Friday, November 30, 2012

A "Supralapsarian" Tale of Two Churches

One of the great problems for a "Supralapsarian" like myself, is that with it's attendant view that all is ordered, all (as Brandan Kraft says), down to "every grunt made by (a) beast," you walk into every doorway and every situation and know that it was purposed and intended from before the foundations of the world by God. That hardly means though, that you know what the resulting events actually mean.
This gets worse when the information is very specific. I still don't know what it means.

Faith and obedience come into play here. I can know a few things, and one of them is that the subject matter selected by two different pastors to preach when I walked through the door, was not an accident.

I still don't know what it means, beyond the selection of the topic material.


The fact is that this blog has fallen into relative obscurity again, perhaps even worse than before it became popular. I don't contribute much and contributions are sporadic (so my "popularity" isn't much of a surprise). The "popularity" issue means that there is little chance those congregations and pastors will find and identify themselves in this piece. Most can't spell my name correctly. Most aren't looking anyway. I also have the evidence of attending Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Vermont for a year and a half while this blog was relatively popular, and no one visited it from the congregation, even though one or two members knew I blogged and my name was plastered all over it.

This is an elaborate way of saying I think it is safe when I am talking in vague terms when it comes to "where I've been." I wouldn't wish to cause more trouble than I have already.

I have attended two churches while living in (name of town omitted). In the case of the first, I had met the pastor once before in another venue, but he did not remember. When I walked through the door the first day, they were preaching on marriage. Not only did they preach on marriage, but Pastor (insert name here) actually doubled down on the concept of monogamy and kinda ground it in. I'll blow part of the punch line here and say that's sorta what happened in the next venue as well.

As with most "Reformed/Theologically Conservative" venues, the various parishioners are ravenously about "fresh meat" (me, in this case, being the meat) and generally don't let you go without thorough questioning. Having traveled about, the goals are all the same. The nice smiling folks want to know WHY you came, WHAT you believe, does it qualify as "Reformed" from their perspective, and it becomes very evident that the goal is to see WHEN you are going to become a member.

Because OF COURSE you believe EXACTLY what they believe.


There is of course "Are you MARRIED?" followed quickly by "Where's your WIFE?" and "How many Kids do you have?" and "Where are they what are they doing etc, etc."

In the first case, the denominational affiliate I attended had been planted by a former church of mine, and they started (without realizing this) to do all the above "drill downs" to ascertain my bona fides.

I got invited forthwith to the pastor's post church lunch-ish afternoon get together (complete with BEER, this congregation even has their own BEER variety, their very own, really) and the drill downs began in earnest.

What's the name of your church i haven't heard of them how can it be so small how did you get into that congregation Oh, you were THROWN out WHY? What about marriage do you believe....

And so on.

I was promised an audience with one of the other pastors that never materialized and was asked not to come back shortly thereafter.

So, the "God is Sovereign" guy that I am says to himself:

"Why of all Sundays did I come to a church on the day they're preaching about MONOGAMY?"

Months later I go to the "Other" denomination's local representative. In both cases I declare disinterest in formal membership because I am a member elsewhere. "It's a LONG story" I say (very true) and I omit mentioning certain uncomfortable details and succeed in rather oppressively controlling the conversations I get into (which bores many) but succeeds in steering clear (it would seem) of the third rail marriage topic.

I of course had been invited to attend the after church pot luck, where most of these discussions took place.

And the pastor preached on one of my favorite chapters (of late) in scripture.

Genesis 4.

Oh brother.

Maybe he'll be like a good little Reformed preacher, and he'll skip the uncomfortable bits in making his point.

Except, he doesn't.

Pastor reads the WHOLE chapter and doubles down on the plural marriage aspect, and of course declare it wrong.

You've got to know how infrequent such occurrences are, sitting in the pews of various reformed venues across the country. They do happen, but not that often.

I just "happened" or "accidentally" walked into these churches on the day they were preaching in part on the topic of plural marriage.

What's a "Supralapsarian" to do?

Or think?

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