Don’t Hand Satan the Microphone

In an interesting turn of events there has been an uptick in the news on a subject of which I have authoritative knowledge of and would like to contribute. The problem is my advice is a little self defeated by the writing of this article. Such is life.

The Set Up

The topic at hand is the attention garnered by the After School Satan Clubs after the ACLU successfully defended their right to use a Pennsylvania public school for their meetings. Obviously the clubs are sponsored by the, “local satanic temple.” And their materials are all manner of eyebrow raising. But I am here to tell you that is the point, stop taking the bait.


I have a dog in this fight because I work for the ministry that won the supreme court case which makes this kind of thing possible. Until we took a school district to the court it was illegal to teach the Bible in Public Schools. Now I am daily in public schools leading Bible classes (You may have heard of us, we call them Good News Clubs). The way the court ruled was if a school has any outside activities YMCA, Boy Scouts, etc. they can not discriminate against a Bible club. This is a double edged sword though because they also can’t discriminate against Mormons, JW’s or satanists. 

After the court ruled we had a good ten plus years of smooth sailing. But then the new atheists caught on and started making noises. There was a particularly hilarious instance of Dawkins attempting to demonstrate what we do, while having not actual idea of what we do. making a fool of himself on stage, and then giving up half way through. They atheists tried to launch “Atheist Clubs” but those flopped, because A. None of the atheists were committed enough to be faithful at teaching them. And B. No one was interested in sending their kids to an atheist club where there is really just one lesson: There is no god. Now what? In order to argue against Christianity you have to actually learn what we believe. And it’s not like they wanted to do our jobs for us by teaching a dueling Bible Class. 

Then the satanists got in on it.

The Reality of the Situation

All satan clubs are is the atheist content with an inflammatory marketing strategy. The church of satan people are pests and drama queens. They are trolls and belligerents. They like getting rises out of Christians and they know how to do it. At the end of the day the satan clubs should be ignored. I have reasons why.

First, they don’t last. There are a handful of clubs that maybe have lasted longer than a year. For one thing. They do not have the vast archive of lesson plans and curriculum and experience that we do. It is very much an attempt to get a lot of attention and then flying by the seat of their pants until the thing falls apart under the weight of its own absurdity. It is not designed to last, it is designed to be a splash.

Second, they are not attended by many kids, and the ones that do sign up are already in crazy homes already. The clubs that have any regular attendance are in places like Portland, Oregon. This one in Pennsylvania will fade out after a while. It would have died faster if the school had just let them in and ignored them. Maybe three kids would have signed up. Again they are not after the kids as much as they are after attention. 

Third, I have said this in various ways already, attention is their oxygen. They are killed by depriving them of it. Don’t take the bait. These are not serious people they are simple attention whores. The reason that they are provocative towards Christians in particular is not due to some deep allegiance to the devil. It is because they are basic leftists who want to leverage our voice to amplify their own. When they start a satan club they first hand us a microphone on a platform, we should not return the favor by handing the microphone back. We should unplug it and walk away. 


Satan is a liar. And the one way these people have any fidelity with him is that they too lie. They play on the nations memories of the satanic panic. They camp it up with their outrageous antics, and they know a certain kind of person will react badly. They are not religious in the way they pretend to be, they are hucksters and snake oil salesman. They are the distraction for what the left is really up to. Consider, if all your attention is on the after school satan club you are not paying as much attention to what the secular commie teacher is reading to your kid during school. The old pastor used to say, don’t give the devil a stick to hit you upside the head with. I am saying don’t give the devil a microphone to mock you with.

A Novel Idea

One of the sassy little feminist retorts about modesty is that they should not have to dress in a way that will keep guys from lust. Basically assuming that the problem is entirely a problem of men and women are oppressed by it. The base problem with this line of reasoning fails to understand how guilt before God works. Sure, he is 100% guilty of lust. She is 100% guilty of rebellion and lack of charity. But one of the side effects of modesty is that it does curb men’s behaviors. It’s not a silver bullet, God didn’t say modesty was a silver bullet, but obedience often comes with rewards. 

I bring this up due to a slew of tick tock videos and articles about young attractive women in New York that have discovered modesty. After getting fed up with being cat-called they found that if they covered up, even with just a long t-shirt, instead of walking around in their literal underwear it caused more men to ignore them. Shocker, when you take something off the menu a lot of people stop asking for it…

These videos are the kind where they show women how to, and I kid you not, put on a long coat or a sweat shirt. Unfortunately these items are discarded when they arrive at their destination, so the rebellion stays strong. But the practicality should be noted. It is almost as if God had an inkling of what He was doing when he gave the command. I’ll also go further and throw out the reminder that while yes modesty is commanded of all Christians, it is a sin that women struggle with more and are directly addressed in Scripture more frequently. It might be that God was onto something there. Because I am not seeing a bunch of guys complaining about being mobbed by women over their running shorts.

That’s it, I just gelt that by accidentally obeying God a group of women have inadvertently discovered that His commands were not as stupid as they sounded. Obedience, who knew, what a novel idea…

And the Ghouls Come Out

It was rather a dark question between Syme and I when he asked how long I thought it would be before the ghouls came out of the woodwork to dunk on Tim Keller after his sad passing. I wondered aloud if it would be woke progressives first or the far right discernment bloggers. Syme turned out to be correct in predicting it would be the right. Which made me mad.In fact the whole premise should make all reasonable people mad.

Tim Keller was a good pastor, insightful author, lively theologian, and by all appearances a lovely man. He was faithful to the last and anyone who would say otherwise has failed to grasp the point of the Old Testament. All the faithful men there failed in one way or another because they were sinners just like us. But by God’s grace they ended well, and were covered with the righteousness of Christ, just like Keller. It is almost unnecessary to comb through his works and make sure to highlight all of his failures. Or in the case of the discernment circle, failures to meet their legalistic standards. It is certainly indecorous to do so immediately after his passing.

Kevin DeYoung has vitally reminded us that loving your neighbor also means loving your historical neighbor. With the judgement you reserver for others it will be applied to you. If you want to be remembered charitably, it starts with you being charitable toward those who have gone before you. On of my hobby horses on this blog is the ingratitude for those who were formative and have become passé as we might evaluate them now. In the case of Tim Keller his Center Church playbook or Winsome Apologetic has not aged well. But neither will the next strategy. The world changes, we have to adapt while keeping the message clear. In the case of Keller the message was always clear, even if he clung to a now compromised strategy. I would submit the failure of “winsomeness” was not Keller but those who idolized him and it. Again it is unseemly to have taken much good from Keller and learned from him only to turn around when the winds shifted and act as if you always knew better.

Unless you are a Stephen “Don’t Taze Me Bro” Anderson type, with your storefront, KJV only, mental* “Church.” Then it is more than likely you owe some debt to Keller. Either directly through his varied ministry outlets, or indirectly through his influence on church leaders that ministered to you. Be grateful. It is ingratitude to be angry that Keller was not better than he was. God ordained him for his time and place. To paraphrase Scripture, “Be grateful for such Kellers as ye have.”

There is something of the pharisee and the publican surrounding much of the online dunking around the death of Keller. Much of it can be summed up in the prayer, “I thank the God that thou hast not made me a liberal like Keller.” It is pretty plain what Kellers prayer would be and it is not difficult to remember which one Jesus said went home justified…

Ultimately, (and because this will not be our first rodeo Piper, MacArthur, Carson, etc. are not getting any younger), it would be best to lead with the fruits of the spirit when it comes to this moment and remember this man. Gratitude, charity, patience, gentleness, goodness, self- control none of these would be out of place. As opposed to what is easily found: enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy you get the point. Also the Fruits of the spirit are not like spiritual gifts where you may have a few but not all. Every Christian is to display them at all times. They are the natural manifestation of the indwelling of Christ and His outworking through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, run the self diagnostic, with that tweet, blogpost, youtube video what are you revealing about yourself in your words on Keller. I will also point out,

there will be abundant time for considered critiques later. It is the purview of the biographer to work though those things. A pastor will need to bring up concerns when a congregant inquires about this Keller fellow he just discovered. But honestly, I’m willing to bet cashy money that if you have an online platform, your audience already has a full idea of every minute disagreement you had with the man, a rehash is just grandstanding and profiteering. It is ghoulish, it is ungodly, maybe stay in the woodwork.

*I would say fundamental but they have taken the fun out and are only insane now, so just mental.

Wax On

I am not a big fan of Trevin Wax, but credit where credit is due I thought his recent post Please Don’t Weaponize Good-Faith Disagreement was bang on.

At first I was a little trepidatious and assumed this was going to be another, third way, winsome, be nice, lecture. But in actuality Wax and I agree far more on this issue than we disagree. A good amount of our agreement probably stems from his (probably even wider than mine) exposure to that underworld of discernment bloggers/podcasters. A small group with an outsized voice, that tends to amplify the worst tendencies in churchmen that Wax is diagnosing so well.

I would be interested in hearing Wax address the fact that sometimes discernment “creators” are the ones who do catch things early, or are the only ones talking about important but non-vogue issues. The problem is that often they shoot themselves in the foot with all of their gossip or or pride filled monologuing.* As Wax describes they cancel everyone because no one meets their own personal theological standards. I had said a few weeks ago how sad it was that what looked to be a new Young Restless and Reformed movement had been aborted. And a lot of that tragedy comes from the kind of online behavior from those guys that Wax outlines. Like the guy who now thinks Neil Shenvi is drifting. Saints and ministers of grace preserve us.

I would like to list several of the points where I though Wax was on fire:

Easy Labels, the kind of words that get thrown on people like “problematic.” I hate that word, but I also took from Wax that I should be more careful with, “progressive.”

Signaling over Substance, this is why I keep a two week minimum delay for commenting on any current event. If you expect me to signal on something, well tough cookies, you are going to have to wait two weeks. If it holds you attention long enough, then I might say what I think after I have considered whatever it is.

Questions under his Way Forward section, I might do a follow up to this post where I work though my thoughts on these questions, but or now go read the post and muse on them yourself.

If I had one critique, it would be a very minor one. Possibly only registered because as I mentioned above I am not the biggest fan Trevin Wax has out there and have my sensors to maximum. There was maybe the tiniest hint of, “punching right, coddling left.” But all in all it was quite balanced and well worth a read.

*There is one guy… He loves his own voice so much. I swear if he had a video editor his hour long Youtube show could be trimmed to five minutes of actual useful content. He. Just. Won’t. Shut. Up.

If Only God Had Provided

And as my music minister clambers into his hamster wheel of repetitive verse so I mount the saddle of my hobby horse to once again bemoan the state of worship music in the church.

An interesting study has come out examining the most popular “worship” songs and to no one’s surprise of the 38 songs 22 were from three cults, I had almost said churches out of charity but that would be a lie. Bethel, Hillsong, and Elevation, six more songs on that list were collaborations between a particular cult and an “artist.” This is a shift from the previous model of particular songwriter/musicians such as Chris Tomlin. A real situation of going from bad to worse. It is really quite stunning that the old chestnut of, well if the song is good we can separate it from the source and sing it, keeps getting trotted out. At this point it is noting short of willful ignorance to not see the heresy that undergirds these songs. They may be our words, but they mean different things from those places. In fact the songs are almost incomprehensible outside of their theological context.

The effects are telling, as the study shows:

“Those songs become one of the primary ways of connecting with God — rather than prayer or sacraments or other rituals. Because of their market success, these churches have changed the spiritual practices and sometimes even the theology of congregations from many traditions. “The industry itself becomes this invisible hand,” he said. “We don’t name the theology of praise and worship — we just assume it. And we use this kind of song repertoire to reinforce it.” – There is a Reason Every Hit Worship Song Sounds the Same, Bob Smietana (Emphasis added)

And if that weren’t chilling enough consider that those who have been given care over your soul can’t be bothered to examine this kind of music before they force feed it to you ad nauseam week after week, repetitive chorus after repetitive chorus. This kind of music catechizes into a shallow anemic theology, faith, and practice. One of the authors of the study, Shannan Baker, gives an example, “A lot of it is, what is God doing for me now? And what has God promised to do for me in the future?” It is the kind of man centered worship and masquerades as worship of the triune God.

Mindless, self-centered music is simply not acceptable. Consider the speed of the music. It leaves no time for gravity, for reflection, for working out of theology. It is merely designed to manipulate the emotions. The fruit of all of this is many people, dancing along, arms raised, tearing up, and having no context for the actual Lordship of Christ in their lives. Don’t believe me? Look at how the women are dressed. Raise the issue of modesty and suddenly Christ is a tyrant. Look at the lust problems of the men. Oh sure we all will admit porn is bad, but they will defend “prestige TV’ to their last breath. We do not have healthy churches, because our shallowness has been dictated to us by an industry built up by three very popular cults that lie about their fealty to God.

It is beyond time that better is demanded. I am all for writing new music. It is a slow and laborious process to do well. But in the meantime, I have this niggling feeling that there might be some kind of musical heritage handed down to us. An enormous library to be explored. Not all of it is going to be good. Some separating wheat from chaff might be required. But I just can’t imagine that there isn’t a ton of solid theology put to music out there somewhere. Maybe we should look to that than to some slick haired guy, who sings the same slide twenty-five times and varying volumes assuming that pleases God. Someone help me out here, I think what we are looking for sounds like Shymnal, Bimnal?

Missed Opportunity

Well the dream was fun while it lasted. It did seem for a little while there we had a real possibility that there would be some sort of Young Restless and Reformed 2.0 on the horizon. Alas the chances of that happening now are looking like slim to none and and Slim just left town. 

I think the real disintegrator was Stephen Wolfe. What was supposed to be an interesting intramural debate and discussion with an eye on the distant future has turned into factions of blowhards bloviating upon their theological baseness. And there is no small amount of thinly veiled racism being spread around which is obviously unhelpful. Ironically it was Wilson who let this particular cat out of the bag and now it would appear the has that tiger by the tail and is none too pleased about it. But the Wolfe pack really just seem to be a 2.0 version of the Wilson fanboys but without the attempts at good humor. There is something of the tragic about them in that they can see their Christian Nationalist future so clearly but not the path to get there. Constantly aggrieved, appalled, and aggravated by anyone that disagrees with their perspective or fails to conform to their ever sphincter tightening theology. When James White, Voddie Bauchaum, or Wilson are not based enough for you and are “going liberal” it’s time for some self examination. 

It has been almost Screwtapeian how this went down. It has been positively unchristian. There is a distinct lack of humility, and a good deal of idolatry. And it is a very ethereal sort of idol. A Christian state does not exist. But Heaven forfend any blasphemy toward the mythical strong man, forgive me Christian prince. Or worse it is verboten to point out that for all of the successes of the magisterial reformers their one great failure was in government.

As I pointed out above it is pride that is motivating a lot of this. And that pride has blinded these people into A. failing to realize that despite their shrill denunciations they are a sever minority, even in the Christian Nationalism world. That world is spinning quite quickly because of the helter skelter movements of the Pentecostal, health and wealth types. The (and I hesitate to truly call them reformed) “Reformed” CNs are a side show of a side show. B. That their pride has caused divisions in the Reformed movement aborting what was shaping up to be something that could have been a real certifiable blessing to the nation. To illustrate allow me to modify Screwtape:

I think I warned you before that if your patient can’t be kept out of the Church, he ought at least to be violently attached to some party within it. I don’t mean on really doctrinal issues; about those, the more lukewarm he is the better. And it isn’t the doctrines on which we chiefly depend for producing malice. The real fun is working up hatred between those who are Christian Nationalist and those who are “Winsome.” when neither party could possibly state the difference between, say, Wilsons’ doctrine and Time Kellers’, in any form which would hold water for five minutes. And all the purely indifferent things—political theory, governmental theology and what not—are an admirable ground for our activities. We have quite removed from men’s minds what that pestilent fellow Paul used to teach about food and other unessentials—namely, that the human without scruples should always give in to the human with scruples. You would think they could not fail to see the application. You would expect to find the Christian nationalist being gracious himself lest the weak conscience of his “winsome” brother should be moved to irreverence, and the “winsome” one speaking forthrightly lest he should betray his “low” brother into bitterness. And so it would have been but for our ceaseless labour. Without that the variety of usage within the Church of England might have become a positive hotbed of charity and humility, – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter XVI (modified) 

There we have it, a missed opportunity to unite around the Doctrines of Grace, derailed by ungraciousness. The irony would be darkly funny if it weren’t such a loss.

The Fellowship Book is Broken


Well I finally got around to it, and it was a slog. That is probably an unfair start to a book review, but I intend to keep this brief since I have very little nice to say. And my mother did try her best to drill into my head, “if you can’t say something nice…” But I have space to fill, so here goes.

I went into The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inkings with high expectations. At the time of it’s publication it was receiving rave reviews and I grabbed a copy as quickly as I could. And then it languished on my shelves after spending time in pride of place on the top of my to read pile. (You can see a scuff mark it received when I left it in my chair to read and a friend accidentally hit with a sword scabbard.) I got engaged, married, then moved house, and frankly more interesting books came and went. Part of the delay was its daunting size. I struggle to get up the gumption to tackle massive books. Things begin to feel like a slog after some time, and I would prefer larger books be broken up into slimmer volumes. Part of its heft is the hundreds or so pages of notes and citations at the back end. These are a testament to the work and scholarship involved in its writing. It is well composed and not a particularly difficult read. It has an unenviable task of trying fill out the lives of the people surrounding C.S. Lewis. It is billed as a biography of four men: Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. The problem begins to arise in that Lewis the the key figure, and the most interesting one. The problem of the book then comes to fruition in the Papal thin skin of the authors, who take umbrage at Lewis every third chance they get.

The Players

C.S. Lewis was not just an inviting author, but also an imminently interesting person. He fought in a war, he new death and tragedy, he had secrets (some that are viewed as salacious), and he possessed the kind of magnetic gregarious personality that still is easy for biographers to make leap off a page. Lewis was the inevitable center of the Inklings universe. He is also the person the most personal material has been made available (diaries, letters, personal memories of friends, and broad literary work).

J.R.R. Tolkien was a master of his craft, and an infinitely dull man. When he described himself as practically a Hobbit he was not wrong. He was the kind of Hobbit that stayed in the Shire and if he had have been forced out by Gandalf he would have somehow made the journey dull. A genius yes, but also a jealous, insecure, mystical person who was more a brain on legs than a personality that grabs attention.

Charles Williams was a heretic and the only person who I would actually say the term emotional affair applied as I real thing. I can see why Lewis was fascinated with him, but again, he is really only important due to his relationship with Lewis. Otherwise he would be largely forgotten as a strange, writer who spectacularly failed to blend the occult and Christianity simply because of their base incompatibilities that he was incapable of seeing.

Own Barfield was a duller version of Williams, and was not really an Inkling. A lifelong friend of Lewis (note the connection again) he attended meetings infrequently. A professed Christian he was an, until late in life, a failed Anthroposophist. A kind of thinking I still can’t entirely get my brain wrapped around. But I can tell it is antithetical to the true faith once delivered to the saints. He is distinctive for having outlived the other players and moving to America where he gained notoriety for his willingness to speak about Lewis and a revival of interest in his chosen heresy.

The Authors

The bad taste in my mouth from the book comes from the overt Romanist leaning of the authors. In short the book reads as follows: Tolkien could do no wrong and was a shining example of all that is right good and Papal. Williams and Barfield were delightful chaps with fun ideas and who really cares if they were wrong. Lewis is a grave disappointment, not only because of his protestantism, but also his opposition to Rome. This then colors all and his work would have been better if he had just come to his senses and bowed the knee to the Pope.

Obviously this gets grating. It is made more so because Lewis is, inevitably, the lions share of the books content. While there is a valiant attempt to balance all four lives, the sheer amount of Lewis available as opposed to the others is staggering. What then develops is lots of Romanist criticism of Lewis in his voluminous pages in what seems to be an attempt to knock him down a peg or two. 


 I didn’t like the book. Granted if someone wanted an introduction to the four “major Inklings” I suppose they could start with it. But even with the contentions over its accuracy I would still recommend Humphrey Carpenter’s The Inklings over The Fellowship. If for no other reason than length. As a deep dive I would have preferred sketches of the various people over the years not just these four, two of which can easily be read up on, and the other two who need some serious scrutiny before we welcome their thinking into the fold of the Reformed. 

Alternatively You Could…

I’ll begin by reminding you that I am a card carrying member of the troglodyte class. So what I say here is going to sound very much like a luddite, I am aware. But I wanted to briefly fill some space offering a solution to the problem presented by Melanie Hempe on TGC in an article titled What to Do When Your Child is Addicted to Video Games. I will also grant that this is beyond Monday morning quarterbacking in many cases, but perhaps is some fodder for thought in future scenarios.

My father was fond a quote from Barney Fiffe, and it is applicable here, “nip it, nip it in the bud.” And indeed that is what my parents did with my sisters and I when it came to digital media of any kind. The only addiction allowed in our house was reading, and if you failed to take to that particular drug you were booted out of doors to develop your own imagination. The irony is that my father was on the cutting edge of technology, always. He had an Apple Macintosh Plus (that I inherited) when it first came out. We always had some sort of new, supposedly ease making, technology in our living-room, or computer room. It was made plain to us that “these were tools not toys.”* Games were a novelty or educational. As such my sisters and I entered into adulthood viewing video games and gamers as time consuming and interesting specimens respectively. 

My point is simply, what if parents were parents and, in the context of the mentioned article, just said no? I understand that fits may be pitch, campaigns of nagging will be waged, deceptions may be attempted. But not to put too fine a point on things, parents are the adults, they are in charge, it’s their job. I would almost surmise that with the way algorithms go it might be best to leave the dashed things alone all together with adolescents. And I am living proof that the child will not only survive this deprivation, but will thrive. To this day many of my friends go off to play video games without me, and, shockingly I know, I either have other friends or the ability to occupy my time productively. And bear in mind that good male friends are hard to come by these days. 

But that is just one end of the spectrum. Video games like whisky, or cigars (my indulgences) are not evil in themselves.** Maturity and then moderation is the key. Hempe does talk of moderation, but I think maturity needs more attention. For goodness sake good parents keep their kids from drinking coffee at least until high school because it is addicting. I would like to ask why start on the addicting stuff so early? But my lazy side almost thinks it is easier, and cheaper, to just rule the things out all together.

As a final thought Kevin DeYoung recently hosted Tony Reinke and Samuel D. James on Life, Books, and Everything. And one of them mentioned how it felt hypocritical, and that their kids saw it as hypocritical, that mom and dad had smart phones and the kids didn’t. This was presented as something of a difficult question. I don’t think it is. If my child asked me why I had a smart phone and they didn’t have a phone at all my answer would be, “Because I am an adult and you are not.” This was the general understanding in my hose growing up. Why don’t I get to stay up late like my parents, they were the adults and I was a child. As I matured options became available, but it was not to be taken for granted that we had any place for demands. 

With all of the worry of helicopter parents about ten years ago I find myself confused as to what the parents were monitoring exactly, if now we can see with such severe video game addiction that they so clearly missed the big E on the eye chart.

*to paraphrase Father Christmas

**The vile sort of game that no Christian has any business playing excluded

Ten Minutes of What?

So here is something I never expected to speak in glowing terms of, a speech by Tucker Carlson. But I have to hand it to hime his remarks at the Heritage foundation were dynamite. The best summary was on Twitter from I know not who, but they nailed it:

And while I would like to spill some ink amen-ing much of what Tucker said* and going through the usual litany of failures from the Evangelical trendsetters. I, instead, think we should focus on the impressive Tucker gives at the end. Take ten minutes a day to pray for the country and leaders. I agree, however, such words can easily be misconstrued as the kind of platitudes that have been espoused flaccidly from many pulpits across the nation. Most in the kind of rah rah, flag waving, Forth of July spectacle hosting, America is an idol kind of church we are all familiar with. And most of those being part of the Southern Baptist Convention.** On other words, a call to pray for America and her leaders can fall flat because of entropy or because of rebellion to what someone was raised in.

So what should those ten minutes of prayer be filled with?

Well, I’m glad you asked, because I have some thoughts.

First, That God will be glorified though the execution of his sovereign will. This could sound as platitudinous as the above, “pray for our nation.” But it is key. As Calvinists we pray, “Thy will be done.” with a deathly seriousness. Which also means that we glorify God if America has a Reformation, or goes out with a bang, or goes out with a whimper. God is glorified most when we delight in the outworking of His sovereign will, no matter what. Part of our requests are to be in absolute submission to his will. And that our requests will then increasingly align with said will. Again this is important because of where it might lead. Requests for pleasant outcomes, or requests for unpleasant outcomes.

Second, for Reformation. Not revival. The word revival is modern and his not place in scripture. Repentance, restoration, and reformation do have Biblical warrant. Revival is often revivalism and is the emotional equivalent of a weekend at the county fair. Some people love it, some are upset, and later everyone pretends it was either bettor or worse than it actually was. So we pray for reformation. That the Church would be reformed, preferably that it all become Reformed in it’s theology, and hey, “Let your requests be made known to God!” But we should pray that the house of God would reform, that the disparate voices who are burying their heads in the sand (the kind the above tweet screen shotted lists) would have their eyes opened to their blind spots, repent of burying their heads in… the sand. And that the culture around the Church would repent, believe, and reform the nation. From the lowliest plowboy up-to and including the president.***

Third, Imprecatory Psalms are a thing… A vital point in Tuckers speech was a plea for people to recognize we are not dealing with reasonable secular people who are willing to live and let live. No, we are in a spiritual war, we are fighting evil. And sadly a lot of the leadership, on down flat out refuses to acknowledge it. They want to point to the Q Annon kooks, and they are kooks, saying, “You don’t want to be like them do you?” Well, no thank you very much. But I can acknowledge that something is rotten in The State of Denmark, or more accurately that something is downright evil in the halls of American power. “We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities” (Mark that first part we will come back to that). Part of our prayers should be that God would, in His righteous wrath, destroy the wicked; with prejudice. I can already hear the howls of protest, let me deal with them. What about loving your enemies. I would submit this is setting Scripture against Scripture. David prayed for his enemies to be sent to hell, and then did everything in his power to kill them. The assumption is that loving our enemies means lying down and letting them steam roll over us. That is not being loving at all, much less to those being hurt by the evil enemy. Jesus is not saying do not fight them tooth and nail, to the death. He said to love them, or to put it another way, do not hate the person, you can do good to an enemy you have struck down. We have to stop allowing the evil ones to control the dictionary and set the terms of what is and isn’t loving. Moving on, and this is vital, we must remember “we do not fight against flesh and blood.” My contention is that we pray for the will of God to be done, and if that happens to be he strikes them dead, we can have prayed for that with a clean conscience. But it is not our place to assume we know that will and go, say shoot up a pizza parlor in DC. That is what crazy kooks do, not Calvinists. But I see no reason to not beseech the Lord to take from this world evil people and deposit them somewhere my friend Lukas would say is, “Toasty roasty.” And honestly that list might be a little long these days.

In all of this we must continue to return to our ongoing sanctification as we grow closer and closer to the image of Christ. The more we progress, the more we will understand and be inline with the will of God and know better what to pray. In the meantime I feel that these three point can more than sufficiently fill ten minutes of prayer for our nation and its leaders.

*particularly about Episcopal’s.

**Someone should look back and see if Rick Warren was making a big deal about patriotism and setting off fireworks in the sanctuary and then pair that footage with his current apology for the sins of America tour. I’m not saying the man is a snake, but his shoulders do seem to be missing…

***And if David French or Russ More are getting too worried this sounds all a little Christian Nationalist, just wait for the second point.

Article 200, An Update

Ok, Three years later here we are, still. This marks the spot after publishing the 200th article. Which if I am honest, was kind of a downer of a piece. Had I been thinking ahead I’d have swapped it for the fun deconstruction story one that I put up the previous week.

Inexplicably the most read/clicked on article has been Writing a Risk and I have no idea why. I don’t think it’s particularly good. I sort of dashed it off, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. 84 views so far this year… Comments are open if you read it and liked it maybe tell me why?

Last year was a milestone because I had produced enough words to fill a decent length book. I don’t think I have written enough this year to equal a second volume. So I’ll just say I have achieved the length of a long book. Part of the drop is due to me lowering my word count for articles by about 400 words. I had been aiming for a 2000 word minimum. But I think that just meant a lot of unnecessary filler.

I am still kicking around the idea of moving to substack, but naturally hating change this is not likely to happen any time soon. I have only recently started feeling comfortable figuring out WordPress. And I still don’t know how to make the hope page automatically update and link to the most recent published article. Speaking of being a troglodyte I only recently figured out how to properly link to this site from the Instagram account. So maybe that will drive some traffic?

This year there have been very few changes to herald. I made some updates to the whiskey, cigars, and book recommendations list. I occasionally remember to update the books I am currently reading over on the Un-Asked-Questions page. maybe around article 300 I will revamp the look.

So here I am celebrating 200 posts or articles, or whatever you want to call them. If you would be so kind as to raise your cigars and single malts in a salute to my honor achievement. Hooray!

That is about it. Onwards and upwards!