General Assembly Roundup

My thoughts on this year’s GA are not going to be comprehensive, as I was in Overtures Committee, which met for quite a long while simultaneous to the floor of GA itself. I missed the entirety of the Review of Presbytery Records report, for example. However, many of the most important things happened in Overtures this year.

The Overtures Committee (hereafter OC) recommended that GA answer Overture 1 (concerning setting up a mini-SJC for presbyteries) in the negative. There was quite a lot of discussion about this, but the problems with it were just too much. I am against the principle of having any commission being unaccountable to the presbytery that commissions it. I do not regard complaints as constituting full accountability, since complaints have to work against quite a lot of inertia in order to gain traction. The GA went with the OC’s recommendation.

Overtures 2 and 9, concerning the recreation clause, also got quite a lot of discussion, which got a bit heated in the OC. The OC decided, in the end, that our system was not broken, and thus recommended a negative response, which the GA adopted.

Overture 3 (concerning the baptismal vows) also foundered upon the recognition that the language of “dedication” was already covenantal in nature, when one considers the context in which it comes (do you know any Baptist who would be comfortable with BCO 56?). GA followed the committee’s recommendation.

Overtures 4-6 (presbytery boundary overtures) came through other committees besides OC, and they were approved (which means that my presbytery will be multiplying into three presbyteries as of January of 2016).

Overture 7 (concerning compelling a TE to testify) generated a lot of discussion both in the OC and on the floor of GA. The Kuyperian influence seemed rather strong, as quite a few people rather whole-sale imported civil judicial categories into the church (including fifth amendment rights). The vote in the committee was fairly strong on the amended version (which would have narrowed the cases in view to doctrinal cases). However, on the floor, the amended version was narrowly defeated (by about 22 votes, if I remember rightly). This despite the fact that TE David Coffin was the originator of the motion, and argued quite eloquently in favor of it. I think the overture should have passed. We have to be open anyway about what we believe.

In RPR, we won some and lost some. The most important one was won. Philadelphia Presbytery was cited for an exception of substance on their ordaining a man who wasn’t sure that the NT fully excluded women from the church offices. As I understand it, both the man and his church have left for a more liberal denomination. This exception was passed by a rather wide margin.

We lost the Westminster Presbytery vote, and they will have to answer next year’s GA for including language in their standing rules excluding theistic evolution from being an acceptable view.

Eastern Pennsylvania was also lost, concerning the man who had a very FV-sounding exception on paedocommunion (he first stated his difference in such a way as to include all the benefits of salvation to the baptized; on further reflection, he revised his views to state that some of the benefits of the Lord’s Supper accrue to all the members of the visible church, which is not a significant improvement).

The most exhausting thing about GA was the personal resolution offered by TE Sean Lucas and TE Ligon Duncan III on racial reconciliation (the OC spent at least 6 grueling hours on it!). There can be no doubt that this is a timely issue, and a very serious one, given the recent riots in various places in the US. The main issue in the debate hinged on whether the PCA ought to repent now of its racial sins in a less-than-perfect manner, or wait a year and perfect the language and accuracy of the language (and put some wheels on it, so that practical steps might be taken). The African-American Presbyterian Fellowship was not entirely in unison on this issue, thought it seemed that the majority who spoke favored waiting a year, primarily for the practical reasons. Another issue was how the personal resolution came to the floor (skipping the local session and presbytery levels). A more considered and thorough document could be forthcoming if various presbyteries get in the act for next year. Almost the last thing in the GA was a season of prayer for racial reconciliation that lasted well over an hour.

My thoughts on this are a bit mixed. On the one hand, I hate racism with a passion. All people are made in God’s image, and there is no such thing as a second-class citizen among God’s elect. On the other hand, I wonder if we are reacting too strongly to many impulses in the culture that would make white people feel guilty simply for being of the same color as people who have oppressed African-Americans in the past. The personal resolution called on the PCA to confess its sins in its complicity with those who opposed the Civil Rights movement. This was a bit strange to me, since the PCA was not in existence at the time. There are undoubtedly some churches and men in the PCA who were around then who have something of which they must repent. And I have no problem acknowledging that there are such churches and such men in the PCA, and that they need to repent. However, the fact that I am in the same denomination as some of them does not automatically make me guilty of the same sins, any more than I am guilty of teaching theistic evolution, simply because some in the PCA are doing so. I will write more about Daniel 9 in relationship to Ezekiel 18 later, as it really deserves its own post.

On a more personal note, my family came with me this time (7 people in a small hotel room makes our home seem absolutely humongous now!), and I was shocked to discover that I had more energy every day, not less. It was terrific family time that we had, especially in the pool.

98 Comments

  1. Howie Donahoe said,

    June 14, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Good to see you at GA.

    Somewhat similar to Eastern PA, there was also an unsuccessful RPR recommendation to cite Susquehanna Valley and ask it to respond for granting an exception for a minister’s difference with the final clause of Larger Catechism 177 in a transfer exam (“the Lord’s Supper is to be administered… only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves.”) In May, the RPR had voted 29-22 to cite SVP, but the Chattanooga GA adopted the Minority recommendation to not cite SVP. The final GA vote on the Minority recommendation was 69-31%. (The vote on E. PA was 58-42%.)

    The video of these two RPR reports is archived at:
    http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/pca-general-assembly/
    Wednesday, June 10, Session 3-2

    The RPR and Minority Reports on Susquehanna Valley begin at timestamp 00:34:25 and run to 1:04:25 (30 minutes). The reports on Eastern PA begin at timestamp 1:04:25 and run to 1:26:00 (22 minutes)

    It was unfortunate the Duncan/Lucas Personal Resolution took many members of the Overtures Committee off the floor. (One of the downsides to such PR’s.) I felt somewhat like I was pitching without facing Miguel Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes in the other team’s lineup…

  2. Ken Pierce said,

    June 14, 2015 at 9:12 am

    2 things, Lane:

    1.) There is absolutely NOTHING Kuyperian about importing civil categories into ecclesiastical courts. Kuyper would be appalled, as am I. Sphere sovereignty and sphere separation are not “one kingdom” views.

    2.) I can’t see how a resolution repenting of what our churches did or failed to do during the civil rights era is an apology for being white, or about anything in the wider culture.

    Love you, brother!

  3. Edward Allegretti said,

    June 14, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Although I fully support good relationships and mutual assistance to our brothers in Christ of all races and nations, I must ask myself several honest questions in reference to this resolution. 1. Does an apology by present day people for possible sins committed by others really increase good relationships with folks today? 2. How could the PCA legitimately apologize for its supposed sins during the Civil Rights period when it didn’t even exist then, it was formed in 1973? 3. Is it really possible in God’s eyes for one person(s) to apologize for the actions of another(s), or the PCA to apologize for another Presbyterian denomination? 4. Isn’t such an apology so broad in reference to WHO sinned and WHAT their sin is, that it actually goes against church doctrine as it is destructive of the peace of the church?
    Let’s view this from another perspective. What would happen if a black denomination were to issue an apology for what they did wrongly during the Civil Rights period? For it to be legitimate, it would have to be from a church that existed during that period, it would have to name specific sins and it would have to name specific individuals. In the PCA it would be against church order for a minister to commit adultery, to beat women, to plagiarize his doctorate dissertation, to instigate others to violence, to encourage people of their congregation and others to willfully disobey local and State civil laws, to a large degree to become involved with civil issues and not primarily keep to the preaching of God’s word. Since Martin Luther King, Jr. did all these things (see Abernathy’s biography), would it not be more legitimate for the denomination that ordained him to issue an apology?
    Surely I doubt they will. And even if they were to do so I don’t know that it would be of any real benefit as we need to be more concerned about doing God’s work today than apologizing for what others may have done wrongly years ago. Judging those of the past by today’s notions, revising history and making attention garnering, politically correct statements which demean others, are not helpful.
    And finally, the proposed resolution mentioned Brown vs. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Regardless of one’s position on these acts and any benefits resulting from them, they are all un-Constitutional. The Constitution clearly specifies that those powers not given to the federal government, which includes internal State policies, are reserved by the States. Church ministers of the past should not have supported these acts because they violated legitimate laws. These acts also have made a precedence that the federal government has used to force other social policy changes. Roe vs. Wade is an example, the repeal of anti-sodomy laws, probably shortly the forced recognition of sodomite marriages, and I anticipate soon the silencing of Christian churches and ministers who oppose anything the federal government deems right and forces upon the people of These United States.

  4. June 14, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Thanks for this recap, Lane. This was my first GA, and I was fascinated by it all (even the lengthy visits I paid to the Overtures Committee hall).

    I went back and forth on the overture regarding compelling a TE to testify. And I do believe TE’s should be forthright on their views. However, Kevin Twit said it succinctly (citing the Proverbs) that we should show wisdom on when to answer and when to be silent. Although I don’t know when this situation would arise, as I fully subscribe to the WCF, I would certainly be very intimidated by someone grilling me on my beliefs and may accidentally say something that is not true to my own views. I have seen this very often when candidates go before the Presbytery floor for licensure or ordination.

    Anyway, it was good seeing you there in action. Thanks for your contributions in the OC, especially with regard to BCO and Robert’s Rules.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    June 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Ken, I appreciate the comment. Do you not think, though, that many people make that very category mistake? I have seen many people think of civil court categories as directly translatable to church courts without any modification. It sure doesn’t come from Two Kingdoms advocates! That Kuyper’s own views do not entail such confusion is a fair point. I am seriously doubtful that all of his followers understand this.

    As to your second point, I agree with it. But I also wasn’t saying it that particular way. If we apologized for what some of our churches did during the Civil Rights movement, that would not be apologizing for being white. However, the point I was making is that some people think we should apologize simply because we are white, and thus the same color as some who sinned during the Civil Rights movement. There is an ethos out there that if I am white, I am guilty of racism, and ontologically guilty of the same sins as those who committed the sin of racism during the Civil Rights movement. I have experienced this first-hand, and it isn’t especially fun.

  6. June 14, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    In 2002, we already apologized for slavery, and the 2004 MNA paper on race which was adopted (or received?) also makes the case for repentance for past generations’ sins, if we are inheritors of their tradition. If memory serves, both were repenting of the church’s sins, NOT that of wider society, and that is an important distinction. Courts can err, but the point is, that that bridge was already crossed by the PCA 13 years ago.

    I could add much more to the discussion about how the 80-0 vote to recommend referral came about, but from my view point, it was clearly a win-win: we both had a time of prayer/repentance at this year’s assembly, and committed ourselves to work on this for a year before taking a more meaty and accurate stance next year. I am just against empty, rhetorical repentance — which is not the impugn the motives of any — but I think we could do better. I just found it odd that some speeches on the floor practically accused the 80 voting members of the OC of being negligent, when we were largely trying to LISTEN to what we heard from our African American brothers who were there, as we did in 2002.

    Also, check out this providential encounter I had on the way home (see second comment): http://highlandspastor.blogspot.com/2015/06/pca-hotly-debates-delaying-formal.html

    Finally, Lane, thank you for serving us with all your parliamentary knowleldge, and Ken for all your typing!

  7. Scott said,

    June 14, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    A couple observations:

    Again, this year, RPR did its job finding an exception of substance for paedocommunion and related theology in two Presbyteries. And again this year, after an eloquent speech from an elder from the ‘federal vision’ Pacific Northwest Presbytery, the Assembly rejected the RPR finding.

    While not always the case, paedocommunion is often related to the serious error, ‘federal vision’ theology. It is always disruptive of the system of doctrine that holds communing and non-communing membership.

    Sweeping theological controversy under the rug does not make it go away. Nor does it tend toward unity of the church. Rather, it opens the door to false doctrine and false teaching, if only incrementally.

    Also, with a massive civil redefinition of marriage, family and sexual morality at the doorstep, and its immediate implications for the church at stake, it was disappointing there was not a peep about it at General Assembly. Not an Overture, personal resolution or season of prayer.

    If anything was timely this year, it was this.

  8. Alan D. Strange said,

    June 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Scott:

    With respect to your penultimate paragraph (in 7, above), I agree that such an absence was rather curious.

    This contrasts with the OPC GA, whose Committee on Christian Education reported on an exploratory committee on marriage and sexuality (with a view to it becoming a special committee of the CCE), dealing with all of these issues that you cite.

    It is anticipated that next year’s GA will have a pre-Assembly conference on the interface of the church and civil magistrate respecting such, with the committee serving in an ongoing fashion as a clearinghouse and resource-gatherer to inform our churches how they might address these issues both by way of ministry and interacting with the state.

    I am on the exploratory committee and we are in process of sketching out a number of things that we might do to help our churches deal with these matters, particularly the anticipated SCOTUS ruling respecting same sex marriage.

  9. June 15, 2015 at 12:01 am

    […] the Presbyterian Church in America and is pastor of Lebanon Presbyterian Church in Winnsboro, S.C. This article appeared on his blog and is used with […]

  10. Cris Dickason said,

    June 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the review, Lane. I was a commissioner to the OPC GA (3rd time). Other than personal reflections I don’t have much to add to other write ups (Aquila Report). I chaired Advisory Committee 13, to review records of the OPC Standing Committees (Foreign Missions, Home Missions, etc.). Much like reviewing Presbytery Records, without expecting to see issues of substance diverting from the standards. I cam away with both a stronger appreciation for, and weariness of, the minutia of minutes and formatting.

  11. Cris Dickason said,

    June 15, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    A second comment, going to address Dr. Strange in #8 and let everyone know about the resource… Dr. Strange, did you see the exhibit from Harvest USA? Did you have a chance to meet Dan Wilson? We sat adjacent aisle seats from Philly to Minneapolis.. Dan is a PCA TE working for Harvest USA, which is focused on issues ministry to a sexually broken world. HarvestUSA.org is the url.

  12. semperfidelis said,

    June 15, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I enjoyed serving with you on Overtures Lane. It was a good time. Funny, we crammed 7 into a hotel room as well. We were very happy to get back home as we had visited Texas the week prior.

    The only thing I would add to your summary of the debate on the Coffin overture was how absurd some of the detractors were. I was convinced that some who were arguing didn’t even understand what they were arguing about.

    Further, the term “witch hunt” was used so frequently that I turned to a friend and dared him to approach the microphone and state: “Gentlemen, the term ‘witch hunt’ has been used repeatedly. We have ducks and large scales to settle such matters.”

    Alas, he refused.

  13. June 16, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Lane,

    1) Do you know what church it is in Philly that left the PCA; and where did they go?

    2) Semper…. I completely agree. I wanted to stand up and read BCO 31-2, that witch hunts can be dismissed by presbytery at the start…. that the provision was only for actual trials which may not even commence unless there is already “a strong presumption of guilt.” And BCO 34-2 disallows any charges against a minister to be received on scant grounds. BTW, you don’t look old enough to have been a LTC…. wow. Thank you for your service!

  14. Alan D. Strange said,

    June 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Cris. Yes, Harvest is a particularly helpful resource for our sexually broken world, though I did not have occasion to get to know Br. Wilson (quite a busy Assembly for me!).

    Please pray for our committee as we seek to furnish the church with many such resources and to assist her in her ministry, as we together live kingdom life in a fallen world.

  15. greenbaggins said,

    June 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Chris, it is City Church Philadelphia. Apparently they haven’t quite left yet, but they are waiting to be received by the RCA.

  16. Nathanael said,

    June 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Well I’m glad to see that neo-Presbyterians are finally officially being honest and admitting that “racism” was the position of all orthodox conservative Presbyterians before they bought into cultural Marxism a generation or two ago. So props for that honesty at least.

    One of the great things about the personal resolution is that in 30 years, the 73rd PCA GA can do a find and replace of “Gender” for “Civil”, “LGBTQQIA” for “African American”, “homosexual and queer acceptance” for “racial reconciliation”, and “homophobia and transphobia” for “racial injustice” and simply repass it without having to rewrite anything.

  17. Enoch Powell said,

    June 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I agree with Nathanael. I was impressed with how many delegates felt led by the spirit to confess sins that their fathers — several generations removed — committed. I’m sure their Fathers are much happier as part of the Church at rest now.

    Now that next years “GA” is going to take this up after consulting with the black pastors I hope to find that there will be some required reparations to be paid by the denomination to those Black PCA Pastors and their congregations that have been so victimized by the painful legacy of the PCA. Anthony Bradley, for example, should be be given a guaranteed sinecure for life as proof positive of the PCA’s seriousness regarding its proper groveling and lamenting over its racial sins.

    I look forward to the day when people realize Jesus requires formerly white congregations to be led and staffed by minorities. This is only fair.

  18. rfwhite said,

    June 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Lane: with regard to the Civil Rights resolution and PCA history, I was told the following account as a follow-up to Dr. Baird’s plea on the floor.

    The account I was told had Dr. Baird as one of a group of 12 who left the PCUS to form the PCA. By leaving they left not only the properties of the congregations they pastored but also the pensions they had earned during their service. The story goes that, when the 12 left, they were offered a sum of money that would have essentially made up their losses, but there was one proviso: they had to refuse to admit African-Americans as members into the new denomination. The 12 declined to comply with the offer. If that account can be corroborated, it needs to be retold as a part of our larger history.

  19. Reed Here said,

    June 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Nathaniel and Enoch, might you clarify yourselves?

    Are you saying it is wrong for the sons to repent of the fathers’ sins?

    Or are you saying that it is wrong for the sins to repent of the fathers’ supposed sins?

    Thanks.

  20. Tim Harris said,

    June 17, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Of course it’s wrong for sons to repent of their fathers’ alleged OR real sins. (And if not: Let them repent of Adam’s original sin while they’re at it! And I being a common descendent, let them repent of all my sins too.)

    And frankly, it is the height of pharisaic self-righteousness to do it with such pomp and public show.

    They have their reward.

  21. Don said,

    June 17, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Tim Harris 20,
    This is a rather surprising statement you make, since confession and repentance of the fathers’ sins is indeed Biblical. Most notably is Leviticus 26:40-41, but the fathers’ sins are confessed numerous places in the Old Testament, mainly in the prophetic books. Or do you think Jeremiah and Daniel were being pharisaical?

  22. June 17, 2015 at 1:23 am

    In correction of your conclusion, the minister in question has not yet left the PCA. But, with the ruling that basically says, “no ordained person can have any question regarding the universal exclusion of women in official ministry” then he will most certainly leave. This is a WTS graduate who has done some incredibly insightful and critical work on Barth. But, let’s ship him off to another denomination because he’s not 100% convinced that women can’t preach and teach.

    And, it’s telling, and super discouraging that the most exhausting part of the GA to you was two ministers in very white contexts, leading two of the most segregated churches in the country coming to the microphone to address racial reconciliation. If the PCA would take an entire GA to address this it would would be too little too late, but you are taken aback by 6 hours.

    Dear Lord, Come quickly.

  23. June 17, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Lane,

    Thanks for the info. I listened to a sermon by Rev. Bartholemew on I Timothy 2 and in it, he basically said that Paul’s instructions were only meant for Ephesus in the first century because of the supposed “Artemis” problem. It is exegesis I heard at Gordon Conwell , easily refuted by the text itself, and should not be countenanced in any PCA pulpit. So I think the RCA will be a better home for them.

    Chris

    P.S. Full disclosure: while in seminary, we attended a wonderful Congregational church with (old) women elders. But their exegesis of I Timothy 2 was not as faulty as the above. Point is: I am fairly moderate on this, but Bartholemew’s exegesis was not.

  24. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Don,

    I understand how one can confess in an acknowledging sense (Lane’s point) the sins of his parents, but what is it to repent of and seek forgiveness for the sins of another? I understand the grief part but not the contrition part.

  25. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 8:38 am

    “Of course it’s wrong for sons to repent of their fathers’ alleged OR real sins.”

    Not just wrong. Impossible. :)

  26. Tim Harris said,

    June 17, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Don 21, let’s start with Daniel. In 9:8 he says “O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee” and v. 11, “Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law” etc., and v. 20, “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people….” note several things,
    1. He was speaking as some kind of corporate representative, such that he could speak for all the people, including the kings and princes.
    2. He was speaking from the perspective of exile, which he knew to be the result of his “fathers'” sins because it had been revealed to them publicly as such.
    3. The nation were all in it together, from king to peasant, by natural descent in terms of a covenant. Thus, one could speak in collective terms without committing the fallacy of distribution.
    Note that the Lev. passage prophesies a similar situation (exile) and “confessing their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers” heads off the object that a 2nd generation exilee might entertain, “but I didn’t do nothin, it was my father.” Yet they would be quite willing to accept the blessings on account of their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, v. 42. There is a backdrop of natural descent from fathers that received promises which seem to be contradicted by the evident curse of exile. So here Moses reminds them that blessings AND curses are two sides of the same coin in view of covenantal descent.
    And, the undeniable fact of the matter is that the first generation sent into exile is the proximate cause for the punishment/exile.
    Even at a stage in my life when I was particularly moved by the Dan. 9 chapter, it never occurred to me to get down on my knees and confess (let alone “repent of”) my father’s sin. What would that even mean?

  27. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 10:09 am

    On the other hand, I wonder if we are reacting too strongly to many impulses in the culture that would make white people feel guilty simply for being of the same color as people who have oppressed African-Americans in the past.

    Yup, and what I often see as a result is people becoming more like Michael Stivic in their attempt to distance themselves from the likes of Archie Bunkerism. Those acquainted with the show might remember that Lionel Jefferson could become justly offended by Michael because Michael often saw Lionel more as a representative of the black community than the friend Lionel was to both him and Gloria. If not careful the PCA could fall into the same snare.

  28. tominaz said,

    June 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    RE: #15 Seems like we get the better part of the ‘trade.’ We got Kevin DeYoung and they get City Church, works for me.

  29. Lane said,

    June 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    The personal resolution called on the PCA to confess its sins in its complicity with those who opposed the Civil Rights movement. This was a bit strange to me, since the PCA was not in existence at the time.

    At first glance this seems to be reasonable objection., but on further reflection it isn’t. Doesn’t the PCA, as do all denominations, claim visible unity to the Church down through history back to Jesus Himself? So on one hand you want to claim that we have only been around since 1973, but on the other you want to claim that you have been around since 33. A little too convenient to separate yourself from the visible church when things were ugly.

  30. Don said,

    June 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Ron 24,

    but what is it to repent of and seek forgiveness for the sins of another?

    Tim Harris 26,

    it never occurred to me to get down on my knees and confess (let alone “repent of”) my father’s sin. What would that even mean?

    Those seem like very good questions for the PCA to figure out in this context, rather than deciding they are not worth answering.

  31. Nathanael said,

    June 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    “Reed Here said,

    June 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Nathaniel and Enoch, might you clarify yourselves?

    Are you saying it is wrong for the sons to repent of the fathers’ sins?

    Or are you saying that it is wrong for the sins to repent of the fathers’ supposed sins?

    Thanks.”

    I’m more interested in the fact that this repentance involved make-believe sins “repented” of for pomp and show.

  32. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    “At first glance this seems to be reasonable objection., but on further reflection it isn’t. Doesn’t the PCA, as do all denominations, claim visible unity to the Church down through history back to Jesus Himself?”

    Lane,

    In some ways it goes further back being the Israel of God. But to your point, we claim a succession of doctrine – not practice. Should the church today repent of the sins of the medieval church? No, but rather it opposes their sins and even addresses some of them with more clearly stated confessions of faith.

  33. musicosity1 said,

    June 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Robert Berman here. In response to #18 above, here is Jim Baird’s talk “The Birth and Growth of the PCA” from August 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_qarlExt8M Relevant excerpt:

    ——————————————-

    “What were the reasons why we [the PCA] were formed ? We were accused of being nothing but a group of racists…Racism was not one of the reasons. I will give you this one illustration. When we were meeting together in our monthly meetings, anybody could come in and speak to the twelve of us. They could say anything they wanted to say and give us any kind of help that we might need.

    “A man came in that I had never seen before. He was not from any of the deep southern states. He was from a border state. He was a Presbyterian elder. When he came in, he asked the twelve of us,” How much money do you have for this new denomination?” We had never been asked that question before. Finally, Don Patterson, who was the President of our group of twelve said, “We have nothing. We don’t have a dime.” The man asked, “Are you going to start a new denomination with no money?” Don said, “Yes.” The man said, “I will give you one hundred thousand dollars.”

    “We all were very surprised. That was back in 1972 and one hundred thousand dollars was a whole lot of money. He asked, “This is going to be a white man’s church isn’t it?” The twelve of us all looked at each other. One of the twelve said, “If it is to be a white man’s church, count me out.” All twelve of us immediately said, “Count me out.” Then, this man stood up and said, “Well, count me out.” He then walked out. That issue was solved, as far as we were concerned, right there. Racism wasn’t the reason at all.”

    ——————————-

    I applaud our denominations admittedly belated entry into this field of discussion. It will be just “pomp and show” if we don’t really mean it, but if we do, it can be a very good thing.

  34. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Nathaniel and Enoch, might you clarify yourselves?

    Are you saying it is wrong for the sons to repent of the fathers’ sins?

    Or are you saying that it is wrong for the sins to repent of the fathers’ supposed sins?

    Thanks.”

    The first and foremost requirement of Lev. 26:40 is, that there must be a confession of their own sins. There can be no blaming of the past. To confess primarily, or essentially, the sins of ones ancestors, parents, or forbearers is no confession at all. As a result of Freudianism and virtually all modern psychologies, today confession is to confess the sins of our forbearers. This is what it means to go to a psychiatrist. It is to go to a confessional. And what do you do? You confess the sin of your spouse or of your parents, or of your environment or your nanny, or whatever the case may be—of someone else. That’s the essence of the Freudian confessional. It is hypocrisy, it is Phariseeism, it is the evasion of personal responsibility and personal guilt. But in the 20th century, this is what confession is about. It is a very common practice, personally and collectively, to place the guilt that is ours upon our forbearers, so the problem is seen as the guilt of our colonial forbearers for creating national problems; or our slave-owning ancestors if we have them or factory operators in our past. And so on and on.

    Rushdoony

    http://www.pocketcollege.com/transcripts/065%20-%20Leviticus%20-%20The%20Law%20of%20Holiness%20and%20Grace/RR172AP76.html

  35. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    How do these churchmen on the one hand apologize to Blacks for 50 years of theological and institutional Kinism while simultaneously denying that Kinism was ever a normative belief in the church?

  36. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Inasmuch as they admit Kinism to have been doctrine and policy 50 years ago, they are also announcing that they are parting with the doctrine of their founders. They admit that they are effecting a radical revolution in the church and declaring the ethics of their founders heresy. They are announcing themselves to be part of another religion.

    They are repudiating men like John Edwards Richards who wrote,

    John Edwards Richards
    Causes of Separation in 1973 (PCA separates from PCUS)

    The Socialist, who declares all men are equal. Therefore there must be a great leveling of humanity and oneness of privilege and possession.
    The Racial Amalgamationist, who preaches that the various races should be merged into one race and differences erased in oneness.
    The Communist, who would have one mass of humanity coerced into oneness by a totalitarian state and guided exclusively by Marxist philosophy.
    The Internationalist, who insists on co-existence between all peoples and nations that they be as one regardless of ideology or history.John Edwards Richards
    One of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
    “The vast majority of good thinking people prefer to associate with, and intermarry with, people of their respective race; this is part of the God-given inclination to honor and uphold the distinctiveness of separate races. But there are many false prophets of oneness, and many shallow stooges, who seek to force the amalgamation of the races.”

    “No human can measure the anguish of personality that goes on within the children of miscegenation… Let those who would erase the racial diversity of God’s creation beware lest the consequence of their evil be visited upon their children.”

    John Edwards Richards
    One of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)

    “The vast majority of good thinking people prefer to associate with, and intermarry with, people of their respective race; this is part of the God-given inclination to honor and uphold the distinctiveness of separate races. But there are many false prophets of oneness, and many shallow stooges, who seek to force the amalgamation of the races.” ~

    Dr. John E. Richards

    “No human can measure the anguish of personality that goes on within the children of miscegenation… Let those who would erase the racial diversity of God’s creation beware lest the consequence of their evil be visited upon their children.”

    ~ Dr. John E. Richards

  37. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    They are repudiating Morton Smith,

    The Racial Problem Facing America (1964)

    If from this we may conclude that ethnic pluriformity is the revealed will of God for the human race in its present situation, it is highly questionable whether the Christian can have part in any program that would seek to erase all ethnic distinctions. That such distinctions may be crossed over by individuals may be granted, but it is at least questionable whether a program designed to wipe out such differences on a mass scale should be endorsed by the Christian. It is this line of argument that the average Christian segregationist uses to back his view. He fears that the real goal of the integrationist is the intermarriage of the races, and therefore the breakdown of the distinctions between them. Many who would be willing to integrate at various lesser levels refuse to do so, simply because they feel that such will inevitably lead to intermarriage of the races, which they consider to be morally wrong. . . .

    The mass mixing of the races with the intent to erase racial boundaries he does consider to be wrong, and on the basis of this, he would oppose the mixing of the two races in this way. Let it be acknowledged that a sin in this area against the Negro race has been perpetrated by godless white men, both past and present, but this does not justify the adoption of a policy of mass mixing of the races. Rather, the Bible seems to teach that God has established and thus revealed his will for the human race now to be that of ethnic pluriformity, and thus any scheme of mass integration leading to mass mixing of the races is decidedly unscriptural.

    Dr. Morton H. Smith (1923-)

    (For more see: Dr. Morton H. Smith on Christianity, Race, and Segregation)

  38. Reed Here said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Enoch, no. 34: might you give a simple yes or no, and then qualify if you need to do so? Merely quoting someone who does not directly answer my question is at least unintentional dissembling.

  39. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Mr. Reed

    Clearly I agree with Rushdoony who answers “No.” Forgive me for thinking that rather obvious since he most certainly did directly answer your question.

    Since repenting requires a turning away from and a turning towards the opposite in relation to both belief and behavior it seems painfully obvious that no one can repent for someone else in the sense of causing them to turn from their errant beliefs and practices to turn towards righteous beliefs and actions.

    This is NOT repenting that Duncan and Lucas and the PCA is doing. This is the politics of guilt and self loathing clothed in the religious speak or “repentance.”

  40. Reed Here said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Enoch, thanks for the direct answer. Do you consider yourself a kinist? I do not ask for any other reason than to make sure I assume nothing about your position to which you would object.

  41. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Mr. Reed,

    I’m no more or less a Kinist then St. Paul was when he said,

    I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen according to the flesh.

    And what is thought of as the more negative side when under the inspiration of the Spirit of God he wrote,

    12 One of the Cretans,[h] a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”[i] 13 This testimony is true.

    I prefer not to use the word “kinist” to self identify since people have so successfully bore false witness against those people and their belief system.

    I prefer being thought of as a pre-1950 vanilla Machen like Christian.

    Thank you for the engaging conversation Mr. Reed.

  42. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Enoch,

    It might be obvious that nobody is actually repenting, but I think that point is better made without impugning political motive that by the nature of the case cannot be quite as obvious. The latter is a secret thing whereas the former is a matter of concrete definition. It’s usually wiser to argue points one can win.

  43. Reed Here said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Nathanael, no. 31: whether or not that is your interest, might you answer the question? Let me ask it in simpler format, as maybe focusing a bit might be more amenable.

    Do you think it is ever appropriate for sons to confess their forefathers sin?

  44. Reed Here said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Enoch, call me Reed.

    So do you think Daniel was wrong to confess the sins of his forefathers, sins in which he had no personal guilt?

  45. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    “Are you saying it is wrong for the sons to repent of the fathers’ sins?

    Or are you saying that it is wrong for the sins [sons] to repent of the fathers’ supposed sins?”

    Hey Reed,

    All I’m taking away from your query, which is plenty enough for me, is that you’re trying to tease out whether this person thinks the fathers sinned or not (and not whether one can repent of another’s sin). Hence your use of *supposed*.

    All the best…

  46. Reed Here said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Ron, no, I have both in view, as they lead to different ends. Just trying to be fair in asking in that manner. Best to you also.

  47. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    “Do you think it is ever appropriate for sons to confess their forefathers sin?”

    I most certainly can find it appropriate. It’s the personal contrition and turning I find impossible. Confession would be agreeing with the truth and such a one can even grieve. I have no problems confessing to my overseas colleagues the global-police mentality of my country.

  48. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    “Ron, no, I have both in view, as they lead to different ends. Just trying to be fair in asking in that manner. Best to you also.”

    Gotcha… I’m trying to be careful in inference without being too obtuse regarding what’s obvious to everyone else. :)

  49. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Interesting that charges of racism are leveled at so many of our long-dead ancestors, considering the entire concept of racism was invented by the Bolshevik communists of the early 20th century as a political and social tool to intimidate their opponents. Now, many denominations are self-flagellating to prove they’re not racist, bowing to the cultural Marxists instead of to God, when what they should be saying to them is … get thee behind me!

  50. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    42

    ” Enoch,

    It might be obvious that nobody is actually repenting, but I think that point is better made without impugning political motive that by the nature of the case cannot be quite as obvious. The latter is a secret thing whereas the former is a matter of concrete definition. It’s usually wiser to argue points one can win.”

    Ron,

    Why would you say this is not “obvious”? Not obvious to whom? It clearly is obvious to any one who is even a casual observer to the broader culture flow. Whoever thought to apologize for these types of things until the rise of Cultural Marxism in the socio-political arena?

    I might suggest that you are so put out because the winning of the point is so obviously demonstrable.

    44

    Enoch, call me Reed.

    So do you think Daniel was wrong to confess the sins of his forefathers, sins in which he had no personal guilt?

    Reed,

    1.) Daniel is serving as a Representative covenant Head for all of Israel. Are Duncan and Lucas covenant heads for all of the PCA?

    2.) Because of the work of the Spirit of God Daniel KNEW that there was a straight line that could be drawn from the sins of Israel and their captivity. We have no such Spirit inspired connection made between what is being called “racism” and the fact that this yet undefined “racism” was sin. Do keep in mind that Racism as a concept was almost completely unknown until it was popularized by Trotsky in order to serve as a wedge issue to the end of making blacks agents to promote a Marxist agenda.

    3.) If you read Daniel 9 you will see that you are in error that he had no personal guilt in what he was confessing. Do note all the “we,” and “our” pronouns.

    So … “No, I do not think it was wrong for Daniel to confess his sins and the sins of his people.” particularly because he himself says he had personal guilt.

  51. Reed Here said,

    June 17, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Enoch, agree that Daniel was functioning under covenant considerations. Do you think those considerations no longer apply?

    Disagree on Dan 9. He was not acknowledging that he personally committed any of his forefathers’ sins.

  52. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    I have not seen anyone in this discussion biblically establish that any of the American Presbyterians of former generations sinned regarding racial matters, so all this discussion about whether one can repent of his forefathers’ sins in that matter, is immaterial.

  53. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Why would you say this is not “obvious”

    Enoch,

    My point, which I thought was obvious, :) was that a man’s motive cannot be as obvious as a man’s irrationality. To the point, by *comparison* the mistake of trying to repent for another’s sin is more obvious than the mistaken reasoning behind such an attempt. Reasons for even silly behavior can be complex, but the definition of repentance isn’t. Accordingly, I can know when someone misunderstands repentance but can’t know why.

    Case in point, I wouldn’t presume to figure out your subjective rationale behind what I believe to be your obvious mistake of thinking you can know motive. At the very least, it’s safer for me to operate that way. More basic than that, I’ believe I’ve met too many sincerely confused men to think they’re all acting with deceit, though some might be.

  54. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Ah … I see … you’re point is that they might not be malevolent but only stupid.

    Point conceded.

  55. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Disagree on Dan 9. He was not acknowledging that he personally committed any of his forefathers’ sins.

    Reed,

    Then why the plural pronouns as used by Daniel?

  56. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Do you think those covenant considerations no longer apply?

    I think they could apply. I’m not convinced that this is such a case of application.

    Indeed, I might spend some time as a covenant head confessing the sins of these putative covenant heads and their sinful confessing of sins that have yet to be defined.

  57. Ron said,

    June 17, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Ah … I see … you’re point is that they might not be malevolent but only stupid.

    Point conceded.

    Yes, but what you refuse to concede is that you don’t know the motives behind the willingness of some to try to own the sins of their fathers.

  58. Enoch Powell said,

    June 17, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    I’m more than glad to say that these people are either stupid, malevolent or both. I hereby apologize for not initially thinking that there was a possibility that they were doing what they were doing because they are stupid. It was wrong of me to think this kind of destructiveness could only be wrought out of malevolence.

    Thank you Ron for helping me to see it just might be a matter of ministerial stupidity.

  59. Ron said,

    June 18, 2015 at 8:10 am

    As the old saying goes, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

  60. Reed Here said,

    June 18, 2015 at 9:08 am

    As per blog rules, I am speaking to a position being espoused in this post. I’m offering no personal attacks.

    Kinism is a pernicious evil, exactly opposed to the gospel and Christ. Flee from it.

    Reed (no longer moderator, so don’t go giving Lane a hard time)

  61. Enoch Powell said,

    June 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    As per blog rules, I am speaking to a position being espoused in this post. I’m offering no personal attacks.

    Opposition to Kinism is opposition to Historic Christianity and so is a pernicious evil, exactly opposed to the gospel and Christ. Flee from it.

  62. Tim Harris said,

    June 18, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Yes I agree with Enoch. Indeed, I would point out that everyone everywhere and at all times in history has been a kinist, except for Europeans and white Americans post-1950 or so. And in that sweeping generalization, I include the biblical writers.

    Your charge seems rather presumptuous Reed.

  63. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    A love for our brethren who are united to Christ does not negate a particular love for our racial or ethnic group.

    “Paul had two classes of brethren; those who were with him the children of God in Christ; these he calls brethren in the Lord, Philip, i. 14, holy brethren, &c. The others were those who belonged to the family of Abraham. These he calls brethren after the flesh, that is, in virtue of natural descent from the same parent. Philemon he addresses as his brother, both in the flesh and in the Lord. The Bible recognizes the validity and rightness of all the constitutional principles and impulses of our nature. It therefore approves of parental and filial affection, and, as is plain from this and other passages, of peculiar love for the people of our own race and country.”

    — Charles Hodge, Commentary on Romans, Chapter 9 (1837)

  64. Ron said,

    June 18, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Tim,

    What is kinism? I suspect you’ll put forth a definition that Reed will not object to, possibly, so please also put forth the caricature(s) you think Reed might find evil.

    Reed, I’d be grateful if you’d respond to Tim. Also, please feel free to respond with your objections to this ism before Tim posts.

    Guys, I respect you both, in some respects for very different reasons. I’m an ignoramus on this subject. No hidden agenda. But, when two thoughtful Christians differ on evil and good, I become a bit curious.

    Blessings,

    Ron

  65. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 18, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Here’s one definition of kinism:

    Biblically we are required to give preference and have greater duties and responsibilities to those closest to us, especially family. The Biblical family is the extended family which extends outward to the tribal ethnic nation as the foundational political unit. Nations in Scripture are defined by common lineage, and not by common faith. The Biblical blueprint of the state is one political unit for each ethnicity and one ethnicity per political unit. In Scripture, the model is land ownership being limited to a single ethnicity, national affairs being restricted to a single ethnicity, and the ruler being required to be blood kin to those he rules. None of that bans international commerce, tourism, friendships, or missionary work, but multiracial empires, propositional countries, miscegenation, and importing a different people through mass immigration are all unscriptural. While exceptions may occur from time to time, this is the clear Biblical normative and should be pursued as the ideal.

  66. Enoch Powell said,

    June 18, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Kinism Taxonomy

    1. The divisions are real and significant, yet Kinists for the most part maintain cordial relations with one another despite disagreements. It is the anti-Kinist element that seeks to impose a uniform, legalistic and extra-Biblical test of faith.

    2. The divisions also demonstrate that Kinism is not an “ism” in the normal sense. Usually “isms” in the church and society at large are the result of the ideology of one charismatic leader, and monolithic beliefs lead to many cult-like qualities. To the contrary, the cult-like, intolerant behavior is among the anti-Kinists. This is because, though they do not realize it, the anti-Kinists are pushing their own “ism”, Cultural Marxism. Just as a fish is not aware of water, anti-Kinists do not realize how thoroughly they have been catechized in political correctness, to the extent that they seek to persecute their Christian brothers who disagree. Thus Kinism can be seen as an organic rediscovery of the universal human preference for one’s own people, created by Providence, and only repressed in the last fifty years under the Orwellian regime of Cultural Marxism. Kinism is simply the most thorough form of Christian anti-Marxism, a rejection of the reduction of all men to interchangeable parts.

    What are these divisions in the Kinist community?

    I see three major breaks, logically, among Kinists. I will call these positions Weak Kinism (my personal conviction), Strong Kinism and Stronger Kinism.

    The universal beliefs among Kinists are a recognition that ethnic and racial differences are real and Providential. A preference for one’s own people and culture is healthy and natural. The divisions are basically disagreements over the law of marriage.

    Weak Kinism: a Weak Kinist believes that interracial marriage is at best very unwise. At worst, it is sinful if it involves disobedience to the father’s authority to veto specific suitors for his daughter (a father does not have the authority, however, to forbid his daughter to marry at all, or by implication to be so restrictive in approving suitors that marriage is nigh impossible). A Weak Kinist also believes that, whatever the moral or wisdom status of an interracial marriage, once formed it is a legitimate marriage and ought to be respected. The difficulties associated with such marriages, and any ill effects on children of the union, are simply the consequences of a sinful and/or foolish decision. Weak Kinists also believe that if the government passes an anti-miscegenation law, such a law should be respected as a lawful law in that it does not proscribe something God commands.

    Strong Kinism: Strong Kinists take things a bit further, insisting that interracial marriage is always a sin based on their reading of OT law (Rushdoony, at least early in life, held to this position). The division between Weak and Strong Kinists is the most significant division.

    Stronger Kinism: Some Strong Kinists are Stronger Kinists, who extend their interpretation of OT law to include the remedy of Ezra and Nehemiah to their people’s miscegenation. Stronger Kinists believe miscegenators should “put away” foreign wives and children and that such marriages are Biblically nullified, akin to homosexual “marriage”.

    The stronger variety I believe to be the most impolitic and hard to swallow, though I respect someone’s right to hold to it. None of the positions are heretical, in that all recognize the multi-racial nature of Christ’s Church. Many seem to be confusing Kinism with Christian Identity, or else deliberately misinterpreting Kinist beliefs to avoid engaging with them.

    What unites all Kinists is our desire to be left alone to raise our children by our convictions, convictions that were nearly universal among our Christian ancestors just 100 years ago. We want the ability to live in peace with liberty of conscience without worrying about self-righteous inquisitors seeking to ruin our friendships, sow discord in our churches or endanger our employment. The unreasonableness of the opposing position (all Kinists are heretics who deserve to be fired from their jobs and excluded from polite society) is becoming more and more obvious. Kinists should continue pressing their case, confident that truth will once again prevail against the Gospel of Marx.

  67. Ron said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Dreadful, Stuart.

    Vito Corleone was born on Pearl Harbor Day, though many years before. Stu Jones and Tim, maybe others, will remember the scene. Something like thirty thousand enlisted on the don’s birthday. Sonny Corleone called them saps for risking their lives for strangers…Michael, the future don, recognized “pop” speaking through Michael. Impetuous Sonny’s retort was, “your country ain’t your blood.”

    Kinism sounds a bit like Sonny. And, of course, Sonny would be alive today if he had EZpass.

  68. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I find it dreadful that you find that definition dreadful.

  69. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    But what passes for Christianity in modern America is quite dreadful, so I should not not surprised.

  70. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    not be surprised

  71. Ron said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    “While exceptions may occur from time to time, this is the clear Biblical normative and should be pursued as the ideal.”

    Weasel words. Who defines the exceptions? And, if exceptions aren’t delineated what becomes of the “ideal”? After all, the ideal might not be so ideal after all if the conditions for the unspoken exceptions are met.

  72. Ron said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    “But what passes for Christianity in modern America is quite dreadful, so I should not be surprised.”

    You state P is correct and Q is dreadful and conclude Q is a result of ~P.

  73. Ron said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    So, Enoch, what’s a Kinist? And, what is the caricature or non-caricature you think Reed finds so repulsive?

  74. Reed Here said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Ron, even a brief review of the websites run by the Kinists posting here will demonstrate the evils of kinism.

  75. Reed Here said,

    June 18, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Tim, out of respect for our friendship, I’ll not respond on blog.

  76. Enoch Powell said,

    June 18, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Ron, even a brief review of the websites run by the Cultural Marxist Reformed Ministers posting here will demonstrate the evils of opposition to Kinism..

  77. Ron said,

    June 19, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Reed,

    I’ll check them out. I respect the desire to avoid an online discussion. Sorry if I caused discomfort to either of my friends.

  78. Tim Harris said,

    June 19, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Well Ron @68, Sonny was both right and wrong in his statement and analysing how can shed light on this debate, so I’m glad you raised it.

    In fact, in most times and places “your country IS your blood.” This is just the point. (1) It certainly was in ancient Israel. And the situation in Israel cannot, it seems to me, be reduced to just typology of church/world distinction, because the distinctions continued to a much finer grain. (2) “Your country is your blood” in most of the nations on earth, both ancient and modern. Look at a globe of the world and observe that, with the exception of Africa, the lines drawn as borders more or less delimit the ethnicity resident therein (the borders in sub-sahara Africa were settled by mere imposition and thus don’t reflect the underlying ethnicity very accurately). The modern American view seems to be something like “a nation is a land mass governed by a particular regime,” but this is a typically imperial point of view, and is one reason I am no longer an imperialist.

    So Sonny should have said something like “this country America, unlike Sicily, is not our blood.” And Michael disagrees at that point, yet the genius of the story is showing how blood is indeed thicker than water. He comes to realize that this empire is not his country, but rather his extended clan is. The great tragedy of the story is that kin-loyalty led to kin-slaying. The thematic richness of that tragedy is part of why it is such a great, mythic, and deeply-moving story.

  79. Stuart DiNenno said,

    June 19, 2015 at 8:17 am

    “Weasel words. Who defines the exceptions? And, if exceptions aren’t delineated what becomes of the “ideal”? After all, the ideal might not be so ideal after all if the conditions for the unspoken exceptions are met.”

    The existence of the color gray does not deny the reality of the colors black and white. Most kinists are not so rigid to say that every example of cross-ethnic mixing is sinful but certainly wholesale miscegenation should be discouraged because it serves to destroy nations. That has always been understood and has been used deliberately as a means of subjugation.

    From Nelson’s Bible Dictionary:

    “Esarhaddon was the Assyrian king who resettled Samaria with foreigners after this capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel fell to Assyrian forces in 722 B.C. (Ezra 4:2). This was an example of the Assyrian policy of intermingling cultures in the nations which they conquered to make them weak and compliant.”

  80. Enoch Powell said,

    June 19, 2015 at 8:32 am

    What will be the attitude of communism to existing nationalities?

    The nationalities of the peoples associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community will be compelled to mingle with each other as a result of this association and hereby to dissolve themselves, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property.”

    ~ Frederick Engels in “The Principles of Communism”, 1847

    Sometimes I hear Engels in the voices of our “Christian” ministers.

  81. Reed Here said,

    June 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Stuart, define “wholesale miscegenation.” What does it look like?

    Do you think voluntary miscegenation is sinful?

  82. Reed Here said,

    June 19, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Tim, you can’t use this:

    “The great tragedy of the story is that kin-loyalty led to kin-slaying.”

    Unless you are willing to affirm that in the end, we’re ALL one kin.

    After all, isn’t that the necessary observation from Cain and Abel?

  83. Tim Harris said,

    June 19, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Well I think we all sense that a qualitative line was crossed when he killed his own brother. And, within the story, it keeps coming up with virtually every character except perhaps Rocco and Tom as a point nagging at the conscience. Finally Michael himself blurts out his confession at the Vatican “I killed my own mother’s son” and at just that point the priest declares that there is probably no redemption for Michael. Imperfect theology of course but the point is there is something primal there.

    No, I think “all humanity” is too much of a semantic stretch to be covered by “kin,” unless perhaps to make an ironic or surprising point idiosyncratically.

  84. Ron said,

    June 19, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Great post, Tim. I remember a brother in childhood articulating similar sentiments without the advantage of Puzo.

  85. Ron said,

    June 19, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    …though Mario would have never owned iii!

  86. Ron said,

    June 19, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Picking up on Tom, it’s interesting that he never felt like true blood – a true brother to Michael.

  87. Ron said,

    June 19, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Stuart,

    Your paradigm is worthless, for the improper behavior cannot be policed because of the subjective nature of the ideal. I can live there but the dogmatism you seek cannot.

  88. Ron said,

    June 19, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Reed,

    I believe kinism fails because it’s too encompassing; it’s qualifications leave no room to evaluate concrete applications. Notwithstanding, we mustn’t throw the baby out with the bath water…. There is a relationship between blood that transcends humanity, hence the natural abnormality of marrying a sibling.

    It’s really no different than throwing theonomy out because of the problems with reconstuctionism or the golden age stripe of postmil thought. I reject the tenets of reconstuctionism and although I believe we’ll wake up to a baptized world one day, I’m amil in my inauguration-consummation, already-not-yet convictions and am not expecting a step-change age between adverts. This theonomist loaths the Kennedy / Falwell / Robertson nationalism and all the rest. My view of the law is a matter of oughtness, not prediction.

  89. Tim Harris said,

    June 20, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Thanks Ron. Yes Tom is an interesting case cuz then you also have where he tells Sonny, “Pop was just as much of a father to me as to anyone,” and Sonny has to concede.

    Yet it’s interesting that Vito did respect Tom’s lineage by caring for him yet without making him take his name. So there was a discernible duality if not ambiguity there which I think does come out in a variety of ways. It is also convenient that Tom becomes the lawyer since “law” is just the point at which the clan interfaces officially with the “international” world.

  90. Ron said,

    June 20, 2015 at 9:52 am

    ““Pop was just as much of a father to me as to anyone,” and Sonny has to concede.”

    I’ve offered wondered about that argument from Tom. For really, only Vito could know. Sonny’s expression concedes, but how else might he responded without inflicting unnecessary hurt? That’s more food for thought than anything.

  91. Reed Here said,

    June 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Ron, I understand that kinism adopts some valid artifacts found in Scripture. But it very quickly, creatively and deceptively adapts those artifacts to arguments that are exactly opposed to the gospel.

    This is why I say kinism is a pernicious of evil. Like ancient “Christian” gnosticism, it offers itself at THE “true” interpretation of the Bible. And like that ancient evil of gnosticism, it will only destroy.

    The key lie of kinism is found in Jesus’ second great commandment. Any study of kinism websites, social media pages, etc., will affirm two facts: 1) kinism affirms the command to love others as self, 2) kinism’s definition of what such love should look like is exactly opposite and diametrically opposed to Jesus’ own definition of such love. Thus kinism is just another head of the wily old Serpent, a multi-headed hydra that only seeks to devour and destroy the Kingdom of God. It is an expression of biblical racism, hatred for another based on ethnic differences. (And it overlaps the banks of that stream in some places.)

    So fighting kinism as if it were an intramural debate within the gospel believing Church is like fighting a hydra with a friendly chat. One sound whack of the gospel sword cutting off the head of an argument results in multiple additional arguments-lies sprouting from the stump. It will never be proven wrong by debating it as if it were reasonable. It can only be eradicated by the hardest of gospel means.

    Some who affirm kinism will prove that their portraits are found in 2 Peter 2. Others, those simply enamored and hypotized the serpentine swaying of the Snakes’ eyes in the arguments based on biblical artifacts, will be some of Jude’s brands plucked from the fire.

    So while I’d enjoy, as I had time or course, exploring the artifacts that kinism has wickedly adopted as its own, I insist on doing so apart from debating with those who are even enamored by kinism. That’s like debating the best way to eradicate a fatal cancer with someone who thinks it is necessarily beneficial somehow, somewhere, in some multiverse existence that has no actually relevance to ours.

    What utter foolishness! Kill the cancer, burn the stumps of the hydra, and fusion torch its corpse. Then, in tripled layered hazmat suits, examine its all one wishes. But be warned, until Christ returns with the judgment of fire that destroys all this world and its corruption, there will be a seed in that corpse, and it will sprout new zombie-life.

    Kinism is a pernicious evil. Next, expect a retort from someone who worships at its feet that demonstrates the reality of its character. May God have mercy on his soul. Flee the evil.

  92. Tim Harris said,

    June 20, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    >> Like ancient “Christian” gnosticism, it offers itself at THE “true” interpretation of the Bible.

    And like the WCF also does. And like every honest exposition of Scripture does.

    Reed, this post 92 seems way over the top, especially following on our recent correspondence.

    As my mentor Dr. Bahnsen always said, saying so ain’t proving it. I mean, are these railing accusations based on confident intuition + the right to proclaim ex cathedra?

  93. Ron Henzel said,

    June 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Tim,

    The point of comparison that Reed made and which you cite was not the only one he made. He went on:

    And like that ancient evil of gnosticism, it will only destroy.

    Unless your critique takes both parts of the comparison into account, you are not actually dealing with it, but only distorting it to suit your own purposes.

  94. Tim Harris said,

    June 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Ron H, 94. But the rest is just an obiter dictum predicting the future: “it will only destroy.” How to disprove a prophecy before its time? It is just apocalyptic ranting.
    How to interact with Reed’s intuition that this is like “the ancient evil of gnosticism”? I have no idea.
    I do know that “thinking this is THE true interpretation of Scripture” is not something particularly essential to gnosticism, nor something that distinguished them from their opponents, then or now.
    So I was being charitable in leaving that phrase out, Ron H.
    Now, I’m pretty sure you do not know what my “purposes” are, let alone that I distorted something to suit them. Why do you think you do?

  95. Ron Henzel said,

    June 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Tim,

    You spew utter nonsense. And, of course, you know it. Lies covering more lies. So what’s the point of trying to engage you?

  96. Ron said,

    June 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Reed,

    Per the other thread, I’m tracking…

    Good Lord’s Day tomorrow…

  97. June 21, 2015 at 3:23 am

    I’ve never read this blog before, and I made the mistake of commenting and then subscribing. I seriously didn’t know that hateful, ignorant, biblically-illiterate people still paraded on public blogs as Reformed Christians. These views have been shown the door decades ago. To Enoch, and Stuart, and Lane (who allows this insanity to have a forum), I wouldn’t want you as neighbors, much less my pastor or elder. This blog is the bullet-train to wrong-town and irrelevant-town, everyone should jump off now.


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