Joel McDurmon abandoned theonomy shortly after I debated him on the topic in 2015. Although he still uses the word, theonomy, he has gone on public record denying the most core, essential and distinctive of theonomic positions, Mosaic penology. In fact, he now denies that seventh commandment crimes should be punished, which was the core argumentation he used in an attempt to prove the obligatory nature of Mosaic Law in our Phoenix debate.
I’m not the only one to have noticed that McDurmon, president of the Reconstruction-Dominionist organization, American Vision, has abandoned the theonomy of Rushdoony and Bahnsen. David Carlton, a long-time theonomic blogger at Faith and Heritage, wrote a five-part treatise on McDurmon’s desertion from the movement, which I wrote about in the post, Joel McDurmon’s Abandonment of Theonomy. I first explained that McDurmon had left theonomy in the post Ding Dong, The Onomy Is Dead. Many theonomists have noticed that their fearless leader is no longer their leader, and have summarily un-followed their formerly bearded master. With the exception of certain hardcore incendiaries bent on world-dominion like Bojidar Marinov – those types and kinds of men without personal convictions other than a burning intensity to distract the church from the Gospel with all sorts of bizarre political theories – have mostly left the leader who first left them. The Embers of a Dying Fire I wrote about in the book by that title have now been extinguished, and all that is left of Rushdoony’s theonomy is smoldering ash.
McDurmon has very much become a leader without a movement.
The very intentional solution for McDurmon is to co-opt the growing (and growingly radical) anti-church movement known as Abolish Human Abortion (AHA). The organization (it is organized in every possible way an entity can be organized, regardless of what they tell you) exists, ostensibly, to end abortion, but one would be hard-pressed to determine whether they hate the organized church or abortion the most. Comprised of mostly Sectarian Minimalists, many of whom do not belong to local churches (or, like the founders of AHA, belong to Sectarian Minimalist non-church sects) the adherents to AHA’s cult-like lexicon and ideology are a ragtag group of individuals who view the church with great antipathy. AHA leaders claim that they’re not technically leaders, perpetuating the myth that AHA is just an ideology (this is cult warning sign #10).
No doubt, McDurmon views AHA as a movement that needs strong leadership. And no doubt, he is auditioning for that role.
I first warned you about the marriage between AHA and McDurmon in a post, A Warning: When Theonomy and AHA Collide, back in September. That warning proved more prophetic than anything you might see in Charisma Mag, and the wedding is in full-gear.
Joel McDurmon adopts the anti-church zeal of AHA, and accuses church leaders of “slandering” abolitionists – link
Joel McDurmon preaches a “sermon,” in which he attacks the organized church and defends abolitionists from actions of their duly constituted elders – link
Joel McDurmon spins Paul Washer’s rebuke and disavowal of AHA as a positive for AHA – link
Joel McDurmon attacks the visible and organized church as “the establishment,” and defends AHA regarding their anti-church behavior – link
Joel McDurmon defends AHA for their disrupting, trespassing ruckus at G3 and his attack on the the conference as “milk” (abolition is meat, apparently) – link
Joel McDurmon again pairs an attack on the church and the topic of abolition, laying abortion solely at the feet of the organized, visible church as an enemy of life – link
That’s just the anti-church, pro-AHA posts at the newly post-theonomic American Vision just since the New Years. Then, we can compile the pro-AHA attacks on “the establishment” from McDurmon in his social media.
McDurmon links a radically anti-church podcast, which has gone so far as to attack the concept of church membership and pastoral authority.
McDurmon throws down on the notoriously amiable Rich Pierce, accusing him of “bald-faced lies” (hint: they weren’t) and “slander” (by the way, self-victimization is cult warning sign #3)
McDurmon allows on his page an attack on the Shepherd’s Conference because it’s teaching just the “milk” of the word (like, the Gospel and stuff), when ostensibly serious-minded Christians should be focused on dominating culture. He responds to the post below.
McDurmon behaves bizarrely, challenging Dr. White “Old West Style” after Dr. White corrects him regarding his trashing of the G3 Conference and taking the trespassing, hostile AHA protesters at their word (below).
McDurmon is angling to be the resident scholar of AHA, and AHA will be quick to give it to him. We call this type of heresy bounce-around Cross-Heresy Addiction. Sadly, when someone leaves one particular false doctrine, it doesn’t mean they return to orthodoxy. In the case of Joel McDurmon, he seems to be getting revenge on the organized and visible church which has so soundly and unilaterally rejected the bizarre doctrines of theonomy by joining with the enemy of the church, AHA. It appears that for McDurmon, it’s time for payback to a Church that has rejected his positions for so many years.