Archive for the 'ODM Responses' Category

Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John disagrees with Slice’s feeding frenzy on Rick Warren, only to find himself victim to their commenting policy.
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Since Slice of Laodicea is apparently only approving comments that praise them in glowing terms, and since the site refuses to engage in polite dialogue with anyone who disagrees, I am posting my comments on my own site:

I haven’t read the book that is cited by the author to back this up (footnote 27), but it seems that a simple word search reveals Jesus referring to “heaven” far more than to “hell.” Nearly all his references to hell come from the sermon on the mount (Of course the same references are duplicated in different Gospel accounts). But using Matthew as an example, Jesus refers to hell three times and refers once to fire. By contrast, he refers to heaven (usually as the “kingdom of heaven”) in these same verses 15 times (Matt 5:1-7:29).

Just as important for this discussion is the fact that the most important sermon in history contains the word “you” or “your” 159 times in just 111 verses. By contrast Jesus only refers to God directly 5 times. So this idea that Jesus preaching was somehow not focused on man doesn’t stand up to a little Bible study. The sermon on the mount is very much about what the kingdom of heaven would mean to “you.” In other words, it was relevant.

Any guesses as to why this wasn’t approved? Anyone from Slice of Laodicea want to set me straight on the facts? I think it’s pretty apparent at this point that Slice’s actual comment policy is as follows:

If you disagree with Slice, don’t bother. As far as we’re concerned, you don’t exist.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John’s first article on Slice, spurred on by Ingrid’s need to identify the Beast of Revelation, whether it be the Catholic church, the Evangelical church, or the Purpose Driven Church…
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Last week, Slice of Laodicea wrote a post comparing the Catholic church to the “beast” of revelation. Andy Jackson of SmartChristian sent out an e-mail notifying a few bloggers about this and asking them to comment. Tim Challies wrote a post which essentially argued there may be something to this claim. In response, I and several others including Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost responded that this was ridiculous.

Slice of Laodicea followed up their Catholic Beast post with one stating that the beast could just as likely be the evangelical church. Then Ingrid (the main writer at Slice of L) went a step further and actually put out a call for stories bashing Rick Warren and his ministry. Staring today, we have the fruit of that effort. Ingrid is posting the responses she’s received.

Purpose Driven churches are like Stalinist Russia? Good lord, woman. Stalinist Russia was officially atheist. To be caught reading the bible meant a trip to the gulag. Is this really an appropriate comparison for Rick Warren’s minsitry?

I hate to burst her bubble, but there is no Chrstianity apart from the local body of believers, the ekklesia. There are no spiritual “lone rangers.” Ingrid presumably has enough theological education to know this (Heb. 10:25), but is happy to overlook it in order to further her attack on Rick Warren. Something is very wrong here.

I wish the author of the letter (and Ingrid) could mature to the point where differences over music style are not the end of fellowship. Just because they can’t worship God to praise choruses, doesn’t mean no one else can.

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Someone on Slice quotes Augustine.  A Slice commenter says you shouldn’t quote him because he’s catholic.  Jim Bublitz (an ex-Slice writer, who was still writing for Ingrid at the time) says its OK, trying to have it both ways (I can quote someone from the Apostate Church of Rome and it’s OK.  Don’t you do the same with other writers, though.  These are not the ‘driods you’re looking for. Move along now…)  Julie takes issue with this and Slice’s “odd” method of accepting/rejecting comments.
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I have no problem with the idea of finding bits of truth in the midst of errant views because I believe all truth is God’s truth whether the person who wrote or thought it wants to admit or realizes it or not. Nor did I even choke on the rather postmodern ‘in one sense it’s true and in another it’s false.’ But the author who wrote it – one of the bloggers on that site – makes it ironic. If there was ever a site where babies are regularly thrown out with the bathwater, it’s on Slice, by the people who leave comments and by Bublitz and Ken Silva*. As I wrote about earlier, many times teachers and authors I have found tremendous insight from, despite other errant views, are shredded as examples of for-sure apostasy with nothing of value to offer any real or serious Christian. In the end the only people we are supposed to be able to really read and trust are John MacArthur, John Piper**, and Charles Spurgeon – that’s my understanding after months of reading such sources.

I have attempted to leave comments on Slice many times. I’m wondering if anyone else has the poor comment publishing record that I have there. I will assume some were Firefox glitches – not uncommon – because I can’t see how the comments were argumentative or too long. My comments use correct grammar and punctuation (which is more than I can say for some). I don’t cop out and pretend to play nice, go for the jugular, then sign off with an overly-sanctified signature line. I sometimes don’t agree. Sometimes I’ve attempted to link to a preacher or teacher I know isn’t well-liked on the blog but has made a statement that is relevant and good; comments not published. And in a fit of frustration at wanting to join the conversation but not getting to, I simply left a comment that said something to the liking of “I’d leave a comment but my comments don’t get published.”

That one, they published.

So not only do my comments not get published when I can’t see why they wouldn’t be, making me think I must be on the fast track to hell and I’ve been blacklisted, but now one of the bloggers on the site says it’s OK to quote someone who had a few errant beliefs and that there can be true and false in the same thought.

As far as I’m concerned, all credibility I had in whatever Slice is, is gone and a lot of its message along with it. It’s gone, because you can’t have it both ways.

It started to slide right about the time Silva revealed on Slice that he believed God called him to the ministry he has, a statement I don’t have a problem with if it didn’t come Silva who has a unique take on what God does and doesn’t do anymore (trying to find the link to that post…). It started to slide then, and has now hit bottom. Frankly, though I’m sure she wouldn’t say much positive about me, I wish the “owner” of the blog, Ingrid, would write more***.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a problem. I’ve read Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Lewis – all writers with an asterisk after their names to this crowd. I love reading a Christian book where the author constantly refers back to the Bible and also uses quotes from not only Christian teachers but all sorts of sources.

*I do not dislike Bublitz nor do I dislike Silva (who doesn’t allow trackbacks or comments on his own blog making conversation and discussion impossible there). I frequently read what they write and mull it over often. They, like me, are not perfect.

**Piper rocked the boat by inviting some cussing pastor to speak at one of his conferences. Oops. Watch the comments of “Alas, Piper has fallen!” and “Perhaps we were wrong about the cussing pastor” fill the blogosphere for people who have raised Piper a bit too high.

***Why? Read the 5th comment here. You can read the post about women pastors, too, but I just skimmed it in order to avoid the skirts vs. pants battle with some of the same people. And why did I just skim that “controversial” post? The genius reasoning going on there, of course. The usual listing of all the female preachers and teachers who had a wayward message are listed, by men, without the obvious realization that there are more examples of screwball male preachers because of sheer historic numbers, which would then prove the opposite point, a point for the opposing argument. I’m not commenting on my thoughts on the actual matter, but merely pointing out how stupid little proof it takes to satisfy and convince some people that women are evil when they get in power because they can come up with examples of bad women! If that’s the best you have for such an argument, just shut up. You aren’t doing your side any favors.

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Julie gets a bit exasperated with the guilt-by-association and its forms in the Christian blogosphere (and the microcosm that is SoL).  She also has a thing for asterices and post-scripts that I love…
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After all my reading and listening and studying, I believe there is no more bitter or pointless argument to be in than one made up of a bunch of Christians trying to prove or disprove the specifics, and no more embarrassing one to be caught in, either.

Teacher A discredits B, while C praises A. D praises C and B but discredits A. Then A slips up and endorses the book of E when E has been known to endorse the book of F who had endorsed the book of B. Real life example: I like Francis Schaeffer. Os Guiness is connected to his L’Abri. I like Os Guiness (his book Prophetic Untimeliness will knock you down, it’s that good). Os Guiness is connected to The Trinity Forum. This leads to a connection to Dallas Willard and boom! Red flag. The whole contemplative prayer thing. If Willard endorses a Guiness book, does this mean I no longer should partake of Guiness, and consequently anyone connected? But wait! Bob DeWaay is connected to the same publisher as Ray Yungen who is against contemplative prayer but DeWaay has spoken at the Rochester branch of L’Abri. Crisis! What to do?!

Want a taste of this? Just go here, take some notes, then start looking through your own books, think about your own beliefs and whatever else has positively influenced you in your Christian walk, and let your head implode. And just in case you’re up for it, go be poked fun at by other Christians, because that’s cool, too (HT: TRW). Once you’ve made up your categories – something I am unable to do because of the GLARING IMPOSSIBILITY OF THIS, go set up your own website and proclaim to the world you’ve figured it out while modestly saying you haven’t, like here or here. You can even publish your own books. Claim yourself to be a watchtower being sure to quote from Ezekiel, or claim to be part of the remnant, although there’s enough people claiming to be the remnant out there that I think we can sew together a pretty big sheet of cloth.

And then, for one last bit of fun, get involved in the search for the perfect and appropriate worship music. I read one guy on Slice* saying how holy and much better his Sunday went with its Lutheran liturgy as opposed to the vileness of modern worship or whatever, while I’ve know people who have all but slipped into a coma during just such a time. On the other hand, this post is a perfect example of the excruciating 3-4-5’s (three words, four chords, five hours) that drive me nuts; it talks about a song called Breathe**. For those white Germanic folk up here that have never been to another country or culture where Lutheran liturgy just doesn’t cut it, you might consider that making a joyful noise to the Lord varies across cultures and denominations. As with everything, we all gather at the fine line where something is crossed and it isn’t about true worship, and we point fingers at each other to the sound of the drums, organ, piano, call and response, Gregorian chant, or nothing (Church of God – they don’t have instruments, right?) while missing the bigger picture.

So no, I don’t want to argue your five points, argue about Finney or argue Arminianism or Pelagianism or cessationism or an -ism. I don’t want to raise a virtual blog altar to MacArthur*** and create a perpetual link to the great preacher Spurgeon. I don’t want to nod my head with the rest of the ducks who are looking at the geese, both waterfowl, agreeing that because the geese like the Alpha Course or wear pants or are Pentecostal, they’re definitely going to hell.

*If you’re not a five-pointer or sour-faced, Slice might be rough going. I no longer leave comments because the whole bunch jump on the ugly duckling, and sign off with “In Christ.” Can’t do much with that. I once left a blunt rebuttal and signed it “In Christ, Too” but it was one of many comments that didn’t make it, though it may have been my Firefox acting up again and losing my comment. It’s just as well.

**Breathe is a song that our Pastor doesn’t like so much because in his previous church some girl sang that chorus for about three weeks as a “special number.” Simply awful, I imagine. There should be Biblical discipline involved here i.e. taking the mic away. Another song with little meaning is that Draw Me Close one. Huh?

***I like MacArthur, who, by the way, supported Dr. Dobson and which, by the way, throws up red flags for some who would normally support MacArthur and that is my point here: When you follow men (humans, for my feminism challenged readers) you will most likely find confusion. Why, on Slice they mock the Left Behind series which has Kirk Cameron as the actor in the films who is also now in the Worldview Weekend rotation of speakers and shares an online column presence with other Christian authors including the “owner” of Slice, Ingrid.

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Source: Bob Blog
Comments: Wherein Bob posts a video clip from ‘King of the Hill’, Ingrid posts it on Slice, and the sharks converge on Slice to devour it. Rinse – Lather – Repeat.
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Slice is a group of heresy hunters who think I, and quite possibly you, are giong to hell for reading and liking a Brian McLaren book or two, or approving in some vague way of books like Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.

Kind of mean spirited, really… And if that sounds mean, spend some time reading through the comment threads over there and see what you think

[comment by Iggy] Personally I have come to the point that many of those like Ingrid and the rest, do not desire anything but to make a name for themselves… no matter how they get their kudos. they are out to say they are ‘right’ and we are wrong….. But the true irony of that is they are then only proclaiming their own “righteousness” with out realizing they are lifting themselves up as the sole proprietors of truth… and miss that Truth is a Person… not a thing… or philosophy, or reasoning, or any other man made idea or principle. They miss that we do not live by doctrine… but in contrast we live by the Life of Christ. I think what is happening is people are looking for something real… and the only True Real is Jesus. Many have just not gotten that far on their journey.

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Source: Tall Skinny Kiwi

Comments: Slice mocks an EC Communion service documented by Andrew, who then goes back to Slice for some civilized conversation on the topic.
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so let me get this straight. after examining the last supper of Jesus and the historical accounts of the early church, you have come up with a communion service that:
- excludes children, swaps a full meal for a sample, avoids any technology, forbids joy or laughter, happens in a hall with men on a stage, dispenses with conversation, has no wine whatsoever . . and you think that is more biblical? more godly?

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Source: Cerulean Sanctum

Comments: In probably the most in-depth, well-thought article on the subject of ‘watchbloggers’/'heretic hunters’ anywhere to date, Dan lays out all of the ills, pratfalls and pitfalls associated with this group of modern inquisitors. While he does not call Slice out by name, one cannot read this without seeing every writer at Slice, especially Ken Silva, in almost every point of the analysis.

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But I’ve seen enough. The following are the reasons why I will no longer support those sites:

1. They’re not confronting soberly and with care.
2. They’re using dubious logic and questionable facts to assail their targets.
3. They disingenuously look the other way when their favorite sources violate their standards.
4. They often ignore the whole counsel of Scripture.
5. They operate in the same manner as the targets they criticize.
6. They overlook their own issues.
7. They utterly refuse correction when they’re clearly wrong.

I was originally going to name names, but that flies in the face of how I typically address issues at Cerulean Sanctum. I’m sure every Godblogger has been irresponsible in a couple of those above points before (including here), but not on the consistent level of the heretic hunters. Many of you will already know the sites I’m hinting at. If you’ve read them, you know those sites refuse correction anyway, so naming them will not make a difference in how they promulgate their particular brand of “righteous” ire.

But just as God takes no delight in the downfall of the wicked, rather hoping that they would repent, no Christian blogger should do a “Ha! Ha!” a la The Simpsons‘ Nelson Muntz when they see a perceived enemy stumble. Nor should we joke about error or make fun of our enemies. And while it is fine for the Apostle Paul to “wish they’d go emasculate themselves,” none of us is Paul, or even a pale copy of him.

In those cases where the bloggers are available, confrontation is stemmed by having comments deleted or being disallowed from a site. I firmly acknowledge a blogger’s right to manage his or her own site, but still. An unwillingness to connect directly speaks volumes about the folks behind the blogs—and none of it in keeping with true Christlikeness. None of us should be afraid to reason together with fellow believers.

That sort of guilt by association is the primary means by which many of these sites denigrate individuals, too. Christian A endorsed the book by Speaker B who on a single occasion spoke at a church lead by Pastor C who knew Worship Leader D who once led worship in the church of Reverend E who in passing said something nice about supposed Heretic F. Therefore, Christian A is a false prophet and teacher because the chain leads to Heretic F. And how do we know Heretic F is a heretic? Well, in the heretic hunter’s blog posts from last week, he/she used that same six degrees of separation method with a different set of conspirators to prove that case.

And is doctrinal impurity in others any more harmful than being personally unloving, prideful, spiteful, and unwilling to be disciplined as needed? Yet so many of the heretic hunters, by the very words they write on their blogs and sites, show an abundance of those unwelcome traits.

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Source: Bob Blog
Comments: Bob notes that Ken might not appreciate what would happen if he looked into a mirror…
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Got a letter from the Rev Ken Silva from Slice of Laodicea. He feels as though I misunderstand and perhaps mischaracterize him. I said I was sorry for his hurt feelings, but that perhaps now he knew how men like Brian McLaren and Richard Foster feel when reading Silva’s diatribes.

[starla commenting] Ken does recall that he called me a heretic after one post, right?

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Source: Bob Blog

Comments: Bob posts a link to Ken Silva’s article on Quakers, wherein Ken proves that he knows about as much about Quakers as he does about nuclear physics.
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[comment from starla] Wow. Oh, my gosh! He’s right! Who knew I was pantheistic! Why didn’t my inner light illuminate that!


Think someone should tell him that nonevangelical quakers are a touch different that evangelical quakers, aka, Friends?

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Julie is a bit put off by an article on Slice (which refers to the CCM girl-group ZoeGirl as “Hussies on Parade”).  One of the commenters goes on to explain that women, if they listen to the Holy Spirit, will know that they should wear skirts and not pants.  Julie disagrees with the poster (and Ingrid), and retroactively has her posts removed.
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Check out this post, written by one of the bloggers on that site whose perspective I consistently enjoy and appreciate if not always agree with. Then check out the comments section where the real fun begins. My first comment was published, though I don’t know if my second one will be. However, I’ve preserved it for this blog. Here’s the running debate I’m having with Christine Narloch, who seems like a lovely woman. I’m not going to go into super deep and serious discussion because, like I said, I’m working on another blog post for the future that will cover my thoughts on this and more, anyway.

Did Jesus die on the cross so I could feel guilt about not wearing a skirt? It’s bad enough trying to find decent, modest clothing the past few years with the fashions that are in, but now I get reprimanded for having a preference for bifurcated clothing. Frankly, I find pants more modest than a skirt. There’s no worry about light showing through, mirrors on some pervert’s shoe, or a Marilyn Monroe breeze coming along and making me have a red-faced day. Pants stay put, cover everything, and don’t have to be tight. Functional, and less tripping. How is it that I, who am often disgusted by the clothes girls wear now and have often commented on the lack of modesty, am now on the wrong end of the stick for wearing pants?

I just find it interesting that I even have to have this discussion. Skirts vs. pants. Despite Christine being sure that I am ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit because she experienced it, I assure her and you I AM NOT. It’s a far leap to assume that since I haven’t had the same conviction as Christine that I am prone to picking and choosing what to believe. God points out different things in each life that He wants us to deal with.

Tomorrow is church. I will wear jeans. They will be clean and neat and not tight. I will wear a nice sweater and other layers and some women’s shoes and will be up front, playing the piano, as always. I hope God takes notice of my fashion sense? No, I hope He takes notice of my heart and intent, and whether I’ve been faithful in word and deed and in Bible study. I didn’t know there was a dress code to get into heaven. Craziness is right. It’s the angels on the head of the pin all over again.

I will never be able to jump through all the hoops that man puts in front of me in order to be proper; luckily, that isn’t my goal. Skirts don’t make me holy. They’re merely missing a seam.

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