Archive for the 'Ken Silva' Category

Truth in AdvertisingI don’t normally post the one-liners I hear, or am given, but this one is still making me chuckle due to its incredibly high truth and irony quotient…

“Apprising Ministries is to Ministry what Planned Parenthood is to Parenthood…”

-uncredited (though I will give credit if he/she wants it :) )

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As one unpacks this “gift” from ??N to some group known at the outlaw preachers one must wonder if the writer and the one quoted are saying that Jesus was a false teacher. Here’s the “gift” from John MacArthur:

False doctrine cries the loudest about unity. Listen carefully when you hear the cry for unity, because it may be the cover of false doctrine encroaching. If ever we should follow 1 Thessalonians 5, and examine everything carefully, it’s when somebody is crying unity, love, and acceptance. (Online source)

Here’s a prayer from Jesus as taken from the 17th chapter of John:

21I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.

Please note that I am not saying I agree Theologically with this group of Outlaw preachers, but I do find it interesting that those who scream the loudest about Sola Scriptura often fail to use the whole  of Scripture.

(Hi Ken)

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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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Scott over at Verum Serum dropped me a note this morning to let me know about a situation in which a good deal of prayer and support is needed for a fellow brother in Christ and blogger, Ken Silva.

Ken posted a short note this to CRN yesterday:

My family learned yesterday afternoon that my youngest brother made the tragic decision to end his life. Unfortunately, there was no warning or prior indication something like this could occur and he leaves behind two teenage sons.

Whether we agree about issues of big or small import to the church, it is incumbent upon all brothers to have compassion and to be compassionate on those who are suffering.

Please lift Ken, his family and his two nephews in prayer and keep them in your prayers during this time.   If you would like to leave notes of encouragement, you can mail them directly to him at apprising@hughes.net or leave them in the comments to this post.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

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Came across this tonight. Wondered what you all thought of this–especially since Pastor/Teacher/Prophet Silva doesn’t permit comments from his sycophants readers detractors congregants disciples anyone at his ‘blog’:

[concerning John 10: 1 — "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber."]

The sentence before us is a powerful and humbling one. That is [sic.] condemns the Jewish teachers of our Lord’s time all men can see. There was no “door” in their ministry. They taught nothing rightly about Messiah. They rejected Christ Himself when He appeared,—but all men do not see that the sentence condemns thousands of so-called Christian teachers, quite as much as the leaders and teachers of the Jews.

Thousands of ordained men in the present day know nothing whatever of Christ, except His name. They have not entered “the door” themselves, and they are unable to show it to others. Well would it be for Christendom if it were more widely known, and more seriously considered! Unconverted ministers are the dry-rot of the Church. “When the blind lead the blind” both must fall in the ditch.

If we know the value of a man’s ministry, we must never fail to ask, Where is the Lamb? Where is the door? Does he bring forth Christ, and give Him his rightful place? (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Vol. 3, 176)

J.C. Ryle

Thousands?

Could you please provide some statistical proof of such an assertion? I’m genuinely interested because the way I see it, it’s more like thousands of ordained men and women are actually leaving the ministry every year because people like you, who also inhabit, occupy, and wear-out the pew, have no concept of what it actually means to be and do the gospel.

So, in the interest of the Gospel, could you please provide some actual evidence to validate and support your assertion?

(PS–I think Ryle, for all his erudition, has quite missed the point of John 10:1 (2-6) and, consequently, Pastor Silva has erred too in his haste to make some larger point validating his own ‘ministry’ while running down and passing judgment upon the ministries of others. For all his talk about pointing to the Lamb, and the Door, and bringing forth Christ to his rightful place, he, Ryle, is doing exactly the opposite. The passage is, actually, demonstrating how Jesus is the expected one, Messiah; the Good Shepherd.

It is rather dangerous to extract verse 1 from its greater context of verses 1-6, indeed chapter 10 entirely. The focus of these verses is not the false teachers that are leading sheep blindly, even though they are clearly in the background (say, Ezekiel 34), but Jesus’ claim to be the True Shepherd whom the sheep recognize and follow. This passage is not pointing to ‘false teachers’ or ‘unconverted ministers’ of our day, or even in Jesus’ day, but to the True Shepherd of every day. Ryle has made a common hermeneutical mistake by attaching meaning to a verse that he has extracted from its context. Out of context, it can mean anything he wants it to mean. In it’s context it has but one meaning: The Sheep recognize the good shepherd and follow him; those same sheep reject all false shepherds, Messiahs. Turns out sheep aren’t so dumb after all. “Christ’s sheep inevitably follow him” (DA Carson, The Gospel of John, 383).

I have just a couple of points about Ryle’s application. First, Ryle says that “Thousands of ordained men in the present day know nothing whatever of Christ, except His name.” This may well be true, but that is not what Jesus says here, nor is it on his mind. Jesus says his sheep recognize him, his voice, follow him, and will not follow the voice of strangers at all. Ryle asserts a negative while Jesus is asserting a positive–and one quite opposite of Ryle’s point.

Jesus as ‘Good Shepherd’ here stands in contrast not with teachers or ministers–whether converted or un-converted, but with other shepherds, dangerous shepherds, who are rejected by those who are truly Jesus’ sheep. He, the Good Shepherd, is the one, he says, who ‘lays down his life for the sheep’; he is the Promised Davidic Shepherd: “The mingling of the foci–the promised shepherd is the Lord, or the promised shepherd is the Lord’s servant David–is peculiarly appropriate in a book where the Word is God, and the Word is God’s emissary, distinguishable from him” (DA Carson, The Gospel of John, 382). Thieves and robbers are not the Good Shepherd.

Second, Ryle writes, “They have not entered “the door” themselves, and they are unable to show it to others.” But that is not what Jesus is talking about, is it? The one who enters through the door in verse 2 is neither ‘converted ministers’ nor ‘unconverted ministers’ nor anyone else for that matter, but the Good Shepherd. Jesus said, “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep…I am the Good Shepherd.” Jesus is talking about himself! The contrast is not between ‘converted’ and ‘un-converted’ ministers, but rather between the True Davidic Shepherd who was promised by God and those pretenders to the position, of whom there were, and are, many. Those who are in our day, and were in Ryle’s day, ministers, have nothing to do whatsoever with John 10:1-6. The passage is about Jesus–the True Shepherd who enters through the door and is recognized and followed by his sheep.

23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken. (Ezekiel 34)

Now this is not to say there are not ‘un-converted’ preachers or bad shepherds of the sheep. It is to say that Ryle’s and Silva’s use of John 10:1 to demonstrate it is a decidedly wrong application of the Scripture. Paul warns of false teachers in the church, as does Jesus. But not in John 10. I hope that clears up Ryle’s muddled and confused and decidedly wrong exegesis of this passage of Scripture. And I hope it helps Pastor Silva too as both he and Ryle are dangerously wrong because neither one is pointing to Christ, the Lamb, or bringing forth Christ and giving him his rightful place in their blanket condemnation of ‘thousands’.)

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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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First off we are not journalists so ‘journalistic integrity’ is not really a charge that we need to hold to. Christian integrity, however, is.

Recently I’ve begun to notice a trend with ODM’s, they don’t actually do ‘research’. They claim to do research, some even have it in their URL’s. Actually I’ve known this for a while but lately it appears that the ‘chicken littles’ of the Christian family are more apt to take so and so’s word for it. They link to themselves, they link to each other, they proof text, and they rip quotes out of context. Sometimes, dare I say, they make stuff up.

For instance:

“The more I follow grace, the more I’m drawn to him [God], the more I’m willing to stand up for people being persecuted,” says Jay today. “This sounds so churchy, but I felt like God spoke to my heart and said ‘[homosexuality] is not a sin.’ ”

This quote comes from Jay Bakker (allegedly) via Apprising.org but it’s not the exact quote and I couldn’t find the direct link to this quote, nor could I find any reputable website who has the quote. What I did find was a lot of heresy hunters self linking and cross linking each other. I’m not saying that Jay didn’t say it I would just like an accurate, in context, direct link to prove he said it. But all I have is this link from Ken at Apprising.org. So much for research and integrity*.

If you have a few minutes to waste, google the quote, and visit some of the sites that purport it. I found (1) Link to Radar Online but no article, anywhere on their site about the quote, (1) Link to a portion of the full article with the incorrect quote, and (9) Links to Kens articles about Jay Bakker. I did find the cached article but it’s not exactly how Ken reports it. According to the date stamps on the comments and photos it appears the article was first published in 2006. The cached article is cobbled together with what appears to be several articles and the word ‘Homosexuality’ was inserted into a seemingly non-sequiter paragraph about growing up PTL.

I do have an email into the writer, Martin Edlund, about the interview and also an email into Radar Online. Hopefully I can find the full transcript of the article.

Don’t take my word for it though. Go and do the research.

*Yet another case of those so offended by the worldliness of the church getting their info from the world to build a case of hypocrisy against those who they claim are in the world. Integrity?????

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Sometimes the headlines of the check-out line tabloids are so outlandish they become funny. You almost want to read the article to see what they are really talking about… though I never do, not wishing to fall for the obvious ploy.

In a similar vein, I did check out a post at CR?N that linked to another post at Apprising (I cannot bring myself to type the word “ministries” in connection with that site,) The headline in both cases is Contemplative Eugene Peterson Discourages Reading the Bible. In the latter site the headline reads in all caps, as if shouting out from some self-imagined wall.

The only problem with the headline is the fact that in the very quote offered as proof Peterson discourages Bible reading he is promoting Bible reading. DOH! My first inclination was to say Ken Silva is lying about Peterson, but when the quote you offer negates the claim of your headline, that’s not lying, that’s something else all together. (I also think Silva uses “Contemplative” as an insult – though I don’t know why since it’s biblically encouraged.)

Headline/article alignment at Apprising ______ and CR?N – FAIL!

Apprising and CR?N understanding of a man’s simply caution about misreading the Bible - FAIL!

Silva being caught in his own egocentric cultural bondage while accusing the brethren of promoting spiritual bondage – WIN! (…technically the latter is also a failure, and probably the saddest aspect of the whole affair, but as irony it is a win)

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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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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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