Transcript: Episode 0070

This transcript:
  1. Was machine generated.
  2. Has not been checked for errors.
  3. May not be entirely accurate.


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Welcome to the Stone Choir Podcast.

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I am Corey J.

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And I'm still Woe.

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On today's Stone Choir, we're going to be discussing ecumenism in the trenches.

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We're going to do an episode today that as we were doing the prep for it, Corey and I have a number of things that we want to say, a bunch of comments that we want to make about this area, but we couldn't really find the skeleton holding it all together.

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So I just want to acknowledge up front that by the end of this, we're not going to have some five-point plan for how to fix all the problems that we're going to talk about today.

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But what we want to do is lay out some of the principles that all Christians should be carrying in our lives, including in the portion of our Christian lives that are in our churches.

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And we're going to talk some about the division there between the left hand and the right hand kingdom of God, where there are church things, and then there are political things, there are life things.

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And to some extent, those are separate.

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And we're going to talk about some of the circumstances that we're facing today.

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And we see them online, but although it's virtual, it's always symptomatic of what's actually in people's hearts and what's really going on in the world.

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So there'll be a number of places where we give examples of things that have happened on Twitter, and some examples are specific to us.

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None of it is about the internet drama.

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I don't want anyone to take that away from this.

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They're just simply examples of what is commonly believed among people.

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The reason that we're going to tackle some of the questions we are addressing today is that although we can't give you a roadmap for here is exactly how this thing is structured that we're concerned about, what we are already seeing, what we've seen in the last few years, a number of you who are listeners, we and a number of you who are listeners will be facing attacks in ways that are going to be addressed today where you're told in your church or you're told by pastors, here's what you can't say in the world.

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And so we want to address the fact even though we can't necessarily give you like, here's a dissertation on how to view all of this, there are specific things we can very clearly today draw lines around and say, this is impermissible behavior, this is necessary behavior, and then these are matters of wisdom.

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That's kind of the gist of the Christian life.

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And as we've said in past episodes, I think one of the things that we as Christian men need to get away from is the impulse that everyone has, well, you need to show me a Bible verse, because you don't find that in the Bible where God says you have to find a Bible verse to give you permission to do anything and absent that you can't do it, or if there's no Bible verse condemning it, you're free to do whatever you want.

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Scripture is not a blank check, and it's also not an explicit rule book of everything that's permissible.

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There are things that you can think the scripture has nothing to say about.

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You can think about things that are not contemplated in scripture.

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Scripture will dictate the moral law, absolutely, as the only place we're going to find the absolute moral law that governs the actions of men.

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And one of the reasons that Stone Choir exists is that we've discussed in many past episodes the problem that we are all facing today.

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The reason that the podcast exists, the reason a lot of you listen, is that as the new global religion is infusing itself into our churches, what we're finding is that the morality that has been held by Christians for thousands of years from scripture, from God, is being replaced either piecemeal or wholesale by a completely different morality from the world that no one's ever held before.

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And so suddenly right and wrong becomes a temporal matter, where people will say, yeah, this thing became a sin in 1945, this thing became a sin in 1861.

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And anyone who did it before then, either, well, they just didn't know any better and God changed, or everyone else is burning in hell.

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They all believe the very thing that we believe today, and they're wicked, and only the people who believe the things since the end of the Second World War, those are the only Christians and everyone else is evil.

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That's not how God works, that's not how morality works from God.

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If it's from God, it's eternal.

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And so when we see shifting sands in the moral space, that is when Christians have to perk up and say, wait a minute, where am I actually getting my morality from?

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Because God doesn't change, and if right and wrong are changing, and my ancestors, who I know were Christian, are suddenly guilty of sins that they had never been spoken of yet, something's bad, something's wrong.

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Either I've been lied to, and all my ancestors are burning in hell for believing what I believe, or I'm being lied to now by these people who are saying, here's a new morality, here's a new way to do things.

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So the struggle that we have today in the church, and I want to reemphasize something we said a couple episodes ago, there are three different types of churches.

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There's the capital C church that's all believers.

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There's the kind of the second level of churches, which are the denominations, they have different beliefs, different doctrines about certain things, and then have unity around other certain things.

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And then you have the individual congregations.

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And the first one is real, but it's intangible.

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The second one is completely imaginary.

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Denominations aren't real.

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They're corporations.

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They're agreements.

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They're near social agreements, but they're not a tangible thing.

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The local congregation is the tangible place where the Christian church is present.

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And so our Christian lives exist in the first spiritually and in the third at the local level practically.

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And in the second sort of governs like, where's your next pastor going to come from?

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If you're on vacation, where do you want to gather with other believers?

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You're going to want to gather with those in the same denomination because in theory, you should have similar beliefs and practices.

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And so we as Christians, although we have some of those differences, those divisions at the second level, we have doctrinal disagreements that are very important.

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And when we address some of those issues on Stone Choir, we're just frank, like Lutherans believe one thing, Roman Catholics believe another, Calvinists believe another, Baptists believe another.

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At most one of them is right and everyone else is wrong because we're making mutually exclusive claims.

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And then there's other things about the Christian life where we're in agreement.

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Even if it's only at a high level, like I believe whatever is in the Word of God, and then we will disagree sometimes about the details about what that means.

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The major premise of I believe scripture is a unifying premise that is shared by all Christians.

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And so when someone comes along and says, I don't believe what's in the Bible, let's do this other thing instead.

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That is a mark that they're outside of the church.

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In our Christian lives, we also exist in the left hand kingdom.

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We exist in the political.

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We exist in a community.

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The community doesn't by definition have anything to do with the church.

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And today that's absolutely the case because our lands have been paganized.

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It used to be that 500 years ago, if you lived in a land in Europe, whatever country you lived in, it was a Christian country.

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It was going to be a particular denomination that was generally politically governed.

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And that was what everyone was expected to adhere to.

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And you would assume that all of your neighbors were going to have the same beliefs as you.

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And any disagreements were not going to be big blow up things.

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And you didn't get the opportunity to shop around.

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And as Americans, like, oh, that seems terrible.

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I want to just do whatever I want to do.

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I want to do what's right in my own eyes.

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And while on one hand it's necessary for us to obey our consciences and not to commit to beliefs or practices that we don't believe are in accordance with scripture, on the other hand, it's the duty of the godly prince to get those things right in his lands.

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When the very first Lutheran foundational document was drafted, the Augsburg Confession, it was signed not by any pastors or theologians, it was signed by politicians.

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Every single man who signed the Augsburg Confession was a Christian man outside of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

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They were effectively governors and mayors in Germany.

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That was who signed the very first document that defines what it is to be Lutheran.

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And that's kind of mind-blowing today.

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We pretend that's not even the case because we want to pretend that all theology belongs to a special class of church men who do special church stuff.

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And so the overall gist of today's episode, that's simply not true.

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The doing of the church stuff belongs to every Christian man.

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And that doesn't mean that every man does everything.

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That would be chaos.

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That would be wickedness.

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That's not what we're saying.

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What we want to do today is try to lay out that when we see some of these questions that we have today where what do I do in my community?

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What do I do in my Christian life?

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It's necessary to recognize that the model doctrinally that we have inherited from the Reformation era, for those who are post-Reformation denominations, those beliefs have been inherited from men who were in a fundamentally different cultural context where all their neighbors were Christian, their governors, their leaders politically were Christian, their laws were Christian.

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There was no democracy.

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There was no notion of, well, I'm just not going to do that.

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It was illegal in a lot of places not to go to church.

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Like that's unthinkable to us today.

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It was just the norm.

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It was the norm in many places for hundreds and in some cases over 1,000 years.

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That was what Christendom was like when these debates were originally being held.

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And so when we look back from this point today, back hundreds of years, we get confused because we don't realize that everything was Christian then.

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Whereas today virtually nothing is Christian.

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As we did in last week's episode talking about some of the very egregious, very basic doctrinal errors in our churches.

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Even the churches themselves are definitionally not Christian in many cases.

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At least some of the beliefs that are espoused.

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And so we're looking at a very tiny surface area of people who actually hold to what is scriptural and want to do what God says to do.

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And then we're in the world.

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We're in a neighborhood, we're in a community, we're in a nation, and we want to do what God says.

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But the methodologies and the structures that we've inherited from past centuries when the church was much more involved, aren't working today.

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And no one's really been talking about why they don't work.

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And so what we're seeing now as Christian men are becoming reinvigorated and saying, hey, wait a minute, I'm seeing abject wickedness in the world.

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I object to this.

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I want to fight it.

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I see it as a spiritual war.

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Rather than our church bodies joining us and going to war against wickedness, in many cases, they are saying, hey, wait a minute, leave that alone.

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That's none of your business.

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You can't do that.

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That's political.

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You're not allowed to do that.

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And so we're going to talk about today is where we, as Christians, must draw the line on what is permissible to be said to us from within the church is a very delicate thing because we're not advocating rebellion.

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Many will accuse us of that because they accuse and accuse and accuse because they're satanic.

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That's their second nature.

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That can't be helped.

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The problem is that there are some cases where it is necessary to rebel against, it's always necessary to rebel against false teaching.

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If a man who says, I'm a pastor who says I'm from God, and I'm going to tell you to do something that's not scriptural, you must disobey him.

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And the fact that there is an office or a title, that there's a machinery of denomination behind it, is no excuse for us doing that which is Christian.

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That second tier, the denominational bodies, do not define Christianity.

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Scripture does.

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Scripture defines who is in the capital C church.

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And it's our duty in our local communities to make sure that our local congregations remain a part of the capital C church.

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And if that second layer, those denominations, are breaking ranks with Scripture, they're breaking ranks with history, if they are joining with the new global religion against Christian men, that doesn't change the battle that we have.

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But it does mean that a lot of things that we may be faced with doing today, they're going to be challenging.

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They're going to be things that require tremendous prayer and consideration and wisdom to make sure that we don't sin by rebelling against God, even as we're fixing the places where those who claim to speak in God's name are in fact the ones who are in rebellion.

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And discerning that is a tremendously difficult problem.

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But today it is one of the crucial problems that we as Christian men in the West face, that we have these intermediary bodies that are claiming to be from God, that in some cases are actually denouncing what is in Scripture, and then they're trying to prevent us from addressing it and from living Christian lives in the world, which is our duty to God.

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And we have to discuss that and what we are obligated to do so that we don't run afoul of God's word.

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God gives us commands about these things, and we are duty bound to obey him.

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It doesn't save us.

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It's because we are saved that we respond in love and say, I'm going to do what you want, God.

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And so when we go into the world, the other six days a week, not on Sunday, we have to be Christians on those days too.

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And living as Christians in those days is going to mean doing things that some of our pastors are saying, you're not allowed to do that.

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And so the discussion is, well, there are things that pastors are not allowed to do that we are.

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And that's something that historically has not been really even relevant.

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And today is vital.

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And so as we discuss this today, I just want to say at the outset, we're not saying be rebellious.

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That's a terrible thing.

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We are saying we need to understand that Christians have a duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

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And it is a different set of duties than our pastors have.

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The clerical class has a very specific scope of their duties that is much more circumscribed than ours.

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And we need to figure out where that clear division is so that we are not led astray by those who don't understand what they are supposed to be doing for God.

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So we may not have a five-step plan in order to address all of these problems, and so be able to say, do this, this, this, and this, and then everything will be fine.

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However, we can make one firm recommendation with regard to where we need to start in addressing some of these problems.

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And that is that we need to eject a certain term from our vocabularies.

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The word layman needs to be eradicated because it is not a thing.

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It is a false category that has been created in order to prop up a pastoral class and make them appear as if they are rulers, as it were, in the church, which is not the role of pastor.

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Now, before certain individuals get up in arms, yes, pastors do in a certain sense rule in their congregations, but they do so because they have been called by the congregation to serve in a certain role, and that, of course, is the role of pastor.

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But what does a pastor do?

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What is a pastor?

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Well, fundamentally, and of course, this is going to be the Lutheran answer, but it is also just the answer from Scripture.

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The pastor publicly teaches from the Word of God and administers the sacraments in the gathered church.

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That is fundamentally the duty and role of the pastor.

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When a pastor goes beyond that, he is acting outside of what it means to be a pastor.

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And this is one of the problems that we see so often these days.

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We will have pastors on social media or elsewhere who are relying on that authority they have because of the collar, which we'll get to the collar, but they're relying on that supposed authority they have in order to make pronouncements about things that are totally outside the scope of the office of pastor.

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And when they do that, not only are they misleading, they are actually violating...

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well, they should be violating the ordination vow, but perhaps it's not explicitly in there in some cases, but they are violating the duties given them by God with regard to being a pastor.

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Part of the problem is that the office of pastor has been conceived of as granting authority.

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Now, on the one hand, it does so because, as I just said, the Lutheran stance, and I would assert, as with any Lutheran, the scriptural stance is that there are certain duties that flow from the office of pastor.

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And that does include the privilege of preaching in the gathered church.

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That is something that we do not just let anyone stand up and do.

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Now, does that person necessarily have to be specifically a pastor, that specific word?

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The answer is no, because that's not actually even what the Lutheran confessions teach.

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He has to be rightly called.

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It just so happens that we typically call those men pastors these days.

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But the problem is that it is perceived, it is considered to be this granting of authority, when in reality the inverse, practically the exact opposite, is more true.

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It is a restriction of what the pastor may properly do.

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Because as Woe has said many times in previous episodes, and on social media and elsewhere, when a pastor speaks, he binds consciences, and so he must be certain that he is speaking the truth.

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And additionally, he should not be speaking outside of those areas that have been delegated to him.

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And there is a limited subset of things on which a pastor should speak.

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And so no, a pastor should not be pontificating on social media about politics.

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That is not within the office of pastor.

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But when he speaks, he's still asserting, I'm a pastor, and therefore I am binding your conscience with regard to this political stance.

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And we see this all the time, from pastors from one end of the political spectrum to the other, on social media and elsewhere.

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They appear on TV and all sorts of places, and make these claims in the name of God.

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Incidentally, that's going to be a violation of the Second Commandment in some cases, because they are teaching falsely in the name of God.

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But the central problem is that they are asserting they have this authority that they do not have, an authority that does not pertain to that office.

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The office of pastor is largely restrictive.

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It tells a man what he cannot do.

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Yes, it also tells him what he must do with regard to the gathered church.

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But if he exceeds the scope of those duties, he is no longer acting as a pastor, even though he is still probably representing himself as a pastor.

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Now, of course, there are those who may have an anonymous account or something, and that's a different matter, because then he's not asserting he's a pastor.

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He may very well be focusing on things on which he should not be focusing, because a pastor who is properly serving his congregation is going to be a very busy man.

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He's not going to have the free time to post thousands of posts on Twitter or whatever it happens to be.

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He should be focusing on his congregation, on the souls entrusted to his care.

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And so one of the things that we need to do as Christian men, not laymen, as Christian men, is stop believing that we need to look to pastors for every answer.

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That's simply false.

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That is not the way that God has organized things.

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Because it's not the way that Scripture teaches.

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If you want to go and actually find a verse, I welcome you to try.

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But if you read Scripture and understand the way that God has organized things, or just look at the world that he created, he has handed out different abilities to different men.

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Some of those men are good at politics.

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That may be the office to which they are called, the skills that they have been given.

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That's not a pastor.

00:21:37.812 --> 00:21:41.452
A pastor has no right to tell that man how to run his state.

00:21:42.632 --> 00:21:49.312
Now, if that man has questions about Scripture or about scriptural morality, he can consult a pastor by all means.

00:21:50.092 --> 00:21:58.712
But the pastor has nothing to say to him when it comes to organizing the political sphere, because that is outside of the duties of the pastor.

00:21:59.252 --> 00:22:08.632
And so if he injects himself into that, he has exceeded the scope of his office, and he is acting improperly at best and probably sinfully.

00:22:09.872 --> 00:22:18.672
And so we as Christian men need to get it out of our minds that pastors are this special class that act as a conscience for society.

00:22:19.192 --> 00:22:20.272
That is not their role.

00:22:20.732 --> 00:22:21.892
That is not what they do.

00:22:22.472 --> 00:22:25.432
You do not get to outsource that as a Christian man.

00:22:26.352 --> 00:22:27.772
And that's, of course, part of this.

00:22:28.212 --> 00:22:31.012
There are those who want to be able to not deal with these issues.

00:22:31.612 --> 00:22:37.212
Well, if I can just push this off onto a man in clericals, then I don't have to deal with it.

00:22:37.232 --> 00:22:38.072
I don't have to think about it.

00:22:38.772 --> 00:22:39.872
You don't get to do that.

00:22:40.932 --> 00:22:43.192
As a Christian man, you have duties.

00:22:43.692 --> 00:22:46.252
Among those is to know the Word of God.

00:22:46.592 --> 00:22:50.932
And that's not just from sitting in the Sunday service and listening to the sermon.

00:22:51.572 --> 00:22:58.732
It is also incumbent on you to read and meditate on the Word of God, to know what it teaches, to know how to apply it to your life.

00:22:59.652 --> 00:23:03.892
And you don't just get to shunt all of that off under the pastor and hope that he'll do the best.

00:23:05.632 --> 00:23:07.952
That is dereliction of duty on your part.

00:23:09.512 --> 00:23:21.252
Just as it is wrong for the pastor to inject himself into politics, it is wrong for you as a Christian man to think that you can just outsource your duties to God and have someone else do them.

00:23:23.072 --> 00:23:26.452
One would think as Protestants, some of this would make sense.

00:23:27.192 --> 00:23:47.332
Because obviously, in the old Roman Catholic system, you had a much greater connection between the state and the church, to the point where the Pope pretty much told princes what they could and could not do, and could even command them to make pilgrimages as penance for telling the Pope he was wrong.

00:23:47.332 --> 00:23:49.192
That happened a number of times historically.

00:23:51.212 --> 00:23:56.512
We no longer have that, and as Protestants, we have never believed that was correct.

00:23:57.112 --> 00:23:59.772
That was the Pope overstepping his authority.

00:24:00.272 --> 00:24:06.592
He was becoming a secular authority instead of what he was supposed to be, first among peers as a bishop.

00:24:08.252 --> 00:24:18.912
And so we shouldn't have this problem, this mindset of a clerical class being elevated over and above the hoi polloi, the average Christian man.

00:24:19.932 --> 00:24:21.932
And yet to some degree, we've imported that.

00:24:22.552 --> 00:24:25.112
We sort of kept some of the vestiges of that around.

00:24:26.312 --> 00:24:29.612
That needs to be ejected from the mind of every Christian man.

00:24:30.492 --> 00:24:32.532
We're not saying the pastor is not important.

00:24:32.952 --> 00:24:35.132
Pastors are vitally important.

00:24:35.752 --> 00:24:44.692
And if you have a godly pastor, if you have a faithful shepherd, by all means you should be grateful and you should pray for him, and aid him when and where you can.

00:24:47.032 --> 00:24:48.552
But he is also a Christian man.

00:24:49.532 --> 00:24:58.612
He is not some special class, elevated above the rest of Christian men, who can order them around, who can tell them what to do in all areas of life.

00:24:59.532 --> 00:25:01.732
He has a very circumscribed area.

00:25:02.452 --> 00:25:11.732
That is his area, hopefully of expertise, that is his duty to be an expert, but that is his area in which he has rightful authority.

00:25:12.712 --> 00:25:14.852
Outside of it, he has no authority.

00:25:15.792 --> 00:25:24.432
If he attempts to exercise authority outside of that area, he is acting beyond the scope of his office, and you can ignore him.

00:25:25.952 --> 00:25:31.212
You can in fact tell him that he should not be doing that because he has exceeded the scope of that office.

00:25:31.352 --> 00:25:33.052
He is acting inappropriately.

00:25:34.492 --> 00:25:38.512
Because a pastor is a sub-agent is the way to think of this.

00:25:38.532 --> 00:25:42.552
I will link an article in the show notes that goes over this in more detail.

00:25:43.392 --> 00:25:51.812
But the pastor is a sub-agent, and he is a sub-agent of the church, the church being the agent.

00:25:52.392 --> 00:25:55.612
And of course, an agent needs a master, the master is Christ.

00:25:57.092 --> 00:26:08.772
A sub-agent cannot have any greater authority than the agent that employs the sub-agent, which means the pastor cannot have any greater authority than the authority the church has.

00:26:09.252 --> 00:26:10.812
Well, what authority does the church have?

00:26:11.612 --> 00:26:13.372
That which is granted in Scripture.

00:26:13.972 --> 00:26:14.472
That's it.

00:26:16.372 --> 00:26:20.332
Scripture is not the grant for all political authority.

00:26:20.932 --> 00:26:28.352
Scripture is not the grant for all authority or belief with regard to the social or cultural life of a people.

00:26:28.912 --> 00:26:31.712
There are things that are left up to human wisdom.

00:26:32.412 --> 00:26:38.652
Some of it can be known from nature, from the way that God has created things, the way that he has organized his creation.

00:26:39.672 --> 00:26:44.792
But the answer to every question is not contained in Scripture, because that's not the point of Scripture.

00:26:46.012 --> 00:26:50.152
Scripture teaches the law and the gospel.

00:26:51.312 --> 00:26:56.012
That is the core duty of the pastor, but that is also the grant of authority to the church.

00:26:56.712 --> 00:27:00.352
And therefore, the pastor cannot have any greater authority.

00:27:00.852 --> 00:27:06.172
His scope of authority cannot be any greater than that which is contained in Scripture.

00:27:06.772 --> 00:27:16.892
That is not true for, say, the theologian or for the Christian prince, or even just for any Christian man going about his daily life.

00:27:17.652 --> 00:27:24.152
You have other duties in other areas of life that are not exclusively of the right-hand kingdom.

00:27:24.732 --> 00:27:26.052
You exist in both.

00:27:26.712 --> 00:27:28.312
You exist in the left-hand kingdom.

00:27:29.092 --> 00:27:32.532
You have duties with regard to the left-hand kingdom.

00:27:33.352 --> 00:27:34.512
And you have to fulfill those.

00:27:34.552 --> 00:27:45.312
And your pastor has nothing to say about those, except insofar as they may touch on matters that pertain to the right-hand kingdom.

00:27:45.652 --> 00:27:50.872
And so again, a pastor can advise on moral issues with regard to what Scripture teaches.

00:27:52.132 --> 00:28:03.392
But if it's politics, if it's the culture, if it's society, if it's these other issues that pertain to the left-hand kingdom, those are outside of what a pastor should be doing with his time.

00:28:05.032 --> 00:28:10.912
The history of the dichotomy of laity versus cleric is a very interesting one.

00:28:11.492 --> 00:28:15.012
You don't really find it at all in the first two centuries of the Church.

00:28:15.552 --> 00:28:21.632
Absolutely, there were teachers and there were preachers who were sent in order to spread the Gospel.

00:28:21.752 --> 00:28:23.052
There were evangelists as well.

00:28:23.432 --> 00:28:36.412
Those were offices in the early Church, and everyone understood them, and Scripture is very clear that those men are to be paid wages for their work, that it was an actual job that they should be compensated for.

00:28:37.072 --> 00:28:40.352
Nothing that we're saying here is in any way, shape or form an attack on that.

00:28:41.712 --> 00:28:59.412
However, when you look, it wasn't until sometime in the third century that the idea of the layman being a subclass of the Church, capital C, and then the cleric being a special anointed version of it, begins to emerge.

00:29:00.212 --> 00:29:12.352
And I think the timing is very interesting, because it really wasn't until, you know, Nicaea and then the formal recognition of Christianity as a state church, and then it began to spread from there.

00:29:12.972 --> 00:29:18.532
In the first centuries when the Church was persecuted, there was no notion there was a special clerical class.

00:29:18.832 --> 00:29:25.832
There were those men who in their congregations were given the task of doing those things on behalf of the congregation as Corrie described.

00:29:27.632 --> 00:29:34.652
But there was never notion that there was a severing of those duties from the other men in the congregation.

00:29:34.952 --> 00:29:40.692
It was a vesting of the authority given to the priesthood of all believers that was then say, this is our guy.

00:29:40.972 --> 00:29:47.472
He meets the tests in Timothy, that he meets the tests in the pastoral epistles for, here's what a pastor needs to be able to do.

00:29:47.872 --> 00:29:49.472
Not every man is qualified for that.

00:29:49.792 --> 00:29:51.232
Not every man is apt to teach.

00:29:51.432 --> 00:29:55.112
Frankly today, very few pastors seem to be actually apt to teach.

00:29:55.472 --> 00:29:57.512
That's one of the requirements of the office.

00:29:57.892 --> 00:30:00.112
And it doesn't seem like we can give that much thought.

00:30:01.232 --> 00:30:05.032
In the early days, those criteria were established in scripture and they were held to.

00:30:05.532 --> 00:30:08.452
And in the congregations, men were raised up and they did those things.

00:30:09.872 --> 00:30:30.572
As the church and the state got on the same page, in the sense that now the rulers were Christian, and rather than the churches being persecuted, the churches were recognized and then the churches were protected, it fundamentally changed ways in some good ways.

00:30:31.192 --> 00:30:44.772
But one of the things that began to creep in then was the idea that we're going to have a permanent, full-time professional class of super Christians, which is really kind of the arc of monasticism and everything else.

00:30:45.272 --> 00:30:50.412
You know, there were cloisters and there were people who went off and did their own thing even before Jesus Day.

00:30:50.432 --> 00:30:51.592
Like a monk is nothing new.

00:30:52.332 --> 00:31:05.272
And one of the things that the Lutherans battled in the Reformation was rejecting, as we've said before, this notion that, oh, I'm a very special, very dedicated Christian, so I'm going to be a monk and I'm going to be a nun.

00:31:05.672 --> 00:31:08.432
And so that means I'm going to withdraw from society.

00:31:08.692 --> 00:31:11.212
I'm going to go live some cloistered life.

00:31:11.532 --> 00:31:13.932
I'm going to cease to do good works for my neighbor.

00:31:14.252 --> 00:31:20.232
I'm just going to pray a lot and, you know, tend garden and study and not have any contact with the world.

00:31:20.932 --> 00:31:25.492
That's the worst possible thing to be doing with those people who have the most godly impulses.

00:31:26.052 --> 00:31:29.692
If someone wants to serve God all the time, that's the guy who needs to be out every day.

00:31:29.712 --> 00:31:33.032
He needs to be out in the neighborhood, riding around, helping people out.

00:31:33.432 --> 00:31:36.632
Take that zeal for the Lord and don't stick it in the woods.

00:31:37.132 --> 00:31:39.932
Put it where your neighbor needs it, because that's what God has done.

00:31:40.492 --> 00:31:51.532
And so the Reformation rightly rejected the monastic system that had emerged in the very early days of clericalism as a way of creating this two-tier system.

00:31:51.552 --> 00:31:52.352
That again was false.

00:31:52.372 --> 00:31:53.632
You don't find it in scripture.

00:31:53.892 --> 00:31:55.552
You don't find any notion of laymen.

00:31:56.212 --> 00:32:01.652
You find a notion that they're Christians, and then they're Christian men who are given specific duties.

00:32:01.932 --> 00:32:04.412
They have a job to do on behalf of the congregation.

00:32:05.292 --> 00:32:16.372
And so the other point that Corey made, not only do pastors not have authority beyond their local congregation, but I want to say explicitly, there's no such thing as a pastor on the Internet.

00:32:17.092 --> 00:32:20.472
I'm not just talking about Internet churches, which are completely false.

00:32:20.872 --> 00:32:25.452
The idea that you can have some virtual churches, it's voyeuristic, it's despicable.

00:32:25.832 --> 00:32:31.832
It's an obscenity to have that sort of vicarious false notion of a church.

00:32:32.532 --> 00:32:39.752
We're talking much more simply about what Corey was discussing with regard to the duties of a pastor.

00:32:40.152 --> 00:32:43.792
A pastor has duties in his congregation because that's the only place that he's a pastor.

00:32:44.252 --> 00:32:47.392
And it's crucial for a pastor to be in a congregation.

00:32:47.632 --> 00:32:48.912
And that's straight from Scripture.

00:32:48.932 --> 00:32:57.152
God has given preachers and teachers in certain places to teach the sheep to guard the flock in a location.

00:32:57.852 --> 00:33:15.232
In the very first episode of Stone Choir that we did where we were addressing the emerging issue in the LCMS of girls teaching theology in the church in hope and rebellion against God with the full support of the LCMS, we pointed out that a podcast like Stone Choir is also teaching.

00:33:15.732 --> 00:33:19.132
And we freely admit we are not ordained pastors.

00:33:19.492 --> 00:33:21.892
Now that I've been doxed, I never lied about anything.

00:33:22.152 --> 00:33:23.612
I don't have a degree in any of this stuff.

00:33:23.872 --> 00:33:25.852
I have no certifications whatsoever.

00:33:26.252 --> 00:33:29.552
I've said from the beginning, if you think that means you shouldn't listen to me, that's fine.

00:33:29.692 --> 00:33:31.132
I'm not going to try to change your mind.

00:33:31.672 --> 00:33:49.892
Because the difference between the teaching that occurs on a podcast like this and the teaching that occurs in a church from a pastor to his congregation is that we have a one-too-many relationship with our audience, with you, the listener, where there's no accountability.

00:33:50.672 --> 00:33:52.612
You, I don't know your names.

00:33:52.692 --> 00:33:54.452
I know virtually no one's names at this point.

00:33:54.472 --> 00:33:56.632
We have well over 10,000 people listening every week.

00:33:56.892 --> 00:33:57.872
I hardly know anybody.

00:33:58.052 --> 00:33:59.012
I wish I knew more people.

00:33:59.092 --> 00:34:06.792
I'd love to get to know more people, but that's fundamentally not part of the structure of one-too-many teaching.

00:34:07.312 --> 00:34:12.672
A podcast, this sort of teaching is effectively like a lecture hall where people are free to come and go.

00:34:12.972 --> 00:34:13.932
There's no grading.

00:34:14.372 --> 00:34:20.892
You are not accountable to us if you disagree, which is why we've always freely said you can take or leave anything we say.

00:34:21.472 --> 00:34:26.792
If anything that we say actually convicts your conscience, it's not because you're answerable to us.

00:34:27.272 --> 00:34:29.172
It's not because we have any authority over you.

00:34:29.592 --> 00:34:32.272
Anything that you hear us say, there rings true.

00:34:32.292 --> 00:34:33.432
And you're like, yeah, I got to do that.

00:34:33.792 --> 00:34:35.072
It's because it's from God.

00:34:35.452 --> 00:34:39.132
When we say what's in God's word, that argument is consistent with scripture.

00:34:39.632 --> 00:34:41.952
That's God dealing with you directly.

00:34:42.512 --> 00:34:45.712
And we happen to be the messenger, but we don't hold you accountable.

00:34:46.732 --> 00:34:48.032
That's not the case with a pastor.

00:34:48.652 --> 00:34:53.532
As Corey said, I reiterate, when a pastor speaks, he binds consciences.

00:34:54.012 --> 00:34:58.892
And a pastor crucially has a one-to-one relationship with each man or woman in his congregation.

00:34:59.892 --> 00:35:06.472
Pastors supposed to know every name, know their history, know their background, know their problems, their concerns, their strengths, their weaknesses.

00:35:06.732 --> 00:35:07.612
It's a relationship.

00:35:07.972 --> 00:35:12.952
It's a personal relationship, which is why things like megachurches are an abomination.

00:35:13.552 --> 00:35:23.412
The Dunbar number of 150 as a social web is really about the maximum for a functioning congregation, at least with a single pastor.

00:35:23.712 --> 00:35:28.632
Because if you get beyond that, there's not a human capacity to have interrelationships like that.

00:35:28.952 --> 00:35:32.312
You can't have close relationships with three or four or five hundred people.

00:35:32.612 --> 00:35:36.392
And a pastor needs to have a relationship that would fall within those bounds.

00:35:37.252 --> 00:35:47.172
That sort of teaching with authority, with God's direct command in His purview, is a very particular, exclusively local one.

00:35:47.532 --> 00:35:49.772
Pastors are only local.

00:35:50.252 --> 00:35:53.632
I have a number of friends who are pastors in various denominations.

00:35:54.372 --> 00:35:55.832
None of them are my pastor.

00:35:56.492 --> 00:36:00.372
So, my relationship to them, as Corey was saying, is Christian men.

00:36:00.672 --> 00:36:04.132
And they know things that I don't know, and maybe I know some things that they don't know.

00:36:04.552 --> 00:36:06.292
And so what happens when we talk?

00:36:06.672 --> 00:36:08.112
It's iron sharpening iron.

00:36:08.492 --> 00:36:12.792
Their strengths rub off my weaknesses and maybe vice versa.

00:36:13.032 --> 00:36:18.612
If I get something right that they don't happen to know, then we can strengthen each other, because that is the Christian life.

00:36:19.212 --> 00:36:25.332
And think about iron sharpening iron in the context of the layman-clergy dichotomy.

00:36:25.792 --> 00:36:26.612
Where's the iron?

00:36:26.892 --> 00:36:29.432
Is there iron on both sides if you have clergy and laity?

00:36:29.432 --> 00:36:29.732

00:36:30.112 --> 00:36:34.292
The laity can't possibly do anything but disobey or obey.

00:36:34.312 --> 00:36:35.412
Those are the only two choices.

00:36:35.792 --> 00:36:45.552
But the idea of the so-called laity, the so-called layman, strengthening the past or beyond paying his bills and giving a pat on the back, basically doesn't exist.

00:36:45.872 --> 00:36:46.932
And that's completely false.

00:36:47.632 --> 00:36:49.332
What's interesting, when you look at St.

00:36:49.352 --> 00:36:55.172
Ambrose of Milan, he was not even a cleric until by unanimous ascent of a crowd.

00:36:55.352 --> 00:36:56.272
He was made bishop.

00:36:57.552 --> 00:36:59.232
This was in AD 370.

00:36:59.572 --> 00:37:05.332
He was made bishop of his area by the people of the church because, like, this is the guy.

00:37:05.832 --> 00:37:07.232
He wasn't in the establishment.

00:37:07.252 --> 00:37:09.212
He wasn't a cleric, anything of the sort.

00:37:09.552 --> 00:37:12.652
They said, this man has the gifts to do what is needed.

00:37:12.872 --> 00:37:14.132
We're going to make him do this.

00:37:14.952 --> 00:37:27.652
That, I think, was one of probably the last gasps of the proper understanding of Christian men being able to fulfill these functions on behalf of the local congregation, which effectively was happening there.

00:37:27.672 --> 00:37:31.532
Like, as a bishop, he was over multiple congregations, but everybody knew him.

00:37:31.772 --> 00:37:33.892
Everyone respected him, and they said, this is the guy.

00:37:34.152 --> 00:37:35.032
He has the gifts.

00:37:35.552 --> 00:37:38.812
He's going to do what we know God wants us to have done here.

00:37:39.672 --> 00:37:40.632
And they made him the guy.

00:37:40.972 --> 00:37:46.452
And then he became part of the church machine, which at that point was just being born.

00:37:47.032 --> 00:37:48.772
But he was just a regular guy.

00:37:48.812 --> 00:37:49.712
He was very special.

00:37:50.192 --> 00:37:52.092
But he wasn't groomed.

00:37:52.372 --> 00:37:53.572
He wasn't certified.

00:37:53.812 --> 00:37:57.612
He had no credentials, except that everyone was like, yeah, you're the bishop now.

00:37:58.052 --> 00:37:58.832
And so that was it.

00:37:59.252 --> 00:38:00.212
He's now known as St.

00:38:00.232 --> 00:38:01.512
Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.

00:38:01.972 --> 00:38:05.512
Because the people, the laymen, incidentally, it wasn't the church that did it.

00:38:05.532 --> 00:38:06.292
It was so-called.

00:38:06.612 --> 00:38:12.412
Now, this is where it gets tricky, because when you say the church, people think, oh, well, it's got to be the pastors and the other experts.

00:38:12.752 --> 00:38:13.832
That's the whole problem here.

00:38:14.252 --> 00:38:17.592
We have to get away from the idea that there's expertise in the church.

00:38:18.832 --> 00:38:22.352
There is, in the sense that there are things that some men know better than others.

00:38:22.692 --> 00:38:28.392
And certainly a full-time professional church worker, which we have today, should be a blessing.

00:38:28.892 --> 00:38:34.212
It should absolutely be the case that the guy who devotes his life to prayer and to study of Scripture should know more than you.

00:38:34.632 --> 00:38:36.232
I would absolutely expect that.

00:38:36.252 --> 00:38:37.512
Frankly, that's table stakes.

00:38:38.272 --> 00:38:41.592
But then the problem becomes, who taught him?

00:38:41.932 --> 00:38:42.932
And what did they teach?

00:38:43.532 --> 00:38:51.832
And what you find today is that a lot of the pastors are acolytes of the very same guys who influenced men like Michael King and Bonhoeffer.

00:38:52.472 --> 00:39:00.692
So when you see problems in the church from the professional church workers, we have to go back to Scripture, which is why Stone Choir exists.

00:39:00.712 --> 00:39:02.252
It's literally why we have the name.

00:39:02.272 --> 00:39:04.472
In the very first episode, we explain the name.

00:39:04.872 --> 00:39:07.612
We have no credentials to do this.

00:39:07.972 --> 00:39:12.632
We're just a couple of guys with a couple of microphones saying, hey, there's a fire, and we're pulling the alarm.

00:39:13.012 --> 00:39:20.012
We're the stones who cry out in the absence of a direct, official certification from anybody.

00:39:20.392 --> 00:39:25.912
And yet when we speak, we're able to speak in a way that tens of thousands of people are like, yeah, I think this makes sense.

00:39:25.932 --> 00:39:28.172
This actually is what I see in the Bible.

00:39:28.672 --> 00:39:35.752
And the fruits of that have been hundreds of people have joined churches, probably well over a thousand at this point, tons of baptisms, tons of confirmations.

00:39:35.992 --> 00:39:39.412
A lot of people have become Christian for the first time as a result of listening.

00:39:39.592 --> 00:39:42.932
And a lot of people are already Christians, are better Christians, they attend more faithfully.

00:39:43.392 --> 00:39:44.992
That's God working in their lives.

00:39:45.312 --> 00:39:46.832
We don't take credit for any of that.

00:39:47.112 --> 00:39:59.012
When I say that, it's specifically to say the fruits of what we're doing, even if you can't tell if we're right or wrong about anything, when the fruits are exclusively good, that tells you that there's something happening here that's godly.

00:39:59.512 --> 00:40:01.272
And that is one of the tests of anything.

00:40:01.652 --> 00:40:04.052
It's the test that we have to apply to our churches as well.

00:40:04.312 --> 00:40:15.952
When you look at your local congregation, if every child who is confirmed, who grows up, leaves the church and apostatizes, that is poisonous fruit from a poisonous tree.

00:40:16.392 --> 00:40:17.912
I don't care what their doctrine is.

00:40:18.192 --> 00:40:19.752
I don't care what their confession is.

00:40:20.452 --> 00:40:29.772
The fact that there's nothing but a sea of gray hair in so many churches, condemns those churches out of hand as places that have lost their lamp stand.

00:40:30.252 --> 00:40:34.112
That doesn't happen without people failing to obey God.

00:40:34.432 --> 00:40:35.272
That is fruit.

00:40:35.592 --> 00:40:37.532
That is a fruit in a local congregation.

00:40:37.812 --> 00:40:42.752
And unfortunately, because pastors move around a lot, there are good pastors in those situations.

00:40:42.772 --> 00:40:47.132
So there are pastors who listen, probably describes many of your congregations.

00:40:47.472 --> 00:40:48.752
We're not pinning that on you.

00:40:49.012 --> 00:40:54.392
We're pinning that on the generations who came before who didn't preach the whole Council of God.

00:40:55.332 --> 00:41:02.732
And as we're looking at the state of the church, we have to get back to the whole Council of God.

00:41:03.392 --> 00:41:11.432
And we also have to understand that there's the flip side of this, which is Corey was saying, there's stuff the pastor simply can't talk about.

00:41:12.112 --> 00:41:27.192
When you look at the Stone Choir library of episodes, there's some stuff that's very directly apologetic, doctrinal things like the episodes on Communion and Baptism that we did by request, not because we're trying to proselytize everyone into being Lutheran.

00:41:27.212 --> 00:41:28.392
It's certainly what we desire.

00:41:28.812 --> 00:41:31.832
But a bunch of people said, hey, you guys have different beliefs.

00:41:31.852 --> 00:41:32.572
Can you explain them?

00:41:32.592 --> 00:41:32.972
So we did.

00:41:33.312 --> 00:41:39.572
And a number of people become Lutheran because when they heard the Lutheran explanation for Baptism and Communion, like, hey, that's what I believe.

00:41:39.952 --> 00:41:41.772
The only way they believe that is in the Bible.

00:41:42.052 --> 00:41:44.452
And we made the argument from Scripture like, yep, there it is.

00:41:44.832 --> 00:41:47.492
That's typically the case with a basic scriptural argument.

00:41:47.712 --> 00:41:49.952
People hear and say, yes, that's what I believe.

00:41:50.292 --> 00:41:51.592
That's the Christian response.

00:41:52.072 --> 00:41:54.652
So a few of our episodes have been overt apologetics.

00:41:55.252 --> 00:41:57.872
A fair number have been doctrinal or scriptural in nature.

00:41:58.452 --> 00:42:02.252
And a fair number of things that have nothing directly to do with the Bible.

00:42:02.692 --> 00:42:10.772
And I think that's one of the things that have been the very most upsetting to people about Stone Choir, is that we talk about things that pastors can't talk about.

00:42:11.112 --> 00:42:11.972
That's absolutely true.

00:42:12.252 --> 00:42:17.872
There's a bunch of stuff that Stone Choir talks about that no pastor has any business ever speaking in public.

00:42:18.052 --> 00:42:19.992
It's completely off limits for a pastor.

00:42:20.192 --> 00:42:20.512

00:42:20.532 --> 00:42:27.412
Because it has nothing to do with the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments in his local congregation.

00:42:27.852 --> 00:42:30.792
That doesn't mean that it's not permissible for any Christian to ever say.

00:42:31.312 --> 00:42:34.392
And I think that's one of the crucial things that we all need to understand.

00:42:34.412 --> 00:42:35.412
This is not just about us.

00:42:35.692 --> 00:42:36.812
This is about many of you.

00:42:36.832 --> 00:42:40.952
It's about a lot of you as you are becoming more engaged in your faith.

00:42:40.972 --> 00:42:43.032
And you're like, hey, I see the world burning.

00:42:43.372 --> 00:42:45.972
My Christian faith helps to explain what's going on.

00:42:45.972 --> 00:42:47.012
I want to do something.

00:42:47.352 --> 00:42:51.612
And suddenly from behind, we have our own pastors saying, no, no, no, you can't do that.

00:42:51.892 --> 00:42:53.232
We have to be passive in the world.

00:42:53.252 --> 00:42:56.252
We can't get engaged in the politics of the world.

00:42:56.952 --> 00:43:14.872
What's fascinating is that if you take the set of things that the new global religion and the world economic forum and NBC say are morality, say things that are wicked, and you take the set of things that the vast majority of our pastors are saying, you guys can't do that.

00:43:15.132 --> 00:43:16.892
You can't do a Christian nationalism.

00:43:17.112 --> 00:43:18.312
You can't do a racism.

00:43:18.332 --> 00:43:19.592
You can't do any of these things.

00:43:19.912 --> 00:43:20.852
These are all wicked.

00:43:21.392 --> 00:43:22.492
It's the same picture.

00:43:23.152 --> 00:43:27.772
All the stuff that's coming from our pulpits is identical to what's coming from the new global religion.

00:43:28.172 --> 00:43:31.572
And that's much of the impetus for Stone Choir, is that we're saying, you know what?

00:43:31.952 --> 00:43:33.052
I see evil in the world.

00:43:33.072 --> 00:43:34.392
Cory sees evil in the world.

00:43:34.492 --> 00:43:35.772
You see evil in the world.

00:43:36.212 --> 00:43:57.332
And when we find the same evil espoused in our pulpits, and then they're doing in the name of God, when clearly the World Economic Forum and NBC aren't doing in the name of God, yet they have identical morality, they have identical arguments, the only difference is that the pastors also will staple on a couple Bible verses and try to bind your conscience to do what Klaus Schwab wants you to do.

00:43:58.152 --> 00:44:01.452
That is when it becomes a matter for Christian men.

00:44:01.992 --> 00:44:19.432
And when we find a case where pastors, those who are raised up by their congregations to speak in the name of God, are shooting Christian men in the back in the name of the World Economic Forum and NBC in every form of modern evil, that is when we have a problem.

00:44:19.692 --> 00:44:25.052
And that's when things get noisy and they get smoky and it's loud and it's unpleasant.

00:44:25.412 --> 00:44:27.292
And you have fights and you have controversies.

00:44:27.932 --> 00:44:33.572
That does not mean that the person who pointed out the error is the one who's sinned.

00:44:34.172 --> 00:44:36.032
The sin is defined by scripture.

00:44:36.632 --> 00:44:51.312
And when you look, you know, we did the episodes on slavery and feminism, all these things that are absolute moral prohibition matters in the new global religion, we made the scriptural argument against those things or for those things, as the case may be.

00:44:52.212 --> 00:44:56.472
And the men in the pulpits don't believe what's in the Bible.

00:44:56.932 --> 00:45:01.012
You know, the LCMS put out a press release condemning Stone Choir almost by name.

00:45:01.032 --> 00:45:02.592
It was very clearly about us.

00:45:03.052 --> 00:45:05.752
And they condemned a whole bunch of things that are straight out of the Bible.

00:45:06.252 --> 00:45:10.872
And every pastor in the Missouri Synod is a signatory to that blasphemous statement to this day.

00:45:11.592 --> 00:45:12.772
It stands as record.

00:45:12.872 --> 00:45:19.332
It's the official position of those Lutherans that the God of the Bible is wicked, and they condemned it in the name of Jesus.

00:45:20.312 --> 00:45:28.112
The arguments we made when we spoke in favor or against those things in contradistinction to the LCMS were straight from Scripture.

00:45:28.412 --> 00:45:31.432
Those episodes like the one on slavery was entirely a Bible study.

00:45:31.692 --> 00:45:36.752
It was not exhaustive, but it was almost a tedious going through of all these different Bible verses.

00:45:36.772 --> 00:45:37.052

00:45:37.532 --> 00:45:40.152
Because the Bible says one thing and the Church says another.

00:45:40.832 --> 00:45:45.132
And slavery is simultaneously a moral issue and a political issue.

00:45:45.592 --> 00:45:53.232
And it's one, you know, pastors, slavery is not a live issue except to morally condemn men who say it's not a sin, which is why we did that episode.

00:45:53.592 --> 00:45:56.212
I wouldn't expect a pastor to necessarily stir that up.

00:45:56.672 --> 00:46:04.452
Although, as we made the case in that episode, when you look at how scripture describes slavery, it's clear that we all remain slaves.

00:46:04.472 --> 00:46:05.492
We're slaves of Christ.

00:46:05.932 --> 00:46:09.832
The Christian freedom that we were given as a gift is not license.

00:46:10.212 --> 00:46:11.612
It's not unlimited freedom.

00:46:11.872 --> 00:46:15.712
It's freedom from the consequences for our sin eternally.

00:46:16.332 --> 00:46:20.692
It's freedom from being bound to continuously sin against God.

00:46:21.092 --> 00:46:25.392
We'll still keep sinning, but we have the ability to resist it and to certainly sin less.

00:46:25.932 --> 00:46:28.112
Christian freedom doesn't mean absolute freedom.

00:46:28.532 --> 00:46:33.292
It means that we are free to be children of God, and that it looks different than being children of the world.

00:46:34.412 --> 00:46:42.112
And I wish the pastors were making those points, but the fact that they're not being made in our pulpits doesn't mean that they have to stop being made.

00:46:42.552 --> 00:46:50.852
And so all Christian men have a duty to say, this is in the Bible and this is what I see in the world, and we need to get them both on the same page.

00:46:51.472 --> 00:46:59.772
And a faithful Christian pastor would celebrate that, but he would not talk about it online, because there's no such thing as a pastor on the Internet.

00:47:00.112 --> 00:47:02.552
It's just another Christian man, in the best case.

00:47:03.012 --> 00:47:05.812
And frankly, in a lot of cases, those guys are not Christians at all.

00:47:06.352 --> 00:47:11.692
And that's their problem, because that's between them and God, and they're in their own local congregation.

00:47:12.112 --> 00:47:17.732
But what they cannot do is speak to you from afar and say, you can't do that, you can't talk about that.

00:47:17.992 --> 00:47:19.212
That's utterly impermissible.

00:47:19.512 --> 00:47:22.632
They are so far beyond the bounds of their vocation.

00:47:22.992 --> 00:47:26.172
Even if they were right, they still have no right to tell you that.

00:47:26.932 --> 00:47:30.172
And when they're lying, they're sinning against God in the most evil way possible.

00:47:31.512 --> 00:47:47.372
So the question then becomes, what exactly is the sort of involvement you can have from pastors in Christian movements, particularly with regard to the left-hand kingdom, which you can just call political as a sort of shorthand?

00:47:48.952 --> 00:47:54.532
Well, for one, I would first like to read just one verse from Scripture to ground some of this from 2 Timothy.

00:47:55.132 --> 00:48:01.132
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

00:48:02.192 --> 00:48:08.672
If we apply this passage, this verse, to pastors, it's very clear where the dividing line is here.

00:48:10.012 --> 00:48:19.552
The civilian pursuits in which the soldier, the pastor in this case, is not supposed to become engaged, not supposed to become entangled, would be the political.

00:48:21.432 --> 00:48:27.452
So can a pastor be part of a political movement, perhaps an explicitly Christian political movement?

00:48:27.972 --> 00:48:39.672
The answer would be yes, but he cannot become entangled in it, which is to say he is supposed to focus on the pursuits that have been assigned to him by virtue of his office.

00:48:40.472 --> 00:48:57.972
And so the soldier focuses on being a soldier instead of civilian pursuits, which is to say a pastor is not going to be a leader in any political movement, because that would certainly be to become entangled in those pursuits that are outside of his office.

00:48:59.152 --> 00:49:02.032
So a pastor can be a member in a political movement.

00:49:02.052 --> 00:49:03.892
That's entirely fine for a pastor.

00:49:04.532 --> 00:49:06.672
Of course, that comes down to a matter of wisdom.

00:49:06.692 --> 00:49:17.632
The individual pastor will have to decide if that is a proper thing for him to do or not to do, and he should do that in light of scripture and prayer and meditation on the Word of God.

00:49:20.212 --> 00:49:36.032
But no political movement, and particularly no political movement on the right, should have a pastor in a leadership position, because then he is effectively deserting his office as pastor and becoming entangled in other pursuits.

00:49:37.172 --> 00:49:44.472
Now it's a question whether or not someone who once was a pastor could give up that office and then go into politics.

00:49:45.432 --> 00:49:46.752
That becomes a gray area.

00:49:46.752 --> 00:49:56.132
It's going to be a question of wisdom, which I recognize, we both recognize, so that can be an unsatisfying answer, but it is the reality.

00:49:56.872 --> 00:50:01.232
There are questions in this life that are matters of wisdom.

00:50:01.452 --> 00:50:06.072
They are fact specific, and there's no way around that.

00:50:06.572 --> 00:50:10.232
You are going to have to analyze those issues as they arise.

00:50:12.352 --> 00:50:16.252
This is similar to some issues in the legal sphere.

00:50:17.372 --> 00:50:18.652
Some things are open and shut.

00:50:18.752 --> 00:50:20.032
Some things are very clear.

00:50:20.052 --> 00:50:23.232
You can have a crime, and it has elements.

00:50:23.252 --> 00:50:26.492
If you fulfill the elements, that's it, the crime occurred.

00:50:27.652 --> 00:50:30.472
Sometimes the inquiry can be fact specific.

00:50:30.612 --> 00:50:42.172
You can have to look at the specific facts of the situation, of what happened, in order to determine whether or not it fits this law or that law, this violation, whatever it happens to be.

00:50:43.032 --> 00:50:47.792
That is the case for many things in the Christian life, except it's a matter of wisdom.

00:50:48.632 --> 00:50:49.572
That is unavoidable.

00:50:50.132 --> 00:50:52.712
You are going to actually have to do your homework sometimes.

00:50:54.172 --> 00:51:03.312
Just as I said earlier in this episode, you cannot just shove all your duties off onto your pastor with regard to learning the scriptures.

00:51:03.992 --> 00:51:05.532
You have to do the work yourself.

00:51:06.192 --> 00:51:07.512
You have to read the scripture.

00:51:07.912 --> 00:51:09.112
You have to meditate on it.

00:51:09.492 --> 00:51:10.792
You have to understand it.

00:51:12.112 --> 00:51:14.312
That doesn't mean you have to understand everything.

00:51:14.692 --> 00:51:17.512
It doesn't mean you can't consult your pastor or teachers.

00:51:18.032 --> 00:51:19.652
Those are blessings from God.

00:51:19.672 --> 00:51:25.572
You should use all of the resources that He has made available to you, and that does include your pastor.

00:51:27.192 --> 00:51:32.252
But your pastor is not a substitute for the duties that you have as a Christian man.

00:51:34.452 --> 00:51:53.852
So to return to the issue of pastoral involvement in political movements and such, the simple rule, and this is one case where we can actually give you a simple rule, pastors can be involved, but not as leaders, because that would be a violation of their office, of their duties.

00:51:54.392 --> 00:51:59.412
It is to become entangled in other pursuits, to become distracted by other pursuits.

00:52:00.032 --> 00:52:05.712
And as we both said, a pastor is already going to be a very busy man.

00:52:06.552 --> 00:52:16.612
You can only maintain so many close relationships, and as Woe said, the pastor needs to have a one-to-one relationship with every single sheep, with every member of his flock.

00:52:18.552 --> 00:52:20.972
And past a certain number, you simply can't do that.

00:52:21.592 --> 00:52:29.112
But even if you are below that number, if you're approaching that number, it is going to involve many hours a week.

00:52:29.632 --> 00:52:33.292
There are certainly pastors out there investing 60, 70 hours a week.

00:52:34.852 --> 00:52:36.752
That is a more than full-time job.

00:52:36.832 --> 00:52:41.592
You cannot have something else on top of that without neglecting something somewhere.

00:52:43.592 --> 00:52:47.832
And this is the case in so many different pursuits in life.

00:52:49.512 --> 00:52:55.492
If you spend 80 hours a week at the office, you're neglecting your duties as a father.

00:52:57.592 --> 00:52:59.352
That's simply the reality of it.

00:53:00.472 --> 00:53:05.072
Part of these duties is going to be a matter of time invested.

00:53:05.652 --> 00:53:08.592
Not everything is just a matter of did you do the thing?

00:53:08.772 --> 00:53:09.812
Did you check the box?

00:53:10.572 --> 00:53:15.532
Some of it is simply a matter of the number of hours invested is your duty.

00:53:16.712 --> 00:53:19.212
That is the case in basically all human relationships.

00:53:20.372 --> 00:53:23.612
You need to spend a certain number of hours each week with your wife.

00:53:24.792 --> 00:53:26.792
It's not just did you tell her I love you in the morning.

00:53:28.672 --> 00:53:38.272
In order to maintain those one-to-one relationships, a pastor is going to have to invest time in each and every single one of those relationships.

00:53:39.012 --> 00:53:40.332
That is a full-time job.

00:53:41.092 --> 00:53:44.372
He cannot afford to be distracted by these other things.

00:53:45.092 --> 00:53:48.612
And so, yes, there are sort of two aspects to this, two sides of the coin.

00:53:49.832 --> 00:53:52.812
On the one hand, the pastor cannot be distracted from his duties.

00:53:53.472 --> 00:53:55.612
By becoming entangled in other pursuits.

00:53:56.452 --> 00:53:59.692
But as mentioned earlier on the other side, he has no right.

00:54:00.592 --> 00:54:09.692
He has no special knowledge or authority or whatever it happens to be, by virtue of being a pastor, to involve himself in these other things.

00:54:11.032 --> 00:54:15.692
And so, no, a pastor can't tell you, oh, politically, you must do X, Y and Z.

00:54:16.692 --> 00:54:20.892
Now, he can say that, scripturally speaking, you must oppose abortion.

00:54:21.632 --> 00:54:23.332
Which some are going to say, oh, that's a political issue.

00:54:23.632 --> 00:54:26.192
No, it's a moral issue, and scripture is very clear.

00:54:26.672 --> 00:54:37.432
The pastor can certainly speak to that, and the pastor should speak to that, just as a pastor should oppose so-called homosexual marriage and any of a number of other issues that are live in our society.

00:54:39.152 --> 00:54:45.172
But when it comes to the explicitly political movement, that is something for Christian men.

00:54:45.992 --> 00:55:06.672
That is a duty of Christian men, to organize that, to pursue that, to make sure that those things occur with regard to the left-hand kingdom, to bring things back to a Christian standing, to restore what our ancestors had and enjoyed for centuries because they had a Christian society.

00:55:07.232 --> 00:55:10.352
It is on Christian men to restore that, not on pastors.

00:55:11.232 --> 00:55:12.432
Pastors aren't part of that.

00:55:13.812 --> 00:55:24.752
The only role that pastors play in that is they need to be teaching true doctrine, the full council of God, to their congregations.

00:55:25.992 --> 00:55:38.532
Because in order to have the Christian men in the left-hand kingdom organizing these political movements, organizing these cultural movements, whatever it happens to be, those men have to be Christian men.

00:55:39.592 --> 00:55:41.532
And to be Christian men, they have to be trained.

00:55:42.012 --> 00:55:43.932
And for that you need teachers and pastors.

00:55:44.652 --> 00:55:49.772
And so pastors do have a vitally important duty, and we wish that more of them would do it faithfully.

00:55:50.612 --> 00:55:54.632
But it pertains to the right-hand kingdom, not to the left-hand kingdom.

00:55:55.152 --> 00:56:04.852
And so as Woe said, when you have pastors who assert, well, I have an M.Div, and so I can bind your conscience by saying this thing that you tweeted was mean, ignore him.

00:56:05.392 --> 00:56:07.052
He has no authority to tell you that.

00:56:07.292 --> 00:56:10.452
His office means nothing in that context.

00:56:11.352 --> 00:56:12.552
You are not one of his sheep.

00:56:13.032 --> 00:56:18.972
Now, if you are one of his sheep, you should probably at least listen to what he has to say, discuss it with him.

00:56:19.792 --> 00:56:25.332
But if you aren't one of his sheep, if you're not a member of his congregation, don't listen to that man.

00:56:26.332 --> 00:56:32.232
Quite frankly, by virtue of the fact that he thinks he has that authority, he has proven himself incompetent.

00:56:34.332 --> 00:56:39.672
Because he is saying, I, as a pastor, have authority over all Christians.

00:56:40.732 --> 00:56:42.852
Absolutely nowhere is that found in Scripture.

00:56:43.272 --> 00:56:45.052
You know what has authority over all Christians?

00:56:45.072 --> 00:56:45.852
The Word of God.

00:56:46.892 --> 00:57:01.112
And so if he wants to speak to you as a Christian man, and say, according to the Word of God, here, in the Word of God, citing you to Scripture, this argument is against what you said.

00:57:01.992 --> 00:57:05.252
By all means, that's fine, because he is doing that as a Christian man.

00:57:06.652 --> 00:57:10.032
But if he is doing it as a pastor, then we have a problem.

00:57:10.752 --> 00:57:20.612
And as mentioned, the issue here, if he presents himself as a pastor when he is doing this, he is doing it deliberately to bind consciences.

00:57:21.092 --> 00:57:26.032
And if he doesn't recognize that that is what he is doing, again, that's a competency issue.

00:57:27.572 --> 00:57:29.692
And so if he has an anonymous account, that's one thing.

00:57:30.652 --> 00:57:37.572
But if he is doing it as a pastor, he has stepped outside the bounds of his office, and you do not have to listen to him.

00:57:38.832 --> 00:57:44.472
If he is doing it in citing scripture, perhaps read the scripture he cites, because that is actually an authority.

00:57:44.492 --> 00:57:45.752
You are bound by the Word of God.

00:57:46.632 --> 00:57:48.052
But his collar doesn't bind you.

00:57:49.612 --> 00:57:53.632
And incidentally, I said we would return to the issue of the collar.

00:57:55.992 --> 00:57:59.792
We need to recognize again the symbolism, what that collar is.

00:57:59.872 --> 00:58:06.032
And those traditions, those denominations that have abandoned it, should probably consider re-adopting it.

00:58:07.132 --> 00:58:08.832
It represents that restriction.

00:58:10.552 --> 00:58:12.412
The pastor is a slave.

00:58:13.232 --> 00:58:14.612
He is a slave of the Church.

00:58:15.392 --> 00:58:19.972
He has no authority beyond that which the Church herself may wield.

00:58:21.532 --> 00:58:24.952
And so if he acts outside that authority, he is faithless.

00:58:27.152 --> 00:58:35.152
That collar is a symbol of the restrictions of the pastoral office, and also of the duties imposed on the pastor, of course.

00:58:35.932 --> 00:58:43.712
But it is a reminder that he has limitations in what he may and may not do by virtue of the office that he has assumed.

00:58:45.252 --> 00:58:51.252
Yes, it may be that he has pursued that office, or it was thrust upon him as has been the case historically.

00:58:52.852 --> 00:59:08.212
But regardless of how he obtained it, by virtue of the fact that he has the office, there are restrictions on what he may and what he may not do that are not true for Christian men generally, particularly for certain Christian men.

00:59:08.652 --> 00:59:23.492
Theologians, for instance, do not have the same restrictions as a pastor, because not all of the authority for a theologian flows from Scripture, because the church, of course, is bound by Scripture, and the pastor is bound by the church.

00:59:24.812 --> 00:59:31.172
A theologian is bound by the abilities God has given him, and so that is more a matter of wisdom.

00:59:31.692 --> 00:59:33.952
That is a more difficult line to discern.

00:59:35.052 --> 00:59:42.112
And of course, a theologian, just like any other teacher, is going to be subject to the stricter judgment, and so he should be careful when he speaks.

00:59:43.392 --> 00:59:46.872
I'm not saying theologians have the ability to just run their mouths.

00:59:46.892 --> 00:59:48.412
They should absolutely not do that.

00:59:48.912 --> 00:59:52.292
And a man who has been given those gifts by God should certainly know better.

00:59:53.432 --> 01:00:13.312
No, you don't bind consciences in the same way as a pastor does, but at the same time, there is a little bit of that inherent when a man speaks as a theologian, when a man speaks as a teacher, because if you are teaching the Word of God, you are saying, this is true according to the Word of God.

01:00:13.332 --> 01:00:14.812
You are speaking in God's name.

01:00:15.832 --> 01:00:20.072
If you are speaking truthfully, that is a good work, that is commendable.

01:00:20.372 --> 01:00:21.952
God will reward you for that.

01:00:22.972 --> 01:00:32.312
But if you are speaking falsely, that is a violation of the second commandment, that is sin, and you will be judged for what you have said that was false.

01:00:34.292 --> 01:00:40.712
As I said at the outset, one of the things we wanted to cover today was effectively ecumenism in the trenches.

01:00:41.432 --> 01:00:56.512
And so, after circumscribing where pastors may and may not tread, I want this conversation to be about Christian men as we interact with each other, because we are all facing the same challenges.

01:00:56.532 --> 01:01:06.132
We are facing the same spiritual landscape, the same political landscape, the same threats to our communities, many of the same problems in our congregations.

01:01:06.592 --> 01:01:13.532
You know, across every facet of the Christian life is under assault today for us as Christian men.

01:01:14.752 --> 01:01:29.232
And one of the unprecedented things about that assault is that, as I said earlier, for the first 300 years of the Church, before the laity clerical distinction really took hold, the Church was under persecution.

01:01:30.172 --> 01:01:43.472
And then we had a period of about, what, 1400 years, where in greater and greater scope, almost exclusively in Europe for much of it, the Church took hold, Christianity took hold.

01:01:43.792 --> 01:01:56.192
Entire nations were Christianized and became completely Christian in terms of their laws, their culture, their expectations for how men would deal with each other, and then the churches that they had.

01:01:56.212 --> 01:01:59.192
And I say completely Christian, I don't mean doctrinally pure.

01:01:59.632 --> 01:02:03.892
I just mean that competing demonic religions were not tolerated among them.

01:02:04.112 --> 01:02:06.552
There was a monopoly, because there's one God.

01:02:06.892 --> 01:02:09.152
And when they recognized that, they acted accordingly.

01:02:10.192 --> 01:02:22.992
And then about 300 years ago, with the Enlightenment being born and giving birth to this new global religion that's been slowly emerging from the slime ever since, we've seen the death of Christendom.

01:02:23.412 --> 01:02:26.412
We have seen Christianity come increasingly under attack.

01:02:26.972 --> 01:02:37.092
We have seen the Christian life eroded and Christian nations torn down and replaced by exclusively and explicitly secular nations.

01:02:37.692 --> 01:02:51.392
And even a place like the United States that was born from one of the many revolutions at that time, the First Amendment was trying to cut the baby in half, was trying to split the baby and say, well, we're not going to have a state religion.

01:02:51.412 --> 01:02:54.072
We're going to let anyone have whatever religion that's nice.

01:02:54.092 --> 01:02:55.872
We're going to let everybody get along.

01:02:56.512 --> 01:03:15.992
And although it was still overwhelmingly Christian religions that were preserved, as later on the arguments were made, well, obviously this applies to all religions, eventually the court's like, well, yeah, yeah, yeah, because the nation was necessarily decristianized by the fact that it refused to have a monopoly on the faith.

01:03:16.972 --> 01:03:25.352
And 250 years on in the United States, and about 300 years, give or take, on in the Enlightenment in the West, Christendom is dead.

01:03:25.892 --> 01:03:27.472
There are no Christian nations left.

01:03:27.952 --> 01:03:29.732
There are no Christian governments.

01:03:29.872 --> 01:03:33.572
There are no Christian leaders, almost without exception.

01:03:34.072 --> 01:03:39.512
Even the ones who say that they are, are the most rank form of Judaizing heretics you could imagine.

01:03:39.912 --> 01:03:45.492
Some of those wicked men, serving some of the most wicked people on the planet, and they're doing it in the name of God.

01:03:46.072 --> 01:03:48.512
Makes perfect sense if you understand scripture.

01:03:49.252 --> 01:03:56.532
And so one of the places where Corey and I diverged from the post-millennial guys, many of whom are in the audience, we get along because we want to see the same things happen.

01:03:57.152 --> 01:04:05.832
We simply disagree about the eschatological nature of the outcome of what we do in these hours to try to serve God.

01:04:06.172 --> 01:04:06.952
And it doesn't matter.

01:04:07.072 --> 01:04:08.112
That's above our pay grade.

01:04:08.272 --> 01:04:13.012
When God puts out the lights and judges us all, from the judgment throne is up to Him.

01:04:13.012 --> 01:04:14.532
No one knows the day or the hour.

01:04:14.552 --> 01:04:15.772
We don't need to worry about it.

01:04:16.052 --> 01:04:21.712
So, it doesn't preoccupy us at all whether we win or lose as we fight these battles.

01:04:22.092 --> 01:04:26.012
Our concern is simply when our Master arrives, we're being faithful stewards.

01:04:26.532 --> 01:04:30.132
We're keeping a watch and we're obeying as we've been called to.

01:04:30.992 --> 01:04:37.552
The task that we have as Christian men is that we must first necessarily acknowledge that we must re-Christianize the West.

01:04:37.832 --> 01:04:39.072
That is no longer Christian.

01:04:39.272 --> 01:04:42.772
I made the case last week, we made the case even in the Christian churches.

01:04:43.192 --> 01:04:48.672
It's overwhelming we're not Christian when you actually look at the definition of Christianity.

01:04:49.452 --> 01:04:53.372
And so the good news in those places where people are saying, I'm Christian, I believe the Bible.

01:04:53.752 --> 01:04:54.432
Okay, great.

01:04:54.612 --> 01:04:55.992
Well, let's look at what the Bible says.

01:04:56.452 --> 01:05:00.512
And hopefully the Christians in those places will say, Oh, wow, that's not at all what I thought.

01:05:00.532 --> 01:05:01.472
That's not what I was taught.

01:05:01.832 --> 01:05:03.412
Okay, believe what the Bible says.

01:05:03.432 --> 01:05:04.652
Now you're actually a Christian.

01:05:05.092 --> 01:05:07.412
I want to beat up on people and say, No, no, no, you're all bad.

01:05:07.432 --> 01:05:08.092
You're all going to hell.

01:05:08.392 --> 01:05:09.432
I want to say you believe in God.

01:05:09.452 --> 01:05:09.732

01:05:09.972 --> 01:05:10.752
Here's what he says.

01:05:11.292 --> 01:05:15.492
It's the closest thing we have to a winning move, because it's just pointing to what God says.

01:05:16.052 --> 01:05:20.732
God will win the souls that he has elected to be in eternity.

01:05:21.632 --> 01:05:42.672
The problem that we have as Christian men when we're looking at this atmosphere is that I think part of the dichotomy that we have all been given of layman versus cleric is that we feel that we need a permission slip from the Bible and from our pastor to do anything really.

01:05:43.312 --> 01:05:47.572
It was very common where we say something on Stone Choir that's not directly scriptural.

01:05:47.592 --> 01:05:50.352
It's just talking about race or whatever.

01:05:50.372 --> 01:05:54.912
We're talking about some plainly demonstrable factual thing in the world.

01:05:55.652 --> 01:06:04.872
And the default response from a certain type of person, it's not even a bad response, it's a right response in one sense, is what's the Bible verse that says that?

01:06:05.312 --> 01:06:06.332
I don't want to pan that.

01:06:06.452 --> 01:06:07.572
It's a good attitude.

01:06:08.152 --> 01:06:10.772
The problem is that not everything is in the Bible.

01:06:11.392 --> 01:06:14.332
All of morality is in the Bible, not all truth is in the Bible.

01:06:14.532 --> 01:06:15.812
It's two distinct things.

01:06:17.212 --> 01:06:19.792
You cannot have morality from outside the Bible.

01:06:20.652 --> 01:06:23.452
You can have facts from outside the Bible.

01:06:24.192 --> 01:06:34.172
And so when we, as teachers who are not pastors, we are not bound to stick to the sort of things that a pastor has, we can talk about whatever we want.

01:06:34.492 --> 01:06:37.572
And as Christians, we're bound to say Christian things about it.

01:06:37.952 --> 01:06:41.732
But if we want to talk about race or we want to talk about politics, we're free to.

01:06:42.052 --> 01:06:43.592
And no one can tell us that we can't.

01:06:44.012 --> 01:06:45.332
I think that's one of the wild things.

01:06:45.352 --> 01:06:47.272
When I say we, I mean you too.

01:06:47.832 --> 01:06:58.572
If you have an opinion about demographics or immigration or alien invasion or whatever thing you think is important, you are free to have that opinion.

01:06:58.892 --> 01:07:02.552
And your pastor cannot tell you that you may not have that opinion.

01:07:03.532 --> 01:07:14.812
And this is the crux of the necessity for this episode, is that the notion of I need to find a Bible verse to give me permission to say that races exist and that they are different.

01:07:15.272 --> 01:07:23.012
I need my pastor to give me permission before I can have an opinion about 7 million aliens coming into the country in the past year.

01:07:23.752 --> 01:07:24.512
No, you don't.

01:07:25.012 --> 01:07:26.832
You don't need your pastor's permission at all.

01:07:27.032 --> 01:07:30.212
In fact, your pastor has no business talking about that stuff at all.

01:07:30.432 --> 01:07:35.172
If he wants to talk about it in the church context, I hope you find something Christian to say.

01:07:35.392 --> 01:07:41.772
There are Christian things to say, like when a country is overrun by foreigners, that's God's judgment.

01:07:42.492 --> 01:07:49.472
When your belongings and your produce are devoured by aliens, that's God pouring out His wrath on you.

01:07:49.812 --> 01:07:53.872
When you were ruled by women and by foreigners, that is God judging you.

01:07:54.212 --> 01:07:55.472
That's what a pastor can say.

01:07:55.792 --> 01:08:04.552
He can say, you see these people pouring over the border and you see these people in Congress who do not look like us and are not men, this is God pouring out His wrath.

01:08:04.692 --> 01:08:05.892
That's a Christian thing to say.

01:08:06.072 --> 01:08:07.592
If they want to say that, that would be great.

01:08:08.172 --> 01:08:10.132
No argument for me because that's in Scripture.

01:08:10.372 --> 01:08:12.352
We will never stand in opposition to Scripture.

01:08:12.812 --> 01:08:15.052
However, they're never going to say those things.

01:08:15.292 --> 01:08:17.072
Pastors are almost never going to say that.

01:08:17.632 --> 01:08:21.272
What they will say is that you're not allowed to do a Christian nationalism.

01:08:21.512 --> 01:08:23.892
You're not allowed to say that races exist.

01:08:24.172 --> 01:08:32.892
You're not allowed to say that if a certain race is overwhelmingly committing virtually all the crime, I care about that as a member of my community.

01:08:33.332 --> 01:08:35.972
Pastors are overwhelmingly going to condemn that.

01:08:36.112 --> 01:08:36.492

01:08:36.892 --> 01:08:39.412
Because it's in opposition to the new global religion.

01:08:40.852 --> 01:08:49.192
As I said earlier, when you look at the set of things that actually get most of these guys animated, not all of them, they're good and faithful pastors who stick to Scripture.

01:08:49.612 --> 01:09:00.372
And frankly, as these ideas are spreading, there are more of them because men who are actually Christian who have never heard those arguments before, like, oh, yeah, the Bible says that.

01:09:00.892 --> 01:09:01.952
I remember that.

01:09:01.972 --> 01:09:02.892
I remember reading it.

01:09:03.152 --> 01:09:04.732
And I can actually see how it applies.

01:09:05.232 --> 01:09:17.312
More and more of those good Christian men who were misled by their education, as they hear these arguments coming from outside of the machinery of the denominations, like, oh, yeah, that's what God says.

01:09:17.632 --> 01:09:18.812
And I see with my own eyes.

01:09:19.252 --> 01:09:33.452
And it's very clear to those Christian men who happen to be in the office of pastor that, yeah, what some of these other guys who are saying, they were outside of the system, these stones that have been crying for a while, they had something that I needed to learn.

01:09:35.272 --> 01:09:38.532
We as Christian men must engage in the context where God has put us.

01:09:38.752 --> 01:09:41.452
That's a recurring theme that we have.

01:09:41.932 --> 01:09:50.212
Wherever you are, what your neighborhood is, your neighbors, your community, your family, these are your concentric circles.

01:09:50.552 --> 01:09:52.892
This is where your greatest duty lies.

01:09:53.692 --> 01:09:56.292
And there are many political duties there.

01:09:56.332 --> 01:09:57.032
Most of it is.

01:09:57.512 --> 01:10:05.132
Even the things we are sharing in the Gospel is going to increase the spiritual health and well-being of people and then improve those other things.

01:10:05.432 --> 01:10:07.792
You need to attend to the material needs as well.

01:10:08.352 --> 01:10:11.472
In many cases, you need to attend to the material needs first.

01:10:11.492 --> 01:10:13.972
That's a great opportunity to share the Gospel.

01:10:14.292 --> 01:10:20.892
When you go and you donate your time and you work with people who need help, and maybe they ask you why, you say, I'm here because I'm a Christian.

01:10:21.412 --> 01:10:22.592
I have a duty to help you.

01:10:22.612 --> 01:10:24.092
I don't know you, but you're my neighbor.

01:10:24.412 --> 01:10:26.332
Therefore, I'm going to do whatever I can to help you.

01:10:26.772 --> 01:10:34.392
To show that sort of Christian love is a better advertisement than hanging up a flag or putting up a YouTube stream or anything.

01:10:34.812 --> 01:10:38.312
Actually showing the Christian life in action can only happen in real life.

01:10:38.712 --> 01:10:40.352
You can't be a virtual Christian.

01:10:41.012 --> 01:10:43.232
You can only do it with your community.

01:10:44.012 --> 01:10:47.272
And so we as Christian men have a duty to do all those things.

01:10:47.732 --> 01:11:00.232
And where the things that we have to say and the things that we have to do run afoul of the global religion, and pastors come screaming behind us saying, no, no, no, you can't say that, we need to silence them and we need to remove them from the equation.

01:11:00.492 --> 01:11:04.152
They don't get to stop what is a Christian act.

01:11:04.752 --> 01:11:21.812
And the fact that, as Corey said, the fact that they would try to stop things or that they would get things wrong proves not only that they are on a frolic, that they are completely off the reservation in terms of their office, but it demonstrates unequivocally that they are unfit for the office that they claim to hold.

01:11:22.492 --> 01:11:29.452
A faithful pastor would never be running up behind you screaming and shouting for you to stop doing what the Bible says or to stop believing what's in the Bible.

01:11:29.792 --> 01:11:31.272
That only comes from one source.

01:11:32.192 --> 01:11:38.952
I wish I had a better, more catchy name than global religion, because it's kind of a mouthful and it's got no curb appeal, but it's exactly what it is.

01:11:39.232 --> 01:11:46.292
It is a global religion that's held everywhere universally, in the church, in the media, in every country in the world.

01:11:46.532 --> 01:11:49.972
Every politician has the same morality as most of our pastors.

01:11:50.592 --> 01:11:56.212
That should be one of the most terrifying things that we face, because that morality runs the gamut.

01:11:56.232 --> 01:12:09.632
It completely obliterates the right hand kingdom set of word and sacrament that the church congregation is erected and created by God to faithfully deliver to the sheep.

01:12:10.472 --> 01:12:15.912
The congregation is there to do a certain limited set of things, and the pastor is the steward of those mysteries.

01:12:17.212 --> 01:12:36.152
The fact that those stewards have set aside the word and they're not properly administering the sacraments for the sake of screaming at people on the internet about obeying Klaus Schwab's morality shows just why we need Christian men, just as those who erected St.

01:12:37.032 --> 01:12:39.312
Ambrose of Milan said, this is our guy.

01:12:39.652 --> 01:12:45.252
He's not from the machine, but he's the one who is going to stop some of these abuses and be faithful.

01:12:46.612 --> 01:12:49.252
Christian men are the ones who make those decisions.

01:12:49.632 --> 01:12:55.832
You don't need the second tier synodical or denominational machinery to give blessing.

01:12:56.552 --> 01:13:04.092
The reason that that second tier matters, the reason that the denominations matter, is that by and large, that's where future pastors are going to come from.

01:13:04.372 --> 01:13:09.692
And most denominations, that's the way it works, because they're usually not raised up from the local congregation.

01:13:10.272 --> 01:13:16.032
And even in the denominations where the pattern is that they are raised up locally, they're generally sent away.

01:13:16.472 --> 01:13:21.792
And at this point, a lot of the congregations are really too small to even have enough men for that to be a possibility.

01:13:22.072 --> 01:13:32.392
You need a certain size of population to even have a chance of having someone who's going to meet the criteria and then want to do it and be apt to do it.

01:13:32.412 --> 01:13:44.932
Like, there are a lot of ifs before you get to the point where you can have your next elder, your next preaching pastor, the next guy who's going to be the one who does the things that God commands inside the congregation.

01:13:46.612 --> 01:13:52.072
And all the other things, we as laymen, we as Christian men, like it's hard to get out of your head.

01:13:52.092 --> 01:13:53.472
I've almost said it a few times.

01:13:53.872 --> 01:13:54.812
We're Christian men.

01:13:55.112 --> 01:13:59.732
We're not a different kind of Christian than someone who is a cleric.

01:14:00.452 --> 01:14:04.192
A pastor who dedicates his life to that stuff should be praised.

01:14:04.472 --> 01:14:08.292
He should be acknowledged as doing something that is good and salutary.

01:14:09.032 --> 01:14:09.952
My dad's a pastor.

01:14:10.212 --> 01:14:11.732
I grew up with this stuff.

01:14:12.052 --> 01:14:14.892
He sacrificed his family for the church.

01:14:15.452 --> 01:14:16.672
I don't begrudge any of it.

01:14:16.912 --> 01:14:17.432
It's hard.

01:14:17.652 --> 01:14:26.912
I can tell you, when you're a pastor's kid, when you're a pastor's family, it is you who are being ground up for the sake of the rest of the congregation.

01:14:27.312 --> 01:14:31.252
Because the pastor usually is going to see that his congregation is his first duty.

01:14:31.672 --> 01:14:36.492
And a lot of times the family is going to come second because you know, their family, you love them and you hope things will pan out.

01:14:36.772 --> 01:14:39.872
And they're going to forgive you certainly more than a congregation will.

01:14:40.292 --> 01:14:46.932
When a pastor has problems in a family and problems in his congregation, he would hope that the family is going to be forgiving.

01:14:47.612 --> 01:14:49.812
The congregation is often just going to be brutal.

01:14:50.212 --> 01:14:52.772
It's often a brutal and thankless job.

01:14:53.112 --> 01:14:55.272
I am in no way hostile to good pastors.

01:14:55.432 --> 01:15:03.712
There's no one who has higher regard for the sacrifices that they make and the contributions that they make to a godly Christian life.

01:15:04.372 --> 01:15:06.792
That doesn't mean that they have unlimited authority.

01:15:07.152 --> 01:15:09.672
We don't have 50,000 popes.

01:15:10.092 --> 01:15:11.492
That's not what's going on here.

01:15:12.352 --> 01:15:17.592
A man who's a pastor in a local congregation has duties blessed by God, and that's where they end.

01:15:18.092 --> 01:15:21.272
And the Christian life is 168 hours a week.

01:15:21.672 --> 01:15:30.832
We as Christian men live our lives in the community, and there are many things that we say, and we do, and we believe, and we act upon, that they have no business telling us we can't.

01:15:31.672 --> 01:15:34.472
That's the fundamental bottom line we want to get across in this episode.

01:15:34.712 --> 01:15:36.632
There are things your pastor cannot tell you.

01:15:36.912 --> 01:15:39.212
You can't believe or think or do.

01:15:39.692 --> 01:15:42.412
Now, as I said at the beginning, this is not rebellion.

01:15:42.432 --> 01:15:43.392
This is not license.

01:15:43.592 --> 01:15:47.012
It's like, aha, I can just do whatever I want, and my pastor is just buzz off.

01:15:47.252 --> 01:15:47.512

01:15:48.232 --> 01:15:50.732
The point is that the pastor should be on the same page as God.

01:15:51.012 --> 01:15:52.612
We should be on the same page as God.

01:15:52.932 --> 01:16:00.792
But when a Christian man is on the same page as God, it looks much bigger than what the pastor's narrowly circumscribed duties are.

01:16:01.152 --> 01:16:03.612
There's a very limited amount of stuff a pastor can do.

01:16:04.012 --> 01:16:05.152
We have to do everything.

01:16:05.832 --> 01:16:10.712
And when the pastors are failing to do their jobs, we have to do some of their jobs too.

01:16:11.072 --> 01:16:17.532
Not in terms of usurping the actual preaching and the administration of the sacraments, but we have to make sure that someone is doing it faithfully.

01:16:17.932 --> 01:16:21.612
If that means removing evil men, that's going to have to be part of it.

01:16:22.532 --> 01:16:28.992
Sometimes you have to be the guy who's like, we need to get together and end what's going on here, because this is bad for everyone.

01:16:29.472 --> 01:16:32.692
The Christians in the congregation have that authority.

01:16:33.132 --> 01:16:37.532
It's not held at the mythical corporate synodical or denominational level.

01:16:37.752 --> 01:16:38.852
Those things don't exist.

01:16:39.172 --> 01:16:41.412
Those are fictions that we opt into.

01:16:41.832 --> 01:16:43.892
And historically, they were done for the sake of good order.

01:16:44.152 --> 01:16:48.812
But the second that they are in opposition to good order, you are free to replace them entirely.

01:16:49.192 --> 01:17:00.712
And if they've been co-opted and their weaknesses that they have that are actually doing harm, not only must you remove them, but you must make sure that those errors, that their structure made possible, can never be repeated.

01:17:01.292 --> 01:17:05.372
Because as we're trying to fix these things, it's not just getting it right in the moment.

01:17:05.672 --> 01:17:09.052
We're trying to rebuild something that's going to survive in future generations.

01:17:09.512 --> 01:17:23.772
And that means not being hasty, not being rebellious, but it also means looking in a very frank manner at the state of things and saying, we're not going to do this again because we found when we tried this, it attracted the worst sort of men.

01:17:24.992 --> 01:17:25.812
There's a lot of that.

01:17:26.152 --> 01:17:38.332
There are a lot of men who are attracted to these offices because it's a way for a weak and useless man to borrow credibility, to borrow respect that he can never possibly earn in the real world.

01:17:38.732 --> 01:17:40.832
That's not what most guys are in for, but some are.

01:17:41.612 --> 01:17:46.472
A lot of guys become pastors because they genuinely want to share the gospel, even if they have crap theology.

01:17:46.752 --> 01:17:53.572
Even if I wouldn't like anything about them, I don't doubt that in many cases their desire to become a pastor was sincere.

01:17:54.252 --> 01:17:59.332
Unfortunately, if they're spiritually weak, once they get into that position, it's going to go off the rails.

01:17:59.692 --> 01:18:11.412
And there's also a set of men who's very much attracted to the trappings because it lets them masquerade as something that they would have never earned any respect in the world.

01:18:11.532 --> 01:18:13.792
They're not the sort of man that would ever command respect.

01:18:14.092 --> 01:18:17.072
And yet, if they can put on a collar, it's given by default.

01:18:17.532 --> 01:18:18.452
And it's not a bad thing.

01:18:18.472 --> 01:18:19.312
It's given by default.

01:18:19.332 --> 01:18:22.912
You should, as a member of a congregation, you should have respect for your pastor.

01:18:23.212 --> 01:18:28.532
Even if he's younger, even if he doesn't know as much, the office should have a certain amount of respect.

01:18:28.872 --> 01:18:30.312
But the respect is for the office.

01:18:30.592 --> 01:18:35.832
And if a man doesn't live up to it, then you've done a poor job at selecting the man who's going to hold that office.

01:18:36.492 --> 01:18:41.692
So we as Christian men have to take stock of all this stuff, and we have to be engaged in all of it.

01:18:42.152 --> 01:18:46.292
We don't get, as Corey said, we don't get to outsource and say, oh, the church guys are taking care of that.

01:18:46.612 --> 01:18:48.552
That's personally my mistake most of my life.

01:18:49.252 --> 01:19:00.572
I have always been a Christian, but I was mostly checked out from paying attention because as a child who grew up seeing church politics being ugly, I want nothing to do with that.

01:19:00.592 --> 01:19:04.132
I don't need church to be another place where I see ugliness.

01:19:04.632 --> 01:19:11.552
And so when I was told, yeah, patriots are in control, we have the conservatives running things again, like great, God's taking care of the LCMS, I'm happy.

01:19:11.572 --> 01:19:13.012
I don't need to pay any attention at all.

01:19:13.532 --> 01:19:20.152
And so as soon as I look, you know, 25 years later, like, wow, this is not remotely the same religion that I was raised in.

01:19:20.872 --> 01:19:26.952
And rather than wandering off in disgust, I said, you know what, this is still my church.

01:19:27.212 --> 01:19:28.512
This is still my problem.

01:19:28.872 --> 01:19:31.732
And I don't have to be a pastor to do something because I'm a Christian man.

01:19:31.752 --> 01:19:47.072
One of the men that I spoke to after I was doxxed and attacked, he laughed and joked and said, clearly you're a cradle Lutheran because no one who had adopted the faith, this denomination, would ever stick with it after the crap that I was receiving.

01:19:47.092 --> 01:19:47.832
He's like, he's right.

01:19:48.292 --> 01:20:01.772
If I had not been a cradle Lutheran, if I had converted so-called into this, I would have gone and found something else because the abuse, the nastiness would clearly turn me off and say, well, that's what it is, I want no part of it.

01:20:02.252 --> 01:20:12.172
The fact that I was raised as Lutheran when it was actually Lutheran, and then I checked back in like this isn't it anymore, means I'm not going to wander off.

01:20:12.192 --> 01:20:14.772
I know that the doctrine I was taught was sound.

01:20:15.232 --> 01:20:17.052
The application of it today is a problem.

01:20:17.652 --> 01:20:24.552
And so whatever context we're in as Christian men, we have to stick to our guns after we make sure that they're right.

01:20:24.992 --> 01:20:30.492
If you find that your doctrine or your beliefs or your behavior is an error, fix it.

01:20:31.192 --> 01:20:32.252
That's the easiest thing in the world.

01:20:32.692 --> 01:20:37.252
And as a Christian, no one has a better understanding than we do that we make mistakes.

01:20:37.272 --> 01:20:38.152
We get things wrong.

01:20:38.592 --> 01:20:41.592
Repentance is a part of the Christian ethos.

01:20:41.772 --> 01:20:42.692
It's part of our psyche.

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It's part of everything about what we do.

01:20:44.832 --> 01:20:46.072
I thought I was doing one thing.

01:20:46.432 --> 01:20:48.312
I realized I was doing something wrong.

01:20:48.652 --> 01:20:49.152
I repent.

01:20:49.292 --> 01:20:50.232
I turn away from it.

01:20:51.012 --> 01:20:56.752
When you have that attitude, it gets a lot easier to say, well, I thought I was doing something that was okay.

01:20:57.132 --> 01:20:58.232
I realized it was wrong.

01:20:58.872 --> 01:21:00.052
I'm going to go the other direction.

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And you don't let it burden you, and you don't feel foolish.

01:21:03.632 --> 01:21:13.072
You thank God that you were straightened out somehow, whether you got smacked upside the side by some disaster in your life, or someone chastised you and set you straight.

01:21:13.432 --> 01:21:19.792
Whatever it was, it was God turning you around and giving you the ability to repent by putting the facts in front of you.

01:21:20.852 --> 01:21:30.212
It's a blessing we can do that for others, and it's a part of the Christian life to make sure that we're there to do it, and that we as Christian men are equipped to actually be able to make those arguments.

01:21:30.572 --> 01:21:34.692
Whether it's from scripture or it's from nature, you should always speak truthfully.

01:21:35.272 --> 01:21:41.492
And Christian men have a duty to speak truthfully on matters that frankly pastors are not permitted to speak on at all.

01:21:43.732 --> 01:21:53.812
On the topic of ecumenism, there will be some particularly Lutherans perhaps who will be worried about the possibility of unionism.

01:21:55.072 --> 01:22:02.492
And for Lutherans and for the Reformed to some degree as well, of course there's the specter of the Prussian Union.

01:22:04.152 --> 01:22:10.792
And we won't get into the details of that because it's not particularly relevant, but that's not at all what we are advocating.

01:22:11.452 --> 01:22:22.712
We are not advocating for restructuring the right-hand kingdom, for joining all of the churches together and having one unified church.

01:22:24.312 --> 01:22:25.672
Because we don't agree on doctrine.

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Many of you listening are reformed.

01:22:29.912 --> 01:22:30.972
We are not reformed.

01:22:31.292 --> 01:22:32.052
We are Lutheran.

01:22:32.492 --> 01:22:34.832
We disagree on a number of things.

01:22:35.352 --> 01:22:37.772
We disagree on some of the specifics of the sacrament.

01:22:38.192 --> 01:22:42.012
We disagree on predestination, certainly.

01:22:42.132 --> 01:22:43.512
We disagree on things.

01:22:44.032 --> 01:22:56.052
And so we cannot be in the same church body with regard to the second level or with regard to the third level insofar as membership at least goes.

01:22:56.072 --> 01:23:05.372
I'm not saying you can't attend a service at a non-Lutheran church if you're Lutheran or a non-reformed church if you are reformed.

01:23:06.512 --> 01:23:07.492
That's a different matter.

01:23:07.912 --> 01:23:10.112
You couldn't be a member because you don't agree to the doctrine.

01:23:11.132 --> 01:23:20.932
For the sake of convenience and clarity, I think I'll just refer to the three levels whenever it comes up from here out as church, synod and congregation.

01:23:21.752 --> 01:23:25.172
It's really the Lutheran term there for the second level, but it's clear enough.

01:23:25.852 --> 01:23:28.212
And all of you listening understand what we mean.

01:23:30.012 --> 01:24:01.092
What we are advocating, what we are advancing here and going forward in a number of episodes in a sort of loose series, is working together as Christian men across these denominational or traditional lines with regard to matters of the left-hand kingdom, and in addition to working together with regard to matters of the left-hand kingdom, not attacking one another on the basis of disagreements in the right-hand kingdom.

01:24:02.832 --> 01:24:06.052
Now, I want to be very careful about what I am saying and what I am not saying.

01:24:06.652 --> 01:24:30.292
I am not saying we cannot continue to disagree, because of course, as a Lutheran, a large chunk of the Book of Concord is dedicated to condemning doctrines with which we disagree, which would be the Anabaptists, and we don't distinguish Anabaptists and Baptists, incidentally, the Anabaptists, Reformed, the Enthusiasts, which would basically be Pentecostals, and others.

01:24:31.592 --> 01:24:33.352
We are not going to abandon those positions.

01:24:33.812 --> 01:24:35.532
We still hold those things to be true.

01:24:36.452 --> 01:24:43.332
However, those disagreements by and large are left centuries ago.

01:24:43.872 --> 01:24:46.292
They are still alive insofar as we still disagree.

01:24:47.072 --> 01:24:51.272
But the major fights over those, we have already argued these things to death.

01:24:52.152 --> 01:24:53.732
The lines are drawn where they are drawn.

01:24:54.532 --> 01:24:55.312
We disagree.

01:24:56.112 --> 01:25:02.912
There are some who will be convinced to one side or the other occasionally by reading Scripture or reading the Confessions.

01:25:03.672 --> 01:25:04.292
That's fine.

01:25:05.312 --> 01:25:12.992
We cannot permit those disagreements to stifle cooperation with regard to the left-hand kingdom.

01:25:14.192 --> 01:25:17.812
Because the matters in the left-hand kingdom are dire and urgent.

01:25:18.912 --> 01:25:26.912
We must work together as Christian men on any number of political and social and cultural issues.

01:25:28.232 --> 01:25:46.412
There is no one group that has the numbers, the clout, whatever it happens to be, whatever the resources or the attributes or the abilities happen to be, there is no one group that has them sufficiently in order to do it by themselves.

01:25:48.032 --> 01:25:59.772
It doesn't matter if it's the Baptists who have many members in the United States certainly, the Reformed, assuming they can all work together across their various groups, the Lutherans, the Anglicans.

01:26:00.332 --> 01:26:03.292
There isn't a single group of us who can do this alone.

01:26:04.752 --> 01:26:06.612
We need to work together as Christian men.

01:26:08.212 --> 01:26:14.112
And that is a fundamental point that is worth repeating, perhaps almost to the point of ad nauseum.

01:26:14.852 --> 01:26:21.612
We are working together as Christian men, even if we disagree on some of the matters of the faith.

01:26:23.952 --> 01:26:25.972
We still hold that the Reformed are Christian.

01:26:27.072 --> 01:26:28.332
We still hold the Anglicans.

01:26:28.792 --> 01:26:31.572
Of course, there are some divisions there, as the Anglicans are well aware.

01:26:31.952 --> 01:26:33.932
But the good Anglicans are Christian.

01:26:35.612 --> 01:26:44.852
We still hold the Baptists are Christian, in deep error from our perspective, certainly, particularly with regard to endless irony but Baptism.

01:26:46.532 --> 01:26:59.252
Just because we disagree on these matters with regard to the Right Hand Kingdom, and just because they are incredibly important, because in some cases they are core parts of the faith, we believe the Sacraments are a core part of the faith.

01:26:59.272 --> 01:27:01.552
This is what Scripture teaches, and we hold it.

01:27:02.312 --> 01:27:10.972
Just because we disagree on those things does not preclude cooperation with regard to matters in the Left Hand Kingdom as Christian men.

01:27:12.592 --> 01:27:18.252
This isn't for pastors, because for pastors there is even more of a concern with regard to unionism.

01:27:19.032 --> 01:27:31.672
For instance, Lutheran pastors are not supposed to publicly pray, teach, or do anything of that sort with clergy from other denominations, because it is seen as a tacit approval of that wrong doctrine.

01:27:33.772 --> 01:27:35.312
Christian men don't have that problem.

01:27:36.952 --> 01:27:38.892
If you're reformed, I can pray with you.

01:27:40.032 --> 01:27:42.612
I'm not going to affirm your teaching, certainly.

01:27:43.432 --> 01:27:44.892
I don't even really need to say it again.

01:27:44.912 --> 01:27:45.472
You know that.

01:27:46.052 --> 01:27:48.832
I know that you aren't going to affirm my teaching, and that's fine.

01:27:49.012 --> 01:27:50.492
I wouldn't expect you to do that.

01:27:51.312 --> 01:27:56.512
But as Christian men working together on issues of the left-hand kingdom, that's not in view.

01:27:57.852 --> 01:28:04.092
Working together with you to ban abortion isn't saying that I approve of your conception of the sacrament.

01:28:04.332 --> 01:28:06.132
Only an insane person would think that.

01:28:07.072 --> 01:28:08.952
That's not at all what is being advanced.

01:28:10.092 --> 01:28:23.212
And we should not permit our disagreements with regard to doctrine or tradition or whatever it happens to be to preclude the necessary cooperation with regard to these political issues.

01:28:24.472 --> 01:28:31.272
Because we are never going to have a restoration of a Christian society of Christendom without cooperation.

01:28:33.592 --> 01:28:40.472
Now ultimately, we will have to resolve our differences religiously in some way.

01:28:41.332 --> 01:28:46.012
That probably involves some kind of separation in the somewhat distant future.

01:28:46.712 --> 01:28:55.932
But here and now, the most urgent issues are preserving the Christian faith, preserving the Church in the decades ahead.

01:28:57.072 --> 01:29:03.032
Because if we are not the ones who stand up and do what needs to be done, no one will.

01:29:03.892 --> 01:29:05.712
There's no one coming to save us from this.

01:29:06.272 --> 01:29:12.092
There's no outside group that's going to come and restore Christianity if we allow it to die.

01:29:14.292 --> 01:29:16.092
That happened previously in history.

01:29:17.512 --> 01:29:22.432
God used Old Testament Israel to restore the Christian faith.

01:29:25.212 --> 01:29:29.672
There is no group coming to save us if we permit the Church to die.

01:29:31.912 --> 01:29:33.992
Because it's not going to be preserved in Africa.

01:29:35.372 --> 01:29:44.072
There are very few Christians there, regardless of what the numbers show, and most of the ones who are Christian, more or less, are syncretists in their practices.

01:29:45.252 --> 01:29:46.572
The syncretism will win out.

01:29:47.372 --> 01:29:50.272
They'll be pagan again in a handful of generations.

01:29:51.472 --> 01:30:02.712
We are the only Christians left who can possibly restore what needs to be restored in order to have the foundation to rebuild Christendom.

01:30:03.572 --> 01:30:05.192
And so we must work together.

01:30:05.992 --> 01:30:07.152
We have no other choice.

01:30:08.192 --> 01:30:14.832
It doesn't matter even if you find it unpalatable working across denominational or traditional lines.

01:30:15.892 --> 01:30:16.972
Too bad, suck it up.

01:30:18.092 --> 01:30:30.212
As Christian men, our duty, first and foremost, is to Christ, is to the Church, is to be faithful to our faith, is to be actual Christian men.

01:30:31.212 --> 01:30:34.572
And that is going to require us to behave as Christian men.

01:30:35.412 --> 01:30:37.692
And part of that, of course, is wisdom.

01:30:39.072 --> 01:30:40.872
Wisdom compels us to work together.

01:30:42.052 --> 01:30:44.492
We can maintain our differences, we can argue about them.

01:30:45.192 --> 01:30:48.992
Go ahead and argue as much as you want over beers down at the pub.

01:30:51.172 --> 01:30:55.192
But we have to have a unified front with regard to the left-hand kingdom.

01:30:57.052 --> 01:31:01.252
Because it is only in unity that we are going to be able to achieve anything.

01:31:02.852 --> 01:31:04.312
Diversity is not our strength.

01:31:05.052 --> 01:31:06.912
Diversity has never been a strength.

01:31:07.992 --> 01:31:08.972
Unity is strength.

01:31:09.812 --> 01:31:13.352
The Church has always been stronger when unified.

01:31:14.432 --> 01:31:18.132
And yes, today, unfortunately, we are not unified.

01:31:19.272 --> 01:31:23.312
With regard to doctrine, we are not going to be unified until Christ comes back.

01:31:23.812 --> 01:31:24.672
We all know that.

01:31:25.372 --> 01:31:31.712
We are not going to convince every single Christian man that this or that confession is absolutely correct.

01:31:32.992 --> 01:31:37.772
The divisions are necessary, because the divisions are how iron sharpens iron.

01:31:38.312 --> 01:31:40.092
You argue one thing, I argue another.

01:31:40.372 --> 01:31:42.112
We look at Scripture and see what it says.

01:31:43.772 --> 01:31:46.232
But again, that is a matter for the right-hand kingdom.

01:31:47.612 --> 01:31:54.752
The left-hand kingdom requires all Christian men to work together, because it is us versus them.

01:31:55.272 --> 01:31:59.132
And in this case, the them is Satan and his minions.

01:32:00.352 --> 01:32:08.212
And so the us must be Christian men as a unified front against the evils of the world, the flesh and the devil.

01:32:10.172 --> 01:32:12.672
And so it's not unionism that we're advocating.

01:32:13.192 --> 01:32:13.932
It's unity.

01:32:15.612 --> 01:32:17.612
In the right-hand kingdom, it would be unionism.

01:32:18.372 --> 01:32:19.752
And we will never advocate that.

01:32:20.772 --> 01:32:23.812
But with regard to the left-hand kingdom, it is unity.

01:32:24.772 --> 01:32:26.432
And we will continue to advocate that.

01:32:27.432 --> 01:32:28.972
Because it is the only way forward.