Sunday, September 06, 2015

In which the pond contemplates a moral monstering this meditative Sunday ...

It being a meditative Sunday, the pond is delighted to report that a whole new world unfolded before its eyes this week.

The long absent lord moves in mysterious ways, and who'd have guessed that thanks to her, the pond would be quoting Peter Hastie denouncing Hillsong:

I recall that in the 1950s A. W. Tozer, a holiness preacher, used to warn the evangelical church against compromising God’s holiness by turning the corporate worship of the church into an occasion for entertainment. It was all done in the name of attracting the youth back to the church and preventing a further slide in church numbers. But Tozer warned that anything that compromised God’s holiness would not arrest church decline. Today, half a century later, Thomas Bergler has issued the same warning in his book, The Juvenilisation of American Christianity. 
“Juvenilisation,” he says, “is the process by which the religious beliefs, practices, and developmental characteristics of adolescents become accepted as appropriate for adults.” Those at the forefront of this movement adopted a number of working principles in their approach to youth. One of these was “it’s a sin to bore a kid”. This led some leaders of this initiative to adopt the music of contemporary youth culture, to which they then tried to wed the idea that a personal relationship with Jesus would lead to a thrilling and happy life. No one thought seriously about where this could lead because it was done with a laudable end in view. 
But as time went on Christian teenagers began to speak of the Christian life in terms of falling in love with Jesus and they often used similar language to those who had a semi-erotic, emotional fascination with a teen pop idol. Although this was done with the goal of appealing to the young, the result was that youth and adults have embraced immature versions of the faith, many of which have little or no stress on biblical holiness. (here in pdf format, may be slow to load)

Don't listen to the pond calling Hillsong juvenile, immature, childish and unholy, listen to the Presbyterians!

And the pond was vastly relieved to learn that Old Testament slavery had nothing to do with the slavery on view in the United States: It was part of a very fair and effective system of justice when it was applied rightly.

Most of the Hebrews who were slaves in the Old Testament period were debt slaves - they owed money and were paying it off, or they had stolen something and could not pay it back with the added compensation, so they worked it off. This is neither cruel nor an abomination, but eminently sensible. (Peter Barnes, in pdf form here, may be slow to load).

Guess those Egyptians had a point after all, and how petulant of Moses to demand they let his people go, but at least anyone working for the man (or woman) these days now understands they're just living through an eminently sensible form of biblical slavery.

Yes, thanks to Peter Hastie, the pond discovered the world of AP, Australia's reformed evangelical periodical, last four issues in pdf form here.

Naturally those wretched atheists were front and centre of biblical wrath, moral monsters, deserving to be judged and sent to hellfire for all eternity (AP is big on hellfire, doom and wrath and judgment and punishment):

Of course, it goes without saying that biblical kindness and generosity don't extend to gays and marriage ...

And it turned out that Peter Hastie is a dab interviewer and that his interviews have been gathered together under his name - as a tag - here. The pond particularly commends his interview with Melinda Tankard Reist.

But it was inevitable that creationism would be the lure that drew the pond on, and how tragic to discover that the pond had missed out on the assembled wisdom that gathered in Singapore in 2014:

Don't click on that button, you godforsaken moral monsters.

Like the pond, you've missed it, and besides it's just a screen cap.

But still, thanks to a return visit to The greatest hoax, Evolutionary theory is riddled with contradictions, it's possible to guess what might have been some of the talking points:

And then there was an elegant demolition of the entire theory of evolution thanks to the humble horse:

Of course young earthism and creationism and an historical Adam and Eve are matters which greatly trouble the angry Sydney Anglicans - see that eternal doofus Michael Jensen getting into hot water in the comments section of Christ and Creation for hinting that perhaps Anglicans might join the nineteenth century in terms of science.

Of course Adam and Eve are essential to the angry Sydney Anglican order of things:

The creation of Adam and Eve was not an accident of design but a deliberative model of the Creator to establish humankind in the context of family. The creation of Eve was for Adam, a helper suitable for him, so that together they might exercise the dominion accorded them as image bearers of God. (Glenn Davies, here).

But how do these strands come together? Well has a splendid pdf, an essential interview with Claire Smith by Peter Hastie in pdf form here ...

Claire makes many important points about feminism, not the least being 1 Timothy 2...

If, however, you mean, ‘Is it sexist in that women are inferior to men?’ then it’s not sexist. This is not a statement about worth. It’s a statement about our participation in the congregation and in one limited aspect of what happens in our congregation involving teaching and authority. In fact, not even all teaching, but a particular sort of teaching: the ongoing, authoritative, formal instruction of the congregation. So, it’s saying, ‘Women are to be submissive in that they are not to have a formal teaching role with respect to men in the congregation.’ They are not to engage in that sort of teaching.

Indeed, women should just butt out, which makes it particularly poignant to read Claire teaching how women should just butt out of teaching ... as if she had something ongoing, authoritative and formal to instruct the congregation about, instead of jibber jabbering like a woman when she should have fallen silent ...

But back to Hastie himself. The pond recently rather hastily produced a gobbet derived from the moral monsters of twitter, but today, we thought it important for meditators to be able to see a reproduction of the whole page, which can be found in pdf form here:

Now a correspondent has already pointed out that in terms of Roman history, Mr Hastie's understanding of the historical events is rather befuddled and confused, if at least a switch on Gibbon's notion that paganism was tolerant, and christianity intolerant, and hence contributed mightily to the downfall of Rome ...

But the pond takes on the wider point about seeking shelter from the storm.

... the apostles give us no hint that the fear of persecution should ever discourage us from preaching the gospel ...

Indeed, indeed. The benefits of slavery, the moral monsters of atheism, the submissiveness of women, the wickedness of gays, the wonders of Adam and Eve, the joys of creationism, the marvel of a young earth ... all should be preached throughout the land ...

Which does however make a recent stand taken by one Andrew Hastie passing strange, and a tad bewildering and disappointing ...

No Brendan Foster, he doesn't have strong leanings towards creationism. He publicly and wholeheartedly supports creationism ...

Why did you pussy foot around the truth? Remember:

... the apostles give us no hint that the fear of persecution should ever discourage us from preaching the gospel ...

Oh wait, the pond gets it:

... the apostles give us every hint that a fear of voters getting the wrong idea and voting the wrong way should always discourage us from preaching the gospel ...

Oh dear:

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Thanks to Carl Heinrich Block for the picture:


  1. Fucking patriachs - all of the one God religions are anti-women. It was when they wrote Lilith - hunter gatherer woman - out of history and replaced her with the gormless Eve - agricultural woman - that the 'original sin' was perpetrated on both men and women.

    From wiki:

    "The idea in the text that Adam had a wife prior to Eve may have developed from an interpretation of the Book of Genesis and its dual creation accounts; while Genesis 2:22 describes God's creation of Eve from Adam's rib, an earlier passage, 1:27, already indicates that a woman had been made: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

    "The Alphabet text places Lilith's creation after God's words in Genesis 2:18 that "it is not good for man to be alone"; in this text God forms Lilith out of the clay from which he made Adam but she and Adam bicker. Lilith claims that since she and Adam were created in the same way they were equal and she refuses to submit to him:[57]

    "The background and purpose of The Alphabet of Ben-Sira is unclear. It is a collection of stories about heroes of the Bible and Talmud, it may have been a collection of folk-tales, a refutation of Christian, Karaite, or other separatist movements; its content seems so offensive to contemporary Jews that it was even suggested that it could be an anti-Jewish satire,[58] although, in any case, the text was accepted by the Jewish mystics of medieval Germany."

    1. Lilith was most probably a Lesbian, Anon. Explains it all.

    2. Crap anon, Lilith would have eaten the snake, made sauce from the apple and given Adam a good time and then she could be a lezzie in her spare time if she felt like it. Only the power of property relations explains the conservative women like Eve who survive the patriarchy by sucking up the blame for everything the alpha Adam man chooses to do, like eating the apple she offered him. What a little boy, dog ate my homework type excuse for making the wrong choice? My mother would have said "and if Adam jumped off the cliff would you follow?".

      But here you go; a real life running dog collaborator Eve on RN this morning - of course on the Tom Switzer program - a dinosaur woman who must be Miranda Divines' heroine and source of her wisdom.

      Christina Hoff Sommers says, "But some commentators warn that today’s modern feminism is a corruption of what feminism should be; that feminism is no longer about freedom, it’s just a lobby group for pet grievances. That it's not so much about emancipation; it’s now reactionary."

      But she is in favour of lezzies, listen and weep.

  2. Hi Dorothy,

    It would appear that nowadays the Liberals have two Saviours in their pantheon, God and Coal.

    The question however is how do the creationists among them explain the formation of coal. Thanks to the intertubes we can wonder no longer;

    A delightful piece of tosh evidently written by a real geologist.


    1. A classic DW, and the pond is eternally grateful, at least until the twelfth of never, for the link.

  3. Thanks Claire Smith. Now I know why Xians don't support SSM: they can't tell who the submissive partner is. And now I know why that is so critical to their whole existence.
    Maybe if we offered to wear labels that would resolve the issue? A dress? HIgh heels? I'd do almost anything to marry my partner of 20 years; I'd even be prepared to identify as the submissive one - at least in public.

    1. I think a Venn diagram might help sort out some of those tricky areas of responsibility between man and woman in Smith's argument.

  4. Watch out Dot...You might end up with Sydney Anglican complementarian males demanding an apology from you for criticising their complementarian female, Claire Smith...and you being female Dot...they might try to make you submit!

    1. A splendid link Calamity, how naughty of you, but should a stray angry Sydney Anglican happen to pass by, the pond will mount the Kim Davis defence ... you know, four marriages, children out of wedlock, but just waiting for divine redemption at the hands of a handsome Anglican clergyman ready to indulge in submissive foreplay ...


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