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Matt Kennedy: “How Revisionist Activists Subvert the Church”

March 27, 2012

Matt Kennedy, writing at Stand Firm, has penned a very perceptive post on How Revisionist Activists Subvert the Church, and I wanted to quote him on his thoughts on how we stop this cycle of subversion:

How do orthodox Christians in a given denomination stop and roll back the cycle? I wish I had definitive answers to that question. I do have some initial thoughts below. None of them are new, unique, or especially creative but I do want to get the conversation going.

1. Produce biblically literate orthodox, theologically discerning congregations that understand the need both for prayer and political involvement; congregations that are prepared to endure both scorn and loss for the sake of biblical fidelity.

2. Promote and support politically astute strategic minded orthodox leaders prepared to use the media, the church courts, and legislative action to defend and implement orthodoxy.

3. Organize politically minded orthodox groups committed to working locally, regionally, and nationally to thwart theological liberalism and create denominational structures and laws that prevent further revisionist incursions.

4. Create online orthodox communication hubs—places where the words and deeds of revisionist activists can be publicly exposed and disparate orthodox leaders and people can network and strategize.

5. Follow the Apostolic model and contend zealously for the faith. Publicly identify, name, and critique and criticize ideas and leaders who challenge orthodoxy. Do it early and often from the pulpit, in print, and online.

6. Make a practice of ignoring calls for “patience”, “moderation” and do not allow those who make such calls to set the tone of the debate.

7. Habitually eschew the spiritual sounding advice from well-meaning allies who suggest political involvement and action is unworthy of the Christian.

The first of these is especially crucial, and so I would add to this list:

8) Work on improving the education of our clergy in preaching and conservative Biblical scholarship, that they might be better equipped to preach and teach orthodox theology to their parishes.  This leads to

9) Establishing more orthodox schools and seminaries with discipline and enforcement of doctrinal standards.  If someone comes in and begins teaching unorthodox doctrine, remove them.

I’m certain there are other things to consider, but Matt Kennedy has given us a good beginning to think about on this subject.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Irene permalink
    March 27, 2012 3:38 pm

    This is a very interesting list. I would add that we should not be afraid of the word “dogma” because what we are really advocating is a return to adherence to the dogmas of the Christian faith — dogmatic theology. “Dogma” is not a dirty word. Neither is “judgmental”; we are supposed to exercise good judgment. We are not to judge in terms of passing eternal sentence. I see no way to be orthodox without being dogmatic in some sweet sense of the word.

    • March 27, 2012 4:43 pm

      Those are wise words indeed, because those of us who are called to be teachers must be dogmatic in the sense of which you are speaking. Scripture certainly tells all of us to be discerning, and if “discerning” is not being “judgmental” in that sense, I don’t know what it would be!

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