Eleutherius

Reformed and reforming commentary.

About · Listen · Read · Coffee · Training
First Things First

First Things First

October 29, 2020 · C.E. Carter

Anyone who knows me understands that I’m a bit of a Wilsonite. Now, I have a few differences with old Doug Wilson (I’m a Reformed Baptist, not a Presbyterian, and I’m not totally sold on the whole Postmillenialism thing just yet, though I often act like I am), but nonetheless I look up to the man’s approach to issues of theology and politics. Wilson is a bit of an intellectual, Calvinistic, an avid enthusiast of analogy, a polymath of sorts, undoubtedly masculine, and just fringe enough to be orthodox. I like all of those things, and I look up to him as a role model in many ways because of them. The church needs more men who will say what is plain and true without qualification, and as I’ve matured I’ve had the benefit of looking up to many men like this in the Reformed tradition, not to mention my own earthly father (who probably wouldn’t identify as Reformed, but has the spirit of it).

There’s a long tradition of Reformed guys being known for their outspoken and direct disposition. Certainly Luther wasn’t afraid to let you know what he thought of a particular issue, nor what he thought of you in the process. Meek, mild, and sickly Calvin prepended his Institutes with a letter he wrote to Francis I enumerating a scathing condemnation of his theological critics. Spurgeon, for all of his mental health problems, was strengthened to speak against those who opposed Scripture and the message of the Gospel. Our modern day Reformed role models in the faith, men like John MacArthur, Jeff Durbin, James White, Paul Washer, the late R.C. Sproul, and the men who work under them in their ministries, all demonstrate this kind of attitude. The Reformed faith fosters this kind of boldness.

In keeping with this tradition, and in the spirit of making a new one, Doug made a thing called No Quarter November back in 2018. The idea was to engage in a little internet arson; take a break from being balanced and semi-palatable to the rest of the world, and say things plainly, as they are, without qualification. Unleash your inner pirate, per se. Set fire to some couches whilst you sit upon them. Say what you want, as long as it’s true. After all, the world is the Lord’s, and the fullness therein, and all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to King Jesus. We, who are the Lord’s servants, herald the truth of Scripture as that which is fundamentally and undeniably authoritative over all of creation, including everyone who is fundamentally insubordinate and disobedient to Christ. The message of Scripture is just as binding to those who don’t believe it as it is to those who do believe it, so it ought to be proclaimed as such. This is one of the things we seem to have lost sight of in the church. The other, especially in evangelicalism, is the fallacy that kindness is the same thing as sweetness, or “niceness”. To the contrary, it is not sweet to call people out as sinners who need to repent, but it is kind, and thus many evangelicals are very unkind. If you’ve been called “unloving” by evangelicals on social media for denouncing socialism, you’ve run into the kind of people who have bought this pietistic fallacy hook line and sinker. No Quarter November is an opportunity to practice some real kindness.

With the election right around the corner, and the country seemingly on the brink of great social turmoil, there will be plenty of opportunity to hop in on the fun. Right now I’m looking at Christians who are planning on voting Democrat in a few days. In keeping with my duty as a Christian to speak the truth and bear the word of God for the sake of repentance and striking Godly fear into the hearts of evildoers, I’ll be participating in No Quarter November.

Three more days. Argh.