Archive for July, 2007

Joe Martino here following up on Nathan’s latest post regarding the ODM poster scandal at the blog that talks about setting the world on fire. I tell you men and women you may actually find hope that the ODM’s are considering what is going on and may actually be realizing the sin in their ways. Ken Silva, a leading fundamentalist and watch blog aficionado who pioneered the ODM “ministry” recently posted these verses in regards to the very graceful and kind response posters created by an anonymous blogger called Grace. Ken quoted Proverbs 14:12 which says:

“There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.”

Pastor Silva went on to quote the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy,

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Perhaps the ODM movement is considering the fact that they hurting the beloved bride of Christ. Men and women I ask you to pray for these people right now. May they actually see the words they use to justify their hatred and anger disguised as pious religiosity.

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A second blog about the response to the posters created by Pyromaniacs has been posted at C?N.  Ken Silva uses the exact same personalities as the target of his blog.  He says that the emergent church has been whining over these posters and cites this example from Mike Clawson

recently Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs posted a series of Motivational style posters rather mean spiritedly mocking the emerging church and some of the words we often use… most of these posters [are] rather sad (in a “I can’t believe how badly he’s misrepresenting us” kind of way), and some even offensive.

How exactly is that whining?  So, if the emerging church responding to unfair, ignorant and mean spirited posters is considered “whining”, I wonder what you would call fundamentalists writing articles every day about the emerging church taking over their turf.  Extreme bellyaching?

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In answer to a request to document the different logical fallacies we most often confront, I have added a new section to the blog in the upper right column, entitled The Use of Logic.  Over time, I will gradually add to this page a small library of argument types which can be linked to within your comments as you see such things exhibited.

The first fallacy I’ve documented is probably the one we see most often, the straw man.  Because practice builds skill in recognition, I would suggest that you read it so that you understand the theory and then bop on over to Slice, AM or C?N so that you can practice your skills at recognizing straw man arguments in action!

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The last few weeks I’ve been trying to develop a devotion blog based in the Old Testament. Its done now and I’ve started filling it with content. I’d appreciate it if you checked it out. Or you can always click on my supercool logo.

Also, I’m looking for similarly themed blogs to add to my blogroll, so if you know of any drop a line.

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At this point I am almost 50% sure that C?N is actually a parody site as this article quotes Proverbs 6:

16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Either that or this from MMI is relevant here.

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What sorrow for those who say
that evil is good and good is evil,
that dark is light and light is dark,
that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

Isaiah 5.20

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I have actually been very proud of the emerging church’s response to the de-motivational posters over at team pyro. It has been soft spoken and a good demonstration of loving our enemies, even though we would not consider them that. I will admit, my first reaction was to bust out the Photoshop and show them what’s up. But after reading Chris’ blog on the matter, I realized it would not have been the best thing to do (but they would have been really funny, just for the record). So, I sat back and watched how the rest of those involved in God’s new movement around the world would respond.

However, the Christian Research Network had a few other things to say about the response to the posters. After quoting one blogger’s response to the posters, Ken Silva attempts to connect emerging leaders to universalism. First off, the response to the posters was not harsh or mean spirited in my opinion (you can read it in the article). Second, the blogger’s remarks was followed up with this outright laughable commentary

These words were written by Julie Clawson whose husband Mike was one of the planners of the Mideast Emergent “Gathering”, which by the way also happens to a term Wiccans use as well for their meetings. (emphasis mine)

I guess once again, if you can’t beat ‘em, make fun of their hair or find some random and irrelevant connection to a cult, right? However, the author goes on to try to connect this statement by Spencer Burke (an emerging leader whom I have never heard of) with universalism

We wrapped up the conference with a fiery and prophetic set of exhortations from Spencer Burke, who encouraged us not to get bogged down with creating ecclesial empires or big structures, but to begin reimagining a whole new way of being the light of the world in our postmodern cultural context.

I was especially touched by his closing comments about coming back to the heart of God and just remembering the love that our Father has for all of us as he holds us close to his breast (like a parent holds a newborn infant). It was the perfect note to end the conference on.

Any thoughts on how that is promoting universalism? I guess Burke should have said, “remembering the love that our Father has for a few of us as he holds a small remnant close to his breast.” Once again proving… if you can’t beat’em….

back to the posters…

Emerging Grace created a number of posters, using the exact same words… missional, apologetics, narrative theology, postmodern, etc. Rather than turning the posters into hate filled messages, he simply and beautifully corrected the negative and incorrect assumptions published by team pyro. They really do a great job of illustrating what many of us in the emerging community of faith believe, and how the watch doggies have twisted it. I encourage you to look at all of these posters here.

Side note:  Ken posted this verse as a response to the new posters

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

teachers saying what itching ears want to hear?  Turn aside to myths?  Sounds like the watch doggies to me.

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A recent post criticized Tammy Faye Messer’s choice of speaker at her private funeral. Here’s the pertinent part:

Christianity Today last week featured a blog post that claimed Tammy Faye taught us “how to die.” That she has become, in death, something of an evangelical cultural icon surprises me very little in our lawless age. The news from ABC that the private family service after Tammy Faye’s death was conducted by a homosexual “pastor” illustrates very clearly what she believed about the authority of the Scriptures.

And then further down:

The rebellion against God’s order in homosexuality attacks the very image of Christ and His bride. That Tammy Faye chose a man to conduct her funeral service who not only manifests that rebellion, but has taken it into the office of the pastorate, says all that needs to be said about this brand of religion the purports to be Christianity.

So my question is, who’s in, who’s out and why? Obviously we’re talking about a guy who’s not just tempted by homosexual temptation but a guy who acts on it. He’s speaking/leading/whatevering a private service for a friend. I suppose what I’m asking is where do we draw the line? What constant pursuit of sin excludes someone from what activities?

FWIW, I’m throwing this out there as something worth discussing, rather than as a criticism or disagreement with the posted article. That’s not to say I necessarily agree with the quoted article either.

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For the second time in less than three days the ever elusive editor has deliberately used the word “emerging” in such a way as to connect the emerging church to ideas which are completely absent from emergents. The first time it was involved the advocation of recreational drugs. Apparently that particular… insinuation (which is a polite word for lie) wasn’t quite good enough. So now its time for the anonymous, and deceptive editor get a little bit more ham fisted by connecting the emerging/emergent church to Anton LaVey who popularized the atheistic philosophy of the “Church of Satan“. Check out the headline:

Anton Szandor LaVey on the Original Emerging Church the Church of Satan

Of course with the phrase “original emerging church” the author, known only as the cowardly anonymous editor implies that there is at the very least a philosophical connection between the Church of Satan (the original) and the emerging church (the current). The problem is, there is none. There’s not actually one, and there’s not even a pretext of one presented.

The irony here is the most famous teaching of LaVey is the phrase “do as thou wilt”, its even presented right there in the clip posted by the editor, in the opening of the monologue LaVey says that religion has to dominate by fear in order to enforce its teachings of abstinence rather than motivating by indulgence.

Let me ask you this question. If a writer is willing to smear, lie and generally deceive by linking his or her opponents to boogie men like Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan what philosophy are they exhibiting? One that says “do as thou wilt” or one that says “I am the way the truth and the life”?

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From here:

Mentone, AL – Since its founding almost a half a century ago St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Mentone has been a church that by its own confession has “struggled to be happy.” The members of the congregation of just over 100 people seem to consistently struggle with one another, arguing and holding grudges.

Over the years disputes have broken out over everything from building projects to who will run Vacation Bible School, to someone’s casserole not being eaten at a church picnic.

“We have two ladies in this church that haven’t spoken to one another in over twenty years” said deacon Charles Ainsworth. “I don’t remember all of the details, but it had something to do with one of the ladies criticizing the flower arrangement that one of the other ladies had made. It’s not that we don’t love one another, we just don’t seem to like one another. “We’ve all grown up together, and we just seem to get on each others nerves a lot.”

The various pastors of the church over the years have tried to preach peace among the congregation, but to no avail. But the church’s current pastor, Rev. Prentiss Carnes recently “discovered” a verse that may be the solution to all of the strife within the church.

“I was reading in Ephesians and came across 4:26a where it says ‘Be angry and yet do not sin,’” said Carnes. “I started thinking and realized that there’s a Biblical mandate here to be angry, that perhaps all these years we’ve been getting it all wrong. May God has called us to be an angry church. That seems to be where our gifts lie, in being angry.”

And “angry” is just what they are fostering now at St. Luke’s. The church has recently made Ephesians 4:26a its theme verse and has set out to make itself known as “the angriest church in America.”

“It’s a relief to know that we’re okay” said Lillian Ainsworth, wife of Charles. “We stayed so blooming mad at one another all of the time I wasn’t sure what our problem was, but I see now that we just have a different calling by God. The Lord calls some of us to be angry and that is our calling I suppose.”

“I believe we can be angry at one another and not sin because we still love each other deep down” said Carnes. “But we need to foster this anger that we have and learn how to do it better. God commands it, and therefore we must do it.”

One of our previous posts dealt with the overall nastiness of Phil Johnson, and two of the commenters in that topic have put forth the argument that Elijah was mean and personally insulting to the prophets of Baal, and that Paul wrote that he hoped the Judaizers would mutilate themselves, and Johnie Mac’s attack dogs came no where close to rising to that level.

Of course, both of those examples are prophets dealing with enemies of God, rather than brothers and sisters in Christ. Making the argument that Elijah and Paul were, to say the least, harsh in these two examples and so its ok to be harsh is as silly as claiming a church has been spiritually gifted with anger.

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