Monday, February 9, 2009

February 9, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


One of my mentors, John Robertson of Belvidere, New Jersey's First Presbyterian Church, always cautioned, "Don't separate yourself from God by degrees."

My favorite poet, not to mention the apostle (1 Corinthians 1), John David Burton often echoed the sentiment: "Years of school prompt my distrust of and disinterest in the academic."

Or as Tony Campolo often said to me if not about me yet surely about mainline clergy, "I just love hearing smart people say stupid things."

Be that as it is, John gave Bernanos' The Diary of a Country Priest to me and said every pastor should read it.

I did and discovered he underlined several sentences - an exchange between an old priest and a young priest:

A parish is bound to be dirty. A whole Christian society's
a lot dirtier. You wait for the Judgment Day and see what
the angels'll be sweeping out of even the most saintly

Our Heavenly Father said mankind was the salt of the
earth, son, not the honey. And our poor world's rather
like old man Job, stretched out in all his filth, covered
with ulcers and sores. Salt stings on an open wound,
but saves you from gangrene...

Next to your idea of wiping out the Devil comes that
other soft notion of being "loved." Loved for your own
sweet selves, of course! A true priest is never loved,
get that into your head...

And if you must know: the Church doesn't care a rap
whether you're loved or not, my lad. Try first to be
respected and obeyed. What the Church needs is
discipline. You've got to set things straight all the
day long. You've got to restore order...

Of course, in today's churches, especially in the mainline, anybody's word is as good as anybody else's word on any subject.

Gifting and the authority attached to it have been replaced by a kind of mobocracy chained to the most recent vote informed by the latest ideological fad.

I remember old Dr. Macleod saying this back in an introductory class on Reformed Liturgy, "I will let a layman preach when I can perform brain surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital on Layman's Sunday."

Then he told us to check out the etymology of layman and all of its Greek synonyms.

It's apocalyptic; and so offensive to some folks who still haven't contributed to the chrome pony fund that I'm not going to review it because they can check it out for themselves.


Shepherds don't follow sheep.

Another hint.

There's a lot about that in the Bible; and when churches finally take some time to study about gifting and the authority attached to it and take Him seriously and incorporate revelation into administration, then their churches can move forward as part of the Church.


I thought of that as I keep thinking about that young pastor up the road in our neck of the woods in the growing church who says things like, "Religion sucks! Jesus saves!"

He dropped another one on me: "I want you to bring some other pastors together to provide accountability and support for me. Yeah, I have a board of advisors; but they don't vote on what we do because it's my job to set His agenda according to the Bible."

So he's gonna start meeting with my covenant group every week; which includes an African-American street preacher from Victory Outreach, an author of one of the best books on revival - Firestorms of Revival which you can get through us - who has struggled so mightily to bring pastors in Northern Illinois together through Jesus, and, uh, me. We share and hold each other accountable for everything - confessionally and redemptively. Mainliners used to do that before Biblical faith and morality were placed in a parallel position of prescriptive and prophetic authority with Twain, Maclaine, and...

I think this guy's gonna get me into trouble.

He reminds me of, uh, me before I sold my soul to the company store and started saying then compromising and now accommodating stupid things about institutional covenants paralleling the only covenant that matters in the end when, in practice without Biblical faith, it means usurping His role as sovereign in the name of Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.

Yeah, Campolo was talking about me.

Geez, even C67 got it/Him/His right: "Confessions and declarations are subordinate standards in the church, subject to the authority of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as the Scriptures bear witness to Him...Obedience to Jesus Christ alone identifies the one universal church and supplies the continuity of its tradition."

Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never...


How did it happen?

Unconverted clergy produced unconvinced laypeople who think and act as if anybody's word is as good as anybody else's word on any subject.

How did unconverted clergy slip into the mainline?

Well, some lied about what they did/didn't believe when they were ordained, some changed their minds after they were ordained about what they do/don't believe, and those who've stayed in the mainline who've got, uh, beliefs anathema to Biblical Christianity don't have the integrity to demit because they're living off the produce of their products (see the second sentence of this section) and can't find another job more suitable to their disbelief.

Or something like that.


Here's an easy way to smoke 'em out.

Ask 'em about their personal relationship with Jesus; and if they stumble and stammer...(ask 'em about Romans 10:9 if you really want to know what's not going on)...

For Christ's sake...seriously!!!


Speaking of disconnects between rhetoric and administration, PBHO is fast becoming the archetype.

He's already redefined bipartisanship as agreeing with him; and after that sneaky late Friday afternoon in the backroom to sign an executive order that repealed the ban on U.S. tax dollars funding foreign abortions, he had the duplicitous/disingenuous gall to say this at the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C. on 2/5/09: "We know there is no god who condones the killing of an innocent human being."

Say what?

Didn't you just...?

Increasingly, his rhetoric and administration match up about as well as Joy Behar to reality television.

I hear George Orwell in the background!

Though the MSM, most of America, and the majority of mainliners are rationalizing all of his disconnects in tribute to their real American idol, folks who actually exegete oratory apart from his mesmerizing seductions are increasingly uneasy in his, as yet, undefined and indiscernible agenda; noting his rhetoric is middle to slightly right and administration is way left.

For example, his speech at the prayer breakfast was a compelling case for syncretistic ideology loosely attributable to Biblical revelation; though, again, he said, essentially, nothing while saying it eloquently:

I recommend buying the book by Professor Frankfurt, highlighted in the right column of this website, which helps explain intentional disconnects between rhetoric and administration.


A video from my favorite newswoman in the South comes to mind:


John Hawkins in Golf World (2/9/09): "As if to prove the truth also can be funnier than fiction, the PGA Tour started working on a set of guidelines regarding the appearance and decorum of its players last summer...this should delight all those old-schoolers who judge a man by his relationship with a razor...Although I personally don't understand anyone's preoccupation with a tour pro and his whiskers, I'm not going to hide behind the default argument and suggest the tour devote its energy to more pressing affairs."

I am.



Blessings and Love!

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