A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

PC Throws the Gauntlet Down on Al Mohler

If you haven't noticed already, Puritan Calvinist has penned an open letter to Albert Mohler. Yeah, yeah, it was published last month but I still love it. It's simply devastating to Mr. Mohler's cultural gospel of marriage and babies. The Marriage Mandate Movement is once again exposed for what it is. What I find especially telling is PC's observation that many conservative Bible scholars do not agree one whit with the exegesis of the Marriage Mandate crowd.

I'm probably going to add a link to PC's article in my Biblical Manhood Library page when I get a chance.

(It will be interesting to see whether or not Mohler responds to PC. I'm not holding my breath, though.)

9 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

Thanks for the link. An interesting read.

What I can't figure out is that the Guardian article specifically and repeatedly cites women's unwillingness to marry before spawning, yet somehow the whole thing is men's fault. WTF?

I am a baptist, but I really get sick and tired of men rushing to assume the mantle of fault and blame that isn't theirs to bear. By doing so, churchy men prevent women from being responsible for their own actions.

Let's put blame for women's failure to marry squarely where it belongs. On women. Let's call 'choice moms' reckless selfishness what it is...reckless selfishness. That's no more mature than retiring to one's parent's basement to play XBox.

Triton said...

You know, if you could get Al Mohler to comment HERE, that would be freakin' awesome.

Maybe you should invite him. ;)

lainey said...

"What I can't figure out is that the Guardian article specifically and repeatedly cites women's unwillingness to marry before spawning, yet somehow the whole thing is men's fault. WTF?"

It's secular media talking about secular women. Mohler is addressing young unmarried churchgoing Christians.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you see in PC's grandiose ramblings. Although I don't agree with him much, I think MLV hit the nail on the head in his blogpost "Having Children and the Silly Debate Between Silly People", who says about one of PC's earlier posts on the topic

"the argument goes on to include silly analogies which in no way relate to the seriousness of having children and the importance of living God's primary mission for us. This fellow called Puritan Calvinist is so wrapped up in theology and debates over irrelevant doctrinal interpretations that he is missing something God would sincerely like us to participate in: Life!"

You don't have to have a one-track mind on theology to see the logic in the maintaining the creation mandate, especially in light of the muslim hoards that are rapidly overtaking Europe by reproduction alone. And I think most of you are concerned about that.

But of course, whenever the subject of what abyssmal failures western Christians are at maintaining their own population, you guys simply sidestep the issue by pointing the finger at worst case scenario career women and town bicycles.

I think you guys oughta choose one strategy and stick to it...

....EITHER admit that the scriptures point to a creation mandate which is natural and eternal, as long as believers populate the earth, and then PROPORTIONALLY acknowledge both the resistance of modern Christian men and women in fulfilling this mandate...

...OR deny, as Adam does, that the Genesis mandate still applies, BUT --- stop the woman bashing. Because if you think there's no creation mandate to fulfill today, then you have no one to blame it on if it's not getting fulfilled.

Make up your minds -- is there a problem or isn't there -- and stop the side-stepping.

PuritanCalvinist said...

Anonymous 7:48,

I saw that post from MLV, and, to be honest, I think it is the same kind of anti-intellectualism that has gotten us into this mess. Don't think. Don't do sound Biblical exegesis. Just "live." Such is the whole reason why it is that people like Debbie Maken can abuse the text of scripture with the full blessing of Christian leaders.

...OR deny, as Adam does, that the Genesis mandate still applies, BUT --- stop the woman bashing. Because if you think there's no creation mandate to fulfill today, then you have no one to blame it on if it's not getting fulfilled.

Didn't you read what I wrote? I do *not* deny that the Genesis mandate applies today. I deny the marriage mandators *interpretation* of the command because they ignore the subject or the sentence, refuse to read the text consistently from beginning to end, and refuse to apply the covenantal application of the text in the rest of the book.

You don't have to have a one-track mind on theology to see the logic in the maintaining the creation mandate, especially in light of the muslim hoards that are rapidly overtaking Europe by reproduction alone. And I think most of you are concerned about that.

However, I do see a problem with the logic that says that, every person must do this. Yes, indeed, the church needs to have a ministry of having and raising covenant children, just as they need to have a ministry of elders and deacons.

In fact, I have pointed this out before. Even if we wanted to increase our population by having three children per woman, even if 1/4 of the congregation decides not to have children, if every other couple has four children, you are still increasing your population. Not only that, but there is generally one family who sees this as their main calling, and they have more than twelve children. I know one family that baptized their sixteenth child. That makes up for four families. Also, consider the fact that many people who did not want to have children earlier in life, may decide that they want a child later on in life, conceive, and that will decrease the number of children per family. You can easily see how, in this framework, you can still keep multiplying the population, and obey this command in scripture given to mankind.

The point is that we do not need to add to God's word in order to solve this problem. We need to find a scriptural solution to the problem, and that means restoring the command as an ecclesiastical duty, not an individual duty.

God Bless,
PuritanCalvinist

Anonymous said...

"Didn't you read what I wrote? I do *not* deny that the Genesis mandate applies today...I do see a problem with the logic that says that, every person must do this."

Well, don't you read what the so-called "marriage mandators" say? They do not simply declare that "every person *must* marry"! What Boundless, Maken and Mohler write leans far closer to the "ecclesiastical duty" for Christians to marry than you give them credit for. But at some point, do you not have to challenge the individual to consider their part in that ecclesiastical duty? Given the reactions to such challenges by Mohler et al, it sounds like to do so is to (in Anakin's words) "cast aspersion" upon the individual (which we cannot do, can we?), which cuts short any call to duty, or any discussion of what happens to a generation that does not fulfill that duty.

"I saw that post from MLV, and, to be honest, I think it is the same kind of anti-intellectualism that has gotten us into this mess. Don't think. Don't do sound Biblical exegesis. Just "live."

You mean the ZPG mess? No, sorry. Low birth rates are not caused by anti-intellectualism, quite the opposite, in fact. Christians went about the business of family-making for centuries without degrees in "sound biblical exegesis". As the old Cole Porter song goes, "the rich get richer and the poor get children". And this is what Christ was likely referring to when he said that the "meek shall inherit the earth".

PuritanCalvinist said...

Anon,

Well, don't you read what the so-called "marriage mandators" say? They do not simply declare that "every person *must* marry"! What Boundless, Maken and Mohler write leans far closer to the "ecclesiastical duty" for Christians to marry than you give them credit for.

I never said that they did. I recognize that they make an acception for what is called the "gift of celebacy" which they say you have if you have a removal of all sexual desire. Of course, I have also argued that this is likewise unbiblical. The point is that a person should be able to serve God in whatever way he calls them to, and should not be bound the unbiblical commands that Mohler and company have tried to add to God's word.

What I said was that they say that every married couple must have children if they can. In fact, they view you as a liberal if you don't happen to agree with them, even if this is the only thing upon which you disagree with them. Mohler, Maken, and even Boundless have taken this position, and it is easily documented.

But at some point, do you not have to challenge the individual to consider their part in that ecclesiastical duty?

Of course. However, given what I have argued, that duty may be teaching sunday school, or simply giving prayer and encouragement to those who have chosen to enter this ministry. However, again, it does not mean that every married couple must have children.

Given the reactions to such challenges by Mohler et al, it sounds like to do so is to (in Anakin's words) "cast aspersion" upon the individual (which we cannot do, can we?), which cuts short any call to duty, or any discussion of what happens to a generation that does not fulfill that duty.

I don't have a problem with duties. I have a problem with supposed duties that are not found in the Bible. I have a problem with people trying to bind "duties" to the conciences of God's people while misusing the text of scripture. Again, the Bible presents the solution to this problem. The question is whether we are going to use unbiblical tradition to solve this problem, or whether we are going to go back to the scriptures to solve this problem.

No, sorry. Low birth rates are not caused by anti-intellectualism, quite the opposite, in fact. Christians went about the business of family-making for centuries without degrees in "sound biblical exegesis". As the old Cole Porter song goes, "the rich get richer and the poor get children". And this is what Christ was likely referring to when he said that the "meek shall inherit the earth".

Again, you have erected a strawman. I don't have anything against people making families, and, indeed, I believe every church must have couples who are about the task of doing that very thing.

The problem is that, today, we have people who want to solve problems by, not going back to scripture as I am saying we must do, but by going back to tradition and just gulping it down when people say this is "the way things always were." We are called as protestants to test all things against the ultimate authority of scripture. If someone binds something to another Christian's contience that is not found in God's word, and you tell them it is their "duty," and must abuse the text of scripture in order to do it simply because people have "always believed it," then I have every right to charge such a person with adding to God's word.

This is really the heart of the issue. Are we going to solve problems by going back to God's word? Or are we going to solve problems by adding our traditions to God's word? I am going to do exactly what Jesus did in Matthew 15, when he was presented with the Corban rule, which many believed went back to Moses, and yet, was not found in scripture. He tested it up against the text of scripture, and found it to be wanting.

You see, that is the reason why people believe these things. They shut of their mind, and just blindly follow extrabiblical tradition without going back to scripture. We all have that danger, but I think it is hightened today with all of the ungodliness of our society. We want to go back to the good old days when people had morals, and wanted to do what was right. However, we forget that they had their traditions as well, and that these traditions need to be tested against scripture also. That is a trap to which we as conservatives are very susceptable.

God Bless,
PuritanCalvinist

Anonymous said...

"I recognize that they make an acception for what is called the "gift of celebacy" which they say you have if you have a removal of all sexual desire. Of course, I have also argued that this is likewise unbiblical." "Removal of sexual desire" are Maken's words, but I don't think the gift of celibacy is necessarily interpreted this way by the others you've mentioned.

"What I said was that they say that every married couple must have children if they can. In fact, they view you as a liberal if you don't happen to agree with them, even if this is the only thing upon which you disagree with them." "Every" couple?? I think you are confusing their challenge to couples to rethink their position against the idea of having children with the notion that they "must".

"The question is whether we are going to use unbiblical tradition to solve this problem, or whether we are going to go back to the scriptures to solve this problem." The scriptures already solve this problem in Genesis 1:28, which you blandly argue away by grammar analysis and claims of tradition. I think you are saying that Gen 1:28 is not the strongest argument for the permanence of the ecclesiastical duty of multiplying our numbers through family-making, but then, there are many things that are mentioned only once or twice in the scriptures that we can ignore -- at our peril.

many_luxury_vacations said...

I'm very aware of the point Puritan Calvinist is making, and it is very sound. Having said that, it is important to realize that Christianity for the vast majority of self-proclaimed Christians is simply secular pop-culture. An example of this is the evangelical crowd which appears to embrace serial monogamy in place of marriage; liberal Christians who support abortion without restriction, etc.

I'm not minimizing the importance of being on "correct" theological grounds as a Christian. My point is merely an observation; there are many single women in the Church desiring marriage, and many bookish, over-intellectualizing men in the Church missing the point.

Love, marriage and children are God's intent for human beings; not imperatives or commands, but His intent. We are drawn closer to God through Christian marriage and children. It is something one has to take on faith. Poring over theology for decades and pointing fingers leaves little time for living life.