men I respect are among the men who respect him highly, and I have no wish to dispute with them about his character. I do not believe that he is about to applaud gay marriage as such. Quite the reverse. I am willing to grant that he is much more of a Christian gentleman than I am, although I say this recognizing that for some of my detractors this is setting the bar pretty low. Still, there it is.

What this is about has to do with how theology maps onto strategy, and how different theologies will necessarily translate into different strategies. Like it or not, Russell Moore is a general on our side in the culture wars, and I see him adopting a certain way of framing the issues surrounding marriage which I believe will be catastrophic for us in the long run. Please bear with me as I seek to explain why.

A Roundup

Here is a brief round-up of some of the things that Russell Moore has said with regard to the homosexual revolution. He is opposed to same sex activity and believes it to be a sin. He is no coward, and was willing to say as much in an unfriendly setting. Here is an account of him doing just that.

According to some, Moore is opposed to reparative therapy. Others describe his comments about it as more contextualized than that.

At the same time, after the shooting at the Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando some months back, Moore tweeted this: “Christian, your gay or lesbian neighbor is probably really scared right now. Whatever our genuine disagreements, let’s love and pray.”

He also appears to be among those who believe the church should get out of the marriage business (as it pertains to the marriages of unbelievers in secular society), as he argued in the post already linked. He is willing for the church to perform a civil function for a ceremony between two believers, and argued against those who wanted the church to get out of doing marriages altogether. I have already interacted with that view at some length, and Moore and I seem to be fairly close on that issue.

But I think he is missing something important in it. Whether the church ought to be performing marriage ceremonies and, if so, which ones, is a very different issue than what the church should be prophetically saying to the unbelieving world about what they call marriages. I am not primarily talking about whether John the Baptist would officiate for Herod and Herodias, of course not, but what he should say to them after that political power couple succeeded in getting someone else to officiate for them. More on John the Baptist below.

And recall how Russell Moore responded when Chief Justice Roy Moore defied the imposition of this ungodly agenda on the state of Alabama.

Last, in a post on Russell Moore a couple years ago, linked here, I responded to Moore’s take on a question he was asked about attending a gay wedding. His answer at that time was that a Christian should not attend the wedding, but could attend the reception. In that post, I linked to the video where Moore said this, but since that time the video has apparently been taken down. But he did say it.

And then, in his talk at the First Things dinner, I noticed—like it was blinking in neon I noticed—that he said we were standing for right-to-life and for the stability of the family.

Now when you refuse to attend a wedding ceremony, but then are willing to attend a reception that celebrates the event you could not attend, this says something profound about what you believe about the nature of the thing you disapprove of. It registers what kind of disapproval it is, and what level of disapproval it is. It tells me that you do disapprove of the union in the first place, but that you are willing to be supportive of it in some sense as a fait accompli. It tells me, in short, that you disapprove initially but are willing to try to make it work after the fact. More on this approach shortly.

Referencing the tweet above, did the angels visiting Sodom have “genuine disagreements” with the residents there? Why yes, they did, and if memory serves, there was a lively exchange of views on Lot’s front porch. But to put it this way, to talk about our high-handed homosexual revolt as though it were simply a matter of “genuine disagreement” that we can temporarily set aside in order to “love and pray” is to radically misconstrue what the hell is going on.

The Issue

And so this brings us down to the point at issue, and my comments last week. In my previous post, I said this:

“In the meantime, people like Russell Moore, evangelicals who opposed Trump, for reasons of their own are quietly setting the stage for sidling away from the biblical position on LGBTQ AMTRACK. Moore is starting to do this by saying that one of the pressing issues of our day is the stability of the family. By the quaintest of oaths, it is not. The issue before us today is the definition of the family.”

From the beginning, one of the arguments used by advocates of gay marriage is that legal recognition of homosexual unions will help stabilize the family. This has been a centerpiece of their whole stinking campaign. This is why queer advocates oppose homosexual marriage and it is one of the reasons why I do. The response of faithful believers is that we don’t want stable polygamous unions—we want heterosexual monogamy. We don’t want stable homosexual marriages—we want no homosexual marriages.

Allow me to say that again. We want no homosexual marriages. I do not want simply to keep homosexual marriages out of the Christian church. I want to keep them out of the United States of America.

Of course in the meantime we don’t want our religious liberty to refuse such unions within the church to be overthrown (and Moore and I agree here), but we also want to proclaim to the secular and unbelieving world that they have a moral obligation to refuse such unions as well. And that is where I believe Moore is preparing to fold. Again, I would remind you of how Russell Moore responded when Chief Justice Roy Moore did not fold.

Now I know that Russell Moore opposed the Obergefell decision. He didn’t go to that particular wedding. But he is saying certain things that make me think that he is in fact willing to go to the reception. This is not because he is wickedly approving of homosexuality as a good thing in itself. It is that he has filed his disapproval in the wrong file cabinet.

This is, I believe, because he doesn’t have the theological categories that enable him to deal with this issue. As a Baptist, the issues of religious liberty are right at his core. As an American Presbyterian, I am happy to agree with his commitment to that religious liberty, but other things are also going on. I would want to point out that Presbyterians have a much longer history grappling with the thorny issues presented by natural law, biblical law, and the necessity of some defined religious commitment to ground and establish the public square. In short, the public square cannot be neutral. If we do not confess that Jesus is Lord in the public square, then every form of lawlessness will necessarily follow.

John the Baptist Cuts Short a Promising Ministry

Certain kinds of marriage sins can be classed as “water under the bridge” sins. God picks you up where you are, and not where you should have been. A man comes to Christ together with his wife—his second wife. His first wife is remarried also and has three kids who are all in high school. Now what? Assume that the dissolution of the first marriage happened because of adultery with the current spouses, and that the formation of the new marriages was adulterous in both spirit and letter on all sides (Matt. 5:32). Scripture still calls the downstream spouses names like husband and wife (Deut. 24:1-4). The verb Jesus used of the illicit union—gameo—is the verb to marry (Matt. 5:32). Disobedience can result in a marriage that is recognized by Scripture as a legal marriage, one which needs to be dealt with in those terms.

But other marriage sins are not in this category. Say a man marries his sister or daughter, or a dude marries another dude. Assuming repentance, that repentance must be validated through what happens next, which must be a divorce. When the men of Israel married Canaanite women who were guilty of a certain level of detestable practices, Ezra required them to divorce their wives (Ezra 10:3-5).

And this is how John the Baptist comes to Herod, in the present tense, and tells him more than that he shouldn’t have done what he did back in the day. He tells him that the sin was ongoing. He says that the marriage was unlawful, period. He didn’t say to repent, and just take it from here (which you would do in some instances, see above).

“For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her” (Matt. 14:3–4).

As long as Philip was alive, it was not lawful for him to have her under any circumstances. She was his niece, as well as being the niece of Philip, her previous husband. This provides us with the creepy factor. But then Herod stole her from his brother, and John the Baptist said that this was against the law of God. The laws involved were from Leviticus (Lev. 18: 16; 20:21). This was the problem that Josephus pointed to—he said that the sin was that Herodias was “parted from a living husband.” Time couldn’t fix this, and mere acknowledge of the sinfulness of the union at the beginning couldn’t fix it. This was not a water under the bridge scenario. If Philip was dead, the political situation would have been different (although perhaps just as tawdry).

So opposition to a particular given marriage can come in two forms. Suppose a couple gets together and you believe that the proposed union is a spectacularly bad idea. It is such a bad idea that you cannot in good conscience go to the wedding ceremony in order to witness the vows, or to celebrate them afterward. Say that a sixteen-year-old girl is marrying a 40-year-old chieftain in the Hell’s Angels. Not a good idea. But they persevere in disregarding all counsel and get married in a nice little ceremony at the Flying J. Six months later your dear little fathead has realized that the whole thing was not as romantic as it had initially seemed, and she has now come to you for counsel. Though you didn’t go to the wedding, all your counsel now is calculated to save the marriage if biblically possible.

You were saying no, no, no, all the way up the altar, and yes, yes, yes when they get back from their honeymoon. You were the sole opponent of their love before the wedding, and the biggest advocate for it afterward. In this sense, you are working for the stability of marriage. But you do this with the basic definition of marriage still unaltered. A marriage can be a really bad idea without altering the definition of marriage.

But there is another category. This is the kind of wedding that you oppose beforehand and you oppose afterward. The reason you do this is because it is an abomination, and changes in our nation’s laws cannot make it stop being an abomination. John the Baptist opposed the continuance of an incestuous marriage to a sister-in-law while the spouse is still alive. The answer is no, God says. It didn’t matter that Herod thought it was legal. It was legal in his world, a world that it appears John didn’t give a rip about.

Now which category does a sinfully contracted homosexual marriage fit in? What does repentance look like in that situation? It looks like divorce, and if there is no divorce, then there is no repentance.

The Theology of All This:

Now in the post-Obergefell era, we are going to have to decide what cultural repentance looks like. What do we want exactly?

Is there any such thing as a Christian nation? Moore has argued that the answer can be yes, if you mean a nation with a lot of Christians in it. But he says no if you mean that our nation could have a unique relationship with God, somewhat like ancient Israel had. I agree with him on both these responses, by the way, but I also want to say there are other options. Can a nation be covenanted with God in the new covenant era, and seek to please the Lord Jesus in how they frame their laws?

Doing this does not preclude other nations from doing it also, and as they do it, you have the budding formation of a new Christendom. Now in order to have a Christendom like that, the marriage laws of such nations would necessarily exclude same sex mirages. The laws would reflect (as they did in the past) what God requires of humanity in marriage.

I read Moore as thinking that the magistrate should not be explicitly Christian in his approach to marriage law, but that common grace and common sense can tell him that stable sexual unions in his nation would be good for political stability over all. We can discover that stability is a political desideratum without unleashing the horrors of theocracy.

Now I do believe that natural law can teach us that stability in a commonwealth is a political good. But I also know that natural law tells us that homosexuality is unnatural and perverse, and is a destructive cultural force. Embracing homosexuality is no less wrong-headed than embracing political instability. So even if we fall short of my mere Christendom goals, we still must walk away from the cockeyed view that homosexual marriage is anything other than progressivism’s wet dream.

Good Cop, Bad Cop

And here is where the election of Trump comes in. The progressives with their totalitolerance were over-reaching like nobody’s business. They were demanding that we surrender our views on biblical marriage or be relegated as haters forever. If Hillary had been elected, that full-court press against the consciences of believers would have continued unabated. Homosexual marriage would have been publicly celebrated, and persecution of sexual dissenters would have continued. This has been, and would have continued to be, a two-front war. They would be seeking to establish their definition of marriage, and they would have continued to make war on the religious liberties of Christians who differed with them. Russell Moore would have been staunch in defending believers against such attacks, but is, I believe, predisposed to let them do what they want on their own turf.

And so, with the election of Trump, I expect the threat to our religious liberties to be greatly diminished. But I also expect a “live and let live” mandate to be part of the offer. Hillary was the bad cop, and Trump is the good cop.

The Price of Being Great Again

Now here is the question. Suppose that Trump, all things considered, does a halfway decent job. Suppose that under him the economy escapes the Obama doldrums, and suppose that we Americans get returned to our birthright, which is to be awash in money again.

Here is the question for evangelical Christians. If the price of that recovery is the normalization of homosexual marriage in the West, is that price worth it to you? If you had to choose between the survival of same sex mirage or the survival of America, and could only pick one, which one would you choose? If you prefer the survival of any particular nation over the survival of one of God’s creation ordinances, then we have discovered the root idolatry.

And that is what it would be—idolatry simpliciter.

On Answering the Question on the 10th Anniversary of Obergefell:

A full generation after Roe, there is a robust pro-life movement that wants to overturn Roe. What we started doing in the aftermath of Roe, killing babies, we should now stop doing. We must continue to thank God for this ongoing opposition, and we must continue to ask God to sustain us in that opposition.

So my question is this. On the tenth anniversary of Obergefell, will there be any anti-homosexual marriage movement in this country? Will anyone be calling for the overturning of Obergefell? Besides me, I mean.

I do not mean to ask if anyone will say that Obergefell ought not to have been decided the way it was. I am not asking about opposition to it as a legal or historical matter, tucked away in an academic journal somewhere. I am talking about wanting to overturn it in the future, and trying to get that opposition into the platform of your political party. I am talking about proposing to others that we must overturn it lest God be angry with us and visit us with burning brimstone from the sky.

I am talking about John the Baptist coming out of the woods to confront a Republican president who wants to move into the White House with his latest boy toy—the First Lad, let us call him. In case you think I am off my head to talk this way, I would like to ask you to remember that our next First Lady is actually the third lady, if you are just counting marriages, and who is someone who has been a soft porn model at the very least. We have come a long way from Dolly Madison. So if you fast forward a bit, it is not all that hard to imagine all the evangelical leaders of that future day being a bit “uncomfortable” with poor John’s binary approach to things. I predict that none of them will visit John in jail. Poor testimony, and we don’t want to jeopardize the election of the owner of the boy toy.

So there are three basic takes that Christian leaders can offer on this.

  1. They can say that Obergefell must be overturned, period, the sooner the better. Christians must treat Obergefell as we have treated Roe.
  1. They can say that Obergefell should not have been decided the way it was, but it is settled law now, and we should work to preserve our own religious liberty, and generally for stable marriages within the framework of that legal reality.
  1. They can refuse to say.

Now having said all this, having explained my reading of him, if Russell Moore is willing to affirm #1 above, I am fully willing to retract my earlier statements and to seek forgiveness for having made them, and for having misread him. But thus far I believe I have decent reasons for believing that I have not misread.

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Chad Barnes
Guest

Doug, that’s very well done.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

What’s the biblical case for saying that the secular government should be involved in marrying people? People have been committing acts of perversion since the get-go. It seems to me that the doorway into getting official state sanction for perversion was opened whenever society decided that marriage is something the government should be involved in. But who married Abraham and Sarah? Who married Isaac and Rebekah? Who married Adam and Eve, for that matter? I’m not trying to be quarrelsome about it. I’m just one of the Baptist visitors asking how you guys in the Presbyterian branch construct a doctrine… Read more »

Jane
Member

Steve, it seems strange to read those questions after reading that post. I think your questions are answered either in the post itself or in some of the things contained in links. Whether you find the answers satisfying is of course another matter, but the answers are there.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

After a second read, I still don’t see the answers. Maybe my presups are preventing me from seeing the answers as answers. I was really looking for a citation of relevant texts which would form the basis for a formal doctrine.

Jane
Member

Ah, you want support for the answers he gave. That’s fair.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Well if you share property and inherit and such, the government is definitely involved.

Jill Smith
Member

Within our current set up, the government has to be involved because the church can’t deal with issues of inheritance, property division, child custody, and so on. It has no enforcement mechanism other than church discipline, which is meaningless to someone who walks away from the church. Would it be sensible to adopt the European model? A marriage at city hall or the court house, followed by a religious wedding? People who did not choose to have a religious wedding would be regarded as married in a civil but not a Christian sense.

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote:

Would it be sensible to adopt the European model?

Lately, the answer to that question is almost always, no.

I think jillybean has it right concerning why the civil magistrate has a role in recognizing marriage, and enforcing justice on matters surrounding it, but there is no reason to put city hall ahead of the Church in terms of witnessing and solemnizing the new union. For a Christian marriage, the Church can provide the civil government the necessary evidences that a marriage really took place, or invite them to witness if they wish.

The_L1985
Guest

Even here in the US, you still have to sign the marriage license! That right there IS the civil marriage. That IS the “necessary evidences that a marriage really [is taking] place*.” And that is precisely what Europe’s laws ask for. You can sign the marriage license in a church if you want to, but I promise you that it is not a necessary part of blessing the marriage. It is only necessary for the couple to enjoy the legal benefits of being married. * A wedding is a single event. One hopes that a marriage is an ongoing relationship… Read more »

The_L1985
Guest

Plus, if 2 lesbians want to get married in Italy, they can fill out the legal paperwork with no trouble, but no Catholic church* is going to sanctify their union because a Catholic wedding can only be between a man and woman who are Catholic and have never been divorced.

They get their legal rights, but nobody is calling it sanctified in God’s eyes. I daresay everybody wins in that scenario.

*the most common form of Christianity in Italy, by a huge margin

Jill Smith
Member

I think this is the most usual setup where gay marriage is legal. Canada has had gay marriage for over 10 years, but nobody has attempted to force the Catholic church to perform or recognize gay marriages. But then Catholic institutions must be careful not to sign agreements with the state where they accept taxpayer money yet insist on upholding teachings that violate the rules. And they must be careful not to hire practicing lesbians when it suits them (e.g. when the most successful lacrosse coaches are lesbians, so a school turns a blind eye) while refusing to hire lesbian… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I think he is saying that the state can define marriage as long as its definition comports with traditional Christian teaching. I don’t think anyone should be counting on that.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Where do you get the idea of “secular government” from?

theo
Guest
theo

I see civil governments (kingdoms of men) ordained by God. There is no such thing as a “secular government”.

Daniel 4:17
This
matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of
the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High
ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and
setteth up over it the basest of men.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

I get the idea from the words of Christ, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” He presupposed a distinction. It seems to be a civil government whose rulers see themselves as independent of God and conduct their affairs that way.

Perhaps you prefer the term “civil government.” I can live with that just fine. The question remains, Why do we think the Bible teaches that the civil government can/should/must define what a marriage is, or be involved in it at all?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Who punishes adultery and bigamy? Who judges inheritance disputes?

Ahmanson
Guest
Ahmanson

That refers to the government of the Israelites, which does not apply in a post-Christ context. None of the Old Testament punishments do.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I think you replied to the wrong post.

Katecho
Member

Bro. Steve wrote: I get the idea from the words of Christ, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” He presupposed a distinction. Wait a minute. Whose image is on Caesar? Caesar needs to render to God what is God’s. See Psalm 2. This utterly precludes any pretended neutrality of secularism. Jesus’ teaching of “render to Caesar” had to do with whether it was lawful for God fearers to pay the tax to a unbelieving ruler. He was answering whether that tax payment, done in submissive obedience to God, would be considered by God as… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

I think Jesus was saying that there were two separate gifts and two separate receptacles for them. If that’s not so, then His whole answer reduces to nonsense. But really, I think my esteemed Presbyterian friends may be mistaking what oughtta be for what actually is. What ought to be is every knee bowing and confessing that Christ is Lord. But as things stand now, kings and princes “set themselves against the Lord and His anointed.” (Ps 2) In that sense, they indeed are a secular government. I’m just wondering if it was a misstep for Christian people to ever… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Bro. Steve wrote: I think Jesus was saying that there were two separate gifts and two separate receptacles for them. If that’s not so, then His whole answer reduces to nonsense. Bro. Steve seems to be repeating the notion that Caesar has a separate secular play ground where Jesus has no expectations. I’ve shown that this is not the case. Jesus is called King of kings precisely because He has expectations of kings, and will judge them. If Jesus has expectations of kings, then so can we, all according to His Word. We proclaim His Word to every creature, small… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful reply. My only problem with it is that it doesn’t offer an obvious way to solve the problem we’re dealing with, namely, civil governments saying that Bill and Bob are now husband and husband. The pragmatic reasons for involving government in marriage can be solved by resorting to other pragmatic solutions. Suppose we had never involved the government in marriage. A secular ruler could say, for instance, that if two people wish to enjoy government protection over their joint property disputes, then they can write a contract that governs disposition of their stuff. And,… Read more »

Ahmanson
Guest
Ahmanson

Fun fact: the mainstream society does not accept our worldview, and we have no right to force them to act in accordance with something they don’t believe in.

BooneCtyBeek
Guest
BooneCtyBeek

How about this. I believe that God created three institutions for the well-ordering of society. The Family, the Church, and the Government. Each have unique and overlapping responsibilities.

Problems come when one begins to encroach on the other.

In our current history the Government is Pac Manning the family and church.

The_L1985
Guest

And the church is “Pac-manning” the government. Or do you believe that Jewish, Wiccan, and Muslim Americans should be allowed to start meetings of the local government with their prayers as often as Christian Americans do?

Jill Smith
Member

If California proceedings are opened with prayer, I am pretty certain the prayers would be multi-religious! They would probably invite the Scientologists (about whom I say nothing negative, having a healthy fear of lawsuits).

The_L1985
Guest

Well, that certainly hasn’t been the case where I live. Even though there are religious minorities in town, there are prayers at meetings, and they are ALL Christian. That just doesn’t seem like the Golden Rule to me.

jonmnoel
Member

Why? I would have other people pray for me to the true and living God and not some figment of their imagination. That’s a massive distortion of the Bible to think we should encourage others to pray to their false gods. You never saw Daniel or Joseph encouraging that when they were in pluralistic societies, or Paul for that matter.

The_L1985
Guest

1. I did not say “encourage.” You can allow a thing without encouraging it.

2. Their gods are not false to them.

jonmnoel
Member

That’s not very Biblical. The Bible mocks them for that very reason, that they worship that which are not God.

The_L1985
Guest

But it’s a lot more Christlike, and doesn’t make the bizarre error of assuming that pagans worship the statues themselves. (Seriously, that’s just like someone saying, “You Christians are so silly, worshipping a wooden cross like that!”)

Ahmanson
Guest
Ahmanson

We believe that their gods DO NOT EXIST, and should not be worshipped. Believing in something does not make it true. If you believe in something false, YOU ARE WRONG and should change.

The_L1985
Guest

Not the same thing. Also, given that the existence of ANY god cannot Hebrew scientifically riven or disproven, including Jesus, we cannot really say for sure that they believe something false, can we?

Consistorian
Guest

Given Justin Taylor’s insulting shot at Doug, it would seem he needs to at least do Doug the justice of reading this and then letting us know whether he still thinks Doug has no desire to engage with Moore honestly.

John
Member

Do you have a link? I’d like to read it.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt
Jane
Member

Justin’s tweet doesn’t appear on that thread, just Doug’s responses. Help?

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

This is at least the first one.

https://mobile.twitter.com/wedgetweets/status/797168292163100672

You should also be able to click (or tap or whatever) on an individual tweet from Doug to bring up the whole thread.

Jane
Member

Thanks. And thanks for the tip on following Twitter. I’ve avoided spending time there as I don’t need another time/soul suck in my life, so I don’t know the ins and outs. :-)

Jill Smith
Member

I hear you, sister!

John
Member

Has any good ever come out of Twitter? Always seeing people taking down tweets. 144 characters is not designed for a serious discussion

ashv
Guest
ashv

Twitter is a platform for tribal warfare. (So, yes.)

insanitybytes22
Member

“Will anyone be calling for the overturning of Obergefell? Besides me, I mean.”

The truth? Likely not. Certainly not my former church now flying the rainbow flag, nor the pastor up the road who has come out loud and proud, leaving behind a wife and small kids.

adad0
Member

How likely is it that you will be taking in the wife and kids?
Wouldn’t be the first time you picked up someone else’s pieces! ????????????

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

Moore believes in egalitarian gender roles etc
Give it time…

1689Williams
Guest
1689Williams

“As a Baptist, the issues of religious liberty are right at his core. As an American Presbyterian, I am happy to agree with his commitment to that religious liberty, but other things are also going on. I would want to point out that Presbyterians have a much longer history grappling with the thorny issues presented by natural law, biblical law, and the necessity of some defined religious commitment to ground and establish the public square. In short, the public square cannot be neutral. If we do not confess that Jesus is Lord in the public square, then every form of… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Did Trump just say he is fine with gay marriage and will not appoint judges for the purpose of overturning Obergefell?

Eagle_Eyed
Guest
Eagle_Eyed

No, he punted and said that the recent SC decision is “the law of the land.” While I would certainly wish for him to come down forcibly on the correct side here, conservative Christians need to realize that this is not the fight of a thrice-divorced New York billionaire. I doubt he has strong conviction either way, but he is loyal to those who elected him. 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump. Let’s leverage that to our advantage. Trump will very likely nominated an originalist justice to fill Scalia’s seat. This nominee won’t be enough to overturn Obergefell, but… Read more »

John
Guest
John

I would hope that any judge who stands against Roe V Wade would also stand against Obergefell, and Trump has specifically said that his appointees will be against Roe V Wade.

Jill Smith
Member

I don’t think that the two are inextricably connected. I am strongly anti-abortion because I believe it takes a human life. Protecting that life is the reason I am willing to attempt to impose my view on people who do not share it. But I don’t see that I have a right to use the law to stop people from sinning. Even if I believe that indulgence in a particular sin, if unrepented, will lead to damnation for them (which is actually equally true for all sin), I don’t think that is a valid use of law in a secular… Read more »

John
Guest
John

I wouldn’t say that the fight against gay marriage is trying to stop people from sinning. No one is trying to make homosexuality illegal or even make homosexual acts illegal. Gay marriage is about the social institution of marriage, what it is, what it isn’t, and what it ought to be.

ashv
Guest
ashv

No one is trying to make homosexuality illegal or even make homosexual acts illegal.

Speak for yourself. Why do you believe this?

John
Guest
John

I’m sure there are some who are trying to do those things, but it’s a tiny majority that is politically irrelevant.

Ilíon
Member

Obergefell isn’t merely about allowing others to sin; it is about requiring everyone else to applaud the sin.

Jill Smith
Member

That is a good point.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

Psalm 2 1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will tell of… Read more »

Ilíon
Member

At the same time, the whole problem of getting “the right” justices is rooted in the putsch of 1803 AND in our continued national refusal to understand what the Constitution actually establishes and then to demand that our rulers rule in light of the Constitution.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Does progressivism have wet dreams? I would think its approval of porn prevents it.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Given Russell Moore’s support for open borders, why should we pay attention to any other opinions he has about culture and national behaviour? The former ultimately negates the latter.

Nathan Smith
Member

How so? Is open borders some type of anti-Christian political view.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The practical result of open borders is demographic replacement of people like Russell Moore with people who don’t think the cultural questions he’s addressing are interesting, much less his answers. Both religious liberty and tolerance of sexual perversion are white-people ideas.

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote:

Both religious liberty and tolerance of sexual perversion are white-people ideas.

Isn’t ashv a white supremacist? Apparently white genes don’t translate into superior ideology. That might be an important consideration for ashv to ponder as he gazes out at the world through his race splitting glasses.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I have to wonder what you mean by “superior ideology”. Superior in what way?

Katecho
Member

Wouldn’t a white superiorist hold that “white-people ideas” are “superior ideology”? How does an inferior ideology mesh with a claim of white superiority? I’ve tried to ask ashv about his white superiorism in the past, but he slipped away. It seems that his own model of white superiority is tenuously hand-crafted, and not really subject to much scrutiny. He seems to want me to answer the question for him. However he defines it, it shouldn’t go without notice that ashv doesn’t blink at being regarded as a white supremacist. If he thought I was misrepresenting him, he should at least… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Apparently I’m not a “white superiorist” then, since I don’t think white people have a unique claim to good ideas. It doesn’t take much perception to grasp that most of the ruin and suffering our modern world suffers from is a result of bad ideas invented by white people. (And that the deadliest enemies of me and mine, in particular, are almost entirely white.)

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote: It doesn’t take much perception to grasp that most of the ruin and suffering our modern world suffers from is a result of bad ideas invented by white people. Most? Perhaps this answers whether ashv considers Mohammad to be of the white race. In any case, does this mean that ashv has come full circle and is now a white inferiorist? If so, why build a wall to keep other races out? Is it to contain the white genetic plague from infecting other races? Ashv has some explaining to do if he thinks a wall should be built… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

I once tried to explain this stuff to you, but it is now abundantly clear you don’t have any interest in absorbing new concepts that are in the least complicated. So I decline to try again, beyond noting that “white superiorist” and “white inferiorist” are not the only logically possible positions to hold, nor are they the only things that could possibly affect one’s positions on immigration and border security.

You’re in no position to demand that I have “explaining to do” after everything I’ve posted over the past year.

Katecho
Member

I’m curious what new concept ashv thinks is too complicated for me. He remains as unspecific as ever.

Notice that ashv did not clarify whether he thinks a wall should be built for racial reasons, or not. He just completely evades the issue. Forgetting his previous race-based justifications for white separatism, he suggests that he might have some other reasons for a wall, besides race, but he won’t own any of them.

Vague and non-committal. This coyness usually indicates a slippery position that is just not ready for scrutiny.

ashv
Guest
ashv

You have exhausted my goodwill for people with unfounded accusations.

Katecho
Member

What unfounded accusation? Can I hope for any clarification on that remark from ashv, or is it just another hit and run? He’s turned into complete jello.

Ilíon
Member

Do you really imagine that no one else sees your intellectual dishonesty?

Katecho
Member

I’m happy to interact with Ilion if he has something substantive to critique about what I’ve said. I don’t believe that I’m misrepresenting ashv at all, and Ilion hasn’t provided any specifics for me to consider.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

No disrespect, but this reads like pedantry. If I don’t want strangers moving into my spare bedroom, it does not follow that I hate them, or feel my own family to be superior, or inferior, or to hold any defined relationship vis-a-vis the Other. Merely the fact that it is my family is a legitimate and God-honoring reason to prefer them and protect them from outsiders. The Bible does not abolish families, nor tribes, although it does suggest that they should get along better. So what’s the problem?

Jill Smith
Member

That is an argument for restricting immigration. But is it an argument for selecting immigrants based on their race? If someone says that the US should seal its borders and impose a ten year moratorium on immigration, I may disagree but it is not a racist position. But when someone says we should welcome white European Christians and ban everyone else, I think that is clearly a racially motivated view.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I think the argue about whether something is racially motivated begs the question. Sure, racial distinctions are racially motivated – that’s a tautology. The question “is it wicked to make such distinctions” is more interesting to me, and I would answer it in the negative if races, tribes, and families can be said to be the same kind of group. I am not sure I buy that argument completely, because race is clearly an ambiguous term. But it’s not obviously loony.

Katecho
Member

Uberti wrote: Sure, racial distinctions are racially motivated – that’s a tautology. I would invite Uberti to take note of how often ashv’s answer to a given issue hinges on the question of the race of those involved. My point is not that we can’t ever make generalizations along ethnic or racial lines. Scripture does that. However, we are not allowed to apply those generalizations in a way that, in fact, preemptively silences, excludes, or writes off as hopeless, or subordinates, or is otherwise inequitable to particular people purely on the basis of a generalization about their race or social… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I had meant to reply to this a few days ago and forgot. I agree that there is an obvious danger to drawing our distinctions along racial or tribal lines. And I concur that one must not mistake statistical tendencies for a global, inexorable rule. Yet, we have to generalize: there are doubtless perfectly safe (mostly apostate) Muslims who could assimilate with ease. But isn’t it much more reasonable to exclude Muslims, given that they seem to be dangerous on the whole? I submit that behaving on the basis of accurate generalities is just a fancy word for “thinking”; in… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Uberti wrote: If I don’t want strangers moving into my spare bedroom, it does not follow that I hate them, or feel my own family to be superior, or inferior, or to hold any defined relationship vis-a-vis the Other. Uberti may be oblivious to ashv’s previous comments regarding white intellectual superiority, and black intellectual inferiority, etc., but that doesn’t make me a pedant. The analogy that America is comparable to his spare bedroom suggests a lack of self-awareness of one’s place in the history of American settlement, however, ashv’s suggestion that anyone who opposes him must be for wide open… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Blacks and whites may have different intellectual capabilities, just as Asians seem to be somewhat more intelligent than whites, and West African blacks seem to be rather faster. These are statistical analyses over a population, and not specific to any individual. They may not be true – these are questions of objective fact. Neither believing in their truth nor insisting on their falsity evidence sin. I am not sure what you mean by “lack of awareness of one’s place in the history of American settlement”. If it is as much as to say “your ancestors kicked out the red Indians,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The mere fact of believing such differences are true, in a vacuum, is certainly not sin. However, the reasons for believing they are true could certainly be sinful. On this particular forum, the people who preach intellectual differences between the races also tend to preach emotional, moral, and faith differences between the races, and definitely demonstrate that they believe their own race is “superior” to those other races in ways that go beyond arbitrary tests of abstract reasoning and into the actual Gospel. I think that assuming other races are inferior to your own in matters of faith, or using… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Ireland? How did that get in there? There has to be a relationship between nutrition and IQ, but it is difficult to see why some African nations score higher than others. Where does Cuba fit compared to other Caribbean nations? I just looked at a list of national IQs on Google, and I am not understanding the math. I thought that, theoretically, if average is defined as 100, there should be as many scores above it as below it. How are they scaling these results? I find IQ quite interesting, but almost in a parlor game kind of way like… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was throwing in all sorts of nations – white, black, asian, arab, latino – just to show that a lot of them group together in different places. There is not only a relationship between nutrition and IQ, but parental attention, verbal environment in childhood, educational opportunity, cultural exposure to abstract thinking (and its two-dimensional representations), and a host of other things. Some IQ deficiencies appear to be directly linked to poverty in a manner that scientists haven’t even been able to separate out yet. And, due to epigenetic effects, a lot of those things will have repercussions 1-2 generations… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I agree MB is worthless, but I have taken it every decade since 1984 or so, and I have always had the same results. No, I am sorry to say that I am an INTJ. It did help me to understand that the way I see reality is perhaps unusual, and that this may be why I struggle with understanding that what is obvious to me might not be obvious to everyone else! I was interested in the Irish IQ question, so I did some reading and discovered that this result caused passionate protest from denizens and descendants of the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m INTJ too. lol. There was no way I was going to guess my own for you too. :)

Jill Smith
Member

That is amazing since there we are only supposed to be 1%!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Ask 100 people, had to happen eventually. :)

I think you’re the 2nd or 3rd person I met who had the exact same as me though. My wife is only 1.5 off.

Jill Smith
Member

That is nice for you both, although I expect you both might be a bit unyielding in philosophical discussions! My best friend is one as well, which makes it all the better that we have never quarreled in 45 years!

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I agree that the facts of the matter are fantastically complex. I don’t really hold any particular opinion very strongly, only I think we ought to be able to talk about these sorts of aggregate facts without triggering automatic accusations of malice.

Tell me, would you say that there is no such thing as a smart person as opposed to a dull-witted person? Or are you simply observing that the bare number “125” gives an incomplete picture?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I am saying that: 1) The number can change over time much more than people realize. The popular conception is that IQ is a number you’re born with. That’s simply not true. 2) That IQ can be affected strongly by environmental factors – and due to epigenetics and the effects on eggs in a woman’s body, not only environmental factors on oneself, but on one’s children and grandchildren. 3) That IQ is heavily determined by abstract problems on a sheet of paper, which is something that people in a lot of cultures and educational settings simply aren’t exposed to. However,… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I don’t think I disagree with any of those things – IQ is at best a very relative proxy for a variety of useful traits.

ashv
Guest
ashv

IQ seems to be biologically similar to height — around half environmental, half inherited, and highly polygenic. It’s hardly the only interesting aspect of psychometry: conscientiousness, altruism, time preference, etc. all play a significant role in what types of society people form. IQ is just the easiest to measure and compare. (And it is correlated to income, whether or not it’s correlated with “job performance” or “large wealth”).

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

To what degree is it correlated to income outside of other co-correlating factors? For instance, someone who gets a good education in K-12 might be more likely to earn a high income. And someone who gets a good education in K-12 might be more likely to develop a relatively higher IQ. But isn’t it possible the that good education is leading to the job opportunities and the IQ raise both, and the direct connection between IQ and a better job is spurious? As in the study I pointed out, kids who missed years in school had notable IQ drops. Thus… Read more »

Doug Connell
Guest

“Religious liberty” is a “white-people idea”?

Are you referring to the concept’s enshrinement in our nation’s founding documents? Or something else? Thanks for clarifying. I don’t want to assume I know your thinking.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I am saying that the Mexicans, Somalians, Chinese, etc. currently being invited to America by these open-borders enthusiasts come from societies with no cultural tradition of religious liberty and thus will do nothing to uphold the idea. Religious liberty was invented in England and Northern Europe in the 16th-18th centuries and is an alien idea most other places.

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote:

It doesn’t take much perception to grasp that most of the ruin and suffering our modern world suffers from is a result of bad ideas invented by white people.

Is religious liberty one of those “bad ideas invented by white people”?

I know it’s a lot to expect a direct answer from ashv, but I think he has painted himself into a corner.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I’m already on record as being opposed to religious liberty and in favour of religious toleration.

Try again, lawyer.

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote:

I’m already on record as being opposed to religious liberty and in favour of religious toleration.

Well that sure clarifies things.

What religious expression would ashv tolerate from a non-Christian that would not count as religious liberty? How about some examples?

I suspect that ashv is engaging in special pleading in order to seem sophisticated, aka sophistry.

Jill Smith
Member

I don’t understand the distinction, and I wondered if I could pose an example. Prior to 1870, English Jews could establish temples and worship there openly, but were not admitted to the universities (and, by extension, the professions). Would you see this as religious toleration but not liberty?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Something on that track. I would say the king has defence of the church as one of his duties, and it’s not unreasonable for that to be discharged by explicit state recognition of one or more church organisations, while still permitting the practice of other sects of Christianity as legal. (I don’t think a Christian prince has a duty to tolerate the presence of false religions in his lands.)

stan schmunk
Guest
stan schmunk

We don’t have Christian princes. The Founders were aware that there were Jews and Muslims, etc. in the land but kept the First Amendment as it was.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Yes. The Constitution is explicitly atheist and faithful Americans should pray and work towards a society that rejects it entirely.

jonmnoel
Member

I confess I quite unfamiliar with the actual words of the Constitution. I just glanced through parts of it. Are you making this statement based a lack of any reference to God, and our submission to his lordship? That isn’t an unreasonable assumption, but I want to make sure I understand on what you base that statement. My early american history knowledge is nothing exceptional. Where did your understanding of it as a rebellious and humanistic endeavor, if you would agree with that summary, come from? Was it a conclusion you formed as you began to reexamine democracy, or from… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Specifically I mean the clause stating no religious test will be permitted for officeholders – opening the door for unbelievers to rule.

(The Constitution has many other problems besides this one, but I think it’s reasonable to put it at the top of the list.)

stan schmunk
Guest
stan schmunk

Stupid and irrelevant. It’s amoral and secular but religions are free to compete with each other in an open market of ideas. So far Jesus is doing quite well.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Either Jesus is King of kings or he isn’t. If he is, then governments should be organised in explicit obedience to him.

stan schmunk
Guest
stan schmunk

I’ve known folks from all these groups and more. You’re completely wrong. They love the idea of religious liberty and understand it. God has brought all of these different peoples to us to hear the Good News. Who are people like you to rail against Him for doing that very thing? Northern Euro supremacy is so ugly and has absolutely nothing to do with Christ.

Nathan Smith
Member

We’re going to have to disagree on that one.

Ilíon
Member

Yes.

Ben
Guest
Ben

One of the realities of the human race is that we tend to divide up ideologically in ways that are mutually incompatible. This will never stop occurring this side of eternity, but the problem is when everyone is forced to live under the same giant state apparatus, these divisions are amplified and exacerbated as everyone attempts to gain control of the “gun” of the state in order to establish their preferred rules and methods. You need to accept, Doug, that there will never be anything approaching uniform agreement in our culture on this issue. The only true solution is for… Read more »

Amy
Guest
Amy

“If you had to choose between the survival of same sex mirage or the survival of America, and could only pick one…” — do you mean to say, the abolishment of same sex mirage? Or am I just not following…?

Eagle_Eyed
Guest
Eagle_Eyed

Much of this was broken down quite well, but let me conclude what’s at stake. Trump isn’t the problem for social conservatives; evangelical leaders are. 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, so we have his ear. Will our self-described leaders leverage this, or are they too concerned with signalling piety and niceness toward Marxists in the pages of the New York Times? Criticizing Trump for his “harshness” or “racism” vis a vis border security/national sovereignty issues is an excellent way to lose out on social issues like abortion and same-sex mirage. We’ll see how people like Moore go. But… Read more »

jonmnoel
Member

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go, and those are angry people who hate us. It will be a war of no little significance. They might portray us as hateful, but we don’t even know how to hate evil and the wicked enough to fight like we need to fight.
It will be good to get some better judges, but don’t be misled-it will be a war.

stan schmunk
Guest
stan schmunk

Even if same-sex was overturned it wouldn’t have one effect on homosexuality.

Andrew Kelly
Guest
Andrew Kelly

“If you had to choose between the survival of same sex mirage or the survival of America, and could only pick one, which one would you choose?”

I think you accidentally set up the wrong opposition. I think the choices you meant to present were the survival of America vs. getting rid of the abomination of homosexual marriage.

Ilíon
Member

Exactly.
Nations which allow abominations (*) do not survive.
(*) non-exhaustively:
– abortion
– promotion of homosexuality

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The survival of same sex marriage is the survival of America. The insuring of the basic rights for all citizens. Why do you personally care if two men or women make love or care for each other except for the objections of a man-made book? One that you already cherry-pick with abandon. The only objection I really see here is the (mostly) male obsession with the sex acts themselves and desire (Wilson especially,) to devote time describing them in very imaginative language. We have seen the value of traditional marriage in the votes of 81% of voting evangelicals: Trump, Giuliani,… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

America is not the government. Americans are not the government.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The truth is not in you

ashv
Guest
ashv

Fact checker says: FALSE.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Hahaha! Thanks for the ‘fact’ ashv.

Ryan Sather
Guest
Ryan Sather

I found this article (very long) to have some good points as it relates to all this http://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

adad0
Member

That thing had an end?????
How many smug comments about the smug comments of others can a human body take? ????

ashv
Guest
ashv

Fortunately he doesn’t suggest that progressives actually change their behaviour in any way.

John
Guest
John

Here is the question for evangelical Christians. If the price of that recovery is the normalization of homosexual marriage in the West, is that price worth it to you? I agree with essentially everything you wrote in this piece, excepting the section I’ve quoted above. In reality, this is not the choice that Christians have to make because there is no viable leader who will strongly appose gay marriage. Everyone who might do so has just about zero chance of ever getting elected. On principal, I agree that our goal should be to keep the definition of marriage according to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

John wrote: On principal, I agree that our goal should be to keep the definition of marriage according to God’s truth in America, but it may very well be that it is now out of our power. Most things are out of our power, but God loves to demonstrate His power through our weakness. Political power is not the only power, or even the strongest power, that must be considered. John the Baptist certainly didn’t think it was. The message we speak, and that standard we appeal to in the public square does not depend on our power, or whether… Read more »

John
Guest
John

That may be true, but Doug’s point is specifically about our political power. He’s specifically talking about how we should react to society, not how God works in our society. Is there any Biblical example of Christians being called to work within their godless political system in order to conform it to the church? Sure, John the Baptist call out Herod’s sin, but he didn’t work to try and change Rome’s laws concerning marriage. I wouldn’t say that our playbook changed. All along our playbook was to call all people to the Word of God while expecting Christians to follow… Read more »

Katecho
Member

John wrote:

We don’t expect non-Christians to follow the Word of God.

We don’t? Who is the Gospel for then?

God certainly does expect unbelievers to follow His Word. See Ninevah, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Psalm 2.

John
Guest
John

We call them to follow it, but we don’t expect them to follow it while in their unrepentant state.

We are not God. So I’m ready to say that because God does something, then we are obligated to do the same.

Katecho
Member

John wrote: We call them to follow it, but we don’t expect them to follow it while in their unrepentant state. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent. — Acts 17:30 Sure. God expects all men everywhere to repent first, and then He expects them to follow His Word. What other expectation should we have, but the same? What sort of gospel expects no repentance, and no obedience from the civil government? On what authority do Christians get to carve out a “safe space” for the civic government… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Yes, I agree, but calling everyone to repentance is not the same thing as demanding that the unrepentant follow God’s law while in a state of unrepentance. 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or… Read more »

Jane
Member

We don’t necessarily expect them to follow it, but we don’t authorize them to do otherwise. Civil law even in Israel was never about expecting that it would be followed, it was about what would be permitted. It’s not so much about “getting them to obey” as establishing what society allows. They can still disobey, but that will be a transgression. Isn’t that what law is?

John
Guest
John

I’m specifically talking about making it law. The Jews never tried to make Babylon follow Jewish law while in exile and the Christians never tried to make Rome follow Christian law while they were the minority with no power. They called society to repentance.

Jane
Member

The Jews were without authority in Babylon. Christians have a voice of authority here because it is a republic and we are full citizens, the question is how we will use it.

And I AM speaking of making it law as well. Again, that’s the function of civil law — not to “make people do the right thing” but to disallow that which is wrong.

To say you shouldn’t make a law because we don’t expect people to be good is to say you shouldn’t make any law.

John
Guest
John

I’m saying that we are getting the point of also having no real power in our society, like the church in Europe has essentially no power. The only party that has anything to do with the church, the Republicans, chose Donald Trump as their nominee! We can try to finagle temporary victories here and there, but in generally our political power is gone, and it’s only going down. With that said, how far are you willing to take your position. Would you make lying illegal? How about not showing hospitality? I disagree that we, as the church, are supposed to… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Don’t be surprised if Christians who do believe that the king is God’s servant end up asking you to leave.

John
Guest
John

First of all, we don’t have a king. Secondly, you’re begging the question. Would God’s servant institute all of God’s law (like making inhospitality illegal) as the legal code of the nation? I don’t think so, not until Christ sets up his final kingdom.

jonmnoel
Member

That’s not the same thing at all. We’re not talking about hospitality and enforcing the fruit of the Spirit. The discussion is as to whether open defiance of God’s written law and natural law will be allowed to continue.

John
Guest
John

Showing hospitality and giving charity is more than just a fruit of the Spirit. God held it against Sodom, for example, that they didn’t “help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:9)

Katecho
Member

John wrote: I don’t think so, not until Christ sets up his final kingdom. As a side topic, I used to make such statements about the Kingdom that Christ was going to set up, some day. But I was challenged by men I respect to explain several passages that clearly state that Christ already set up His Kingdom when He came, and that He is ruling in that Kingdom, with all authority, and a rod of iron, until all His enemies come to His feet. Looking back, I’m not sure why I ever thought that Jesus hadn’t setup His Kingdom… Read more »

jonmnoel
Member

Katecho, I don’t always agree with your comments, but I do appreciate your commitment to seeing Jesus as Lord of every nation, tongue and tribe. We all have differing ideas about what this ought to look like, and what our response ought to be, but I appreciate your doggedness in this regard.

John
Guest
John

My point works with either view, just substitute him coming back to set up his kingdom with him finishing his work of setting up his kingdom. The point is that it’s Jesus’s job, not ours, to enforce his law on the earth. We live as a model for the world, not as the enforcers of his law on the world.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Trying to get a godless society to live by God’s law while in a state of godlessness is impossible.”

And yet the bible says, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

In a democracy where the people genuinely have a voice and 80% of us allege to be following Christ, I sure don’t want to have to stand before God someday and explain why we were living in a “godless society.”

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

ME, I think the salient word there is “allege”, at least when we talking about anything like 80%, and most of that 80% really doesn’t even allege with any great energy. Contrary to what some people believe it has ever been that way. I’d say people don’t need to worry so much about standing before God having lived in a godless society so much as they should worry about standing before God having lived a godless life.

Jill Smith
Member

I think there is a difference, in terms of realism, between people who claim a vague Christian identity and those who are following Christ. The majority of people in England reply, when asked for a religious affiliation, “Christian.” Yet fewer than seven percent of them go to church.

John
Guest
John

I think we should look at the context of that verse, namely, the act of a rich person turning to God. With that said, I say it’s impossible because I see it as a logical contradiction, not merely a really hard situation to achieve. A society with a super majority of unrepentant sinners can’t live by God’s Law because they are actively fighting against it. It simply can’t happen without an autocratic dictator forcing the law over them. They will never choose it for themselves. 80% claim to be Christians, but I think we all know that the number of… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

I certainly don’t believe in autocratic dictators, but if you think about it, the ten commandments are a foundation and basis for the laws in this country. So all the Godless sinners, those of us in Christ and those of us not, “a super majority of unrepentant sinners,” are already living beneath God’s law. Obviously some of us are doing a better job of it than others, but that standard is still in force. What’s begun to happen recently is that we have surrendered that standard,so abortion became legal, gay marriage, as if it is now possible to have two… Read more »

John
Guest
John

I’m not sure how the current laws are build on the 10 commandments. We follow maybe 3 of them: murder, theft, and bearing false whiteness in a courtroom setting.
I would also disagree that we’ve surrendered the standard. Christians, true Bible believing Christians, have continually fought against the godless laws that are creeping into our society. We’re not losing because we haven’t fought. We’re losing because the people of the nation have left God behind. They don’t agree anymore. We are no longer a Christian nation.

Ilíon
Member

In reality, this is not the choice that Christians have to make because there is no viable leader who will strongly oppose gay marriage.

It’s also “not the choice that Christians have to make because” … it is morally impossible, and thus wholly impossible, for (Western) nations simultaneously to promote (much less enforce) homosexuality and to thrive into the future.

Nathan Smith
Member

Quite an article. Well-laid out explanation of your thought’s on Moore and his point of view. Appreciated. I think Moore is wrong on a lot of this but not necessarily bad. You essentially make the case that there is little difference given what lies downstream.

Nathan Smith
Member

First paragraph of last section. Not sure what this means: “What we started doing in the aftermath of Roe, we should now stop doing.” It seems like we should keep on kicking against the Roe v Wade decision.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

What did we start doing in the aftermath of Roe? We starting killing babies on demand. Doug says we should stop doing that. The nature of his analogy demands that he agrees that we should keep on kicking against Roe v Wade, so he’s not disagreeing with you. He is in fact calling us to fight Obergefell in the same tenacious way, hopefully having learned some things from our long fight against abortion.

Nathan Smith
Member

Ahh, thanks. What we did in the aftermath of Roe was killing babies. I automatically thought that what we did in the aftermath of Roe was start the pro-life movement. It seemed he was calling for the end of the pro-life movement. I get his point now. Thanks.

Katecho
Member

I had read it the same way.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Yes, ideally we would want a nation that adheres to what God has said. Ideally we would want to be holy as He is holy, both personally and nationally. Ideally, we would want to be a nation that brings glory to God in all we do and say. At the same time, I think we also need to be as crafty as serpents and as innocent as doves. Let us not forget that just a week ago, most of us were pretty sure that the current state of morality in America not only justified speedy and horrific divine judgment upon… Read more »

adad0
Member

And Cap’n, make sure you are prepared to be called a “philistineist”. ; – )

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Duly noted, “A” Dad. Thanks. :)

Nathan Smith
Member

Funny story about Dr Moore I overheard when I was a church member with him. He gave a talk at the seminary about marriage in ministry and how a wife could really help or hinder a pastor’s ministry and different factors involved. He spoke from Hosea. A couple days later another professor opened his OT class discussion on Hosea by saying something like “I’m not sure that marrying a prostitute is the best idea for starting your ministry. You’ll have to ask Dr Moore about that.” And without further explanation he moved on. Some of the students were unaware of… Read more »

Dan Phillips
Guest
Dan Phillips

This is helpful and thought-provoking, and some of it’s gone into my BibleWorks notes!

But now your challenge, Doug, is: How do I become the sort of person whose existence Russell Moore acknowledges being aware of, to the extent of substantively interacting with my concerns and disagreements?

Because as far as I’ve seen, that’s a set with no members, so far.

Doug Connell
Guest

There’s a lot about your writing, Mr. Wilson, to appreciate. I have benefitted greatly from your writing about the family and about raising sons, in particular. However, I think you’re out on a limb regarding Russell Moore. It’s fairly easy to do considering your denominational affiliations, or lack thereof as it may be. One reason he may not respond to your observations (or as rapidly as you might prefer) is the sheer number of critics he is trying to influence within the denomination for which he is a leader. The first video linked below is one example of what he… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

There’s still no such sin as racism.

Katecho
Member

Whether ashv cares for the overused accusation of racism or not, there is a sin of race boasting and race vainglory. There is also a sin of race belittling, and race malice, and race prejudice. As a white supremacist, ashv might want to consider those kinds of sins, rather than just act dismissively about the term racism.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Of course. But nobody is talking about that.

Katecho
Member

Incorrect. Wilson has had a lot to say about factious race-motivated sins.

Rather it seems that ashv is the one who is overcorrecting, and using the false, PC charge of racism as a means of dismissing discussion of real race-motivated sins. Just because a charge of racial sin can be false, it does not follow that all such charges are false. Ashv, in particular, needs to be very careful with the difference, as he has advocated some form of white superiority on this blog.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I have no idea what you imagine I advocated, so I can’t address that.

Whose race-motivated sins am I dismissing discussion of?

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote:

Whose race-motivated sins am I dismissing discussion of?

Is ashv even acknowledging that there is a genuine category of race-motivated sins? If so, that’s a great start.

If not, that will be quite telling of who is evading discussion of what.

Doug Connell
Guest

Would you elaborate, please, so I don’t misunderstand your point in saying that? Thanks.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I mean that “racism” is a word with no objective content, it is merely a term used for rhetorical attacks — and specifically, that the SBC’s resolution re the Confederate flag was a capitulation to worldliness instead of a sudden outbreak of piety.

Doug Connell
Guest

Ah, I see. Ok. That’s more helpful.

Is “racism” a form of “partiality”?

ashv
Guest
ashv

I don’t think the question is meaningful.

adad0
Member

Colossians 3
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Admonision can be a good thing, if done in a Godly fashion.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Somewhat off-Topic here, but that’s jigawatt for ya.

I’m not sure what to think about Doug’s foray here. I’m watching from the bleachers without a team logo on my cap. But perhaps right now, we evangelicals could put such discussions on hold while we say this:

Hi, secular progressive non-Christian friend. Since you are in, or should be in, a “My non-God, how could I be so wrong?!” mode right now, I’d like to talk with you about the resurrection of Jesus.

Jane
Member

Hmmm….I haven’t met any who think they are were/wrong. They just think the world has ripped them off.

I suppose that’s something to work with, though.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

They should at least agree that they were very wrong about having such confidence in The Experts who assured them that Hillary had it in the bag. What other things are you relying on The Experts for?

Jane
Member

Problem is, I doubt whether they’re very interested in the question of whether they were right or wrong to think this or that specific thing, that’s what I mean. That’s water under the bridge. The important thing is that it’s the End of Life As We Know It. And if you can’t get them to agree that their wrongness is a significant part of the issue, then they’re not in that dumbfounded state that you described.

Ian Miller
Member

I actually think there’s more hope for them than that: https://alastairadversaria.com/2016/11/13/cracks-in-the-progressive-left-part-1/

Jane
Member

Well, as I said above, the fact that the world is crashing in around them is a point of contact with potential for fruitful discussion. But just going by my own experience, the shock of being wrong isn’t there because the fact that they guessed wrong is really unimportant to them. It’s something else that bothers them.

Ian Miller
Member

I hope so, at least. The alternative, described by Scott Alexander at Slate Star Codex, is that Trump’s rise will just further radicalize both sides, decreasing any chance of conversation and conversion.

adad0
Member

People who riot are “radicals”.
People who don’t are “regular”.

The conservatives are nowhere near as “radical” and kooky as libs.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

The conservatives are nowhere near as “radical” and kooky as libs.

Obama’s playlist contains stuff that makes Trump’s “locker room talk” sound like Church Lady.

http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/10/president-barack-obama-talks-to-sway-about-his-favorite-rappers/

Can you imagine what would happen to Trump, or any Republican, if he said he listened to, say, David Allan Coe, or {gasp}, invited him to the White House?

ashv
Guest
ashv

That’s pretty rich, given how Alexander has been steadily banning commenters to his right for a few years now.

The important thing to realise, though, is that both phenomena will probably occur, and they’re linked. As people capable of listening to the gospel, reasoning, and observing the world switch sides, the remaining group will be further radicalised. The phrase for this, I think, is “evaporative cooling of group beliefs”.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

As one of my friends put it, the secular left is the new “Moral” Majority. What I hear Doug saying is that before we can work with that effectively, we have to repent of the root of our idolatry.

insanitybytes22
Member

It’s a fabulous idea jigawatt, and I’ve actually used a similar concept many times, If your perceptions were this wrong about something like who is going to win the election,what if your perceptions about the existence of God are wrong too? The problem being, most don’t truly deny the existence of God, they tend to believe He’s racist, sexist, self righteous, judgmental,rural, and a rape enabler. Most people perceive God as the epitome of every flawed Christian they’ve ever met and reject Him accordingly. God is none of those things but they can’t see it. We have a similar thing… Read more »

Gene Franklin
Guest
Gene Franklin

Yes, and AMEN!

The Canberean
Guest

Dear Ps. Wilson, is this statement correct?

“If you had to choose between the survival of same sex mirage or the survival of America, and could only pick one, which one would you choose?”

Not really a hard choice to make. Shouldn’t it read:

“If you had to choose between the survival of ‘Heterosexual marriage’ or the survival of America, and could only pick one, which one would you choose?”

That seems to make more sense to me. Am I missing something here?

The Canberean
Guest

Great article by the way. I always love coming here whenever my mind feels fat and flabby.

christian
Guest
christian

I know Mr. Moore presents a foil for some ideas near and dear to you but it would seem appropriate to call him and ask.

D.C. Goodwin
Guest
D.C. Goodwin

Herod was the Jewish (Edomite) tetrarch over God’s chosen kingdom on earth— God’s king. Neither John, nor Jesus, nor Paul called out the immorality of their Roman overlords, with Caligula’s islands of boy-toys or Nero’s sodomy with his brother. Just about any Roman emperor would even make The Donald blush. We’re living in a nation that kills its (unborn) children legally, educates most of the rest of them to hate God, has all but abolished the name Jesus Christ from public mention, and now uses government forced labor to serve the homosexuals (baking cakes and the like). We’re looking more… Read more »

Philip
Guest
Philip

“If you had to choose between the survival of same sex mirage or the survival of America, and could only pick one, which one would you choose? If you prefer the survival of any particular nation over the survival of one of God’s creation ordinances, then we have discovered the root idolatry.”

I believe this is a typo. Shouldn’t it be “If you had to choose between the end of same sex mirage or the survival of America…”?

Alexamenos
Guest
Alexamenos

Awesome. Thank you Doug for your courage and clarity. (One thing though. Seeing as though it has been offered to us to fight the Left and save America only by, in part, accepting the Trumpian peace with LGBTQETC make-beLIEve, I think this part was confusedly/wrongly phrased: “If you had to choose between the survival of same sex mirage or the survival of America, and could only pick one, which one would you choose?” The choice for Christians is not the survival of same sex mirage or survival of america, but rather the survival of america by having made peace with… Read more »

stan schmunk
Guest
stan schmunk

Trump has said that same-sex is settled law and I think that’s the end of it. To our surprise my wife and I moved into a mobile home park next to a married homosexual couple. What to do? We love them and pray for them because they’re lost and neeed to be found and we know the One who’s looking for them. Their problem is NOT that they’re homosexuals. It’s that they’re lost. John 3:16-17 applies to them, too.

Jill Smith
Member

And I expect your approach will be more useful than standing outside their house and yelling “Abomination” at the top of your lungs.

stan schmunk
Guest
stan schmunk

We’ve learned a lot about this issue by living next to them. Several years ago I told my wife that we would leave the country if same-sex was legal. But we’re still here. I’m reminded that homosexuality was only the first of many sins listed in Romans 1 but the worst sin and perhaps by far was the self-righteousness in Romans 2. I’m afraid too many of us have not moved on from the sin of homosexuality.

LittleRedMachine
Guest
LittleRedMachine

he’s also said he would like to see Roe overturned and the issue returned to the States. He can’t have both and if he appoints SCOTUS justices that vote to overturn Roe these same justices would vote to overturn Obergefell. He won’t make the ruling.

Ahmanson
Guest
Ahmanson

For heaven’s sake, the whole idea of Christians trying to determine what takes place in the public square is theocratic and authoritarian. The culture does not accept our assumptions, and therefore we have no basis to make an effective argument. Also, the USA is a secular political entity so we CANNOT make Biblical Law a basis for civil law, and there is no reason to do so in a post New Testament context. Now, should a penitent married homosexual get a divorce? Absolutely. But penitence cannot be coerced. Now ideally I would like to see Obergefell overturned and replaced with… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

You say “theocratic and authoritarian” like it’s a bad thing.

Yes, the USA is a secular political entity. Fortunately, it won’t last.

LittleRedMachine
Guest
LittleRedMachine

Federalism or anti-federalism as it was understood by George Mason, et al…. that 10th amendment thing is part of the solution to this conundrum you’ve expressed.

LittleRedMachine
Guest
LittleRedMachine

I hope 10 years from now that the United States has either broken up into several new nations or returned to the Articles of Confederation. I know my new nation or current state would have neither Roe nor Obergefell.

Unilateral Divorce Is Unconsti
Guest
Unilateral Divorce Is Unconsti

Sorry, but the judgment of God will never lift enough to allow the rollback of Obergefell until evangelical believers, and especially pastors, start heeding, instead of twisting, denying and rationalizing away the commandments of Christ concerning heterosexual holy matrimony. We are big fans of Blog and Mablog on our page and find ourselves featuring these very astute pieces regularly, but cannot agree with Pastor Doug’s lack of a disciplined hermeneutic approach in this one. This is a heaven-or-hell matter, since Paul tells us twice and Jesus tells us in Matt. 5:29-31 that nobody who dies in a state of adultery… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Another one of Russell and Ryan Sather’s refugees, Mr. Abdul Artan, made the news today….

The_L1985
Guest

You were saying no, no, no, all the way up the altar, and yes, yes, yes when they get back from their honeymoon. You were the sole opponent of their love before the wedding, and the biggest advocate for it afterward. Doug, the fact that you don’t see a problem with suddenly turning around 180 degrees in this scenario is, itself, a DEEP problem. A 40-year-old man–ANY 40-year-old man, criminal or otherwise–who wants to marry my daughter when she is only 16 years old and thus lacks many of the legal rights that we adults cherish, is probably ABUSIVE. A… Read more »