Against virtue signals [II Cor 13]
I don’t care. You can be as offended about truth as you want to be. You can consider the gospel racist, kinist, bad think. You can damn the nations and call me alt right.
I don’t care.
Because there are more important things to worry about. Being offended? That is akin to the woman who was offended that the apology the amenable authorities forced out of a colleague was not grovelling enough. We have forgotten that we need to fight for the faith and truth.
Offend? We used to use sword and fire and may have to use them again.
Conservative Christians are terrified. They are terrified of offending women, especially women in feminist rebellion. This creates a problem, because conservative Christians still want to condemn the outcome of feminism. The question is, how to condemn the outcome of feminism without offending feminists?
There is an example put before us of how to correct: it is Paul, in the second letter to the Corinthians. It is an example of how to deal with those who are offended with your teaching and find your correction makes them cry. Who consider their tears to be a currency of righteousness. Who virtue signal.
And it is to tell them that they are falling into at least a grievous error, if not heresy, and to correct them. To be a witness involves correcting error. Paul saw this letter as a witness for correction: two or three warnings should lead to a removal of the teachers and the virtue cycle.
Or he would cast those who taught it out. Again, he cared for their souls. He did not give a whit for their feelings.
1This is the third time I am coming to you. “Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” 2I warned those who sinned previously and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again, I will not be lenient ? 3since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. 4For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.
5Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? ? unless, indeed, you fail to pass the test! 6I hope you will find out that we have not failed. 7But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong ? not that we may appear to have passed the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect. 10So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
11Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
13The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Last night Robyn and I were filling in a questionnaire about a pending leadership change in our church, as two of the founders of the congregation are leaving pastoral care for women and the teaching ministry at the end of the year. In that conversation we discussed how the woman has a humility and gets alongside the other women in the church and holds confidences: how the minister bleeds for the congregation, but has to work part-time and pastor 200 people.
And how there are women who want the power and will use such confidences to maintain it, together with our experience of effete men in leadership doing the same thing causes damage. I gave the eldership feedback that anyone who wants to be put in that role probably should not be appointed.
You cannot appease those who seek power and status. They will always want more. There is a great place for women’s ministry: it is teaching young women to guard their virtue and marry well: to love their children and husbands, and for men to teach the wider congregation.
For men will not listen to women. Gossip makes us leave, or rage. I have walked out of one sermon this year. I don’t want to do it again, but I will if people preach therapy, social justice and their virtue. I sit in the pew to hear the gospel, and to be encouraged to again repent and again do good, despite being weary.
The Erwin brothers are learning a hard lesson. They’ve given the feminists everything they thought would appease them. Free choice to live according to their feelings without consequences, and genuflection to heroic single mom. It was not enough.
Same with guys like Stanton and Driscoll, and organizations like Honor Your Father Today. They have absolved women and doubled down on the themes that men need to do better. The feminists in their audiences remain dissatisfied.
These ostensible Christians have all found or soon will, that there is no level of groveling self-abasement or man hating that feminists will consider adequate. All men can be sacrificed on this altar without gaining one ounce of righteousness before the women they seek to conciliate. It will never be enough. Never.
Wake up boys. There ain’t no end to this ride. You’ve got to jump off.
You need to ignore the people who bleat about the unfairness of this life. That some are rich, and some struggle. That the elders in the church lack the merit badges you have acquired. Be glad that you are in the congregation and the people of Christ. That God chose you from before creation.
And do not hold yourself as greater than you are. None of us deserve worship. None of us are virtuous. It is only by the completed work of Christ that we can stand and praise God.
In that be content. For in an hour your feelings will change.