Your World as I See it: Recover the Joy of Being Reformed

Editors Note: This is this is a continuation of a series within the impromptus section. I call it, Your World as I See it by Astor Clement. Similar to Doug Wilsons No Quarter November, I will, under the pseudonym, be offering my unvarnished opinions at will. As to that nome de plume, if you are a child of the 90’s the Jim Varney reference will be clear.

I have been vexed, I am vexed over the constant refrain that the Papists “have some beautiful things in their tradition.” And while that may include the catalogue of western art in their possession, what it usually means is their absurd and over baked liturgy. Eclipsed only by the Eastern Orthodox church which really took that whole tradition thing and elevated it to an episode of Hoarders level. For God’s sake the papists at least got around to addressing the points of the Reformation, even if it took them nearly five-hundred years, I’ll grant Vatican II did happen. Meanwhile the EO keep wandering around in their mysteries, and to my great chagrin I find many Reformed types, and pastors among them, throwing longing glances across the Bosporus (and Tiber).

And while I am tempted to say, “swim the damn thing already!” Instead I prescribe a generous double double pour of cask strength Reformation tradition. It is high time we love being protestant once again. We need to dust off those John Edwards is my Homeboy t-shirts, and our Collected Works of Jonathan Edwards while we are at it. Halloween is coming up as always in conjunction with Reformation Sunday, so instead of giving out candy to the neighborhood children nail the 95 theses on your front door and have a yard display of the Pope burning in effigy, hand out a diet of gummy worms with Luther quotes stapled to the package. Enjoy being reformed, delight in referring to the Pope exclusively as The Vicar of Satan. Go wild filling your shopping cart on the Banner of Truth website. Serve and drink coffee from Reformed Roasters with a twinkle in your eye. Decry the law that limits you to simply being an-iconic instead of a proper iconoclast standing gleefully before the blaze of idols confiscated from an EO church and currently burning merrily in your fire pit. Quote Puritans, read Puritans, become a Puritan. Or at the very least put the Institutes in audio form on your phone and listen to them all over again if you can’t be bothered to read them. And most of all enjoy it, love being Reformed.

In conversation with a pastor recently he pointed out an inconsistency of a guy who was saying lady pastors are heretics, and then turned around and called Coptic’s brothers and sisters. I think he saw that as a gotcha argument in the discussion we were having, so he was caught with one foot off the merry-go-round when I agreed that it was an inconsistency, the Coptic’s are also heretics and need to repent, they are not brothers. Any true believers in those churches are there in spite of the Orthodox beliefs not because of. This very historically reformed line of thinking was only reinforced by an EO wedding I had to attend recently. My wife and I arrived early to rest up in a seat before that absurd amount of standing we were about to do. And watched the line of EO people going around the sanctuary crossing themselves and sucking face with icons. And those people have the gall to say that they are not idolaters. Reformed types who want to say I am being to harsh need to learn what a solecism fallacy* is.

At the end of the day we need to recognize that we are Reformed and we are Reformed for very good reasons. If you simply inherited your position from your parents and never really owned it yourself then do the work of reading and understanding those reasons before running into the arms of a failed used car salesman who found a job as a man in a dress chanting. It amazes me how many people are willing to read the ‘desert fathers” and decry the Puritans without having ever read a Puritan. 

So love being Reformed. Join me in being Reformed with a capital R. The clarity of our theology should be reflected in the clarity of our words. There are many people who are idolaters in the extreme praying to saint so and so, who can’t hear them and doesn’t care for them. Don’t fudge on that because a man dressed like Chancellor Palpatine has a pleasing singing voice for chanting and it is very different than the crap you are stuck with from a guy in skinny jeans with an acoustic guitar. Reform your own church and have a ball doing it. The guy in a dress is sending people to hell, your guy with a stupid trilby at least knows Jesus. Why would you complement the guy who insists that to be married you have to follow him around a table three times, it’s not beautiful it is stupid. He needs to give it up, he needs to repent and be converted. It is of no use for us to be mealy mouthed in the name of ecumenicism, or christian charity. We should be clear, turn from your idols that God hates, and come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

*Not a popularly known logical fallacy, first coined by Roger Kimball. A solecism fallacy primarily refers to an error in grammar, but in logic refers to a “this is not that” argument. Ex. I take an EO priest to a Buddhist temple and show him incense burning, a man kneeling before a statue, prayers being offered to it, holy robes being worn, rituals being preformed, and ask him what is happening; he will say worship. I repeat the process at a Hindi temple, same question same answer. We go to an EO church… suddenly we are looking at veneration not worship. No it is the same thing, just because you say this is not that does not make it so.

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