Archive for August 15th, 2008

What would you think of a person who makes it their life hobby to “research” and observe other people’s families and post their opinion of these families online? The peak into the window of the neighbors down the street and jot down notes about what they see. The dig through the trash to find out where money is being spent. They make judgment calls on certain family practices and traditions. Now, you might wonder why they would be so obsessed with a community that they aren’t even a part of. Sounds crazy, huh?

We have been over and over and over this here at, but I cease to be amazed at the ODMs relentless infatuation with other people’s communities. For me, the concern and anger hit an all time high while listening to this slice cast. I mean, here is a group of people who have made it their life ministry to critique and harp on everyone else’s church. And, when a church like the one in question is dealing with personal, in-house business, they stick up their noses and say “I told you so!” It’s absolutely asinine to me.

I love the Olympics. I have been watching as much as possible (and TiVo’ing th rest). One thing that I love to see is the sportsmanship between the athletes from different countries. They get along so well — no one is giving dirty looks, throwing elbows or firing off some crude language. Then the connection hit me… When you are so busy doing what God has called you to do, there is no room for criticizing others. You’re so focused on the task that you have to accomplish that there isn’t room to stop, look at the guy next to you and make snide comments.

Look, I may be way overstepping my bounds (and I love this community here, because they will put me back in my place), but I don’t feel like many of the ODMs have a strong sense of biblical mission. I just cannot imagine that God would call people to major on the mission of critiquing other churches (which should never be confused with “contending for the faith” or “defending the faith” — they are very different things). I wonder what would happen if ODMs focused on the biblical mission that God had for them, and gave their life to that. They actually might become the change that they want to see in their own cities and communities. The fact of the matter is, they are doing no good critiquing communities and churches that are a plane ride away.

…just some thoughts for the day. I’m gonna go hit the beach for the night. Peace

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One common marketing ploy is the “Bait and Switch.” The strategy is simple. Bait the consumer with an attractive deal then switch them to a higher priced, more profitable item. For example, an appliance store may offer a sale on a certain model but only have a couple in their store. When the consumer comes through the door looking for the bait, they are informed it is sold-out, but an alternative (switch) is offered. This tactic is not limited to sleazy retailers.

CRN has posted an article titled Christian Extremism. It is a repost of another blog – a blog with which I am unfamiliar. Anyway, the post(s) baits with a decades old quote from J. Vernon McGee in which he predicts that true believers in America will eventually have to go underground. Furthermore, McGee “predicted” that part of the reason for this would be attacks on true believers from mainstream denominational churches. This expectation is not surprising given the context in which McGee lived and ministered. It’s also no surprise that ODM sites see this “prophecy” being fulfilled in their blog-time. Funny though – the article then goes on to point out the same old list of names (i.e. – Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Ken Blanchard, Richard Foster, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Erwin McManus, Leonard Sweet, Robert Schuller and Brian McLaren) and the same old list of objections.

Bait: a predictive quote from a saintly radio preacher and author from the recent past… a quote which seems to have come to fulfillment.

Switch: change “mainline denominations” to “evangelical ‘leaders’” and change “attack true believers” to “advance methods we don’t like.”

Bait and Switch.

Here is the list of “attacks” (since this was the verb used by McGee, I will use it too, to show the self-evident silliness of this B&S). [Given the over-sensitivity of some ODM’s, I will add that B&S is shorthand for "Bait and Switch."]

They seek to establish Christ’s kingdom on earth.
They speak of a “return to Eden”.
They espouse a man-centered gospel message.
They often speak of “new frontiers”, “changing times”, “new spirituality”.
They often recommend mystical, occultic practices such as lecto divinia, prayer centering, breath prayers, the labyrinth, meditation, and yoga.

RE: Christ’s Kingdom – short of trying to legislate a theodicy – isn’t this the role of the church… to strive to fulfill the very model prayer of Christ?

RE: Return to Eden – since no context was given, how can you address this accusation other than to say – sounds like Revelation 21 and 22. So it’s easily a biblical allusion.

RE: Man-centered Gospel – is there a more oft-used cliché by the ODM’s? From Christ’s POV the Gospel is man-centered… and so is anything they don’t like.

This list of “attacks” is followed by a list of quotes from the new “Mainstream Denominational Churches.” You can follow the link if you like. Some of the quotes are from people I am familiar with, some are unfamiliar. I concur some have gone too far, others are advocating a practice that is perfectly biblical.

What is constant is the fact that this article, as do most of the ODM type, must rip the quotes out of context and pour into them meanings that the author never intended. This latter fact is comical given the ODM mantra that post-moderns are guilty of making things mean whatever they want… shades of a conversation between the pot and the kettle.

So – bottom line: CRN and their source blog once again take stick in hand to beat one of their favorite dead horses. They may have had some valid points to make if their tactics were more honest and their ability to discern more refined. As it is they once again lump a bunch of people together, label them, and then attack. What makes this attempt more egregious is the use of J. Vernon McGee… it’s not often I am offended on behalf of the bait.

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