Where we are and where we’re headed

The last half-decade has been an eye-opener for me.  No sooner did 5 fools in black robes discover a right for two men to marry then that right was being used to target Christians who refused to participate in the neo-pagan rite of homosexual marriage.  Bakers in Oregon were sued and their property confiscated.  A baker in Colorado was sued, won his Supreme Court case, and is now being persecuted again by the state of Colorado for refusing to bake a cake celebrating transgenderism.  Ministers have been sued for refusing to perform homosexual marriages.  Meanwhile, the government’s services to the public continue to decline.  The roads are rubble.  Hordes of homeless haunt our cities.  Illegal immigrants flood-in and murder.  I’ve lived through disastrous fires that were preventable.  I’ve watched my state threaten secession and fight with an elected president.  Finally, I’ve watched a Deep State coup by our federal agencies after they unsuccessfully colluded to elect Hillary Clinton.  It is to these federal agencies we now turn.

Last night, I attended a webinar on infiltration.  The presenter gave a case study on the Bundy take-over of the federal building in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  The presenter gave weighty proof that at least 50% of Bundy’s group were federal infiltrators and informants, including the guys standing to right and left of this speaker. 

The speaker went on to describe another Utah militia member loosely-affiliated with the Bundys who was also infiltrated and was later convicted of trying to blow  up a federal building.  The presenter pointed out that these people were responsible for their own actions but the infiltrators vectored their targets into these actions through encouragement.  The government simultaneously uses its targets for propaganda purposes.  The presenter said that much of the militia movement, even the people offering prepper training in firearms, is infiltrated.  I wondered how it was legal for the government to guide and vector people into actions they otherwise wouldn’t commit.  It is apparently perfectly legal, but obviously highly unethical.  Many of our federal agencies are very close to becoming a Cheka.

I further wondered why the government spends so much time on these kooks when the drug cartels, Chinese, and Islamists are such a problem.  It finally dawned on me: McVeigh.  McVeigh blew up a federal building in the mid-90s in response to the Clinton administration and federal bureaucracy shooting a bunch of people at Ruby Ridge and barbecuing people in Waco.  He was painted as a militia member and definitely looks the part.  Even though this was almost a quarter-century ago, the government always fights the last war.  Our military, for example, is still set up to fight a two-front war against two nation-states as we did in WWII.  We’ve never learned the lesson from Vietnam so we continue to invade foreign countries with the intent of democratizing them like post-WWII Japan and Germany.  Look at Russiagate – our government is still fighting the Cold War and thinks Putin is trying to re-constitute the USSR.  Many defense industry people believe the same thing.  We went to war with the Al Qaeda organization, but only after they flattened the WTC and attacked the Pentagon.  They increased the amount of Muslim immigration after 2001, indicating they generally don’t see Islamism as a threat.  We remain cozy with Saudi Arabia that supplied 11 out of 19 hijackers and therefore remain a state sponsor of terror.

The government fights who it sees as a threat, both foreign and domestic.  Illegal immigrants wait on our bureaucrats and politicians in restaurants and make their hotel beds.  The cartels have never attacked Washington.  The Chinese haven’t bombed Pearl Harbor – they only steal IP and buy property and politicians which gives one government agency work to do about another.

Increasingly, though, the government will wage war against domestic enemies as its foreign influence continues to wane and Chinese power continues to grow.  Martin Van Creveld said the same thing in “The Rise and Decline of the State.”  The continuous defeats of nation-states by non-state actors in foreign wars is causing nation-states to turn their wars inward on their own citizens (subjects).  It’s bad-enough that the government is failing in its basic duties such as building infrastructure, protecting borders, property, and life.  Now, our government is like all the others where it looks after only itself indicating an increasing alienation between the government and at least half of the Americans governed.

As the century wears on, expect more palace politics in Washington, decreasing government competency and deliberate neglect of issues important to Americans, and wars between the government and all of the alternatives it’s inviting in from foreign countries. As the government’s own publications state: anticipate a new Dark Age.  This will require not only strong households (families) described by CR Wiley but also networks of households to provide the services the government used to provide.  Some states are in better shape than others, but ultimately the nation-state entity that is the US government is failing and the United States is a polyglot empire of 320 million, which is roughly the size of the USSR before it collapsed.  The United States is united by mammon and very little else.  If you network, there are risks.  Even though the State is obviating itself, it still wants to be the only option.  Bureaucrats know of very little outside their bubble .  Be sure therefore to vet whoever is in your network.

 

Excerpts from CR Wiley’s “Man of the House”

This is a short story from CR Wiley’s “Man of the House” in which he compares corporations to huge giants devouring our youth.  Last post, I talked about boycotting many of these corporations financially.  Wiley also recommends we compete with them through small business and in-home production as far as possible.  This also allows us to train our kids in the family business and deprive corporations of them.  Corporations don’t want to hire Americans anyways.  For all their talk about attracting top talent, the true amount they want to pay their workers is zero.  As the United States continues to decline, expect indentured servitude to follow corporate wage slavery.  We can avert Plantation America if we choose to. At least, those of us who want to can.  The Bible warns you not to become a slave and to buy your freedom if you are one (1 Corinthians 7:21-23).  Americans are in-between slavery and freedom, but we’re ready to become slaves since we’ve lost the ability to govern ourselves and our own households.  Let’s turn around.

Now to Wiley’s allegory.  My experience in corporate America agrees with this perfectly and I’ve wanted to start my own business for a long time.  I think this book has finally convinced me to try it rather than think about it forever.

There were giants in the land in those days, but fewer people than there used to be. Now the giants were the typical sort—lumbering and hungry. But the people were very odd, most anyways. It wasn’t uncommon for a giant to reach right into a house and pluck up one of them while he watched television. No one seemed to mind. Sometimes it was even an occasion for tears of joy. Still, a few people managed to keep clear of the giants, and one of those people was named Jack. About this fellow Jack; he loved a farmer’s daughter. One day, as he crossed the countryside on his way to her father’s farm, he daydreamed of the daughter and the house they would build together. While he did, he came upon a freshly-ruined house. Flames had consumed its members and all the signs pointed to a giant. When Jack saw that the trail of ruin ran straight away towards the farmer’s house, Jack ran after. But he came too late. The giant had come and with the farmer’s daughter it had gone. The farmer-father remained and he wore a big smile.

“Yep, she’s gone,” he said, “and she deserved it too. Her grades were good, she’s worked hard—we’re very proud.” “But she’s been eaten by a giant!” said Jack. “And a big one too! One of the biggest around, isn’t it wonderful?” But Jack did not hear the farmer’s words. He was already running after the giant. And the giant wasn’t hard to track. Wherever it had passed, things were uprooted or broken. He found it towering behind the crest of a hill. It really was a big one. And it was impeccably dressed. It was lowering the farmer’s daughter into its capacious mouth just as Jack ran up. There Jack found himself in a crowd of people, each person shouting up, “Eat me, eat me too!” “Giant, spit her out!” Jack said. But he wasn’t heard over the others. “Fee, fi, fo, fum!” the giant said, its mouth full of farmer’s daughter. “We have one more opening; who’d like the job?” “Me! Me!” all the people said. When the giant reached down Jack saw his chance. He shoved a middle-aged man aside and grabbed onto the giant’s hand. “Age discrimination!” the man cried. “Fo, fum!” the giant said. “This one is a real go-getter. I can use his kind in sales!” At this point Jack could see that the giant was made up of people. Each digit on its six-fingered hand consisted of human bodies hopelessly twisted together—legs, arms, torsos—all knotted—either heads buried, or eyes blank. Being part of the giant looked painful, and as Jack rose into the air he heard whimpers. Now that he was high up he could see for miles. Wherever he looked he saw more giants. Some of them fought, rumbling and tumbling, crushing small towns and smashing family farms. Some were so large their heads were in the clouds. Still others were like mountains, with mouths like open volcanoes, other giants tossing things into them. Yet others practiced cannibalism, hunting smaller giants and eating them. Before Jack could be afraid, he was in the giant’s mouth. He found himself in a waiting room lined with white chairs. The farmer’s daughter was there. “Jack, what are you doing here?” “I’ve come to take you away.” “We’ve already discussed it—I have student loans, I need a job.” “Not here, not with a giant. Everyone is miserable here; can’t you hear?” It was hard to miss—groans came from every direction, the floor, the walls, even the chairs. That’s when the Mouthpiece rose from the floor. She was dressed in a red suit. “Welcome to Giant Corporation. I’m here to help you find your place,” she said. “Thanks, I’m ready to get started,” said the farmer’s daughter. “Stop!” said Jack. “I thought we had a future together, we talked about building a house.” “Jack, be practical.” “You don’t have to choose between a house and Giant Corporation,” said the Mouthpiece. “If you want to buy a little home our credit union can give you a loan.” “You see, we don’t have to choose, we can have it all,” said the farmer’s daughter. “That’s not what I mean,” said Jack. “Let’s get out of here—this is no place to spend your life.” “But how can we live if I don’t work?” “That’s it—giants take your life, and when you are all used up they just throw you away.”

“But you’re forgetting advancement and recognition,” said the Mouthpiece. “There are many opportunities in Giant Corporation.” Until this moment Jack had ignored the Mouthpiece. But this made him angry. “Recognition? From whom? People she doesn’t even like? Advancement? What’s that supposed to mean when nothing you work on is your own? Besides, a wife’s place is with her husband.” “Jack, please—you’re embarrassing me; we aren’t even married yet.” A clicking came from the Mouthpiece. Her head was turning and another face appeared. This one had eyes of flame, her hair stood on end, and her voice sounded like a raven’s. A finger of accusation rose. “Patriarchy! Oppression! Rape! Shame! Shame!” Jack began to tremble, but not with fear. “Hell no!” he said with so much force the Mouthpiece stepped back. “You are the oppressor! And you are a thief! You steal people from their homes!” Then Jack took her finger and bent it back on itself. “Shame on you . . . ,” Jack said. There was no cry of pain from the Mouthpiece, just more clicking as the head turned again. A new face appeared. This one was made of metal and had holes where eyes should be. “Business is business,” it said. “Nothing personal, but we’re going to have to let you go. Please leave by the nearest exit.” “Glad to, but I’m not leaving without her.” “Jack, I don’t know. It’s so risky.” “Come,” the robot said to the farmer’s daughter, “you must be processed.” It began pushing her toward a back door.

The room began to move. The ceiling lowered and the floor rose and the chairs revealed themselves to be accountants all in a row. They were chanting, “Crunch the numbers; crunch the numbers.” Jack jumped after the farmer’s daughter to pull her away, but instead they were both swept through the door. Then they fell. Down, down, Jack and the farmer’s daughter fell until they landed with a little splash into fluid, ankle-deep. They found themselves at the end of a line. Someone came up carrying a clipboard. Its voice was high and it wore shapeless bag-like clothes. “Oh my—aren’t you a buff fellow?” it said to Jack. “And you, with that shape, no mistaking you for anything but a woman now, is there?” it said to the farmer’s daughter. “No, won’t do, no need for any of that here.” “What is this place?” Jack said. “Processing, of course,” it said with hands on hips. “Didn’t they tell you upstairs?” “What’s the wet-stuff on the floor? It burns my feet,” said the farmer’s daughter. “That’s what we use to burn away anything that isn’t useful to the giant.” Jack looked at people further up in line; they all seemed bleached and limp. “Will it make us like them?” “Of course! Oh, I know what you’re thinking; don’t you worry, you two can still have your fun—after hours, mind.” It nudged Jack and sidled up to him. “We don’t judge here, you know, how you get your fun is none of the giant’s business. Why, I imagine a fellow like you gets lots of attention.” The farmer’s daughter took Jack’s arm. “We’d like to have children some day.” “Children?” it said taking an officious tone. “That’s wonderful, I suppose. Let me make a note of that. I should think a liberated woman would not want to limit herself in that way. You are liberated, aren’t you?”

Just then some liquid fell from the ceiling as from a bucket. “Ow!” the farmer’s daughter said, “My whole front is burning!” Jack felt the burning too, just lower down. “Oh, everyone says that at first,” the thing with the clipboard said. “But soon the burning goes away. From the looks of you that may take a little longer than normal, but don’t worry, eventually you won’t even remember what those parts are for.” Another deluge fell and the farmer’s daughter cried out in pain. “Quick, hold on to me,” Jack said. “I’m getting us out of here!” The farmer’s daughter wrapped herself around him. “Oooo, you two are a problem. We can’t process you this way!” the clipboard thing said. It tried to pull them apart. Jack reached up and grabbed an appendage that protruded from the wall. Then he saw that it was someone’s arm. Again he saw that the giant was nothing but people—all knotted together. He pulled himself up, the farmer’s daughter still clinging to him. “Stop!” the clipboard thing said, feebly trying to hold onto Jack. Jack kicked it away and then began to climb. He saw the hole in the ceiling and he steered toward it. Once he passed through it he looked up and saw that he still had a long climb ahead of him. Fortunately he got some help along the way. People in the walls, those whose heads weren’t buried anyway, pushed them along. A few even wanted to come. “Please take me with you,” one face said pitifully. “I don’t like it here, I’d do anything to get out.” “If you don’t like it, why did you come here in the first place?” said the farmer’s daughter.

“When I was young,” the face said, “everyone wanted to be part of a giant—it just seemed the thing to do. And I believed what the Mouthpiece said. Now I know it’s all lies.” “I can’t carry you and her, “ Jack said. “Besides, you need to work yourself loose.” “Well, I don’t know about that,” said the face. “Won’t I fall?” “Maybe, but it’s a risk you’ll have to take if you ever want to get out.” When the face heard that, it was sorrowful. Then a rumble came from above. “Ahem! I seem to have something caught in my throat!” the giant said. Inside, great spasms welled up from below and Jack and the farmer’s daughter were thrown up and out into the light of day. Still clinging to each other, they fell onto a soft patch of ground. The giant looked down at what it had spat out. “An indigestible bean!” it said. With one of its massive feet it pressed Jack and the farmer’s daughter down deep. The indigestible bean was now hidden in the ground and the giant went on its way. But the bean put down roots and began to grow, and up sprang a leafy vine. In time it came to shelter Jack and his wife, and even feed them. It would be the joy of their life together and they tended it every day. Why, it even lived on after they died, and over the years it managed to shelter their children and their children’s children. And that’s about as happy an ending as can be hoped for in this world.

Wiley, C. R.. Man of the House: A Handbook for Building a Shelter That Will Last in a World That Is Falling Apart (Kindle Locations 1062-1072). Resource Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Pastors in defense of masculine men

I’ve struggled to fit into many churches.  One reason is that I am not a particularly agreeable guy.  I have strong opinions based on lots of reading.  I am also stubborn.  I like make jokes and humor is increasingly difficult in a culture that looks to take offense.  I’ve tried to be more agreeable and keep my opinions to myself and tell fewer jokes but I don’t fit in any better.  I think part of the reason is that church is no longer for masculine men and, despite my college education, I am a masculine man.

I have attended both evangelical and Calvinist churches.  Calvinist churches are definitely better for men, but they still have this problem.  I think this is because many ministers have little contact with the working world and most come through college which scrambles their brains the same way it does for everyone else.

I remember complaining to one minister of a conservative Calvinist congregation that I saw few Americans driving down to my parents in Southern California for Christmas and that California now looks like the third world.  He worried that I was just a racist.  My concerns were completely disregarded.  The minister had a software engineering degree.

Evangelical “protestantism” is much worse off in my experience.  Evangelical churches are often led by men with liberal arts degrees and Big Ideas but no work experience.  The typical evangelical pastor is a college-educated moralizer like Russell Moore or Matt Chandler.

An even uglier truth is found in Philippians 2:19-21:

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Commenting on this passage, Matthew Henry explained that many ministers

prefer their own credit, ease, and safety, before truth, holiness, and duty, the things of their own pleasure and reputation before the things of Christ’s kingdom and his honour and interest in the world

I see plenty of this in evangelicalism.  Evangelical churches tend to be staffed with many college-educated ministers who may have gone into ministry idealistically but fit Henry’s criticism perfectly.  This is important because masculine men are outcasts in this culture and therefore not desirable in churches pastored by men who want ease, safety, and comfort.   CR Wiley explains this androphobia in this post.

One of the threads on my wall following this post had to do with the relative absence of men like these in our churches. I am happy to say that I have a number of such men. (In fact one of my members hosted this event.) But I can’t recall a single time in any of the church planting strategy meetings (and I’ve been in more of those than I can count) that men of this sort were “targeted” as a demographic to evangelize. People in the mold of Rachel Held Evans come up a lot. These guys? Never.

CR Wiley’s writing is important and I hope more ministers start speaking out against androphobia and misandry in our churches.  His advice to young women is similarly excellent. I’m going to have to buy his book as he seems to be advocating a retroculture movement like Bill Lind.

The Death of Western Christianity

The theme of this blog is “faith, family, survival” because man requires such things in that order to thrive rather than merely exist until untimely death.  I write about faith because the decline of the West has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of Christianity in the West.  Without faith, there can be no family.  We see this already: divorce rates are over 50% and half our children are bastards.  Without family, there can be no survival, even on a local level.  Family is the basic building block of society.

Culture therefore ultimately depends on the cult, which is why the word “culture” contains the word “cult”.  The struggle in our society today is over what will take the place of the cult of Christianity.  This is the reverse of the transition to Christianity from the first century onward.  When Christianity arrived on the scene in the West in the early first century, Greek philosophical traditions were in deep decline and urban Greco-Roman life was brutal.  Christianity eventually provided an attractive alternative for reasons to be explored later.   Now that Western Christianity is dying, no dominant philosophy is taking its place except for Frankfurt School cultural Marxism, which is really an ideology based on turning reality on its head. As the remaining Western Christians die of old age and our numbers drop precipitously, our post-Christian society will likely become a brutal cauldron of paganism, Hinduism, Islam, cultural Marxism and ultimately tyranny.

Patrick Sookdheo, who is not a Westerner except by training, has written an excellent book on Western Christianity’s death, the implications of this death, how Western Christians can start being Christian again, and what to do if there is no revival.  The book is available here.

Pray hard for a new Reformation.

Case study in Christian resistance: China

The Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping is displaying a level of paranoia that suggests it is highly unstable.  China is deploying a social-credit system straight out of “Black Mirror” designed to track and rate all of your movements using 400 million cameras, internet browsing data, social media data, and card transactions.  They can stop anyone they want from buying a train ticket, buying property, getting a job, or having a bank account.

Revelation  13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

They expect to deploy this system by 2020.  It seems many Chinese support it.  Obviously, Christians and other dissidents will be persecuted by this system.  In fact, the government already has increased persecution of Christians.  They recently arrested 100 Christians from a Chengdu Reformed Church including the pastor and other churches in the presbytery.

Li Yingqiang, the sole Early Rain church elder not in custody, told me that when he heard that the police were coming after Early Rain, he shut off his phone, arranged for another family to take care of his children, and went into hiding. After he left his house, police broke down his door, and Li believes they have detained his wife.

He noted that the church had created plans in case of a government raid such as this, but they could not be carried out because nearly all the church staff had been taken at once. “My feelings are complicated,” he said Monday as he realized he was the only one left.

No one in the Western church plans for things like this.  I don’t even know who I would give my children to should the government decide to haul me off to jail for attending church since the only people nearby who I would trust with my kids go to the same church.

The police have also visited the parents of students at the school, forcing them to send their kids to public schools. The wife of Matthew Su, one of the elders who had been taken, said that at 4 a.m. on Monday, two women from the Ministry of Education showed up at her apartment and told her she needed to send her two oldest children to the local public elementary school. She declined, saying, “You’ve told us, thank you. We will not go. If you want to arrest their parents then arrest us.”

Instead of complaining about indoctrination by the public schools, the Chinese church actually worked together and created an affordable school then defied authorities when they demanded that their children attend.   We keep complaining about our public schools but enrollment in Christian schools keeps declining.  What if we tried working together?

The pastor of the Reformed Church in Chengdu used a proxy to publish a brilliant letter he wrote in anticipation of being arrested.  I encourage you all to read it.

Historically, Christians have been a despised people.  Jesus warned that since the world hated him, it would hate his followers (John 15:18).  Christians have historically put up with much at the hands of governments and the world around them repaying insults and violence with kindness and prayer.  There are cases where physical self-defense is warranted, but it depends on the circumstances.  As Bill Lind reminds us, the Moral and Mental levels of war are far greater than the Physical level.   Above them all is the Spiritual level where our prayers are effective and Jesus has already overcome.  These Christians in China definitely need your prayers and calls to your senator, congressman and the president.  As Christianity collapses in the West, I suspect we will need the prayers of Chinese Christians shortly.

If you want to save the country, go to church

In a letter to a Massachussetts militia in 1798, the Christian Founding Father John Adams famously said,

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

By this, he means that the free people of the United States had to be moral and religious to self-regulate so that the government does not have to regulate them.  As the Bible and RC Sproul explain, government is a necessary evil because man is evil.  The first duty of government is to restrain evil – to be a “terror to those who do wrong.”  It follows that a moral and religious people – a Christian people – are less evil and therefore need less regulation.  Is it any wonder that post-Christian America is so heavily-regulated?  Is it any wonder managerial class and elites believe that the Constitution gives the people too much power and to little to themselves?  Isn’t there a grain of truth in what they are saying? Don’t wicked people need a boot stomping their faces forever?  A moral and religious people, on the other hand, can justly ask their government, “Why are you enslaving us when we only want the freedom to worship and the right to defend ourselves and our families and communities and the right to be left alone?”  This becomes the basis for a moral resistance to tyrants.  Since morality or ethics typically comes from religion, it stands to reason that the battle must first be won on Sunday morning if it is to be won anywhere else and we are losing the battle.    I will go further to say that there will be no “new dawn” of Western civilization without good people in good churches.  As Melanie Phillips argues, “The attack on Western civilization, at its most profound level, is an attack on the creed that lies at the very foundation of that civilization. That creed that must be eliminated is that of the first line of the Apostles Creed: ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.'”  But most Christian churches need no help from the Left in eliminating the Creed nowadays.

Of Americans that say they are Christian, many attend worship sporadically at best and are not members of a congregation.  If you say you are a Christian but do not go to church and are not members of the visible body, I have bad news for you: the Christian church has always maintained that there is ordinarily no salvation outside the visible church.  This means that you are either in the visible church or the outer darkness.  The Reformers went further to distinguish true visible churches from false churches such as the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of their preaching of the gospel, administration of the sacraments, and practice of church discipline.  This does not mean that you are saved on the basis of church attendance, but that your regular attendance and membership in a true, visible church is evidence of your salvation and your lack of evidence and attendance is evidence to the contrary.  The gospel is preached in the visible church.  Your Christian brothers are in the visible church.  Further, Americans used to speak well of each-other by saying, “He attends church every Sunday.”  In early America, there were even Sabbath-day laws preventing you from doing much else besides going to church on Sunday.  For example, you could be arrested for travelling on Sunday.  How far are we from that these days?

To go to a good church, you must be able to distinguish good from bad.  It starts with picking a church with good preaching.  The precursor to good preaching is extensive public Bible reading of the Old and New Testaments of the text to be preached.  If the text is Old Testament, there should be a reading of the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament text.   It is much easier to distinguish good preaching from bad if you already know doctrine and have spent years listening to good preaching.  Good preaching “rightly divides” the sermon into law and gospel and explains the text in a lectio continua series of sermons that preach through a book in the Bible and find Christ in the whole Bible.  Most “Christian” sermons these days are an exposition on the Law to make you a more moral person.  However, no one is good but God alone, and the only way to be right with Him is through his Son Jesus Christ.  This is basic Christianity, and it’s largely absent in “Christian” churches nowadays.  In fact, most “Christian” sermons in the United States could be preached in a Jewish synagogue, meaning they’re not Christian at all.  So the strongest requirement of a sermon is that it is Christian.

Once you find a Christian church that preaches a Christian sermon on Sunday morning, the next step is evaluating if the sermons stick to a text and come to a point.  Just as a book of the Bible is organized into (non-inspired) sub-titles that form distinct lines of thought, a sermon should be organized the same way.  The best way to understand this concept is to listen to good preaching.

After you’ve established that you will hear words of life on Sunday morning, you also want to ensure that the sacraments are administered properly.  This is a very contentious issue between Baptists and Calvinists and Lutherans.  Basically, are they having the Lord’s Supper regularly?  Are converts being baptized?  If you’re a Calvinist or Lutheran, are infants being baptized also?

Finally, are there any discernible moral problems in the church?  Are people divorcing or sleeping-around?  Is there a lack of fellowship and brotherly love?  If so, pick another church.  You are trying to go through life with these people and they can either help you or hinder you.  It’s highly possible, even likely, that a church with great doctrine and proper administration of the sacraments is devoid of love and Christian fellowship, like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2.  I have discovered the hard way that these churches should be avoided at all costs.  You’ll know what type it is if people try to talk to you before and after the sermon when you visit and if they invite you for a meal.  Many large evangelical churches, despite having outwardly-friendly people, lack fellowship also because the people attend because large churches are a good place to be anonymous.  They see church as just a check in the box during the week and have plans on Sunday afternoon such as working or taking their kids to a club sporting event.

Having established a way of discerning good churches from bad, let me suggest some conservative denominations because it’s much harder to find a good non-denominational evangelical church if you have no experience hearing good preaching and you don’t know doctrine.  Conservative Calvnist denominations have organized mostly under the umbrella of the NAPARC.     The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is a conservative offshoot of the liberal mainline church that began in 1936.  It was started by J. Gresham Machen who was the main defender of Christian orthodoxy against Fosdick and other liberals.  The OPC churches can be doctrinally pure but lacking in love depending on your location.   The denomination grows at roughly 2% per year, most of the churches are less than 100 members, and it seems to have trouble retaining its children.  The PCA is another offshoot of the liberal mainline PCUSA.  It split-off much later and it shows in the differences between the conservative congregations and the liberals.  It is undergoing its own internal battle with SJW liberalism and may be headed for another schism.  This was the denomination of the late, great RC Sproul.  The Bible Presbyterian Church is worth checking out.  I’ve had the best results with the URCNA, which is an offshoot of the liberal CRC.  On a case-by-case basis, the EPC churches can be good.  This is the denomination of Andrew Brunson, the missionary to Turkey who was just released from prison.

On the Lutheran side, the LCMS seems to be in the same situation as the PCA with some congregations wanting to go liberal and others holding fast to the faith.  I’ve visited a couple LCMS churches and was impressed, though the ones on the West Coast are in the same situation as the Calvnist churches: the members are old and the kids have left for other states or have left the faith.  More on this later.  The WELS is much smaller than the LCMS but more conservative.  The ELS is also good.  As a Calvinist for 18 years, I have far less experience with Lutheranism but am impressed by the conservative Lutheran churches I’ve been to.  Many of them also have Christian classical schools with real Lutheran distinctives.  The Calvinists (Presbyterians, Reformed) typically don’t have Christian schools even though the URCNA claims to promote Christian education.  The public schools used to be basically Calvinist since the Pilgrims landed so the Presbyterians have had a hard time accepting that it’s mostly time to leave them.

Above all, avoid the mainline strains of Lutheranism  – the ELCA – and Calvinism – the PCUSA.  I am not a Baptist and don’t know anything about Baptist churches in the USA.

 

The NuMale Evangelicals

Dalrock’s new post is about Matt “Mad Dog” Chandler, one of the next wave of evangelical leaders who, like Russell Moore and Al Mohler and Tim Keller, just want a place at the table.

Russell Moore: influence, thought leader, and humble supplicant
Russell Moore knows what’s right for you, bigots.

These men began pushing their agenda of feminism, racial social justice, and homosexualism in an era when it was politically-expedient to do so: during the Obama administration.  Recall that President Obama was no friend of evangelicals or even the Christian church.  His administration sued an ELCA “Christian” school for discriminating against a lesbian in employment even though school employees are officers of the church.  He lost 7-2 in the Supreme Court.  He filed amicus briefs on behalf of the homosexuals in the Obergefell case – the “Roe v. Wade” of our lifetime that was immediately used against Christian bakers in Oregon and Colorado.  Once homosexuality was codified into law, the Obama administration moved onto transgenderism.  There are now boys using girls’ bathrooms in public schools endangering our daughters.

Though Russell Moore and other “Gospel” Coalition lackies have had a place at the table, their influence on behalf of the church and culture has either been nothing or negative.  Worse, it could be that these men are in favor of the new radicalism.  Proofs to this effect are now offered.  Consider their embrace of Anglican minister Sam Alberry – another homosexualist out of the UK.  The word “Anglican” should raise red flags in the mind of any believing Christian in this age.   The apostate imbecile Rowan Williams  was archbishop of Canterbury for 10 years until 2012.  The heretic NT Wright is another prominent bishop in the Anglican church.  Bishops and the archbishop are the guys in charge and they don’t believe the basic tenets of Christianity, so “Gospel” Coalitioners would be wise to avoid the entire church.  Instead, they’re promoting Sam Alberry.  His destructive doctrine is documented on Rev. Shawn Mathis’ blog here  and here (read the comments).  The “Gospel” Coalition is even promoting a children’s book that promotes homosexuality.  Since transgenderism seems to follow homosexuality, I can only believe their next campaign will be the promotion of “loving transgenders in the church” contra Paul who mandated strict gender roles in the church.

The evangelical NuMale war on gender proceeds on all fronts.  It is also feminist.  Here Matt Chandler is Stonewall Jackson to the Lee of Mohler and Moore.  Chandler wants men to “man up” while removing all of the reasons and moral authority men use for doing so.  Chandler is a pastor in Austin TX, so he must be giving his audience what it wants, which isn’t Christianity or Christian gender roles.

Christianity is largely not preached by megachurch men with big platforms such as the “Gospel Coalition” who want influence in the culture.  Subsequent posts will discuss how to find a Christian church where pastors stick to Christianity.  These types of churches – I warn you – require you to die to yourself and sacrifice the entertainment and sensuality you find at megachurches run by NuMales.  However, you may be saved if you attend a real church and you will be saved if you believe the gospel preached therein.