Archive for the 'Ingrid' Category
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just because we have changed the primary focus of our blog does not mean that we won’t “slum it” every once in a while and see what the buzz is on our favorite odm sites.  it’s the same fascination that allows me to argue the nuances of justification AND watch shows about people driving badly… or buildings collapsing…

over at crosstalk they are offering this commentary:

Evangelical Church Tattoos Woman on Altar

In the you-just-can’t-make-this-up department, a Seattle church decided to tattoo volunteers during the “live tattoo final” to a sermon series. I predicted tattoo parlors in church some time ago and was jeered at for doing so. I was wrong. They aren’t building parlors to tattoo anyone in church. They’re doing it on the altar. Read more from the Seattle Times.

i particularly like the angst of “They’re doing it on the altar” – complete with shock value and double entendre.

our church has had artists creating works as a form of worship while a pastor delivers a sermon, but we have never had a human as the canvas.  and i’m not sure we would – but that is not the point. the point is the interesting use of the term altar, the use of a sexual double entendre, and the appeal to the slippery slope of sin.

i am not sure why crosstalk uses the term “altar” – particularly since evangelical churches usually do not have them – they do not need them.  and crosstalk ignores a great opportunity for a jab since the linked article uses the term “stage.”   i have a hunch it is used for shock value, and to make an illusion to paganism.

this latter reference, of pagan altars, plays into the use of the sexual double entendre, which i find mildly hypocritical from folks that find this abhorrent when used by others.  remember, christians should not talk about sex in public.  this is a deliberate sexual reference, i believe, because of the popularity of the  “so and so’s do it…” jokes/bumper stickers/etc….  clearly this has not eluded the editors.

the inuendo was clearly seen by truthinator who posted the follow-up comment:

First coffee shops and now tattoo parlors… can the temple prostitutes be far behind…?

i find this appeal to a slippery slope interesting for its sheer grade of the slope; from coffee to church sanctioned prostitution in three simple steps (emphasis on simple).  it seems to slip the mind of truthinator that coffee and tattoos are neither illegal, immoral, nor biblically prohibited (and only quote leviticus 19:28 if you also obey 19:13a, 16-18, 19c, and 27.)

finally, what really mystifies me is why crosstalk (and truthinato) even cares what this church in seattle does – since what they did violated no biblical injunction.  i have a hunch that it is just another objection against folks doing things different – it’s probably not coffee that is objectionable… it’s that it’s not served the way we do it.

[UPDATE: it was pointed out that the newspaper article opened with the use of "altar" - this explains crosswalk's use of the term. i should have seen this in my reading.]

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[my apologies for the length... the more I read about these asinine objections to reconciliation the more my anger grew!]

I was enjoying some cheese and wanted a little whine to go with it, so I ventured over the Crosstalk blog where the lead headline is “Rick Warren Sponsors Forum with Emergent Heretic“  – accompanied with a picture of Miroslav Volf.  The headline led to an article.  The article led to a  radio broadcast. And of course, the radio program exposed the heretics.

It reminded me of the game called Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon.  It’s a whimsical variation on the “small-world” concept that says all humans are connected by no more than six degrees of separation.  And just to put a fine point on it – I can connect myself to Kevin Bacon in as few as four degrees.

Not to be outdone, Crosstalk appears to be able to connect any disliked Christian to a heretic in much the same manner.  The difference being – connection means guilt.

It goes like this:

Rick Warren sponsors a heretic. The heretic is Miroslav Volf… because he appeared with Tony Jones… at a conference with Jurgen Moltmann… who embraces C. W. F. Hegel.

Imagine my surprise to learn Volf was a heretic because he appeared with Tony Jones, who held a conference with… well you get it – six degrees of GBA.  Problem is – none of these blog connections showed what “doctrines of demons” Volf actaully teaches.  So I listened to the broadcast… until the “caller amen chorus” kicked in. The radio broadcast was hosted by Ingrid Schlueter with Chris Rosebrough as her guest.

Since the radio broadcast was also void of any specifics as to why Miroslav Volf should be considered a heretic who teaches the doctrines of demons (unless of course a hefty dose of GBA is proof enough) I decided to make a few observations of the program itself.

The host began by declaring she does not care about definitions or distinctions when it comes to  Emerging or Emergent.  This, of course, makes things a lot easier – particularly in the game of Six Degrees of GBA.  Ignoring distinctions allows one to paint with a much much much broader brush.  it also relieves one of the necessity to define what individual actually think, say, teach, or belive – just find a heretic and assume they are all unified.

The Guest mocked the Emergent for embracing seemingly contradictory beliefs – he said embracing contradictory concepts sounds crazy.  This made me think of other crazy contradictions like… three persons and one being (the Trinity) or wholly God and wholly man (the incarnation) or free will and… well you get the picture.  This was in the context of Hegel, who (and here I agree with the guest) carried the whole contradiction thing too far.  Yet, in mocking those who embrace contradictions, the guest embraced the hosts disregard for definitions and distinctions.

And of course Warren is guilty of wanting to promote social “reconciliation” and forgiveness between people, but outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Why is reconciliation in quotations?

What made me truly angry… What the show, the blog, the host, the guest completely ignored (I’d be surprised of they did enough research to even know) is the context from which Miroslav Volf speaks.  He is a Croatian (a member of the Evangelical Church of Croatia) whose country (and his family itself) suffered greatly in the resent Balkan wars.  He has a very vested and very personal interest in seeing religion used, not to exclude and promote violence, but used to embrace and promote reconciliation. Even if the parties are outside of Jesus Christ.

Forgive the person anecdote -  but it is relevant… several years ago I stood in the Muslim section of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  A village absolutely devastated by the war.  On a mountain overlooking the city stands a very large cross.  Through a translator an elderly Muslim man said to me “They put their guns under the cross and shelled our children.”  The cemeteries in the town are full of graves – have you ever been in a cemetery where all the lives end within a two year span?  Those who shelled Mostar were Serbs and Croats — Christians.  Now of course we understand that they are not truly Christian – but (much like distinctions and ODM’s) that distinction is lost on the Muslims of Mostar.

So until the host or her guest have walked the streets of Mostar (pt. 1) and seen firsthand the devistation and violence done in the name of God and Country (as I have) – or – until such time as they have fled into the night because their neighborhood was being shelled (as Miroslav’s family did) – until such time I invite them both to shut up and quit their bitch’n about someone else who happens to think social “reconciliation” and forgiveness between people even if they are outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a good thing.

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Scare TacticsMaybe I’m just unlucky, but I don’t think so.

…they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to…

I remember getting my first email account, almost two decades ago.  We didn’t even call it ‘email’ – it was just an app on the VAX that passed messages back and forth between us engineering students.  It wasn’t until a few years later that some of the usenet discussion groups I replied to got me added to some spammer lists.

Spam sucked (and still sucks, though we have much better tools to deal with it now).  But one variety of ’spam’ sprung up soon after I got my first home email account – the ‘email-forwards’ (EFs).

I don’t even remember who the first person was that hit me up, but I recall that it was about a kid with cancer who was trying to set a world record for get-well cards received.  And, like the first drop of rain believing it was not responsible for the flood, this note was just the beginning of a deluge.

Break the Chain

Science News CycleGrowing up, I remembered my Mom throwing away several chain letters that came to me from friends (in this thing we had called a “mailbox” that was made out of steel, wood and nails, not just electrons), and explaining to me why not to get sucked into these things. (See – I really was listening, Mom!)  That advice would prove invaluable as the tidal wave of EFs began to arrive.

“IF YOU LOVE JESUS, YOU’LL FORWARD THIS TO TEN OF YOUR FRIENDS!!!”

(Ever notice that EFs, and the people that send them, tend to not recognize that USING ALL-CAPS IS LIKE SHOUTING IN A LIBRARY?!?!?!?)  So, if I don’t forward this, does it mean that I don’t love Jesus – OR does it mean that I love both God and my neighbor, because I have spared God the misuse of His name, and my neighbor the misuse of his mailbox (the kind made of electrons and hopefully no nails)?

Now, while most of theses EFs were just annoyances, many of them contained information so erroneous that there were occasions I just couldn’t help myself from hitting “reply all” (no need to just reply – sometimes crap needs to be stopped dead in its tracks, kind of like the whacked-out doctrine of Universal Reconciliation) and sending a reply with a link to (the then pretty new) snopes.com, with an appropriate link debunking the Urban Legend/Fake Virus Warning/Misled Heretic Warning sent in some EF’s.

After a while, the EFs became fairly politically-minded, as well – whether it was a 10-meg PowerPoint with the star-spangled banner playing behind a bunch of photos of eagles, mountains and skyscrapers, or a moonbat theory about Bush being the cause of 9/11.  Ideology seemed independent of EF’s – though there was a common thread of “there is a conspiracy” and “we are the resistance” and “keep the underground movement to save us from _____ going”.  In short, just code for

“IF YOU LOVE JESUS, YOU’LL FORWARD THIS TO TEN OF YOUR FRIENDS!!!”

Staging Interventions

This guy needs an intervention!Probably one of the saddest things about the EFs was that they were being sent by people I knew and genuinely loved and cared about.  Most of my resistance to the crap they were sending me was simply in the form of my “DELETE” key, and occasionally the snopes link accompanied by a kind note to please check out the claims of what you’re sending before you send it.  But, in the same way that hiding the bottle of beer from your drunk uncle at Christmastime does little to break the grip of his alcoholism, such half-measures seem to come to no avail.

Over time, though, I’ve held several “mini-interventions” at family gatherings, over lunch at work, and in other places I know people addicted to EF’s.  In most cases, the message got through (at least enough that I got removed from their EF list(s), though I would like to believe they were cured of their horrible addiction to conspiracy theories, monster-sized powerpoints, and wild-eyed urban legends) and I stopped getting this stuff from my loved ones, and the EFs they send me now are not of the pull-your-hair-out variety, and are things I actually would want to read.

Except…

Christians to the “Rescue”
A Miracle!

As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”

As with many things in pop culture, like rock music, you can expect modern Christians to be about a decade late to the party, a couple of notches below baseline quality, and about thrice as annoying as the original.  EF’s are no exception.

It started in earnest just a few years ago for me, I recall – email forwards from Christian acquaintences wanting to tell me about

TEN SIGNS THAT THE APOCALYPSE IS SOON TO FOLLOW THE INVASION OF IRAQ!

accompanied by whatever the day’s healine was, plus a good healthy dose of King Jimmy English, particularly from Daniel and Revelation.   This was soon followed up with things about

RICK WARREN IS THE FALSE PROPHET OF THE BEAST – IF YOU LOVE YOUR FRIENDS, YOU WILL TELL THEM!

And it was crap like this that led me to meet some like-minded folks who (I believe) were also being led by the Spirit to come together and create CRN.Info which, while nowhere near perfect,  I’ve been able to use (as have others) in a similar fashion to snopes.com in debunking the EFs full of sewage from such hellish sources as “Slice of Laodicea”, “Apprising Ministries (sic)”, “Lighthouse Trails”, “Christianresearchnetwork.com”, etc.

Kind of like George W. Bush refusing to sell his home to African Americans, these sites (sadly, managed by professing believers) spew forth enough untrue tall tales to keep a hangar full of gossips busy until Judgment Day, and enough conspiracy theories about the end of the world that you’re pretty sure Judgment Day is almost upon us (current predictions seems to be around Dec 21/23, 2012 – Maybe I’ll repost this on 12/25/12).

Current Events

Ken Silva?In the past week, I’ve learned via EF that (gasp) Rick Warren spoke in front of a group of Muslims to promote civility between Muslims, Christians and Jews without teling the Muslims they were headed to hell (the typical knock on Warren being more about what he didn’t say than what he did say) from some woman who seems to think Warren owes her some accountability.   Granted, this was from the same source telling me a few months ago that Rick was selling out to the homosexuals (all the while I was in a protracted mediation on his Wikipedia page, preventing a liberal group of folks from branding him as a militant homophobe).

Additionally, I’ve received at least four predictions of the End of Times (centered now on 2012), two identifications of the Anti-Christ (the Pope and Obama seem to be in a neck-and-neck race for this dubious distinction), and a whole slew of folks who seem to want my money (for Jesus, of course) to save America for God, to provide accurate prophecy based on events in the Middle East, to save the family from the rising tide of Obama-lovers, or to protect the church from those (cue foreboding music) eeeeeeevil emergents…

And last night, I received a warning from someone who may have read my Facebook profile from a couple weeks ago when I finally got around to reading The Shack and didn’t hate it. (In fact, while I went in expecting to dislike it, I actually found it to be spot on and eloquent on a number of issues Christians tend to be ham-handed with, even though there were parts with which I disagreed).  The warning, though, had the opposite of its intended effect – I don’t know that I’ve laughed so hard in awhile:  The letter was a collection of links from Slice, Apprising, CRN and Lighthouse Trails.

Kind of like getting a letter from McDonalds about the dangers of eating fresh fruit.

The Common Thread
0 N03Z!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

If there is a common bond that attaches all of the spammy EFs together it is an inherent spirit of fear – Fear of those whom we disagree with politically; Fear of the End; Fear of Christians whose doctrine isn’t 100% in line with ours; Fear, Fear, Fear.  Basically, it is porn for the mind – designed to stoke our fears while releasing our inner Eichmann.

But that shouldn’t be what we’re about.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Indeed, we have an obligation not to live according to the sinful nature – of gossip, slander, lies and fear. Trust the Spirit, not forwarded emails trying to scare you about the End Times, or The Shack, or Rick Warren, or Rob Bell, or whatever church these devourers of widow’s houses scheme up to scare immature believers. Live according to the spirit of Sonship you’ve been given, as heirs of God, to whom the Spirit will lead and guide in community with local believers.

Stop forwarding gossip-mongering, slanderous, fear-inspiring crap to fellow believers.

Slowly … Back away form the “Forward” button … there you go…

Well, except for this article. In this particular case

“IF YOU LOVE JESUS, YOU’LL FORWARD THIS TO TEN OF YOUR FRIENDS!!!”

(just kidding :) )

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Just a quick update to let you know that apparently Pastor/Teacher/Theologian Silva is not without a sense of humor. He posted this at SOL: Martin Luther Says No…To Women Pastors. (You can do your own work tracing it back to Apprising ?.)

I’m glad Pastor/Teacher/Theologian/Father/Rev/Prophet is not without a sense of irony. I wonder how he will explain to his board of directors his affiliation with a certain blogger who is anything but in compliance with Martin Luther after making that post.

Seriously.

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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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Shreiking Harpy[Before we go any further, the title of this article is a direct quote from Ingrid Schlueter here.  Our aim is not to make light of this horrible crime committed against women, but rather to use a specific quote in context with its originator.]

“The online gang rape needs to stop.”

These words were written a little less than a month ago by Ms. Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea (SoL – an acronym unfortunate, yet accurate for those under its malevolent eye), in response to an article written on another blog by a commenter (not a writer) on this site.  The primary response to this was that it was rather over-the-top and hyperbolic, as the article she was complaining about was not offensive (and had somewhat of a mea culpa included in it), but the thread she interrupted with her outburst was critiquing a Christian blog which insinuated that the electrocution death of an Emerging Church pastor was an act of God in response to poor theology.  Talk about straining gnats and swallowing camels!

“The online gang rape needs to stop.”

Far more so today than that day, though, these words are rather accurate, though they are best, and most appropriately, aimed at their originator

Two Fourteen Wrongs Do Not Make a Right

Colonial Slice of LaodiceaIn the past week and a half, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, has taken a good number of hits from the secular press for her answer to a question at the Miss USA pageant in which she defended the Christian stance, that marriage is only valid between a man and a woman. (As an interesting side-note, I saw about 5 minutes of this show – Ms. Prejean’s answer – while flipping through channels that evening.  My instant, and accurate, thought was “well, she just lost the crown for an honest answer”.)

Later, it was also revealed that when she was a teenager, she posed for lingerie modeling shots while topless (from the back).  So, it was also predictable that sins of the past cannot be forgiven in some corners of the church, and even if forgiven will never be forgotten, and will dog us to our dying days.  Not because the world remembers them.  No – because some in the church will never allow us to forget them.  Just ask Amy Grant.

What was not so predictable was that Christians (albeit a few nasty, yet vocal, ones) would would choose to pile on top of Ms. California and – instead of praising her for sticking to her guns on a biblical answer – vilify her for even being a participant on the stage where she gave her answer.  In fact, like a shrieking harpy dining on the misery of others, Ms. Schlueter has swooped in with no fewer than fourteen articles on the subject of Ms. Prejean and her immoral participation in this ‘carnival of flesh’.

“The online gang rape needs to stop.”

How true, how true.  But when vultures are in search of meat (noting that it was also Ms. Schlueter who cackled last fall that Ted Haggard was a “gift that keeps on giving”) and receive back pats from the main stream media, you can be sure that their cadaverous mouths will keep spilling their putrescent schadenfruede across the ‘net.  It seems that when women and/or sexuality are the topic at hand, the only difference between SoL and the National Enquirer is that the Enquirer has ethics it must adhere to – and if you are of the fairer sex and in the sights of SoL, you really are SOL.

Schlueter’s unhealthy obsession with Christians and sexuality is so well documented by her own poison pen, that one need look no further the SoL.  Whether it’s Ted Haggard’s scandal, or Mark Driscoll daring to preach from the Song of Solomon (which IS one of the books of the Bible, last time I checked), or churches teaching about sex, or “painted girls of sodom” following in the footsteps of Miley Cyrus, or a beauty queen attacked by the world for her Christianity, you can expect that Ingrid will be there, licking her chops, waiting for an opportunity to pile on, even if she has to quietly retract statements later.  But when is enough enough?

“The online gang rape needs to stop.”

Christians Fighting in the Press

OuroborosThe Apostle Paul tells us:

If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

Now, the literalist will tell us that this is only applicable to lawsuits between Christian brothers. However, Paul continues:

But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!

The principle Paul is dealing with here is that Christians should not be using the systems of this world to duke it out in front of the world. In today’s society, where confidentiality laws, legal obscurity and closed courtrooms are actually more private than 2000 years ago, the press has come to the forefront as the public venue for duking it out. And so it is that Ingrid, swelling with pride from the mainstream notoriety she’s received for being a Christian willing to eat her own kind, seems oblivious to the mockery she has made of Christ and the sport she has provided in this modern coliseum.

Carrie Prejean’s teenage error, and her participation in a beauty contest are mere trifles in comparison to the trainwreck Ingrid has provided for the world (which desires to crush Prejean for standing up against the homosexual marriage juggernaut) to see and by which to be entertained.

This is exactly what the Apostle Paul was condemning the Corinthians for – and if we at CRN.Info were ever contacted by the MSM, I would hope we’d have the guts to consider the greater agenda of the world before we consented to being quoted. I will be quite happy if we never appear, or are quoted by, a secular publication.

But for Ingrid, the gravy train is coming home, and there are corpses to feed on.

Like a stopped watch that is correct only twice a day, Ingrid has given us a quote that is fully applicable and appropriate to this situation.  If only she will listen to her own advice:

“The online gang rape needs to stop.”

___________________

NOTE:  The following item recently passed my desk.  I’d decided to pass on it, but I think it’s much more appropriate now:

Is there any appreciable difference between these two quotes?

quote 1 : I refuse to answer emails from those complaining that this material [that I put in my post] isn’t suitable for Christians.

quote 2 : If  someone thinks [what I wrote] is an example of what I have decried, that person hasn’t understood what I am saying at all.

Don’t they both say, “if you think I’m wrong, that’s your problem”?

And if so, does that mean that John MacArthur is pregnant, too?

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HysteriaStunned – That might approach my initial response to what I read today at Slice of Laodicea. The post, Rob Bell Wades Into Nuclear Disarmament, contains such sophomoric rants as this:

I think Rob Bell may have gotten into some wheat grass juice that fermented into something else altogether. USA Today is reporting that he is now on the anti-nuke bandwagon.

and this gem:

Maybe Bell could try his line out on North Korea’s Kim Jong iL. “Hi Kim, uh, your honor, I’m an American emergent guru and life is beautiful and nuclear weapons are ugly. Would you mind dismantling your nuclear weapons for me?”

which is surely outdone by this:

Nuclear weapons are certainly ugly, but so is communism and totalitarianism. Soviet communism fell because we in America had a powerful deterrent in our own arsenal. In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.

______________________

A few of us here at CRN.info have some thoughts on this post by the author of Slice and her criticism of Bell’s words. So in the spirit of our Christmas and Easter posts, we share with you: On Wolves, Lambs, Plowshares and Rob Bell.

*************************************************************************************

Contributed by Neil:

As we have often pointed out, one of the tragedies of Christendom was the mixing of faith and nationalism. Whether it is thinking all Serbs must be Orthodox, or Socialism is somehow unchristian – no good comes from such blurred lines. And for one who seems to like lines, Ingrid misses this point regularly.

I will admit that calling for multilateral nuclear disarmament sounds like the proverbial pipe-dream. But hey, there is nothing wrong with dreaming as long as the dreams are not careless. And this is what distinguishes Bell’s (et. al.) call from the No-Nuke Movement of the ‘80’s. In that decade the call was for America to unilaterally lay down its nukes – an idea no thinking person could accept. This call is different. A nuance that is lost on Ingrid – ironically, the discerner is unable to discern.

It is worth noting that Ingrid only calls out Bell. If you read the USA Today article, he is but one person listed. Yet Ingrid ignores the rest and mocks just Bell. Of course, this is no surprise given her propensity to twist his words to fit her own agenda.

Ingrid summarizes her post by saying “In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.” I agree, except this is not what anyone is calling for – as before she has twisted someone else’s words creating a caricature she can easily attack… Unfortunately, what she has created does not correspond with the reality of what Bell said.

______________________

Contributed by Chris L:

Every once in awhile, I wonder to myself – have significant pockets of modern Christianity simply become intellectually bankrupt? Is reading comprehension something not taught in the schools (or home schools) that have produced the current batch of “Discernmentalists” inflicted upon the blogosphere? Or have basic honesty and Christian charity been completely jettisoned by those who claim the loudest to possess these treasures?

After reading Ingrid’s spewings in the article on Nuclear weapons and Rob Bell’s (and other evangelicals’) opposition to them, such wonderings only become more troublesome in the answers they seem to provide.

So – let’s examine what he said: 1) Nuclear weapons are an affront to God’s dream of shalom (that’s peace for the completely Hebrew illiterate folks out there); 2) We believe things can change for the better.

Now, let’s examine how Ingrid has interpreted this:

Picture [Iranian President Ahmadinejad] coming in, fresh from his latest holocaust denying speech where he called for the utter destruction of Israel.

“Hi, I’m Rob Bell, and I’m an American emergent guru and I’m here to say that life is beautiful and nuclear weapons are ugly. Would you mind dismantling your nuclear weapons for me?”

Bell is the hidden ace up Obama’s sleeve to change the world. You read it here first.

Followed up with:

Soviet communism fell because we in America had a powerful deterrent in our own arsenal. In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.

Now – I think a few points bear additional exploration:

1) Multilateral Disarmament: – If you can read and comprehend the USA Today article, the group to which Bell belongs supports “multilateral disarmament”. Applying just a slight bit of intelligence and reading comprehension, a non-partisan reader could easily break this down into – a) “multilateral” – i.e. all parties involved; b) “disarmament” – to give up arms. Or, to put it all together – “multilateral disarmament = all parties involved get rid of nuclear arms”. Now, just to make sure that the reader understands this point, the article even ends with this statement:

The group is not calling for unilateral disarmament but a “multilateral process where the United States takes leadership,” Wigg-Stevenson said.

In other words – the words of my favorite president – multilateral disarmament can also be called “trust but verify”…

2) Failure to recognize that the ideal state is not to be “stronger than the thugs” – those are the values of the world – kosmos – speaking, not the values of the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, peacemakers will be called the sons of God. In the kingdom of God, we will rely on God to save, not the threat of man-made obliteration. Would it not be nice to spend more of the GDP of this country to aid the poor, the widow and the stranger instead of having to spend it for our own defense? The only way that will happen is if America takes a leading role in pushing for multilateral change.

3) Putting our faith in politics. The Slice article does little more than wring its hands, crying about fears and worries of this world and harping at Christians who think that perhaps the actions of our country should mirror the orthopraxy that springs from our faith, rather than just wielding its name as a source of moral superiority.

It is articles like this one from Slice that demonstrate that many Christians have no faith in God or the Holy Spirit. Such voices ignore the Psalms -

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

The Proverbs:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

the Apostles:

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

And Jesus, himself:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Am I (or Bell) advocating unilateral disarmament and leaving the people of our country unprotected? No. What many Christians, including Bell, are calling for is to look for ways that nations might work together to lessen the instances of and the destruction from war.

To close, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) may have been an adequate (or even successful) deterrent between nation-states during the Cold War, in actual effect preventing the use of nuclear weapons. However, in the modern reality of asymmetrical warfare and islamofacism, MAD is far less of a deterrent. In fact, MAD increases the likelihood of the use of nukes, because it makes it more likely that terrorists and dictators who are unafraid of assured destruction will have these weapons at their disposal.

It should be our desire that all war would cease, and that any weapons – especially the most destructive of weapons – never need to see use. Expressing this Christian desire should not be seen as a partisan issue (who cares if Obama agrees/disagrees w/ Bell? Even a stopped watch is correct twice a day), but as an issue of being the peacemakers – the sons of God – we were called to be.

______________________

Contributed by Jerry:

“Followers of Christ missing the central message of the Bible? It happened the, and it happens now. And sometimes the reason is, of course, empire.” (Rob Bell & Don Golden, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, 131)

I suspect that, when the new heavens and new earth finally dawn upon us, there will be no nuclear weapons in existence. Dare we dream? Dare we perpetuate God’s ideas for what is peace on this planet? Dare we think along the same lines as God who has made it abundantly clear in Scripture that man’s way of doing things will, at last and finally, someday, be done away with?  Isaiah saw it:

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

Yes. Yes. Let’s be fair. Isaiah probably wasn’t talking about someone going around and calling for multi-lateral disarmament. And he probably wasn’t thinking of nuclear weapons. And he wasn’t thinking of Rob Bell. But he was thinking of Someone who would make such an announcement. Jesus is one person who made such an announcement. Paul the apostle also seems to think that christians ought to make such announcements too. (See Romans 10.) So I guess we could say that worst Mr Bell is guilty of going around and imitating the words of a prophet. Isn’t that what preachers, christians, are supposed to do? Or maybe we should expect Mr Bell to go around saying things like (hyperbole alert), “God has a dream that all of us will one day destroy ourselves with our weapons. Therefore, I call on the US and Russia to start giving nuclear weapons to anyone who asks for them.”

I suppose it is better to live in fear and with eyes. We have weapons not because we need them, but because we can. We create fear in order to maintain control. We wield power in order to subjugate the weak. This world would be no worse than it is now if all such nuclear weapons were dismantled and the secrets forever burned. With all due respect, I don’t care why or how the SU was dismantled. I don’t know that ‘we’ ‘won’ anything; a lot of Russians have suffered much since as did before. My point is that I am not living in the United States, as an American, with my fingers crossed that our government will be quicker to the button than will the Chinese.

My hope does not rest in the United States possessing nuclear weapons. Destroy them all.

In what sense is war ever a good thing? In what sense can we say that the proliferation of weapons that can destroy humanity is ever a good idea? I guaran-damn-tee you it won’t be the rich and powerful in Washington, DC who suffer from such wars! Just because the Bible says ‘there is a time for war’ doesn’t necessarily mean that war is ever a good or necessary thing. Just because Paul wrote that governments are the swords of God’s justice (and reward!) doesn’t mean we have to be so quick to wield it.  I’ve come a long way on this precisely because, when all is said and done, we as a people are not protected because we have the biggest guns or the biggest bombs. I might also go so far as to say that God doesn’t need another nation, bigger or smaller than ours, to wipe us out if he, in his Sovereignty, decides to wipe us out.

Try not to be too offended at the notion that God is sovereign enough to make such decisions. Try not to be more offended that I happen to believe getting rid of nuclear weapons is a good idea even if it opens us up to severe consequences from rogues and rebels. Christians do not exist to perpetuate the American Dream nor is the American Dream biblical Christianity. But let me go out on a far left limb here, perhaps one that might make other writers here a bit uncomfortable. Let me say, imitating another prophet, that we are not citizens of this world. We are strangers, sojourners; pilgrims all. “We” should be opposed to the machinations of those in power–those rulers and authorities and principalities who in no way imaginable have the best interests of the kingdom of God in mind. Christians are not allies of the world in their power plays.

Consider:

They [principalities and powers] select as their primary target those whom God elects and sets apart (saints), those to whom God reveals his love in Jesus Christ (Christians), and the fellowship of such people (the church). The efforts of evil powers (I call them such for convenience, although I repeat that they are not powers in themselves nor evil as the antithesis of the good God) focus on the place where God’s grace and love are best expressed. They deploy their full strength on Jesus Christ. They concentrate all the forces of evil on Christians. […] [The Devil] brings all his efforts to bear against those who carry grace and love in the world. For his problem is not to bring people to eternal loss or to carry them off to hell, but to prevent God’s love from being present in the world. (Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, 176ff)

I might go so far as to say that a superpower nation is not required to destroy life as we know it.

The prophet Isaiah had more to say. Listen:

48:22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

The wicked do not know how to find peace or what it looks like. Nor, for that matter, do they have the foggiest idea how to perpetuate it. What better person (people) than one who knows the Prince of Peace, to make the announcement, the proclamation, that God actually has a dream for Shalom? Or are we just terrified because someone used the words ‘God’ and ‘Dream’ in the same sentence?

Only a person who has the uncomfortable position of not being heard can sit back, behind a computer screen, and write with a straight face the following words:

Picture [Iranian President Ahmadinejad] coming in, fresh from his latest holocaust denying speech where he called for the utter destruction of Israel.

“Hi, I’m Rob Bell, and I’m an American emergent guru and I’m here to say that life is beautiful and nuclear weapons are ugly. Would you mind dismantling your nuclear weapons for me?”

Bell is the hidden ace up Obama’s sleeve to change the world. You read it here first.

Soviet communism fell because we in America had a powerful deterrent in our own arsenal. In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.

It takes no amount of courage in this world, rife with war, anxiety, poverty, and latent fears to sit back and boast about strength. This is pure, unadulterated arrogance. It is contrary to the ways of God who prides himself on weakness and the cross. (Let no one boast, he said, save for the cross.) It takes no little courage to walk into the face of ‘enemies’ and suggest that perhaps there is a better way of doing things–a way that is motivated and amplified by the presence and Spirit of Almighty God. “He prepares and table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

I don’t believe Bell is the hidden ace of President Obama’s sleeve to change the world. I don’t believe for a minute that Rob Bell is one who would concede that Christians are those who should be manipulated and cooperative with the very powers that mean to destroy Christ on this earth. Rather, I do believe that Rob Bell, since he is a Christian, and all Christians who are empowered by the Holy Spirit, are the aces up God’s proverbial sleeve and that it is we, us, whom God is using to change this world.

10For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
11He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

–Peter

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My grandfather was the greatest man I’ve ever known. Truly; he was my hero. Everything good that every developed in my life can be traced directly to my relationship with Christ and the wisdom that my grandfather shared with me.

I distinctly remember my grandfather relating to me about his pride in working at the Ford plant. His job on the line was to put a pin stripe down the side of the Grand Marquis car. He would say “Every time I see one of those cars I realize that that pin stripe is my signature. Nobody knows that I was the one that put it on there but I know”. It was his way of saying that whatever you do, do it as though everyone would know that you did it.

My grandfather also would continually remind me that “if anything you do is not worthy of putting your name on it then perhaps it shouldn’t be done.” This was is way of saying if you have to hide behind a veil because of shame, guilt, embarrassment, or fear of response then you should probably not do whatever it is you are going to do.

Over the last several days, months, years, it has been asked/said “What makes you different? You’re exactly the same.” While it would be simple enough to point that we are in fact different in many ways it never truly satisfies those ask. It would also be simple enough to ask; If you have a problem with what we do then why do support what they do? But again this type of introspection never occurs with those who ask. But in one area that we are decidedly different is that we take ownership of the words that we write. We have lots of discussion about pen names, monikers, abbreviations, etc…and all of us are of the mind that if we have to resort to hiding who we are because of what we write then it’s not worth it to write.

I’m continually proud of the accountability that all of the writers here have with each other. I’m not certain that many readers realize that aspect of this blog. Additionally many of us have contact with those who comment outside of this forum which adds another layer to accountability. We work very hard to be above board in all that we do. With the good stuff and the ugly stuff.

All this to say that it truly is evidence of what you believe when you don’t allow comments, responses to emails or questions, or refuse to put your name on your work. My grandfather would say if “you can’t handle the critique of your work you probably shouldn’t be doing it”.

My grandfather didn’t know Jesus but he did understand what it meant to take ownership over your actions. Regardless of the outcome.

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Every once in a while a truly and thoroughly evil villain appears, such as a Hitler or Stalin, an Ivan the Terrible or Vlad the Impaler. Folks such as these are easy to oppose. But, when opposing someone who does not exhibit pure evil, building a caricature helps. The first step in any confrontation, be it political, military, or otherwise is to portray your adversary in as poor a light as possible… and the weaker your position/argument the more sever (and important) the caricature becomes.

We have seen this time and time again with various amateur discerners and their blogs. Arguing from a position of weakness, often employing logic based on faulty information, hyperbole, or mere preferences – they must create a caricature of their opponent. Addressing real issues, taking people at face value, using complete statements, bothering to understand the nuances of a thought or comment are either lost or ignored.

The process is exacerbated when the ADM echo chamber kicks in and they start cross-linking and reposting – each time hardening the categories and expanding the caricature.

For example; here is a recent post (in its entirty) by Ingrid on SoL:

Here is an excellent post by Chris Rosebrough at Extreme Theology on the emergent whine that anyone who states anything authoritatively about God is “putting God in a box.” That line is a favorite of those who simply like to make their god up as they go. God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. But emergents, kicking that Word to the curb, would prefer to have a god who changes with them. It is much, much more convenient.

Notice the definitive statements of supposed fact: anyone who states anything authoritatively about God, [they] make their god up as they go, God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. But emergents…

I challenge this ADM to show an example where anyone whom she regularly names says “Any definitive and authoritative statement about God is placing him in a box.” Her hyperbole in caricature creation renders her objections shrill, comical, and useless.  She may have had a point, but her method of re-creating her foe into an unrecognizable caricature renders her argument meaningless.

But this is just the echo chamber exacerbating the ridiculous. If you read the original by Chris R., you will see it is somewhat more tempered – but still guilty of caricature creation and assassination – or straw man – and therefore it is to be rejected.

The very title of the post betrays the false dichotomy upon which it is built – God in a Box” or God As He Has Revealed Himself? This is not a dichotomy. These are not mutually exclusive choices. God has indeed revealed himself, and we finite humans routinely place him in a box.

The thesis of the post is this:

Today, if you happen to be conversing with a group of CHRISTIANS and you boldly, confidently, and succinctly talk about God and His characteristics, attributes and what He has done you are very likely to be accused of “putting God in a box”?

To a point I agree, though I would say “You may be accused…” But instead of exploring this thesis, instead of advancing when God is boxed and when he is not -the ADM jumps immediately to a caricature of his own creation.

He writes:

One of these Christians might even throw a Rob Bell quote or two in your face and tell you that you need to not be so arrogant and should adopt a more humble hermeneutic. According to Bell, “The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. We are dealing with somebody we made up.” (Velvet Elvis, Page 25)
Poppycock!

Humility is poppycock?

It’s supposedly poppycock because

In the scriptures we have God’s revelation of himself and that divine self-revelation gives us some very hard neat lines and definitions about who God is, what He is like, what He has done and what true worship of Him entails. … But, we must always be careful to not allow our imaginations to go beyond what God has revealed about Himself in his word. That which God has not revealed about himself is still mystery.

At this point I would again agree… and so would Bell if he were allowed to speak for himself. After quoting a few of the giants of the faith the ADM points out “…that Paul didn’t say that we ‘can’t know’ but that we only KNOW IN PART.” Here he is denying a statement Bell never made. He’s arguing with a caricature of his own creating not any actual statements made by Rob Bell.

In context, Bell was simply affirming what the ADM himself said; “That which God has not revealed about himself is still mystery.” To deny and subvert this context the ADM must ignore statements that affirm the existence of truth and that Bell affirms the historic Christian faith. Which, by the way, he in no ways denies.

Basically, the ADM and the echo chamber have taken a simple and true statement – If your goal is to figure [God] out and totally understand [Him], it’s not going to happen. and twisted it into “You cannot say anything definitive or authoritative about God.” Then they attack.
This is sloppy at best; it is dishonest as worst… I don’t think they are that sloppy.

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