Archive for August 24th, 2007

With the increased linking to Old Truth by the watchdoggies I thought I’d just put out a little bit of a tutorial on how to link to that blog. It seems the webmaster over there has, in the past (and at the time of this writing) tinkered with his server so that critics are unable to link to his writings. We have no idea what the exact motivation is, but rampant speculation concerns massive insecurity.

Anyway, to get around this silly bit of chicanery simply go over to here* and paste the URL of what you want to link to into the URL box. So for example if you want to demonstrate that Jim has no idea what the people he’s criticizing believe you’d go to this URL and quote this:

It challenges the modern notion of “God has a wonderful plan for your life”,
at least – so far as the supposed necessity of earthly fulfillment is concerned. Today we recall one of the bloodiest events in church history, yielding the death of as many as 100,000 Christians at the hands of those who sought the extermination of Christianity. It’s an event that ecumenical emergents and ECT advocates would prefer to put aside.

So, could someone explain to me why Jim quotes Rick Warren in an attempt to smear emergents?

*Of course old Jimbo can’t take any sort of criticism so he blocked Google (good one dude), so instead of using google translate you can use any of the phproxy engines. Just search for some of them on google. And there you go, thousands of different ways to link to Jimbo’s site.

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The anonymous editor over at CRN.com has come up with a justification for parading around the failings of his brothers and sisters with joy, its the venerable the “they did it too” defense.

What’s interesting is that the “they” in this case is the secular media. Apparently the standard for the conduct of Christ followers is whatever the secular media does.

If I possessed those kind of reasoning skills I’d remain anonymous too.

Edit:
For a peek into why this sort of thing is so damaging take a peek at this comment on a secular blog. If that doesn’t bother you then maybe you need to re-consider having anything to do with any church anywhere at anytime.

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I like Big Macs. The fries I can do without. But the combination of a sesame seed bun, cheese, special sauce, and all beef patties is irresistible. And there is nothing more patriotic then chomping down on a big meaty pile of American decadence.

As McDonalds restaurants have spread from the West to the East, it has been observed that as cultures are introduced to our finer foods, they are getting fatter. We want our food cheaper and faster. Convenience is king.

I am currently “fasting”, if you will, from most fast food, in particular, bad fast food. My BMI, according to the Mayo Clinic, in the past three weeks has gone from 25 to 24. While 25 is considered good, I was on the high end of the BMI range and heading towards 26.

Scripture is clear that moderation and self control are important to our faith walk (Ecclesiastes 7:18, Galatians 5:23; Titus 2:12). And yet we almost never hear people talking about moderation and self control in terms of non-alcoholic food. We hear it in terms of our sexuality, our tv or movie viewing habits, or alcohol use, especially from the critics who we write about.

Proverbs 23 cuts really close to home for us indulgent calorie chomping Americans, though:

Proverbs 23

1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,

2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.

3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.

5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

6 Do not eat the food of a stingy man,
do not crave his delicacies;

7 for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.

8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.

Obviously, an obsession about being thin or healthy is a sin as well. And being proud of being skinny isn’t good either. Anything that becomes our idol (pride, dieting, exercise, etc.) also takes away from our ability to worship God.

I am not going to completely stop eating Big Macs. However, I am going to try to be more conscious about the number of times I go out to a fast food restaurant in a given week. Seeing that I’m a single guy and I donate sometimes 20 hours a week to my church, I don’t have a lot of time to cook a decent homemade meal. But I am reworking my menu, trying to freeze meals, and buying more fruits and vegetables. Hopefully I will be at a healthier place then I currently am.

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I have to hand it to Ingrid because sometimes she surprises me. She wrote a great article on F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Her comments on the moral slide in America caught me off guard, because I’ve long thought the same thing. Here’s a quote:

In reality, a case could be made that America was in serious moral crisis even before it formally became a country. By all accounts the era of the American Revolution was one of moral decadence within cities, despite the Christian teachings of churches throughout the colonies.

I’ve gotten the feeling from organizations like Focus on the Family that in the 1950s, we were this great Christian nation. And yet we had all kinds of moral discrepancies, like racism. Sure, just about everyone went to church, but a whole lot of people ignored the Truth.

Thank you, Ingrid, for writing this article.

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We have discussed how and to what extent should a leader be restored when he or she has been caught in moral failure. But all through the discussion I continued to have an overall question about the entire way in which some blogs handle the sins of others.

Why does SOL and some other blogs link to secular newspapers as they report moral failures of a youth pastor and others? Isn’t it just sensationalism akin to the National Enquire? Even if they argued that these were warning examples for all of us, why would it be necessary to provide names and places, why not just the scenario itself? How can people possibly adhere to Phil.4:8 and think on good things when they are absolutely bombarded with gossip and dirt about other people? We all know about moral failures, they happen in churches in all of our communities and they are tragic, but why do we need to be informed about moral failures that happen in churches in Anywhere, USA?

Is there not a wide difference between a Scriptural teaching about moral purity and a blog peep show into the sins of strangers? I find it interesting that Paul did not share the issue of moral failure in the Corinthian church in his epistles to other churches, but it was dealt within the church where it occurred. It is a disgusting display of spreading filth about specific people and it encourages everyone to have the “I’m glad I’m not like that publican” attitude. Isn’t that EXACTLY what Jesus was trying to teach us NOT to do?

You can teach Biblical warnings without providing a smorgasbord of the sins of others, many times gleaned from the secular press and posted with a self righteous effervescence that draws the hungry sharks. And with the comments on those type of posts outnumbering the comments on devotional posts 10 to 1 at least, we have proof that some blogs have created a kind of “Christian” gossip newsletter that rivals the Hollywood rags. And in two years of seeing these posts, I cannot remember once reading for everyone to pray for these fallen brothers or sister.

Moral failures in local churches are not exclusively a symptom of liberal or modern churches, they occur in the most orthodox of local gatherings. I continue to wonder, what spirit could possibly lead a believer to read a secular report about a brother’s sins and be energized to reprint it and add to the chastening and misery that he, his family, and the entire church is painfully going through? The personal dirt that is served on these sites is void of any semblance of the redemption that appears once in a while in the reprinted hymn words and devotional writings of various authors. When Haggard fell he was systematically dismembered on Christian sites, complete with some of the shocking details, and with comment sections that mirrored wolves gathered around the carcass of a fresh kill. Unseemly, unchristian, and a sad misrepresentation of the grace and mercy that defined our Savior’s earthly ministry.

Sorry, I was affected by that self righteous pile on.

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