Church reform and discipline (2)

Church reform and discipline (2)

(Second in a series.)

A gentleman sent me a message through Twitter last night asking what I thought about the Black Lives Matter protests? I haven’t responded to him personally, yet, but I’m happy to say publicly that I view them merely as one more in a very long line, now, of proofs that the West is incapable of discipline. This is particularly obvious in the church, but it’s on full display right now in our culture caught up in the insane BLM morality play.

People seem incapable of recognizing that, tragic as it was and much as Mr. Floyd’s murderer needs to be brought to the bar of justice (along with other corrupt law enforcement officers), these present riots of lawless mobs are not really about George Floyd. He’s just a pretext for our country’s agitators and revolutionaries to gain ground for their anarchist revolution (while allowing the useful idiots joining with them to let off some pent-up COVID-19 steam).

The real thrust of BLM has long been rebellion against authority but we live in a world that refuses to discipline such rebellion. Some blacks hate whites and some whites hate blacks, but everyone hates authorities.

A week ago, I had a conversation with a man in our congregation whose work places him in contact with law enforcement officers. We were discussing the mobs’ riots and this brother took some time explaining the particular difficulties officers have to contend with trying to control lawless mobs.1 The explanations were enlightening and I was more convinced than I had been of our need to respect and pray for our civil authorities, especially the police out there in the streets.

But make no mistake about it: Black Lives Matter is a deeply evil movement intentionally engaging in lawlessness. They are not out to reform authority, but to kill it—all authority but their own, that is. Their own immoral rule and authority enforced, not by kneeling on a man’s neck, but attacking every authority with their obscenities, bricks, rocks, and fire bombs. Their violence. You do remember Mott the Hoople’s “Violence,” right?

I’m a missing link, poolroom stink, I can’t talk
(Well that’s too bad)
What’s going on, something’s wrong, I can’t work
Can’t go to school, the teacher’s a fool, the preacher’s a jerk
(Well that’s such a drag)
Got nothing to do, street-corner blues, and nowhere to walk
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense
Gotta fight, nothing’s right, livin’ nowhere
(That’s so sad)
Watch out for the gun, snake on the run, hide in my hair
You keep your mouth shut, or you’ll get cut. Haha – I like to scare
(Bet you’re so mad)
I’m a battery louse, a superstar mouse, I don’t care
Get off my back or I’ll attack, ‘n I don’t owe you nothin’
(OK)

Head for your hole, you’re sick and you’re old
‘N I’m here to tell you something
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.
Violence, violence
It’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.

Violence is the only power they recognize, and thus the increasing danger of militias stepping up to the plate and doing what the civil authorities have refused to do. Presently, the BLM/SJW mobs know the civil authorities have no will to discipline immorality, rebellion, and bloodshed, so they riot on.

Nothing short of the overthrow of our nation’s rule of law will satisfy them. Don’t be deceived. This present madness has not one single virtue and those who try to snuggle up to it will be shown to be credulous fools. In the end, it will become clear the new boss same as the old boss, but no, they won’t thank any of us for warning them.

I find myself wondering if the Reformed libertarians who railed against civil authorities during the quarantine might not consider BLM’s call to defund police as partially their own victory?

Across the nation, there is no will to discipline the lawless. Instead, most are trying to prove themselves sweet innocent Christians who are as nice as Jesus. Or really, nicer.

Hating authority, all of us, we have replaced discipline with appeasement and hope it will cover our retreat from the public square we have left naked, after our prior removal of discipline and authority within the Church.

“Here, we’ll pull out of Zuccotti Park and CHAZ if you’ll promise to leave Central Park and Medina alone, okay?”

“Here, we’ll be silent about Adam being created first, and Eve second, in the world just so long as you leave us free to practice something remotely connected to father-authority in the privacy of our churches and homes. Something just barely approximating it, you understand.”

“Here, we’ll allow you to affirm your gayness and ordain you to pastoral ministry in our denomination as long as you don’t marry another gay man and you promise not to misplace body parts.”

“Here, we’ll agree that precedent requires us to apply Title VII to our LGBTQ+ sexual minorities (who are some of our best friends) as long as you agree not to force us to allow a man-transitioning-to-goat to invade our thirteen-year-old daughter’s toilet stall. But only at church, you understand; we certainly make no claim on library or airport toilet stalls.”

“Listen up, I won’t call you a sodomite if you won’t call me a hater.”

What we have on full display right now is the fruit of the church’s total abandonment of church discipline. The world never made us do it. We did it ourselves and now the world has copied our example because, as Herman Melville put it in Moby Dick, “the pulpit leads the world.”

   [ + ]

1. He writes: “The Law & Order folks aren’t necessarily the good guys. The law should be enforced, but the law must also be just, and fairly enforced, and there are real problems on both those fronts. The crowds include both good guys (peacefully working for clear and measurable local reforms to prevent future George Floyd cases) and bad guys (just there to loot or disrupt, and trying to goad the police into overreacting and killing unarmed protestors). COVID allowing everyone at the protests to be masked has actually thrown a huge wrench in the works. Typically at protests in the past, anyone who showed up masked got detained immediately, because hiding your face was interpreted as intent to commit rioting/looting/violence. Now the cops can’t arrest an arsonist unless they catch her in the act, at which point the situation is way more volatile and dangerous for both the police and the suspect. Also, COVID has changed almost every department’s current policy on holding people in group cells, processing, etc. They’re not allowed to just round up 3-400 people and toss them in big holding cells for the weekend until they can get processed through on Monday or Tuesday…

“Everything has shifted, and the cops are playing catch up during the biggest riots they’ve ever seen. It’s a mess.”


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About The Author

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Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church since 1996, Tim and Mary Lee have five children and lots of grandchildren. Tim's books include "Daddy Tried," The Grace of Shame," "Church Reformed," and a new book for elders. Tim spent ten years in the PC(USA) and twenty in the PCA. He's now a member of Evangel Presbytery.

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