A.J. Castellitto
Christianity and counterinsurgency
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By A.J. Castellitto
September 9, 2019

First they identify the threat. In this case, any online ministry devoted to exposing the perversion of sound Christian doctrine. It's all laid out in a recent piece featured at Mere Orthodoxy, aptly titled, Notes on the Evangelical Dark Web, written by Brian Auten. https://mereorthodoxy.com/evangelical-dark-web/

Mr. Auten is a supervisory intelligence analyst with the United States government who offers tips to "orthodox Protestant Christians," "to run an effective counterinsurgency against the evangelical dark web." Unfortunately for Auten and his true target audience, this "Evangelical Dark Web" falls outside the auspices of Big Eva, i.e., the Evangelical-Industrial Complex, and a controlled liberalization of the Christian Faith. And for the record, 'Evangelical Dark Web' is a loaded and ultimately absurd designation.

Auten offers various nuanced strategies and techniques to counter the attacks. Surprisingly, he recommends an exercise of restraint when faced with "the temptation to get certain outlets or personalities to do battle on your behalf." He insists that collaborating with secular and religious news entities, including the Gospel Coalition, ERLC, the New York Times, Washington Post, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Emma Green, Peter Wehner, John Fea, Warren Throckmorton, etc., will only "backfire" and "become ammunition for the next round of attacks."

But why is an intelligence analyst with the U.S. government involving himself in matters of doctrine and theology? Like everything else it seems to come down to politics.

Almost a century ago, John Gresham Machen, author of the timeless apologetic, Christianity & Liberalism, prophetically noted that the "dominant tendency, even in a country like America, which formerly prided itself on its freedom from bureaucratic regulation of the details of life, is toward a drab utilitarianism in which all higher aspirations are to be lost."

We are witnessing a wretched reversal in which the arbitrary moral authority of the state is now preeminent. The erosion of religious sovereignty remains a key component in the realization of utopian socialism. The prospect of an evangelical dark web is confirmation of the state's antagonistic posture toward our faithful religious institutions.

© A.J. Castellitto

 

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