Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Untouchables 

Few people on the Internet are automatically immune from heresy. Fewer still are the ones who can combat such tripe tirelessly.

Oh yes, Rome, Italy; Moscow, Idaho; Durham, England; and Brooklyn, New York (the epicenter of the ultimate in Reformed heresy, the home of Steve Schlissel, Mr. Hooey and Hogwash himself). All these places and more have men that will stand against the righteous Reformed Donatist apologist and the truth of the proposition that salvation comes only by a person believing in the proposition of salvation alone. Heresy these days is intercontinental, worldwide. Hey, so is the Church of Rome. No wonder all this is so prevalent!

But, I digress...Other pastors, apologists, and laymen can't touch these guys. Efforts by a stalwart not-quite-Donatist-but-on-his-way-there (after all he's still in the PCA) pastor like Andrew Webb couldn't refute the heresies of the dreaded Louisiana monster known as Auburnism. John Robbins, too--himself a closet Reformed Donatist (I won't tell if you won't Johnny boy, wink, wink) has tried to refute these heresies to no avail. In fact, there's almost no one in the entire world of Triple SSS presbyterianism that will listen to either one of them.

It might give you the idea that these men of heresy are untouchable. Well--not since the King has gotten wind of it! What King am I talking about?!? (no, not Elvis!)

Why King James White himself! King of 'rip and shred apologetics', king of 'in your face evangelism', king of the heresy hunters, and lately--with all those cartoons--King of Sarcasm.

The real untouchable here is Dr. James White, King of Alpha and Omega Ministries.

He's the one to stave off heresy, slashing with his sword of unbending truth, smashing with his ecclesiastical hammer. Heretics last not five minutes in his grasp and whimper away mortally wounded. His biting sarcasm somehow makes the serrated edge of certain other clergymen look tame--and since he's King no one else has the right to use sarcasm on him...and woe to the poor heretic that does....

"Off with his head!"

Recipe for Refuting Sacralist-Sacerdotalist-Statist Sola Fide-Compromisers 

1. Activate the Spiritualizing Hermeneuticalizer and cross-link its analytical functions to the Abstract Exegetical Principle Transmogrifier.

2. Hum Isaiah 8:20 under your breath.

3. While humming complete the following steps:

Read Jeremiah 31 loudly.

Read Hebrews 8 even more loudly.

Read Romans 4:5, Galatians 1:8-9, Titus 3:5
most loudly of all.

4. Top off Objective Scriptural Demonstration with gratuitous insults to other people's understanding of hermeneutics.

5. Sprinkle liberally with "You just listen to your traditions of men. Why can't you just exegete the text?" rhetoric.

6. Add dark insinuations about opponent's appetite for Truth. Thank God that you are not like all the compromisers out there.

7. Come out from among them and be ye separate.

8. Reap the rapturous joys of fellowshipping only with the pure. Maranatha!

Deep Thought #6 

Don't bother me. I'm too busy contemplating the perfection of my theological and apologetic navel lint.

Deep Thought #5 

We Calvinists have nothing to contribute to the Church but constant crusades against false doctrine. Oh, I already said that below. But it never hurts to be reminded of the Truth.

Deep Thought #4 

The True Church is always consistent with the Doctrines of Grace and never compromises sola Scriptura.

Deep Thought #3 

Baptism is a doctrine we Reformed Donatists say with our mouths, not something that really means something.

Deep Thought #2 

The Romish-Roman-Papal-Papist-Judaizing-Judaish False Anti-Christian Pseudo-Brother Whore Church and everything that even reminds us of it must be opposed at every possible moment.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Deep Thought 

Thank God for heresy. If there was no heresy to fight we Calvinists wouldn't have anything to contribute to the growth of Christ's Church.

The Supermodel of Orthodoxy 

Boy, where is a cartoonist when you need one.

Just close your eyes, imagine for yourself (I'd say visualize but then I'd be engaging in New Age heresy and this blog is about combatting heresy--just imagine--don't worry this is a Reformed Donatist blog and anything we say here is orthodox whether you think so or not).

See what your imagination can do with this:

Colored spot lights. Rock music, with heavy drums and a solid beat.

The catwalk.

The Great White Shark, Dr. James White--displaying all he's got. Head lifted high, strutting his anti-heresy stuff walking up down and around the catwalk, ecclesiastical hammer in hand (for you heresy-mongers, that's a B I B L E), shirt sleeves ripped off by overly aggressive Mormon missionaries he encountered just before he stepped up to the platform, an angelic but all too bright multi-colored glow from the spots around his glubrous head, and a smirk that says, "Come on you heretics, give me all you got!".

The Supermodel of Orthodoxy. Coming soon to a heresy near you.

The Top Ten Ways to Find Heresy In Any Blog 

1. Constantly read Purging Out the Tares and aomin.org, blog of the Great White Shark for the best and completely orthodox in blogging. See #7.

2. Look at the links to other blogs--if the heresy isn't there directly on the blog, it's bound to be in his friend's blog.

3. Don't just read the most recent post. Copiously examine the entire blog. There are bound to be suspect entries in the entire record of what the sacralist has spewed forth on the web.

4. If you are not sure if heresy is in the blog entry, assume the worst. These Triple 'SSS' (remember--sacralist, statist, sacerdotalist) heresies abound in force in the blogging world and some of these boys are pretty sneaky about it. Before you know it, you're reading along and WHAM! the heresy has already hit you because even though it's not immediately obvious due to denials of heresy and affirmations of creeds and confessions (the Romanist's play toys--remember Sola Scriptura)--it's there. It has to be.

5. Read between the lines. Not every heresy is stated directly. Some heresy takes a little bit of tweaking and twisting of the statements of people whether in blogs or conferences to actually reflect real heresy. Don't worry about taking remarks in context--the heresy is there--you just have to draw it out of the sacralist sacerdotalist statist individual that has tried to hide in statements of orthodoxy.

6. Look for quotes from famous heresy-monging individuals such as Norman Shepherd, N.T. Wright (what a decidedly Wrong name for him), Steve Wilkins, Steve Schlissel, Doug Wilson, John Barach, Mark Horne, Randy Booth, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Brigham Young, John Henry Newman, C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer (though he lived in the Alps, was not truly an anabaptist), Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, John Frame, Jeff Meyers, Joel Garver, Rich Lusk, Hans Kung, Karl Barth, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Paul Tillich, Herman Hoeksema, Herman Bavinck (generally, anyone with the name Herman is suspect), Abraham Kuyper, Martin Bucer, Melancthon, Francis Turretin, Samuel Miller, George Whitefield, Thomas Cranmer, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII, Pope John Paul II (actually any pope) and a host of others. If you can't remember all these names, just look for any other names besides The Great White Shark, Dr. James White and myself--affectionately known here on the Internet as "Purist". Only Reformed Donatists have truly orthodox material on their websites. Quoting someone else is a sure sign of heresy even if it's not immediately obvious. It's there. Hiding between the lines.

7. Read blogs you know that take a real stand for the truth, such as Purging Out the Tares and of course THE blog of them all as far as Reformed Donatist orthodoxy is concerned, www.aomin.org. See #1.

8. Look for obscure references to passages such as John 15 and Romans 11, John 6 (where Romanist idolators always go). Heretics love to use their Bibles.

9. Heretics always claim to be orthodox, so any statement that sounds orthodox most surely isn't. Watch out for the orthodox statements!

10. Read the blog as you understand it, not as the author meant for you to see it. As a Reformed Donatist, you are the supreme arbiter of what is and is not heresy, not some statist secularist sacerdotalist excuse of a church that dares to lay claim to the name 'Reformed' or one of its lowly pagan-like adherents.

Friday, January 16, 2004


I know this is a reference to a secular movie...but secular movies are neither good nor bad compared to the wicked heresy that floats around on this Net looking like a chocolate bar in a swimming pool.

But to continue on with my theme...They said..."Build It" and they would come. I'm just so happy to be noticed.

And, to have the outstanding amazing privilege of being invited on the Dividing Line webcast--I don't know what to say! It is the show of all web shows...they must have what...24 people listening every time they broadcast (including one guy from England)? That's just about the amount of people living in villages in the Alps during the persecuting times of the wickedly Catholic Dark Ages (any more Christians and the church grows too large to effectively control and heresy rears its ugly head).

These are all people of the Reformed Donatist stripe in the extreme. The show, though, is the most incredible testimony to Reformed Donatism out there. I can't say enough good things about The Great White Shark and his feeding time known as the Dividing Line (wow--hours and hours of listening to 'rip and shred apologetics' right here: http://www.straitgate.com/aom/dl/03.htm).

No...I'm not worthy to appear on the Dividing Line. I can't bear the thought of taking any of the elect's precious time to explore my few comments or the comments of others who believe exactly as the Great White Shark do on the web while there are Roman Catholics and others out there to rip to shreds. There are too many important heresy targets out there to worry about someone you agree with.

We'll leave unity of the Body alone while there is so much heresy and heretics to combat.

Onward! Forward! Shout the Loud Hosanna!

To be on that show would be a Reformed Donatist's dream come true--but it's a dream that will have to wait for the day when those evil statist sacerdotalist sacralist internet covenantalist Reformed types actually admit that they have lingered too long in the halls of the Vatican to make themselves feel as if they really are Christian.

Repent, embrace sola fide, and live. Otherwise, look out for The Great White Shark when you are swimming around in your little pool of heresy.

He'll find you when you least expect it.

Hurt feelings 

Friendly fire is never friendly.

I've taken the heat...stood up for our blessed Reformed Donatist cause and The Great White Shark has responded as if I'm blasting him (see his blog entry about Purging Out the Tares at aomin.org). Nothing could be further from the truth.

I don't know what to say. I just want to cry.

I can understand how he feels, though. Strong statements on a blog like this are hard for some people to take and your critics think charitably of you so they call it a parody or spoof. Others, no doubt hurt by what could be considered friendly fire if read wrongly could potentially look askance at our efforts.

My utmost and sincere offerings of thankfulness go to The Great White Shark. If it wasn't for him, there wouldn't be any controversy about much of this stuff and I can't tell him how much he is loved over here.

In fact, as of today, I'm making him an honorary member of Purging Out the Tares. I can't think of anything better than to fight alongside the Lone White Warrior, who sits upon his propositions like Gandalf the White sits upon his trusty steed Shadowfax.

[Oh no, I've done it again...making an allusion to a wretched literary work by that Romanist pig Tolkien...dang! Well, you all know what I mean!]

Fight on O Great White Warrior! Lift your sword as we ride on and stand shoulder to shoulder to battle these great heresies and the wretched souls who will own them!

More Damned Heresy 

J.R.R. Tolkien, Romanist Extraordinaire, demonstrates once again that why Roman Catholics cannot possibly be our brothers and why all Truly Reformed people must flee all iniquitous associations with them and their work:

The cycles begin with a cosmogonical myth: the Music of the Ainur. God and the Valar (or powers: Englished as gods) are revealed. These latter are as we should say angelic powers, whose function it is to exercise delegated authority in their spheres (of rule and government, not creation, making or re-making). They are ‘divine’, that is, were originally ‘outside’ and existed ‘before’ the making of the world. Their power and wisdom is derived from their Knowledge of the cosmogonical drama, which they perceived first as a drama (that is as in a fashion we perceive a story composed by some-one else), and later as a ‘reality’. On the side of mere narrative device, this is, of course, meant to provide beings of the same order of beauty, power, and majesty as the ‘gods’ of higher mythology, which can yet be accepted—well, shall we say baldly, by a mind that believes in the Blessed Trinity.—Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, pg. 146

Just look at that swill! "Cosmogonical myth"??? "Angelic powers" that don't rigidly conform to Pure Doctrines Abstracted From Holy Writ via Objective Exegetical Tools??? The world as a story that later becomes a reality??? "Narrative devices"??? Something akin to the "gods of higher mythology" somehow being acceptable to a mind that adores the Blessed Trinity???

Hogwash and hooey! The Bible is literally true and is always literally propositional. Any other position surrenders Truth to the chaos of postmodernism, idolatry, and superstition. I call upon all Reformed people to reject Tolkien as a damned Romanist idolator who didn't understand the Gospel, and to dissociate themselves from his work. Yes, even The Lord of the Rings movies, so much in vogue right now.

Tolkien wrote that in his mythology (!!!--need I say more???) "God is everywhere present but nowhere mentioned." Idolatrous idiot. Back in my unregenerate days I read The Lord of the Rings books. There's not one single proposition in them about Justification By Faith Alone, much less about Jesus Christ and the Limited Atonement that He purchased on the Cross and the Imputation of His Active Obedience to our accounts so that we can be Truly Saved. There may be a "god" in The Lord of the Rings, but he's not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He's an idolatrous figment of the imagination of a Romanist idolator. All True Christians must flee such garbage and seek refuge ONLY in the text of Holy Scripture, from whence comes all that is good and true and lovely and of a good report.

Come out from among them and be ye separate!!! And the more separated the better!!!

Praise the Lord for My Unbiased Exegesis 

I am so sick and tired of hearing all this postmodern garbage from professing Calvinists about how we all have biases that affect our exegetical work!

It is utterly boggling how anyone could think that attaining Truth could be possible if the search for Truth is always enmeshed in human finitude under God and cannot proceed with Objective Certitude!

The idea is so manifestly ludicrous as to not require commentary at all. But it makes me so flaming angry that someone would try to counter my personal exegesis of Scripture, which I have done by properly applying all the Abstract Rules of Greek Grammar to the Bare Naked Text after having divorced my mind from all external factors that might impinge upon finding the Truth, that I just have to say something!

It's real simple, folks. The rules of hermeneutics are constructed in such a way as to make it possible to get past all factors that mediate knowledge to our minds and get at the Thing In Itself. The rules of hermeneutics completely bypass all historical and cultural factors, for if they did not, we could not know Truth at all, since, as Plato and Aristotle taught us knowledge can only be infallible cognition of immutable objects (all else being subjective opinion). And as Locke taught us, the mind is a tabula rasa, able to grasp the Truth without any input from the outside world to color it. Or, as Descartes taught us, "I exegete, therefore I'm right."

So then, I take it as self-evidently obvious that philosophical considerations have nothing to do with exegetical work. The rules of exegesis, formulated in accordance with the view that Truth must always be unentangled by connection with the finite, changing world of historical and cultural Stuff, allow us to approach the text of Holy Writ and demonstrate conclusively that our own views are true and everyone else's views are manifestly without substance--and probably even due to those people simply not having any stomach for Truth in the first place! These rules make it possible to completely strip away all traditions and biases of any kind and reach the very essence of God's Holy Word. How could it be otherwise?

Now some naysayers might want to point out that a couple of paragraphs ago I mentioned a bunch of philosophers to support my conclusion that philosophy has nothing to do with exegetical work. Well, fooey on them! I cited the philosophers only to show that I am operating within a tradition that says all traditions can be dispensed with. The philosophers were able to use their pure, unbiased minds to get at that one central truth of reality, and they above all others, have helped us Modern Christians--but particularly us Reformed Donatists--to have an absolutely unbeatable argument against all other ways of doing theology.

Other naysayers might point out that one of the big differences between pre-Reformation and Reformation hermeneutics was precisely that the Reformers rejected the Neoplatonized matrix of philosophical assumptions that had been used since the patristic age. Such naysayers would then say that one big difference between pre-Reformation and post Reformation hermeneutics lies precisely on a fundamental philosophical difference that has begun to operate before anyone has even opened a Bible, much less begun the process of exegetical wrangling with its text. Well, double fooey on them, too! I already demonstrated above how such thinking is inevitably postmodernistic in its bias, and that only by holding to the Modern Way of hermeneutics can we even hope to attain Truth. Those dumb stupid nasty heretical idolatrous Medieval exegetes! I can't understand why anyone would take them seriously, much less think that the mere existence of a different way of construing the hermeneutical task seems to imply that I have to provide more than pious rants about the Objectivity of my own heremeneutical process!

Damned compromisers. Why can't they just exegete the text of Holy Writ like I do??? As Lennon might have sung, "Imagine there's no tradition. It's easy if you try."

Inside Outside Upside Down 

The Great White Shark lately has challenged a puny but crazed undergraduate internet covenantalist to an online debate (see www.aomin.org for details) about the meaning of Galatians 2:4-5. No matter how you look at this issue--Inside Outside Upside Down--the fact is obvious and clear. The Roman Catholic is not our brother, and neither is anyone else who doesn't clearly articulate the five points of Calvinism, sola fide, sola scriptura, and semper reformanda.

No matter if you put a Roman Catholic in a box, put the box on a truck like Papa Bear and drove it to your church and dropped it off--how would that make the Roman Catholic a brother of yours? Likewise, taking a little baby, baptizing him in the Roman Catholic Church (while saying "a la peanut butter sandwiches" with a magic chrism--"wand") in the name of the Trinity and then taking him to your church, putting him in the nursery (since only adults are fit to worship God seeing as how children cannot understand our blessed propositions yet)--none of these things makes that little baby a Christian let alone a "brother".

Okay, so I'm not a storyteller. So the analogy doesn't quite fit. All the good literary allusions, as I've said before, are part of the Evil Empire of Rome--you know stories about Middle Earth (Tolkien, Romanist pig), the Middle Ages (History, plaything of the Romanist Church), or Dante's Inferno (Hell, where all Roman Catholics wind up including Dante since he was part of Babylon too).

So, it forces me to use children's books about the antics of silly little bears that can walk and talk as if they were human (something a lot more likely than understanding Roman Catholics as Christians or the idea that baptism actually accomplishes anything)!

I digress. My point is that no matter how you slice it a person can only be a brother by agreeing with us about sola fide and the rest of the issues that define the Gospel for us. That's the whole point of Galatians! If you don't agree with us, you aren't our brother! If you don't believe in sola fide, you can't be a Christian! It's right there in black and white in Galatians. Read it and weep.

Don't give me this garbage about the common bond we have through baptism. Silliness.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. God doesn't work through the signs he's given to his church. They're empty signs, meaning only that the signs symbolize community and the testimony we have that God has seen fit for us to embrace the propositional truth of the Gospel. If it were up to me, I'd dispense with baptism and the Lord's Supper altogether since they mean so little compared to the blessed truth of the Gospel as it is expressed rightly in our understanding of sola fide!

So, if you're one of those crazed covenantalists, put down your Roman Catholic pagan baggage and embrace the true Gospel of empty signs and abstract ideas--knowing that sola fide truly is what it takes to be a brother in Christ. At least a "true" brother.

Covenant Kookiness 

Imagine this. A person gets baptized. We call them a Christian.

Can you believe that there are actually people out there that believe such things?!? We are safer imagining that elephants can fly or Calvinists can be nice.

This sacramental pagan Romanistic view of baptism is just dangerous. If we considered everybody that's been baptized a Christian, there would be too many of us--we'd have to say that we aren't the only ones with the Gospel truth.

Just think of all the extra work our pastors would have to do--sneaking around trying to find out who really is elect and who isn't! It's hard enough to do that now with the few people we have who follow the true way of Reformed Donatism!

No. I say we consider people true Christians only after they can legitimately profess faith in sola fide--the Gospel as it should be. For without sola fide there is no need to speak of salvation at all let alone baptism.

Can someone please silence these sacerdotal 'Christians' who assume that just because you've had a little water touching that pagan evil body of yours (and the Triple 'SSS' boys use only a little water because they've misunderstood the Scriptures on how to do baptism. Boy, they are not only messed up in the what but also the why and now the how. One wonders why anyone would go to any of these legalistic covenant supposedly Reformed but really throwbacks to the ancient pagan Roman Catholic now not quite totally false but even worse lukewarm churches out there today)--that somehow makes you a Christian?!?

Brothers. We must keep the Gospel pure. We must retain belief in sola fide, sola scriptura, and semper reformanda or there is no hope. Do not be deceived by pagan silliness--the idea that God would actually work through the signs he has given to the Church. We know better. God works through the propositional revelation he has granted us in abstract through His Word. These are the things we must preach and believe. Never mind what the Sacerdotalist Sacralist Statists say or do. We will continue on as we have for centuries whether in the cold freezing Alps or on the fringes of our own society that has grown cold to our neutral unbiased and without reference to pagan tradition understanding of the propositions of the Gospel.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Just What is a Reformed Donatist? 

Some people have asked. It's really a matter of common sense sprinkled with a little knowledge of our history. There have been all sorts of groups that have claimed to be Christian over the centuries, but few groups represent the commitment to purity and the truth as the Donatists did during Augustine's day (for more information on the statist, sacralist Augustine just go check out any pagan papist Roman site--it's all there in plain English!).

The Donatists wouldn't baptize anyone who's profession of faith wasn't clearly sincere and was a forerunner to anabaptists during the Reformation and Baptists today. We're serious about the truth, and the truth will set you free. If it doesn't, you're not worth talking to anyway.

A Reformed Donatist of course is one who still sees the line of unbroken Christian commitment to certain doctrinal truths and propositions throughout history (even if that history is undocumented because to avoid persecution the real Christians had to hide in little Alpine villages high above the rest of society--especially during the wicked Middle Ages--a time when evil yicky popes reigned supreme and to stay alive as a Christian you had to kiss the ring of bishops who made it their business to do everything possible to corrupt the faith once for all delivered to the saints...now where was I?). Oh yeah, one who sees the unbroken line...and yet realizes that there was just a teeny weeny little thread of truth in the statist sacralist sacerdotalist Roman Catholic hangover known today as the Reformation of the 16th century. We all know some of these truths as Semper Reformanda, Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura.

All that other theological hogwash like paedobaptism (wretched evil soul drowning doctrine that it is) and covenant community and a Church that contains both wheat and tares as actual members of the covenant (fools! Hebrews 8 makes things quite plain that only the truly elect will ever be saved and members of Christ's Church)...we Reformed Donatists have a few choice words for those who would dare continue the the 'Triple S' (sacralist, sacerdotalist, statist) legacy of certain Reformers: GO READ YOUR BIBLE!

After all, one of the highlights of being a Reformed Donatist is that you can interpret the Bible without any need to worry about your traditions, the things that have shaped you culturally and philosophically when approaching the text, or the thoughts of a bunch of dead stupid Greek pagans. Medieval history, philosophy, doctrinal development...all that stuff is just the chaff left on the threshing floor after the mill of exegesis is complete. You can have a neutral look at the text and as long as you agree with the Reformed Donatists it's quite clear that you do!

You might see a Reformed Donatist walking around...usually they have a Greek New Testament, a BAGD lexicon hidden somewhere in a bag or on their back (due to the size of such a volume), a literal translation of the Bible (not the NIV!), a copy of Calvin's Institutes (Calvin was a statist sacralist throwback in terms of our semper reformanda Donatist more enlightened and modern understanding of the Reformation, but boy was he good on predestination, election, and the condemnation of all those wicked reprobates), and usually a dog-eared version of Leonard Verduin's Those Evil Statist Reformers and their God-loving pious Stepchildren--the elect Anabaptists for those quiet time devotional moments.

C.S. Lewis is In Hell 

We at Purging Out The Tares would very much like to thank our esteemed colleague John Robbins, of the Trinity Foundation, for having the courage to at last expose another heathen-hypocrite false Gospel-believer amongst the ranks of the pure Visible Church. C.S. Lewis, that dirty scumsucker from the other side of the Atlantic, had some theological problems that totally vitiated his claim to be a "Christian". We won't repeat what Dr. Robbins has so excellently said, but urge every reader to first read Dr. Robbins' excellent sayings and then burn every C.S. Lewis book you can find!

Lewis was clearly not a real Christian, for no real Christian can possibly think that the Old Testament has some factual errors in it. It's not possible that someone could just be confused or struggling with remnants of a former life in atheism and that this could explain such remarks. No, no, anyone who says such things must be instantly branded a heretic-heathen-false brother-pseudo-Christian and irrevocably confined to Dis, the city of Satan in Dante's allegory The Divine Comedy.

Wait a minute, why am I referencing Dante? He was a Romanist idolator! Maybe it would be better to say that Lewis belongs at the base of the Dark Tower of Sauron as Frodo throws the Ring into the Crack of Doom, so that the filthy heretic can be crushed by the debris of the falling edifice. No, no, wait. Tolkien was a Romanist idolator, too. We can't be good little Reformed Donatists and not always point out the failings of others.

Of course, that policy means it's tough to find cool literary allusions to describe the ruin of atrocious heretics, but as they say, se la vie. Perhaps we should just stick with the excellent metaphor-less Gospel-Truth of Dr. Robbins, instead. At least we can be sure such are untainted by worldliness and sin and false faith. Lord have mercy, the burdens we Reformed Donatists have to put up with in our quest for the Pure Visible Church!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

A little snuggle time with Leonard Verduin 

I don't know why the general evangelical world loves Oswald Chambers. My idea of a devotional--quiet time if you like (we Reformed Baptists are still Baptists after all--it is all about an individual's relationship with God whether they are elect or reprobate)--is to take a five or ten minute journey through Leonard Verduin's wonderful work called, if I remember correctly, Those Evil Statist Reformers and their God-loving pious Stepchildren--the elect Anabaptists.

We all know of course the only people you can legitimately call Christians between 100 A.D. and 1517 are a curious lot of Swedish anabaptists that lived all alone in their little Alpine villages as history literally passed them by (or a few other isolated little blessed tribes that nobody remembers). The papist dog Romans took no notice of them, nor the european sacralist kingdoms of the Middle Ages. In fact, nobody knew about them until Leonard Verduin uncovered their origin and history through a detailed historical journey akin to Indiana Jones' successful search to find the Holy Grail. It's amazing we know anything about them at all!

But this little group of blond and blue-eyed anabaptists carried the day for us--kept the Gospel pure, avoided the heresies of those statist monsters, and because of their isolation proved that Christians can just get along all by themselves without any help from anyone!

Oh I just love to read about them. Their trials and tribulations as men descended from the glorious heights of the Alps and began to spread their message of rebaptism amongst the pagan Roman Catholic and other folk living in Europe at the time. We've got a lot to learn from them, and I just love to cuddle up to my little dog-eared copy of Verduin's book and be encouraged that even though we live over here on this side of the 'big pond', our particular strain of Reformed Baptists here has so much in common with those curious wintery blond and blue-eyed 'Baptist heroes of yesteryear' people of centuries ago. It makes me want to cry I'm so happy about it. I can hear the Indiana Jones' theme in my head as I read, oh what a lovely story it is!

Monday, January 12, 2004

Why Can't Most People Today Stomach The Truth? 

I ask myself that question over and over again, but I never can get a clear answer. Now critics of the quest for the pure Visible Church might want to say that's because it's just a rhetorical question, easily transformable into a soundbite for one of those stalwart Calvinist apologetic radio programs like The Dividing Line. There is a razor sharp edge between Truth and Error, and it is imperative that we Calvinists always show everyone else that we are the only ones who stand on that line.

So some say that the question is just a manipulative and dismissive use of rhetoric. I hardly think so. It is simply beyond evident that many today cannot stand the perspicuous light of biblical truth. Many today brashly court all kinds of destructive ideas that are obviously at variance with the Reformed Faith.

Take infant baptism. Now, rigorist-separatist-purist that I am, I can handle that sort of thing if it is sufficiently baptist-ized by its adherent so as not to offend my delicate sensibilities about perfection in the New Covenant. Nevertheless, it is apparent to those who allow Scripture to speak for itself that paedobaptism is a tradition of men brought to the text. It is also apparent to the grace-enlightened eye that paedobaptism is simply inconsistent with the Doctrines of Grace (Heb. 8, Jer. 31, Rom. 4:5).

Or take another example, the insidious perversions of N.T. Wright. I don't care what anyone says to the contrary, this man manifestly and openly denies imputation and justification by faith alone--the very heart and soul of the biblical Gospel (Rom. 4:5, Gal. 1:8). The so-called "New Perspective On Paul" is simply a denial of the Gospel handed down in unbroken succession through the faithful, persecuted minority who never make any sort of substantive impact upon history.

Take a third example, the silly eschatology-driven concepts of the Gospel promoted by the revisionist Auburn Avenue theologians. How any self-respecting Calvinist could ever fool himself into believing that the Gospel has anything to do with creating a "Christendom" (puh-leeze!), that this "Christendom" is not a pure visible body but contains many sinners and idolators (double puh-leeze!), and that the entrance into this mixed company is via Trinitarian baptism (triple puh-leeze!) is simply beyond rational comprehension.

This sort of stuff is what happens when people mistake the truth of God for a lie, as it is prophesied in 2 Thessalonians regarding the Last Day.

Think about it. How else can divergences of opinion from the glories of the Reformed Donatist faith be explained? Now, again, I can make some allowances for Luther and Calvin because, hey, they were right there in the thick of things and thank God for them! But it's been 500 years since the Reformation. It's been 500 years since most normal, Really Real and True-Blue Christians had to live in the cruel wintery conditions of little villages in the Alps, constantly looking over their shoulders for hints of the pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades perpetrated upon their purified innocence by the disgusting minions of the sacralist European false-whore Church and her Romish Antichrist leader. We Reformed Donatists have faithfully and progressively continued the work of that great move of God, the Reformation, by continuing to purge out the leaven of the old Romanist idolatries that even the Reformers couldn't see. We have continued to press on toward the mark of the high calling of the Pure Visible Church and the tradition-free exegesis of Holy Scripture. We have fought the good fight, and we have prevailed. We are everywhere and we have turned virtually the entire culture of modern American Christianity to our way of looking at things.

But look, there's a fourth issue on this battlefield of Truth-Compromisers. Some people say that we Donatists need to pay very careful to "culture" and historical progressions and so forth, and take visible structures more seriously than we do. This is obviously merely a tactic to detract attention from the Divine Scriptures. Look, it's very simple. Anyone with a little Modern education can understand this. If I can't the arcane tools of advanced Greek exegesis, construct a perfect, pure Systematic Theology out of its gloriously clear, timeless statements, then I wonder what the point of Christianity itself is. Why even bother to seek Truth if I have to allow that my own mind might be infected with traditions that I can't discard as easily as I change my dirty socks? Obviously on such frail and limited epistemological grounds attaining Truth would be impossible.

The answer to this false and distracting premise about "culture" (roll eyes) is really quite simple: "To the Law and to the Testimony!" Nothing else matters except the text of Holy Writ splayed open on my dissecting table, poked and prodded with my magical exegetical tools so that they yield Objective, Timeless Truths that only willfully deceived people could deny.

In fact, I think that the only reason why someone would refuse to cite Scripture as frequently and prooftextingly as a good Calvinist does, or fail to see the clarity of exegetical constructs along the lines of the Reformed Donatist viewpoint is that they are simply blind to the truth. Now there might be degrees of blindness, of course. I am big enough to admit that some people are just "inconsistent" and not maliciously at war with Holy Writ. Arminians, for instance, are just a bunch of honestly confused folks who are my true brothers in the Lord despite their false doctrines about the very nature of God and the salvation process. Roman Catholics, on the other hand, are manifestly and deliberately gross idolators and lying false brothers. Anyone who doesn't speak to them as if they are pieces of dirt that they can't wait to shake off their shoes is to be suspected of compromising the truth of the Gospel.

The bottom line here is that it is we Reformed Donatists who are the determiners of who is merely "inconsistent" and who is grossly "discontent with truth." If not us, who? Does anyone outside our little True Full Immaculate Perfect Administration Gospel-centered clique properly exegete Scripture? To ask the question is to answer it, indeed.

Now if you think that my attitude to these things is full of inconsistency and arbitrariness, I'll just sigh and tell you that you're being silly and not facing the clear realities of the plain texts of Holy Scripture. Everyone who's even remotely Reformed knows that Arminians are just confused, but Roman Catholics are evil idolators. Why, just remember what the Romanists under Pope Innocent III did to the peaceful people of the Piedmont Valley, and what the disgustingly worldly Council of Constance did to John Huss! And let's not forget those False Decretals and the Council of Trent! The Arminians are just too dumb to understand the plain exegesis of the many clear passages of Scripture regarding the sovereignty of God. The Romanists, on the other hand, willfully submit the Scriptures to their traditions of men. This is what the polemic tradition of the 16th century teaches us to say even today and because it is so obviously biblical (cf. Gal. 1:8!!!) it is one tradition that we like and maintain with full fidelity! Long live semper reformanda and sola Scriptura! Dumb dumbness we can live with; rank idolatry we can't. And in case you're wondering, yes, we are free of idolatry. We consciously reject all external influences on one's dealings with Scripture and so we see and love the clear truth that so many others simply cannot stomach.

So I come again to the question of this entry: Why are so many today discontent with truth? It is, indeed, a high mystery. I do not understand it, but I do know that it is true. The evidence is all around me, plain as day. Stay vigilant! The Lord upholds the proud and gives grace to the learned. Especially when they do whatever it takes to defend the Gospel. Amen.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Not Just Arminians, But Other Calvinists, Too, Have A Lot To Learn From Us 

Yesterday I stated the rather obvious truth that Arminians have so much to learn from us Calvinists about being really godly, really biblical Christians that it just ain't even funny. Well, it occurred to me later that there's a further truism to explore on that trajectory: Other Calvinists have a lot to learn from us Reformed Donatists, too.

That's because unlike other Calvinists, we are actually consistent with the glorious doctrines of grace. Grace being, well, grace, it only stands to reason that no hint of any kind of external will ever be found in any kind of serious connection with it. External things are, ultimately, just shams that wind up obscuring the ethereal, spiritual, Pure Truth that the inward man delights in and makes his meditation all the day.

Take communities, for instance. It is obvious that any understanding of "community" which holds that the society is entered into and organized around rituals (yes, even like--and perhaps especially like--baptism!) is just necessarily going to wind up allowing the tares to slip in amongst the wheat. This is simply intolerable, of course, for the Gospel is about a perfect redemption accomplished by a perfect Mediator who perfectly applies the benefits of said redemption to His own people. And perfection being what it is, of course there can be nothing imperfect in its midst. False professors do, alas, do slip into the perfectly pure Church from time to time, but this is no indication that they are actually and really connected to the Church! On the contrary, such mixed company only reveals the sham nature of the visible and external, and the consequent need for obsessing about the invisible and internal. There can be no tares mixed in with the wheat in any kind of substantive sense of "mixed in", for then the perfection of redemption would be besmirched and the corrupted world of space and time allowed to intrude its unwanted presence into the Ideal Society formed by the Truly Regenerate people--who, it must be noted, really can be separated from the Unclean Ones in this life and placed outside the camp where they properly belong. The Presbyterian theologian Charles Hodge once wrote that the attempt to make such a separation in this life could only be productive of evil. Well, there you have it. Hodge simply didn't have eyes to see the glories of the perfect, pure Visible Church that Baptist theology strives for--and succeeds in creating!

There can be no impurity in the perfect redeemed community. Passags such as John 15 and Hebrews 6 are misused by paedobaptists to support this sacralist-sacerdotalist point because paedobaptists being what they are, captive to their traditions rather than to simple exegesis of Holy Scripture, simply do not understand the intricacies of the Greek grammar used by the Apostle John and the writer to the Hebrews. I would give a learned discourse on said Greek grammatical principles, but I realize it would be above most of my readers' heads, anyway. The simple, plain truth is that impurities cannot be permitted in the New Covenant, for just as Jeremiah 31 so plainly teaches, they will all know me. Of course, that bit about "no one shall teach his brother" doesn't really mean that, because other passages such as Hebrews 13 teach the necessity of submission to local elders. Scripture is entirely self-consistent, which means that my system of theology is also entirely self-consistent (regardless of appearances!) simply because I know how to eject all biasing factors from my mind as soon as I crack open my NA27. "Imagine there's no tradition / It's easy if you try..." (Sorry, Lennon).

Consistency is very important in one's theology and practice. Without it, there is no way to guarantee the purity of the community, and therefore, the purity of the Gospel itself. Paedobaptists compromise these glorious truths by their inconsistent application of the perfection of redemption. By holding that external things actually do matter, they inevitably introduce a destabilizing element into the community. From that destabilizing element--the icky impurities of false brothers (see Galatians 3!), the rest of their sacralist-sacerdotalist errors flow. By not understanding baptism to be merely the profession of a good heart (the reality of the claim to be "good" to be determined later, by rigorous fruit inspection and consistent application of Scripture), they allow baptism to become more than what it is, and thus, the Church and the Gospel to become far less than what they really are.

We are always thankful to God for keeping us so balanced as over against the errors of everyone else, and humbly aware of our duty to help our fellow Calvinists actually understand what their Calvinism means when it is consistently applied.

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