(Church) Repent Isn’t a Dirty Word: Part Two

Read PART ONE here.


LOCAL CHURCH AUTONOMY

Some Reformed Baptists have said that Church Repent is an assault on the autonomy of the local church. This is absurd on its face because a man with a sign and some literature isn’t trying to formally govern the particular Baptist church. This dearly held Reformed Baptist view most directly pertains to a specific administrative and theological understanding of local church governance. Primarily, it regards the elder session of the particular local church as the highest court of appeals to the congregants within. The local church is thus not answerable formally and bureaucratically to a higher elder session (or presbytery). This, however, does not mean that members of these independent Reformed Baptist churches and the local church bodies themselves are immune to any outside teaching or exhortation. Those who offer correction or even a rebuke to an independent Reformed Baptist church are not attempting to submit the church to a Presbyterian structure or usurp its administrative independence. They are simply acknowledging that, bureaucratic independence aside, all Christians should exhort one another to good works as we are all a part of the same catholic Body of Christ. Being members of that Body, we are all able and even commanded to give loving correction and rebuke to our brothers and sisters. According to the autonomous local Reformed Baptist church, “rabble rousers” with literature cannot use the formal administrative means of correction. Even so, should this bar Christians from speaking to their brothers and sisters in Christ?

Once again, this criticism of the CRP is utterly schizophrenic taking into account the various Reformed celebrities, bloggers, podcasters, and pastors who regularly critique and even call on other Reformed Baptist congregations and leaders to repent. When a popular Reformed Baptist podcaster rebukes a massively popular Reformed Baptist pastor, exhorting him and his congregation to live and preach the Christian worldview consistently, there isn’t much of an outcry denouncing the podcaster for upending the sacred autonomy of the Reformed Baptist pastor’s megachurch.

COROPLAST AND CARDBOARD

Yet another criticism of the CRP claims that the use of signs is intrinsically divisive, contentious, and simply unloving. This particular criticism is often used in conjunction with the Geographical Special Pleading argument. Some may not have any problem at all with holding a coroplast sign directed towards Christians out in front of a restaurant on Main Street, but the same person would have a problem with the same sign if he could see it from the property of his favourite church building. Similarly, this person may be okay with handing out literature in front of a church building, but not okay with someone holding a sign. Or, yet another possibility, this person may be generally opposed to the use of signs because, to him, it denotes aggression or the sort of protesting Christians should not participate in.

For the purposes of simplicity and clarity, let us say that this critic is comfortable with handing out literature in front of a church building but he is especially troubled by the use of coroplast or cardboard.

First things first, signs are just a means of communicating an idea. They do not and should not suggest any aggression or ill intent. Simply put, a sign is easier to read from a building or car than a small piece of paper. Furthermore, they are attention grabbers and help initiate conversations. They simply serve a purpose, same as when they are set up at a busy intersection or on a busy downtown street corner. They are means. Not an end. It is my contention that if a particular means is to be condemned, there must be warrant to do so. Warrant that extends beyond hurt feelings.

Some have said the use of signs outside a church building must necessarily mean that abolitionists are protesting a particular fellowship. There are obvious problems with this sort of simplistic thinking. First, it is being assumed that abolitionist signs are protest signs. This is, once again, clearly inconsistent thinking. Christian apologists, evangelists, and abolitionists regularly hold signs in front of buildings that they have no specific problem with. When an evangelist comes to the University of Oklahoma and sets up signs in front of the library, only a fool would think that the evangelist is condemning the library. No, the evangelist is going to where his intended audience is most likely to be. Likewise, when an abolitionist holds a sign on a busy street corner in front of a pizza parlour, he isn’t protesting pizza or that particular restaurant. He is simply going to where the people are. Of course, if the evangelist is actually condemning libraries on his signs (right next to fornicators and witches and his hellfire flames), then he WOULD be protesting the library. But the anti-abolitionist does not seem to appreciate the significance of what is on the signs. The problem, seemingly, is coroplast and cardboard.

Second, the content of the signs is being utterly ignored. Are the signs condemning the church or the existence of the church? What are they saying? A sign can say many things, and in order to judge a sign rightly, one must do more than have a kneejerk reaction against cardboard. Too often church members will complain about a few people holding signs, but will forgo any mention whatsoever of what the signs said.

Now, although the use of a sign does not mean that the church is being protested, is it possible that the use of these signs is somehow hateful to Christians? I simply cannot see why. Are the same signs hateful when the Christian college student is walking to the library? Are the same signs hateful when the Christian father is grabbing a slice of pizza? This thinking flows right back to Geographical Special Pleading. And more importantly, it is defining hate by humanistic emotionalism as opposed to Biblical precepts. Signs aren’t hateful by simply being signs. The problem, seemingly, is coroplast and cardboard within the magic church bubble.

Are signs hateful or unlawful if you do not first approach  potential viewers about them? Are they wrong if you do not first get to know the person over coffee? Although these things can certainly be good to do, they are not necessary. We are talking about mass murder. Mass murder within our midst. Not around the world. Signs and mass literature distribution are effective ways of quickly communicating a message. If the abortion holocaust does not justify at least some urgency, then I don’t know what does. This does not negate the Christian duty to be loving nor does it necessitate the abandonment of persuasiveness, however, tactics that reach large audiences quickly are both justifiable and necessary.

This leads to the next common objection: the targeting of a specific body.

TARGETING

Abolitionists have been accused of the fake sin of “targeting” specific fellowships. Besides using a word that invokes combativeness, i.e. “target”, these critics will sometimes claim to not be opposed to coroplast signs or the call to repent. Rather, the contention is that the call to repent was specific to a particular congregation. To be clear, the CRP isn’t “targeting” any particular congregation. The “target” is the Church in general. However, similar to how you must talk to the individual when the call to follow Christ is for all, the Church Repent Project is for the entire Church and individual fellowships may be directly addressed. These critics propose that it is ethically sound to call on the Church to repent, but not a specific local congregation. This principle, however, is never proven from Scripture or reason. Only asserted. I contend that addressing specific fellowships is not only permissible, it is important. Whether or not you use signs.

We all nod along when our pastor or favourite author calls the Church to repent  We may even say “amen” under our breath. We probably share the YouTube link on our social media accounts. After all, we all know that the Church has things to repent of. Well, other churches. Not so much my church. And other pastors certainly need to repent. Not so much my pastor. Many authors certainly need to repent. My favourite author, though, can do no wrong. At least not in print. He is VERY respectable. And that guy across the sanctuary on that other pew? He needs to listen to this sermon. Never me. I’m okay.

When calls to repent remain vague it is easy to think of the other church and the other guy. It is easy to see the speck in the other’s eye while the log in our own is invisible to us. Although grand and general calls for the evangelical church to repent are good and necessary, they are also easy to ignore. Whether it is David Platt, Paul Washer, or Francis Schaeffer calling on the Church to repent, too often we never consider our own fellowships and our own lives. We think of someone else.

This reminds me of the famous “shocking” Paul Washer sermon. He was speaking very harshly and passionately. He was calling people to repent and become serious about Christ. He was preaching on the sinfulness of the world and those who are nominally “Christian”. The crowd claps. The crowd cheers. Then he points to the crowd. He’s talking about the crowd. The crowd is silenced.

Ambiguity is met with the shrugging off of responsibility. Specificity confronts. Specificity is difficult to dodge. You can think of this as a sort of spiritual diffusion of responsibility. A diffusion of responsibility is a sociopsychological phenomenon wherein individuals fail to take responsibility because of a perception that others will take responsibility for them. When all of Christendom receives an exhortation, it becomes psychologically easy for Christians to believe that the extortion was meant for others.

This is how we can consume so many sermons, podcasts, and books that are critical of the Church and call on the Church to repent and yet they seem so uncontroversial. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good sermons and books that I heartily agree with, including their broad calls to repent. THESE SAME sermons and books, however, are applauded by the men they are intending to be correcting. They are approved of and studied, but only applied to the next guy.

Although the American Church bears a weight of responsibility, and therefore, guilt for the widespread sin and bloodshed in our communities, it is good to say that Heritage Grace Community Church is guilty. It is good to say that Grace Community Church is guilty. Trinity Baptist is guilty. Mercy Seat Christian Church is guilty. Christ Church is guilty. Apologia Church is guilty. Door of Hope is guilty. WE are guilty.

Not only is this condemnation of specificity simply asserted, it is (you see the pattern) wholly inconsistent. One critic spoke of her disapproval of a hypothetical YouTube video that called on a specific congregation to repent. Her complaint had to do with the specificity as opposed to the means used to communicate the message. The problem is clear. This critic and, as far as I can tell, all of these various critics, listen to podcasts and sermons that call on the Church to repent. They also listen to podcasts and sermons that call on specific pastors, authors, and fellowships to repent. In fact, “discernment” ministries are all the rage. Much of the fodder to be found in these discernment ministries are harsh criticisms (sometimes deserved) of fellow believers. Including specific fellowships. Including specific elders.

This leads me to only a handful of possible conclusions. First, this particular breed of critic is truly falling into the “geographical special pleading” or “coroplast is mean” mentality while failing to admit the simplicity of their discomfort. Second, their genuine problem is what we are calling on the Church to repent of (i.e. apathy). They don’t genuinely believe the Church is apathetic. Or third, their discomfort is the all too common and rather natural fear of man that comes with direct and frank confrontation. None of these options are good.

DISRUPTING THE WORSHIP SERVICE

One claim that has been leveled is that the use of signs at a fellowship is a disruption of the worship service. This has never been fully explained, so I don’t have too much to work with. I agree that if someone were to be using bullhorns right outside the doors during the sermon, that would potentially be a disruption. Furthermore, if anyone snuck in and started hollering in the middle of corporate worship, that would also be a disruption. But these things have never happened. What does happen is that people stand with signs and ask congregants walking in if they want literature. Situations vary, but “disrupting” the worship service is not an accurate way to describe any use of signs at a fellowship.

One explanation I’ve heard is that abolitionists holding signs outside of the building will cause the congregants to ponder the message of the abolitionists. Perhaps after the service these congregants may even talk about the odd visitors while eating cookies and drinking bad coffee. Insofar as the claim that abolitionists may cause the congregants to think about the holocaust they are living in, I plead guilty. That is, after all, the point. But is this a disruption? I can’t see how. If the congregants end up speaking to one another about abortion after the sermon, is that more or less of a “disruption” than when they talk about the football game or hunting trip?

WHY AREN’T YOU AT CHURCH

Some have remarked that abolitionists who are exhorting local fellowships should be attending a church service instead of exhorting fellow believers.

What is conveniently forgotten is that those two activities are not mutually exclusive. Many Christians meet in the evenings and some may meet on other days. There is no reason to assume that abolitionists are forsaking assembling together because they are not sitting in a church building on Sunday morning.

For example, my local fellowship (which is complete with elders, shocker!) temporarily met on Saturday evenings so members of the fellowship could attend more often. We currently meet on Sunday evenings, and in the past, we have even met on the traditional Sunday morning.

When critics use this line, what they should be saying is that they do not like the CRP or abolitionism because they are Sabbatarians. These critics aren’t really critiquing abolitionism, they are critiquing those who don’t hold their particular doctrine of the “Lord’s Day”. Being a Sabbatarian is certainly their right, but how a believer keeps the Sabbath is clearly not an issue to divide over or (in extreme cases) anathematize other believers over.

PUBLIC AIRING OF A GRIEVANCE

The 1 Corinthians 6 argument is one in which the claim is made that abolitionists are violating Scripture because we communicating to other Christians via a public venue. It is said that abolitionists are bringing a “grievance” before the world in an unworthy manner, and by the way, their signs may be seen by unbelievers from the road. Let’s examine the relevant texts (1 Cor 6:1-8) to determine whether or not this is a legitimate use of Scripture.

“When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!”

What is the apostle Paul talking about? Is he talking about disputes in public? Is he talking about public calls to repent? Or is he talking about suing other believers in pagan and humanistic courts?

Could the text be relevant to signs being seen in public? Is there anything in the text about a dispute being seen by unbelievers? I think not. The context of these verses is clear. The apostle Paul is plainly talking about believers suing other believers and taking them to worldly courts. It says nothing about a dispute or exhortation being public.

Those that use 1 Corinthians 6 against the CRP would have you read half of one verse, and that verse clearly out of any relevant context. If one reads “why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?” you may be fooled into thinking 1 Cor. 6:1-8 condemns the CRP. But what is “them”? “Them” is the cases mentioned. Legal cases. Legal disputes. “Lay them before” does not mean within earshot or within sight of the lost. It clearly means having the lost adjudicate the disagreement.

1 Corinthians 6 is very relevant to the CRP, but in the opposite way the critics would have you believe. 1 Corinthians 6 exhorts believers to go to one another and not to go to unbelievers. That is exactly what the CRP is doing. When the Godless police is called in to harass and intimidate abolitionists, that represents a 1 Corinthians 6 violation.

Once again, we cannot forget the hypocrisy. Although some of these critics bombastically claim that abolitionists are sinning by “publicly airing grievances”, these very same critics air their grievances against abolitionism in the same public space. A glaring example of this extraordinary inconsistency is when a critic confronted abolitionists at the Shepherds’ Conference. His accusation was that abolitionists were confronting Christians in public. He made this accusation in public.

NINTH COMMANDMENT

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Some have claimed that the use of signs in front of a church building may confuse passing drivers and send an inaccurate message. If a passing driver thinks “oh, that church must be pro-choice” then the abolitionists must then be, according to the argument, guilty of breaking the Ninth Commandment.

I hold to a broad understanding of the Ninth Commandment. It applies not only to willful lies or perjury. We must, however, be careful not to give near infinite elasticity to God’s commandments. Not every misconception is a sinful breaking of the Ninth Commandment. Christians have a duty to protect the truth of our brothers. If there is a reasonable expectation that an activity will be misunderstood in such a way that causes a brother to be seen wrongly, we should be mindful of that situation.

Can we say that there is a reasonable expectation that some will mistake a Reformed Baptist church for a liberal pro-choice church because there are abolitionist signs outside? How would we determine this reasonable expectation? Is there an example of someone believing wrongly that a church is pro-choice? There have been upwards of a hundred CRP exhortations. Are there dozens of examples of drivers emailing the church asking if they are pro-choice? Is there one example?

There is a reason why we have never heard of this claim actually being a reality. Although graphic signs have been held outside of some proven exceptionally apathetic fellowships (Lifechurch for example) and many pro-choice churches, most CRP signs are not graphic. If passing drivers read the signs, they would only read “Church Repent” or “This Is Not A Protest”. Nothing about the church that is misinformation. Nothing about the church that communicates a falsehood. And if drivers CAN’T read the signs, how can the signs be breaking the Ninth Commandment?

This understanding of the Ninth Commandment is one that would label any misunderstanding or misperception as sin. Let us make that perfectly clear.

THESIS, WISDOM, and a CONFESSION

I can not give my “stamp of approval” to every instance of the CRP (not as if my approval is important). This article is certainly not that stamp. This article is a defense of the a priori acceptability of the CRP and specifically the tactic of holding signs outside of church buildings. This is a defense of CRP in the abstract, not actual occurrences, though the vast majority of the actual occurrences certainly fit within acceptable Biblical parameters. It is certainly possible that there is a video or two of unprofitable and maybe even sinful behavior of abolitionists participating in the CRP.

A paper defending street preaching, for example, would not defend every “hellfire” preacher. There is, and will always be, a diversity of tactics used, maturing levels, and wisdom levels.

Now for a confession.

I don’t believe using signs is always the best tactic. They can be helpful, but they can also be hurtful. Very often sending an email or writing a letter is a better option. Perhaps just offering to buy an elder a coffee or a beer (if he’s Presbyterian or Lutheran) would be more effective. Remember that holding signs is just one tactic out of many and that tactics should be employed with wisdom and forethought.

The critics that anathematize abolitionists because of coroplast are unhinged, unbalanced, radicals. They believe that this one tactic poisons everything else. Their tunnel vision is clear and it is a shameful position.

However, both the abolitionist that believes that holding a sign out in front of a church building is the whole point of abolitionism and the abolitionist who will not listen to any correction in regards to the CRP are unhinged, unbalanced, radical (and I don’t mean in the good way). It is only a tactic. A useful one, but it is not the point.

Don’t cling to your coroplast as if it is the message and not just a piece of material that the message is written on. Sometimes it is a great idea to try to get that coffee. Don’t become impatient. This is a long fight.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

When it comes to fighting a holocaust with the power of the Gospel, we ought to unite according to Christology, not ecclesiology and not tactics. Theology matters. How much Theology matters also matters. We should consider first things first. Above all other things, be for Christ and His Kingdom.

Abolitionism (as in the worldview/ideology) has always affirmed the importance and authority of local bodies of believers. In addition, modern abolitionism was born in a local Baptist church, and those men are to this day faithful members of a church. Considering these things, it is very unfortunate that there are professors of Christ who obstinately insist that abolitionists (and specifically my own church in Norman, Oklahoma) are separate from the Church, anti-church, nomads, heretics, cult-members, or cult like. It is rather startling and disappointing that otherwise intelligent and faithful men of God continue to spread what has been repeatedly corrected.

Although these sort of easily falsifiable claims are disconcerting, what is outright dangerous and troubling is the loaded, vitriolic, and careless language used by some to characterize abolitionists. Based, apparently, on differences in ecclesiology, abolitionists have been called heretics and cult members. Hypothetically speaking, even if the founders of the Abolitionist Society of Norman or a great deal of abolitionists were separate from Biblical fellowship, there would still be no warrant for this sort of slanderous extreme language.

Whenever we abusively use a word like “cult” is has an inflation effect on our use of the term. Every time the word “cult” is used in reference to abolitionists, it means less when you use it in reference to Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses. Be mindful. When extreme language is used to describe Reformed Baptists, Presbyterians, and other shades of evangelicalism, you delegitimize important and true accusations you may make. Why should you listen to a “discernment” podcaster who uses the same language to describe a PCA elder with AHA gear on and a Mormon? The answer is that you should not listen to such an unbalanced man.

Since the advent of Christianity the church has been plagued by those who seek to elevate a particular doctrine above its proper place. Many sins and many atrocities have been committed not only because of incorrect theological positions, but because those with a good and right position elevate their highly esteemed doctrine above what it should never be above. These are serious mistakes that have taken many different forms.  At its least harmful it is a sign of abject immaturity. At its worst it is serious error that idolizes a good gift of God.

Christian (pseudo)discernment bloggers and multimedia producers, in the name of proper ecclesiology, have accused many abolitionists (and sometimes all of abolitionism) of many sensational things. We are accused of nearly everything, but from this particular clique within the broader evangelical community, the accusations most regularly are focused on ecclesiology and the CRP.

Theology matters‬. It does. It really does. Specifically, ecclesiology matters. It matters greatly. I, as an abolitionist, believe justice, mercy, and faithfulness are duties of the Church. Because the Church is the Bride of Christ and it has the power of the Word and the help of the Holy Spirit, it is only through the Church that all manner of evils can be abolished. The Church is God’s regular ordained means of spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom and thus fighting injustice. Because of this, abolitionism has always worked in and through the Church and local expressions of Christ’s Church. We do not exist separate and distinct from the Body, but rather as the Body. We have always strongly encouraged the saints to not forsake fellowshipping together, and although there is diversity in the details, what we mean by “fellowshipping together” is the corporate and regular gathering for the study of the Word, the observance of the sacraments (or ordinances if you like), and the striving together for each others repentance and sanctification through discipleship and discipline. One could say that abolitionism inherently has a high view of the Church.

Tactics matter too. If we sin in the hopes for good to come, we cannot and will not have the blessing of God. No matter the cause, we must be subject to God’s Law. However, we must not speak where God’s Law has not spoken. We must be careful to not put words in God’s mouth.

Soteriology also matters greatly. As does Eschatology. As does all the counsel of Scripture. I do not know any mature Christian or abolitionist who thinks that these things don’t matter.

What we must be careful of is placing something important above its proper place. Just because something is important does not mean that you must break fellowship with another Christian, call him a heretic, block him on social media like a bratty diva, or speak to them as if they are an enemy. Certainly, we must have unity in the essentials. There are a few core doctrines that every Christian and every Abolitionist should be unified in. Namely, the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the efficacy of the Cross for the atonement of sins, etc. But, let’s say, a congregationalist style of church governance versus an elder led congregation? Or Amillennialism versus Postmillennialism? Cessationism versus Continuationism? These are all important things to discuss, and I would even encourage everyone to strive together with your brothers and sisters for their edification. With love, charity, and longsuffering. Essentially like an Christian and an adult. If you truly love a brother who has a doctrinal position that you find dangerous, blocking them and going from blog to blog saying sinful things about them makes it plain that you have no genuine love for them, but rather your concern is for the purity of your petty Facebook fiefdom. You love your doctrine, not people.

Whenever you place your favored form of church polity, for example, above the unity of believers in Christ, what you are necessarily saying is the your ecclesiastical structures are more vital than Christ Himself. This is true of any non-essential doctrine. I am not saying that you must accept everything as equally true or even to not, at times, stress the importance of your secondary doctrine, but whenever you make an enemy of anyone who has a different nuance on a peripheral issue then that is a clear sign of making a good and important thing into an idol. We are to have unity in Christ. Don’t replace Christ with your pet doctrine, lest your pet doctrine becomes an idol in your heart.

Ecclesiology is often at the forefront when debating the Church Repent Project. It is a fascinating and important discussion, but we should be careful about what we say about brothers and sisters with differing views on it and specific tactics they are uncomfortable with.

As I mentioned above, there is diversity on the topic of the CRP and certain tactics. That’s okay. We should work with one another while persuasively, gently, and lovingly trying to convince one another. There are many abolitionists who disagree with tactics that other abolitionists do not disagree with. We have unity in Christ and we share the same strategy, but we can and should employ different tactics. I commend any abolitionist who fervently disagrees with me on this issue yet refuses to allow that disagreement to bring hatred and division between us.

CLOSING

I call on the Church to repent. I call on your local assembly to repent. I call on YOU to repent. Because I love you.

A theological foundation of the Church Repent Project is the historic, orthodox, Biblical truth of the nature of the visible church.

“The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to His will.”

WCF Chapter XXV Article V

Another theological foundation of the Church Repent Project is the doctrine of sanctification. “Church Repent” does not mean that you’re unregenerate. It is not a condemnation.

“They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by His word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”

WCF Chapter XIII Article I

Before any profitable conversation can occur these things must be understood. We aren’t saying anything new. We aren’t saying anything controversial.

I encourage the dedicated anti-abolitionist to consider first things first, and I encourage the anti-Church Repent Project abolitionist to consider the lack of depth in your arguments. I firmly contend that all of the common arguments against the CRP are intellectually and Biblically hollow. Most have the shallowness of soundbites, many are begging the question, and all are hypocritical. Before we condemn the CRP or abolitionism, please give some serious thought to these matters. Are we mistaking emotionalism as wisdom? Are we confusing tradition with Scripture? Are we conflating tactical differences with heresy?

Consider if you are conflating the form and the substance. Many of these arguments address the substance (calling the Church to repent) while the critics believe they are addressing the form (use of signs). They claim to affirm the substance and reject the particular form, yet their arguments logically condemn both the form and the substance. They intend to condemn holding signs or “targeting”, yet their arguments prove too much. The logical conclusion is a church institution immune from criticism.

And lastly consider your own heart. Are you correctable? Do you respond in anger if another Christian confronts you? Are you disgusted at the idea of your favourite pastor being criticized? Do you fail to see errors in your favourite institutions and leaders? Do you pridefully repeat the same soundbites as if they haven’t been responded to? Have you neglected thinking through your arguments because you fear being wrong? Are you a long time critic who would need to repent if what I was saying true? Do you react defensively to calls of repentance? Are you an abolitionist who idolizes a tactic? Are you one who must always be the radical of the radicals? Are you more concerned with your reputation than you are for love and justice? Are you fearful of being branded as a “radical”? Are you fearful of losing influence and respect? Do you preach that “repent” is NOT a dirty word… until it is directed at you?

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