Update 4:10PM: Tweetsman @MrJohnHooper alerted me of my Defcon Scale ignorance. I have linked my Defcon Scale reference to the appropriate website, but have not corrected it in the piece for humor’s sake.

I’m back in the old blogger saddle — man that sounds so lame. Not that I’ve ever written anything real significant or important, nor have I ever blogged consistently enough to be called a “blogger” anyways — but it’s been way too long, and there’s a contoversy reaching Defcon 7. I’ve been watching the stupid thing on the sidelines and it’s time to throw my all-important two-cents in. It’s sort of like an itch that I haven’t been able to reach for weeks and I’m sort of just tired of being, well, itchy. It’s time for this relatively irrelelavent blogger to scratch his itch, is what I’m saying.

Something has been happening inside the Evangelically-Reformed universe that feels…well…not so Reformed. It almost feels a bit, dare I say it, Arminian. Not Armenian, that would be at least a little interesting — but Arminian.

Somebody’s…no…some people’s — plural — some people’s Anthropologies are showing.

Dr. James White, a man to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude, sat down with a Muslim to talk about the differences between Christianity and Islam. The goal was, of course, to reach as many Muslims with the Gospel as possible, as well as open the door for more Christians to talk to Muslims in the future. You see, James has been doing this his entire adult life. He’s debated Muslims, Catholics, KJV-Only Cultists, Mormons. He’s used those cordial relationships to reach people who are dead in their sin, condemned before God, suppressing the truth, and are hopelessly depraved.

Speaking of hopelessly depraved: I lived in an unreached people group in the jungles of Papua New Guinea working tirelessly to learn their language and culture so I could proclaim the Gospel to them as clearly as possible.

It was insane.

I also had some internet access that allowed me to listen to these debates, which, you know, helped me fall asleep while drunks were wandering aimlessly and wife-beatings were circling our house. James White was my jam, and I can’t tell you how many times I silently pumped my fist with joy as I heard James explain their strongest argument, earn his right to be heard, dismantle their strongest arguments, and then proceed to give them their only hope for salvation.

You see, in a strange way, though we were thousands of miles apart, that dude felt like another co-worker. We were doing the same thing. I was studying the Kuman’s language and culture so I could preach the Gospel as clearly as possible, he was studying Mormons and Muslims so he could speak to them with understanding. This is exactly what wisdom demands, right (Prov. 18:13)?

By God’s grace, I wanted to think like a Kuman so, like Paul wanted, God’s truth could destroy every one of their beliefs that comes against the knowledge of Christ. James White and I were both doing the work of a missionary: taking the Gospel across cultures. He of course got to wear bowties and I had to kill pigs and constantly buy anti-diarrhea medicine, but we were doing the same work. We were kind of friends during that time, you know, in an odd, stalker-ish kind of way.

But then, out of nowhere, some guy I’ve never heard of named Brannon Howse started calling Dr. James White a useful idiot who was being used by Muslims to accomplish Sharia Law in the US! What an accusation! According to Brannon and his ex-Muslim entourage, White is being used to Make America Muslim Someday (MUMS… I just made that accronym up). Yes, the Muslims are wearing their metaphorical MUMS hats and are trying to take over the US and White is a fool for playing their little game, and helping them WIN!

Traitor.

This got me thinking. Those gears were a’turning in my incredibly hard head. Of course: I understand why Brannon would act so Arminian, because he’s, well, Arminian. But why would Janet Mefferd and Steve Camp act so Arminian?

What I mean is, when did we Reformed people decide to stop sharing the Gospel with those who want to take power away from us? Since when did we stop sharing the Gospel with people just because they waned to be their own gods and rule their own domain? Was there some sort of document that we all signed that confined us to sharing the Gospel with people only if they came to us on our own terms?

“There is a large swath of people in your community that wants to take over America? No, I will not treat you as an image-bearer of God and give you the only thing that will change your totally-depraved heart.”

Something about this seems so Arminian to me.

Look at Romans 3

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God…”

Wait for it..

“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Here’s where there might be a little inconsistency with Brannon, Mefferd, and the Ex-Muslim’s Anthropology: Evil, depraved people do evil depraved things. Liberals want to take over America and make us do liberal things. Mormons, if given the chance, would love to take over America and make us do Mormon things. Republicans want to take over America and make us do Republican things. This, of course, is true only if what the Bible says in Romans 3 is true.

Don’t you see? In Adam, we are all quick to shed blood, Muslims, Catholics, and *gasp* Republicans. Nobody knows the way of peace. All man is confined in sin — that is, until the Gospel is preached with clarity. 

Brannon Howse, his ex-Muslim friends, Janet Mefferd, and Steve Camp have an inconsistent Anthropology. We don’t stop preaching the Gospel to people just because they want to use us to accrue social and political power. If that’s our critera for who is worthy to hear the Gospel, then nobody can hear it.

I’d be honored to be called a “Useful Idiot.” I’d wear that badge proudly, because that means that I’m actually in the game. I’m interacting with fallen, totally-depraved people. Of course they want to use me.

The Kuman used me all the time. For social and political power too. In order to actually get somewhere, I still had to function in that relationship, and I work hard to understand where they were coming from. By God’s grace, I acted with compassion and gentleness knowing that is the only way they could live, because they were dead in their sins.

By believing Republicans, Mormons, and Liberals have a more acceptable depravity — they are at least more stealthy in their blood-thirstiness — Howse, Meffered, and Camp have adopted an American Anthropology, not a Biblical one.

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6 thoughts on “An American Anthropology

  1. Seanna says:

    This is a very insightful article. I’m glad you wrote it and hope it gets a wide readership, because you used the Word to get to the heart of the matter. It is so grievous to see the onslaught against Dr. White from supposedly among his own. I never paid much attention to Brannon Howse, but was particularly surprised to find the mockery coming from Janet Mefferd and, especially, Steve Camp, whose music I have loved for many years. I don’t know if I can listen to it the same anymore.

    You hit the nail on the head with Romans 3 – unbelievers are all dead in trespassess and sins and all hate the Lord Jesus; indeed, so did I before I knew Him. Despte the shame of this controversy, the Lord has used it to remind me that what is going on in the political realm has nothing to do with advancing the kingdom of God. Thank you for giving your life for the people of Papau New Guinea – I am sure it was difficult. God bless you for it.

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  2. terriergal says:

    THAT. WAS. SUPERB.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words!

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  3. beccaj says:

    I’m not sure how much more clear the Holy Spirit can be with us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and throughout the Holy Bible. No matter how many Christians ignore and or abuse the Bible to justify it, there is no Biblical support whatsoever for “interfaith dialogue”—while so much more can be said, like James White and his other supporters, you’re simply not thinking Biblically or rationally. One of the most stunning things about this issue is the fact that most Christians are Biblically illiterate and yet we have Christian men encouraging fellow Christians to open their Biblically illiterate minds to lies, which are of the devil. Of course there’s something terribly wrong with that dark picture.

    “Interfaith dialogue” is un-Biblical, worldly nonsense based on the philosophy of dialectic “reasoning”—an insidious process that leads you to, chiefly among other things, reason from “feelings” and “opinions” rather than from facts, i.e., God’s Word. Temporal situations and temporal relationships with people (even with enemies of the cross of Christ) become the focus of your mind and essentially take precedence over your focus on Christ Jesus the LORD and your relationship with Him. That’s one reason we see certain Christians defending those who engage in “interfaith dialogue” while denouncing it in principle. It’s the same “reasoning” Matthew Vines and his cohorts use on themselves and on undiscerning Christians. It’s what leads a Christian to attend a homosexual “wedding” while denouncing such a thing in principle. It’s used and taught everywhere, in public schools, universities, including seminaries and it’s not new; the serpent used it on Eve in the Garden of Eden. The philosophy is designed to make you question and doubt God and His Word. The very process is the thinking of those described in Romans 1:21: “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their *thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

    *Dialogismos – the thinking of a man deliberating with himself, a thought, inward reasoning, purpose, design, a deliberating, questioning about what is true; hesitation, doubting, disputing, arguing

    The fact of this matter is, like Matthew Vines et al., Yasir Qadhi claims to believe in Jesus, they have heard the Gospel preached with clarity yet they reject it and teach falsehood about Jesus to say the least; they are wolves, false teachers teaching “doctrine” contrary to the doctrine given us in the Holy Bible. The teaching in Romans 16:17-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 John 7-11; Ephesians 5:11; Galatians 1:8-9, etc., and the underlying principles, are all applicable and clear in how we are to deal with false teachers. One will either take God at His Word and obey Him, or they will not.

    “Disobedience in its essence is refusal to hearken; and obedience is bowing the ear to submissive listening. “He became obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” William R. Newell

    The primary problem in Christendom is Cross evasion.

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  4. Ken Temple says:

    Very good Justin! We who have had to learn another culture and language get this. Many Americans don’t get it because they have not been exposed to the principles of understanding some one else in their own culture and language. Thanks for your efforts here and the 2 new short videos you put together that refute S. Camp, Mefferd, Howse, Dakdok. Excellent point about Proverbs 18:13. I am going to use that with Acts 17:2-4.
    Ken Temple
    Propempo International
    http://www.propempo.com/author/ken

    Like

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