Archive for May 14th, 2007

Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John and Scott are some of the highest class bloggers out there, with incredibly insightful commentary on the “discernment” ministries like AM, CR?N and Slice.  Having noticed the return of Slice, they have taken to dissecting “Pastor” Silva’s involvement, his roots in the CRBC, and his general lack of accountability supplemented with a healthy dose of ‘infallibility’.

Great – and accurate – summation of the current state of CR?N, Slice and AM

Quotes:

I came across this article today featuring Ken’s latest attack on Rick Warren. And to be perfectly fair, I think Ken may have a point in this case. Warren should excercise some discipline, if he’s really in a position to do so. That said, Ken is not Warren’s pastor. He’s barely anyone’s pastor. And, frankly, the idea that Ken is in a position to advise Rick Warren on how to run a church is just laughable.

Why laughable? I’m glad you asked.

First, the suggestion that half of the people who’d been there as the church dwindled from 100 down to 13 were insufficiently committed seems odd to me. If you’re attending a church of 13 after 80% of the members have abandoned ship, I don’t think commitment is really a problem. And yet, Ken describes those who left as weeds. In the scripture, weeds are those destined for burning. It’s not a light thing to label someone a weed.

We got a first hand account of how this weeding took place from one of Ken’s remaining members who said:

With people from our Church bristling under teachings against blatent [sic] disregard for Truth, Ken had to delve deeper into what caused all of this.

So in the case of his own church, people who “bristled” under Ken’s teaching were weeds. The assumption by both Ken and the person quoted above is that anyone who could not abide the pure truth of Ken’s teaching is, quite literally, destined for hell. That’s certainly one way to look at it. Is there another way?

There is nothing wrong with a pastor being supported by his flock, but this gets to the core of the problem. Who is Ken’s flock? As the quote above shows, he sees AM as an online church. He admits himself that this is a strange idea. Indeed it is. For someone so determined to do only what is spelled out in the Bible and to do nothing that is not, where is the Biblical support for an online church?

What Ken is really trying to get off the ground is an internet based para-church minstry. There are many para-church ministries in the world, some of which I appreciate. In Ken’s case, however, the goal is not to support the church but to separate people from it, at least from the large section of it of which Ken does not approve.

Join a real local church and give your money to someone who can actually serve you, hold you accountable and do all the things that real churches do. Hey, join Ken’s church if you’re so inclined! But don’t support a fake church like Apprising Ministries whose only purpose is to bash pastors of real churches. Even if he doesn’t call it an online church, be wary of any ministry that appeals for money but resists explaining itself to critics. So far as I can tell, Ken Silva’s Internet Para-Church of the Remnant is accountable to no one.

Excellent article!

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Takin' the watchdawggie out!Here’s some excerpts from Rick Warren’s blog response to the flap over Rupert Murdoch, fueled by WND, CR?N, Slice 2.0, etc., etc.  [Thanks to Matt for the link to a screencap of the article.]

Neither the original blogger nor Farah bothered to contact the church to ask if Murdoch was a member.  The original writer jumped to that conclusion because he read somewhere that Warren said he was “Rupert Murdoch’s pastor”.

So much for “Christian” (being like Christ, which would imply at least some adherence to Biblical procedure on verifying sin before publicly addressing it, based on Deuteronomy and Matthew 18) and “Research” (the lack of any resemblence to which has led us to add in the “?” into CR?N).

Rick Warren is Rupert Murdoch’s pastor in the sense that over the years they have had “numerous spiritual conversations and times of prayer,” [Saddleback Church's Chief of Staff David] Chrzan said.  He pointed out that many people who aren’t members of the church refer to Warren as “their pastor” because he is the only clergyman they know.

[...]

Since Murdoch is not a member of the church, “any attempt to exercise biblical authority he doesn’t have would be presumptious and inappropriate,” he said.

Welcome to the watchdawggie-blogosphere, Mr. Warren – that’s what they’re best at – exercising authority they don’t have…

Farah did correctly report that Warren has an “exemplary record in speaking out on pornography at its devastating effects,” Chrzan added, but he has found that public confrontation isn’t remotely as effective as personal relationship.

So much for “Purpose-Driven Porn”.  I guess it takes a REAL “Pastor” to understand how to deal with folks and tend the flock, not just someone with a boat-load of titles (including “Pastor”, “Editor” and “President”) and no fruit to show for it…

“Your story implies that Dr. Warren’s business ties with Mr. Murdoch have limited his spiritual influence, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” Chrzan said.  “Dr. Warren has found that behind the scenes persuasion is always more effective than “in-your-face” public rebuke.  God has honored Dr. Warren’s faithfulness to speak truth into the lives of influential individuals He brings into his path, but your story does not even recognize that possibility.”

Yes, but this story wasn’t really even related to Murdoch – it was another chance for watchdawggies to pile on Rick Warren – one of their sports of choice.  The volume and rhetoric within the articles at CR?N, Slice 2.0 and WND made it clear that there was no actual desire for reconciliation toward Murdoch or repentence from Warren (for imagined crimes) – it was 100% about bashing Dr. Warren.  NOTHING he could have said or done would have slaked the thirst of these rabid watchdawggies.

There is a small network of bloggers who specialize in concocting outrageous accusations against well-known Christian leaders in an effort to attract readers to their websites.  Such “researchers” – and the “journalists” who promote them – have no incentive to verify their assertions because facts are incompatible with the fictions which are their stock and trade.

Amen.

It is regrettable that people who present themselves as Christians would show so little regard for the truth and focus so much time and energy on fomenting strife.

God’s kingdom is not well served by contrived controversy.  The world needs to see the power of His love and grace at work in our lives, not “hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, [and] the feeling that everyone is wrong except for those in your own little group.  (Galatians 5:20 NLT)

Agreed.  There is a wideness in God’s mercy, and it would be nice if we tried to mirror that…

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