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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Wednesday, July 17 2002 

McIntire - 6, Lessons learned (series finale)

Having given up on Carl McIntire and his dream of a 20th Century reformation 30 years ago, I've long since considered, and for the most part forgotten or stopped caring what was learned. I've never listened to a radio preacher again, though I did start watching Pat Robertson's daily 700 Club shows when I was editing the Christian Weekly for a while in the mid-1980s. I've become more selective about all my broadcast diet, but that's not directly to the point. Perhaps the major lesson has been that if I hadn't been disillusioned then, I might not be where I am today, and that would be the greater loss.

For all his effectiveness, Carl McIntire didn't reform anything. He may have shed light on certain dark corners that needed exposure. He was probably a significant component of a general movement, much bigger than what he called "his" movement, that redirected many away from an eddy of destruction in his generation. At least he was a voice crying to his generation. From him many learned to ask bold questions, to read their newspapers with their Bibles "on," to stand up for what they believe. There's certainly a direct continuity from what he started with the Christian Beacon and his radio campaigns on specific issues to what I'm attempting with Xnmp. I hope I've learned from the mistakes I saw him make and am avoiding pitfalls, excesses, and ego-based passions.

He was often called an apostle of discord and a teacher of hate, but in fact it was he, pre-eminently, who taught me not to impugn others' motives. I never saw evidence of any personal animosity against the public figures whose teachings he opposed.

After leaving him (on generally amicable terms), I was part of a larger and more historic, more effective reformation, that started in Holland well over a century ago and still is thriving in parts of North America and small pockets in Europe. I still identify with one part of it, the Center for Public Justice in Washington. But even that "new reformation," seemed doomed to failure as more and more of its institutions cut themselves off from their roots and the Root, which realization prepared me to listen to the advocates of Orthodoxy. The Orthodox say their "movement" hasn't substantially changed in more than a millenium and hasn't cut its moorings to its beginning Root in fully two millenia of ecclesiastical history. I came to accept that compelling testimony.

If I've learned to love the better part, as the Lord said, "the one thing needful...what is better" (Luke 10:42), I gained more. I don't regret the road taken to get here, but I'm not pining to return to the "good old days," either.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Hymns for the over-50 crowd (last in series)

9. "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah" (I've Forgotten Where I've Parked The Car)

— Sent by Bob Kennedy

Thought for today

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Fran Lebowitz

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