Observations: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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34 Responses

  1. Linn says:

    Mainline churches-I grew up in one. My Sunday School teachers really did teach us the Bible; the pastors (two over the 10 years I was there) talked about social justice, I’m okay/you’re okay, but there was no biblical foundation for any of it. When I did come to know Christ personally, I fled to a place where i could really learn the Scriptures and commune with His people. My grandmother attended a mainline church in her very small Washington town. As far as I could tell, most of those dear saints really loved Jesus. The pastors, again, preached a tabloid based “relevant” message that did nothing for the soul. Both of these churches from my childhood are now closed, with neither pastor or flock. It’s sad.

    As for belligerence in the church, I am mystified. But, I think a small victory occurred Saturday with the very sparse turnout for the rally in Washington. Somehow, a message has gotten out that such public displays of faith (whatever that faith is. I doubt it is the true Gospel) might get you a few months or years in the clink. I am hoping there may be a ripple effect into some pulpits.

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    As I said, the decline of the Mainline is a self-inflicted wound…

  3. Michael says:

    We’ve reached a point in too many places where a bizarre hybrid of nationalism and Christianity is the norm.
    The church can no longer do what her mission is in that situation…so the only real hope we have is being consumed by political partisanship.
    I think everything will collapse…and must collapse in order to be rebuilt.

  4. Xenia says:

    Recently, a beloved but outspoken Orthodox priest was told his podcasts would no longer be hosted on Ancient Faith Radio because he continually violated the station’s no-politics policy. I have some issues with AFR but I must say, this no-politics stand they have taken is refreshing.

    This priest was given every chance to stay with AFR, but he refused to comply, apparently believing it was his God-given mission to talk politics. He was not fired, as his fans claim, he made a decision. Now he’s a martyr-hero for many and AFR is now considered by some to be a tool of the Democrats. What a shame.

    This same priest until recently served as a chaplain for his community’s police/fire departments. He lives in a state where such jobs require one to be vaccinated for this kind of job and he refused. First he tells us (on FB) about all the wonderful things he was able to accomplish as a chaplain, then he tells us he’s giving it all up because he won’t get the shot and again, he’s upheld as some kind of martyr-victim-hero. He’s no longer going to offer Godly comfort, and even death-bed confession service, to those in his area because he refuses the vaccine.

    What if he is called to be a missionary to the Africa and is required to get immunizations? Will he say “Nope Lord, not going if I have to get vaccines!” This is what he is actually saying, as his community is his mission field which he is abandoning because he has political/conspiratorial ideas about the vaccine. This is really sad.

    This doesn’t really have much to do with Duane’s excellent article but as the mainlines decline because of their liberal politics, the conservative world (not just evangelicals) is being severely disrupted because of “conservative” politics, which is not really conservative at all.

    Politics ruins everything it touches.

  5. Michael says:

    “Politics ruins everything it touches.”

    Amen…

  6. CM says:

    Xenia,

    Sounds me this guy took up the clerical vestments not for God, but because of the politics. He might have been a fraud from the beginning all along but kept it close the the vest. Very similar to all the masks of so-called Christian pastors and laity that came off as soon as Trump was elected.

    All I can say to that guy is “Don’t let the door hit you in the a*s on the way out.”

  7. Xenia says:

    CM, no, I do not believe he’s a fraud, He’s elderly, and has offered much to his community in particular and to Church in general over his many years of service. He’s just gotten caught up in the current nonsense. And the adulation he’s getting online for being a hero is just making it worse.

  8. Xenia says:

    That’s what bothers me about this story and many others. A perfectly good priest/pastor/monk/friend who, for years has sounded like founts of God-given wisdom and over night it seems they become sucked into the maws of the conspiracy machine and it takes over their formerly reasonable personalities. It’s like an episode of Star Trek.

  9. Kevin H says:

    Xenia,

    It is scary. I don’t think many of these Christian leaders who have now become political rambos were frauds to begin with. I think there has been a preconditioning existent for quite a while now, but the acceleration of things over just these past few years is downright frightening.

  10. Michael says:

    My frustration on this matter is boundless.
    The history and tradition of the faith demands participation in a local body of believers.
    Yet…if I were asked where to go in this valley, it would be better to stay home…the mainlines are LGBTQ social action centers and the non denoms are Christian nationalists.
    Both are deadly to biblical faith…

  11. Duane Arnold says:

    “…as the mainlines decline because of their liberal politics…”

    Here is the dreadful truth, in the Mainlines it tended to be a cadre that made it their purpose in life to take over denominations. Meanwhile, an Episcopal priest in Muncie, Indiana, tries to explain what’s going on as his congregation, now confused, dwindles and eventually dies. When personalities and causes are more important than the gospel, churches will die… liberal or conservative.

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    I plan on purchasing the Gonzales tome today off Amazon via this page.

  13. Em says:

    “and having done all – stand!”
    We cannot finesse the world INTO God’s plan…. Have these “preachers” read prophesy? ? ?

    Lately, I’ve come to realize that my prayers for both the salvation of lost souls and the integrity of the Church have been rather weak. 🙆

  14. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I got the audio version and enjoyed it immensely…

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    For the church to be the church, we need to get back in our lane.
    The church was not founded so we could opine on politics.
    Priests and pastors are not immunologists.
    Priests and pastors do not receive a call at ordination to be celebrities.
    Church, as a place of fellowship, worship and prayer matters.
    Christian character matters.
    Kindness, and self-sacrificing service matters.

  16. Michael says:

    I don”t think correction is possible at this point.
    The money and seats want political partisanship…and in entrepreneurial America we give people what they want.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    I’m not looking for others to “correct” course. It is about what we do and say…

  18. Linn says:

    Duane at 12:19 “What we do and say.”

    Maybe my part of the world is not as politicized, but many churches in my area seem to have dropped some of the political trappings (not all, mind you, but many from what I can tell). It seems to be the smaller churches who don’t need to make so much noise about where they stand politically. Mine isn’t that small, but the shift to more service-based gospel outreach has been real. Maybe 1/6 brought some of our members to their senses. No snarky remarks are allowed, either (it has been said by the elders) about those of us who still choose to wear masks to service. Small, but welcome, things. We have a long way to go, but we may be off to a good start.

  19. Everstudy says:

    “For the church to be the church, we need to get back in our lane.
    The church was not founded so we could opine on politics.
    Priests and pastors are not immunologists.
    Priests and pastors do not receive a call at ordination to be celebrities.
    Church, as a place of fellowship, worship and prayer matters.
    Christian character matters.
    Kindness, and self-sacrificing service matters.”

    Can I steal this? This is too good not to share.

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    Everstudy

    Steal away…

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    It starts small with all of us. Because I have a background in the church, for the last several months I’ve been meeting with the rector of the church I attend. We’ve gone though the liturgy, pulling it into conformity with a more classical Anglican approach that will be more accessible to guests and visitors. We now have a schedule of greeters and ushers. The homily has been shortened to 14 minutes. This Thursday we are meeting to discuss how to make the narthex more welcoming and attractive. Next we will be working on colors and stenciling for the sanctuary… and doing the painting ourselves! During this coming winter we want to partner with other churches on outreach to the homeless. It is a small and elderly congregation, so the outreach will have to start with the rector and myself.

    All this is to say, it’s not easy. All we can do is try and ask for God’s blessing.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    Here’s the thing, back in the day I planted a CC in a little Ohio town. We started with a home Bible study, outgrew the living room, got a building and, in addition to Bible studies, started doing Christian music on Friday and Saturday nights. Additionally we set up a crisis intervention ministry to deal with transients, drug problems, etc. We did it because nobody else was doing it… Most of the churches in the community were supportive, because they saw we were interested in serving the community. Moreover, we weren’t waiting for a perfect little CC to drop out of the sky. Yet one came into being.

    The reason I’m working with this small Anglican parish is pretty much the same. If we want a small classically Anglican church and think that there is a place for it in the community, it is not going to fall from the sky! I cannot change the Episcopal Church or ACNA. All I can do is what is here within my own small circle of influence. At the end of the day, however, it is better to DO something and not just talk about it… and all of us can do something. If nothing else, we can seek out fellowship, we can be kind to others, we can look for opportunities to serve…

    I am certain that many in this community are already doing this in you own locales, but we need to remind each other and to encourage each other.

  23. Linn says:

    Duane at 1:40-
    It sounds exactly like what we have been doing-sprucing up (a long over-due office update so you don’t feel like you’re meeting staff in the catacombs), a welcome table at each entrance (part of that is a COVID thing in our area), better signage and parking lot helpers to guide the way. Our visitors keep coming back. We also have had some social events, but all outside to keep it safe

  24. Jean says:

    Duane,

    If I could write an article in harmony with yours, I could add some value, but, barring that opportunity, in the space limited for a comment, I would simply ask:

    If you and I were both in the American diplomatic core and we were both assigned to the embassy in China, how much time to do suppose we would spend bitching and moaning about the terrible and immoral decisions and values of the Chinese government, and, on the other hand, how much time do you think we would spend planning how to keep American citizens safe in China and teaching them about the risks of living in China and how to mitigate those risks and avoid the potential traps of living in a hostile country?

    The other questions I would ask, not to you, Duane, but to conservative Evangelical readers here is whether you still confess the 3rd article of the Apostles Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit?” What does the Holy Spirit bear in a Christian? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, self-control? Or is it enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions? What are you dear Christian following?

    Do your worship services preach these virtues for you? Does your pastor proclaim the peace of Christ which passes all understanding? Does he endeavor to deliver to you a good conscience before God and man?

    Because, I really don’t understand how Christians indwelled by the Holy Spirit can be so angry and miserable? Unfortunately, I think an average retail employee is probably more fearful of a conservative Christian than a gay, liberal. How can that be? Are your hearts set on the things of man or on the things of God?

    Do you believe Jesus when He calls you to Himself and offers you rest for your soul? Are you at rest? Do you enter a Sabbath rest when you enter your sanctuary for worship? Are you set at rest by your liturgy (and believe me, you have a liturgy), or are you riled up?

    Do you listen to Christian radio which proclaims the good news of Christ “for you,” or is it a Christianized version of Fox News? Does Christian radio give you a knot in your stomach? Does it make you angry? Does it make you feel despondent or depressed? If it does any of these things, then it is not Christian radio at all. The news of Christ to a Christian produces the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus Christ is not in the business of making his brothers angry, despondent or depressed. There is one in the world who is in that business, but it is not Jesus Christ.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    I sometimes wonder if part of the problem is the assumption that anyone who simply self-identifies as a “Christian” is to be accepted at face value. I’ve come to believe that the attraction to conspiracy theories among some who claim to be believers is simply a new form of second and third century gnosticism that denies the Incarnation and places them outside the mainstream of Christianity. Similarly, those so-called believers obsessed with political power are no different in their tactics than the court Arians of the fourth century.

    Christianity at its heart is a structure of belief and conduct that is to extend the Incarnation. That is why gnostics and Arians were rejected, both on the basis of their defective theology and their conduct. As we all know, being a Christian is about more than the words we use…

  26. Dan from Georgia says:

    …purchased the Gonzales books last night on Amazon (via phoenixpreacher)…Kindle version.

  27. Linn says:

    Duane at 6:12 am

    I have several family members who are into conspiracy theories and alternative realities that also identify as Christians. Yet, their knowledge of Scripture is nil, and they have no church affiliation at all. I keep reading, in reliable sources, that many so-called White Nationalist “evangelicals” also do not participate in church. So, I think there is a lot to be said at not taking people who say they are “Christian” at face value.

  28. Duane Arnold says:

    Dan

    Buying the book you did good.
    Buying it through PhoenixPreacher you did better! 😁

  29. CM says:

    Dan,

    If you are feeling ambitious, here is another Kindle book you can order via (phoenixpreacher):

    https://www.amazon.com/Computational-Mechanics-Transfer-Physical-Processes-ebook/dp/B009AIIVYU

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    Indeed… it may be some sort of “cultural Christianity” but it is distant from the Faith, just as earlier aberrations used the language but denied the reality.

  31. Linn says:

    Duane,

    I think it’s because they’re ‘Merican.

  32. Dan from Georgia says:

    Duane,

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to getting into the reading!

    CM,

    THanks for the link/reference. A few months back I got the Kindle version of “Fluid Dynamics” by Pozrikidis. I’m searching for a good CFD book with Matlab exercises. Looks like the one you referred me to does mention Matlab. I’ll have to check it out.

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    Yes… Looking at and listening to this so-called “prayer” sort of says it all…
    https://youtu.be/m6ouOO35lvs

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