Christian McShaffrey

Dort, Westminster, and the Johannine Comma

Both the Synod of Dort and the Westminster Assembly serve as noteworthy authoritative and confessional witnesses in church history to the inspiration of the Comma as the Trinity’s divinely self-attesting testimony. Our fathers in the faith were aware of the text-critical issues surrounding the Comma since the third century; they examined the extant evidence and found that “almost all Greek copies” available in their day contained it; they weighed other considerations inherent to their methodology; and they owned the reading as true and trustworthy. 

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. – 1 John 5:7
The above verse is found in nearly all Reformation-era Bibles, such as Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Great Bible 1539, Matthew’s 1549, Geneva 1560, Bishops’ 1568, Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Biblia Reina Valera Antigua 1602, Giovanni Diodati 1607, and the Authorized (or King James) Version 1611. The verse is also cited as a proof text in many historic expressions of the Reformed faith: The Belgic Confession 1561 (Article 9), Heidelberg Catechism 1563 (Lord’s Day 8), Westminster Confession of Faith 1646 (Chapter 2), Westminster Larger Catechism 1648 (Q&A 9), and London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 (Chapter 2).
Today, however, most Reformed scholars and pastors question or reject the verse as uninspired and unworthy of inclusion as a confessional or catechetical proof text for the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This significant shift has led to confusion for contemporary Christians.
Debates over the inspiration of 1 John 5:7, otherwise known as the so-called Comma Johanneum, can be traced all the way back to the third century A.D.  Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that Reformation-era scholars included the Comma in their doctrinal statements intentionally and with sound and studied reasons. Let us consider two historical and confessional witnesses to its veracity.
Witness # 1 – The Synod of Dort was the international church council that published the aforementioned Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism. It also commissioned a new translation of the Dutch Bible which came to be called the Statenvertaling (States Translation). This new Bible contained many marginal notes and some of them acknowledged known textual variants. The entry for 1 John 5:7 reads as follows:
This verse, seeing it contains a very clear testimony of the Holy Trinity, seems to have been left out of some copies by the Arians, but is found in almost all Greek copies, and even by many ancient and worthy teachers also, who lived before the times of the Arians, brought out of them for proof of the Holy Trinity; and the opposition of the witnesses upon earth.
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The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy: Due for an Update or Doomed from the Start?

Any who are concerned about the changes that may be coming to the Chicago Statement should also take some time to consider whether its statement on biblical authority was sufficient in the first place. We suggest that it was not and invite the reader to return to a more classic expression of Protestant bibliology.

The Gospel Coalition posted an article on March 15, 2022 titled “Updating the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy: A Proposal” and, as probably expected, some conservatives have already begun to voice concern.
Concern is certainly warranted due to the editors’ admission that the goal of the proposed update is to “clarify arguments in light of new hermeneutical and cultural arguments.” There is, as the Preacher said, “no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), so any attempt to contemporize classic confessions of faith should be held suspect.
That having been said, the Chicago Statement is technically not a classic doctrinal standard. It is a modern one (1978), and this proposed update provides an opportunity to ponder the question: What if the statement was, in fact, doomed from the start? We suggest that it was and offer the following proof:
WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original (Chicago Statement, Article X).
This particular article affirms a distinction that is actually easy to read past. When the statement speaks of the “autographic text” of Scripture, it is referring to those documents that were originally penned by the Prophets and Apostles. These documents obviously no longer exist, and all biblical scholars readily acknowledge that.
When the statement then speaks of what scriptures the church has access to today (i.e., “copies and translations”), it intentionally stops short of applying the term “inspiration” to them and explains that they can only be considered accurate “to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.” This is an alarming admission because it effectively leaves today’s church without an inspired Bible.
Pastors who subscribe to the Chicago Statement are technically not able to hold up any printed edition of the Hebrew Old Testament, or the Greek New Testament, or any vernacular translation, and declare to the congregation, “This is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God,” because they have no way to verify it by comparing it to the permanently lost originals.
True, they can speak of a general “providence of God” that has led to “great accuracy,” but that affirms far less than earlier statements of the Protestant faith.
For example, those who wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith also acknowledged that the inspired originals had been lost, but they allowed their faith in God’s promises (Psalm 119:89, Matthew 5:18, etc.) to lead them to a better conclusion concerning the copies they possessed: That God, by his singular care and providence, had kept his Word pure in all ages, so that the Bible they held in their hands could be regarded as inspired and authentical (WCF, I.8).
Any who are concerned about the changes that may be coming to the Chicago Statement should also take some time to consider whether its statement on biblical authority was sufficient in the first place. We suggest that it was not and invite the reader to return to a more classic expression of Protestant bibliology.
Christian McShaffrey is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, WI and stated clerk of the Presbytery of Wisconsin and Minnesota. His church hosts the Kept Pure in All Ages conference on the text of Holy Scripture.

Are We All Barthians Now?

The reason for this is that man, of himself, cannot really come to the knowledge of the truth. The more man learns by his own effort (by the unaided power of his own mind), the more he faces the unknown. Just as a balloon, when it is blown up, expands in every direction, so does man’s learning bring him face to face with the endless mystery of the wonderful works of God.

Preface
The writings of G.I. Williamson were very influential in my life as a young Christian. His love for Scripture inspired me to receive the teachings of the Holy Bible with an implicit kind of faith.
I continue to recommend his study guide on the Westminster Shorter Catechism to catechumens and was recently reminded of his expert ability to communicate complex theological concepts to readers of all ages.
For example, the Barthian, or Neo-orthodox, view of Scripture is not the easiest thing to explain, but it is essential that Christians understand it. It is a very subtle heresy that starts with one small-but-sinister step: Separating the “text” of God’s Word from the “truth” of God’s Word.
People prove their willingness to do this in a variety of ways, but one of the most common seems to be the church’s increased tolerance for textual variants and contemporary translations.
Whenever someone (like me) complains about a word being deleted or changed, the concern is immediately rejected with the ready response, “It doesn’t ultimately matter because no doctrine is affected.”
Is this the way Reformed Christians now view Scripture? Is the “text” actually expendable so long as “truth” is preserved? If so, then how is this essentially different from Barthianism?
G.I. graciously granted me permission to repost the chapter from his study guide that exposes the error of Barthianism. As you read it, and especially as you come to the illustrations, try to put yourself in “Shorty’s” shoes for a minute or two. Which image best illustrates your view of Scripture? Could it be that we are all Barthians now? I certainly hope not, but sometimes I do wonder.
Christian McShaffreyPastor, Five Solas Church
Chapter TwoThe WSC Study GuideBy G.I. Williamson
Q. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
“If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life…” (Revelation 22:18-19).
Introduction
Strange as it may seem, Jesus once said that God has “hid . . . things from the wise and prudent, and . . . revealed them unto babes” (Luke 10:21). In other words, some of the most intelligent and best-educated people lack true wisdom. And some very simple people who are not well educated have true wisdom.
The reason for this is that man, of himself, cannot really come to the knowledge of the truth. The more man learns by his own effort (by the unaided power of his own mind), the more he faces the unknown. Just as a balloon, when it is blown up, expands in every direction, so does man’s learning bring him face to face with the endless mystery of the wonderful works of God.
For example, new and more powerful telescopes have been invented by men in order that they might study the secrets of the stars. But what has been the result? The result has been this: they now have many millions of new stars to study!
This is one reason why scientific theory is constantly changing. For the more men discover, the more they also discover how much more there is that they do not know. Thus, because men cannot know everything (there is just too much!), they finally get discouraged and realize that they cannot really know anything for sure.
Two Kinds of Revelation
Now the reason for this is that God did not make man to know everything (or, for that matter, anything) by his own power. Only God knows everything, and so, from the beginning, only God could give to man a sure knowledge of anything at all. From the beginning, this knowledge came to man in two ways:
(1) The first way in which God revealed himself is what we call natural revelation.
“The heavens declare the glory of God,” says the Psalmist; “and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Ps. 19:1). “The invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Rom. 1:20).
(2) The second way in which God revealed himself is what we call special revelation.
For even in paradise God spoke to Adam. Adam had God’s word in addition to his works. Adam, by his study of nature, could know much. But he could not know all. He could not know, for example, what had not yet come to pass. In order to be sure of so “simple” a thing as eating fruit from a tree, it was necessary for him to interpret the “facts of nature” in the “light of God’s word.”
When Adam sinned against God, he rejected God’s word. He acted as if he did not need God to tell him what was right. Instead, he decided to try the so-called “scientific method” (that is, the “trial and error” method of discovering truth. And from that time to this, Adam and all his posterity (except for those who come to salvation through Jesus Christ) have walked in darkness.
This is not because of any “darkness” in God’s revelation. The “light” of God still shines brightly in everything that that God has made. But if man in the beginning (sinless Adam) could not understand the “light” of nature, without the “light” of God’s word, how much more is this true for us! For the only way in which man can be saved from sin is revealed in the Bible alone.
The revelation of God in nature is sufficient to leave men without excuse. It shows them the glory of the true God so that they ought to worship and serve him. But it is only in the Bible that men actually can learn what they must believe (in order to be saved from sin) and do (in order to serve God once more).
The Meaning of “Contained In”
But what does the Catechism mean when it says that “the word of God . . . is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?” By these words we are to understand that the very words which we find in the Bible are from God. However, in order to understand this clearly, we need to understand the wrong way in which these words (contained in) have been taken.
Since the time that this Catechism was written, clever men have tried to use the same words (“contained in”) with a meaning very different from what is intended by the Catechism.
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The Inquisitors of Marxism—Part 9

This false gospel [Cultural Marxism], as we have seen, has a doctrine of sin, and that is the very existence of people like me. My only hope under this new religious regime is to become woke to my status as an oppressor and learn to hate my very existence. If I refuse, or at very least fail to begin signaling some woke virtue, I will face the scrutiny of its pseudo-ministers in the church and perhaps even the wrath of its inquisitors without.

Every false religion needs inquisitors because they are false religions. There is no light in them and lies do not draw people.
The original Marxists employed snitches to find and punish dissenters. During the Bolshevik revolution, dissenters were actually killed; but the Neo-Marxists rarely draw blood. They are just as content to drain the bank accounts of oppressors.
The previously mentioned, Social Justice Warriors are one kind of inquisitor, and they are always listening for infractions to Cultural Marxist orthodoxy. When they hear one, they scream (actually, they usually just send out a tweet with a sufficiently virtue-signaling hashtag attached). This how Cultural Marxism is being advanced and enforced inside the church: Social Justice Warriors in both pulpit and pew who snitch on the un-woke.
When it comes to enforcing Neo-Marxism outside the church, we have: ANTIFA. This “Anti-Fascist” movement is a nationwide network of Cultural Marxists who are mysteriously able to mobilize on a moment’s notice and who, upon arrival, begin to breaking things, burning things, throwing bricks and bodily fluids, etc.
One of their more subtle methods of punishing oppressors is a dirty little thing called “doxing.” This involves spying upon right-wing events, discovering the identity of those who attended, contacting their employer, and getting them fired for being “haters” of some kind. This tactic is actually very old, but it has become increasingly easy due to cell phones, facial recognition technology, and social media.
Such risks serve as a good reminder that persecution indeed comes in many forms, but it will always come to those who are faithful to the gospel: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Are you ready to suffer persecution? You must be, because a false religion has been established in our land. It has a prophet and his name is Karl Marx. It has a god and it incarnates in revolution. It has apostles, like the violent Vladimir Lenin and the non-violent elites of the Frankfort School. It holds forth the empty promise of egalitarianism (i.e., absolute equality of opportunity and outcome).
This false gospel, as we have seen, has a doctrine of sin, and that is the very existence of people like me. My only hope under this new religious regime is to become woke to my status as an oppressor and learn to hate my very existence. If I refuse, or at very least fail to begin signaling some woke virtue, I will face the scrutiny of its pseudo-ministers in the church and perhaps even the wrath of its inquisitors without.
What, then shall we do? I am honestly not sure there is anything we can do, other than to affirm what Scripture says, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9). A more colloquial rendering of that final phrase would be: To hell with them.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

The Witness of Marxism—Part 8

These types of preachers were originally called “social justice warriors,” but it has come time to assign them a more honest label. They are, in all actuality, hate preachers. No, they do not call for acts of violence against anyone, but they are constantly calling people like me (i.e., straight, white, cis, male) to hate ourselves and to hate how our very existence oppresses others. This has caused psychological and spiritual trauma to millions of evangelical Christians, and you can hear it in the strange way they now talk: Virtue Signaling.

All the most popular preachers in America are now woke. They betray this sad fact in their frequent mention of the plight of the oppressed and also of our obligation as oppressors to make atonement for our historical sins. Remember, our “sin” in not something we actually did, but something we inherited from our fathers.
These types of preachers were originally called “social justice warriors,” but it has come time to assign them a more honest label. They are, in all actuality, hate preachers. No, they do not call for acts of violence against anyone, but they are constantly calling people like me (i.e., straight, white, cis, male) to hate ourselves and to hate how our very existence oppresses others. This has caused psychological and spiritual trauma to millions of evangelical Christians, and you can hear it in the strange way they now talk: Virtue Signaling.
Virtue signaling is when you modify your normal way of speaking in order to signal, or send a message, to others that you are sufficiently woke. For example, a normal person might say, “Hey, I was having dinner last night with a friend and he said the funniest thing…”
If you add a little wokeness to that conversation, you will end up with a virtue signal, “I was having dinner with a friend last night, who happens to be black, and he said the funniest thing…” The signaled virtue is obvious: I have dinner with black people, so I am obviously not a racist.
If you add even more wokeness to the conversation, you end up with even more signaling, “I was having dinner with a friend last night, who happens to black, and he said the funniest thing about his boyfriend…” Now the signaled virtue is twofold: I have dinner with gay black people, so I am obviously not a racist or a homophobe.
There is, actually, no end to the virtue that clever wokesters can manage to signal, “I was having dinner with a friend last night, who happens to be black, and he said the funniest thing about his boyfriend who’s running for a democrat seat in the Senate…” The signal is now threefold: I have dinner with gay black democrats. Notice that the joke has not even been told! What was the funny thing that he said? It doesn’t ultimately matter, because sufficient virtue has been signaled.
Listen for this kind of talk and you will be surprised by how prevalent it truly is. Virtue signaling is the Neo-Marxist’s twisted version of personal holiness or witnessing and if you do not learn to do it, you are doomed.
I am probably doomed, by the way, for writing these articles, but I do not care and cannot care because of a solemn vow I took on the day of my ordination, “Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the gospel and the purity, the peace, and the unity of the church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account?”
I said, “Yes” to that vow. I plan on keeping it until the day I die and that makes me most willing to face the wrath of the Neo-Marxists. Yes, there is true wrath there, but this we will explore in the next article.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

The Gospel of Wokeness—Part 7

Listen closely to American preaching and you will hear it. The church no longer bears witness to the simple message of Christ and him crucified. Rather, churches have added other emphases to their message in an effort to appear as “allies” to the oppressed (e.g., injustice, inequity, abuse, etc.).

The good news of the Christian gospel is that a man can be born again or regenerated by the Spirit of God. When this happens, a man’s eyes are opened to see the love of God in Christ for the very first time.
The Neo-Marxists have a perverted version of this kind of experience. Eyes are indeed opened, but not to behold any good thing. To become “woke” means that your eyes have been opened to see all the privilege and injustice that exists in our world.
For a person like me (i.e., a wealthy cis gender male of European descent), becoming woke would require that I recognize myself as a natural born member of the oppressor class. After such a recognition, I would then have to bow before the god of revolution and, ultimately, die (because my very existence hurts others).
Short of voluntary death, is supposedly the option of becoming an “ally” to the oppressed classes, which is only a longer path toward death because it involves a conscious working against my own interests in society until I am eventually replaced.
A corollary doctrine to that of Wokeness is Intersectionality. Just as the oppressor can have different levels of evil attached to them, the oppressed have different levels of good attached to them.
For example, and returning to the previously explored areas of inequality in America, if women have historically been the largest oppressed group, then I should champion women’s rights. Yes, even to the detriment of my own.
Further, if a woman happens also to be black, we now have an “intersection” of two identities that have suffered oppression. Recognizing this, I should champion black women’s rights. Yes, and again, even to the detriment of my own.
We can take it yet another step forward in light of our current cultural revolution. The only thing more oppressive than being a black woman in American society is being a queer black woman, so again, having become woke, I should now champion queer black women’s rights. Yes, again and always, even to the detriment of my own.
Finally, do not forget about the Marxist’s historical obsession with economics. If you add poor to any of the oppressed classes previously mentioned, their experience of oppression only increases and, therefore, my woke duty to champion their cause only increases.
The summary of wokeness and intersectionality is that it can be acknowledged that most Christians might find this content of this article a little too blunt. The Neo-Marxists do not hesitate to use words like white, black, cis, queer, etc., so why is that today’s Christians experience such unease? The answer, it seems, is fear.
The fear of being called as a misogynist, or a racist, or a fascist causes most polite Christians simply to avoid the topics of wokeness and intersectionality. Many more (especially in mainline evangelicalism) actually over-correct in their speech patterns. This proves that the institutional church was not exempted from the long march of the Neo-Marxists.
Listen closely to American preaching and you will hear it. The church no longer bears witness to the simple message of Christ and him crucified. Rather, churches have added other emphases to their message in an effort to appear as “allies” to the oppressed (e.g., injustice, inequity, abuse, etc.). We shall consider this over-correction in the next article.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

The Sin of Marxism—Part 6

Our culture was built by straight wealthy men of European descent, and it therefore worked best for them. That, according to the Cultural Marxist, identifies them the oppressor class. Privilege is their doctrine of sin and, just like any other religion, the Neo-marxists are happy to offer the penitent hope. The call it getting “woke.”

A religion’s doctrine of sin seeks to explain what went wrong, or what is wrong, with the world. The Christian believes that sin began in the Garden of Eden and consisted in Adam’s disobedience to the revealed will of God. Sin then, all men are born in sin (i.e., inheriting the guilt of original sin and also being infected by the corruption of it).
The Cultural Marxist also has a doctrine of original or inherited sin, and it is summed up in the single word: Privilege.
This is easily understood if you remember Marx’s fundamental view of the world. Essential to it was the conflict between the oppressed and the oppressor. This is one of the main tenets of Marxism that has not been revised. Those who are born with privilege are the oppressor class and those born without it, are the oppressed. Further, since “privilege” can be defined differently in different cultures, we see, once again, the perfect adaptability of Neo-marxism.
For example, if you were born to the chief in some undiscovered tribe in the Amazon forest, your privilege would be based on kinship. Everyone else would be inferior, and feel inferior, to you because your father was the chief. Simple enough, but we don’t live in the Amazon, so let us consider how privilege works here in America.
Historically speaking, the most basic privilege in our society has been being born male rather than female. For the first century of our nation’s existence, simply being a man afforded a person inequal enjoyment of both opportunity and income in America. Hence, the Neo-marxist revolution of Feminism.
According to Marxist theory, there is something even more oppressive than being a man in America and that is being a white man. Again, historically speaking, men of European descent have enjoyed inequality of both opportunity and income in America. Hence, the Neo-marxist revolution of Civil Rights.
Today, we have yet another level of oppression that apparently needs to be addressed because the only thing more evil than being a white man in America is being a straight white man (the Marxists call it cis for some reason). Hence, the current Neo-marxist revolution of LGBTQ Rights.
Do you see how it works? Our culture was built by straight wealthy men of European descent, and it therefore worked best for them. That, according to the Cultural Marxist, identifies them the oppressor class. Privilege is their doctrine of sin and, just like any other religion, the Neo-marxists are happy to offer the penitent hope. The call it getting “woke” and we will explore this strange doctrine in the next article.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

The ‘Good News’ of Marxism—Part 5

The classical Marxist is concerned mostly with equality of outcome. By abolishing private property and with workers in charge of production, everyone theoretically ends up with the same number of eggs in the fridge at the end of the week. That, of course, is an absolute impossibly because of man’s inherent greed and avarice. Some, as the old children’s book says, always end up “more equal” than others.

Most of readers probably hold this truth to be self-evident: “That all men are created equal.” Every professed Christian can also affirm that statement from the Declaration of Independence because the Bible teaches that all men are made in the image of God. As such, all men can know God, all men should worship God, and all men should be compelled to believe the gospel. Those who do will be saved and those who do not, shall be damned. Christians believe in that kind of equality, but they do not (or at least should not) believe in Egalitarianism because that is a distinctly Marxist doctrine.
The great difference between Equality and Egalitarianism can be demonstrated by establishing a very important distinction between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.
This essential distinction can, first of all, be observed in the gospel itself. All men, without distinction, should be invited to believe the gospel. That is equality of opportunity. Nevertheless, the Bible clearly teaches that not all men will be saved and that is a clear proof of inequality of outcome.
Classical Marxism is about economics and Frankfort School Neo-Marxism is about culture, so let us now apply this distinction to both of those areas.
The classical Marxist is concerned mostly with equality of outcome. By abolishing private property and with workers in charge of production, everyone theoretically ends up with the same number of eggs in the fridge at the end of the week. That, of course, is an absolute impossibly because of man’s inherent greed and avarice. Some, as the old children’s book says, always end up “more equal” than others.
Again, the cultural Marxist broadens this ideal of economic egalitarianism to all areas of life, expecting not just equality of opportunity, but also that of outcome. So, if there happens to be more men than women on a board of directors, that’s injustice. If there happens to be more whites than blacks in management, that’s injustice. This is the kind of thinking that led to Affirmative Action policies in the 1960s.
Here, however, is the vital question: Is observed “inequality” actually injustice? The holy Scriptures offer a very clear answer: No.
As Moses argued with God about his qualifications for office, the Lord said, “Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11). Think about what that means in terms of equality of opportunity. Should a blind man have equal opportunity for employment as an airline pilot? Should a mute man be called as a preacher in the church? No one truly believes in absolute equality of opportunity.
Consider also the scriptural example of Mephibosheth: “He was five years old… and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame” (cf. 2 Samuel 4:1-4). Being crippled from childhood, should David have offered Miphiboseth a position as a horseman in his army? That would certainly be equality of opportunity! No, he rather showed him “the kindness of God” by caring for him as a cripple.
The inescapable tension between what God says and what the cultural Marxists say is even more obvious when we consider the other kind of equality. To expect absolute equality of outcome in any area of life is absolute madness. Do you expect a woman to bench press the same amount of weight as a man? Do you expect a man with an IQ of eighty to earn the same amount of money as a man with an IQ of one hundred and twenty? Actually, what we may or may not expect, is a secondary consideration as the scriptures speak very clearly to this matter.
Hannah, for example, acknowledged in prayer, “The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich” (1 Samuel 2:7). Do you actually believe that? Do you believe that each man’s level of wealth has been ordained, personally, by God himself? If so, then you cannot believe in equality of outcome and you cannot therefore be a Neo-marxist. Inequality exists under the sovereign appointment of our only-wise God.
Consider also the fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment, at least as explained in the Reformed tradition, presupposes that three classes of men exist in this world: Superiors, Equals, and Inferiors. We simply cannot relate properly one-to-another without acknowledging essential or functional inequalities and then adapting our behavior accordingly.
Egalitarianism, then, is entirely unbiblical and also laughably unrealistic. Yet still, it is set forth as the empty promise of the Neo-Marxists. Because they see it as good news, anyone who opposes it is inherently evil. This, we shall explore in the next article.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

The Apostles of Marxism—Part 4

While the Christian church continued to spread its message through missionary efforts, the Neo-marxists did it through what we call “the slow march through the institutions” and herein was their genius: they were still preaching the false god of revolution, but it no longer sounded like revolution. It actually sounded like good news.

The “apostles” were essential to the spread of Christianity throughout the world and the false gospel of communism seems to have mimicked that approach. As previously considered, Marx and Lenin served as something of the equivalent of Moses and the Prophets (i.e., as they represented the root of their unholy religion), but the history of communism, not unlike that of Christianity, also involved a second or “new” chapter.
After the devastation of the Bolshevik revolution and that of WWI, a group of men in Germany developed a new theory of communism called: The Frankfort School. Rather than continuing to stir up envy and violence in factories, they believed the best way to advance the communist ideal was to engage with the academy, artists, media, and the increasingly influential film industry. They also stopped focusing exclusively upon economics, realizing that most people in the world preferred capitalism to classic communism.
The goal of the Frankfort School (like that Marx and Lenin) was to have communism spread world-wide, but they adapted the message so that it would appeal more to different cultures. You can imagine the challenge they faced, “How do we get Americans to worship the god of revolution? They will certainly not give up their private property. They might, however, give themselves over to immorality and pornography. Yes, that’s it, let’s make films for them!”
The first experiment with this new approach was conducted in Germany and it resulted in the infamously decadent Weimar Republic. As we know from history, the experiment was not a success because whenever you end up with a Weimar, people begin longing for a Reich.
The rise of Hitler’s Germany led the leaders of the Frankfort School to seek sanctuary in America and they were welcomed with open arms. New York City, Hollywood, and a host of left-wing universities had already been infected with communist theory, but now they had actual intellectuals on site to lead the re-designed revolution.
These men of the Frankfort School can be likened to apostles, because they delivered their message to the entire world. While the Christian church continued to spread its message through missionary efforts, the Neo-marxists did it through what we call “the slow march through the institutions” and herein was their genius: they were still preaching the false god of revolution, but it no longer sounded like revolution. It actually sounded like good news. We will explain the supposed “good news” of Neo-marxism in the next article.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

The God of Marxism—Part 3

The entire worldview of the Marxist is inescapably materialistic… Marxist ideology teaches the exact opposite. It does believe that life consists in the things we have (or do not have). It has no kingdom of heaven. Everything is earth-bound and materialistic.

Karl Marx was a professed atheist, but I do not believe in atheists and neither should you. Whatever a man lives for, whatever a man is willing to die for, whatever a man is willing to kill for; that, I say, is his god. The god of Marx, Lenin, etc., was the act of revolution because that was the only thing that could bring about their imagined Utopia. A revolution in the Marxist mind is very much like Christ’s second coming to the Christian in terms of its function. However, the theology upon which it rests is contrary to scripture.
First of all, the entire worldview of the Marxist is inescapably materialistic. Jesus said, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). He also said, “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:30-33).
Marxist ideology teaches the exact opposite. It does believe that life consists in the things we have (or do not have). It has no kingdom of heaven. Everything is earth-bound and materialistic.
Further, the very concept of revolution is entirely unbiblical. Another word for revolution is rebellion and scripture condemns that with no uncertain terms, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” and “An evil man seeketh only rebellion” (1 Samuel 15:23, Proverbs 17:11).
Such scriptures may cause some Americans to squirm in the pew a bit (because we love and therefore tend to excuse our own little rebellion), but adopting rebellion as a way of life, or as a means of grace, yea even as a god, is what you call Marxism. We must reject this false god and also the pseudo-apostles which preach in its name. This, we shall explore in the next article.
Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church (OPC) in Reedsburg, Wis.

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