Sodom and Gomorrah in the church.

Bike Bubba said this yesterday, and it makes an introduction for today’s lectionary.

We have reached a point where all that matters is feelings, and the idea that one will correct in private before one brings in witnesses then the church is seen as wrong. Because correction may hurt.

As if we don’t do this at work on a regular basis. A regular basis.


I grieve when a church dies
, but even more I grieve when a church is killed by the behavior of the leadership. You point to divorce and deceit as a measure of growth in Christ–at times the churches I’ve seen it’s far more basic issues. For example, someone I’d tried to confront per Matthew 18 responded to me by telling me we really ought to leave Matthew 18 out of it.

Um…..what? You might as well try to swim in a dry wash or rappel without rope. Shouldn’t an appreciation of Biblical reconciliation processes be pretty much instinctive for anyone who presumes to fill a pulpit?

Well, within the church, the answer is yes. But within the institution, people consider not that they are there to serve and sacrifice, but to be honoured for their title. To them, church is about ego, not Christ.

And therefore the people turn to their favourite sins, and the land suffers.

Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right.

“Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD. Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall, for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, declares the LORD. In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”

(Jeremiah 23:9-15 ESV)

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At times we get all caught up around buggery and homosexuality, in part because a church that tolerates these things has clearly gone apostate. But they are not the only sins that grieve God. God is angered by our fornication and wrath but more so by us tolerating these and injustice and oppression. Which we now have. There is an end-game to this: and it involves murder, frequently combined with rape: the fate of Lot’s daughters was reflected in the Benjaminites who gang raped a concubine to death.

The Liberal Presbyterians have been taken over by the trolls, and they think it is good.

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What we forget is that immorality matters, for it corrupts. We hold
(heterosexual men) to very high standards. And we let others have a pass. If we do this, we are fools. We forget that it is not the church that calls people to salvation, but Christ. We forget the church has an owner, and it is not us, but Christ.

And we cannot legislate a change in the covenants Christ has made. For God does not change.

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What is happening? Well, the faithful are leaving. Right now. We are letting this false church fall. The same tactics did not work in NZ because the alternate reformed churches (such as Grace Presbyterian) are very small and most reformed believers remain within the Presbyterian denomination: we could stop it cold.

Besides, we have more important things to do. Our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu have just been flattened by a cyclone (hurricane for the Americans). Our catholic and orthodox sisters and brothers are being crucified in Syria, while the morons who call themselves Muslims destroy their churches (and any structure older than they can recall) in their pathetic attempt to imitate the Jacobins and form a new year zero.

And our rulers Godly are not.

We need to continually reform. But reformation is not apostasy. Apostasy has two outcomes; a degeneration into perversion, and a depopulation to the point that one is no longer relevant. Do not do either.

It is time for the US reformed to leave the PCUSA. Do not be them, and do not be like them.

I grieve when a church dies.

Only a few sentences on this passage for it stands by itself. Those who lead, those who teach, those who call themselves pastor are accountable for the congregation they lead.

For them the test is the amount of lying, cheating, corruption and divorce within their congregation. For by their fruits they will be judged.

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”

(Jeremiah 23:1-8 ESV)

The congregation that goes apostate fossilizes. It may last two or three generations as a social club, but it then dies. So look at the track record of the churches in your area. Some are faithful and generally have been so for generations. They have selected ministers who have served God and built the congregation.

Others look for the person who can do church growth, and are more like weeds. There are many abandoned mega-churches, and only a few where the leadership is being passed on — those ones tend to avoid the trap of cult like pastors, and preach the gospel not the culture.

I grieve when a church dies. Because the flock scatters. I see the damage. I know a remnant will be saved, but I want to see a greater number see salvation in my time and in my generation.

So I make no excuse, as a sheep in the pews, talking about evil within the leadership. I am not called to lead. But I still have a duty to think. And the more congregations where the pastor preaches the gospel the better we will be.

Strippers are more righteous than apostates (and seal photos!) [Rom 8]

I stopped using the PCUSA lectionary about a year ago. In part because the church is apostate: in part because their site was unreliable. For the last year this blogger, who attends a Presbyterian church that teetered on the edge of apostasy, has used the ESV common prayer readings, not the RCL.

Which does not matter that much. What matters is how we influence those around us. To unpack a bit of the passage: it is only by the spirit of God that we can reform ourselves and it is only by the sacrificial blood of Christ that we are able to withstand the guidance of the spirit.

If we try to regulate our lives we can become incredibly disciplined. But that journey, that seeking of spiritual enlightenment, will build our own personal hell as surely as if we enslave, rape, kill and murder. But the criminal has the witness of society and his conscience that may bring him to repentance. While the seeker of enlightenment in the disciplines of religion: yoga, mindfulness, vegetarianism, even the careful observance of the rules within the law of Moses, the magisterium, or Calvin’s principles will assuage his conscience, blinding himself to his real state by recounting the efforts he has made.

But those efforts do not save. It is being saved that should empower us to leave the evil in our lives behind: and to the extent that we can do good, Christ’s spirit works within us.

For the true judgment of us is not our words but our actions: not our lives but the lives around us.

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So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

(Romans 8:12-27 ESV)

Now, the PCUSA misses this. In their move to be tolerant, they are becoming intolerant: in their move to allow that which should not be they are losing the gospel and becoming apostate.

The fools within think they can legislate truth, as if “continual reformation” means that the words of God are some living document, that can be voted in and out of existence. They forget they are dealing with a God who made his words living and active, dividing at the joints: in a manner that those of us who classify things for a living struggle to attain in our description of nature.

And there is a time when the believer has to leave, because hearing these teachings corrupts. We all have difficulties with our bodily desires: if not lust, gluttony: if not either, then our training is making us selfish, and we hurt those around us. We need to pray for each other: some of us struggle with all of this.


The Presbyterian Church (USA)
, the largest body of Presbyterians in the country, approved a change in the wording of its constitution to allow gay and lesbian weddings within the church, a move that threatens to continue to split the mainline Protestant denomination.

The 171 regional presbyteries (local leadership bodies within the PCUSA) have been voting on whether to change the wording to call marriage a contract “between a woman and a man” to being “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” On Tuesday, the denomination reached its needed majority of “yes” votes from at least 86 presbyteries to take effect. The change will be included in the church’s “Book of Order,” part of its constitution, taking effect on June 21.

The church, which has more than 1.7 million members, voted last June to allow clergy to perform same-sex weddings. That vote gave clergy the choice of whether to preside over same-sex marriages in states where they are legal, an action which is now allowed in 36 state and the District of Columbia. Clergy will not be compelled to perform same-sex marriage.

Tuesday’s vote carries significance, writes Leslie Scanlon for The Presbyterian Outlook, because it will be much more difficult to reverse.

“Changing the constitutional language regarding the definition of Christian marriage would take the approval both of an assembly and a majority vote by the presbyteries,” Scanlon writes. “It also matters to many Presbyterians that their denomination is willing to put language affirming marriage equality directly in the denomination’s constitution.”

The vote comes amid a larger debate over whether gay marriage conflicts with Scripture and would cause more Presbyterian churches to break relations with the PCUSA. The church has lost 37 percent of its membership since 1992. Most of the congregations that depart opt to affiliate with either the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) or a newer body called A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO for short). The formality of Tuesday’s decision could accelerate more departures.

I have said before that PCANZ (the Kiwi Presbyterians) have not taken this step: even though gay marriage is legal in NZ. I’d add that the state is not the originator of marriage, but is the consequence of the organization of families into clans, clans into tribes, and tribes into nations. Their attempts to reform what is a fundamental part of humanity is hubristic at best.

It is attempting, by human law, to make humans better. Which is not our place. It is the place of God.

At times people struggle with these teachings. I’m divorced. I struggle with the issues around remarriage. I have sympathy to those who are attracted to the same sex who remain faithful to the teaching of the church. Pretending that these issues do not exist is infantilizing. We are grown men (and women) and we have to discipline ourselves to remain functional in our society. We each have our cross: we each have our daily sacrifice which we make for the sake of Christ. (And within marriage, in my experience, these things become more obvious, not less so).

The law of Moses and the gospel do not contract themselves. You cannot legislate human nature away.

And the law does have a penalty for our wrongdoing: it is our life. Our deeds can not pay the weregeld on what we have done. If that was not the case, there would be no need for Christ.

And if we could do it alone, there would be no need for the spirit.

The apostate thinks they can make us all better: the believer should not have that illusion. So do not share a meal with them: they are convinced of their righteousness. Far better to break bread with the local taxmen, strippers and bartenders.

Against the flood [Jer 18]

This morning much of the lectionary is wonderful. Go read it: it is linked below. This can wait.

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The reason that we are turning again to Jeremiah is because our ways are evil. There are many out there who blame women — well at least feminists, but they are just the cheerleaders for the destruction of society: they are the ones in short skirts, putting themselves on display.

The progressive theologians and teachers, working quietly in schools and seminaries, who are quiet, decent men and true believers they are doing good are more dangerous. And the times are evil.


The evil that we confront on a daily basis is banal
. Abortions go on everyday. We have no way of stopping it. Feminist rebellion has to reap it’s own wicked harvest, I reckon. If you are a student of the Bible, then you know that when the wicked rule, righteous men are hunted down and killed. Don’t kid yourselves……everything we say here is recorded. We will have to pay for our speech. I’m personally okay with that. I want my name written among those who mourned the slaughter of the innocent. As has been pointed out before, anyone who accepts the idea that abortion is a right will end up paying for that before God. If you want to get an idea of just how bad it’s going to get, read the Bible. As for dealing with a rebellious woman, divine wisdom says to consider your steps wisely. Don’t marry anyone with feminist leanings. That basically covers American women. Sure, some don’t, but most do.

Now, God lets societies fall. If we get too unjust, we are destroyed. He has not changed, and his warning to Judah still applies. We can no longer claim to live in Christendom: our society is apostate.

And for that there will consequences.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’

(Jeremiah 18:1-11 ESV)

We need a revival. Or we will fail. There is much good in our society, but much of that is now despised as the work of those evil males and eviler believers: one cannot listen to either Bach or Nic Cave, and one cannot have standards, or be blunt, for that is called bullying.

We are told to get along with the programme, even when the programme is damaging. Yesterday I was discussing how when I was in Auckland we had about half the staff that teams have now — and we saw people faster and got them to primary care quicker. But we did not do the forms. We did not have the time. We did what was needed, not what was deemed correct. And that senior doctors are annoyed with the tick-box mentality of the ministry and senior management, who ignore the gaping holes in the service but want their forms neat and tidy.

And I was told this is the way of the world. But that I am unsure of. Because in times of difficulty the non essential gets dumped.

What I see is storms coming: the end of the social democratic experiment, for the money has run out and the spirit of all has been crushed. We are not allowed to have vision unless it is approved by all stakeholders and signed off by the minister. The current SJW pile-ons make the Chekists weep, for people police themselves without the need for terror.

But this soon will be as one with the Soviets of last century. Do not drink their kool aid. This is a time to take courage and speak truth, even if the gulags reopen.

For we need to be counted among those who stood against the flood.

Shattering the imperative male.

In our society the natural response of the male beast is generally repressed. We are told to compromise, to be team players, to do what the boss says, even when they are completely wrong, and cannot do their job.

And most of the time we are as simple as the code monkey. But code monkey called creep.

And the imperatives of men must not be allowed. Because ideology.

Even fun is not allowed.

In any case, I was scrolling down through the article’s list of strategies for eliminating gamers, trying to keep an open mind, and actually thinking there were one or two somewhat valid points. Then I got to item #11:

We stop upholding “fun” as the universal, ultimate criterion for a game’s relevance. It’s a meaningless ideal at best and a poisonous priority at worst. Fun is a neurological trick. Plenty of categorically unhealthy things are “fun”. Let’s try for something more. Many of the alternatives will have similarly fuzzy definitions, but let’s aspire to qualities like “edifying”, “healing”, “pro-social”, or even “enlightening”. I encourage you to decide upon your own alternatives to “fun” in games (while avoiding terms like “cool” and “awesome” and any other word that simply caters to existing, unexamined biases).

That paragraph represents everything that is wrong with social justice thinking in less than 100 words.

The trouble is that…. relationships are risky, and gaming is safer.

The current legal system, despite any consequences of these decisions, is set up in such a way that the older code monkey is still at the mercy ephemera. The security of a family is seen as less, much less, than happiness, or spiritual development.

The argument is been going over three sites, and I’m going to extract from them.


Are there situations in which a single-parent home is better than the alternative?
Sure, many. I’m not arguing that we should outlaw divorce or force 15-year-olds to marry. But that doesn’t mean pretending there is no difference. There is a big difference — and a systematic difference between the way the affluent and the poor form families is going to mean systematic differences in the outcomes for affluent and poor kids.

Trying to explain this all with a bad labor market or insufficient government benefits won’t wash, either. It doesn’t explain why people in 1930, who were much poorer in every sense than people today and had virtually nothing in the way of a government safety net, managed to get and stay married. As David Brooks notes, to explain the problem — and to fix it — you also need to talk about community norms.

The problems are feminism. The cardinal virtue to the second wave of feminism is unilateral divorce law. This is used as a “threat point” to keep husbands in line, to give their wives marital “headship” in their marriage. Basically, he must do whatever she says OR ELSE she divoces him and takes half. The “state” besows upon the wife cash and prizes (the house, alimony, child support) at any moment she wishes to divorce her husband. This gives her the power. So now, an entire generation and half of young men who raised under “threat point” have learned NOT to marry. So, marriage simply doesn’t exist in significant portions of our working cl@ss. With only sticks in which to whack him and no carrots to entice him, there simply is no reason for men to marry.

Child support, far more than no fault divorce, abortion, and contraception, is the legal force which underpins modern feminism. Child support is the solution to shotgun weddings, unhappy marriages, and strong husbands & fathers. No fault divorce is designed not just to destroy families, but to weaken husbands in all marriages. However child support is the economic arm which makes divorce an attractive option for wives, and therefore makes divorce a credible threat when there are children involved. Child support is also the incentive which makes it more attractive for single mothers to remain single than to marry the father.

In short, long before we convince Hollywood that marriage is sacred and fathers matter, we will have to convince conservatives and then moderates that this is true. By the time we get around to selling liberals on the importance of marriage and fathers we won’t need Hollywood’s help anyway. In theory it should be easiest to convince Christian conservatives that marriage is sacred, but realistically it will probably be secular conservatives who come around on this first. Merely being vocally ambivalent on the role of husbands and fathers is now at the extreme right of modern Christian culture. While convincing anyone, even conservatives, that marriage and fathers matter may seem impossible now, this will become easier as the full cost of the broken homes underwriting feminist “empowerment” becomes harder and harder to ignore.

That which cannot go on will not. That which is not going to work, that will end up in disaster, will not be subscribed to.

This may be why I find chick movies, with the heroine walking into the sunset with the hero, leaving human wreckage behind, are making me more and more angry. It is not the wedding or the first bedding that makes a marriage. But the daily putting the needs of others before yours, building a life out of sweat, blood and tears.

For true joy does not come out of some magic packet. It requires hard work. It always has. If is far easier to talk about empowerment, spirituality, and how hard the choice to damage another was than to see how you are judged.

For it is not by the creepy or cool male imperative: if you are James Bond or Code Monkey. Instead it is how the lives of those you touch are improved. And our society is set up in a way which is at toxic to families as it is to our waistline.

Is the loss of sabbath laws an early sign of societal fall? [Jer 17]

The congregation I meet with has breakfast before a nine am service weekly. We drag some people in for the coffee (which is OK) and the sugary buns (which is a weekly struggle to avoid). The service is early because sport has been moved to Sunday, since Saturday in NZ is a day of commerce, and on Sunday many shops are open.

If your business is in a mall, you have contractual obligations to open seven days a week — for ten, or at the busy time, twelve or even fourteen hours.

In this time, Jeremiah’s concern about the Sabbath seems quaint. The kind of things only the ultra-orthodox worry about. For the rest of us, Sunday is the busiest day for the food industry and entertainment and a day of shopping.

But perhaps the neglect of the sabbath is an early sign of societal fall.

Thus said the LORD to me: “Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, and say: ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. Thus says the LORD: Take care for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction.

“‘But if you listen to me, declares the LORD, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.’”

(Jeremiah 17:19-27 ESV)

Do I burden others on Sunday? Well, our habit is to go to church, then a long walk, then have brunch. Which could be anywhere — most of the photos I take are on Sundays, when I try to spend a couple of hours walking with a camera attached to me. Days on call excepted: for emergencies do mean I will work.

However, the day of rest has other purposes, and they relate to justice. I’m fairly well off, and work five days a week: some of my successful colleagues have cut down to four days, while the poor and those trapped by contractual obligations often work two jobs, seven days a week, to make what I can make in two days.

The Sabbath regulations ensure that everyone stops and everyone rests. That commerce takes a day off. That we depend on families, or worse, churches. That perhaps. the poor can eat more than breakfast at services.

When we lose the regulations around rest we start to break down the natural laws of hospitality and recompense that allow societies to function. Jeremiah told the princes of Judah, who had the law and a regulated sabbath, to obey them or their society will break.

God has not changed. The exhaustion of the poor damns us as much as that other sign that we are a broken society: the annual Gay Parade (Romans 1: and they were abandoned to their lusts… man for man, and woman for woman, paraphrased).

When we reform, we need to remember that we are not silicon chips or robots. We are mammalian, frail, but with a huge capacity to recovery.

If we rest. If we do not rest as per a schedule, we break down.

Typographic animation is still alive

A good version of the first Portal Song.

The composer, Johnathon Coulton, uses creative commons, which means people do make good animations of his stuff. This is from Portal 2.

Covers…

A musical interlude…. all covers. John Butler Trio covering Pharrell: his comments at the beginning about fear are fairly wise as well.

Fair warning: this is a Kiwi radio station, so our accent: Ed Sheeren covering Lorde.

And live, Bonnie Riatt with R. Thompson… covering Thompson.

Seek the feelbad. [Jn 6]

My concern at this time is not as much with Syria: there our duty is clear. We need to support the Christians. By doing that we will support liberty for others. If we let the Islamists continue, we are damning that region: another Somalia or Afghanistan is in the making.

That continual low scale terror, with marketplaces blown up and people murdered at prayer, which is the Caliphate. As Ken McLeod used to say, Feck any ideology that murders and makes children cry.

The duty we have in the West is to rediscover covenant, and dethrone politics. The theology of covenant is shown in the Psalm: I would add that this is a Psalm for tribulation, for the next verses talk about being in with enemies on every side.

The theology of covenant can be summed in one statement: God is faithful, and he will not change. He is not a ruler of men, adjusting policy as if he is tacking in the wind, and he does not adhere to the spirit of the times.

And the promise of David’s throne being for ever, and his offspring for ever, is fulfilled in Christ, in whose name seekers of the lost have been sent to all nations. So that Christ can claim his own.

If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules,
if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments,
then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me.

(Psalm 89:30-36 ESV)

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After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

(John 6:1-15 ESV)

On politics, note the last verse in the gospel. After Christ fed the crowd the were going to force him to be a king. Of Israel. They were going to acclaim him the heir of David and the Maccabean Priests, and retake Palestine. As they tried to do with Bar Kochba a generation later, leading to the destruction of the temple, and the scattering of Jewry throughout the empire, for the Romans (those bastards) were thorough and considered making a land desert an excellent outcome if there was rebellion.

But we get caught up in the spirit of this age, trying to become popular with the elite, forgetting that their time will end as surely as the Temple has.

This world works too much on sentimentality, on feelings, and on the fear others will think we are bad. Which is nothing to do with the truth, nothing to do with personal righteousness, little to do with beauty, and nothing to do with Christ: who courted not popularity.


No, because it is not about the logic, it is about the feelbad
.

They’re changing their standards because it makes them feelbad to have the world thinking bad thoughts about them, and they’d reject your formulation because it would make them feelbad about themselves to acknowledge the truth of it. They are totally consistent, so no, they wont see the illogic. For them it doesn’t even exist.

Which highlights a critical truth; if you crave the world’s approval you cannot be a faithful Christian.

Your god (your feelings) won’t let you

God is faithful, our feelings are not. God’s word is reliable, our feelings flux. Consider well where you set the foundations of your life. For appeasing our feelings is a very churchian and nice way to attain damnation.

The Churchian fear, or the peace of Christ.

Beware of the leaven of the Churchians. Beware of their tendency to be overly nice. Beware of their pretty lies. Look not at their words, but what the consequences are to those around them.

For the liar, the psychopath (who does not think he lies, for his conscience is seared, and he has not concept of the truth), the pedarist, the procurer and the perjurer all are within the church. We are not a pure organisation.

Many who look good are not, indeed those who appear perfect are generally living a lie, for the true saint is rare (and to be emulated).

And do not look for acts of power or signs, or worse, measurement of key performance indicators. God does not care about these things.

Christ did not care for them, and nor should we.

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

(Mark 8:11-21 ESV)

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Which is kind of what happened in Kirk today. We started off thinking about how the businessmen can trample on worship, and make a business of it, considering how Jesus got rid of the traders in the temple.

Look they were doing a service: selling the ritually clean, so one did not need to monitor one’s own herd when traveling to Jerusalem. But that became a monopoly, and that led to swingeing fees to the point that they were a den of robbers.

Then we considered that Christ’s love is unconditional. The Kirk is not about earning: it is akin to a parent who loves their child, regardless. Because sometimes that child does wrong… and love is not dependent on a person doing good.

And here I think the leaven of the Churchian sits. He is afraid that he will damn others, and damn himself: that whatever salvation he has, whatever justification he has, is contingent on his good behaviour. The Romans, who do practice confession and penance are clearer in their teaching than the free churches here, for they say that yes there is accountability, and the sin matters, (and it does) but God forgives: show your repentance by doing this. But they do not say that your acts pay the just penalty. They are too wise: they say Christ paid the penalty.

And the reformed simply say we are all damned, and that any good we do is the work of Christ. Any salvation we have is the work of Christ, and none of us can boast.

But the fear of the Churchian means that he has to boast. As to the size of the congregation, the acts of goodness, the missionial focus, the number of Gold records the worship team has made…. in the externals. Which do not matter: the fear of the Churchian leads to boasting, frequently about the purity with which things are done and the micro regulation with which people live.

As if that can save us.

Micro regulation and the practice of the regulations they placed, around the law of Moses, with exquisite care did not save the Pharisees, but instead enslaved them. Within their religion, as in all religions, fear drove out peace.

For peace comes only when our sins are expunged. And that was the work of Christ.