Skip to comments."White power" group plans takeover of town with the last church where OPC founder Machen preached
Posted on 08/31/2013 7:51:32 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
The town where J. Gresham Machen, the founder of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, last preached before his death has shown up again in the news, this time in a horrible way.
While Machen's direct denominational influence was fairly narrow, as the key leader of the secession from the Northern Presbyterians and founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, Machen has a lasting role in American Calvinism that is far larger than the Orthodox Presbyterian Church which he founded.
In his own lifetime, however, Machen's role was even more important and went well beyond Reformed circles. As a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, he was regarded as the "intellectual leader of American fundamentalism," and was able to successfully make the case that Bible-believing Christianity is not a religion for stupid people, but on the contrary, is quite compatible with intellectual rigor and serious academic scholarship. The liberal PCUSA takeover of Princeton Seminary, which was then the last remaining theologically conservative Ivy League institution, attracted the same type of national media attention in the late 1920s that the conservative Southern Baptist takeover of liberalizing Baptist colleges and seminaries has attracted in our day.
Machen died an early death on the plains of North Dakota, trying to help small churches organize a faithful witness to Scripture. The last place he preached was at the Presbyterian church in Leith, N.D., which became OPC but has now closed. The building stands vacant today.
Unfortunately, Leith is now getting known for something else.
A group of white supremacists is buying up property trying to turn Leith into "an enclave where residents fly 'racialist' banners, where they are able to import enough 'responsible hard core' white nationalists to take control of the town government, where 'leftist journalists or antis' who 'come and try to make trouble' will face arrest."
New Neighbors Agenda: White Power Takeover http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/30/us/white-supremacists-plan-angers-a-north-dakota-town.html?pagewanted=all
If a tiny group of white supremacists can attract not just regional but national media attention for their plan to buy property and start a white-power enclave, surely somebody in the OPC or PCA has enough money to buy the last church where Machen preached, disassemble it, and move it someplace where the building will be valued and used, perhaps as a college or seminary chapel, or as a museum, or maybe as a building for a congregation which needs a building and would otherwise have to construct or buy one.
Older buildings were typically built to last, and when made out of wood they can typically be disassembled and rebuilt, and the cost for disassembling and rebuilding may be much less than new construction. It would be really nice to see this building put to use again for conservative Reformed church purposes rather than to have it in a haven of "white power" views which Machen never would have supported.
Here are some more websites with details on Machen's last preaching tour in North Dakota and on the current status of the town of Leith:
I hope Clayton Bigsby is there in a leadership role.
Guys (and gals)... this really ought to be a subject for prayer. I know the church isn't a building, but preserving our history is not something foreign to Calvinists.
We have many people in our Reformed circles who are capable of undertaking this project by writing a check out of their personal bank accounts. Let's do something to preserve this building, and get it away from a group advocating views which are clearly contrary to Christian values.
The role of Machen as the intellectual leader of American fundamentalism was not minor. I'd love to see a college or seminary somewhere buy this building and use it as a chapel or museum, calling attention to the fact that biblical Christianity is not anti-intellectual but rather strives to take every thought captive — including those of college professors — and subject those thoughts to the crown rights of King Jesus.
Buildings of wood and stone do not a church make.
If said church building were in Detroit, and NBPP wanted to set up an enclave, would you want to remove your vacant building from their midst?
Seems weird to me.
**where ‘leftist journalists or antis’ who ‘come and try to make trouble’ will face arrest.”**
So would they arrest a Catholic journalist who would tell the truth?
Doesn’t sound good.
Agreed. This doesn’t sound good at all.
The building's location in a nearly-dead North Dakota community with about two dozen people (the mayor's current estimate, somewhat larger than the 2010 census number) makes church planting in that community unrealistic.
However, it also makes buying the building quite realistic, from a financial perspective — the cost will be very minimal and the main expense would be disassembling and transporting the building.
I've seen historical societies do a lot of work to preserve secular structures with quite a bit less significance, and I hope somebody steps up to do something with what remains of this church building.
LOL - perfect.
Maybe that says the truth about you and what you think Catholics believe?
You didn’t use, “Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!”?
And it's terrifying.
... but this little town of white supremacists is horrifying people.
But that doesn't bother you, right?
Jesus Christ: You cant impeach Him and He aint going to resign.
My sense of perspective makes you think I'm a white supremacist?
I'll defend his private property rights. He can buy those buildings and sell them to whoever he wants — though now that the “word is out,” other residents are buying up all available property in an attempt to keep the town from being taken over.
What I won't defend is the vicious attacks being made on the internet against the town's one black resident, married to a white woman, based on nothing more than his mixed marriage.
That's wrong. Period.
Blame people for their behavior, not the color of their skin.
I take it the church Machen preached is the church shown at the site. This could be a beautiful church if restored but it probably would cost a great deal. Restoration work isn’t cheap.
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