‘Then said he unto the disciples, “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him’ (Luke 17:1–3).
Scandals will come, the Lord says. Nevertheless, the one who brings them is held responsible, and cannot appeal to the ‘way things are,’ or to his own valiant efforts to fulfill the Lord’s prophecy. Such a man is held responsible in a striking way. If he scandalizes ‘one of these little ones,’ it would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea. In other words, what is actually going to happen to him is going to be a whole lot worse than that.
When it comes to life in our modern congregations, we think we have to guard against mindless conformity when what really threatens our spiritual health is our radical individualism. The Scriptures tell us what we should be laboring for, striving for, and praying for. We are not told to work at maintaining independence of thought. We are not told to build some ecclesiastical variant of academic freedom. We are commanded to strive for likemindedness, to be of one mind.
‘Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits’ (Rom. 12:16).
‘That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Rom. 15:6).
‘Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you’ (2 Cor. 13:11).
‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel’ (Phil. 1:27).
‘Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind’ (Phil. 2:2).
‘Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous’ (1 Pet. 3:8).
‘Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 15:5).
‘For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state’ (Phil. 2:20).
Allow me the privilege of translating all of this into modern American English for you. Drink the Kool-Aid. Join the cult. Surrender your independence. Swallow the party line. Go baaa like a sheep. Strive for the nirvana of acquiescence.
We see godly deception as an act of honorable war, or in a time that was equivalent to war, throughout Scripture.
Now I did have a swell time visiting occasionally with Greg [Gianforte] in the context of a few board meetings. And if lived in Montana, I would certainly cast my vote for him.
To point out that this is what people are trying to do is not “whining.” I do not find the existence of such tactics unusual or odd in the slightest. Welcome to earth, kid. But boil it all down. The reason I am controversial is that I fight. Not only so, but I show every indication that I will continue to fight in the future. I promise to fight, and I promise to fight all out, and if you don’t want to get any of those particular cooties on you, you will continue to have many other evangelical options. Such alternatives to fighting include throat-clearing, at-the-end-of-the-daying, on-the-other-handing, seminar-toodling, and panel-discussion-counterpointing. The only downside is that your men turn into pencil-necked wusses and your women into the kind of women who first make and then tolerate pencil-necked wusses.
I hate a lie.
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” —Revelation 16:13 Continue reading
The principles of war as understood by Douglas Wilson culminate in the chief principle of war as well as the cornerstone of his theology — deception. Continue reading
Stonewall Jackson was a brutally ruthless killing machine, who kept the Sabbath. Continue reading
These concerns have led to the saying that if you steal from one person, it’s plagiarism, but if you steal from many, it’s research.
“The Bible permits Christians to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe?” —Douglas Wilson Continue reading
Sun Tzu was right — warfare is deception. A good general wants the enemy to believe the opposite of what is actually the case, in as many instances as possible. He wants him to believe he is far away when he is close, and to believe he is close when he is far away. He wants him to believe he is strong when he is weak, and weak when he is strong.