Thursday, March 12, 2015
If the PCUSA Goes Kenyonesque...
"When the tribulating times come, you may have to exercise a spiritual gift
to be used once by call as gifted; yet, as Jesus promised, you will feel
blessed, embrace the privilege as gratitude, and return home with
a smile on your face and fearless aura radiating from your soul."
"I look at the pastors, elders, deacons, and members of your
denomination. They're like every other denomination and
most churches. They're filled with wimps and cowards.
They have no principles other than personal security.
They aren't dying for their children; so why would
they die for Jesus? Sardis reincarnated!"
I chair a committee for a regional judicatory of my franchise.
Responding to one of my sarcastic notes to the committee a la Reply All, an ecclesiastical superior and friend wrote, "Bob Kopp...Hated by the left and hated by the right...but loved by Jesus."
Was that a castigation or compliment?
Anyway, I was reminded of a little sticker that I picked up at a gas station in Sundance, Wyoming: "Jesus Loves You But Everybody Else Thinks You're An ___!"
Wingman found another sticker in Sturgis, South Dakota that he gave to me: "Never Trust a Preacher with a ___!"
So what does the preceding have to do with the following?
1. I don't care what anyone but Jesus thinks about what I say and do. If anyone shows me that/how I am wrong by the example of Jesus, Bible, or common sense, I will confess, repent, and pray/labor to be, uh, better. If what I say and do offend people who don't care if they're offending Jesus by what they're saying, doing, enabling, and accommodating, the sticker from Sundance comes to mind.
2. My personal response and recommendations if the PCUSA goes Kenyonesque will horrify both left and right because I think both left and right have so many egotistical ___s of contention masquerading as theological verities that Wingman's sticker should be included in every church new member's packet.
Parenthetically, if you don't know what Kenyonesque means, it's because you haven't read "Will the PCUSA Go Kenyonesque?"
Either go to www.churchandworld.com, the best daily summary of news impacting modern ministry, and search for it or go to the right column of this site and click it on.
None of this will make much sense if you don't know what Kenyonesque means.
Of course, if you're just one of those political or religious lemmings who would vote for Satan if your political party or denomination nominated it because you're more idolatrously loyal to institutions and religions than Jesus, you can just forget about this like you forget about everything else that insults God and injures people and get your nose pierced with a bigger hole so you can be pulled farther and farther and farther away from...
Lots of people are so caught up in existential securities because, really, yeah, really, they have no eternal perspective.
While I may be wrong and invite your inspirations/indigestions, I see three ways to respond if the PCUSA goes Kenyonesque.
1. Run away.
Parenthetically, I've already written lots that you haven't read about the philosophical/theological context for my understanding of the three ways to respond to denominations irretrievably apostate under current management in a variety of rags including The Presbyterian Outlook, The Layman, Belvidere Daily Republican, here, there, and anywhere with need for fillers.
The best source of information, to review all perspectives on running away or swallowing or remnanting, is www.churchandworld.com. While the editor of the site is as faithful to Jesus by the book as they come, he has almost provoked as many from the left and right as me by an extraordinarily uncommon fairness in reporting/reviewing/linking all perspectives on, uh, all kinda stuff.
Sooooooo if you're into that, just google around.
Certainly, my bias will be clear concomitant to several decades of redundancy on the opportunity more than challenge.
Candidly, I believe my bias is more in keeping with 2K+ years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, and common sense Christianity.
Sooooooo be prepared to feel insulted if you're running away from or swallowing the junk in your denomination.
Martha Young, the first African-American elder in a big church that I once served as pastor when I was famous, counseled me long before she went to heaven, "You love 'em and let God judge 'em; and love 'em enough to tell 'em that God will judge 'em."
Sooooooo if you're into running away from or swallowing the junk in your former/current ecclesiastical idolatry, I love you, pray His best for you, and just want you to pray some more about your response to denominations irretrievably apostate under current management more in keeping with 2K+ years of...than...
Sorry, aside from some eisegetical proof-texting of pericopes like Ezra 9, Isaiah 5, 1 Corinthians 6, and James 4 taken out of the context of the preponderance of our Biblical witnesses supporting our call and gifting to be salt, light, and the Christocentric leaven mixing in to make better, I see very little in 2K+ years of...to rationalize running away.
Have you read Joshua?
Have you read Acts?
Do you remember Paul, Silas, Stephen, and the martyrs?
Are you familiar with Luther?
What about Dietrich Bonhoeffer?
What about Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Jesus said we will be persecuted for Him in the human institutions that pretend loyalty to Him. He said we will be hated. He said we will be beaten, bruised, and butchered. He told us what we were getting into before we got into it!
Annnnnnnd He also said we will be blessed by looking up, standing up, speaking up, and acting up for Him in such hostile cultures Annnnnnnd He promised paradise in the end and strong calm sanity in the meantime if we endure.
Have you looked at the cross lately?
Jesus did not run away from it.
BTW, He also said those who love Him will not run away from it either; but deny the impulse/temptation to run away from it and go to His crown through it.
Onward, Christian Soldiers!
Lead on, O King Eternal!
Once to Every Man and Nation!
Uh, sorry, really, really, really, sorry, I see nothing about running away in authentic Christianity true to 2K+ years of...
O.K., you won't go to hell if you run away; but if you run away from the battle for souls, you may miss the opportunity to save some.
I know it's safe in the harbor; but that's not what ships are built for.
Running away, to me, and I may be wrong, is like ending a sentence in a preposition.
Gotta admit, I don't get yu'uns.
I don't get institutional loyalty over Jesus by the book.
I don't resonate/relate to religious idolaters more about being AG, RC, EPC, PCUSA, EOC, SB, OPC, RCA, ELCA, PCA, ESPN, ACLU, NAACP, and so on more than being Christian.
Besides, do you really think Jesus had denominations in mind to show how He bridges colors, classes, and cultures into one body of believers?
Denominational jingoists are sooooooo full of...uh...themselves.
Again, you remind me of Democrats and Republicans who will vote for Satan if it is nominated by your parties/idolatries.
You have traded the mind of Christ for the mindless meanderings of...
Haven't you ever read Matthew 15 or 23?
Oh, yeah, the Bible is no longer "the witness without parallel" but "a witness among many" for you.
Free country...for now.
Buuuuuuut do you remember how the liberal-leaning churches in Germany, always looking for "more light" than what has been revealed in Jesus by the book and always ready to "reimagine" Christianity apart from Jesus by the book to satiate wandering desires, went with you know who to do you know what because they had abandoned the Bible as the only absolute witness without parallel to Christian beliefs and behaviors?
Surely, you are aware of the racism and sexism and exploitations of the poor enabled by people like yourselves who feel soooooo superior and entitled that they say, "I know that's what Jesus and the Bible say; but we think..."
Yeah, admit it!
That's how you approach your current apostasies when it comes to things like the sanctity of all human life, human sexuality, marriage, and even Christology: "I know that's what Jesus and the Bible say, but we think..."
You demand folks be loyal to your institutions and embrace your made-up standards while you undermine, diss, and defy the standards of Christian confession, conduct, and countenance established by God in Jesus by the book.
Talk about arrogance!
You come up with stuff and pass it off as Godly despite it only being coincidental to 2K+ years of...
You lead with two feet planted firmly in the air.
Your swallowing makes Him gag.
Read those letters to churches like yours in Revelation.
Annnnnnnd, yes, you are dying.
The stats keep pouring in.
Do you even know why are you dying?
He has removed your lampstand.
Get out your concordance and read, pray, digest, and...
Now read the red letters of the New Testament.
Review the lives of Luther, Bonhoeffer, King, and...
Stop feeding the beast.
Stop playing footsies with the beast.
Be good leaven!
But what if the PCUSA goes Kenyonesque and comes after me/us?
But what if they say we must...?
But what if...?
Yes, do not give a penny to advance the causes of apostasy.
Yes, be prepared!
Secure tax exempt status.
Buuuuuuut instead of acting like the world and your worldly denominations, why not try something Actsually Christian?
You know, like following the example of Jesus and those who were/are followers not fans of Jesus!
If you are a true follower of Jesus, you will go to the cross for/with Him.
He said it.
You will dissent from and defy apostasy.
You will not fund, cooperate, enable, or accommodate it.
You will love Him to death.
For God's sake and the sake of all who need Him, don't run away!
For God's sake and the sake of all who need Him, don't swallow the junk!
For God's sake, declare and be a part of the faithful remnant that loves Jesus by the book and loves Jesus by the book by loving others after the person and prescriptions of Jesus by the book!
For those of us in the PCUSA, we have known this opportunity would come since the San Diego GA of 1978.
Some knew before that.
Buuuuuuut instead of running away or swallowing the junk, embrace the opportunity.
What a great opportunity in a Romans 1:16-17 and Actsual kinda way.
What a great opportunity to be blessed in a latter Beatitudo kinda way.
BTW, Jesus wins!
That's why we live confidently and triumphantly amid the meanness, madness, and miseries of life in our world, America, and its apostate denominations.
We are already victors!
Jesus rose and reigns!
If we believe that/Him, we can stop acting like losers.
This is the greatest time for us.
I have told my children, "If I ever look defeated or depressed or grieved or I'm acting especially irregular, irascible, or irreconcilable, please tell me to get back to Jesus; because you can't be close to Jesus and be like that."
It's a Galatians 5 thing.
The proof/evidence/by-products/fruit of increasing intimacy with Jesus is being a part of His remnant with irrepressibly increasing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, fidelity, humility, self-control, and...
I don't see much of those qualities in those who are running away or swallowing the junk.
Buuuuuuuut history is punctuated by remnanters exemplifying those qualities because they have always risen above existential persecutions perpetuated by apostates by embracing/esteeming eternal promises penultimate to paradise.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God!
We've been singing that since 1529; and if we haven't just been mouthing the...
Read the words.
You won't run away or swallow if you believe it/Him.
Remain faithfully...for Christ's sake.
You may catch some hell in time.
Jesus said that will happen.
Annnnnnd if we're not catching some hell for Him in time, it means there's more of a problem with us than them.
Now read Matthew 16:24-28.
Blessings and Love!