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Ecclesiastical Megalomania. A taped lecture by David Chilton. The Foundation for Christian Reconstruction, The book would be quite illuminating, for it would show how the ideas of Reconstructionism have played themselves out in practice.
No one, to my knowledge, has written or is writing such a book, but David Chilton, a popular Reconstructionist author who was a member of the Tyler church for years, has given us a brief description of life in the most famous Reconstructionist church, the one in Tyler, Texas.
Jordan, who continues to write for Gary North and is now  speaking at events sponsored by R. Of course, Gary North himself was a prominent member of the Tyler church. Chilton left the Tyler church some years ago, but unfortunately he did not entirely leave the Tyler theology. Nevertheless, his account of the events in the Tyler church should be of interest to all. It appears to be quite accurate, for several people have independently corroborated his account.
Chilton begins his talk by recounting his personal experience in the Jesus Movement in California. He found the same abuse of ecclesiastical authority in that movement as in the Reconstructionist Tyler church. There was a young woman who showed up at Calvary Chapel named Sandy. Lovely blonde--she was reputed to be a prophetess--she would float in and prophesy and then she would sing a little bit, play a guitar, and then she would float back out.
We were all in awe of her. We were all very impressed. A real prophetess of God had been in our midst. I had never spoken to her directly; I was too much in awe--we all were. She was really somebody important. So nobody ever talked to her. She just came in, made prophecies, and went out. She came up to me, and she needed to talk to me personally. She took me aside and informed me that God had told her that she and I were to be married Surely you know by now that you walk by faith, and not by feelings.
So we walked back into the coffee house a few minutes later and announced our engagement. I found that she was very strange in a lot of ways But I kept putting this off and so discovering strange things about her. The thing is nothing she said was ever tested. She said it and it was Word and we all submitted to it. She was a little bit miffed at me that I was moving too slow on this.
She kept wanting to set a date for the wedding and I kept postponing it. Everybody else went out and worked and then they came in and brought [their pay] to him and he sat there meditating all day and telling everybody to move to Oregon and things like that. And so for months afterward, elders of Christian Houses were coming to me and telling me that I had disobeyed God in a very serious way--that I had rejected the Word of God because this woman, Sandy, was the walking Word of God.
She was infallible. What she said was the Word of God and we could not question it. She eventually pulled it on a couple of other guys and one of them fell for it and they got married Every move you make, every personal decision you make, certainly anything as important as moving from one place to another or anything like that, or getting married, there has to be a decision that comes down from the leadership.
And so I thought that coming into Reconstructionism and being surrounded by fellow Reconstructionists, we would all see things that way. Chilton next turns to his experience at the Tyler church:. She had quite a bit of money. She had it in gold and silver and precious stones and things like that. So instead the elders of the church took her money or took her valuables for safekeeping.
They stored her money or her valuables--her wealth--so that she would not have to trust it to one of those unregenerate banks out there. And somehow that money just disappeared She began to suspect things were going on and she asked for it back from the elders, and they resisted giving it back but eventually they gave her some--they just apologized and said that it was gone And this was in the tens of thousands of dollars.
This is everything that the woman had They eventually gave her a few rusty tools and things they scraped together and that was all they gave her No one was ever held accountable for this I myself witnessed her in tears uncontrollably confessing to this widow what had happened. Very upset. Very overcome. She was overcome with guilt. Eventually her marriage fell apart.
A couple of years ago she committed suicide. This corruption that was going on was covered up. But the elders of this church had a different doctrine The elders one of the ministers of this church in particular told parents not ever to make the mistake of confessing wrong to their children But the problems in the Tyler church were not simply conversion of funds and bad advice from the elders.
The elders adopted, taught, and enforced a view of the church that has no support in Scripture. How do you deal with things at home? You do not allow your children to play off one parent against another. How far does this go? Does God always back up Mother Church? Mother Church at that point has clearly become a harlot. And God will not back up the decisions of a harlot If Father God will back up Mother Church unless she is a harlot, [and] if you say that Mother Church is wrong on an issue, it had better be an important enough issue because what you have just done This church was not primarily built up from the community.
The Gospel takes root in a society and the church is built up from the local constituency. People moved to come to this church. This was a Reconstructionist haven and so they moved to come there. People at great cost to themselves--people gave up good jobs to get lesser paying jobs and so on. And the church had a fair number of rather poor people in the church.
I have no idea what he is talking about in the pulpit. And this is life-changing, culture-transforming stuff. Bizarre, I mean bizarre interpretations were coming forth from the pulpit Nobody really understood what was going on. But sometimes it would not get mystical at all.
There was one memorable sermon put forth by a deacon--he was really the deacon of the church: there were other deacons, but this was the hammer--and he announced at the beginning and gave a little exposition that the job of the deacon is only to do what the elders tell him to do.
He has no discretion outside of what the elders tell him to do. Every word that comes out of his mouth, every action that he performs is in complete subservience to the elders. So everything he said was coming from the elders but it was coming through him. And this was playing it safe Prime ministers and presidents do this sort of thing all the time That kind of game is played.
Well, it was played at this church as well. Even to disagree in our thoughts is an excommunicable offense So we have to discipline our thoughts and bring them into line with what the elders said And the deacon gave a very concrete, you might say rubber meets the road example. He talked about white-wall tires.
And he said if you have white-wall tires and an officer of the church comes over to your house and commands you to change them to black-walls, you are required to do so, and any disobedience to that command is rebellion against authority, rebellion against God himself.
And you can be excommunicated for that I pointed to a man in the congregation who was a policeman He is exceeding his authority. He is exceeding the law by coming over to me and telling me to do something that he has no right to tell me to do. You cross that line and we get into a little dust up here. And if you have enough people that disagree, you can kick out the elder.
Number one, does everything have to be that extreme? Is it a choice of complete submitting, letting this iron boot step on my face forever, or I overthrow the authority?
ISBN 13: 9780940931756
Ecclesiastical Megalomania. A taped lecture by David Chilton. The Foundation for Christian Reconstruction, The book would be quite illuminating, for it would show how the ideas of Reconstructionism have played themselves out in practice. No one, to my knowledge, has written or is writing such a book, but David Chilton, a popular Reconstructionist author who was a member of the Tyler church for years, has given us a brief description of life in the most famous Reconstructionist church, the one in Tyler, Texas.
Ecclesiastical Megalomania : The Economic and Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church
September 14, by Steve Matthews. John W. Robbins ranks among the best books ever read by this reviewer. It is crisply written, hard hitting without compromise, and God exalting. It also manages to be absolutely fascinating.