A Tutorial on “Wokeness” for Old White Men (3)

McGrath-Doyle

What’s this? It turns out that Titania McGrath (left) is really Andrew Doyle (right).  Or maybe to us newly woke it’s not that simple.

Putting My New Wokeness into Practice

Ok, so to you poor sleeping old white men out there the discovery that our woke guru isn’t actually:

“a radical intersectionalist poet committed to feminism, social justice, and armed peaceful protest. A regular on the live-slam poetry scene, Titania regularly performs at arts festivals, deconsecrated churches, and genderqueer spiritual retreats.”

but is rather:

the satirical invention of Andrew Doyle, a former Oxford postgraduate student

completely discredits “her” guidance.

But, now that I’m hip to woke I don’t see why anything should change.  After all, I can choose “my truth” to be that Andrew Doyle actually identifies as a woke gay white woman.  Therefore (s)he is no less a credible source for politically correct guidance than is anyone else!  After all, we all know that gender is just a social construct and that words have no fixed meaning.  So, what does it even mean that Andrew Doyle is a “man” or that he(?) meant Titania to be a “satirical invention?”  I choose to believe that Titania is just Andrew’s true self fighting to become free of all gender-normative, heterocentric, and racial constraints.  You go Titania!

And so, I hereby claim that I’m far more woke than the drowsy old rags who took exception to Titania’s brilliance:

The absolutely brilliant thing about Titania McGrath, as the world just discovered last month, is that she is really the satirical invention of Andrew Doyle, a former Oxford postgraduate student and clearly a very clever man. The Guardian, the New Statesman, and other woke publications don’t think so. “Lampooning the language of social justice is a cheap shot,” according to The Guardian. The New Statesman, now that Titania (Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) has unmasked himself as Andrew, concludes that his performance is a “tired and unfunny ‘joke’ ” that is “just the old sneering at the young.”

Oh, that’s all so January 2019!  As Titania would say, “keep up!”

If we allow “facts,” “logic” and “word definitions” to hold us back then we’ll exclude Titania’s excellent guidance from the public sphere.  Hey, that wouldn’t be inclusive!

So, in parting, as I walk fully conscious into the 21st century utopia, I leave you with these final words of wisdom from my woke guru Titania.

“I despise whiteness. Literally nothing about me is white except for my skin colour.”

“You’ll notice there’s not a single obese player in the England football team. This kind of discrimination is precisely why the fat acceptance movement is so essential.”

“Wearing a maga hat is a form of incitement to violence. So if someone punches you in the face for wearing one, that’s your fault.”

“Whenever anyone says that women aren’t funny, I take it as a compliment. Humour is a patriarchal construct.”

This woke (and loving it!)  author would like to apologize if they unintentionally upheld the patriarchal construct by causing any reader to laugh.

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A Tutorial on “Wokeness” for Old White Men (2)

titania-mcgrath-800x560

How “woke” is our guru…this woke! “Men who are attracted to women clearly have feminine tastes and are therefore probably gay.” AND “It is absolutely essential that we believe Jussie Smollett. If we don’t, other people who haven’t been attacked might not have the courage to come forward.”

Titania McGrath: Our Woke Guru

Mcgrath-Side-1We old, white, unwoke men need a reliably woke guru to lead us into 21st century wisdom. The problem is that we are so stuck in ancient 20th century superstition that it’s almost impossible to wake up to all the new truth that’s been generated while we were slumbering.
I’m therefore so very thankful to have discovered Titania McGrath, who is the most woke Twitter personality of all time! As you can see for yourselves, McGrath has a gift for distilling the deepest truths of wokeness into pithy sayings that fit into things called “Tweets.” As near as I can tell “Tweets” are the 21st century equivalent of Homer’s Odyssey, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the King James Bible. and Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, Yes, you have to string lots of them together, but when done properly what emerges is each Tweeter’s truth disclosed in beauty and wisdom.  In fact, if Twitter would automatically add chapter and verse to each Tweet then every Tweeter could build their own personal Bible!  “My truth” in Tweet Scripture!
I simply didn’t realize that in the 21st century diversity means conformity, heterosexuality is evil (and unnecessary for humanity’s future!) and a man can rape a woman he’s never met!

Mcgrath-Side-2Once the easy concepts are understood the deeper truths of wokeness become a snap to grasp. For example, you can be simultaneously superior and oppressed without feeling any sense of nagging logical contradiction! I’ve also struggled for decades trying to understand why Socialism isn’t rejected by the supposedly educated only to finally have it beautifully explained by Titania!
What a wonderful, freeing feeling to realize that you no longer are tied down by “facts” and “logic” when deciding what’s good and true! In fact, it’s not just unnecessary, it’s absolutely evil to be bound by “facts” and “logic.”
By this transformational paradigm we can cease being old white men and start identifying as something else that’s cool, I mean woke…sorry for the brief slip.
Now that we have achieved wokeness it’s critical to understand that it’s a big job keeping up with the fast-evolving nature of this mental state. For example, what was “woke” yesterday might be “problematical” today and “pure evil” tomorrow. Therefore you’ll need to exercise those mental gymnastic muscles regularly. One good way to do this is by calling out the less woke among us. Following are Twitter engagements by our master guru that show how it’s done. Enjoy!

McGrath-Wide-1Once you’ve tied their pathetic evil arguments to Nazi Germany or Hitler they’re finished!

McGrath-Wide-2If words can mean anything you please then defeat is impossible!

McGrath-Wide-3

See how fast moving is the woke world!  What delivered plenty and comfort in the 20th century is now nonsense.

By the way, it turns out that the McGrath character isn’t necessarily what she seems on the surface. But I, the new woke person, will use all that she’s taught me to turn apparent (by logic that is) defeat into glorious woke victory!

A Tutorial on “Wokeness” for Old White Men (1)

old-man-humor-fail

If you feel that, in some inexplicable but deep way, this is the universe trying to communicate something then this blog series is definitely for you!

Introduction

I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to sense that I’m not quite in sync with the 21st century.  Something just seems a bit “off” when I try to engage with  the younger generation of political activists.

I do take great comfort in knowing that even old white men from the “cool kids” party are having problems in this respect.

hikenlooper-x-rated-with-mom

Oh no! A major “woke fail” by a Democratic politician!

For example, take Democratic ex-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.  He’s old, he’s white and he’s male, so how to communicate his wokeness to the younger generation?  How about showing just how transgressive you are by admitting to taking your mother to the 1970’s porno break-out movie Deep Throat?

OK, that didn’t go over so well.  But he was given a golden opportunity to redeem himself when a CNN reporter pitched him a softball question on choosing a woman for a running

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 10.24.43 AM

Our woke betters pass judgement!

mate.  This poor old white man answered “Of course,” but then couldn’t stop himself from taking a dig at the woken army by a feeble attempt to turn the tables. “Well, I’ll ask you another question,” he said. “But how come we’re not asking, more often, the women, ‘Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?’”  Oh boy, to imagine that you as a privileged old white guy have something to teach the woke generation is a monumental, campaign ending fail!

Now, some of you old white guys reading this may be thinking “Yea, that Hickenlooper guy may have screwed up, but me, I’m too hip to fail.” That may possibly be true (however the fact that you thought “hip” should give you great pause).  As for me, after spending the past 15 or so years saying things that to one group led to laughter and fun but to another pained perplexity if not outright disgust I finally focused my considerable powers of discernment on the simple question of why.  The the shocking answer is that at least 20 years of living separates the former from the latter group.

This epiphany led directly to a second question.  Given that surely there is a large population of old white guys out there who lack my incisive social sensitivity and deep self-awareness, how can they determine if they are unwoke like me?  After great intellectual struggle I concluded that the following is a reliable test.

GreenNewDeal01

My reaction was 1, 2, and 3.

Step 1: Read (or reread) this sentence from the original “Green New Deal,” FAQ, co-sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.).

We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.

Step 2: Determine if at least one of the following reactions occurred:

  1. You went into an uncontrollable spasm of intense belly-laughter that lasted at least 90 seconds, followed by a brief moment of breath-catching and then back to belly-laughter.
  2. An icy, dreadful fear gripped your heart at the thought that a sentence of such monumental, blithering stupidity could have been composed by the offices of a U.S. Representative and Senator and then released to the public.
  3. You experienced an irresistible compulsion to send this sentence to everyone in your social sphere accompanied by sophisticated commentary such as 😜.

If you answered “yes” for a reaction similar to even one of these three then you, sir, are an unwoke old white man!  If two or more of these reactions occurred then please seek psychological help as soon as possible.

So then, if you like me have come to the terrible realization that you are an unwoke old white guy living in a wondrous new woke century, then what to do?  Fortunately I have found a wise guru who can lead us into the blazing sunlight of 21st century wokeness.   Stay tuned!

A Modest Overture to the 224th General Assembly (1b)

Presbytery-of Gaia

This is not as far removed from the current PCUSA situation (for example see here, here and here) that one would hope.

On Bringing our Book of Confessions into the Post-Christian PC(USA) Era — from the Presbytery of Gaia

Rationale

For the fifty years after acceptance of the Confession of 1967 the PC(USA) has dragged all of the Confessions that preceded it along like anchors.  Until 2011 this ruse may have been necessary to maintain quiescence of the denomination’s majority of orthodox-minded members.  However, with the Progressive victories on gay ordination and marriage we have successfully driven most of these orthodox-minded members either out of the denomination or into a state of fearful submission to our victorious ideology.

Glorious-Exit

This is actual PCUSA data.

Between 2011 and 2017 the PC(USA) experienced a net loss of 601,000 members and 1146 churches. Thus, over this period the denomination lost a net of almost 30% of its membership and almost 12% of its churches.  The majority of these losses were the orthodox Reformed members and churches that had held us back and that continued to value the pre-1967 Confessions.  Thus this glorious exit of irredeemable members and churches has freed the PC(USA) from the dead hand of orthodox Reformed Christianity!

Glorious-Exit2

This is actual PCUSA data.

In 2013 the PC(USA) had 1086 Ministry Candidates.  The very next year, 2014, this number fell by almost 50% to 562.  Can there be any doubt that this sudden flight to the exits was by candidates who had orthodox Christian beliefs that were supported by our outdated and destructive historic Confessions?  Thus, in a single year, we “Purposeful Progressives” (see below) gloriously emptied our denomination’s seminaries of virtually all orthodox Christians!

These results are a great victory for our self-described strategy of exclusion and submission, which we acknowledged in “When We Gather at the Table: A PC(USA) Snapshot” as the “Purposeful Progressives” (emphasis added, note that this is a true quote from an official PCUSA document, not made-up satirical quote).

They are less tolerant of conservative theologies within the denomination. Some remain hopeful that conservatives who are upset with the 221st General Assembly (2014) decisions on marriage will see that there are different ways to interpret scripture, and will choose to stay and accept the changes, over time. Others would simply be happy if the conservatives left the PC(USA), and a few offered suggestions for helping dissenting congregations to leave the denomination with grace and dignity.

Now that, through our fierce commitment to inclusiveness, we have successfully driven out most of the irredeemable theological members, churches and ministry candidates there is no longer a need to maintain the pretense that the pre-1967 Confessions (and the Brief Statement of Faith) have the slightest relevance to our wondrous post-Christian denominational future.  In order to more efficiently and effectively pursue this goal we must cast off these fraudulent documents.  Eventually the Confession of 1967 itself may need go be deleted, as its problematical tangental relationship to past Christian orthodoxy becomes an impediment achieving our ultimate goals.

As itemized in the Overture, this result has already happened in effect.  In order to grasp our glorious future as co-comrades with the gods we must have the courage to cut loose these worse than useless monument-anchors.  Then we can openly proclaim our post-Christian message without confusion or constraint.

We have demonstrated the will to power necessary to drive out or subdue the morally and spiritually inferior (i.e., those who lack our blessed gnosis) among us.  Let’s now, together, take the next and necessary step to cement our future in post-Christianity!

A Modest Overture to the 224th General Assembly (1a)

Presbytery-of GaiaOn Bringing our Book of Confessions into the Post-Christian PC(USA) Era — from the Presbytery of Gaia

Overture

The Presbytery of Gaia respectfully overtures the 224th General Assembly (2020) to make the following statement:

Because

  • The Confession of 1967 was, by the admission of its primary authors, intended to directly contradict the Westminster Confession on numerous central doctrinal points and generally demotes the historic Confessions to “monuments.” See that in The Proposal to Revise the Confessional Position of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Edward A. Dowey, Jr., chairman of the committee that composed The Confession of 1967, writes: “A statement that is appropriate and powerful in its own day may fail to guide the church after some decades or centuries have gone by. It comes to resemble a monument marking the past more than a tool for present work.” (pp. 20, 21).
  • The PC(USA) has redefined the meaning of “Christian Marriage” in the Book of Order without changing the definition of marriage in any of the historic Confessions from the PC(USA)’s Book of Confessions.  As one example see the Westminster Confession, Chapter XXIV: “Of Marriage and Divorce 1. Christian marriage is an institution ordained of God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, established and sanctified for the happiness and welfare of mankind, into which spiritual and physical union one man and one woman enter, cherishing a mutual esteem and love, bearing with each other’s infirmities and weaknesses, comforting each other in trouble, providing in honesty and industry for each other and for their household, praying for each other, and living together the length of their days as heirs of the grace of life.”  This decision officially confirms the irrelevance of all the historic Confessions for Biblical interpretation or theological guidance.
  • The Senior Pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, one of the largest and most influential churches in the PC(USA), in a 2018 interview denied the nature of God as defined in all of the historic Confessions, from the Nicene Creed to The Theological Declaration of Barmen by declaring that “God’s not a Christian . . . We are.”
  • The Ordination Vows for Officers have become impossible to uphold in clear conscience given that at least two distinct and contradictory sets of doctrine are contained in the Book of Confessions.

The 224th General Assembly (2020) therefore decrees that all Confessions in the Book of Confessions are null and void “as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do” except for the Confession of 1967 and the Confession of Belhar. An updated Book of Confessions that includes only the Confession of 1967 and the Confession of Belhar will therefore be generated and distributed.  All current and future Officers will be instructed to use only the Confession of 1967 and the Confession of Belhar until such time as a new Confession is added to this new Book of Confessions or the Confession of 1967, having served its historic purpose, is also eventually removed.

The Intersectional Progressives Devour Progressive “White Women” (2)

h4-pelosi-ilhan-split

The “typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy” (!?)  (left) and the unrepentant anti-Semite (right).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

I have previously commented on Nancy Pelosi’s vile statements.  However, there is a limit for her when bigotry towards a key Democratic coalition group becomes too visible. Due to the outrageous and sustained anti-Semitic statements of Rep. Ilhan Omar, Nancy Pelosi, in damage control mode, drafted a worthless statement opposing anti-Semitism.

The Democrats’ draft measure condemning anti-Semitism, which the House will vote on this Wednesday, is a useless and transparent attempt to distract from a serious problem of their own creation. The melodramatic decree mentions Alfred Dreyfuss, Leo Frank, Henry Ford, and “anti-Muslim bigotry”—because, hey, even when Jews are being smeared it’s about Islamophobia—but not once does it condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar or the strain of Jew-hatred she is helping normalize on the left. In fact, the resolution, teeming with useless platitudes, is one that even Omar could probably support.

l-sarsour-womens-march-e1551761019961

Woman’s March leader Linda Sarsour

But even this toothless wonder sent the equally anti-semitic Woman’s March leader Linda Sarsour into a Facebook fit of rage.

“Nancy is a typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy doing the dirty work of powerful white men. God forbid the men are upset – no worries, Nancy to the rescue to stroke their egos,” she wrote.

Saira_Rao_Pelosi_Tweet

Saira Rao was a Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 1st Congressional District

This is truly amazing.  Nancy Pelosi, the two-decade Congressional standard bearer for everything Progressive is being called out by a supposedly fellow Progressive as “a typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy doing the dirty work of powerful white men”!?  Note that this Intersectional Progressive accuses a “white feminist” of “upholding the patriarchy”!

But that’s not all folks, according to the recent Colorado Democrat congressional candidate Saira Rao, Nancy Pelosi is a “white supremacist“!!??  That whiff of a revolution beginning to devour its own is getting stronger.

In the end Nancy Pelosi caved to the potent anti-semitic wing of her party.

Democrats cannot simply denounce the anti-Semitism expressed by Omar without ritual obeisance to the identity politics that drives their party, and Omar’s anti-Semitism has elicited an outpouring of support. … Now Democratic leadership in the House will not stop until they craft a resolution that Omar herself can support.

Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova

The coup de grâce of this trilogy is what happened to woman’s tennis legend Martina Navratilova.  Here is a gay white woman who, by skill, grit and determination dominated the woman’s tennis world for many years and was a vocal supporter of gay rights and woman’s sports for decades, being driven to deliver an abject apology for saying that it’s unfair for biological men to compete as women.

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Martina Navratilova apologizes

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova apologized after she was criticized for recently saying in an oped that it would be “cheating” to allow transgender women to compete in women’s sporting events.

Navratilova wrote a column on her website weeks after the LGBTQ organization Athlete Ally announced it was severing ties with her following the comments. The nonprofit said they were also removing Navratilova as their organization’s ambassador and from their advisory board.

So, even after a life of amazing accomplishment and Progressive policy support this gay white woman was threatened with social annihilation for stating an opinion at odds with today’s Progressive talking points.  I truly feel bad that this woman, who has demonstrated such courage throughout her life, was beaten into submission by the vile Intersectional Progressive mob.  Obviously being gay and a woman is no defense against the totalitarians now in charge of Progressivism.

Commentary

The Intersectional Progressives are clearly turning on Progressive “white women,” but why?  As I have previously discussed the unavoidable fact is that it is the Intersectional Progressives who are virulently racist, sexist and anti-Semitic.  And because of these beliefs they look at human beings not as individuals who happen to be of a given gender and race, but rather as creatures whose attributes are controlled by their race, gender, etc.  Therefore, since a plurality of “white women” support Republicans every “white woman” becomes suspect.  And, any deviation from today’s Intersectional Progressive positions is interpreted as proof positive that they are traitors to the movement.

I very much doubt that Progressive “white women” realized that this was to be their eventual situation.  They heard all the happy talk about inclusiveness and understanding perhaps not realizing that behind the curtain were ugly, evil ideas.

I’m not expecting Progressive “white women” to en masse become Conservatives.  However, I am seriously asking them if an ideology that creates such vile hatred is deserving of their allegiance.  I’m encouraged that so many groups have pulled out of the Women’s March over these issuers.  My hope is that enough Progressive women (and men) can find the courage to stand up against this terrible tide of bigotry.  Perhaps then a more humane Progressivism can emerge.

The Intersectional Progressives Devour Progressive “White Women” (1)

unwoke-white-women

Left to Right: Senator Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and tennis legend Martina Navratilova.  All Progressive white women who are now insufficiently “woke.”.

A Revolution (as Usual) Devours its Own

Over the past couple of weeks it has become clear that the Intersectional Progressives who now dominate the Left are on the warpath against Progressive white women who are insufficiently “woke.”  If you read my recent posts on Progressive anti-Semitism this development should come as no surprise.  For as these posts make clear, in the Intersectional Progressive world being a woman who is white makes you insufficiently victimized to warrant moral worth.  Now, with the case of Martina Navratilova it’s also clear that even the combination of womanhood and gayness is insufficient.

If you happen to be historically literate then this development within the increasingly totalitarian Progressive political movement also isn’t a surprise.  I recommend that readers review the histories of the French Revolution and Communist Revolution in Russia for sufficient historical context.  In both of these cases the revolution eventually destroyed many of its originators because they came to be seen as insufficiently revolutionary, or in the current parlance “woke.”

In the following sections I will briefly summarize each of these three cases.

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Although I haven’t commented on Senator Feinstein in this blog, please understand that I consider her actions and behavior a a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to be beneath contempt.  It’s also undeniably true that Senator Feinstein, as a Progressive Democrat, has trafficked in and benefited from the agitprop of children held up as unimpeachable carriers of morality throughout her career.  So, it must have been quite a shock to her when the supporters of the Green New Deal (GND) turned this tactic back on her.  Here’s how the encounter was reported by TMZ.

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Senator Feinstein confronted by “the children”

This is absolutely shocking … Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to shut down some schoolchildren who were imploring her to do something about climate change and STAT … essentially telling them to shut up because she knows better.

The kids showed up at the Senator’s San Francisco office Friday, pushing the Green New Deal and telling her the clock is ticking on Planet Earth and if nothing is done in a dozen years it will be too late. Feinstein tells the students it ain’t gonna happen.

The California senior Senator gets on her high horse, telling them she’s been in the Senate for 30 years so, please … like they can tell her what to do.

Things get heated and the Senator doubles down … saying she was just re-elected by a huge margin so how the hell are they trying to tell her about climate change?

How dare a grownup lecture children who are cynically being used by radical Progressives about their ignorance!  Senator Feinstein’s main issue was the GND’s cost and practicality, not that it is totalitarian to its core.  And yet the Progressive movement targeted this life-long champion of Progressive policies for this hit job.  Do you smell the whiff of a revolution’s direction change in the air?

I will discuss the cases of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and tennis legend Martina Navratilova, along with general commentary, in the next post.

Erasing the Old Testament (4)

Peter’s Pentecost Sermon

Pentecost is a central day in the Christian calendar, which the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes as follows.

Pentecost, also called Whitsunday, (Pentecost from Greek pentecostē, “50th day”), major festival in the Christian church, celebrated on the Sunday that falls on the 50th day of Easter. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and other disciples following the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2), and it marks the beginning of the Christian church’s mission to the world.

After the descent of the Holy Spirit a large crowd of Jews from many nations gathered “because each one heard their own language being spoken” (Acts 2:6, NIV).  The Apostle Peter stood up to address them.  This was the first Christian sermon preached after Christ’s resurrection.  It is saturated with direct and indirect allusions to the Old Testament, which Peter demonstrates predicted and prepared the way for Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

The focus of comments on this sermon will be the Old Testament sources from which Peter proclaimed Jesus Christ to be “both Lord and Messiah.” Excerpts from The International Bible Commentary (F.F. Bruce General Editor, (c) 1986) will be indicated by purple text.  My comments are in regular unbolded black text.



14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!

The gathered crowd initially attributed the Apostle’s ecstatic behavior to drunkenness. 

16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

The conditions for quotation from the OT are fulfilled if we understand that elements of Joel’s prophecy were seen in the happening of Pentecost, and that the cross and resurrection had opened a new age which would culminate in universal spiritual blessing.

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Peter appealed to the personal knowledge of the Palestinian Jews when he spoke of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, whose mighty works showed that he was attested by God as His messenger to Israel.  The terrible responsibility for rejection of such a Man fell squarely on the shoulders of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  … But their unreasoning hatred became the instrument for the fulfillment of the divine plan established in the fore knowledge of God.

25 David said about him:

“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.  32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.

Both Peter and Paul (13:35) appeal to Ps. 16 as a prophecy of the Resurrection.  Much of the Psalm expressed David’s own experiences, but certain elements — as in all the messianic Psalms — could only be fulfilled in his greater Son. Note especially the phrase: Nor will you let your Holy One see decay.  As a prophet David saw that the resurrection life of his descendent would be the means of fulfilling the covenant (2 Sam. 7:12-17; Ps. 89:3,4, 26-37; 132:11-18).

33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’

The verb raised of 2:32 refers to the resurrection to which the apostles bore witness, but it leads directly to the exaltation of the Messiah as prophesied by Ps. 110:1.

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

Prophecy and contemporary fact had been welded into a strong argument which was the basis of a direct appeal to all Israel.  God had constituted Jesus, the crucified one, both Lord and Messiah for His people, despite their tragic rebellion.



Thus, with this sermon the eternal, unbreakable bond between the Old Testament and the Gospel of Jesus Christ was confirmed.

The Apostle Paul’s Epistles and sermons are no less saturated in what we now call the Old Testament. But then they were the only existing Scriptures by which the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be proclaimed.  By them and the Holy Spirit’s power tens, then hundreds, then thousands then tens-of thousands were converted to Christ.  The fact that we now also have the New Testament makes the Old Testament no less potent a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Erasing the Old Testament (3)

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The flock isn’t protected by pretending they aren’t there.

Yes, “Ignorance or Worse”

In the last post in this series I pointed out that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was primarily preached  from the Old Testament for at least the first century of Christianity’s existence.  I characterized failure to understand this by “New Testament Christians” as “ignorance or worse.”  Perhaps some readers were discomforted by this language.  But, since the New Testament testifies so unmistakability to this point it can be only by utter ignorance of the New Testament that “New Testament Christians” can hold their position.  The “and worse” refers to the Christian heresy of Marcionism, which is summarized as follows (emphasis added).

… a Gnostic sect that flourished in the 2nd century AD. The name derives from Marcion of Asia Minor who, sometime after his arrival in Rome, fell under the influence of Cerdo, a Gnostic Christian, whose stormy relations with the Church of Rome were the consequence of his belief that the God of the Old Testament could be distinguished from the God of the New Testament—the one embodying justice, the other goodness. For accepting, developing, and propagating such ideas, Marcion was expelled from the church in 144 as a heretic, but the movement he headed became both widespread and powerful.

Marcion applied these ideas by constructing a “canon of Scripture” that consisted of Luke and Paul’s Epistles edited to remove all references to the Old Testament.  In summary:

He rejected the Old Testament as the document of an alien religion; and he taught that Jesus had come to save humankind from the control of the evil Creator to whom the Old Testament witnesses.

Thus the “New Testament Christians” attitude towards the Old Testament sometimes comes uncomfortably close the Marcion heresy, and occasionally clearly crosses the line.  Should people in the Church who seek to diminish or erase the Old Testament be meekly accommodated or vigorously opposed?

Perhaps pointing out that I write within context of my experience as a member in the PCUSA will help to explain my position.  What I have witnessed in this denomination is orthodox Reformed members and pastors giving, over decades, every benefit of the doubt to those expressing apostate and even heretical views.  Thus, rather than confronting what was actually happening they too often pretended that this was just another legitimate theological debate.  Yes, the orthodox Christians imagined that they would surely prevail against such obvious error.  They didn’t.

If anyone reading this doubts that the PCUSA has become a comfortable home for open, aggressive heresy, apostasy and atheism then please click on the “Heresy” and “Gnosticism” Categories of this blog.  There you will find posts on a past Moderator of the General Assembly openly embracing Gnosticism and a current pastor of one of our most influential churches denying the Christian God.  You will also find an ordained and installed PCUSA pastor who is an aggressive atheist.  What you will not find is the slightest evidence of effective resistance to these supposed Christian leaders.  What you will find is denominational affirmation.  The information in these posts shows how utterly ineffective has been the strategy of accommodation by our orthodox-minded members.

Does my position mean that anyone who voices what could be characterized as a non-orthodox view be labeled a heretic, apostate or atheist? Of course not!  But, I am saying that we must clearly identify and then confront those ideas among us that lead to great theological error.  In the vast majority of cases these ideas are being expressed out of ignorance.  But, as the above set of posts on “Heresy” and “Gnosticism” clearly show, there are wolves in the PCUSA running freely throughout Christ’s flock who must be confronted.

Charles Péguy (1873-1914) has said it well.

He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” Charles Péguy

Obviously the application of this belief must be guided by prudence and proportion.  No one should “bellow the truth” over trivial issues or minor infractions.  But here in the PCUSA we have lost not just the influence of our historic Confessions but also the very authority of Scripture.  It is not just by the craftiness and persistence of post-Christians in our midst that this debacle has occurred.  No, it also has occurred because we orthodox Christians have failed to engage in debate with sufficient clarity of purpose and honesty about the stakes.

For the remainder of this series I will focus on addressing the “ignorance” issue.  However, make no mistake, this ignorance is sourced, encouraged and supported  by the theological wolves at loose in our denomination.

The Travail of the United Methodist Church (1)

UM-LOGO

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is by far the largest Mainline Protestant denomination in the United States.  However, the UMC is not a national, but rather a worldwide Christian denomination.  The following table from the official UMC web site bears out this statement.

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Note that of the over 12.6 million worldwide members 45% live in Africa, Asia and Europe.  However, these non-U.S. Christians must on average form larger congregations since they comprise only 28% of the total 44,122 local churches.

Now, as a Reformed Christian I have some theological differences with the UMC.  However, those differences in no way affect my acceptance of Methodists as my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Yes, there are theological debates that can affect our Christian fellowship, but certainly not our love for one another as followers of Christ.

Over the past week the UMC delegates at a special denomination conference voted to strengthen its teachings “against homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and LGBT clergy.”  This result was a repudiation of the denomination’s bishops and top clergy, and thus was met with surprise and acrimony.

Given the experience of the PCUSA on this issue my expectation is that the minority of Progressive members led by the denominational leadership will continue pounding away on the majority until they either capitulate or leave.  Yes, in the above cited article there is talk of “more than 700 churches who are thinking about making an exit” due to the UMC’s action.  However, given that they have on their side the UMC leadership and the secular Progressive dominated institutions, I’m very doubtful that they will exit.  Note that the likely inflated 700 churches is only 1.6% of the total.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the UMC delegates took into consideration the PCUSA’s experience after allowing gay ordination and marriage. The most visible aspect of the ensuing debacle is the unprecedented loss of membership and churches that occurred between 2011 and 2017. Over that time span the PCUSA experienced a net loss of 601,000 members and 1146 churches. Thus, over this period the denomination lost a net of almost 30% of its membership and almost 12% of its churches.   Thus, had the UMC conference voted to allow gay ordination and marriage the flight for the exits by orthodox members and churches would have likely dwarfed the inflated 700 churches who threaten exit for the opposite reason.

mere-christianityThus, I predict that this victory for orthodox Christian teaching will lead not to peace but rather to an extended period of denominational travail.  Given that the 45% of membership outside of the U.S. appears to be more strongly orthodox the UMC may be able to “hold the line.”  The stakes for orthodox Christianity (of the “Mere Christianity” understanding) in the United States could not be higher.  Therefore I will pay attention to and report on future developments.  We should also pray that the UMC will not succumb to the post-Christian onslaught, as has the PCUSA.