Slip of the Tongue, or Just Slippery?: More hijinks from Pastor Wade Burleson and Wartburg Watch

Here is the link to the e-Church sermon in question…Wade’s comment I will be discussing is at the top of the thread:

Wade Burleson, 10/14/2013, 8:26AM said:

“…Fascinating to me that the three messages challenging the modern concept of pastoral authority…have an average of well over 200 downloads to watch.  However, the message on “How to Pray for Your Pastor” has only 4 downloads–total.  A reduction of 98%.  It might be the reason there’s a problem with excessive pastoral authority is a lack of interest in praying for one’s pastor. 🙂 [smiley face] Maybe?”

(Comments in brackets and bold emphasis added)

Now, let’s take the most egregious and most salient statement out of the greater quote so that you can view it in all its unequivocal clarity:

“It might be the reason there’s a problem with excessive pastoral authority is a lack of interest in praying for one’s pastor.”–Wade Burleson

And again, just in case you are still blinking your eyes and scratching your brain case, wondering if you read that right (you did) let’s get Wade to give us an encore of his encore.

“It might be the reason there’s a problem with excessive pastoral authority is a lack of interest in praying for one’s pastor.”–Wade Burleson

Now, if you are like me, you kind of tilted your head sideways and thought that if maybe you read the words from a slightly different visual angle, you’d be able to process what in the hell Wade is trying to say here.

Then you tilt your head a different way and realize that the problem is not you, the problem is those words….in that order.  And you can scarcely believe what you are witnessing.  Did Wade Burleson, poster pastor for Compassionate Calvinism, actually just blame the the victims of the abuse for the abuse?!  Well, as you read through the comments thread and you see Wade equivocate like schoolboy caught smoking crack in the bathroom, you will notice his denunciation of this interpretation (in his own charitable way) in spades.  However, read the quote again.  I mean…I am not calling Wade a liar; perhaps he truly doesn’t mean in his heart what his words so clearly, I submit, declare, and declare with force:

THE problem with excessive pastoral abuse is the LAITY.

Friends, country-men, lenders-of-ears…this is what I have been talking about, and why a site like the Wartburg Watch is a place that is almost an abject educational necessity for those of us interested in seeing the evolution of tyranny from its innocent roots as merely a bunch of confused and slightly indignant-but-well-meaning people just trying to “learn to accept and love one another better while not playing the doctrinal blame-game”, become a full-fledged monstrosity of irrational and despotic metaphysical and epistemological assumptions.  And the fact that this comment by Wade went utterly unchallenged by Dee or Deb, and yet, my response was immediately condemned as mean-spirited and deceptive and whatever other irrational, knee-jerk pejoratives Dee could conjure up in the deep well of her emotionally-lopsided reason…well, this should speak volumes and volumes to the fact that indeed, it doesn’t take much time nor work for the very destructive ideas which led to the formation of Wartburg Watch in the first place to swallow that same site whole and spit out even more victims than before Wartburg even existed.

So, yes…a little confused at first, I am, and so are you (but deep down, perhaps not really…we understand the roots of how Wade sees humanity).  It’s like…you know there is something vastly wrong with a statement like this…and you know that it isn’t just wrong in one way, but its wrongness and evil spread and fill the sky like countless branches on a tree used for lynching.  So there are thoughts all going in a thousand different directions and you sit and think and think about…okay, why is this so evil, and where does one even start to lay down a counter-argument to such debauched thinking?  There are plenty of places to begin, each one seemingly as good as another.  But then you notice that within the purely blatant and obvious meaning of those words in that order are layers and layers of nuanced theology, each stratum more putrid than the next.  And so you dig to the bottom, trying to find the root which gives life to the poisonous vine you see above the dirt, which is but the flower of violence…the concluding fruit of what is really a deep, deep philosophy.  A very well-rounded and very reformed philosophy.

And this is what I was able to come up with as a quick response.  I realize it is inadequate as a systematic rebuttal to Wade’s statement, but the reason I only hinted at the myriad of ways you could defy such a belief while highlighting  its frustrating effect on me, was to get Wade and others to understand that, yes, of course, there were indeed logical and and organized avenues of answering  Wade’s false assertion, but the first logical response should be one of abject offense and anger.

“The reformed get-out-of-jail-free-card.  The pastor is merely a sinner saved by grace.  If you only prayed for him…”

Okay…wait.  Break.  It’s always a him, isn’t it?  And that of course is the first sign of tyranny within the ranks of “God’s chosen people”:  a caste system based on the possession of external genitalia (among other things).  That is a sure sign that you are walking into a philosophy which operates in a vacuum of reason, and without any objective plumb line of morality and value…and there can be only one:  life.  And the sex of that life simply cannot rationally matter.  Now, certainly, this isn’t to suggest that the Calvinists don’t have some use for the “weaker sex”; surely, male copulation is a divine right not to be refused by women under any circumstance (within marriage, of course, they are quick to point out, as if that makes it any less disturbing…and, listening to some Calvinist pastors, I think I finally understand why some define marriage as institutionalized rape), so the male supreme ecclesiastical authority do have an orthodox “biblical role” for boobies, but they only really talk about that at the marriage retreats (or, if your Mark Driscoll, whenever).  Anyway…back to my response:

“If you only prayed for him more, none of this unpleasantness would would have happened.  Your lack of prayer is probably why God did not give him the “grace to perceive”.  If you just showed a little more interest maybe the pastor wouldn’t have to force you into right behavior.  If you just got with the program, and admit that all your pastors’ sins in the area of authority are due to your lack of compliance [to his supreme and infallible will as God’s proxy]…well, you wouldn’t be so miserable, now would you?

And if the wife had gotten her husband’s dinner on time maybe she could have avoided that crack across her mouth.  Just look at what she made him do.” 

(Comments in brackets and bold emphasis added)

Coming soon: part two

5 thoughts on “Slip of the Tongue, or Just Slippery?: More hijinks from Pastor Wade Burleson and Wartburg Watch

  1. You know, it is strange how ideas become ingrained and people cannot see them for what they are. People have heard this for so long, they don’t question it. Then if they do then they are mean and hateful. Thought of as a reprobate that refuses to pray for his pastor. It is one of those things you question at your own peril. As you well know. And one reason ideas are not discussed. It is about personalities.

    It is our fault the pastor is authoritarian because we did not pray for him enough? Sounds like a pastor who is not qualified to me. In fact, why would such a pastor think he could teach others. First of all, if I have a pastor you had better bet he/she would be a friend of mine and I pray for ALL my friends, family and others. There is no special way. All are priests in the priesthood.

    Yes, the quote holds the pew sitter responsible for the pastors behavior. And yes, that is a form of sociopathy. He has the same saving Jesus I do and a pastor should know Him really well, right? All of this, “we get to sin all the time because we are sinners and never in sanctification” stuff is getting old. Wearing thin. Then suggesting others should pray so the pastor will stop sinning misses the point. Get rid of him!!! He ain’t the real thing. And why pay him to sin?

    However, not sure the quote fits the Calvin model well. If God is in control and the pastor is authoritarian then God determined that. So, that makes it ok. Right? Why pray for things God has determined? Unless you want to pray that God is glorified by spiritual abuse? Now that one makes more sense in the Calvinist construct but I doubt they would dare say it.

    Personal responsibility. That is the ticket. But not in the Calvinist construct. There, you cannot help yourself so it becomes someone elses fault.

  2. Since they have no freewill according to their doctrine, the only way to prevent them from doing bad stuff is for you to use your freewill that you don’t have according to their doctrine. to pray to God to have him override their predetermined evil course that he predetermined for them according to their doctrine.

  3. James,
    Good comment. Once you see the insanity and impossibility of the logic, it never stops smacking you in the face.

  4. Lydia,

    Right. It is an epistemological merry-go-round. Everything in light of God’s sovereignty ultimately must boil down not merely meaninglessness, but rank UNKNOWABLE-NESS. Nothing can be anyone’s fault, not simply because they are depraved (or are God in the stead of God…i.e. PASTOR), but because we cannot even qualify “fault”, or anything to which the “fault” is a direct function of. There is no action, including man’s ability to know anything at all, which can be labeled as a “thing”. As existing as verifiable, as knowable, as observable. If God is sovereign in the sense that the Calvinists concede then man and anything else he perceives cannot be claimed as real.

    In the end, when speaking of determinism, 99.9% of everything we discuss either here, or on John Immel’s site, or Paul’s site or anywhere is irrelevant bullshit (not that ARGUING it is bullshit, because it takes a lot of work to get people to the .1% of the idea that IS the “a-ha” moment which will change their thinking forever. If someone concedes a deterministic philosophy then they cannot possibly make a claim to know anything of any sort, much less “truth’, because their very SELF, including all they know and think and say or have ever said or thought or be or will ever say or think or be is merely the extension of whatever force is determining them. Since determinism is an absolute then, there can be no physical, metaphysical, or epistemological distinction between THEM and that which DETERMINES them. In short, the person who concedes determinism cannot exist within the context of that determinism. As soon as they declare a deterministic world view,they contradict themselves, at their own root, instantly. There is no argument they can “win” because there is no THEM to have an argument.

    So, the only rational idea then is that man IS (existence exists…Ayn Rand). If YOU ARE, then YOU must be separate from ANY force of any kind, even and especially GOD. YOU must provide the “resistance” to any force so that you there can be a distinction between what is YOU and what is NOT you in service to a relationship with anything and anyone, even and especially God. YOU must provide the “resistance” of SELF in order that there can be a REAL interaction. And if that is true, then we cannot concede any absolute other than the SELF, meaning that all VALUE (TRUTH and MORALITY) is a function of individual human context (I am not speaking of moral relativism…that is a typical knee jerk, and shallow-thinking response). And if YOU are YOU, then God and Pastor and everyone else is obligated to vet what is TRUTH by the human context: LIFE. Which means there must be a distinct and objective epistemology that can be LEARNED, and cannot be divinely BESTOWED.

    But people like Wade Burleson want their metaphysical cake and eat it to. They want to declare an “applicable truth” (e.g. “apply my sermon to your life”), and yet when the fecal matter hits the wind motivator they want to stand back and cry “God did not give me the grace to perceive” and “we are all just sinners saved by grace”, and “the pastor needs prayer to check his psychopathic narcissism”.

    It is all such rank nonsense. And this is where I disagree so vehemently with Paul Dohse, even though I love and respect him and think his family is just about second to none (really…anyone who who hates Paul would change their mind as soon as they met Susan and his boys, except maybe the devil, himself). There is no such thing as “mere metaphysical” arguments. ALL ideas start with metaphysical assumptions, which then inexorably inform our epistemology and all the rest of it. And if you spend your time pointing out the utter logical fallacy which is determinism, you not only dismantle Calvinism quickly and easily (relatively), but practically EVERY false idea known to man, which are pretty much all rooted in one way or another in Plato’s primacy of consciousness model and its thus perfunctory caste system.

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