Maryland Church Washed Away by Watered–Down Theology

Twinbrook Baptist Church in Rockville, MD recently had a going–out–of–business–sale. The church had been spiritually bankrupt for decades, but the members finally had enough and decided to sell the physical plant, too.

The Twinbrook Baptist started out on solid Christian footing. Founded in 1956, the church was notable for following the Apostle Paul’s doctrine in Galatians 3:27 – 29 “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”

This meant that while many Southern Baptist Churches — to their enduring shame — supported segregation, Twinbrook made it a point to welcome blacks. It was a courageous stance at that time and worthy of praise.

Paul’s theology is a strong brew. In 1987 Twinbrook decided Paul was no longer its cup of tea and joined the Alliance of Baptists, a group that split from the Southern Baptist Convention when the SBC decided it was time to take Paul and the rest of the Bible seriously.

Twinbrook’s entire theology changed. It went from going against the culture and embracing blacks in the congregation, to slavishly following the culture and feverishly jettisoning any Christian doctrine that made sinners feel uncomfortable. When a church dumps doctrine that makes sinners guilty — which is the point of following Christ — it’s no longer a church. Instead it’s a social club that collects dues every week.

Naturally, Twinbrook was “welcoming” church. This meant any heretic or consonant crusader was automatically a valued member of the congregation. As the WoePost put it, “Twinbrook and its pastor have been on the front lines of local and national LGBTQ advocacy …helping to form the outreach group Montgomery County Pride Center and joining an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to rule that federal law prohibits job discrimination against gay and transgender employees.”

And the church didn’t confine itself to fighting for more variety in sex and sexual partners. No “marginalized” sparrow’s fall was too small to escape the notice of these social justice warriors. “Students with lunch money debt” had a friend in their secularized Jesus.

In spite of Twinbrook’s efforts to soften the hearts of lunch ladies, the congregation was down to about 50 members when it gave up the ghost. Their excuses sounded like those of mainline Protestant churches that trod the path to irrelevancy before them.

Once social justice crowded out the Cross, Twinbrook’s theology had scant appeal for Christians, which further limited any possibility for growth. Even the congregation wasn’t that sold on their message. Rather than downsize to fit the eroding congregation and continue the ministry, Twinbrook signed a congregational Do Not Resuscitate pledge and sold out.

“Two years ago, church leaders said, Twinbrook’s congregation realized its numbers were falling and its days as a full-time ministry were probably limited. People were moving out of the area, and older members were dying, making it hard to afford the maintenance on the decades-old church building.”

That makes it sound like Rockville, MD is about to suffer the same fate as Dogpatch, AR. That’s misleading. Rockville is Maryland’s fourth largest city and population has increased 10 percent in the last ten years.

Unfortunately for these Baptists the alphabet apostates and their supporters just weren’t that into them. One can be card–carrying consonant crusader and social justice warrior par excellence by putting a rainbow flag on your Twitter profile and going to the polls just once a year.

Why bother with getting up early on Sunday and being potentially embarrassed when the usher hands you the collection plate? There were plenty of other SJW organizations volunteers could join. And none require a prayer before going for the coffee and donuts.

Proceeds from the sale of the building will be used to contribute over $1 million to local organizations that “share its values.”

The favored groups include “medical clinics, school lunch programs, hospice care, emergency housing funds, Habitat for Humanity builds, LGBTQ youth programs and other community support services.” The only Christian organization in that group is Habitat for Humanity. One of the larger grants will go to Community Ministries of Rockville, which is a nonsectarian religious healthcare organization.

What’s telling about the list of published donations is not a single dime is going to religious organizations working to protect the unborn.

This is remarkable. Our nation has confronted two great moral questions in its history. Twinbrook was on the right side of slavery and segregation when it still believed in the Bible. Today it’s watered–down Christianity has washed away most of the congregation and reduced the remnant to pacifism on the question of life for the unborn.

Methodists Decide to Believe the Bible

Recently the United Methodist Church held a denomination meeting in St. Louis and the outcome for Christians was almost as momentous as the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683. The threat to Christendom at Vienna was external. An Islamic army of Ottoman Turks was knocking on the door to Central Europe until the attack was broken by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

For the Methodists, the threat was internal. A coalition of alphabet–apostates thought they were on the cusp of overturning thousands of years of instruction regarding homosexuality. The goal was to have the United Methodist Church endorse homosexual marriage and practicing homosexual pastors.

Delegates voted on three options. The ‘Simple Plan’ was essentially let it all hang out. Any language in the Methodist Book of Discipline that reflected the Bible’s clear instruction on homosexuality (the Washington Post reporter called it “exclusionary language”) was to be removed and let the good times roll!

The “One Church Plan” was endorsed by craven Methodist denominational ‘leadership’ and a grab–bag of therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of theology. This hypocritical approach let church leaders continue to ignore congregations violating the Book of Discipline. As long as the money keeps flowing into HQ, the ‘leadership’ was fine with these hotbeds of heresy.

The last option was the ‘Traditional Plan.’ That choice would return the Methodists to faithfully following Jesus and Scripture as regards homosexuality.

It looked as bad for the Methodists as it did for the Viennese.

In a supreme irony, the alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates used a message to persuade delegates that was biblically based. They asked the same question that the serpent used in the Garden of Eden, namely “Did God really say that?”

The Methodist delegates answered, “yes.”

There are a number of ways the media could report on this surprising development. One would to follow the headline of this column: “In an upset, the United Methodist Church Decides to Believe the Bible.” That covers the element of surprise and the Methodist’s return to their foundational belief regarding homosexuality.

Or the reporter could have focused on demographics and how African churches provided the votes to carry the Traditional Plan and what this means for the direction of the denomination in the future.

Instead the Washington Post choose ‘Christian bullies pick on innocent homosexuals.’ Only one person was interviewed who wasn’t part of the alphabet army and he was asked about statistics. Other interviewees were ‘victims of intolerance.’

That’s false because Christians aren’t singling out the consonant crusaders with ‘hate’ and rejection. How can one explain the vote to the irreligious chroniclers of ‘what’s happen’n’ now at the WoePost?

How about this? WoePost owner Jeff Bezos decides to go to church. He has three options, two of which would meet with disapproval.

If lover boy shows up at the sanctuary with his adulterous squeeze instead of his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. If Bezos shows up with the squeeze and his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. But if Jeff appears with only his wife, the congregation will assume they’re working on the marriage and accept them both.

Christian churches don’t encourage anyone who demonstrates an open rebellion against God while in the pew.

This entire effort on the part of the alternate–lifestyle, alternate–Bible cabal was entirely political and not religious. As Kermit Rainman explains, “…homosexual activists and their allies know that the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic found in the Bible is the last bastion of defense holding back the widespread embrace of homosexuality throughout the culture. They understand that if Bible-believing Christians and Jews can be convinced that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes, then the battle to fully implement their political and social goals will be won.”

Rewriting the Bible is a project of the left and it is purely secular and wholly selfish. St. Louis Heretics were easy to spot with their rainbow bandanas, Black Lives Matter t–shirts, “Justice for All” buttons, feminist slogans and their raised fists when the vote didn’t go their way.

Fortunately, Methodist delegates voted to return to following Christ and stop following the culture.

Jesus, Another Innocent Man Wrongly Convicted

bitter christian

Few pastimes are more entertaining than witnessing a smug, non–orthodox Jew giving instruction on New Testament theology to Christians. Last Saturday the most reverend Lisa Miller in her Washington Post ‘Belief Watch’ column asked readers, “Is gun ownership Christian?

This puts believers at an immediate disadvantage because Christ did not spend much of his ministry discussing consumer goods. He mentions the odd cloak, fragrant ointment, sword and widow’s mite, but one would not confuse Him with Ralph Nader or other marketplace stalwarts.

Besides, since Miller picks and chooses what she believes in regard to her own faith, she has no problem distorting the Gospel in an effort to draft Jesus into Code Pink.

She begins by completely misunderstanding the significance of Jesus on the cross. Miller writes, “The Christian Lord allowed himself to be crucified rather than fight the injustice of the death sentence imposed on him.” To co–opt Mark Twain; this is an inability to distinguish between lightning and the lightning bug.

On the contrary, it was not a miscarriage of justice. The sentence was the fulfillment of divine justice. Christ willingly substituted Himself on the cross in place of a sinful mankind. God did not alter the terms of the first Covenant with Abraham. There was a price to be paid for man’s rebellion and he decided to pay it Himself. (This refusal to “evolve” on the part of the creator, should give pause to modern “Christian” leader’s attempts to revise and soften the New Testament, but it doesn’t.)

Consequently, Christ was not the earliest recruit for the left’s anti–capitol punishment movement. Christ died for our sins. He willingly paid the price we could not pay and ushered in the New Covenant.

There would be no Christians without Christ’s death on the cross. Even if the Jerusalem chapter of the Innocence Project had tried to get Him off the hook, He would have refused the offer, because to do so would have rendered His work pointless.

After that inauspicious beginning, Miller moves on to the point of her column, “How do such Christians reconcile their stalwart commitment to the Second Amendment with their belief in a gospel that preaches nonviolence?” And then she quotes Matthew 5:39 – “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

This leads me to believe Miller was also not a fan of the excellent movie “Machine Gun Preacher”

Then it left me wondering if I had missed a recent development on the violence front, so I did an online search on “strike AND cheek AND gunfight” to see if there had been a rash of concealed carry permit holders (CCW) lighting up people who slapped them.

That search string was a bust, so I tried “strike AND cheek AND shoot” with the same result. Evidently there is no problem with Christian gun owners initiating violence. Miller’s goal appears to involve persuading Christians to join the ranks of the defenseless. This decision, however, would not be made in a vacuum. Should a Christian head of household decide to disarm because he believes guns are inherently evil, like cigarettes or 16 oz. sodas, his decision would not affect him alone. His wife, his children and mom in the basement would all instantly become draftees in the War for Pacifism.

And the family would be misguided draftees at that. As Adam Clarke points out in his commentary on the passage, these “exhortations belong to those principally who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” Say for example, an orthodox Christian that leftists like Miller slap up the side of the head for refusing to support homosexual marriage. Following Matthew, the Christian would turn the other cheek as he said he does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle either.

The verse is most certainly not directed toward ancient or modern Christians with a desire to defend their persons or their family.

Then Miller snidely intimates that “conservative Christian leaders are not falling over themselves to proclaim in public their pro–gun theologies.” But then Miller proceeds to list various Christians who are doing just that.

She takes issue with Richard Land, a former Southern Baptist Convention official, who said during a December interview on National People’s Radio (NPR) that he supports arming teachers. And Miller concludes with David French, senior counsel for the American Center of Law and Justice, who told her “Turn the other cheek does not mean turn your wife’s cheek or turn your children’s cheek.”

Miller — who works for an organization sporting guards who check commoners before they are allowed to enter — replies, “Provocative, but unconvincing. Jesus identified with the weak, not the strong; with the victims, not the shooters (or the people with the guns).”

Wrong again. Jesus praised a Roman centurion who controlled his own sword and 90 others — for his faith, saying, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” What’s more, Jesus reached out to the weak and the victims, but unlike leftist community organizers, He considered Himself a shepherd and the shepherd doesn’t hand the wolf a napkin as he approaches the herd.

There is another verse that’s very germane to this discussion, although Miller manages to overlook it. Luke 6:42 advises, “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Miller would do more to protect the innocent life of children if she would worry less about the imaginary threat of “assault weapons” in the hands of Christians and more about the real threat of “assault doctors*” who are responsible for the deaths of over 1 million innocents each year during abortions.

*Thanks to my wife, Janet, for this inspired term that aptly describes a depraved occupation.

Why My Wife Is Going to Heaven, Where I Hope She Lobbies for Me: A Short Devotional

Janet. Not on the tandem.

Friday I was an unwitting participant in an object lesson that revealed how my wife, Janet, works to advance the Kingdom of God and I work to advance the kingdom of me.

That afternoon we were riding our tandem on the out–bound leg of our regular bicycle route when we passed two female cyclists slowly making their way up a short rise.

One was riding slowly, obviously waiting for her companion who was dismounted and walking her bike up the hill. Being the wiseacre I am, I often chide people who walk their bicycle up hills by calling out, “You’ll never grow up to be big and strong walking your bike uphill.” But fortunately this time I didn’t.

We reached the turnaround and started back toward home. Shortly we came on the two women again and this time both were walking their bikes. It dawned on me the reason they are walking could be because of a mechanical problem and not fatigue. So we slowed down and I asked the first woman if they had a problem with their bike.

She replied that her friend did have a problem. Janet and I rode up to the second woman and stopped. I asked what the problem was and she explained that her rear tire had a flat and she did not have a spare.

That’s an easy problem to fix, particularly since I always travel with two spare tubes. I told her she could have one of our spares and asked Janet to retrieve it from the pouch under her bike seat. While this was going on, the woman said that she was reluctant to take our tube since she had no way to repay us.

This is the point where I failed as a Christian yet again. (I could tell you the story of Wegman’s, followed a couple of years later by ACE Hardware, but I promised to keep this short.) Feeling really good about myself and my generosity, I told her that all she had to do was say “thanks” and that was payment enough.

Meanwhile, Janet came up with the spare and handed it to the woman who assured us she could change the tube and had a pump to air up the tire. Before we started off the woman again thanked us and Janet said, “You can’t call yourself a disciple if you don’t disciple others.”

And just like that I knew I’d failed again.

Contrast the two responses to the woman’s gratitude. Mine was a pompous, self–satisfied response that focused the action on me: Generous bestower of a bicycle tube. When that should not have been the case at all. Christians act like Christians because if we are saved and if we are filled with the Holy Sprit we are impelled to “Do unto others…” We are not charitable to others because we are basically “nice people.” We do it because that is our mission and I failed utterly to communicate that. As far as that woman was concerned Janet and I were a random act of kindness, traveling on a tandem, origin unknown.

Don’t get me wrong, when one is acting as a Christian you don’t have to make a big production out of it every time you do a good deed. There is no need to have an impromptu prayer meeting or ask them to wait until you can go to the car and retrieve the snake for a brief ceremony.

All that is required for Kingdom building is to let them know they were helped in a small way by an anonymous Christian trying to do God’s work and the thanks belongs to Him.

You can phrase it how you wish. I’m leaning toward what the centurion said in Matthew 8:9, “I am a man under authority…” and adding I am commanded to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. Possibly ending by thanking them for giving me the opportunity to be of service. I may drop this since I don’t want to fall into one of those endless loops of “thank you,” “no, thank you” and so forth.

Short, simple and I hope memorable. Enough so that the next time I have the opportunity I will remember to do it, whether or not Janet is along.

Occupying the Lunatic Fringe

Typical Occupy member expressing his views on law enforcement.

Recently outraged Internet theologians took umbrage at my refusal to join the effort to transform Jesus into a big government, liberal Democrat that supports the Occupy squatters.

Most echoed secular interpreters of Christ who claim, “Jesus shares many of the values of those in the Occupy movement.”

I contend Jesus had plenty of time to confront civil authority, yet Christ focused on religious authority. He didn’t discuss politics with the centurion or tax rates with Matthew. In fact the only system of government approved by God was that of the judges, and the Jews disliked that arrangement so much they demanded a king.

Democracy and social justice are not mentioned in the New Testament because it’s not a political science or economics text. The Word is directed at individuals and not Wall Street, corporations, the GOP, Congress or the Koch brothers.

Solutions will come, if ever, from individuals acting on their own and not collectivists like Nancy Pelosi telling us what to do. But I try to keep an open mind. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time with Occupy to form an accurate opinion.

Fortunately, my daughter saved me a trip and reported back on her encounter with those New Testament individuals working to establish the Kingdom here on earth. Last Saturday night Occupy was marching through Downtown DC to block Obama’s appearance at that den of inequity, the Alfalfa Club Dinner. My daughter’s car was stopped at an intersection blocked by Occupy marchers and in no time at all these “Christ–like” crusaders for Justice saw she was a young woman alone.

They surrounded her vehicle and began the spreading their word. Some dropped their pants to expose my daughter to the persuasive message contained in their genitals. Others sat on the hood and pounded their fists. All this took place accompanied by an inspiring soundtrack of curses, vulgarities and sexual harassment.

She wasn’t mistaken for a member of the 1 percent, gloating over the misfortunes of the poor. She drives a rice burner approaching 135,000 miles that’s decorated with dents, dings and rust spots courtesy of dad’s attempt to repair a broken window.

She was singled out because Occupy harbors an increasing collection of gutless thugs who get off on frightening women and the weak.

There were approximately five offenses worthy of arrest: genital exposure, attempted destruction of property, blocking an intersection, disorderly conduct, assault and wearing a mask to conceal identity (particularly ironic since these laws were passed by “progressives” to fight the Klan). Yet the DC cop standing and idly watching did exactly nothing and the media seldom reports this type of outrage.

I’m wracking my brain here, but I can’t find equivalent behavior on the part of the Apostles. Josephus writes of a Roman soldier starting a riot when he mooned Jews from his perch in Antonia Fortress overlooking Jerusalem, but that’s hardly part of the Gospel.

What’s amazing is how Democrats and fellow–travelers in the media demonize the TEA party and romanticize Occupy leeches. When the ugly undercurrent of the real Occupy movement finally makes headlines, the excuse is always these lawbreakers are “fringe elements” and not part of the main movement.

Really? Then why have there been almost 4,000 Occupy arrests? That’s an active fringe. You don’t find that when searching arrests at TEA party events.

But even the TEA party has a fringe, so lets compare.

TEA party fringe believes the Bilderberg Group is a real threat. Occupy fringe defecates on police cars.

TEA party fringe believes the moon landing was faked. Occupy fringe discourages a rape victim from contacting police.

TEA party fringe believes there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll. Occupy fringe smashes its way into Oakland City Hall, vandalizes children’s artwork and burns the American flag.

TEA party fringe believes the US should return to the gold standard. Occupy fringe urinates on food vendors in NYC when they stop giving free food to Occupy parasites.

Law enforcement wizards in DC may finally be noticing a trend. U.S. Park police commanders have decided, after four months of hand wringing, that it might be time to enforce the law against camping in McPherson Square.

Warnings have been issued against camping and its related activity, sleeping. According to spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser officers have been ordered to investigate tents for clues that include “sleeping bags, teddy bears and kitchen equipment.”

After reading that it’s difficult to decide which group is more pathetic. The unfortunate Park Police officers forced to search for binkies and blankets before making an arrest; or the Occupy cheering section that continues to insist this confederacy of creeps is on board with the teaching of Jesus.