As someone in discernment ministry, I have a great respect for those who came before. One such figure is Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian and the Fighting For The Faith YouTube channel that has amassed 87.5K subs making it among the largest discernment channels on the platform. Indeed Evangelical Dark Web has utilized Chris Rosebrough’s work in our research on numerous occasions such as research on Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel, and Francis Chan. However, the propensity for Chris Rosebrough to go after low hanging fruits is where Evangelical Dark Web distinguishes itself from Pirate Christian Radio. Yet a blind spot has emerged for Chris Rosebrough that has him defending the liberal drift in his own theological camp, Lutheran, labeling opponents to this drift “Bud Reich” a reference to neo-Nazi ideology and the domestic beer brand.
Defense of Weak Leadership
Last week, Evangelical Dark Web reported on the reelection of Matthew Harrison as president of the of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, perhaps being the only non-Lutheran publication to do so. When we reported on it we noted the impotency of Harrison’s leadership.
We showed this clip of Matthew Harrison obfuscating pedophilia by stating that he had abominations in his heart too.
This clip was first exposed by Treble Woe, one of the hosts of the Stone Choir Podcast, more on that later. He graciously provided Evangelical Dark Web with the source of the clip which was from an address titled, The Present & Future of the Missouri Synod which was delivered earlier this year by Matthew Harrison. Ironically, his obfuscation of pedophilia occurs after he brings up the idea that the online controversy facing the current church is “unprecedented in church history.”
Chris Rosebrough, although not LCMS himself, celebrated the fourth reelection of Matthew Harrison.
Chris Rosebrough sees the reelection of Matthew Harrison as a defeat for “Bud Reich” and a bold stance for orthodoxy in the LCMS. In Rosebrough’s defense, Harrison defeated an openly Marxist candidate to win reelection, but Rosebrough has not articulated that. Moreover, this further demonstrates the point that there is a liberal drift in the LCMS that Rosebrough is defending. Chris Rosebrough points to an article, claiming that LCMS leadership is taking a bold stance against the “woke agenda.”
The article that Rosebrough cites is a stand against the woke agenda and Marxism published in June 2023, which is hardly early in the fight against the Social Justice Gospel, but is the most bold article on the LCMS magazine. Yet, in 2020 the same LCMS publication published an article arguing that the Black Lives Matter riots, destruction of Christian monuments and churches, were unrelated to the BLM movement because black Americans are “more religious.”
Indeed overt wokeness is not as popular right now as the other prongs of the Social Justice Gospel, feminism and homosexuality, take a center stage. Meanwhile, the liberals in their own denomination amass over 30% of the Lutheran electorate without resistance. Additionally, the LCMS is tolerating gay imagery from their Florida association and their partner ministry Lutheran Counseling Services, which is also a partner of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the liberal Lutheran denomination.
Not a fluke either. This LCS is the same "Lutheran Counseling Services" which itself is literally the LCMS Florida-Georgia District. Hide your children.— 🗿 Woe to those who dwell upon the earth 🗿 (@treblewoe) June 13, 2023
Btw, Freye is ELCA and Wernberg is exactly what you think.https://t.co/a9TOrLuVHc https://t.co/ecxWV4ZADP pic.twitter.com/L1ZIA5Vx4g
Additionally, Harrison’s June encouragement downplayed what Pride Month is and spent most of the time talking about the Holocaust. It’s quite clear that at best the LCMS has weak leadership that fails to understand the times.
Enter Ryan Turnipseed
A young adult taking interest in the church, Ryan Turnipseed published a thread back in January regarding his findings with the LCMS’s new edition of Lutherans Larger Catechism which includes new annotations which drift in a liberal direction.
(Not in any particular order)— Ryan Turnipseed 🦬 (@TurnipMerchant) January 21, 2023
First we have the LCMS, speaking for conservative Lutherans, entirely denying self defense and bearing arms being moral. pic.twitter.com/VOmlqEA5nJ
Here we have the New Catechism affirming a reality behind transgenderism, saying that it is in fact real and as described by those pushing it.— Ryan Turnipseed 🦬 (@TurnipMerchant) January 21, 2023
This is a complete denial of God’s creation, but that shouldn’t be surprising. Also listed in this New Catechism is… pic.twitter.com/3ardGvnU3z
Further along the path of denying God’s creation, we have here another complete affirmation of the framework pushed by trans activists.— Ryan Turnipseed 🦬 (@TurnipMerchant) January 21, 2023
Furthermore, if this still is sinful, it’s a new special category of sin that apparently has nothing to do with what has been done or undone. pic.twitter.com/r3VsGLjyAg
Fitting the theme, we have utter and complete downplaying of the satanic forces and malicious collaborators behind both transgenderism and sodomy.— Ryan Turnipseed 🦬 (@TurnipMerchant) January 21, 2023
The New Catechism instead opts to treat them as emergent “burdens”.
Not sinful action committed by sinful people, but “burdens”. pic.twitter.com/rYD2DuxXJa
Also in the New Catechism, we have the classic “gentrification is bad because inequality”.— Ryan Turnipseed 🦬 (@TurnipMerchant) January 23, 2023
Such dishonesty is, frankly, a trap, because if such improvements weren’t being made, this article would instead be lambasting evil neglect and not gentrification. pic.twitter.com/7OgFFlQ4PV
Apparently, gentrification is a sin. A consistent pattern in the LCMS is that they must qualify any condemnation of homosexuality by equating it to another sin ie fornication, despite the fact that not all sins are equal. The new catechism affirms tenets of Side B theology like homosexual identity, by using the term homosexual Christian.
The biggest spark in the thread appears to be the misuse of Matthew 7:3-5 to call pedophilia a speck in your neighbor’s eye.
Ryan Turnipseed wanted to bring attention to this and encouraged polite feedback to Matthew Harrison to stop the liberal drift in the denomination. Harrison paused before affirming the woke catechism annotations.
Ryan Turnipseed would find agreement on this issue with Corey Mahler and Treble Woe who would amplify his message along with the Christian Nationalist crowd, most of whom outside of the LCMS. So what was the response to Turnipseed’s actions? A church disciplinary process. Part of the reason for discipline was the association Turnipseed had with Corey Mahler and Treble Woe.
Corey Mahler was a Lutheran priest who was thrown out of the LCMS over his views on race and modern Judaism. Mahler detests interracial marriage as ending a bloodline of an ancestor but ultimately concludes it’s not a sin per se. His stance opposing interracial marriage, support for segregation, and a belief in the Curse of Ham has garnered him a reputation of a being a neo-Nazi. These views made Mahler a low hanging fruit for the LCMS establishment, and much of punch-right Evangelicalism, to go after and virtue signal about how they aren’t racist, as religious establishments are wont to do, even though prudence would not have elevated someone with such a small platform.
Treble Woe is an anon who has not said near the controversial things that Mahler has, yet cohosts the Stone Choir podcast with Mahler.
Mahler is a Twitter account with 3000 followers and Treble Woe just below that, courtesy in large part to the amplifying platform that Chris Rosebrough’s 19000 follower account has provided. Turnipseed has over 7000 followers due to his heavy lifting on the catechism and his much broader appeal. Ryan Turnipseed is a libertarian who is against national socialism. Despite engaging with and debating the Stone Choir crew, he was labeled as one of them, even by Chris Rosebrough.
Last Sunday, a few days after creating this thread, I was placed under the minor ban by email with no new information or explanation given to me. 2/5 of the charges are directly tied to the criticisms of the LCMS’s new catechism despite previous assurances. https://t.co/qqypXoaAzS pic.twitter.com/a8Agaz7st3— Ryan Turnipseed 🦬 (@TurnipMerchant) May 26, 2023
Chris Rosebrough would tout this retaliatory action taken by the LCMS.
Again, Turnipseed took point on this issue taking the heat for the “arson” while the so-called “Mahlerites” amplified his message. Additionally in an interview with Jon Harris, Turnipseed quipped that associating with Democrats is far worse than associating with neo-Nazis who have no ability to carry out their wicked ideology.
Piracy Against Christian Nationalism
In a strategically unwise move, Chris Rosebrough would shine a microscope on the obscure Stone Choir podcast and make it representative of Christian Nationalism, often calling it “White Christian Nationalism.” Corey Mahler is by no means recognized as a thought leader of Christian Nationalism. Yet Chris Rosebrough has propped up some anons who have started a blog to go after Mahler, Woe, and Turnipseed with the stated purpose of “contending for the Christian faith against the threats of Marxism, Fascism and so-called “Christian” Nationalism.”
Chris Rosebrough rejects the idea that a nation is tied to a race of people, even though that is biblically what a nation is. Any casual reading of Genesis should come to the conclusion that the nations in the Bible are named after their patriarchs, like Israel and Egypt.
Yet because Mahler also believes that the Curse of Ham applies to black people, getting rid of slavery was a mistake, and interracial marriage is an affront to the 5th Commandment, therefore his view on what a nation is is incorrect? That a logical fallacy.
Using the Early Church Fathers to argue against the idea that multiculturalism points to Babel as Rosebrough does in his podcast on Christian Nationalism is also fallacious as the modern terminology was not existent back then. Yet many Christians believe that the United Nations is a force for evil and that an anti-Christ will recreate Babel with a one world government. These views might not be correct, but they aren’t out of bounds for a believer.
Part of what separates Christian Nationalists from post-WW2 ideology is that they recognize that a nation is a people and a place, not an idea. Chris Rosebrough attacks these ideas by using Corey Mahler as a punching bag. Initially, I excused Rosebrough’s obsession with with Mahler as a intra-Lutheran battle. Yet Rosebrough is not LCMS. He’s a discernment blogger weighing in on the LCMS.
As someone who is also in discernment, I find it it hypocritical for a discernment blogger to dismiss with prejudice someone who brings up concerns over errant teaching in the church. That person was literally every discernment blogger at one point in time. But to not only dismiss these valid concerns of a liberal drift for which ample evidence can be provided, but to defend inept leadership turning a blind eye to these concerns is a step towards becoming more of a Ruslan KD or a Allen Parr.
It’s easy to call out Steven Furtick and Kenneth Copeland. It’s a waste of time to spend so much effort on Corey Mahler. However, it’s a detriment to go after Ryan Turnipseed and moreover celebrate his misfortune.
And for what does one debase himself? The virtue of not being called racist. This is the moment where Chris Rosebrough went from discernment blogger to regime apologist, defending the spineless leadership of the LCMS.
This is a saddening development of which I write and is a pitfall I too may face one day if I ever become too conceited in maintaining professional connections. But I also write this in defense of Ryan Turnipseed who has been maliciously maligned in pursuit of pure doctrine.
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