Archive for May 29th, 2007

Over at Slice 2.0, Ingrid was beaming with the news of a Purpose Driven pastor being kicked out of his church for the changes he was making.  She had this to say:

“Last night I received a phone call about a large Southern Baptist Church that sent its starry-eyed Purpose Driven pastor packing. The congregation grew alarmed when the pastor, following Rick Warren’s church transformation checklist, followed the tiresome course of dumping the hymns, etc. etc. etc. What he could not have anticipated was the backlash from the church members who basically told him, “NO WAY!”.”

I found it interesting that the only thing she took time to type out was “dumping the hymns”.  It wasn’t “implementing worship, evangelism, ministry, fellowship and discipleship” or “the theology is self serving”.  It was about the dang music.  This once again points to the fact that the argument is more over style than substance.

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In the last post there has been a discussion comparing the writings and ministry of Reverend Ken Silva to that of Reverend Fred Phelps.  Phelps leads a ministry known as God Hates America, with various splinters of this such as god hates fags, Canadians, Swedes, Jews, Catholics, etc.  He and his congregation comprised mostly of his family members, picket funerals and other national events with outrageous slogans and songs.  Their website will leave you either fuming mad or saddened for the reputation of Christ.

I will admit that the writers of Christian Research Network and Slice 2.0 have not gone this far in their hate blogs and divisive writings.  I have held back on this post for a week, but have realized these men and women do not hold back on their divisive communication for anyone.  The theology and practices that these two groups share is strikingly similar and their bitterness and hatred seem to come from the same source.

Both preach a gospel where the elect are very limited.  It seems that only a few are destined to heaven and the rest are mocked by the elect as they walk into the fires of hell.  Living missional and evangelistic lives seems to be looked down upon.

Both parties also believe that they know (or have heard personally from God) which Christian groups are the true elect and which are not.  This is usually not based off of biblical reasoning, but simply personal preference or a twisted interpretation of the scriptures.

Both parties also believe that their mission has been given to them directly from God.  It often flies in the face of biblical teaching and other believers have a hard time confirming that their purpose is from God.  When confronted on their work, they often point back to the fact that God is the one giving them direction each day, or flaunt their title of pastor/teacher

Both parties speak with arrogance and pride, finding great pleasure and joy in demeaning and putting down those that they disagree with.  Whether it is calling some one a fag or calling someone an apostate member of the Ecumenical Church of Deceit, both groups find great pleasure in attacking their enemies.

Both parties use shocking language to get their point across.  Whether it is making outrageous claims about the Swedish, mocking Christian American Idol contestants, or simply publishing tabloid-esque captions, their shock-centered ministry leaves many with their jaws dropped.

The list goes one and one… but it all starts with a faulty theology.  Hypercalvinism basically gives someone the permission to treat those who have yet to accept Christ as they please.  God simply has a small elect that he is going to save, and so we might as well let the world know that they are destined for hell (God apparently finds extreme pleasure in seeing the unregenerate suffering).  They are right and everyone else is wrong.  It is this theology that allows the writers at CRN / Slice 2.0 to speak as they do.  Again, I do not put Silva or others on the same level as Phelps, but their shared theology and mindset fuels the same hate speech.  As I read through the anger and hate on CRN towards Warren, Bell, McManus and Kimball, I think they are only a stone’s throw away from picketing.

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