Friday, September 6, 2013

The Unorthodox Curmudgeon

I Need to Go to Paris
There are Questions That Bother Me So

A Fruit of the Spirit? The other day in response to a humorous remark I made on facebook about my being irenic, someone asked, also in a humorous vein, if curmudgeonliness is a fruit of the Spirit. I have thought about it and concluded that it is not. It belongs I think to the realm of common grace. It is a fruit of rationality. How could anyone who is rational consider the state of the world and the church and not be a curmudgeon? How long can it be till people heed Howard Beale’s call, stick their heads out of their windows, and yell, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”? I don’t recommend you stick your head in the church window and yell that at the praise team, but perhaps, something along the lines of, “How did it ever come to this?!”

Daddy before the Smoking
Police Got Him
Gun Safety? My dad owned a pistol. The only time I remember his taking it out was when I was a very little boy and a group of neighborhood men went out one night to see if they might catch a Peeping Tom (they didn’t). I believe my brother got the pistol after my dad died. Anyway, I am for the second amendment and have nothing against guns. But I keep hearing we are supposed to feel safer when people have ready access to guns. However, that has not been my experience. I have driven cars for a company that will pick you up. Twice I have had men take pistols out of a car and carry them in the passenger seat of a car I was driving. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt more afraid than unafraid. Or maybe it wasn't the guns but the people, since guns don't kill people.

Len Dawson
Mind if I Smoke? The other day my old campus minister buddy, Tom Cannon, who posts on his blog only as often as hell freezes over (apparently it last did right after the PCA GA), posted on facebook a picture of Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback, Len Dawson, drinking Fresca from a bottle and smoking a cigarette at halftime of the 1967 Super Bowl. It reminds us how much things have changed. Smoking is one of the few issues conservative fundamentalists and liberal fundamentalists can join in opposing. In fact the fundamentalists of the left may be even stronger opponents of smoking than my old fundamentalist school teachers - that is, if you’re smoking just regular tobacco. Anyway, just as Walker Percy in his famous piece on bourbon said he would not recommend drinking to anyone, so I would not recommend smoking to anyone. However, I am not sure the world is a better place now that smokers are cast out into outer darkness by people weeping and gnashing their teeth. A favorite picture I have of my dad shows him standing on the steps of a building in Pensacola cigarette just visible in his hand (see above). I remember him, however, as a pipe smoker until a fellow Gideon told him it hurt his “testimony” at which point he gave it up. My Papa (maternal grandfather) was a pipe smoker, and my memories of him smoking his pipe are only warm and nostalgic. I remember when people could smoke in their homes. Heck, I  remember when I could smoke my pipe in the house! I recall years ago a a woman writing in The Readers' Digest that her mother had died when she was a little girl. She wrote that she came home from the funeral and burial and sat in her father’s lap, and of how the smell of cigar embedded in his suit comforted her. Now, I am sure she would write of how the offensive and disgusting smell of the cigar smell caused her to gag, bolt from her father's lap, and run from the room into the arms of a tattooed aunt, who gave her an organic veggie sandwich on gluten free bread.

Don Francisco Moreno
A Reformed Hispanic Network? I know this is not a politically correct question and that it may be looked on as a theologically incorrect one as well, but I have to admit that sometimes the thought comes to me of what would be said if someone formed a Reformed Anglo-American Network. I ask because, as person with an ancestor named Francisco Moreno, I was thinking about starting a Reformed Sort of Hispanic Network. I may limit it, however to fellow white sort of Hispanics. My ancestor who by the way had 27 children was from Spain, you see, and something of an aristocrat. Perhaps it should be the Semi-Aristocratic White Sort-of-Hispanic Network (or SAWSHN).

Shall the Transformationalists  Win? I know I am in a rather small minority who believe the that the kingdom and the church are the same (WCF XXV:2) and that the mission of the kingdom, aka church,  is spiritual (WCF XXV:3, XXXI:5). This view gets scoffed at as a retreat (from what? I am tempted to ask), as a denial of Christ’s Lordship, as inconsistent with Reformed history and theology, as - well unorthodox. As a recovering transformationalist myself, who like all recovering persons can’t understand why others can't admit their problem and go to a meeting or something, I sometimes worry about my minority status and about what would become of me if the transformationalists win. But, then I remember there are so many kinds of transformationalists that transformationalists are unlikely to transform much of anything. There are theonomic-reconstuctionist transformationalists, compassionate conservative transformationalists, Keller transformationalists, neo-Calvinistic transformationalists, Covenanter transformationalists, Kennedy-Falwell transformationalists. And those are just varieties of Reformed transformationalists. Can you imagine if the people of this country tired of the current liberal insanity and asked Reformed transformationalists to see what they can do? I have worried that, if that ever happened, I might be in trouble as revolutions tend to “deal with” those who are in their camp (or big tent) but not sufficiently orthodox. What would they do with me? Stone me as as the judicial law would require? Use a modern equivalent like a firing squad? Imprison me at the hard labor of planting Christian flags on every square inch of the prison yard? Torture me by making me listen to Christian bands around the clock with ? Put me in a reeducation camp to get my mind right by reading Rushdoony? Compassion me to death with help? Do reparative therapy by having me watch old Coral Ridge videos? Put me to work in a soup kitchen? Worse yet, make me attend a Christian aerobics class?  Pass the hemlock please. However, I now think that before they got to me and other 2-Kers, there would be transformationalist internecine war. I could go underground for years before they started looking for me.


Curt Day said...

2 points here. First, I don't know where I fit in in the 2k -- transformationalist continuum because there are parts that I like from both groups. But isn't isn't a transformationalist a curmudgeon who acts on what bothers him/her while a curmudgeon is a passive transformationalist?

Second, I agree with you about curmudgeon being a "fruit of rationality." A Christian must either compromise too much with the world or hide their heads in the sand not to be a curmudgeon. But shouldn't some of our curmudgeoniss be about the horrible injustices that others suffer from?

demetriusrubicon said...

"Frank Schaeffer", "Christian World-view", "Abraham Kuyper", blah,blah, blah