The Westminster Confession of Funk

Talking about theology, but keeping it funky

I am a husband and father and pastor of Trinity Covenant Church and teacher as St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy in Santa Cruz, CA.

I married my Indian Princess just before Y2K. I am an old fashioned Protestant Christian Humanist who lives where people vacation. I love music, love to surf, coach soccer for a hoard of minions, play the drums, and read actual flesh and blood books. I enjoy theology and literature and history and philosophy (if Sophie is serving beer) and Anglo-Saxon Poetry.

If I could have lunch with any three living people, I would have buffalo ribs with a butter, mushroom, cream sauce, Roxy Ray would be singing with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and I’d be at table with Tom Wolfe, ?uestlove, and Adam Schlesinger (and Brad Bird, because it’s my fantasy, and no one can count in my fantasy).

If I could have dinner with any three dead people (and the TARDIS was there with its universal language translation circuit) I’d have slow smoked dry ribs with the author of Beowulf, Herodotus, Martin Bucer, and Polycarp (see the previous paragraph if you have questions about my ability to count). And Janis Joplin would be singing with Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars backed up by Parliament Funkadelic of course.

My carefully crafted internet persona is also much cooler than my actual person, but I can live with that.

Tackling the Evil Squid Bot of Sin

Sin needs to be dealt with. That is the perpetual truth that everyone everywhere agrees on. People disagree about what sin is. People will disagree on how to deal with it. But everyone agrees that it needs to be dealt with. It is what makes us as easy to manipulate as Silly Putty left in the September sun. And why we have the sales resistance of a junior high boy at July fireworks stand on a Redbull jacked spending spree. Because we are looking for solutions to sin.

Some people will try to deal with it with community force. The force of law, the force of coercion, the force of tax and penalty, the force of social pressure and mockery, the force of economic sanctions, the force of propaganda.

Some people want to deal with it through individual self-improvement plans, where each person takes up the problem of their own sin and deals with themselves within themselves. Where personal trainers, and life coaches, and counselors that help you find your triggers, teach you to avoid yourself, and separate yourself from your self.

Some people will try to deal with it by telling lies about it, thinking that if people do not know the truth about them, then it maybe becomes less true. If their regrets remain a secret, if what I know about me never colors the way everyone around me sees me, then I can keep it buried.

People disagree about what is sin and how to best tackle that abominable squidbot of sin, but there is worldwide solidarity that it needs to be tackled.

But the problem is, sinners trying to deal with their own sin are like little kids trying to wipe their face clean with dirty hands. No one would do the laundry and expect it to get clean in a washing machine that was drawing water from the sewer. Sinful people with plans, be they religious, self-help, political, sociological, or psychological, will never do anything but make it worse.

When the problem turns out to be us trying to rescue ourselves, we discover that we need to be rescued from the outside. The beginning of any return to sanity is the realization of the complete inability for a sinner to deal with their own sin.

And that is where Jesus comes in. He came from outside, born of a virgin, out of the line of Adam, the Son of God from all eternity becoming like us in every way except sin. And he came himself distinctly because no son of Adam could rescue us (Is. 59:16).

So give up. Declare your own incompetence. Your real need is a savior. And no one else can do it. Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead because we could not save ourselves. So go ahead and give up and come to Jesus. Confess your sin, and ask for help. Our sin is stronger than us. But God's grace is stronger than our sin.