Editor’s Note: You should absolutely open this link & let it play while you read this post. And yes, we like the nautical theme.
Load the Guns and Run Up the Colors
Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men, vessels on the sea were constantly under threat of attack from pirates, enemy naval vessels, and privateers. As they sailed the seas, crews had to maintain the readiness of the ship by ensuring the vessel was prepared for action but still able to take care of ship’s regular business such as feeding the crew, cleaning the ship, avoiding natural hazards, and sleeping in shifts.
While sailing upon the seas, any fighting ship that sighted an enemy vessel would begin the process of converting the ship from a sailing ship to a fighting ship.
Clear for Action!
Because of the complexity of the operations on a tall ship, when action was imminent, the command would be given to clear the ship for action. This involved removing bulkheads, removing the protective stoppers from the guns so they could be loaded, putting out the galley fire, rigging up the netting above the deck to protect the crew from falling wreckage from shot away masts and blocks, and clearing the deck of any inessential personnel to make deck operations more efficient. The ship’s flag would be raised to indicate what nation it was representing. A drum beat would call all sailors to their action stations. Some would report to a gun crew, some would be on station to continue sailing operations, some would go below to the magazine and start doling out gunpowder and shot, the doctor would prepare to receive wounded, the carpenter would prepare to plug shot holes in the hull. Upon completion, well drilled sailors would be ready in a matter of seconds to go into action no matter what they were doing previously.
Everyone knew that when the call came to Clear for Action, it was the time to be at peace with your Maker and anxious for the fray.
Adrift Under Weigh
I have watched the Southern Baptist Convention, formerly a bastion of sanity, go the way of the mainline denominations over the last few years. This culminated at the 2021 SBC annual meeting where, through shenanigans on the stage and years of rotten preaching, the messengers were bamboozled into authorizing a witch hunt, electing a (now disgraced) stuffed shirt to be president, and confirming the convention’s toleration and endorsement of the woke religion which is working overtime to replace biblical Christianity. I grew up in the SBC. My dad was an executive at LifeWay for years and I have always attended SBC churches. I was baptized in an SBC church and the church I attend to this day is still SBC, for now. I have the right to be disgusted.
The last few weeks have seen the convention falling all over itself to argue about everything possible while trying to do…something? Get some people to investigate the executive committee for covering up sex abuse? I’m actually not sure anymore what’s going on. They have lost the plot and so have I. This has all been livestreamed and live tweeted and I still don’t know what’s going on. One thing that seems very clear is that the SBC is being dismantled by it’s enemies who have managed to board the ship while the crew was sleeping and start a bunch of fires. I was amongst those that were labeled “pirates” at the convention this year. As our enemies gloated about “winning,” I realized that we weren’t the pirates, they are. They want the institution in their full control or utterly burned down. It looks to me like they are going to get the latter.
If you will go with the metaphor that the SBC is a ship that is being run by a crew that is busy arguing amongst themselves about who’s fault the fires are, then we here at Servant and Herald, are a group of concerned sailors sitting high up on the mast head and we see enemy vessels bearing down on us at alarming speed and smoke coming up through the hatchways. We saw the spies coming on board too, but when we tried to call down warn about them someone shouted back that we hate sex abuse survivors or something. It was hard to make out, it’s windy up here. We keep calling down to the deck to try and get the ship to clear for action but the captain is in his cabin copying the other officer’s letters to their wives so he can send them to his wife and the 1st Lieutenant is trying to shout over the sailing master while the bosun threatens most of the able seamen into obeying orders that don’t make any sense. The landsmen have gone back to their hammocks below deck because they don’t know enough naval jargon to participate in the shouting match effectively and they hope everything will be okay.
Our Letter of Marque
It’s time for those of us who recognize the enemy is here to get off this floating circus and become privateersmen. What’s a privateersman, you ask? When a private group or individual raised funds to build and arm their own ship, they could petition the crown for a “letter of marque” that entitled them to sail around and cause trouble for the enemies of the crown with legal authority. They got to keep any ships that they took as prizes and so were often mistaken for pirates. Our letter of marque is called the Great Commission. And it’s getting past time to start taking prizes in the name of our King.
I’m not here to ask for “funds.” We have the ship already, if you’re reading this, you’ve found it. We could use some crewmen. But, make sure you know what we’re about before signing on. This ship is cleared for action. We don’t get hammocks to sleep in because they are rolled up and being used to block small arms fire along the taffrail. We don’t get hot food, the galley fire is put out. The sawbones is in the forecastle waiting to for the wounded. We are going in hard against the enemies of our Lord. Guns are loaded, colors are run up the lines, swords are drawn. The ship is going to take some hits. Men will fall. Other Christians are probably going to sin against you, and unbelievers certainly will.
Privateers don’t do patrol duty. They don’t guard convoys. They don’t transport orders to the fleet. They don’t get the cush jobs. They hunt. They find enemies and engage them. Make no mistake. We are here to pick a fight. And, anyone who wants to puncture the hull of this ship will need bigger guns than “your tone is not helpful.”