Archive for July 27th, 2008

Friends,

“Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” (Jude 1:22-23).

“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

I feel the need to break my own self-imposed rule of minimal blogging here at CRN.info designed to give someone else the chance to get a word in edgewise. But everyone seems to be busy today and I just happen to have the majority of my work for the week finished and I don’t think I can let this post by A Little Leaven to go by without a comment or two. With all the noise surrounding the RA/KS scandal it seems perhaps it might do us some good to consider a question of with serious theological and practical implications. For the protection of CRN.info and the writers here, I will say up front that this is a serious inquiry into a post made at A Little Leaven by blogger Chris Rosebrough and in no way an accusation or slanderous statement about his faith, character or person. Here I am interacting solely with the contents of his blog post.

I want to begin by pointing out that I like Chris Rosebrough and that this post is in no way a personal attack (that seems to be a popular word these days) on his person. Here I am interacting only with the contents of the blog post linked above where he is critical of xxx.church and their new ‘Don’t Spank‘ campaign. Furthermore, while most of this blog post is of a serious nature, I have used a mild form of sarcasm in order to illustrate my point and highlight the absurdity of Chris’ commentary on said campaign by xxxchurch.

Chris asks a very important question at his blog, one that should be addressed, concerning this new campaign (it may be old, I don’t know; Chris just posted it yesterday, 25th). He writes: “What exactly does XXXChurch hope to accomplish through this particular campaign (other than offending just about everyone)?” Well, I think I’d like to take a stab at answering this question: Chris, what they hope to accomplish is that people will stop flogging their dolphin, beating their bishop, choking their chicken, spanking their monkey, and/or otherwise sexually abusing themselves while they look at porn, fantasize about porn, or surf the web searching for porn or think of creative ways to sneak porn into their minds. This really doesn’t seem to be a terribly difficult conclusion to come to given the nature of the ministry of xxx.church. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a great deal of perception is required to understand this. I’m not sure why anyone would be offended by this at all. All they are hoping to accomplish, it seems to me, is to encourage some self-control (a fruit of the Spirit kata Paul) among Christians in particular and perhaps the population at large in general.

Second, Chris puts forth a hypothetical scenario and asks another very important question. He writes: “Let’s pretend that through the magic of this marketing piece that everyone who sees this decides to stop ‘flogging their dolphins’. Does that mean that they’ve become Christians and are now saved?” Well, again, this doesn’t seem to require a great deal of thought. Chris, the answer is no. What it means is that, through the magic of this marketing piece or self-control or the Holy Spirit or accountability to friends, those who listen will have stopped masturbating. I really think that is the whole point here. There doesn’t seem to be anything about this campaign to suggest, to me anyhow, that it is necessarily evangelistic in nature. I don’t see anything on the two-sided stickers that says ‘Jesus’ or ‘Romans Road’ or ‘Visit Paul Washer Online At…’ On the contrary, I have always been under the impression that xxx.church was a ministry designed to hold Christian brothers and sisters accountable to one another on the internet where there has been a proliferation of porn since its inception or to help those who are addicted to porn escape its clutches. I don’t see how anyone could possibly be offended by such a thing, but then again, I am not Chris R now am I? If you read this, Chris, please help me understand why this should be considered offensive.

No Chris you silly man. People don’t ‘automatically’ become Christians because they give up auto-erotic behaviors. They become Christians when loving Christians teach them about Jesus, the Gospel, and about how God will hold them accountable for their lives–you know, when we ‘talk about all the things that really matter most, like life and love and happiness and too the Holy Ghost’ (Bob Herdman)–and when God gets a hold of them and raises them up to new life in Christ (See Ephesians 2:1-10) at their baptism. This is all in the Bible and you can readily access it by turning to just about any page. Now all of this leads me to two very important questions for Chris.

First, I guess, following your logic, that Christians should do nothing to discourage any sin at all. This means, if I am understanding this properly, then Christians ought to give up any and all action against abortion, we ought to give up any and all action against homosexual nuptials, we ought to give up any and all action against serial killing, we ought to give any and all action against rape. We should never work to alleviate poverty and injustice. And so the list could go on and on and on ad infinitum. I mean, following this logic, if we work to prevent an abortion but no one becomes a Christian because of those efforts, then it was rather pointless to work against the abortion in the first place. I suppose we may as well not do anything to eradicate sin and injustice and unrighteousness in the world. We may as well just sit back and be happy that we are saved and hope that somehow God magically does something to save the rest.

Second, and here’s where it gets just a bit risky…but in opposing this new campaign by xxx.church…this new campaign designed to make people think before they, uh, flog or get them to stop flogging altogether…in opposing this campaign or at least mocking it, are you in some way advocating the behavior they wish to stop? Let’s suppose through the magic of this marketing that people do stop ‘flogging’ does this automatically mean they are Christians? No. You are right! But, it might mean there are a few less people looking at and buying porn and the ramifications of that are astronomical.

Now, to be sure, I know you are not advocating the continuation of such practice. What Christian would advocate self-abuse and lusting eyes? I know you don’t and you wouldn’t. So what are you opposed to it for? What exactly will you gain by opposing what the Lord has placed on the hearts of others? What will the pain be for the church if this campaign is a success? Why are you embarrassed that a para-church organization has taken it upon themselves to help people break these bad habits, some would say destructive sinful habits, and lead them to do something more constructive with their hands and eyes?

The problem is that for drive-by readers of your blog your post might be perceived in just such a way. There may be people who think you are advocating flogging behavior since you are opposed to a campaign to stop flogging behavior unless the only readers you have in the first place are those who implicitly agree with you already. Perhaps for just a moment you could step back and see the bigger picture of the cost and sacrifice involved in rescuing people from the sin that has so gripped their lives. In other words, let’s see if there is a way we can discuss the issue and bring or offer some grace and mercy to those who suffer the shame of such activity instead of so quickly dismissing it is as ‘offensive’.

If you have ever been saved because Chris Rosebrough posted a warning about xxx.church at his blog, please email us.

sincerely,

jerry

**UPDATE**

Turns out xxxchurch is wasting their time after all and that bro. Rosebrough was right to call them out. Link.

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