Friday, October 11, 2019

Factionalism within the Reformed blogosphere

Rachel Miller, of anti-ESS screed fame, has published a book entitled Beyond Authority and Submission, which has at least a chapter against ESS in it. One of the main targets of her book is the supposed "patriarchy" promoters, specifically Douglas Wilson and company. The link is drawn from ESS to "patriarchy" (whatever that means) and then to Federal Vision and the denial of Justification by faith alone. In social media, the link is drawn almost as if to draw a line in the sand. To be confessionally Reformed is to be against Federal Vision and thus against Doug Wilson and against patriarchy and against ESS. To be for ESS is to be for "patriarchy" and to be for Doug Wilson and for Federal Vision and against Justification by faith alone, and thus against the Gospel. One has to be situated in either camp it seems. Before she deleted her Twitter account, Miller basically labeled all her critics misogynists and promoters of "patriarchy" (which unfortunately I did not take a snapshot of it before it was deleted, but I did see it).

The sad part about this is that we see factionalism come into play here. The question is no more about what is true, but about which faction you belong to. If you are of the "confessionally Reformed" camp, you must hold to all these beliefs (FV bad, ESS bad, Doug Wilson bad, R. Miller good). There is no middle where anyone can say, "Wait a second, on THIS issue that position looks more biblical."

This is the main problem with Pruitt's tweet here. While Wilson's quote CAN be problematic, the paragraph here is not necessarily false. Absent of context, there is no way of determining whether what is said is biblical or not. The citation of Wilson here is merely another guilt by association whereby since we *know* Wilson is a heretic on FV, so anything that he says on the family and gender roles must be likewise suspect. (For the record, I have little knowledge and thus no opinion on Wilson's view of the family except that I no not like what I am hearing about the Sitler case). And I will also say for the record that I have no problems with women working outside or even running for political office, so that should place me beyond the pale of any supposed "patriarchy" group.

The sad thing about Reformed social media is that it has descended into the same rancor as secular twitter. Factionalism reigns supreme, as the issue about whether something is objectively true or not has lost its importance. What is important it seems is to attack the other faction for any infraction, real or perceived, and the labeling of any detractors as those of the opposing (and thus heretical) camp. It is perverse and ungodly, no matter whether the person doing it is a pastor or a "member in good standing." Is the truth important? Or do we just want "our group" to win "at all costs"? That I think is the question here, and I hope Reformed Christians in America regain their vision of what is truly honoring to the Lord of truth, instead of their over-inflated egos.

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