Mark Higdon scoffs at blackmailing Parson Goat:
“Mr. Anonymous” overstates and overspeculates. The voluntary and/or “compliant” closure of churches is due to some combination of four factors:
Paycheck relief applied for by majority of U.S. churches
Fear of lawsuits
A number of you cited Mark’s first point. And you’re right: many people succumb to corruption; generally, it’s simply a question of determining and then meeting their price.
But we find a couple of exceptions to that rule. Politicians and bureaucrats are virtually all venal. Perhaps a very few here or there resist at first, but how can an honest man remain for years, let alone all his life, among such filth? No, the vast, overwhelming majority of these immoral thieves can be bought easily—and at bargain rates, too.
At the opposite end of this spectrum is the Church. And while some Christians fail when tempted, our thousands upon thousands of martyrs throughout history and around the world prove that many don’t, even when their lives rather than mere mammon are on the line. Multitudes of believers have died excruciatingly rather than betray their Savior.
The American “Church” isn’t purer than any other: outright hypocrites and infidels defile it as they do the Chinese, Korean, Mexican or Italian Church. But many devout, Bible-believing and Gospel-preaching congregations also spangle it. And yet, across the country, almost all churches caved to governors’ “suggestions” or “mandates” to close. I haven’t found statistics, but I’d bet the percentage is 98 or 99. Those who adhered to the Bible, who seemed genuinely devoted to the Lord, folded as quickly as those that genuflect to Caesar.
How can that be?
Jim Wetzel, who also doubts that Our Rulers bribed Parson Goat, offers this testimony:
…I don’t think the idea of all our sad-sack clerics having been honey-trapped and compromised really survives an application of Occam’s Razor. I think their unanimity in caving is easily explained in terms of cowardice, conformity, and the knowledge that the sheep are just as cowardly and, worse yet, are locked in on the telescreen and uncritically buy into the swill that emerges therefrom.
Example: the “church” from which I just resigned a few days ago. I was 99.99% sure I was going to, weeks ago, but I’m on the board and I waited for one last board pseudo-meeting, last Wednesday, just to force them to vote against a “re-open instantly, without mask requirements and with repentance” motion. As it turned out, they didn’t have to do that, as it failed for want of a second. The pastor did a little mild pushing for a reopening last Sunday, with of course no singing, no touching, maskies for all, antisocial distance, the whole miserable unChristian nine yards, and that didn’t go anywhere either. Now, I would agree that he has earned himself the title of “Parson Goat,” as he could have said, “I’ll be in the pulpit, proclaiming the Word, and you worms can all either show up or not,
depending on what you consider to be real and important and what you don’t,” and he certainly didn’t do that. But my point is that he wasn’t exactly holding anyone back. They held themselves very nicely, thank you. The people my age (66) and up were simply afraid-to-terrified, and of the younger folk, they were a curious mixture of inappropriately afraid and also terribly enamored of the whole techy zoom-zoom thing. (I need hardly mention that the meeting was mostly zoomy; only the pastor, myself, and one woman who I think doesn’t have a good internet connection at home were physically at the church building.)
Yo, Goat: did you consider your elderly or very poor parishioners when you so suddenly and speedily slammed your doors? Did it occur to you that not everyone Zooms? Or don’t you care?
So, if we assume that most “churches” are like my former one, it seems likely to me that their Parson Goats are simply saying “yes, sir, right away, sir, anything you say, sir”… Besides, who are the parsons these days, anyway? I’m thinking: more than a few grizzled lesbians, and of the nominally male ones, well, they’d have to grow a pair of, errr, attachments before being susceptible to honey traps.
So, as I see things, the bad news is that the institutional church in America is completely dead. But there is good news:
I can report that, since I’ve realized that I was unchurched, my personal devotional life has become far more rich and powerful than before. I have to think that modern American “church” was acting as an antidote to Christianity. There’s nothing like seeing what your true situation really is, and has been for a long time, to push you toward Jesus, with a renewed gratitude and passion. The “church” was Jezebel. I’ve returned to my first love.
I’ve found, over the course of my grownup life, that when I “discover” something, I find that plenty of other people are doing the same. God’s pushbroom is a wide one, and if it’s sweeping me along, I’m going to find I’m far from the only one.
From the book of Acts on, we’ve seen what Paul reported: that His strength is made perfect in weakness. The real enemies of the true Church have always been prosperity, comfort, power, and worldly respectability. I see these baleful enemies going away. I see a lot of real estate, featuring buildings with a tall, pointy part on their roofs, becoming available for other purposes. And can there be any doubt that our Lord will use this to lead His sheep to find each other, with joy and gratitude and boasting in their weakness, that the power of God might be made manifest?…
The Lord cherishes His remnant. We may be small, but in Him we’re mighty! May He bless us as He accomplishes His purposes.12:17 pm on May 29, 2020 Email Becky Akers