“With patterns of church order and confessional standards, one of the fundamental requirements of Scripture is honesty (Ex. 20:16). Consequently, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we charge you, the generations who will follow us in this confederation, to submit to the Scriptures with sincere and honest hearts, and to the standards of this confederation as consistent with the teaching of Scripture. When a portion of our order and confession is found to be out of conformity to Scripture, we charge you to amend it honestly, openly, and constitutionally, as men who must give an account to the God who searches the hearts of men. We charge you in the name of the Lord to abhor all forms of ignoring our intentions in what we have set down through dissembling, reinterpretation, dishonesty, relativism, pretended explanations, presumed spiritual maturity, assumed scholarly sophistication, or outright lying, so that the living God will not strike you and your children with a curse. We charge you to serve Him in all diligence and honesty, so that the blessings of the covenant may extend to your children for a thousand generations.”
CREC Constitution (Preamble)
And this is what you must do. Run an inventory on your vocabulary. Make a list of words that you use that fall into this general category. Having made the list, see what happens when you ask the following questions about them.
Is your use of such words a matter of self-conscious Christian discipleship? If not, then stop saying them. Who taught you this word? Who are you imitating in using it yourself? How confident are you that there are no strings attached to the word? How confident are you that you learned nothing else along with the word? Is your use of these words paired up with an ungodly attitude? Is it connected to Ezekiel’s prophetic use or to some hard-R sex comedy? Jesus says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34). Is your speech a fresh water spring or a sewage pipe? When you speak, are you respectful of the presence of women? Does that kind of thing matter to you at all? Are you aware of the difference between not speaking like a gentleman all alone, which is bad enough, and when you are with others not speaking like a gentleman in such a way as to insult a lady? When you speak, is it for the edification of the hearer, or is it to get a laugh for your own glory? Do you speak for them or for you? And are you like a poor stand-up comedian who tells dirty jokes because nervous laughter is better than no laughter? Do you use the existence of verbal Platonists as an excuse to be a libertine? As we finish, consider the explicit teaching of the apostle Paul on the subject. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4:29).
When Paul says this, he is assuming that we will do the hard work of identifying what corrupt communication is. He knew that every language is different, and we could say every last word in our lexicon of filthy talk to the apostle and he, not knowing English, wouldn’t have anything to say about any of them. But he would nonetheless expect English-speaking Christians to think like grown-ups. He would expect them to teach their children not to say certain things, and the fact that these prohibited words cannot be found itemized in Scripture should not trouble us at all. It is not legalism to understand the principle and apply it in new territory. And so there are your marching orders on this topic — no corrupt communication.
“All the varied expressions of transgressive sexuality currently being celebrated in our culture, and now by the highest court in the land, are out of accord with God’s creational design for human sexuality, and are therefore sinful in the eyes of God. Whenever men set themselves up arrogantly to challenge God’s holy standards for sexuality, seeking to teach contrary to what God has taught us in His Word, they are vainly attempting something that is not within their authority to accomplish. We cannot bestow dignity where God has withheld it, and we cannot join together what God has determined shall remain forever separated.” —Douglas Wilson Continue reading
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.
If Douglas Wilson didn’t have a double standard, he wouldn’t have any standard at all. Continue reading
We see godly deception as an act of honorable war, or in a time that was equivalent to war, throughout Scripture.
“In 2010 the recruiting headline was ‘Yo, Secularism, Why Don’t We Step into the Alley?’ The blurb described the NSA faculty as ‘not timid in a rumble,’ and they wanted to make the students ‘dangerous’ so that they can ‘throw the lies of this age up against the wall, lifting wallets and the occasional gift card.’ It ended with ‘an invitation to a brawl.’” —Dr. Nick Gier Continue reading
“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
Christ Church — where the hits keep on coming. Continue reading
“The Bible permits Christians to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe?” —Douglas Wilson Continue reading