Twenty-five hundred people saved their milk money to afford travel to and attendance at the G3 Conference in Atlanta last weekend. I was one of those. Little did I know when I registered for the conference that the speaking roster would be a hodgepodge of immature, milk-dispensing, highly-esteemed jokers. Lawson, Mbewe, Washer, Johnson, White, et al; a bunch of clowns, I tell you what.
Or, so says Joel McDurmon of American (Re)Vision:
Of course, I was present when Josh Buice – the conference organizer – explained that anyone (included paid registrants) would be booted if we didn’t have our name-badges. Such a policy is for public safety in conferences that large, as well as for other practical reasons (like aimless drifters eating our Chick-fil-A or sectarian minimalist heretics passing out anti-church brochures). I was also there when concerned (and paid) conference attendees – who happened to be open-air preaching anti-abortion activists – told the convention organizers about the AHA remonstrators and suggested they be booted.
McDurmon, in the above tweet, repeats the charge of sectarian minimalist AHA adherents…the Gospel is “milk of the faith” (read that, elementary) and leaders of the organized church are immature “jokes.” The antipathy toward the church is as strong with McDurmon as the smell of microbrew on his beard.
Of course, as I’ve reported multiple times, McDurmon is a man without a movement and is eager to be seen as the intellectual head of the fringe, anti-church AHA. Since abandoning theonomy last year (he still uses the name, in spite of abandoning its major tenets), many theonomists have – in typical theonomist fashion – anathematized McDurmon and exiled him to the well-populated Island of Former Theonomists, where most theonomists eventually shipwreck. American (Re)Vision has gone from advocating the most legally-oppressive system of government possible to advocating the exact opposite of theonomy – libertarianism. While some haven’t noticed the 90 degree turn, many have.
This isn’t the first time that church-toxic Reconstructionists have mingled with sectarian anti-abortionists, but the last time it ended with dead abortion doctors and the theonomic murderer, Paul Jennings Hill. I laid out for you the clear and present danger of these two fringe elements joining forces in the post last September, A Warning: When AHA and Theonomy Collide. McDurmon clearly has picked up the sectarian mantle and waved it, and his behavior this weekend demonstrated that. It’s not enough to put anti-abortionism (a good and noble endeavor) ahead of the Gospel in priority, but these sectarians must also attack the organized church in the process.
One G3 speaker, Dr. James White, responded to McDurmon’s invective.
It’s here that things got…weird. McDurmon decides to call out Dr. White and invite himself over to the venue for a recorded conversation on the merits of AHA, with AHA members present.
…aaaaand a little invective to make it go down smoother.
…and when Dr. White didn’t respond promptly enough
Now, it’s here that I realize Dr. White had been busy debating Papists and speaking at the conference and speaking to listeners and answering questions all day and was probably passed out (from tiredness) in his hotel room, that I decided to respond to McDurmon’s challenge.
Notice that McDurmon says he would have “jumped at this opportunity” at 9:49pm. Apparently it was too late. Also notice that it was around the same time McDurmon made the challenge to White. I texted McDurmon and invited him down, and he said he would call me at 8:30AM to meet in person to discuss AHA the next day. I received a message from him in the afternoon, stating that he had forgotten about me.
Since the weekend, McDurmon has posted two articles at American (Re)Vision, both of which launch vituperative maledictions against the organized church, religious leaders, and conferences like G3.
Referring to this conference hosted by a relatively small-to-medium church pastor as the “ministry industrial complex,” McDurmon clarifies in The G3 Kerfuffle that he does “not apologize” for his criticism, which mirrors almost precisely the sectarian minimalist sentiments of the more extreme members of AHA.
Apparently, White thinks my criticizing G3 is some aberration on my part, out of character, blown about by winds and whims of change. But he fails to see we have been doing this from day one, calling the church to repent of its obsession with theological foundations and actually to put wings on the plane. Rushdoony first noted many of these problems in By What Standard?, published in 1958. So, forget just the past eight years; where James been for the past 59? It is this lack of grounding as to where one is in the big picture that leaves a man vulnerable during the types of emotive reaction against another who is simply unimpressed with the ninetieth repetition of the Christian ABCs.
Notice the “church repent” code words that McDurmon uses, straight out of the sectarian playbook (this is cult warning sign # 1, click here for link), portraying all parts of the visible church as watered down or broken, and projecting themselves as the purified bride in exclusion and exile. Then, McDurmon invokes the ghost of Grandpa Rushdoony, who himself was a sectarian minimalist who rejected the organized church (they kept rejecting his aberrant theology) in lieu of his own house-religion. And then again, McDurmon refers to the doctrine taught at G3 as “Christian ABC’s.” To McDurmon, real Christian maturity and the “meat of the word” must be a hyper-post-millennial Reconstruction Dominionism that plots schemes to take over the world (this week, for McDurmon, it happens to be commandeering the abolitionist movement).
McDurmon’s venture into sectarian minimalism is also made clear by his subsequent article, Abolitionism Versus the Establishment. Again, McDurmon plays the hand dealt by the AHA schismatics, claiming that legalized abortion is the fault of the establishmeny, attempting to delegitimize organized religion and incite more bad behavior against the Bride of Christ by unappeasable, churchless ne’er-do-wells. McDurmon here encourages antipathy toward Christ’s church and incites anti-church stupidity the same way that Jesse Jackson baits race conflict.
The hostility toward activists who preach the need for the immediate, coming from established organizations and ministers is as reprehensible now as it was then, and the arguments and reasoning virtually identical. The church needs to repent, and this means scores of leaders need to repent and show an example to their followings of repentance from apathy.
McDurmon repeats the accusation of the AHA schismatics that some of the criticism directed toward them has something to do with their desire to end abortion, and not the fact that they need to sit in the corner and proverbially receive a good spanking for their division, strife, and truancy from the Means of Grace and the services of the church. Again comes the myth that no one cares about abortion as much as the guys in matching t-shirts and the hipsters who became abolitionists three months ago.
That being said…
Here’s what I saw at G3.
I saw the greatest expositors that the world knows, preach the Holy Scriptures and edify Saints hungry for the Word of God. I was able to hear godly men teach from God’s book and I was evangelized; I was preached the Gospel. The Gospel’s depth’s were mined, the Gospel’s heights were measured, the Gospel’s width was surveyed for those with ears to hear.
If that was milk, I want more of it. I need more of it.
Self-convinced works-righteousness from men who need to go to Sunday School more and preach less…I’ve had enough of that. I’m good. Seriously. Enough already.
Give me more Gospel.