Thursday, March 23, 2017

CARM Recommends Church Repent Exhortations

Let me say this up front - CARM does a lot of good work and is a blessing for the most part to the people of God. And I come here to praise CARM even now!

On CARM's "Tracts" page, they suggest the following:
Tract to pass out at a church regarding women pastors - A free tract, double-sided, 8.5 x 11, to pass out in front of a church that would support and/or have women pastors.

Read that again - to pass out in front of a church. CARM's tract page is offering free resources for Christians to take it upon themselves to defeat misinformation and challenge unbiblical ideas "out in front of a church". There is no way to interpret this suggestion than that they have in mind that a Christian would take a stack of these materials to the sidewalk in front of a church building before, during, or after a "worship service" (most probably Sunday morning) so as to distribute them to the congregants either going in or coming out.

Which sounds suspiciously like exactly what abolitionists do when exhorting churches during so-called "Church Repent project" activities.

The page lists no caveats along the lines of checking with elders/pastors/overseers/bishops before taking such radical and visible action. The page does not suggest double-checking whether said church "preaches the Gospel" before taking to the sidewalks in front, dissenting literature in hand. It simply and commendably suggests you download, print, locate, and go. Sounds to me like an excellent idea. But see, plenty of other people (including people associated closely with CARM in many ways) have objected, sometimes vociferously, to abolitionists' exhortation of churches. They say it lies about the church to the world. They say it is divisive. They say it makes abolition into the Gospel. On and on, with objection after objection which we abolitionists have defeated and refuted countless times; it never matters to these people that they have lost the argument. It only matters that they be seen in public standing against such wicked people who want the church to be salt and light. We abolitionists must be stopped!

Which is why it's confusing to me that CARM recommends the same thing abolitionists do, but nobody is crawling all over the Interwebz to denounce CARM the same way they denounce abolitionists. One wonders why not.

One might object:
But a church with women pastors doesn't preach the Gospel!

Such a proposition overlooks five key items:
1) Many churches hold to mutually inconsistent doctrines, where one doctrine is biblically legitimate but another one, simultaneously adhered to, is unbiblical and also, taken to its logical conclusion, vitiates and denies the aforementioned biblical doctrine. One example - the biblical doctrine of the exhaustive knowledge of God of all things, past, present, and future, and the unbiblical doctrine of libertarian free will. A second example - the biblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura and the unbiblical doctrine of ongoing authoritative prophetic revelation. A third example - the biblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura and the unbiblical doctrine of refusing to countenance the possibility that your elders/pastors/overseers might be wrong about something significant. Many people hold to both. They don't even acknowledge or understand that they are at odds.
2) Many of the same objectors to the so-called Church Repent project contend that "preaching the Gospel" signifies that the church in question teaches sola fide and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, while holding at least to some semblance of substitutionary atonement. Plenty of churches with women pastors teach such. Churches in the charismatic strains are examples of this.
3) One of the major biblical proofs against the idea of women pastors is that the so-called "lists of qualifications" for overseers in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 seem to assume that only men are in view, for it is, admittedly, difficult to imagine how a woman could be the husband of one wife.
Yet male-ness (or, if you will, husband-ness) is merely one of the qualifications in those passages. Many other churches have pastors that are not above reproach, not only-once-married, neither temperate, prudent, hospitable, nor temperate. Many are addicted to wine or pugnacious, many visibly love money, many do not keep their children under control, many are conceited, and many are lousy teachers. What makes female-ness the deal-breaker?
4) This literature is even for churches that "support" women pastors, not just churches that employ them, thus widening the scope even more of but-that-church-preaches-the-Gospel candidates for exhortation.
5) In the vast majority of churches, not a single person has ever preached one single time.

Now, perhaps nobody or virtually nobody has ever actually followed CARM's recommendations as given on this page, using this downloaded material. If they had done so in a halfway visible manner, especially if they were to leverage social media to publicise and expose their actions to the watching world, perhaps the same folks who gripe about abolitionists' Church Repent actions would use the same criticisms against CARM and those who followed CARM's advice.

Then again, maybe they would not. You see, this isn't about CARM at all. Again, CARM is giving good advice and providing useful material unto godly actions for Christians to do. As a matter of fact, I'd personally argue that following CARM's recommendations here would be a much better use of time than attending most Sunday morning "worship services". Of course, one could simply take one Sunday per month to spread this propaganda to churches with women pastors while attending Sunday services the other three or four Sundays per month.

This is about those who complain loudly, demanding to know how abolitionists dare exhort fellow professing Christians outside their church buildings on Sunday mornings to love and take action to protect their preborn neighbors who are being regularly destroyed, 3500 per day, in the United States. Abolitionists are smeared with labels such as "cultist", "apostate", "wicked", "divisive", "Pharisaical", etc for daring to do such a thing, for daring to attempt to disturb the complacent status quo. Yet when CARM suggests doing the same thing vis-a-vis women pastors, nobody says anything. Could this be because there exist double standards in the minds of most critics of the so-called Church Repent project? Because CARM gets some sort of pass in their minds for whatever reason?

To be consistent, James White, Jordan Hall, Jon Speed, Marcus Pittman, and the other critics of the CR project should call CARM a bunch of wicked divisive apostate cultists Pharisees. All the more because CARM recommends such drastic action as this in the face of what is, let's face it, a minor matter relative to the ongoing slaughter of innocent children in this nation. If it is evil to exhort "Gospel preaching churches" about their abortion apathy, it must be doubly evil to exhort them because their pastor is the wrong sex.

All this does make me wonder though - what does Jon Speed think of it? When it comes to speaking out against pastrices, I mean, where is the church?

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