Recently I had someone come on my blog who was name-calling and later threatening me. He listed himself as “Stupor Stupid” and had an email address of: “funamentalist-NOT@youareadolt.com.” This was his comment:
Yes, one can easily imagine Jesus and the Apostles hanging out at O'Charley's Pub.
AFTER one has had a few, and wants to excuse his worldliness.To drink or not drink alcohol isn't the virtue. Ministers as confused as you are a travesty.
Later someone appeared listing themselves as “Stupid as(*) you are” writing:
I cannot imagine the Lord 'wetting the people's appetites' beforehand with such a rousing defense of a mere beverage. Take away your beer and cigars, both of which I enjoy, by the way, and you are what? The point is, Craw, that Paul preached Christ crucified, and so should you. As to my manliness, I'll kick your butt, you simp. Something the Pharisees never would of said. And, the Pharisee's weren't talking about alcohol. You are an idiot.
So I called the person out to self-identify and he wrote two posts claiming to be a friend of mine, Brett Bonecutter, AKA The Boneman. But its wasn’t Brett, it was a person claiming to be the assistant to John Robbins, professional heresy-hunter. We were able to determine this by comparing IP addresses with an individual claiming this occupation off of another blog. When I called him out via email he admitted to impersonating Mr. Bonecutter but refused to repent of this and apologize. Here are the emails that followed:
Email #1: Go ahead, I'm not afraid of you, you women!
Email #2: You won't let me post in my own defence?
He then took on another pseudonym “Detective” (I have no reason to believe its not him) and posted a comment (I pulled the whole unpleasant thing down) where he castigates me for being a liar and general meany. I guess he thinks he has a right to say whatever he wants on my blog, the one I pay for. The nerve.
Well, the reason why I am re-posting some of this sewage is that after I took down the entry that dealt with this I became curious about another set of comments in an earlier post that fit the same juvenile pattern. The comments were written by someone who identified themselves as “email@example.com.” Here are the comments from that blog entry:
Comment #1: Like reading Vatican II documents here!
Comment #2: "ecumenical reconciliation"We can all have differing creeds, but somehow at the end of the day we share the same ambiguous 'faith' Are you serious that Roman Catholics are 'Christian'? In what sense? There are two senses....and one has to do with one's salvationn! (his misspelling)
Guess what? Same guy, same IP address.
My point is twofold: (1) This guy should be bounced from every blog and has thoroughly discredited himself. Guys like this fellow are totally parasitic. They don't have their own blogs (who would listen to these guys?) so they spend their time dropping filth on other people's blogs, and (2) He fancies himself a big anti-Federal Visionist and supposedly works for the biggest anti-Federal-Visionist of them all.
Look at this. Behold it and meditate upon what pathethic, un-Christian-like wretches these people have become. This is what happens when we de-couple ourselves from face-to-face communication and start making wild accusations of heresy. We start to build demonic phantoms up in our minds and then are free to do anything to our brethren, including lying, impersonating, and threatening.
God help the church in this precarious time!
In conclusion, I want to say that I'm going to have to be tighter here on this blog. You put in fake email addresses in and I'm going to have to bounce you right away. Sorry, but I (and the regular readers of this blog) don't have time for juvenile antics.
Man, I wish I was heading to Seattle to attend this. I am so tired of the endless Reformed in-house bickering over theological and particularly confessional minutia. Reform and Resurge would be a welcome and refreshing re-entry into the broader church but, alas, I will be here at CTS taking my final, final exams!
I know some you out there are lurking on this blog to get some hint, some flavor, of what St. Andrew's Community Church is going to be like. Well, as just a foretaste, let me say that we will have a monthly men's meeting and that it will involve adult beverages and perhaps, tobacco products. I say "perhaps" because in the Red Republic of California, you can't smoke in bars or restaurants. I hope to pillage the Roman Catholic Church's "Theology on Tap" concept by meeting with our men on a monthly basis at a local, tap-room, or micro-brewery. I have a name picked out already, "Calvin on Tap."
Endorsed by John Frame, this paper by Joseph Minich (apparently all of 23 years of age) presents a scholarly and balanced presentation of the Federal Vision. I highly recommend it, though it is a little long.
1 Corinthians 11:26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Why wine of course! We need to get away from this peculiarly feministic (it's rooted in the feminist Temperance Movement) and American attitude that fermented beverages are bad. No one else in the world is so up-tight and totally unbiblical on this count. Give us wine and good wine at that!
When we begin worship services in September I hope carry out a fusion of elements in the Divine Service. These three elements, which could be reduced to principles, are:
1. Configure visual appointments like an Anglican
2. Structure the liturgy like a French Reformed
3. Preach like a Baptist
* I am adding this note since some have asked about sacraments: We will celebrate a joyful Eucharist every single week with vino and loaves of yummy bread (no crackers here!). Hey! The kingdom is here!
Why has the church in the West been, since the Medieval period to the present, predominately female? What is it about the Western strand of Christendom that has kept a steady mark of church identification at a rough 40/60 (often more imbalanced) split in favor of females? In other traditions this is not the case. Leon Podles writes: “The exceptions to the general pattern of feminization of religious life are worth noting: the Eastern Orthodox (perhaps), the Jews (definitely) and non-Christian religions.” (The Church Impotent, 1999)
How is masculinity to be re-introduced into the church? Sometimes it is asserted that a more conservative approach to religious life is the key but earlier Christian religious agendas, temperance, prudence, etc., were identified with Christian liberals. Vigorous preaching of the truth as opposed to liberal causes are sometimes trumpeted as the elixor but interestingly, Walter Rauschenbusch, according to Podles, “claimed the failure of to preach the Social Gospel as the reason that our churches are overwhelmingly feminine.” (The Church Impotent, 1999). In fact, some “Christian” agendas like temperance, have no doubt, driven men out of the church and into the tavern.
But lest we think there was some more vigorous masculine era in our Puritan past, Cotton Mather will disabuse us of that. In the late 17th Century Puritan New England, Mather wrote, “I have seen it without going a Mile from home, That in a church of Three or Four Hundred Communicants, there are but a few more than One Hundred Men, all the Rest are Women, of whom Charity will Think no evil.”
Apparently, the Western church until the 13th Century was evenly attended by both men and women but something happened. It was at this time that the idea of the church as the bride of Christ was fleshed out and taken up with fervor by eager female worshippers. Speaking of the teaching Bernard of Clairvaux, Leon Podles writes:
In this he continued an allegorical exegesis that goes back to Origen, but his preaching fell on fertile ground, and was taken up by popular piety, which had undergone a mysterious transformation into what we might call affective, or sentimental, piety, although these words are not exact. Emotions and sentiments had always played a part in Christian life, but now for some reason the emotions were those of women. (Touchstone Magazine, Jan-Feb, 2001)
So what do we learn from this. Well, this is, admittedly, a tentative stab. We must be very sensitive to present the fullness of the Gospel message (Romans 1:1-6). The passive aspects of rest in Christ, the Great Bridegroom resonate with femininity while the active aspect of the continuing conquest of the King resonates with masculinity. We must preach not only the rest and comfort we have in Christ but the exciting privilege we have in being on the dangerous, exciting, and continuing journey of Gospel conquest. As Paul says in Romans 1:5 concerning the progress of this Gospel of God, “through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.” The conquest continues through us, pathetic clay vessels on the one hand, great warrior/knights on the other.
Finally, it is interesting to note that Judaism, in particular Orthodox Judaism, and the Eastern churches tend to be very male. Why is this and is there something we can learn from them? I think the main theme running through both of them is the apophatic, or the darkly mysterious. We in the West have tended to over-emphasize the accessible aspects of God (because it is comfortable) to the exclusion of the inaccessible ones. We in Reformed circles are good at accessing God’s mysterious and abstract decrees (it can be a controllable projection of how we see these things) but spend little time in silent awe before the mysterium tremendum. I think a healthy (and proportional) dose of these things could be helpful to expressing the church’s masculine side.