I believe in the Holy Spirit…
Pneumatology is a subject much confused in modern times as Pentecostalism and the broader charismatic movement have re-imagined the third Person of the Trinity as something like the familiar spirits of occultism. Like witches gathered at black mass, they enter into altered states of consciousness to incantationally conjure up the spirit, which they often refer to in the plural as “spirits,” and through the loss of inhibition and “opening themselves up” they believe they have power to compel the spirit to do their bidding.
“Charismatic Christianity” stands as a blasphemous misnomer. For they have taken the Greek term charisma, which means “favor freely given,” and have recontextualized it to mean witchcraft. As we’ve noted earlier in this examination of the creed, John MacArthur and others are finally saying this publicly. And as we’ve also covered, this carries with it tremendous implications in race relations because charismaticism is all but the only form of Christianity known to non-Whites. It is the only iteration of the faith to resonate among them in any significant way. The population of Haiti epitomizes this reality: as it is popularly said, “Haiti is 70% Catholic, 20% Protestant, and 100% voodoo.” Even the otherwise conservative denominations with churches in Africa are beside themselves to figure out how to draw their African members toward some level of orthodoxy comparable to their Caucasian counterparts: the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, for example, has congregations in Africa in which animal sacrifice (a denial of Christ’s finished work), prayers to the dead (necromancy), and being “slain in the spirit” (trances/demonic possession) are regular parts of Sunday worship. To the extent that these sort of occult behaviors persist amongst them, it is apparent that they have not laid hold of the gospel.1
Among Whites, this occult pneumatology is now being frankly denounced as heresy, and its practitioners as outside the faith. If we are honest with ourselves, we know this leaves the Christianity intended here in the creed as the domain of Whites, almost exclusively. For charismatics have an entirely different Holy Spirit in mind, and non-Whites have tended to see the Holy Spirit described in the creed as but another expression of White supremacy.
Unsurprisingly, we find modern charismaticism to have been originated by a Black man: William Joseph Seymour was the originator of modern Pentecostalism popularized by the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. Most charismatic activity in America, and later in Europe, among Whites is generally believed to have come by way of exposure to and influence from Black churches as well. Though White Christians are divided on the subject, Blacks are quite proud of the fact that charismatic Christianity is Africanized Christianity.
But all of this in the American context found its first expression in the 1690s in Salem, Massachusetts. Tituba, a slave from Barbados, while very much proclaiming Christianity, led a group of young English girls into witchcraft. To Tituba there was no conflict between her Christianity and her invocation of spirits. This is a reason given by the Puritan court for her not receiving the same death penalty as the White women she led – she couldn’t fully grasp the difference between Christianity and witchcraft. Even upon her eventual confession to the crime, her insistence that she was compelled to it by the devil engendered a unique pity on the part of the court. They saw her, though the leader of the witches, as least culpable among them. The young White women whom she led, however, were held to a higher standard; for them, no extenuating circumstance of duress was considered. White Christians were expected to know better. Scripture as well as history shows that this expectation was not without warrant. Nor I do not think Tituba was the least bit upset to have been discriminated against in this way. “White supremacy” saved her life, after all.
No, the orthodox doctrine of the Paraclete as God “the Comforter” is one to which the Japhethite clans have uniquely gravitated. We ostensibly remain the only peoples circumspect about our relation to the third Person of the Trinity and His economy with the other two Persons. It is White men who, rather than conspiring to harness the power of the Spirit, have sought by God’s grace to understand Him in the context of the Trinity. So in spite of Christianity’s purported heft in non-White lands, the filioque controversy is one revisited more or less by White souls alone.
In this way, the recognition of the Holy Spirit as Sovereign God, rather than in the mold of a familiar spirit, is regarded popularly as a stifling, patriarchal, and racist aspect of the White man’s religion. All of which White Alienists simply ignore.
the holy catholic church…
This word “catholic” means, simply, “universal.” That is to say, the true and invisible Church comprised of all true Christian congregations and households. Of course, this is an area of no small controversy to the Roman Church as her proponents insist that they have exclusive right to the term “catholic.” To this end they fill the term with foreign content so as to say, “universal-Roman.” But this merely makes of it a self-contradiction, as the particular Romanness of the Roman church invalidates it as being truly universal in the plain sense. Likewise, it would make of their broader descriptor, “Roman Catholic,” a vain repetition. No: while the true catholic Church encompasses many in the Romanist Church, so too does it encompass the Celtic, the Germanic, and all other particular denominations and nationalities of genuine Christians, living and dead.
The Roman Magisterium, however, is anathema – in part, for this very reason: that they do not align with the creed here. They don’t recognize the catholicity of the catholic church. They deny the universality of Christ’s dominion and His acceptance of any saints who are not under Roman imperial control. The Roman See and its claim of exclusivity are contrary not only to the creed but to the plain teaching of the Scripture (which knows nothing of any Roman Magisterial authority over Christ’s Church) and to history.
Speaking of the conversion of Britain, the historian Gildas tells us, “We certainly know that Christ, the True Sun, afforded His light, the knowledge of His precepts to our island in the last year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, A.D. 37.”2 And Eusebius, “the father of Church history,” when he defends the claims of Christianity by arguing for the supernatural origins of the apostolic mission, presupposes their Britannic destination:
And once more consider this. Granted that they [the apostles] were deceitful cozeners, you must add that they were uneducated, and quite common men, and Barbarians to boot, with no knowledge of any tongue but Syrian – how, then, did they go into all the world? Where was the intellect to sketch out so daring a scheme ? What was the power that enabled them to succeed in their adventure? For I will admit that if they confined their energies to their own country, men of no education might deceive and be deceived, and not allow a matter to rest. But to preach to all the Name of Jesus, to teach about His marvellous deeds in country and town, that some of them should take possession of the Roman Empire, and the Queen of Cities itself, and others the Persian, others the Armenian, that others should go to the Parthian race, and yet others to the Scythian, that some already should have reached the very ends of the world, should have reached the land of the Indians, and some have crossed the Ocean and reaches the Isles of Britain, all this I for my part will not admit to be the work of mere men, far less of poor and ignorant men, certainly not of deceivers and wizards.3
The Romanist claims of some exclusive right of succession are false. The Roman church was one among many churches founded by the Apostles. Not all churches arose through the administration of Rome. This is plain from both Scripture and history. Many, as in the case of the church at Glastonbury, otherwise known as the “Ealde Chirche,” were founded prior to the Roman See. “There was no papal jurisdiction in the primitive church in Ireland [nor Britain]. . . . The British Church recognized the Scriptures alone for its rule of faith.”4 Even the noted Romanist, O’Driscoll, confirms that “the ancient order of the Culdees existed in Ireland previous to Patrick; and all their institutions proved that they were derived from a different origin than that of Rome.”5 The Celtic See withstood ten successive persecutions of Imperial Rome in which churches, libraries, homes, and men were put to the torch. But as Rome slowly Christianized the persecutions abated…for a time.
Though the second canon of the First Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381, ordained that those churches outside Roman jurisdiction were rightly independent and governed by Christ, and according to their own customs, the matter did not end there. In spite of the British church being the eldest national church in the world, and contrary to the successive councils of Constantinople, Arles, Basel, Pisa, Constance, and Sienna all ruling that churches outside the Roman empire, or born independent thereof, were free in their parochial administration and customs, the Council of Hertford, A.D. 673, promised excommunication to the British church for persisting in their Ionan calculation of the date of Easter. And what was the occasion of this scandal? Was it that the Culdees taught heretical doctrines? Had they in some way undermined the gospel? No, they simply deigned not to observe Easter after the Roman tradition of the Roman calendar. And for that, the Roman church refused to acknowledge the Celtic church as a part of the catholic faith.
Apparent to the Culdees was the fact that the imperialism of the Roman church was but a continuation of the imperialism of pagan Rome, a political disposition without Christian warrant. Despite the centuries of Roman persecution which followed, the Culdee church persisted up until the time of Wycliffe, who, over 130 years before Luther, launched the English Reformation upon the old Culdee principles. Or, as the Dean of Derry, R.G.S. King, wrote in his essay on the work of St. Patrick:
When Elizabeth was carrying out the Reformation ten of the Irish bishops had been bishops under Henry the VIII. If you had told them that they belonged to a new Church they simply wouldn’t have understood you. . . . [T]he simple historical truth is, there was no break in the continuity of the Church of Ireland at the Reformation, and every attempt to prove the contrary has only resulted in confirmation of its unbroken descent from the ancient Church of our native land.6
But this question of apostolic succession has ever hinged upon the text of Matthew 16:
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Where the papal prerogative construes this text as Christ conferring absolute authority to Peter, as if he were God (and by exegesis, conferring the same to Roman administration), Protestants, and the Culdees before them (along with the obvious textual example of St. Paul, who opposed Peter at times), have held the text in question to teach that Christ founded His Church upon the doctrine which Peter there confessed – that Jesus was the Savior and the Son of God, revealed to men not by flesh and blood, but by the Father in heaven, which is to say, without the mediation of priests and popes. Aside from its spiritual ramifications, the interpretation of this text has shown itself to be the dividing line between political imperialism and national sovereignty: the freedom of the churches under the authority of Scripture intimates certain implications of nationalism, tribalism, familism, and societal decentralization, in all its spheres subject ultimately to Christ.
But Rome’s impetus to compulsory one-world political empire is echoed today from within the once Reformed churches. As short on historical perspective as they are on theology, the Alienists have raised the old ghosts of the empire; and many under the banners of “catholicity,” “new perspectivism,” and “federal vision” are at present drifting back to that old slavery. To subject themselves to the chair of Peter, they lay down the doctrine which Peter confessed. All of these abdications are made in the macabre procession of Alienism. For, like Romanism, Alienism has in mind an entirely different definition of “catholic” (universal). Where orthodox Christianity always presupposed and fought for the pluriformity of society under Christlaw, Alienism has taken up Rome’s battle cry for world empire and governmentally orchestrated uniformity. But inasmuch as Rome failed at this enterprise, Babel also failed, and so too shall the Alienist New World Order fail. For all their teeth-gnashing, they consign themselves to the darkness outside the gates of true catholicity.
the communion of saints…
The concept of communion here is a profound double entendre: for in its most basic meaning it speaks of community, but in its secondary and more narrowly theological sense it speaks to the Lord’s Supper. This double meaning is far from incidental, as the creed intends both at once. While its first meaning is seemingly mundane, the second cannot be understood apart from the first. And the second meaning speaks back to the first, defining the character of Christian community. For in the Lord’s Supper unity is in Christ alone. The Supper unites men, remote though they be in sundry aspects, of every kindred, tribe, and tongue, not by heredity, land, or dialect, but by faith alone.
In Christ, all believers are said to be of one nation, one tribe, one family, one Man, one Spirit, and one cup. But men aren’t all the same nation anymore than they are all the same man. Thus our unity is of a metaphysical and mystical nature, wrapped up in the Person of Jesus Christ. Participation in that unity does not spell the abolition of any of those categories, but by faith, that unity rather depends upon all of the aforesaid distinctions for its significance. The weightiness of our union by faith requires the meaningfulness of these other distinctions which it transcends.
It could not be otherwise, for the alternative is to say that oneness in Christ makes a man all men, and in so doing, makes Him Jesus, which also ultimately makes Him God. This is the entailment of the Alienist view of the communion of the saints: pure theosis, deification of man, monism, all amounting to abject Luciferianism. No, the Trinitarian communion is an exemplification of particularity in unity, a conscious reiteration of the One and the Many. And this is even implied by the prefix, “co” in communion. It intimates a reciprocity, an economy, an amen.
Today, orthodoxy in this matter is found nowhere amongst the liberationists, the proponents of African Christianity, or in White Alienist circles, only in the Kinist frame of reference.
- The genetically-inclined prevalence of non-Whites towards these particular practices could also indicate that a regenerate heart in such non-Whites may not manifest itself in the same outward behavior as would be expected from other folks who may be genetically inclined more towards civic righteousness initially. This should be kept in mind when we make judgments upon any of these people’s regeneracy. ↩
- Gildas, De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, §8, p. 25. ↩
- Eusebius, Demonstratio Evangelica (“Proof of the Gospel”), Book 1, Chapter 5. Page 129f. in this PDF. Emphasis added. ↩
- Isabel Hill Elder, Celt, Druid and Culdee, pp. 114, 125 ↩
- O’Driscoll, Views of Ireland, Vol. II, qtd. in William Reeves, “Vide,” The Culdees of the British Isles, p. 25 ↩
- Robert George Salmon King, St. Patrick, the Anglo-Norman Conquest and the Reformation ↩