Response to Christianity Today’s “The Things We Do To Women”

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. –Hebrews 13:4

THE PRIVACY AND MODESTY OF BIBLICAL SEXUALITY

Biblical sexuality is meant to be something that is private. It is not something to be flaunted, or publicly displayed, or spoken about openly in detail, graphically displayed in a public church setting. There is no sense of this in the Word of God. We have things like the Song of Solomon in the Bible, but this is clearly a love poem, or a love letter written from a husband to a wife, and vice versa, but it is not something that is being preached in a public setting in a church. Neither do any of the Old Testament prophets, or Jesus, or the New Testament apostles preach at great length, about graphic, sexually explicit activities in a public setting. Anyone who thinks otherwise about sex talk is not familiar with reading Scripture.

Recently, pastor Mark Driscoll has come under criticism for pastoral abuse: he has a track record of this and I’m aware of it. He has incidentally been one of the official leaders of the New Calvinism movement; and has gotten a lot of Gen X and Millennial guys interested in studying theology and the Puritans. But unfortunately, there are some major flaws in Mark Driscoll’s ministry approach. He is one of the many leaders in a long sad history of what could be called spiritual abuse or pastoral abuse–usually marked by unquestioning authoritarianism, bullying, and even profanity in the pulpit. One of the most controversial and probably repulsive things that Driscoll ever did, was release a book called Real Marriage, in which he described graphic sexual activities as being part of the Christian life.

One of Driscoll’s critics, Jessica Johnson, put out a book on him called Biblical Porn, in which she was criticizing his outspoken and explicit sexuality. She says that in his sermons, he was often times very explicit, even making references to sex acts like blowjobs–joking and laughing about this in a group setting! This is shameful and anti-Biblical! Sexuality is meant to be something shared in private, in the privacy of a bedroom, between a husband and a wife; and is NOT meant to be publicly talked about! Definitely not in this way. The Bible refers to sexuality as something that is wholly undefiled within the marriage bed. That means this is something that is private, is not supposed to be outwardly proclaimed, imagined, visualized, or any other such thing in a public setting. The door is locked, the husband and the wife are in their marriage bed…end of story. That is Biblical sexual theology. This is all that is really revealed about sex in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation. It is referred to, but barely ever described–especially not in explicit detail. Even the Song of Solomon, although it is talking about sexuality, is using metaphors and allegories to try to make the subject as watered down and non-explicit as possible. For more about Biblical sexuality, see Leland Ryken’s Worldly Saints, ch. 3: “Marriage and Sex.”

BIBLICAL MALE LEADERSHIP OR JUST PLAIN CHAUVINISM?

I want to be very clear here: I agree with some of Mark Driscoll’s views on manhood and womanhood. I agree with the complementarian academic book that was put out by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Driscoll also subscribes to this view. It advances a complementary view of the Biblical relationship between Adam and Eve, between wives and husbands with distinctive gender roles, and between male church staff and female church staff. It shows that man is the leader; and woman is to submit, provided in a context of love and respect (Eph. 5:22-33). But the pervasiveness of love and respect is what’s missing in the story of Mark Driscoll’s ministry. Instead, we hear testimony after testimony of Mark acting like a rude jerk; a “muscular” Christian, a hyper-masculine football jock–even screaming at guys like a football coach or a drill sergeant. Frequently using war metaphors, provoking an authoritarian leadership model. Intimidating speeches and language, confrontational behavior, and even threats of violence coming from Driscoll towards other men in his church. On the one hand, its noble that Driscoll gets angry when he hears about men abandoning or abusing women in his church, leaving them alone as single moms. But he goes about correcting such problems by showing himself as the more violent and powerful man–displaying a mean-spirited ego trip, an attitude of male chauvinism–that of a macho man.

Men are to care for, provide, and protect women, which is totally Biblical, but you have all of this hypersexuality mixed into his ministry as well…so it is reported. Women are looked at, first and foremost, as sex objects. Women are often self-conscious and ashamed of their bodies, because of all the open and shameless public talk about sexuality. Women are often shamed, disgraced, and pressured to think in terms of “pornographic ideals” of womanhood. In a sense, this creates an imaginary rape culture, a frat boy culture, a totally evil, spiritually abusive toxic influence that leads to some people even losing their Christian faith. This hyper-sexualized culture, toxic theology, and bullying–this is the sort of stuff that’s going on there, so they say: a hyper-masculinity, with way too much testosterone, straight out of the high school locker room.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S INADEQUATE RESPONSE
TO MARK DRISCOLL’S CHAUVINISM

Although the Christianity Today podcast does a good job at apparently painting a picture of how hyper-sexual, and frat-like Driscoll’s ministry really is–it offers no Bible verses or any sort of Scriptural correction to the problem. Mike Cosper even uses occasional cussing to explain everything, as if this were just how a Christian should respond to this, without any scruples except for bleeping himself out on the more extreme cuss words. Further, the use of melodramatic music, and people claiming knowledge about the “Cold War era,” being the source of all of Mark’s masculine views, was to me essentially their liberalized critique of this; and I say liberalized, because it’s clear that this Christianity Today podcast is coming from an egalitarian point of view–in which there are really no distinctive male and female roles in the decision-making process. “Partnering,” but definitely not submitting to the husband’s final decision–this is just un-Biblical feminism…the Jezebel spirit at work. Citing Mark Driscoll not as an extreme example–but as an actual representative of complementarianism–in order to drift people further away from the Bible’s vision of the genders, and into feminism, into emasculating and feminizing men even more. Feminism has always grown as an overreaction to male chauvinism. People like Mark Driscoll actually encourage feminism to thrive, develop, and grow! If these allegations are true and accurate, then he should definitely acknowledge his wrongs and publicly, clearly, and explicitly apologize to his fanbase in order to self-correct his extremes!

Titus 2:2-5: “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” None of this exists in this Christianity Today podcast. This magazine claims to be the main voice of evangelical, Biblical Christianity. In my opinion, Christianity Today is not a good representative of Biblical Christianity. If you want better representatives, then go to websites like wesleyanbooks.combanneroftruth.org, and heritagebooks.org. I think Christianity Today is likely overrun by Democrats and liberal Christians, which are merely claiming to believe in the Bible. I do not trust the opinions, assessments, and critiques that are drawn by Christianity Today anymore than I do by those of Charisma. Some of their observations about Mark Driscoll might be realistic, because I have personally seen pastoral abuse at work several times; and I know what it looks like, but I’m not saying that I think Christianity Today’s response to Mark Driscoll’s abuses are adequate.

TCM ROMANCE FILMS:
A PICTURE OF TRADITIONAL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS

In the 1950s and 1960s, there were a lot of classic romance movies that came out, as are shown on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). People like Jimmy Stewart, and eventually Tom Hanks, are perfect examples of the kind of men that I see being pictured in the Bible. A man should treat a woman with respect; and although he is the leader, he treats the woman with respect, earns her trust–sometimes he might even pull back; and want to be pursued by her. He’s joking around with her, he’s making her feel great about herself, he’s leading, he’s real, he apologizes when he messes up. This is the kind of man that should exist in Biblical Christianity. Such characters often communicate openly and freely with women, back and forth in two-way conversations, lots of communication, sometimes with levity, sometimes with seriousness–but there’s always a conversation going on between the man and the woman. She is extremely beautiful; and the man is extremely confident about who he is. Men are not questioning their looks: they’re merely having conversations about many things; and then they grow together, and do romantic activities with one another. This is a Biblical view of male-female relationships. Genesis 26:8: “Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah”; “Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife” (NIV; KJV).

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Great Tribulation

(Revelation 8)

Verse 1

D D/A O/A/D Em 1p
Its the smoke of the incense………….yeah
D D/A O/ A/ D Em 1p
Mixed together with the prayers of the people of God………….yeah
D D/A O/A/D Em 1p
Up before God from the angel’s hand………….yeah
D D/A O/ A/ D Em 1p
Fill the censer with fire and throw it onto the earth………….yeah


Chorus

Em 6pm Em 6p 6p 6p
Listen to the peals of thunder
Em 6pm Em 6p 6p 6p
Lightning flashing all around
Em 6pm Em 6p 6p 6p
Earthquake, burning, bloody ocean
Em 6pm Em 6p 6p 6p
All the trees burnt to the ground


Verse 2

D D/A O/A/D Em 1p
Its the smoke of the incense………….yeah
D D/A O/ A/ D Em 1p
Mixed together with the prayers of the people of God………….yeah
D D/A O/A/D Em 1p
Up before God from the angel’s hand………….yeah
D D/A O/ A/ D Em 1p
Fill the censer with fire and throw it onto the earth………….yeah


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Biblical Economics

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Identifying a False Prophetic Spirit – Dr. Michael Brown

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Systematic Theology (Bibliography)

  1. P. C. Nelson’s Bible Doctrines
  2. Adam Clarke’s Christian Theology
  3. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
  4. W. G. T. Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology
  5. Wesleyana
  6. Richard Watson’s Theological Institutes
  7. Thomas C. Oden’s John Wesley’s Scriptural Christianity

    —. John Wesley’s Teachings. 4 vols.

    —. Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology
  8. Augustin Poulain’s The Graces of Interior Prayer
  9. Stanley Horton’s Systematic Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective
  10. J. Rodman Williams’ Renewal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective
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Physical Manifestations (Bibliography)

  1. Guy Chevreau’s Catch the Fire
  2. Rodney Howard-Browne’s Flowing in the Holy Spirit
  3. John Arnott’s The Father’s Blessing – I disagree with animal sounds chapter
  4. Francis MacNutt’s Overcome by the Spirit
  5. Wesley Campbell’s Welcoming a Visitation of the Holy Spirit
  6. Sam Storms’ Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards’s “Religious Affections”
  7. Hank Hanegraaff’s Counterfeit Revival, part 4 – disagree with some conclusions there
  8. Jack Deere, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, p. 91 – Other physical manifestations, besides speaking in tongues, can come from the presence of the Holy Spirit, such as trembling (Ps. 119:120; Jer. 5:22; Isa. 66:2; Ezra 9:4), weeping (Neh. 8:9), and apparent drunkenness or even falling down, caused by an ecstasy (1 Sam. 1:12-17; Acts 2:15; 22:17-18).
  9. Jonathan Edwards’ Distinguishing Marks, p. 9, refers to Php 2:12: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
  10. Maria Woodworth-Etter’s A Diary of Signs and Wonders
  11. John Wimber, Power Healing, p. 215

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Retractions from Bethel Church and John Crowder

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Jobs: The Only Real Way to Economic Growth

I’m not done with my study of Christian economics. I have not dug into John Calvin, William Perkins, Richard Baxter, or really even John Wesley that much on these things. But what I do know now–with a degree of certainty–is from St. Antonino to Martin Luther to the Puritans, to John Wesley and Adam Smith and P. T. Bauer, is that there is a general consensus among them that the only really reliable way to make money is through hard work at jobs. Economic growth comes from diligent, productive hard work at jobs; and from the wages their labor generates.

All of the Christian economic theologians looked with skepticism and even strong caution against investing in the stock market. Mostly the feeling was that the stock market is a deceptive racket, a waste of time and money, and not a very reliable way to make extra money on the side. Working at a job was seen as the godly and reliable way to make money; but the stock market was just seen as a con game, a way to get ripped off, go into debt and bankruptcy if you buy stocks on margin, or just go plain broke from a gambling addiction.

Seeing that working hard at jobs was viewed as the only reliable way for money-making and economic growth–it follows that any economic growth philosophy should be focused on upgrading jobs and increasing wages. The only condition, is that both St. Antonino and the Protestant economic theologians, warned that the money we make should not be “evilly acquired” from our jobs, nor should it be generated by adopting Machiavellian character traits like deception, cruelty, self-interest, and competition. The Golden Rule should totally govern our work ethic: “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12).

Working at home–always assumed for the wife in Proverbs 31–was the preference of the New England Puritans, the Amish, the Mennonites, and the “back to the land” hippies (Gary North, Puritan Economic Experiments, p. 20; Art Gish’s Beyond the Rat Race; Scott and Helen Nearing’s The Good Life). For the Puritans, owning a family farm was viewed as efficient and profitable. Telecommuting now makes this possible for more job categories than only farmers.

It seems the way to economic growth for a Biblical Christian is to telecommute for jobs that pay the most–and which also allow for minimum interaction with Machiavellian colleagues, gratuitous cussers, and flirtatious co-workers. Investing is always to be viewed as a secondary thing–and even so, with great caution and even skepticism of the stock market. Mortgaging for private property is good, Biblical, Puritan, and considered advisable by financial planners. Rent payments are money-eaters and are a conflict of interest with money-making income from jobs. It is also advisable from financial planners, and the history of American economics, to get into a 10-year FHA-insured mortgage with a HUD home. The reasons for this are simple: 1. 10 years means that private property is acquired faster than 30 years; and making payments on homes no longer becomes a money-eater. 2. If you fail to make an FHA mortgage payment because you fall on hard times, then the U.S. government will make the payment for you.

In short, the history of Christian economics has shown me the following:

1. Economic growth is generated by hard work at jobs; and if you wish to grow rich, then you need to focus on upgrading your jobs and increasing your wages. Asking for a $2 an hour or 12% raise on the anniversary of your hire date is a way to go about this: asking for subsequent raises once a year is considered acceptable, ranging from 10% to 20%. You can use Glassdoor to estimate the fair market value, of the salary range for your specific job title, in your industry, and with your years of experience. Working a side job is another way to make more money. If you think you’re missing something, you could always receive guidance from a licensed NCDA career counselor. FlexJobs.com, for example, might be a good place to start looking for jobs with more responsibilities and higher wages, and which are 100% remote and require no travel at all. E-blasting your cover letter and resume to companies from a LinkedIn verified email list, bought from Fiverr, can be valuable as well–all you need is an inexpensive Chrome extension called GMass; and you can send 500 emails from one Gmail account with the click of a button.

2. The stock market, by and large, is a waste of time and money; and you are more likely to lose money in it, than make extra money from it. Even if you are a careful investor, because of the economy–with its fluctuations in supply and demand–is far too unpredictable for the stock market to supply any kind of reliable money-making force for you.

3. Telecommuting is more conducive to peace of spirit, efficiency, profitability, and living the Christian life, than working in an office or elsewhere in public.

4. FHA-insured mortgages for a 10-year HUD home plan are highly desirable, because the U.S. government will help you out if you miss a mortgage payment; and the quicker you own private property, the quicker you can save what you earn without having to give it away to a landlord. These types of mortgages helped World War II veterans when they came back home; and greatly factored into what is today called the “American Dream” and the “Golden Age of Capitalism.” Micah 4:4: “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.”

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Review of Kathleen MacArthur’s “The Economic Ethics of John Wesley”

Diligence, thrift, and philanthropy appear to be a triad of Christian economic virtues. All three of them were taught as an economic formula in John Wesley’s sermon The Use of Money (1760), under the headings of “gain all you can,” “save all you can,” and “give all you can” (3.1.1, 3.2.1, 3.3.1; MacArthur, pp. 97-98). Diligence or industry is the practice of energetic, productive hard work on the job: it is this practice that produces money or gain. Thrift or frugality is the practice of penny-pinching; being careful about managing money; and especially not spending money wastefully on luxury items or other unnecessary expenditures. Wesley once quoted Josiah Tucker in his Serious Address (1778): “the hands of the diligent and frugal are the only hands which make a nation rich.” And finally, philanthropy, understood Biblically, is giving to the poor in Jesus’ name to alleviate their financial misfortune and distress. It is Christian poverty alleviation. Funds for poverty alleviation are meant to be taken from “overplus” or surplus (3.3.3)—that is, any money that is left over after your family’s financial needs and security have been comfortably provided for.

Gain, Save, and Give All You Can

1. The virtue of diligent hard work, is a preservative against the sin of laziness or sloth, which is spoken against many times in Proverbs (6:6-11; 10:4-5, 26; 12:11, 24, 27; 13:4; 14:23; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15; 20:4, 13; 21:17, 25; 22:29; 24:30-34; 26:13-16).

2. The virtue of thrift, or being frugal, penny-pinching, saving money, and plain living, are all a preservative against the sin of greed or avarice, which puts no restraint on the pursuit of wealth; and which leads to materialism or the idolatry of material possessions, as having more importance than anything, even spirituality (Proverbs 13:11; John 6:12; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Ecclesiastes 5:10; 11:1-2; Matthew 6:24; Mark 8:36; Revelation 3:17). Christians should avoiding spending money on luxury items, expensive meals, designer clothing, costly jewelry, and spoiling children so they don’t know the value of a dollar.

3. The virtue of philanthropy or poverty alleviation, is again a preservative against covetousness, greed, and materialism—but it is also a preservative against the sins of snobbery, financial pride, and hatred of the poor. Its disciplined practice reminds the giver that his money belongs to God; and that his employment and his paychecks are gifts from God’s providence; and that God requires of Christians that we love our neighbors as ourselves, and treat others the way we want to be treated (Mark 12:21; Luke 6:31). However, our philanthropy should be based on financial math, not on sudden, irrational impulses based on guilt. Impressions from the Holy Spirit can certainly guide us in our distribution of wealth to the poor, but only after we have used a bit of math to rationally calculate a benevolence fund from the surplus of our earnings—I think 10% of the paycheck is a step in the right direction in this matter, basing it off the tithe (Lev. 27:30; Mal. 3:10; Matt. 23:23; Luke 18:12). But not all salaries are equal in amount: it should be calculated on a case-by-case basis. If you are below the Federal Poverty Level, it would probably not be reasonable for you to practice philanthropy to your fellow poor, until you yourself have lifted yourself out of poverty. The Federal Poverty Level (FPL), according to the 2021 poverty guidelines set down by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, say that a family of four which has an annual income of $26,500 is still living in poverty. A single man who makes only $12,880 a year is still in poverty. Reasonably, you should at least be making double these amounts, before you seriously start to plan on setting aside a benevolence fund for philanthropy to the poor. There’s no sense in giving to the poor if you yourself are still among them. Meet your own needs first! Be reasonable and not emotional about it.

Once we have reached a comfortable economic state, we should thank God for giving it to us (Deut. 8:10), we should have compassion on those in financial distress, we should seek to give them job leads as they often need job search assistance, and we should familiarize ourselves with them to prevent us from being snobs towards all the poor, we should love the poor rather than hate them—knowing that their faith in God’s providence is likely being strengthened despite their financial distress (Jas. 2:5). And we should join with God’s hand in that providence to help meet their needs; and so, become the hands of Jesus to them who are so beside themselves with unemployment, or confused by their poverty, that they just don’t know what to do. Don’t only give them money: also give them a sheet with resources on medical assistance, job training, rent and utility bill assistance, food pantries, etc. Names of non-profit organizations, addresses, hours, and phone numbers. Don’t just give them money—also give them information that will give them hope of getting out of this financial hole that they’re in. Save them some time and tell them to first try going to the nearest St. Vincent de Paul location: they are perfect at food pantries; and providing these kinds of contact sheets and guidance. In this practice of poverty alleviation, we align ourselves with God’s heart and his sympathy for the poor; and set ourselves against the Machiavellian philosophy of deceptive cruelty; and against the Smithian philosophy of competitive self-interest, all of which pervade our secular business world. Biblical Christians should be engaged in productive hard work; simple living and frugal spending; and should give to the poor from a benevolence fund that is calculated from their surplus.

In addition to the economically ethical triad of diligence, thrift, and philanthropy—we should also be ready to preach against all kinds of financial sins, such as bribery, thievery, gambling, buying stocks on margin resulting in debt and bankruptcy, bartending, acting, and the materialistic pursuit of riches (Prov. 30:8). And also against businesses which are based on ill-gotten gain, such as places like Hooters restaurants, brothels, strip clubs, and casinos, and—as it was a massive issue in Wesley’s time—the institution of slavery, most of which was based on kidnapped Africans which were sold to pirates and then to slaveowners afterwards. Modern efforts against human trafficking, I’m sure, Wesley would be in wholehearted support of. Bankers, doctors, and landlords are often horribly bad at extortion; and this is another thing which is very dishonorable in the world of economic theology (Prov. 1:19; 28:16). Enlightenment rationalism, hyper-grace antinomian Calvinism, and deism—as well as religious indifference—is what leads businessmen into such dark places; and only Biblical Christianity can bring them out of it.

MacArthur makes one observation towards the end of the book by saying, “the cardinal defect of Wesley’s approach to economic ethics” (p. 151), is that it fails to reconcile the fact that the business world is corrupt and Machiavellian. And that living by Biblical principles in the sphere of business—taking private morality into the public sphere—is just asking for trouble. It leads me to believe that either telecommuting, or starting a Christian business which embraces Biblical principles, are the only possible ways to be consistent with these ethics; and not have Machiavellian employers and co-workers keep you from living in accordance with those principles.

For a further study into Wesley’s economic theology, see his Thoughts on the Present Scarcity of Provisions (1773) and A Serious Address to the People of England, with Regard to the State of the Nation (1778), both of which were written for economic recessions. Other economic sermons were: “The Use of Money” (1760): from where we get “gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can,” “The Danger of Riches” (1780), “On Riches” (1788), and “On the Danger of Increasing Riches” (1790). His sermons are rich with Biblical references, so you can see which Scriptures were the most important to him in his reasonings. Also, it is evident that William Law’s A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728) had an effect on his economic ethics: all of these chapters in that book touch on economics: 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10.

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Pharisee

VERSE 1

Em                           bend 4th string 1st fret
You’re so dead inside

Em                                      bend 4th string 1st fret
You don’t want to change

Em                       bend 4th string 1st fret
Even if its Biblical

Em                           pluck 4th string
Your sin remains the same

CHORUS

Em               Em     Em      4p
What does God want to do? Ah…

Em     Em   4p
I wanna know

Em Em  Em    4p
Do you even care? Ah…

Em  Em  Em  Em  4p
I don’t think you do

Well…

VERSE 2

Em                                   bend 4th string 1st fret
I saw the devil in the desert

Em                               bend 4th string 1st fret
Now I know you’re his

Em                             bend 4th string 1st fret
Religious businessmen

Em                pluck 4th string
No miraculous

CHORUS

BREAK

Em    6p        Em
Unbelievers

Em          4p     3p
Nothing mystical

Em                 6p         Em
Religious deceivers

Em/4p/3p
Typical

Em      Em        6p         Em
Pride, power, money
Em  4p   3p
So detestable
Em        Em  6p            Em
Against the prophets
Em  4p   3p
So insensible

Break Instrumentation x2
CHORUS
End on VERSE Instrumentation

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