Archive for the 'Dwayna' Category

So often I’ve tried to convince those in the blogosphere that what they are printing is false or less than accurate with no success.  But I can tell you that whenever someone sends me an email from the “source” I dismiss it out of hand because…well…that source is less than credible.

Often times we here try to point out that what is being promulgated as fact is actually skewed opinion wrapped with shreds of truth. This is done with a varying degree of success.

In lieu of the following article appearing this morning on MSN I will forgo my previous planned closing of the article.   Irish student hoaxes world’s media with fake quote.

The student Shane Fitzgerald had this to say:

“I am 100 percent convinced that if I hadn’t come forward, that quote would have gone down in history as something Maurice Jarre said, instead of something I made up,” he said. “It would have become another example where, once anything is printed enough times in the media without challenge, it becomes fact.”

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Armchair Weed EatersFollowing on the heels of Tim Challies, Michael ‘iMonk’ Spencer has truly outdone himself with a beautiful metaphor that I wish I could just steal and claim as my own.  Weed eaters.

Spencer writes:

There’s nothing quite as empowering to a middle school boy as to be given a weed-eater of his very own. Armed with the machine, safety glasses and an orientation, they come marching across the campus taking on weeds and untrimmed grass like Sherman’s march to the sea.

If there was ever any tentativeness in these weed-eating workers, it all vanishes when they get their first taste of the power of the weed-eater. With a squeeze of the trigger, the power to eliminate weeds replaces the fear of what might happen in using such a dangerous device. Lazy middle school boys are transformed into the scourge of weeds and untidy lawns everywhere.

As I read the article, I can remember my own days as a freshman at a Christian college, incredulous that there could even be a Young Democrats chapter at a Christian college.  What an oxymoron, right?  And the zeal with which I argued and debated friends and rivals, alike, on the evils of alcohol – because teatotalling is right next to godliness.  And the folks who believed in anything other than literal 6-day, young earth creationism?  Make way, you godless heathens, wolves in sheep’s clothing!

There is, unfortunately, a not so charming side effect of this transformation. In the ensuing attack on weeds and sidewalk scruffiness of all kinds, most of the other flora and fauna of the campus is put at some risk from overenthusiastic weed warriors.

So in addition to a tidy campus and well attended faculty and staff lawns, there are frequent attacks on flower beds, gardens and much loved decorative hedges and bushes. Small fences are no obstacle to a boy convinced that some stray sprig of wayward grass is attempting to survive the Day of the Weed-eater.

Flowers and other decorative plants are at real risk when the power of a gang of boys go out into the neighborhood to do good. They are armed and dangerous. The neighborhood will be improved.

Zealousness is not at issue, which I believe sometimes I (and other writers at CRN.Info) am mistaken to be against.  We are called to have zeal for the Lord and to do His work with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.  Where that becomes a problem is when we start assuming the place of God, in judging the hearts of others, or the Holy Spirit, in convicting them.  We may effectively ‘whack some weeds’, but who knows how many beneficial plants we damage in the process.

Spencer acknowledges this dark side of ‘zeal’ -

So as I get older, I see many of my zealous brothers and sisters armed with the Bible, heading out into the church to do what they believe is a good work of killing weeds.

The results are predictably predictable.

Be less enthralled with your ability to trim the grass brothers, friends. Be less certain that you are qualified to tell the difference between a weed and a flower that has yet to bloom. Learn to use your power equipment carefully. You can do a lot of damage. All does not depend on you cutting down every unknown and out of place plant. You are not saving us from the arrival of the jungle.

And this is where I often find myself.  Reminded of Jesus’ admonition to serve and to love his bride – even the parts I may not personally like.  In a place of a concerned steward protecting gardens and flower beds from undiscerning, yet possibly well-intentioned youths, armed with their shiny new weed-eaters.

iMonk concludes:

It was the Pharisees that Jesus criticized for their weed-eater mentality. They were obsessed with separation. They were tithing their spices. They were experts in staying on the case until the weeds were revealed.

Jesus wants us to be gardeners, but we do have to deal with weeds. Did any gardener ever say “Let the weeds grow” except for Jesus?

Some of us have set our sights (sites) on being full-time weed eaters and we’re having a very good time. The body of Christ needs a few. But only a few. And be careful, please. Very careful.

And I would wholeheartedly agree.  This is why we support true, professional discernment ministries like Reasons to Believe, Christian Research Institute, and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.  While we recognize that these ministries may not always agree with one another, nor always we with them, they are managed by Christians who understand that there’s a place for weed eaters, and there’s a place for more careful trimming.

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Much has been said here about the misuse of logic, vitriol, over the top hyperbole, and downright misinformation of the ODM’s.  Quite frankly it has been well deserved and accurate.

Many times a post or comment has been written that makes comparisons between ODM’s and clanging cymbals, pharisees, legalists, and blockers of doors.  Again well deserved and accurate.

A little while back Joe Martino wrote a post about “Fruit”and said that this is the litmus test for whether or not he’s going to believe what you are saying.  He essentially said that all the bible verses in the world aren’t going to convince him if you don’t have the evidence of “fruit” in your life.  Predictabley the ODM’s swooped in and accused Joe of denying the Bible.  Which, quite honestly, only reinforced the point Joe was making.

So as a new contributor here I wanted to deal with a question that I have been rolling around in my mind for months.

Do the watch-doggies have Joy?

I mean this as a serious question. My first encounter with an ODM, and what eventually led me to .info, was when Ken Silva commented on a friends blog.  The furthest thing from my mind was”That guy has the joy of the Lord”. This was further reinforced when I was introduced to Ingrid, Team Pyro, Dwayna, and a whole slew of commenter’s.  Where is the Joy?

side note: Before the ol’ “You do it too” is thrown out I would encourage anyone to visit the personal blogs of the contributors of this site. We have it. I promise you!

Again this is a serious question. When the world visits your blogs is the Joy you have in the Lord evident? Furthermore; I would ask that in your passion to defend the Lord have you considered what your representation of the Lord looks like to the world? 

Joyful?  Maybe! But I certainly don’t see it.

 

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By now, many of you have received emails about how dangerous the upcoming film “The Golden Compass” will be. Based on the novel “Northern Lights”, by Philip Pullman (a devout atheist), the ODMs and other Christians are starting the usual “picket the theatre” or “I’m better then you because I won’t take my kids to this movie” talk.

I’m just not sure that inciting hysteria is necessarily the best response. Andre Serrano, the artist who did “P-ss Christ”, at one point openly acknowledged that Christians saved his career because they made such a big stink about his work. He was literally a starving artist until Christians protested his work.

Perhaps ignoring something so it goes away might be the more Christian response.

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Dwayna begins her latest post with a question

What do the fallen Hollywood stars have in common with the “Jesus People”?

The answer: pretty much nothing. Although she would love to make that connection. She reads in In Touch Magazine about the “spiritual jewelry” of Hollywood celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Meredith Kahn. It goes over everything from Dia De Los Muertos charms to Buddhist rings. She then makes an illogical link to the punk style jewelry sold at the Christian music festival, Cornerstone. For the life of me, I cannot get her logic.

Although, her tech tags are always amusing. This falls into the category of Abominations, Youth Ministry, Apologetics, Christian Authenticity, and Synergism. Yikes!

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…what is wrong with this blog post. Evidently, according to Dwayna, these women are “re-imagining” God, even though that word or any variant of it is not even used in the post. I just don’t get it…

I guess a group of people getting together and discussing theology qualifies as an abomination nowadays. Who knew?

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Sometimes the ODM sites remind me of those late night infomercials you see that try to convince you buy a product that solves a problem that you didn’t even know you had.  In this piece, Dwayna tells us about the “growing” problem of American “Hebrew” Cults.  I have to admit, that this is the first I have ever heard of such a thing.  I have heard of small groups of Messianic Jews that sort of resemble what she seems to be talking about, but even then, her piece seems off the mark.

Is this type of fringe movement really a huge danger to the Church?  It seems that it is so far out of the mainstream that even Christians with a basic knowledge would realize it was out in left field.  Is the average Christian, in the mind of the ODM, really that stupid?  I would say that the answer appears to be, “yes”.

Everybunny Panic!The thing with “ministries” dedicated to exposing dangers to the church is that they need a certain amount of heresy to expose in order to continue their “calling”.  It’s sort of like the fad ”diet” industry.  If it was really accomplishing its stated goal, it would go out of business.  Thus, we get articles like the one linked above – warning us about a relatively small fringe movement as if it were a huge problem.

The interesting thing about the article to me, is that for all it’s Scripture citations and hyperbole, it doesn’t give one concrete example of a church where this group is actually causing problems.  We get one anecdotal story about her relatives, but that seems like a pretty weak piece of evidence to claim this is a “growing” problem.  It seems everything else is based on hearsay.

It seems to me that your “ministry” consists of warning others that the sky is falling, then at some times you might have to go to great lengths to prove that point – even it means making mountains out of molehills.

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Weapons in the hands of Watchdawggies are dangerous things!Those of you who know me, or are familiar with the Restoration Movement know that we are pretty adamant about eschewing systematic (read: man-made) theologies. I’m neither Calvinist, nor Arminian (nor the other paleo-’s, semi-’s, -ists, -ians, and other labels tossed about often by the folks who claim these systematic theologies.

Our (and by “our” I mean Slice 2.0’s) looney Dwayna has once again provided an object lesson on why this is so. In specific, she proves a point I made early this year on my own blog, about how election is an awful doctrine when it comes to orthopraxy, and that our concept of time and God’s are so vastly different, that our trying to explain may well be lethal to the unreached and unsaved. (Interestingly, Calvinist Frank Turk agreed that acting on the doctrine of election was impractical: “If anyone is trying to use this doctrine, for example, to determine how to do evangelism, or how to implement the ordinances/sacraments of the church, that person is tring to set drywall screws with a coffee cup”. Jim Bublitz, of OldTruth, on the other hand, demonstrated where the systems break down.)
In her article from CR?N today, she talks about “Total Depravity and the Doctrine of Election”. In this article, she makes some truly scary comments:

He will use me, or He will get another Christian to witness to the person—I am privileged to be used by God, but God does not need me in the work of salvation.

Furthermore, no one will end up in hell because of a lack of witnessing on my part. It would be arrogant of me to think that I had that much to do with anyone’s salvation!

This is the kind of thinking that gets people killed – forever.

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Dwayna laughs at women’s conference

In this article, Dwayna attempts to attack feminism in the emergent church.  Unfortunately all she did was post the advertisement and laugh at it (literally).  She did highlight the fact that the women were going to be staying in a “modern day castle.”  I am sure the problem there is that Christians in Vietnam are unable to stay in a castle, and so they shouldn’t either.  The only really substantial thing that she could find wrong with the event, you ask?  The fact that is was held at the Stronghold Conference Center.  Are all the ladies at CRN running out of material these days?

Saddleback hasn’t held to its word!

Well, kinda something like that.  According to the “editor” at CRN, Saddleback has failed to accomplish two of the goals set forth in the 20/20 Vision Plan.  Gasp!  They even called them to make sure this was true.  Saddleback has yet to start a believer’s mid-week service, nor have they developed 250 gifted teachers of the word!  Unfortunately, what CRN failed to mention is that they have met most of their goals and have 13 YEARS to complete these two.  Can we say nit-picking?

Love… or Charity

In risk of becoming equally nit-picking (and attempting satire), I will not emphasize this last headline.  But they decided to post I Corinthians 13:1-8 as their daily scripture.  The love chapter right?  This might show that CRN actually does show love in all they do.  Well their translation of the bible uses charity in place of love.  So, the verses read:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.        

 Maybe that’s where they are getting mixed up.  They don’t realize that without LOVE we are nothing.

… and that was all written before lunch today people!

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Watchdawggies at work... do not disturb!If it wasn’t already apparent to discerning and non-discerning readers, alike, there is very little research actually conducted at the “Christian Research Network”.  In fact, about a third of what gets passed off as research is little more than glorified gossip, at best.

As one peruses this pothole in the information superhighway, he or she may be struck by the “balance” of three types of postings:

  1. Reporting the Obvious: Articles documenting things that really don’t require all that much ‘discernment’ – Mormonism is a cult, the press hates Christians, the health & wealth gospel is a sham
  2. Spiritual Encouragement: Always a good thing, though there’s a number of better places to go.
  3. Gossip/Slander disguised as ‘Discernment’: Articles which either mock other Christians over tertiary doctrine or differences in taste/style, decry brothers as ‘heretics’ and ‘apostates’ based on opinions and isogesis, or – most often – which completely distort quotes from brothers in Christ and then slander them as if this were the sum total of their ministry.

Were the metatopic of CRN “Physical Science” instead of Christianity, this balance and “depth” of research would be something like this:

  1. The Obvious: Water is wet, the sky is blue, things tend to break when dropped from great heights
  2. Encouraging Words: Recycling tends to save natural resources; Don’t litter; Flowers are very pretty during the springtime
  3. Near or Utter Falsehood: Cold fusion really works – you just don’t understand it correctly; Galileo was wrong about heliocentricity because he couldn’t see supernovae 6 billion light years away; There are tall people who live on the moon (oh, wait, that was actually taught by LDS founder, Joseph Smith!)

As it pertains to Category #3 and “Research”: At CRN, it has become fairly obvious that Dwayna has no connection to reality when it comes to research; that Chris (”the only cure for AIDS is death“) Perjak is all about sound and fury – lots of long seemingly-unrelated Biblical text with ‘unusual’ literalistic interpretations followed by general broad-brush invective; and that Ken Silva has never met a logical fallacy he didn’t embrace.

Red Hot BashTo wit – we ALL have our faults.  Among mine, blog-wise, is a chief overuse of sarcasm, verbosity, and beating dead horses.  However, I would never deem to teach people how not to be sarcastic, how to write concise articles, or how to allow a subject to just drop and to leave it alone.  An old boss of mine called this type of behavior “leading with your glass chin”.  Perhaps this is a lesson that could have been taken into account before choosing “research” as part of the title of your “ministry” (as tenuous a proposition as it is that CRN/Slice can actually be referred to as such).

When average Joes (all of us – not just Joe) like the writers here can so easily eviscerate what passes for “research” at CRN, one really must wonder what defines “research” over there.  In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”  While even the best minds sometimes get pwned, it seems to be becoming a common occurance to directly disprove Slice claims with written or photographic evidence.

And so it was yesterday, when commenter ‘Matt’ provided photographic evidence (left) of Ken’s rush to slander Mark Driscoll over the name (”Red Hot Bash” New Years’ Eve celebration) as if it were some sexual slang or innuendo for church-sponsored sleaze.  Unfortunately for Ken, there’s an entire Flickr photoset to dispute his smear.  I wonder if there will be an apology made to Driscoll and Mars Hill (cue chirping crickets).

Perhaps it’s just time for CRN/Slice 2.0 to end the charade and update their URL to christiangossipnetwork.org – at least then there would be truth in advertising.

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