The Ecclesiastical Text

2013-07-09 09.39.36

The Ecclesiastical Text

Now that I’m “Back to the Bible” so to speak, I’m re-examining some of the textual criticism issues I studied over 20 years ago.

I read Theodore Letis’ book “The Ecclesiastical Text” 20 years ago, and I also learned to read New Testament Greek over 20 years ago, too, so I’m familiar with the Critical Text school of thought, the Majority Text school, and the Textus Receptus school. Although I learned and adopted the methods of the Critical Text school I also agreed with Letis’ thesis that the church, not academics, should determine the text of the New Testament.

I still have my Greek texts, lexicons, concordance, and textual criticism books from 20 years ago, except Letis’ book, which I must have sold when I sold-off most of my books years ago. Now I wish I had Letis’ book, because 1) it’s out of print and 2) used copies are going for over $100.00.

I recently bought a King James Version of the Bible and a copy of the Textus Receptus from the Trinitarian Bible Society, and I’m leaning heavily toward the Ecclesiastical Text (or Confessional Text) position. In fact, I’ve already gone over to that position, because it makes the most sense, to me. In particular, the Textus Receptus school.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on this issue over the past few days, and these are some of the links to articles, audios, and videos I’ve found helpful.

I’ve found the many audios and articles by Pastor Jeff Riddle to be the most helpful.

“We should trust that God provided the necessary text for the church’s theology and life, and consequently that he preserved that text throughout the centuries of the church’s existence. For these reasons, I prefer the Majority Text over the Critical Text. It’s my contention that we should privilege readings which appear in the majority of New Testament manuscripts over those that don’t.” Read more: The Ecclesiastical Text Versus the Critical Text

“The textus receptus demonstrates a much broader textual tradition (in most places), which was in use throughout the majority of the history of the church. If we truly believe that God preserves his Word, shouldn’t this have some theological implications regarding the text that we use?” Read more: We Shouldn’t Exclusively Use the ESV

This Week’s Program: The Ecclesiastical Text and Textual Criticism

Satan Playing the Long Game? What’s the Problem with the Critical Text?

Doug Wilson: Byzantine over Alexandrian Text?

Ecclesiastical Text Issues — James White

Ecclesiastical Text — Response to James White

An Introduction to Textual Criticism: Part 9–“Traditional Text” Positions: The Ecclesiastical Text

Confessional Bibliology: Pericope de Adulterae

Jeff Riddle vs James White

Index: Text Criticism Resources from Jeffrey T. Riddle

Hodges and Farstad On John 8:1-11

Wilbur Pickering on the Pericope Adulterae

London Baptist Confession of Faith: Of the Holy Scriptures

Westminster Confession of Faith: Of the Holy Scriptures

Biblical Preservation: B. B. Warfield and the Reformation Doctrine of the Providential Preservation of the Biblical Text

Why Use the Authorised (King James) Version?

The Excellence of The Authorized Version

English Bible Translations: By What Standard? (.pdf)

Textus Receptus Wiki

What today’s Christian needs to know about the Greek New Testament

Critical Text Onlyism: A New Doctrine

Rev. Jeff Riddle:

Word Magazine (Audio) –

Trinitarian Bible Society:

The Ecclesiastical Text, by Theodore Letis

“This book is collection of essays and papers by Dr. Letis on various aspects of what has happened to the Scriptures in our day. As such it provides not only a good assessment of where we are, but in its historical reviews, also provides a good rear view mirror, to show the reader where we have come from, and therefore what we have lost.

“In the Introduction Dr. Letis deals with the issue of declining educational standards and loss of literacy. He then explains the effect this has had on the translation and especially the marketing of Bibles. The effect of course should have been nil. The Authorized Version of the Scriptures is famous for lifting the level of literacy of the English peoples, rather than being in an exercise in catering to the lack of it. However, the Bible now having broken loose from ecclesiastical control, and having become the plaything of “for profit” commercial publishers, catering to ever declining levels of literacy is now part of the marketing game. The Bible is a tremendously complex and deep book, whose proper study is the labor of a lifetime. A proper translation can pierce the language barriers and present this book in English, but it cannot do more. The Scriptures remains a book that does not yield it truths without much study, prayer, and labor. God does not cast his pearls before swine. Only a corrupting paraphrase can simplify the complex language, rich idioms, and cultural expressions of the original, and offer a shortcut to those who are too spiritually lazy to study what God actually wrote. That this has resulted in a scandalous deluge of competing study Bibles, for every conceivable niche of would be Bible students, is Dr. Letis’ complaint.

“The first, and probably the most important, chapter in this book is also the most interesting. He shows how textual or lower criticism, once the domain of liberal theologians, was imported into Princeton seminary by B. B. Warfield. Tracing the Reformation view from the Westminster divines, through Turretin, and to the Hodges at Princeton, he carefully documents the theological revolution introduced in that institution by Warfield. The key switch was to place inerrancy only in the long lost autographs (the original manuscripts) and fail to defend it in the apographs (our current copies of the original text). Warfield believed that through the “science” of textual criticism the original inerrant texts could be reconstructed giving us an improved Bible over the one the Reformers had defended. Apart from the textual and historical issues involved, as a Calvinist Warfield should have known better than to trust unregenerate liberal textual critics to guide this process objectively to a successful conclusion. After all he was supposed to believe in “total depravity” and that men apart from the grace of God will “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” As Letis documents the details and the history of this revolution and its ramifications to this day, the fascinated reader is brought to an understanding of how we got where we are today.

“In Chapter Two Letis documents how the Reformers and their heirs, both Lutheran and Calvinist, viewed the apographa, the extent copies of the Scriptures that the church had in their day. This not only defines and documents the historic and Reformed view, but demonstrates the radical nature of the revolution Warfield introduced at Princeton. When he takes this historical review right into the twentieth century and quotes Warfield’s critics this contrast is even heightened. Whatever criticism one may make of Letis’ writings, he does not sound an uncertain trumpet. The battle lines on this issue are clearly drawn.

“Chapter Three deals with issues of Biblical authority, that is the authority of the present day scriptures in the life of the church. First he reviews the traditional view of the absolute authority of the scriptures held by the churches since the Reformation. Then he documents the erosion of this position by theological liberals who subverted it with their higher criticism and attacks on Biblical inspiration and inerrancy. Finally he shows how evangelicals now waffle on this issue since due to their acceptance of the tenets of textual criticism they no longer really believe they have an inerrant Bible. The title of this chapter, “The Language of Biblical Authority: From Protestant Orthodoxy to Evangelical Equivocation” is particularly instructive of our current problems.

“Another issue that is broached is the consequences of our ecclesiology. Dr. Letis accurately demonstrates the Baptist (or Anabaptist as he puts it) nature of American culture. This, he points out, has contributed to the rise of a plethora of translations. He attributes this, at least partially, to the atomistic, individualistic nature of this Baptist culture, and the fractured state of ecclesiastical organizations that it has promoted. He notes that the Reformation model of an established state church gave us a single Bible, the Authorized Version. This is not presented as an argument for the establishment principle, and is merely meant to inform us of the consequences of the path American Christianity has taken over the last two centuries. In point of fact, most Presbyterians would probably agree, and would prefer to see a more consistent Presbyterianism replace the host of para-church organizations that have, along with commercial publishers, co-opted the whole Bible translation and distribution function. As Dr. Letis has argued elsewhere, when these functions cease to be a ministry under ecclesiastical control, and become driven by commercialism and it’s attendant profit motive, then we can expect a deluge of designer Bibles appealing to every niche market, and commercial appeal replaces faithfulness to God’s word, as the driving force for the whole process.

“The book goes on to cover a wide range of issues dealing with the text of scripture. There are eight chapters, four book reviews, and two appendices.

“If you are concerned about the present state of things with respect to the status of God’s word, and would like to have both an insight as to how we got here, and where we need to go from here, this book is good place to start.” (Source)


Posted in Bible, Church, language, Literary Theory, Religion, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Steve Skojec’s Islamophobic echo chamber


Steve Skojec

Steve Skojec’s Islamophobic echo chamber

“We should fear Islam.” ~ Steve Skojec

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 10:28)

Steve Skojec is one of those “Traditional Catholics” who is afraid of Islam, and who spreads his irrational fear of Islam via the internet.

He doesn’t allow any commentary or opinion on his websites and social media accounts that isn’t in agreement with his Islamophobic worldview.

If you try to post something about the CIA radicalizing, funding, arming, and training “radical Islamic jihadists” he will call you names and block you.

Steve’s most recent Islamophobic article: Identity Politics: A Key Ingredient in American Islamic Shootings

My comment, which Steve deleted, on his article (linked above):

Christ is noticeably absent from your article.

No, we shouldn’t fear Islam. We should fear God.

There’s more CIA and MI6 in “radical Islam” than there is Islam.

I ain’t scared.

Steve’s “Traditional Catholic” website: OnePeterFive:

steve skojec's echo chamber copy


What is a social media echo chamber?

The Echo Chamber:

Echo Chambers on Social Media

A few articles and videos Steve Skojec needs to take a look at…

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.: “The United States has been helping Arab governments and Turkey send arms to the rebels.” Source: Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A. –

Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam: “The story of how Britain has helped nurture the rise of global terrorism has never before been told. ‘Secret Affairs’ shows in extensive detail how Britain and the US have repeatedly sided with radical Islamic forces in the Middle East and elsewhere as counterweights to check the rise of nationalism, as shock troops to bring about pro-Western regime change, and as proxies to fight wars against the West’s enemies.” —>>> Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam –

The Taliban indoctrinates kids with jihadist textbooks paid for by the U.S. government:

Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World: “During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda…” Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World: An Insider’s View –

World’s Most Dangerous Islamist Alive, Well, and Living in Pennsylvania: “Why have the CIA and FBI allowed Gulen to wreak havoc and topple secular governments without interruption or intervention?” World’s Most Dangerous Islamist Alive, Well, and Living in Pennsylvania:

Posted in Conspiracy, Religion, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

America isn’t becoming more open-minded, it’s collapsing…


America isn’t becoming more open-minded, it’s collapsing…

“And I found in my study that history is cyclic, and everywhere in the world you find this pattern in ancient times: that as a culture begins to decline, you have an efflorescence of transgender phenomena. That is a symptom of cultural collapse. So rather than people singing the praises of humanitarian liberalism that allows all of these transgender possibilities to appear and to be encouraged, I would be concerned about how Western culture is defining itself to the world. Because in fact these phenomena are inflaming the irrational, indeed borderline psychotic opponents of Western culture in the form of ISIS and other jihadists. Nothing better defines the decadence of the West to the jihadists than our toleration of open homosexuality and this transgender mania now.” (Emphasis added) Read more: Paglia: ‘Transgender Mania’ is a Symptom of West’s Cultural Collapse

Singing the praises of humanitarian liberalism…

“Mateen, a U.S. citizen born in New York who’d reportedly sworn allegiance to ISIS, was shooting deep into the heart of an America that is increasingly more diverse, more tolerant and more understanding than it has ever been…” (Emphasis added) Read more: After Orlando, there can be no looking back, no surrender:

America is suffering from tolerance, not intolerance…

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded…” (Emphasis added) Read more: Bishop Fulton J. Sheen – “A Plea For Intolerance” (1931)

Facing moral and political disaster…

“The long-range effects of this [media propaganda] campaign are even now evident. It is producing the ‘spineless citizen’: the man who has no cultural sensibilities; who is incapable of indignation; whose sole mental activity is merely an extension of what he reads in the newspaper or sees on the television screen; who faces moral disaster in his neighborhood, political disaster in his country, and an impending world catastrophe with a blank and smiling countenance. He has only understanding for the enemies of his country. He has nothing but kind sentiments for those who would destroy his home and family. He has an earnest sympathy for anyone who would obliterate his faith. He is universally tolerant. He is totally unprejudiced. If he has any principles, he keeps them well concealed, lest in advocating them he should seem to indicate that contrary principles might be inferior. He is, to the extent of his abilities, exactly like the next citizen, who, he trusts, is trying to be exactly like him: a faceless, characterless putty-man…” (Emphasis added) Read more: Should Hate Be Outlawed? (1959)


Posted in Bible, Church, Culture, Media, propaganda, Religion, Society, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Christ Alone



In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Posted in Bible, Church, Music, Religion, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two Stained Glass Windows; Two Approaches to History

Cathedral Engineer and Confederate Flags Window

Detail of window dedicated to Lt General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and General Robert E Lee at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC

Two Stained Glass Windows; Two Approaches to History

The first window is found at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. This church has decided to use ‘the scorched earth’ approach to history. Like General Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’ during the US Civil War, the scorched earth approach to history is the total destruction of everything that — today — is considered politically incorrect. This could also be called ‘the cultural revolution’ approach to history… 

National Cathedral to Remove Confederate Flags From Stained Glass Windows

June 8, 2016

“Washington’s National Cathedral says it will remove images of the Confederate battle flag from its stained glass windows because, officials say, they are images of hatred and racial supremacy.

“The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde is the Episcopal bishop of Washington and interim dean at the cathedral. She said in a prepared statement on Wednesday that a task force examined the origins of the windows and the impact of racist symbols.

“After receiving the task force’s report, cathedral officials decided the flags will be replaced by plain glass on two 8-foot-by-4-foot windows. The cathedral is working to determine the cost and establish a timeline.

“The windows were installed in 1953 and honor Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.”

Source: National Cathedral to Remove Confederate Flags From Stained Glass Windows

Robert E. Lee stained glass window in the National Cathedral

Windows in the National Cathedral dedicated to Lt General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and General Robert E Lee

The second window is found at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia. This church has decided to use the ‘we must always remember’ approach to history. This approach to history is unaffected by political correctness, and seeks to remind each new generation of important peoples, events, and lessons of the past…

Jackson window (detail)

Lt. Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson window (detail) at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia

Church window illuminates complexity of past

October 30, 2011

“Not slavery, nor war. Not segregation, nor civil rights. Not even fire could destroy the bonds forged more than 150 years ago between a group of Virginia slaves and a Confederate general.

“It remains enshrined in a stained glass window honoring Lt. Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson that has looked out on the predominantly black worshippers of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Roanoke since before 1937, and is featured in a new illustrated history of the Civil War written by eminent scholar James “Bud” Robertson.

“‘There’s nothing else like it,’ the retired Virginia Tech professor said of the relic and its story. ‘I fought like the devil to keep it in [the book], and the congregation will be so happy.’

“Depicting soldiers camped by a river, the window behind the altar is dedicated to Jackson, and features his dying words: ‘Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees.’

“It was designed and ordered installed by the Rev. Lylburn Liggins Downing, the son of two former slaves who attended a Sunday school class taught by Jackson at Lexington Presbyterian Church in the 1850s.

“In doing so, Jackson, then a Virginia Military Institute professor, skirted laws of the day banning education for blacks, Robertson said, and Downing’s parents instilled in him gratitude for that act of courage.

“The window has remained, cherished by a congregation that bore the humiliations of segregation, yet resisted efforts by civil rights activists to remove it, Robertson said…”

Continue reading: Church window illuminates complexity of past

Jackson window

Lt. Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson window at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia

Posted in Character Assassins, Church, Culture, history, Religion, Society, Symbolism, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The World and the Church


The World and the Church

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” ~ Jesus (John 17:14)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how antagonistic our society is becoming toward all things Christian. This antagonism has been growing worse over recent years, and seems to be growing exponentially worse each day.

I was raised Catholic, stopped going to church when my father decided we were no longer going to church, when I was about 14, and I became a Christian in 1985, when I was twenty-five years old.

So — for better or worse — I’ve been a follower of Jesus for the past thirty years.

When I became a Christian in 1985 I joined a non-Catholic church. After much study, I returned to the Catholic Church in 1997, which was almost twenty years ago. Now, in 2016, I’m leaving the Catholic Church, although I have no idea where I will go. But I do know this: I’m going to a Bible-believing church. The Catholic Church no longer believes the Bible, and no longer believes her own ancient doctrinal teachings, which were based upon the Bible and Tradition.


I remember going to Catholic catechist training classes during 1998-99, and I remember how disappointed I was that the books we were required to read were heretical, modernist trash. The teachers/professors were heretical modernists. Most of the students were heretical modernists. I remember thinking “If only the Holy Father knew what was going on! He would fix it!”. Now I know such thinking is nonsense. The “Holy Father” not only “knew” he was pushing the heretical agenda. I was the orthodox oddball. 

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past few years, since the election of “Pope Francis”, reading, listening to podcasts, and watching videos trying to sort-out what’s going on within the Church, within the so-called “Traditionalist Movement”, and within the sedevacantist community.

Suffice it to say these groups are little more than Protestant-style splinter groups attempting to survive on their own apart from the Catholic Church.

As I’ve written before, I’ve considered myself sedevacantist since not long after the election of “Pope Francis”. Now, after much thought and study, I’ve decided to abandon the Catholic “Church” for the Bible and for a Bible-believing church.

I get enough trouble from the World… I don’t need the worldly Catholic “Church” dragging my soul down to Hell, too.

The society in which we live is growing increasingly hostile to Bible-believing Christianity, and I need an anchor for my soul. The Catholic “Church” is not that anchor, although it could and should be. The Bible is that anchor, for me.

The growing hostility toward all things moral and all things Christian forces me to choose sides: Am I with the World? Or am I with the Church? Well, I’m no longer with the Catholic “Church” but I am with Christ’s Church. The Church that believes the Bible. The Bible-believing Church that the World hates.

A few weeks ago I bought myself a new Bible to read. The Bible I had was a compact Revised Standard Version (RSV) Catholic Edition, with small print, and it wasn’t easy to read. It was great for traveling, and I have traveled with it, but it wasn’t good for enjoyable reading on a daily basis.

The Bible I recently bought is really nice. It’s a Crossway English Standard Version (ESV) with 9 point font and a calfskin cover and it’s a pleasure to read.


Because I haven’t really sat down and read through the Bible cover-to-cover for many years, now that I’m doing it again, I feel like a thirsty man who has found water, or a hungry man who has found food.

There’s really no substitute for the Bible. Everyone should read it. Christians especially.

Most of my Bible “reading” in recent years has been online, and that’s been studying more than reading. I’ve been using BibleHub, which used to be called Biblos, for many years now, and I’ve chosen to use the ESV when doing so, because I like the translation. Now that I’ve started reading through the Bible with my new ESV I’ve found this translation a joy to read. Previously I’d read through the King James Version (KJV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New International Version (NIV) and I have to say the ESV is, so far, the best English translation of the Bible I’ve ever read.

I’ve been reading some of the Old Testament and some of the New Testament each day and I have to say it’s been refreshing to my soul.

I began shopping for a new Bible about a month ago because I realized I really needed one. I realized I needed to fortify my soul against the onslaughts of Satan and his (media) minions.

The daily deluge on my news feed telling me how evil and wicked Bible-believing Christians are, because they supposedly hate gays and transgenders, is really getting out of control. And it’s going to get worse.


The LGBT issue is only one of many anti-Christ agendas within our society today, although it is one of the worst, and the one most pushed by the media. In fact, I consider the LGBT’s agenda being forced down our collective throats by media — and now government — to be a form of sociological rape. And I, for one, am not caving-in to it.

I’ve always been one of the most tolerant people you will ever meet when it comes to LGBT people, but I’m not going to say “wrong is right” and “right is wrong”.

The Bible is clear about homosexuality. It’s clear about adultery, too. And it’s clear about many other sins.

The worst thing we can ever do is attempt to justify our sins. God cannot forgive us when we don’t ask for forgiveness. It’s arrogant, haughty, and foolish to proclaim homosex as a virtue. Would we proclaim adultery as a virtue? I think not.

Anyways… I’m not knuckling-under to the anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-morals agenda. I’m doubling-down against it. 

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” ~ Jesus (John 3:16)


Posted in Bible, Church, Culture, Media, Religion, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The American Flag: Embodiment of a bloodthirsty totem god


The American Flag: Embodiment of a bloodthirsty totem god

American patriotism is a civil religion organized around a sacred flag, whose followers engage in periodic blood sacrifice of their own children to unify the group.

Blood Sacrifice and the Nation - Totem Rituals and the American Flag copy

Blood Sacrifice and the Nation – Totem Rituals and the American Flag

The flag symbolizes the sacrificed body of the citizen… “A young man didn’t intend to become the center of attention, his instinct just kicked in, and now a photo of his American spirit is going viral. Cole Dotson, of Continental, in Putnam County, Ohio, was going past the school on Sunday when he noticed the American flag had fallen to the ground. He immediately went over, picked it up, held it and called his grandmother for help… Thank you all for the support! I didn’t intend to get recognized for what I did. But I am sure glad to see the support and respect for the flag. I love this flag and this country. God bless America,” Dotson posted on his Facebook page… A friend said that Dotson comes from a family of military personnel and that he, too, will be going into the service.” Read more: Teen holds American flag until help arrives

Keeping American flag from touching ground (Source - Rhonda Ordway Pester)

Cole Dotson keeping American flag from touching ground (Source: Rhonda Ordway Pester)

Out of control patriotism… “Whereas a healthy love of country would nurture a sense of unity and common values in an atmosphere of intelligence and maturity, modern American patriotism has instead become a vehicle for division and aggression. Ugliness in the name of patriotism has occurred in the past in America—the Palmer raids and McCarthy era are easy examples—but modern times easily rival those periods, as patriotism has become increasingly zealous, immune to critical thinking, and unquestioningly militaristic…” Read more: Is American Patriotism Getting Out of Hand? | Psychology Today

American patriotism is a civil religion organized around a sacred flag, whose followers engage in periodic blood sacrifice of their own children to unify the group… “The flag symbolizes the sacrificed body of the citizen. This label has meaning only in reference to the group that defines it, the nation. Blood sacrifice links the citizen to the nation. It is a ritual in the most profound sense, for it creates the nation from the flesh of its citizens. The flag is the sign and agent of the nation formed in blood sacrifice. Still, raising a piece of cloth and calling it a flag will not declare territory and form groups, at least not territory that will be respected, or groups that will endure and fight to produce borders. The power of a flag must be sacrificially established…” (Carolyn Marvin, “Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag” (Cambridge Cultural Social Studies; 1999) –

Jon McNaughton - Mending The Nation

Mending the Nation – Jon McNaughton (Source:

Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag – Introduction (.pdf) –

The Totem Myth: Sacrifice and Transformation (.pdf) –

The Only Fit Response to the Federal Idol: Iconoclastic Strains in American Patriotism (.pdf) – 

Jon McNaughton - Angel of Liberty

Angel of Liberty – Jon McNaughton (Source:

Nationalism is Idolatry

“The church in America will not be a Christ-centered community of peace so long as it is determined to celebrate its identity as American.  It is imperative, I believe, that all traces of nationalism be removed from the church’s worship.  Otherwise, in times of international crisis, instead of being an instrument of reconciliation, it will continue to embrace the role of handmaiden of war.  God cannot be praised in the same breath that America is honored without God being dishonored and replaced by another god…” The Nationalistic Corruption of Worship in America –

“How can Christians be prepared to recognize, when the time comes, a real choice between God and country, if their churches urge the adoration of country along with praise to God? The so-called patriotic hymns are most often songs of praise to a personification of the country and not a means of truly glorifying God. ‘My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing, or ‘America, America, God shed his grace on thee.’ The ‘thee’ is not God but country. If these are songs of worship, it is false worship. God is mentioned as a supporting figure, a means to bolster the greatness of the nation, which is the real object of adoration in the hymns. We should label this for what it is: idolatry.” Read more: Daring to Call it Idolatry: Nationalism in Worship –

Jon McNaughton - One Nation Under God

One Nation Under God – Jon McNaughton (Source:

“Nationalism saturates American life – it is just the ever-present, ambient sound coming from every form of corporate media, 24/7/365, so ever-present that it has become, in an odd way, invisible. I have come to understand that it is idolatry – subtler, arguably, than building a golden calf, but no less idolatrous. And it disturbs me a great deal. I wish Catholic priests and laity would stand up more often against this sort of thing. We Catholics, at every level of our society and in every vocation, me included, have failed to do our jobs of providing clear witness against this spiritually destructive idol.” Read more: Nationalism is Idolatry –

“Put bluntly, if Americans feel like there are blessings slipping away from this country as a whole, they have turned the country into an idol and are violating the Ten Commandments. Jesus is not American and the United States is not in the Bible. That particular passage refers to God’s people, who are called Christians, not Americans…” Read more: 

Flying the Flag in Church: A Tale of Strife and Idolatry (.pdf) –

Podcast: Crucify your nationalism and crucify your political affiliation –

The Early Christian Attitude to War –

Posted in Bible, Church, Culture, Government, Mythology, propaganda, Religion, Society, Symbolism, Violence, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments