Archive for August 28th, 2007

A few months ago I had to quickly re-arrange our worship service and so had one of my deacons combine my class with his. He took the opportunity to pass out some sheets of paper and ask everyone to write whatever they wanted about the church. Most of them were positive or constructively critical. But two of them were vitriolic, nasty, and simply wrong. What caught me by surprise was that these two nasty notes came from people who shook my hand every week, smiled at me every week, played with my infant son, and were just generally nice normal people. So why the change? In a word: accountablity. The anonymous nature of the informal survey guaranteed there wouldn’t be called to account for their words. They wouldn’t be asked to work to fix the problems they saw, they wouldn’t be told to tone down the vitriol and they wouldn’t have to deal with everyone knowing the way they had attacked people within their church.

I think that’s what we’re dealing with here with the watchdoggies. The reason why they feel so free to slander and lambaste is because there is no accountability. First, there’s the lack of human contact with the people they’re actually attacking. Then there’s a total disconnect with their online activities from either a larger body of Christians, or with their jobs. Think about it for a second. First you’ve got Ingrid who’s daddy owns her place of employment, I doubt her job is ever in jeopardy much less from any kind of controversy she could cause, and, I believe I remember reading from her site that the church she attends is a house church made up mostly of her family (and if that’s incorrect I’ll happily correct it). What are the chances that that kind of fellowship would be calling anyone to heel until the situation became untenable? Ken Silva is largely as immune to any sort of accountability. His church is roughly the size of a Sunday school class, which brings as little accountability as Ingrid’s situation.

And, ultimately, it is these types of situations that have cut the ecclesiastical brake lines that are supposed to exist within a church. There’s no chance of the principles of confrontation found in Matthew 18 to play out. There’s no way elders are going to step in and enforce Biblical models of behavior.

So what do seatbelts and accountability have in common? They’re both restraining devices.

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A certain football player gave a statement yesterday, apologizing for his involvement in an animal cruelty case. He did play the “God” card, claiming that since the incident, he has “found Jesus.”

While I am skeptical about whether this is true faith, to make fun of him or his claims of faith serves no good purpose. We don’t know if he is a Christian, only God knows this.

Seems like CR?N needed a hit piece.

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Seems the watchdoggies out there are feeling the heat from CT’s recent article labeling them “attack dogs”. So it looks like its time for the justifications to come out.

The first lesson that CT editors need to learn is that when complaining about unkind Christian bloggers, it probably isn’t a good idea to call them names. Attack dogs, eh?

And then a bit further on…

I have seen this irony again and again over the years. Those who don’t agree with a conservative, Bible believing Christian expressing his or her views in public can launch into a bitter tirade about the utter intolerance, the sanctimony, the nastiness and the pure venom they claim is being shown by the conservative, while they can use every insulting and degrading turn of phrase they can muster to sneeringly deride these “fundamentalists”, these “holier-than-thou pharisees” and so forth and so on.

What is it with the popularity of this defense? I mean, I understand when children use it, but sometime before adulthood there should be some recognition that “they did it too” is not a defense. If an action is wrong, then its wrong, no matter how many people do it. Essentially what the watchdoggies are saying is that their standard of conduct doesn’t come from God, it comes from humans (something we saw before here).

Also on display here is the continued and complete inability by the watchdoggies to understand anyone other than people who are exactly like them.

It’s terrible, just terrible, that Slice, how they are always posting articles about Church Viagra Conferences and Elvis impersonators and Saddleback Sunday morning carnivals and clowns in the pulpit. Somebody has to speak up for these people!

The watchdoggies seem to legitimately believe that the only reason that exist is to defend particular practices. They have absolutely no clue that it has very little to do with the particular stances taken and everything to do with how they do it, and their incredible ability to decide who is in the kingdom of God and who isn’t.

So what do these champions of moral rectitude do? They create special websites specifically for taking personal potshots at people like me, Pastor Ken Silva, etc. One Christian blogger even took a photo of me and photo-shopped horns on my head to complete a charming picture. There isn’t a day that goes by that the attack sites don’t feature stuff like this.

Gee it’d sure be nice if there was an actual link to the where this happened at. Of course, even that wouldn’t help, because the vast majority of the criticism aimed at them has been reasoned and well mannered. Dan Kimball,, and the other more high profile sites have been fair, reasonable, and, for the most part gentle. But Ingrid couldn’t acknowledge that, instead she posts that most of their critics are out there photoshopping horns on her. Its just one more example of the out and out slander the watchdoggies are willing to resort to.

But that’s OK, you see, because they’re right, and we’re wrong.

Now there’s something we can agree on.

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