This Weekend on: What’s the Real Tradition?

I take it as axiomatic that the lives recorded in the Bible are, overall, just like ours; that we can read about their decisions, relate to their circumstances, and think about how to apply that history so that it informs our own decisions. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, or that we always get it right. it doesn’t even mean the people in those histories got it right. It just means we can learn from them.

According to traditionalists (and others): Men are supposed to chase, and women are supposed to be caught. Or they might say: Men are to initiate, and women are to respond. Imagine a party. There are single men and women. The traditionalist wants the men to pick a woman, and then woo her. Then he (the trad) wants her to respond with a Yes, or No, or Show me more. That traditional mating ritual is wrong and foolish. Roissy/Heartiste’s maxim that “Men display, women choose” is much more true. Go to a party and see for yourself.

The traditionalist might counter, “Well, that’s not how it’s supposed to work. A real man pursues what he wants.” I say that is half-assed crossdressing. It is the man acting like a woman while the woman smirks and presides.

If you fancy yourself a traditionalist and disagree, then here is an exercise for you: Search your Bible for a story about a man who woos a woman directly. If it’s traditional it should be easy to do, right? If or when you find it put it in the comments and let’s see how that story plays out, and how it compares to the others. Let us discover what is the real tradition.



…Things I Didn’t Ask to Think About…

That’s a lot to think about. And I have been. In addition to listening to podcasts I’ve spent a lot of time with screens and speakers and voices off; just thinking. All the while praying for wisdom and discernment. What I want to find is big-picture understanding, but what I have found is a lot of conviction, and only a little bit of the larger scene.

A while back I wrote that I had come to the unavoidable and humiliatingly simple conclusion that the Sabbath ought to be kept.[1] Well–as I was listening to the History of English Podcast and thinking about Nationalism, the Alt-Right, and NRx–I came to similarly simple conclusion of the Real Presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. That was on a Wednesday. The following Sunday, our priest (I am Anglican) stopped me at the door and said “We need to train you to be a Lay Eucharistic Visitor so you can take Eucharist to Bob.” (Bob is homebound with sickness and injury.) We have never before spoken on the subject of LEV, or training me for anything. Of course I agreed. It was not a question.

Which naturally brings one to head-coverings for women. It did me, anyways. It’s been my habit to read 1 Corinthians 11 and then quickly cloud it–that men should never pray or prophesy with their heads covered, but women should only pray or prophesy with their heads covered–with what I have been taught all these years.. Though, it would be more true to say what I have been untaught all these years. Part of the trouble we Christian husbands and fathers have is underestimating how eroded are our churches and their habits.

Today I had the family together and I read to them I Corinthians 11:1-16; stopping ten or twelve times to ask them questions to see if they agreed with me–though I had not told them my interpretation. Then I asked “So, if St. Paul is an imitator of Christ, and he commends the Church in Corinth’s imitation of him, and if we are supposed to also imitate St. Paul and therefore Christ according to the traditions St. Paul delivered to them: Should women wear head coverings when they pray or prophesy?” They all answered in the affirmative and I told them, happily, that I agreed. Mrs. Caldo agreed, but then momentarily balked, and then agreed. I could in no way hold it against her: The balk was my words out of her mouth. I cannot hold it against her, and neither do I blame myself for listening to my elders on the matter. Though, we both would have to admit that no one forbid us head coverings.

Also: Thanks to Moose Norseman and Blake Law

[1] My habit is to look up links after I write the post. I see now I posted about my change of mind on the Sabbath just a few days from a year ago. I am slow.

The Government of Christ’s Nation

Chokingonredpills asks:

I may be digressing but I am curious about your views on the separation of church and state.

They’re certainly changing, and I’m unsure of the role of civil government in general. St. Peter wrote:

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

I accept that just as plainly as it is written.

However, that is not to say that kings and so forth ought to be part of life; only how to respond to them if we find ourselves under them. I was taught–and grew up thinking–that a secular government is the only way to preserve a Christian society. Now that seems to me a very stupid idea on its face: Of course a secular government will work to establish and secure a secular society. In America, we tell a legend of about a Bill of Goods Rights which promised to protect freedom of religion (to practice as each sees fit). As many other have noted this has proven to be freedom from religion. The government too was founded as such. Chicken, meet Egg.

Considering the matter now it seems to me that Christians were given a government to which we are beholden more than the kings and governors of this world.

Jesus is the king. Under Him we are to be organized into churches which correspond, at least loosely, with a geography; probably for the sake of convenience and custom. Those churches are to be governed by priests and overseen by bishops. That’s it.

To go back to St. Peter: I believe he wrote the word of God and both should be obeyed, but I wonder what we are to make of the powers of civil, secular, government. In the OT God sends evil spirits to punish those who do evil. St. Paul advises the congregation in Corinth to cast out the man sleeping with his father’s mother so that Satan can destroy his flesh. It doesn’t sound unreasonable to me to wonder if civil authorities and demons–both of whom are of the world–are in league. But I’m not convinced of it yet.

In the Beginning There Were No Jews

Some comments of the previous post spurred me to investigate some of the ideas that are floating around the Alt-Right. It is the Alt-Right which, at least around me (in the sense that Internet conversations can be around) to which people either flock, or react against, and so they are the center of thought for those people.

One of the biggest topics of the Alt-Right conversations is nationalism and they are right that it needs to be discussed. Sometimes it is called ethno-nationalism, but that is a redundant phrase as a nation is ethnically homogeneous. I believe nationalism is good and God-ordained as I believe patriarchy is good, but what I do not believe is that the false idea that the fundamental nature of a person is his material, and that one’s material rules his destiny. But my intent isn’t to write what the Alt-Right gets wrong, but rather point out what is true and what we know if our center is Christ.

Nationalism is another way of saying extended family, so Christian Nationalism is concerned with Christians. I believe that spirit is the ethnicity, and that God has revealed this throughout the history of the world. Most specifically in the Bible because: In the beginning there were no Jews.

27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Terah, a Chaldean, was the father. He was taking Abram to Canaan, but fell short in Haran. God calls Abram to leave not only Ur, but to leave his father’s house, i.e., Terah’s family. God adopts Abram, and now it is God taking His adopted son to Canaan and promising to make from Abram a great nation. Nation is singular, but from all the families of the earth in Abraham, i.e., in the family of Abram. So not only does God adopt Abram, but He also foretells that Abram’s descendants will be from both Abram’s material, and also by adoption from other family material shall come his descendants and heirs by spirit. It’s an echo man’s creation; the Lord gathering dust, breathing spirit into it and so making a man and heir.[1] The only begotten (non-adopted) Son of God is Jesus, but all those who are adopted in the Spirit really are family. Whoever is not Christian is not part of the Christian nation–is not family.

We have another word for this sort of adoption, and that is redeemed. Because we are God’s lawful property as fruit of an errant vine which He created and planted (Adam), yet are now growing wild in sin, or in the clutches of another. Redemption comes to us through our Redeemer, Christ and by His Spirit.

There are mere material nations, of course. They really do exist (though dead) and they really are against whites and Westerners and especially against Christians. The friendliness of Muslims and Progressives boggles many Westerners because most Westerners do not accept the truth that ethnicities are spiritual. Muslims and Progressives find ways to make peace with each other because they both recognize their shared and inherited trait of being against Christ. They are not part of our family, and should not be treated as if they are. To complicate the matter: They are out there in the rest of the world trying to plunder, or destroy, or humiliate the United States for a variety or reasons of which only one is the fact that America appears to them to be a Christian nation.

Now, to put that (real) problem in perspective: Most of the people in the US are barbarians of other ethnicities. There are non-Christians, the fake Christians (who call themselves Christian but under investigation are found not to be), and there are all sorts of deformed Christians. They are in our families–but not!–and in our churches–but not! Many of our pastors and bishops and other leaders are not well-formed and fully-grown Christians, or at all. They too, as we painfully learn find common cause with the Progressives and the Muslims.

What I’m saying is we can’t stop the barbarians at the gates until the gates are out of the hands of the barbarians among whom we live. Later I’m going to say that there are no Jews in the Christian nation.

[1] Canaan too is more of that “adopted dust”. After adoption it is called Israel. Jerusalem becomes Zion.

People Die

In the comments of a recent post I wrote:

I understand divorce to be something like killing. It is sometimes necessary and moral, but those times are strictly limited within a few circumstances. And saying someone isn’t divorced is like saying someone wasn’t killed, or isn’t a killer.

which struck sympathizers and members of the Roman Catholic Church as not only wrong, but wrong-headed. Also, Scott has posted on the topic of sacramental marriage and, as I wrote this, he asked me to expound on a comment I left there.

Some discussion followed which, at the time, I thought was distracting from my point, and our collective points of agreement. Now it seems to me like I may have been wrong on both those secondary points; that the teachings of the RCC, the confusion and ignorance of the laity across all denominations, and what is manifest–what is real–may a rather large component of the engine which grinds modern marriages..but particularly the once-married-always-married teachings of RCC.

Possibly, I said.

I intend to handle this subject with care, and it is my hope that I won’t bruise anyone too bad. For now, I’m just going to state my beliefs, and upon what they are based.

The crucial statement is from Jesus in Matthew 19

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Earlier, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

So divorce should not happen, but can. Divorce was allowed previously according to a writ, but no marriage was intended to end in divorce. Divorce is only allowed as an exception if there is sexual immorality.

There are still a lot of specific questions one could ask What is meant by sexual immorality? Whose sexually immoral offense creates an exception? How should this adultery be treated? Is it an instance of adultery, or a perpetual state? What do we mean by adultery: desecration, or betrayal?[1]

My next source is a long passage in 1 Corinthians 7 on marriage, marital relations, its ends, and its endings. The key point is here:

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

Generally, I fully trust the translators of the Bibles I use because I have done some research on them before I choose the translation. And I don’t like the practice of sifting and isolating words in the Bible as if I were a necromancer and the words entrails. In this case, I looked up the word translated as unmarried and I learned that this particular word is only used in 1 Corinthians 7, and it is used three times; v. 8, 11, 32. In v. 8 it is referring to never-married people, in v. 11 to those divorced, and in v. 32 to who–by not being married–“is anxious for the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.”

The point being: It seems there is no distinction here. That is: Divorced people really are divorced. They are unmarried. They are not metaphysically married, but only visibly separated; nor metaphysically married but living in an adulterous remarriage.

This seems like a good time to remind everyone that the beginning of this was my statement that I viewed divorce as something like killing. It is sometimes necessary and moral, but those times are strictly limited within a few circumstances. And saying someone isn’t divorced is like saying someone wasn’t killed, or isn’t a killer. I believe this is a fair judgment and in keeping with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.

[1]The difference of desecration and betrayal is an interesting point; related to our modern confusion, and a great contributor to the practice of divorce.

Discerning Righteousness from Unrighteousness I

On his blog, DeepStrength commented:

Abraham’s intent was to protect Sarah. It appears that God honored that rather than bring down Abraham for his sin there.

I saw this idea put forward in a thread at Dalrock’s too, but it is not supported by Scripture.

With Pharaoh:

10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

And with Abimelech:

10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

Abraham’s thought was explicitly to protect himself. There is no mention or inference that he withheld the truth for Sarah’s sake. In fact, Abraham himself says it was a kind of trade: he gives Sarah kindness with marriage (provision, etc.) and she gives him the “kindness” of refusing to confess he is her husband. It’s probably too far to say that Abraham whored Sarah out, but he does go that direction.

Abraham, as a husband, is a kind of evil master who removes his protection from his prized servant when such protection is most needed! But because Sarah submitted to God by submitting to her husband, it is God who protects her in the houses of Pharaoh and Abimelech. It is not for the sake of Abraham’s righteousness, but because of Sarah’s, and Pharoah’s, and Abimelch’s, and because of God’s own righteousness. The only person who is presented as unrighteous is, in fact, Abraham; who (predictably) falsely projects his own unrighteousness (regarding Sarah) onto others. Understanding this is important when considering the elevation of Sarah in 1 Peter 3. It is a reiteration by example of Peter’s instruction that wives submit to unbelieving husbands just as Sarah submitting to her literally unfaithful husband and yet trusted in the Lord.

By withholding the truth, Abraham trangressed the (as yet ungiven) Ninth Commandment. He bore false witness against his neighbor–which threatened them with death!–upon whose land he was living and from whom Abraham profited.

Abraham is a rare scoundrel. The beginning of Chapter 12 God called Abram to Canaan and promising him to become a great nation. Abrams strikes out for Canaan, finds a famine, and so heads into Egypt. Five minutes after God’s promise, Abram is bearing false witness against Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s men, and Sarah. Years later in chapter 17 God again comes to Abram and again promises that he will father a nation. A year later Isaac is born. In between there, Abraham offers his wife to Abimelech. To further confound us moderns he did these things without telling a lie. He is a legalist of the first order, and an obvious ancestor of the Pharisees.

There is no call for anyone to do unrighteousness because those near us are unrighteous or unworthy. God chose and used Abraham despite his unrighteousness, and Sarah demonstrated righteousness by her own hand despite Abraham’s unrighteousness; which means without rebelling. Do not be fooled into thinking that only those who appear righteous are in the Lord’s hands as His tools.

Which brings us to the supposed conundrum of whether lying to Nazis to save Jews or lying to pedophiles to protect children is good. The answer is not “Yes” or “No”, but “Grace” and “Forgiveness”. The man who lies to (but does not bear false witness against) murderers and perverts protects both the victims and the perpetrators. Lying is to be avoided just as kings must avoid having too many wives or horses, but lying is not the same as bearing false witness against your neighbor; which is being anything less than truthful with the intent to bring them down. So lying to your Nazi countrymen with the intent to lead them into a deathtrap is unrighteous all around. Falsely swearing there are no Jews in your attic is more righteous —by virtue of love–than surrendering them, and anyone who loves the truth, you, Jews, or Nazis (as Christ did) will be quick to see and forgive.

Doug Phillips of VF and Biblical Vision: On Lenses

I’ve been recently reading about the Doug Phillips affair, and thinking about how the media coverage has been purposefully and maliciously skewed. Even–perhaps especially– by Christian sites which have covered Ms. Lourdes Torres-Manteufal’s suit against Phillips have used unfair weights in their measure of reporting. One gets a sense of this with the manner of the reporting of their names; which is just as I have done here. Lourdes is presented with her title and full name throughout the coverage. This conveys a sense of status. Doug, after the first introduction in a report, is relegated to merely “Phillips”.

Before I discuss the particulars of what I found in that sorry mess, I want to talk about my priorities in examination; how I look at the things I see. Like anyone else, those near me in my youth greatly informed how I perceived the world. By God’s grace (and not a little discipline) my lens has been ground down and refined as I realized (to my surprise, anger and sadness!) that–with the unstudied lens I had–I could not touch truths that appeared to be right at hand, yet toppled over stumbling blocks that had seemed much smaller and distant than they really were.

The successful bits of the lens-grinding process, basically, was to encounter pain and trouble and then turn to the Lord in prayer (often angry and bitter), the Bible, and the counsel of men I respected…part of the grinding process was to scratch off the list of the respected those men whose counsel did not match my readings of the Bible; many of them my close friends.[1] Do not put too much emphasis on the word match and think I mean verbatim, or exactly. I mean that there was no resemblance to the Bible’s teachings. My lens was revealed to have been largely formed by a haphazard scouring of instincts, baseless taboos, unfounded liberties, and platitudes; all conserved as a sort of tradition.

Unless you have experienced it you cannot imagine the joy and peace of relief  from simply the acknowledgement from the Bible and Its pin-point descriptions of the distortions around and within me, and to which others around me were pained (while yet oblivious!) about the causes. There was no fix applied to me, per se; just relief that I was not insane.

I want that those problems were fully behind me, but there is still more work needed. Though…sanity can be lonesome.

[1]I’m very sorry to say that my family was eradicated from the list. I still see these people; still love them. We’re just not close. Cannot be close, however we try.

Fairy-Tale Brute Squads

Implicit throughout the conversations at What’s Wrong with the World and McGrew’s personal blog is that the command to kill every Canaanite is a problem of Israelite men, and not the Israelites in general. There is no talk of the women rounding up the infants and, say, drowning them. From what I have seen in the world men are much less likely to kill children (the smaller the children, the less likely) than women, and women are more likely to rejoice in the suffering of their enemies. When David comes back from killing Philistines, women dance in the streets and they get up King Saul’s nose by singing “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands!” David danced, too, of course; he was the man after God’s own heart.

In fact, what we find in the text is that the Israelite men (after witnessing one mind-blowing miracle of God after another!) have to repeatedly be told to kill the innocents; not only children, but women, cattle, and even other men. Repeatedly. Red Sea, Angel of Death, manna, water from the rock, column of fire and pillar of smoke…none of it matters at the moment of execution. They simply won’t do it. Again: Hundreds of years after the beginning of the conquest of Canaan, David still has Philistines to kill! Even today there are still Philistines, and they are still in Canaan.

This is curious because we are told that the reasons the authority of men–especially fathers and husbands–must not be recognized over wives and even their own children is because they are big bullies at heart; never more than a moment away from brutalizing everyone weaker than themselves.

Could have fooled me.

My blogging superior is fond of pointing out the foolishness of this notion that most modern women are at risk of most modern men; especially when compared to the brutality of previous eras. My own view is that, as a rule, most men have never been very brutal to most women under them; that they were not much different back then than men now. Men are deferential to women’s preferences now.

  • It was men who voted in Title IX.
  • It was men who voted in No Fault Divorce.
  • It was men who voted in women’s suffrage.
  • It was men who wrote romantic poetry that elevated women.
  • It was men who feared the tyranny of the petticoat
  • It was men who turned chivalry into servitude for women

To find brutish men you have to go all the way back to the days of the Early Church, where we find St. Paul instructing them: “Wives, beware an over-protective husband; lest he whip you.”, and, “Husbands, do not beat your wives like red-headed Philistines.”

Hold up: I just re-read Ephesians 5, and that is not the instruction or tone at all!

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Just to be sure, let me cross-reference this with 1 Peter 3…

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

What a different picture! What is being encouraged is action, and what is being discouraged is sloth. Interesting. It seems that–just as today–the men of the Early Church had to be warned off passivity; not raging beatdowns.[1]  The exhortation to fathers in Ephesians 6 is of the same positive bent:

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Yet an observer of the Church in the Western world has to say that what the Church teaches is schizophrenic. That on the one hand men–especially fathers and husbands–must always resist being too controlling; too protective; too demanding. On the other they are wholly responsible for, and must lead, their families. That false paradigm is bad enough, but what is worse is that “leading a family” is erroneously defined as doing what makes the followers happy. An impossible standard since we can only make ourselves happy, and since the sort of people who most need leading are the sort of people who are happier to go the wrong way.

So, where exactly are the records of men habitually brutalizing the women in their care? They are largely (though not completely) fantasy.


[1] As a bonus: Men engaged in the positive action of loving their wives are bulwarked against wrathful acts. Nourishing and cherishing abjure hating.

Conserving Rebellion in Canaan

I think I’ve demonstrated (at least somewhat) how God’s command to Sacrifice of the Canaanites indeed is tied into Christ’s story and how we should approach it. The centrality of Christ to all of God’s plans should be obvious, but these are humans we are dealing with, and worse: conservative-minded ones like myself.

Stick with me through the upcoming juke in conversation because I’m going to make a third course change before this post is done.

It has been said that Democrats are the party of sex, and Republicans are the party of money. There’s some truth pointed to in that statement. I would say that some of that truth is that–from a spiritual perspective–liberals tend more to lust, and conservatives to miserlinessLiberals cannot resist whatever is before them (finders keepers); while Conservatives resist restoration (losers weepers). What they have in common is a penchant to distort reality; to let their desires obscure their vision.

Examples of this are conservative men who either explicitly support, or demure from denouncing, female suffrage. It is better to them to keep their reputations as enlightened romantics than to be seen as barbaric patriarchs; even in the face of the wholesale death, destruction, fraud, and whoring of Western Civilization that has occurred since. Very few conservative women will even countenance the idea. The more common response is: “What makes so you special? We should just do what you say because you’re a man? Pfft! NEVER!” Even if they say they believe that God ordained public leadership for men, and even if they aren’t demonstrating and vandalizing businesses like the original suffragettes: It’s theirs now, you see.

Going back to look at McGrew’s problem with the clear commandment to kill all the city-dwelling[1] Canaanites during the conquest of Canaan, we see this same error. To her credit, she does wisely insist that the command was meant literally, and that the Bible says the Israelites did indeed kill Canaanites, even infants.[2] She mentions no problem with the Lord drowning every human on Earth. The killing of the first-born of the Egyptians doesn’t bother her. Sodom’s destruction is acceptable. She says explicitly that if the Lord Himself does these things then it is acceptable…but if God gives commands of authority to men, then she will have no truck with it. It must be a mistake, a lie, or otherwise false.

In the final analysis, McGrew’s objection to God’s command for the conquest of Canaan is nothing short of conserving rebellion. Finders keepers, losers weepers.

She’s not the only one among those who say they fight liberalism; nor am I immune from the temptation. How one can be so liberal as to reject clear bits of God’s Word piecemeal and yet still claim to fight liberalism is not hard to understand. We are not called to head out and take on liberalism in the first place. We’re to submit ourselves and those under us to Christ, and proclaim Him to those around us; that they might repent and make peace with Him before He returns to claim His promised kingdom. We don’t have to understand all the nuances of liberalism, or all the faults of Islam and other pagan beliefs. We just have to recognize Christ as Lord of our lives; the instructions of which are in His Word, and the evidence of which is all around us if we have eyes to see. He’ll lead us to the peoples and cities (and churches) that need to repent, or be destroyed.

[1] Get thee to the sticks, unless otherwise directed.

[2] Far from running from this, Christ prophecies another total destruction  to come within a parable which I’ve talked about before.

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

It’s identical to the manner of the conquest of Canaan. Notice that Jesus doesn’t mention the attacking King proposing terms of peace to the defender. The responsibility is on the defender to see that doom approaches, and to go out and submit himself and his city to the King–to make it Christ’s city before it is made desolate. Every man has a conscience to guide him; the law of God is written on our hearts; etc. 

The Sacrifice of the Canaanites

When a grim post at a downstairs blog such as mine gets hits from the ironically-named upstairs blog “What’s Wrong with the World”[1], I wonder if, in some small way, it is not a bit less wrong now than it was the day before.

If you follow the link to the comment and from there back the the original post, you’ll find another link to the actual argument under discussion. She writes:

I have no solution to the slaughter of the Canaanites. It’s that simple. I don’t know. As far as I can tell, the text of Old Testament Scripture indicates that God ordered the Israelites to kill children down to and including infants, and this is a problem. (Women as well, but at least one can conjecture that maybe all of the people from the age of reason on up had committed crimes worthy of death. Not the babies, though.) Prima facie, this is in direct conflict with the commandment to do no murder. Any attempt to answer the problem by saying that original sin means that no one is really innocent proves far too much, for it removes the rationale for regarding the killing of infants generally as murder.

There is no particular textual reason to take the problem passages to have been added later. It helps a little bit if one is not a strict inerrantist. But even then, what one is left with, at most, is something like, “Maybe God didn’t really order that, but my only reason for thinking that is that, as far as I can tell, it is completely incompatible with divine goodness. I’ll hope to have this clarified when I get to heaven.” One piece of good news, as far as it goes, is that there is nothing about the slaughter of the Canaanite children that is theologically necessary to the truth of Christianity. Unlike, say, the historical existence of Adam, the killing of Canaanite children is not woven into the warp and woof of Christian theology, doctrine, or ethics. Very much to the contrary.

And then she writes a whole bunch more that you don’t have to read because I’ve already quoted authoress McGrew sending herself astray…which I’ll come back to.

Let me state right away that the text is clear: The slaughter of the Canaanites was commanded by God. It’s not a translation issue. It’s not a euphemism. It’s not a parable. It’s not a myth. It is history, and the command to slaughter gentile (and Israelite) infants, children, and women is encountered multiple times in the OT testament. Here is the command from God; when the Israelites are instructed in how to conquer Canaan.

10 “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. 11 And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. 12 But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, 14 but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lordyour God has given you. 15 Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. 16 But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded, 18 that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God.

“Devote them to destruction”; as in “sacrifice them”. This passage has the context of an offering about it. The “Slaughter of the Canaanites” is a holy endeavor to its core, and in all its facets. It is a direct command from God. It cleanses the land of abominations. It preserves the Israelites from abomination. It performs the spiritual alchemy of turning abominable meat into a pure sacrifice worthy of the Most High God and gives even them a place to honor Him. It is also an opportunity for the Israelites to participate in God’s plan, and share in His holiness. I think even referring to is as the “Slaughter of the Canaanites” is a slander. I call it the Sacrifice of the Canaanites.

And it requires the shedding of innocent blood.

Children, especially infants, are innocent. However; they are not perfect. They are not sinless. They are not selfless, or even aware of others. They are not worthy and they have no worthy works. Innocent means they are not accountable; not that they do not offend, or that they are good. They are also signs of innocence, and that important for us and for our instruction.

It is upon this last that McGrew’s consternation turns. She thinks that if she knows anything, then she knows that infants are innocent. Alongside that, she thinks she knows that killing innocents is murder and always wrong; unless it is God himself actually doing the killing.[2] Lydia McGrew is wrong, and what follows is how we know she wrong.

She wrote:

One piece of good news, as far as it goes, is that there is nothing about the slaughter of the Canaanite children that is theologically necessary to the truth of Christianity. Unlike, say, the historical existence of Adam, the killing of Canaanite children is not woven into the warp and woof of Christian theology, doctrine, or ethics. Very much to the contrary.

It is bad to punish innocents, but punishment is not what God commanded. He commanded they be sacrificed. We’ll see this again later when the Lord of Hosts sends His only begotten Son to live as Himself and as us, and explicitly to be sacrificed to satisfy His own holiness, and for us and our salvation.

“Yes, but they were babies–”

Let me explain that you should shut up. Jesus is more than innocent. He is the Christ who chose to take on mere flesh. He is the only begotten Son of God. Unlike an untested infant, Jesus was tested in the refiner’s fire and found flawless, and a worker of many and marvelous good works; perfect as His Father in Heaven is perfect.  He is unique, flawless, utterly selfless, and very God of very God.

Did you ever wonder what it might be like to think about that? To not only think, but prepare the world for it? Since at least Adam, God has been planning  and moving to send His Son to be sacrificed to reconcile an adulterous people…humiliatingly, naked, painfully, on a cross, by Gentiles at the request of His own flesh and blood because they were cowards. That is INFINITELY more strange, startling, and inexplicable than the Sacrifice of the Canaanites by the Israelites.

Fretting over children sacrificed to a just and holy God who is the Lord of life is a mental walk in the park by comparison. Those who cannot see that have made idols of the flesh and their own wooden theologies, doctrines, ethics. That is to say: They’ve made idols of themselves, and that is very easy for us to do.

It gets back to the eye being the lamp of the whole body, and if our eye is dark (say, by being blasé about the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ) then the darkness in our body will be great. We will stupidly disconnect Him from other stories of sacrificed innocents, and from ourselves who are made innocent by His sacrifice, yet still die.

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Weren’t they family; the descendants of Noah who alone survived God’s extinction of all other human life? Are innocents not valuable that God would abandon them in death? Isn’t taking up your cross doing what is distasteful and painful to follow God? Was Jesus not deadly serious (even when not literal) when He spoke of a sword? This is the lamp that should light your eyes.

There’s a lot more to say on the topic. I haven’t even touched on God having a soft-spot for those who intercede but which the Jews consistently refused to do, or the real reasons the Israelites balked at killing, or why they didn’t balk when they did kill, or why the prohibition against murder is more about the murderer being separated from God than the murdered being separated from life…lots of stuff.

[1]By the bye: The answer is “us”.

[2]Without getting too derailed: Suffice it to say that this is a foolish train of thought headed for God is Unjust station, and carrying murderous angels as passengers; among others.