Humility in deeds, not words alone....

It's important to remember that pride is made clear by both word and deed and not by words alone in assessing pride and humility. 

Neglecting this truth leads to false accusations. In Numbers 16, Korah, Dathan and Abiram lead a rebellion against Moses and Aaron saying, "You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” 

They accuse Moses of lording it over the people by speaking for God. Moses "angrily" defends himself before God by saying, "Do not regard their offering! I have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them." His defense lies in his deeds. He is not proud simply because he speaks for God. He has done them no harm, nor has he profited from them in any way.

God's leaders are routinely accused of pride for speaking His Word. It doesn't matter that they've never sought to elevate themselves over their people in any earthly way. It doesn't matter that they refuse material gain at the expense of their people. Daily lives of faith, sacrifice, even poverty are vitiated in the view of their critics by the "arrogance" of presuming to speak for God. Is it any wonder, then, that opponents routinely charged Calvin, Luther and Edwards with pride and arrogance?

More often, however, failure to judge in accord with deeds leads to the establishment of shell-game humility in the Church. You know what a shell game is, don't you? Those street-corner operations where the credulous are seduced by fast-talking operators into betting on which cup the token lies under?

The problem is, the token's not under any cup. It's an act, a sleight-of-hand disguised by the operator's convincing patter--and often by the backing testimony of shills.

TFT:LifewaySo it is with much of the "humility" of the Evangelical and Reformed world. There's a lot of talk about it, but humility in action is seldom to be found in those places where it's most talked about.

The Uriah Heep "'umbleness" of many in the Evangelical and Reformed world should be met with the guffaw it deserves.

TFT:Crossway When Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald put themselves on screens at the center of churches and call people to worship God by watching their images, justifying it on the basis of God's greatness and denying that pride lies at the core of the thing they're doing, we should laugh like kids at recess listening to the school runt claim to be his Little League team's home run king. A derisive cackle followed by a sarcastic, "Right. You and Nebuchadnezzar both," should be our response to those who seek to justify video preaching on the basis of personal gifts and love for God.

TFT:THEBIGBOYS The same with the various marketing cabals formed by preachers such as "Together4theGospel." Really? The Gospel is what lies behind your marketing shtick, your self-referential blog posts and conferences, all the pictures and videos of you with each other? That's what it's all about? Not publicity? Not the mutually-aggrandizing nature of the thing? Really? 

Campus Crusade only wants to lead people to Jesus? That's why they've reformed their name to Cru? Because Jesus is so wonderful and they don't want to get in His way? Really?

TFT:ALLTHECOOLDUDES! Articles on humility by pastors who charge for their sermons. Unxious tweets on the glories of grace by good-looking young dudes who happen to have a book on grace you can buy. Sincerity-oozing statements of "authenticity" and "passion" by hipster men in pulpits....

TFT:MealPlanI propose we cut through the crud by setting a bottom line assumption: the man who makes over $100,000 yearly from his "Christian" work needs to prove humility in ways that go beyond words.

In the sixties the rallying cry of the hippies was, "Never trust anyone over the age of 30."

Let's not trust the "'umbleness" of Christian leaders who make over $100,000 yearly from their "ministries", OK? Let's seek humble actions, not just words from those who would teach us the mind of Christ.

Comments

This article hits hard both the easy believism camp and the Calvinist Conference Crowd. Both are growing tedious in their pretensions and leading people from the simple truth of the Gospel. We must always be careful lest we fall too. We are only a platitude away.

Thanks for the article.

It is nice that some very prominent men are also good examples. One such example is John MacArthur. I doubt that Pastor MacArthur would pass your $100k text but it is encouraging to see how little self-promotion he has engaged in over the past three decades. He is also a man who is regularly considered arrogant or unloving simply because he plainly tells people what the Bible says.

I also recall hearing Pastor Al Martin talk about why he did so little conference speaking. It basically boiled down to the fact that he had a local church to pastor. I have no idea how much Pastor Martin was paid, but I do know that he could have made a lot more money if his goal was something other than faithfulness to the Lord's call on his life.

One step to addressing the current marketing craze would be to adopt something that you have recommended in the past: Full Disclosure. Speakers at these mega-conferences should disclose honorariums and book royalties (since they are getting so much free advertising from the conferences). Of course, pastors salaries should be publicly available (by each individual pastor's name) in each local church's budget.

Dear David,

It's not simply a $100,000 test. Pay should be used as indication rather than proof. I suspect along with you that John MacArthur and many others who make more than $100,000 are actually humble. But then, you never hear John trumpeting his own humility. Nor is he preaching from a video screen in Scottsdale.

Years ago I found his assurance cocky. Now I appreciate him for it--except when I disagree with him, and then I just don't listen to his sermons on baptism.

Love,

David

The amount one gets paid is more or less irrelevant. Sometimes (note: sometimes) they don't have a choice. The more crucial factor is what they do with what they're paid. And that, for better or worse, is very difficult if not impossible to know.

Unless, of course, they have a private jet or multi-million dollar home, which none of these pastors have.

I'm not saying there isn't truth in this article. I am saying we must not be quick to judge based solely on one's salary. You don't know how much of that salary they give away!

Something to think about...

Of "Together for the Gospel" - CJ Mahaney is actually on a stand-down occasioned by his board asking him to reflect carefully on his leadership style, which recently seems to have been anything but humble.

OTOH the SBC's Al Mohler and Russell Moore would, I think, be well worth the listen?

Let's not forget the excellent example of Randy Alcorn. And to be fair John Piper lives pretty darn simply too.

I don't know that there's anything wrong with a pastor being paid a high salary (though charging for sermon tapes is different) since he's worth it, even if he's willing to serve at a low salary (rather like a Major League pitcher who'd do his job for 1/10 of the salary but is worth what he's paid). It seemed as if this bit of the opera The Mikado might be relevant, though:

NANK. But how good of you (for I see that you are a nobleman of the highest rank) to condescend to tell all this to me, a mere strolling minstrel!
POOH. Don’t mention it. I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable. I can’t help it. I was born sneering. But I struggle hard to overcome this defect. I mortify my pride continually. When all the great officers of State resigned in a body, because they were too proud to serve under an ex-tailor, did I not unhesitatingly accept all their posts at once?
PISH. And the salaries attached to them? You did.
POOH. It is consequently my degrading duty to serve this upstart as First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral, Master of the Buckhounds, Groom of the Back Stairs, Archbishop of Titipu, and Lord Mayor, both acting and elect, all rolled into one. And at a salary! A Pooh-Bah paid for his services! I a salaried minion! But I do it! It revolts me, but I do it!
NANK. And it does you credit.
POOH. But I don’t stop at that. I go and dine with middle-class people on reasonable terms. I dance at cheap suburban parties for a moderate fee. I accept refreshment at any hands, however lowly. I also retail State secrets at a very low figure. For instance, any further information about Yum-Yum would come under the head of a State secret, (NANKI-Poo takes the hint, and gives him money.) (Aside.) Another insult, and, I think, a light one!

I myself only make $40K per year, so I'm gonna set $45K as my arbitrary baseline, over which I will not trust anyone's claims to humility. Rather than humble submission to Scripture, I demand they humbly submit to matching my annual income. Anything else would be clear evidence of mutual-aggrandizement.

Are all the men in the T4G photographs being criticized? The scope of the post seems vague. Who exactly is at fault?

I'm with those who point out that a pastor doesn't need to earn six figures a year to get out of touch; I've met plenty who are well below half that who also fail in this regard. One can have perks of money, pleasure, or power......ye shall know them by their fruit, no?

Dear Friends,

I'll set the figure at $500,000 rather than $100,000 if that will satisfy those concerned about the money part of my post. Or, if that's still too little, how about $1,000,000? But, of course, that's rather high for many. So we'll settle on $500,000. Yet there are some for whom even $100,000 is unconscionable.

The point is not a specific figure. The point is simply that we can't separate true humility from a lack of desire for material gain. Make the amount whatever you'd like, if you can't see that Moses defends himself against the charge of pride by saying that he has not profited from the people, that Jesus' humility was demonstrated by His not having a roof to cover His head, that Paul constantly defended his authority on the basis of his refusal to profit from his ministry, you're evading a basic Scriptural truth. Money and pride walk hand-in-hand.

I remember Phillip Jensen telling several of us on a van ride through Ohio that he made less than three other pastors on the staff of his church. I immediately asked whether he received royalties from his works published through Matthias Media. "Not a penny," he responded. It all went to the church.

Now there's an example of what I'm talking about. It was also Phillip Jensen, speaking at a small meeting of pastors at Parkside Church in Cleveland, who said that one of his impressions from his first several months in America was that American pastors seek larger churches because pay increases in accord with the size of one's church.

Let's admit that desire for money, pay scale and willingness to sacrifice have at least some spiritual significance, revealing something about pride and humility, OK? Even Jesus commends John for his poverty, right? Beyond that I'll leave it to others to determine where the lines fall. If you'd rather it were $1 million rather than $100,000, well, you have a more sanguine view of human nature than I but at least we agree on the underlying principle.

Love in Christ,

David

I'm struggling over how seriously to take this conversation. On one hand, I came to your blog via Tim Challies, whom I respect, and I assume that means he reads your blog at least somewhat regularly. Also, I thought your post (the one Challies actually linked) about the Jesus film was reasonable. But this post is just plain off the rails. First of all, to ever arbitrarily assign a number value, be it $25,000 or $25,000,000 as the determining factor of a person's humility is asinine. Why does $100,000 per year make someone proud, or greedy (greed, by the way, having miles more to do with the amount a person makes than pride) but $95,000 means they're ok? The amount of money you make is NEVER an indicator of your heart, it's only an indicator of either your financial savvy or, as we see in the Bible, the amount that God found you worthy of being entrusted over. If you want to use a financial means of determining where a person's heart is, you need their checkbook register, not their pay stub. And then, to hold up someone who points out the fact that they make less then someone else and take no royalties from their publishing as a model of humility? Pride in poverty is no less pride than pride in wealth. What you are espousing amounts to little more than a poverty gospel, and frankly, it's garbage. Just as much garbage as the prosperity gospel. If a pastor makes $2,000,000 per year and gives away all but $40,000, he clearly fails your "test," but I'm sure his heart toward money is more Christ-centered than any of ours.

About pastors of multi-site churches...I don't follow James McDonald so I can't speak to his ministry, but Mark Driscoll preaches the Bible. He may not be everyone's cup of tea as far as his preaching/speaking style, but you can't deny (or maybe you do, which would at least make a consistent argument) that he tells people the truth about who Jesus is and people's souls are being saved as a result of his ministry. So what is a gifted teacher to do? Tell people they need to find somewhere else to go? Build an enormous coliseum to house the people whom God is teaching through him? Preach 10 services a day on Sunday? I think you must not understand how a multi-site church works, and the lengths they go to to provide community and shepherding to their members in the absence of an in-person speaker. Maybe you have decided that God can only work through churches of another arbitrarily assigned number of congregants? At the very least, we should be able to look at it like Paul in Phil 1, and thank God that Christ is being preached. I can't think of a time when we should every respond to anyone with "a derisive cackle followed by a sarcastic" anything. That statement reveals more about your heart than anyone's paycheck reveals about theirs.

Mike,

When I read your comments, my first thought was that you hadn't read the article very closely. Just to make sure it wasn't me - I went back and carefully re-read what David wrote.

Please note that David doesn't mention the $100k until the 13th paragraph of a 15 paragraph article. The article is not about salaries for pastors but about pastors engaging in self-promotion. The $100k marker was just that - a marker to give us pause.

Furthermore, pastors are not professionals. I am not an employee of my congregation. The congregation I serve (Merrimack Valley Orthodox Presbyterian Church in North Andover, MA) generously provides me with financial support so that I can devote myself to pastoral ministry. The amount of financial support needed to do this doesn't change simply because some other congregation would be willing to pay me another $50k per year. To suggest that the amount of financial support a church gives its pastor is immaterial is to miss the nature of the pastoral office (I should add that many congregations sin by providing insufficient financial support for their pastors).

The problem of pastors acting like celebrities is a very real and present concern. NB - There is a difference between being well known or even famous and being a celebrity. I mentioned John MacArthur in a previous comment as a good example. Pastor MacAruther is quite well known without acting like a celebrity or engaging in self-promotion. Let me give you just one paragraph of Iain Murray's recent biography of Pastor MacArthur (p. 229):

"I have heard members of Grace Community Church describe their pastor in a single sentence. An elder's wife, who has been there for forty years, told me, 'We have a worshiper for a pastor.' Another believed, 'His greatest sermon is his life.' 'He is profoundly generous', commented a third. One of his longest-serving elders recalls how MacArthur never wants to discuss money at meetings, unless it is to decline a raise in salary."

Best wishes,

David

David,
Thanks for your well-reason and genuine rebuttal. It's true, and a fact that I hadn't weighted heavily enough, that a pastor *is* different from a professional and that as the pastor he has a great deal of determinating authority over the finances of the church and, thereby, his salary. It wouldn't make a lot of sense for the pastor in my hypothetical to allow himself to be paid $2mil per year, only to give most of it back. However, my objection to assigning an arbitrary number to what is "humble" and what is "prideful" stands. Like I said, we ought to be more concerned with the checkbook register than the pay stub. It's a straw man *and* a red herring, all rolled into one big ugly fallacy. The fact that it was brought up in the 2nd to last chapter, in my opinion, gives it greater rhetorical weight, not less.

As far as celebrity pastors, what would you say differentiates a well known or famous pastor from a celebrity? We have to be very careful of assigning arbitrary dogmatic metrics to anyone's behavior, even if we know that teachers will be judged more strictly.

Hi Mike,

I don't want to keep beating this issue, so I hope that you will allow me to give an indirect answer:

Please watch the video that was posted a few days back on this blog under the title: "I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about Number One..." I would be surprised if you aren't at least somewhat appalled by the self absorption displayed by Mark Driscol and James MacDonald in this conversation. Any time pastors present themselves as particularly important to the cause of Christ rather than as clay pots to whom the treasure of Christ's gospel has been entrusted - they are in serious trouble.

Let me concretely back up my claim that both Pastor Driscol and Pastor MacDonald present themselves that way. Both of them claim that their multi-site model will be dissolved once they are off the scene. Yet, the only difference between now and then is THEM. This is a key difference between being well known and being a celebrity. Someone may become well known because of their faithfulness or the broad impact that the LORD grants to their ministry. Such men become well known for how the LORD has used them. With celebrities, it is about THEM.

Best wishes,

David

Dear Mike,

Thanks for your follow-up. Two things make writing posts like this hard. The first is the arbitrary nature of any objective standard I might set. In the realm of money, any figure I suggest will be used by others as a point of attack. If I set it at $75,000, then I'm a hypocrite because I make that much. I used $100,000 because that seems a useful point of division. But in NYC rather than Toledo, the standard could differ by $25-40,000. So to some it may be too high, to others too low. My point is simply that somehow, somewhere, we must link the pursuit of money to pride because it's a link the Bible constantly points out.

The second difficulty is knowing that the charge of sour grapes will inevitably be raised when you write a post such as this. The universal response is that a person who criticizes is bitter because of a lack of success: he's stuck in Toledo and he wishes he were in Miami or Seattle, he's getting old and he resents the attractiveness of the young, he doesn't have a megachurch, he criticizes big salaries because he doesn't have the opportunity to make that kind of money, he'd self-promote if he could only write a book, and so on and so on....

The thief always assumes that others steal and proud men always assume others are equally motivated by pride. Well, I am motivated by pride. I hate it and I fight it. And much of my life has involved the conscious rejection of opportunities that would inflame my pride further--and paradoxically, even tragically, such choices are often yet more proud than the thing renounced because humility lies more in the doing than the renouncing, but, that being said, I still have very little of the sour grape in my outlook today.

Of course, this is impossible to prove. The charge of sour grapes is like being asked if you've stopped beating your wife: you're hanged whichever way you respond.

I say all this to make it clear that I'm not trying to judge CJ or John or the others individually. I'll even stipulate that most of them are better, more humble men than I. But self-promotion remains self-promotion. And if we can't recognize it when we see it, then we've been drinking too much of the vain MTV/Oprah/FoxNews spirit of our age. The man of God doesn't need to ratchet up a propaganda machine to achieve results. Finney's methods once-removed from the anxious bench remain Finney's methods. We may not call on the sinner to immediately repent after urging him to the front of the church as Finney did, but if we walk into town with blaring bands and marching elephants going before us like a circus arriving, then we have more of the spirit of Charles Finney to our work than that of Paul or John the Baptist.

I hope this makes sense.

Love in Christ,

David

Along these lines, I'm struck by the work of a number of men which has disintegrated once they were gone. Spurgeon's church in its heyday drew fans like the Lakers; today there are a few hundred in the Tabernacle. There are hundreds of other churches like that, and I've been in at least two of them, where the grand visions of a charismatic pastor fell apart when that pastor retired--men of ordinary abilities simply could not hold the whole scheme together, if the rationale for the whole grand scheme was even understood by others in the first place.

And though I've seen poorer pastors fall for this, I must admit that some of the most egregious debacles in the church occur when (Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, etc..) when the pastor's tastes progress from ordinary middle class living into luxury. So $100k is not that far off--probably somewhat higher in the east coast megalopolis, maybe somewhat lower in the South and Midwest, but when one goes from ordinary white collar wages into doctor and lawyer wages, one must wonder.

Numbers, bank accounts, and sour grapes aside (all of which may reside in the heart of me), I read the post wondering in the end what your definition of humbleness was. Is it possible to be in the limelight, have an engaging personality, have vast intellectual freight and still be humble? My answer is yes if you can read and interact with a post like this and see it as a warning sign as both observed and observer.

The picture of the gentlemen with the jerseys at first glance makes it look more like a "dream team" photo op instead of conveying that they are simply just on the same "gospel" team. But I still dig it. I think it would be cool to sport an "Anyabwile" jersey.

I will be thinking about this today.

I have been curious how people process all this, including how money comes into it. My wife and I went through the book of Acts with JMac this year and I really appreciated how JMac addressed the issue.

http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1780/

I've been curious if he continues today with the same philosophy he had almost 40 years ago.

Richard, that link is broken.

Daniel, thanks. It appears it added an extra / on the end.

http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1780

Oh, my access has been quite blocked, everybody, same as Eric C. I got around it with a proxy server, is all. Anyone who would like the details can email me @ esqtvd at aol dot com. This charade has gone on long enough. You are not being told the whole story. Peace. Out. [Yes, and you should collect all my comments in full and let everyone read them. I've been quite reasonable about the whole affair.]

* * *

[Tom claims he's been blocked because we dont' allow disagreement, so here's one full compilation of his comments. See how blocked he was? Note particularly the time and dates. Where's the gap? Nowhere.]

Submitted by Tom Van Dyke on April 25, 2013 - 4:09pmFor the record, the 2003 Supreme Court case http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas declared that bans on sodomy are unconstitutional.  That decision will not be reversed, and no new legislation could pass constitutional muster.   That issue is over.  To carp on it any longer makes you look bad, esp since it makes it look like you don't appreciate the legal reality of the situation.  Even religiously, there has to be some level of submission to laws you cannot change.  Keep your powder dry and your rhetoric reasonable for the things you still can change.  The SSM issue is not yet completely lost, and the pro-life position is even making gains in state legislatures across the country. As for members of your denomination who refuse to speak out, you can't make 'em.  The best you can do is keep 'em off your own back for doing so--if they won't lead or follow, then ask them kindly to get out of the way.  Peace and good luck.Submitted by Tom Van Dyke on April 25, 2013 - 5:49pm<i>Dear Brother,But do you think I don't appreciate the legal reality of the situation? It's a real question.Love,</i>Brother Bayly, as a disinterested observer, it didn't seem that way even to the charitable reader, which I am. You wrote elsewhere:<i>This is the reason R2K men are currently arguing for the repeal of sodomy laws and the passage of sodomite marriage rites</i>The "R2K" person would hardly be arguing for the repeal of sodomy laws because sodomy laws are already abolished in 2003 by <i>Lawrence v. Texas</i>.  By lumping sodomy laws in with "passage of sodomite marriage rites," you <i>appear</i> to be ignorant that the first is settled law and a moot issue whereas the latter, gay marriage, is still a live issue--a necessary distinction if you hope to have your protests have any effect in the real world.To "Chris Robin," no, actually slavery was never a settled issue from the very beginning of America, neither was its successor Jim Crow.  It was good to keep fighting, and indeed <i>Roe v. Wade</i> is constantly getting whittled down at the late term end.  Save your ammo for where it counts.As for Hitler, I think going nuclear with such comparisons should be saved for matters of life and death.   Sodomy isn't a matter of life and death, and to play the Hitler Card disproportionately makes you easy to dismiss as a crank.So too, for the record, the use of "sodomite" is 99% guaranteed to turn off any of the unconvinced, if they are your target audience.  If your target audience is preaching to the choir, then the 2Kers are correct that it would be best to keep terms like "sodomite" within the confines of your own church, as they hurt your cause, not help it.For what it's worth.  I have no dog in this fight.  I think people should bring their moral and religious convictions to the public square--even when I don't agree with their positions.  Most of all, I admire living faith.Submitted by Tom Van Dyke on April 25, 2013 - 8:15pm<em>Dear Tom,Such oracular declarations. Such patronization. Such misplaced confidence. So very mistaken.Then you tell us you have no dog in the fight. Ahem.Time doesn't permit a thorough response right now, but in a day or so...Love,</em>I look forward to it, Tim. I've actually been taking your part elsewhere, at least in principle.  At the moment, you seem to promise to make me regret it.  Respectfully submitted.And I do have no dog in your fight with 2K.  I note that as a matter of civility if not political effectiveness, going Hitler or Sodom is a proven rhetorical loser.  But again, if your audience is only your own choir, by all means rock on.  If you aspire to more, then word up.Submitted by Tom Van Dyke on April 26, 2013 - 2:42pmPerhaps you got me wrong, Brothers Bayly.  My critiques are more of your tactics, which are counterproductive. The regulation/criminalization of private sexual conduct is a stupid hill to die on--First, because <em>Lawrence v. Texas</em> isn't going anywhere, secondly because blowing that trumpet weakens your effectiveness in other more important area, currently gay marriage and protection of the unborn. I'm glad you draw a distinction  <em>It seems to escape Mr. Van Dyke and R2K men that there are reasons to fight against the repeal of sodomy laws even when one is convinced the fight will not be successful. Note carefully: "fight against the repeal of sodomy laws" does not equal "lobby for the passage of sodomy laws."</em> between lobbying for passing sodomy laws [dead issue] and trying to keep them in place 99% dead issue], but in the end [no pun intended], you and Cuccinelli* are squandering political capital.  If you feel you must "witness" God's disapproval of homosexual activity, so be it, but let's be clear that you're speaking as pastors--your political effectiveness as such is nil. We must note here that you fail to make a necessary distinction between meself and R2Kers.  I'm all for the Manhattan Declaration, which is surely the opposite of 2K.  But the arguments and tactics of a successful Manhattan Declaration initiative are different than those of conservative Christian pastorship, as you appear to be aware [natural law arguments, but also an emphasis on the harm done to innocents in the name of "enlightenment" and progress"]. So if your use of "sodomites" and "because the Bible says so" is seen as counterproductive to the goals of Manhattan Declaration-type politics, then someone must speak up and ask you to stop "helping."  You're no Westboro Baptist Church, but the effect of "sodomite" and Hitler rhetoric is no less destructive to the cause.  Time and political capital that would be better spent advancing MD arguments are spent instead disassociating them from people the vast majority of the electorate consider to be yahoos.  With friends like those, out there making radically uncivil and indefensible arguments, one doesn't need any enemies. _______________________ *Technically you're correct that Cuccinelli is defending a "sodomy" law banning oral/anal sex regardless of genders involved, but since it's your custom to use "Sodom" interchangeably with homosexuality, it's unhelpful here.  Further, I can't think of any issue that would poll so poorly than making hummers illegal.  What with the graver moral issues of SSM and the protection of unborn life at stake, I vociferously object to expending any political capital whatsoever on such trivia.  It borders on a moral crime to drag down the goals of the Manhattan Declaration with such chickenspit.  Like it or not, you're part of the social conservative movement even though you weren't asked to sign.  I submit the reason you weren't was precisely because of the legitimate fear that your disastrous tactics would hurt, not help, the movement.   I submit this with all respect, that you rethink some of this.  I realize you must feel called by God to speak out on these issues both great and small, but by the same token you must realize that others feel the need to criticize and distance themselves from you if you're to pursue this course.  The fact is that there are two kingdoms, one of the faithful and one that includes everybody, and God gave us the sense to know that the tactics must be different in each theater. As for your fight with the R2Kers, you did write "R2K men are currently arguing for the repeal of sodomy laws and the passage of sodomite marriage rites."  that's a direct quote.  If true--I don't know that it is---that's your best counterargument.  Arguing for them is no different politically than you arguing against them. Best regards,

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