Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Julie finds herself accused of malfeasance by ex-Slice-writer Jim Bublitz, who responds to her with a message (a la Ken) ending with a smiley face.  Julie responds sans the smiling face, so as not to be hypocritical.
Memorable Quotes:

Did you know I have been running a nefarious campaign against a blog I’m no longer allowed to comment on? Did you know that? Did you know I’ve been spending much time finding other sites that are slamming this blog so that I might chime in? That I have nothing better to do in my busy real-life days than huddle over the computer and spread the infectious disease of malcontent?

Why do people sign off with a smiley face or a “God Bless You” when they are thinking anything but God’s blessing upon you or their words communicate anything but kindness and smiles? That’s lying. It is.

I don’t know which spiritual gift it is that Bublitz has. Which of the spiritual gifts requires arguing people into the ground on a regular basis, or requires the collection of debating ammunition by spending time scouring the web for seeming inconsistencies with which to blast them with and sign off with a smiley face? We needn’t be weak and spineless, but there ought to be control and thought on who and what we lash out against. Knowledge and discernment are one thing, but mixing that with pride and self-assuredness of being “right” creates what I like to call a pompous ass.

Yes, I used a naughty word. This will be taken as a sure sign that I am fallen, vile and vulgar, another symptom of the ills of the modern church that doesn’t think; a person who settles for crass pragmatism, who only uses The Message for serious discussion; a person of no serious literate level with little knowledge, a classic example of why women should just shut up and wear a bonnet. Anyone who knows me, either through my own church or just via blogging or through the Nicaragua stuff or work or my own parents KNOWS – I am sure of this – that I am not such a person. And if they do not know this? Then I have surely failed and Bublitz, who knows me only via bits and bytes on a few blogs was able to, in all his “godly” knowledge and discernment, read me right. I don’t think that’s the case.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John becomes acquainted with the beginnings of Slice’s selective commenting policy, and its effect of creating a self-validating echo chamber.
Memorable Quotes:

When the 2nd and 3rd comments never appeared on the site, it seemed clear to me that the issue wasn’t technical but one of content. Because I had disagreed with various Slice authors, my comments didn’t see the light of day. (Note: One of my comments was allowed several hours after Jim and I started having our discussion about comment practices at Slice. Jim later claimed that it had been there all along. It hadn’t.)

This next line almost made me laugh:

There were commenters on Slice who seemed to make a ‘ministry’ out of shooting everything down.

If there is a more perfect summary of what Slice itself acutally does, I haven’t seen it. Ingrid and Jim have made it their ministry to shoot down every believer they disagree with. Often they do this in the most heavy-handed way, and yet they don’t like the same treatment. Maybe this should tell them something about their approach [It won’t].

A little later on we get to the section titled Friendly but Over-the-Top Commenters. Here is where my own part of the story comes up:

There were many good commenters who had better things to say than the Slice authors sometimes, but then a few bad apples would simply go over the top. For example, a while ago a pastor posted a comment that compared Rick Warren to a child molester; he meant it as a hypothetical non-direct comparison, but it caused Slice’s critics to go wild. Their blogs lit up with postings on how “Slice people” compare Rick Warren to child molesters, etc.

Yes, I am proud to say that I did go wild over that absurd comment. The same thread contained another comment comparing Warren to a hit-and-run driver. In fact, my comment in response — stating that this particular individual had gone over the line — was one that Jim says didn’t get posted because out of line. Got that? I went over-the-line by saying this sort of thing was, well, over-the-line. The “child molester” comment however was approved and presumably not-over-the-line by Slice standards.

Unfortunately what Jim fails to see is that the problems at Slice go far beyond the comments. Over-the-top is a perfect description of so much of their output. For instance, Ingrid’s comparison of Purpose Driven Ministry to the Soviet Gulag (which I called “flaky”, much to Jim’s consternation) was and is an absurd, over-the-top statement. The comparison of the Catholic church to the “the beast” of revelation just a few days earlier was over-the-top too. If the over-the-top comments deserve to go, so do the over-the-top posts by Jim and Ingrid.

Shutting down the comments won’t begin to address the real problems at Slice. In fact, I’m quite sure it will only make things worse. With the closing off of the site from any and all disagreement, it will become nothing but an echo-chamber for its own brand of Christian-bashing vitriol. This is one Christian blog that I’m happy to slice off my regular reading schedule.

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Source: The Jollyblogger HT to SmartChristian, which has some great comments on the article

Comments: David Wayne, the Jollyblogger, who has both criticized and praised Rick Warren, this time writes in support of his coverage in a Newsweek article.  Despite an endnote to the ‘haters’ (i.e. Slice), a number of the comment sharks from Slice show up to put blood in the water…
Memorable Quotes:

Yet, as I mentioned in my post on polemics and the great commission, merely criticizing such things is not enough.  Where Warren errs, we ought to offer loving correction, but where he does well, we ought to offer loving commendation.

In the case of the Newsweek article I have to admit to getting a case of the warm fuzzies toward Warren simply because he is an evangelical who is listed by a secular magazine as someone who makes America great.

Stop and think about that for a moment – who else in the evangelical world does our secular world look at in a positive light?  How many evangelicals does the world look at and say “he is a friend of sinners?” With all of his failings, Warren has got that part right.

And what Rick Warren post would be complete without a note to the haters.  I realize that just mentioning his name in a blog post will bring people out of the woodwork, and that now that I have said some nice things about him, the volume of haters will double or triple.  So, for those of you who will leave multiple comments, each of them longer than this original post, please understand that I and most of us will be ignoring you. I’ve heard it all before – I know that Rick Warren is an arminian, an atheist and the anti-Christ.  I know that he is in league with the illiuminati, the tri-lateral commission, the Bilderbergers, George Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and your kooky neighbors across the street.  I realize that, because I said something nice about Warren I am unqualified to be a pastor, am probably not even saved, my blog should be immediately shut down and I should be taken out and shot at dawn.  Constructive criticism is always welcome, but save the vitriol for some other blog.  Thank you and good night.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John disagrees with Slice’s feeding frenzy on Rick Warren, only to find himself victim to their commenting policy.
Memorable Quotes:

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…
Memorable Quotes:

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: You Can Know God
Comments: Michael Lukaszuski, senior pastor of the Oak Leaf Church writes a brief note about watchbloggers.  The sharks come in for a Slice of the kill in the comments section of the article.
Memorable Quotes:

We have AIDS, poverty, the lost person probably living next door, homelessness, terrorism, unborn babies and a slew of things that could demand our attention.  80% of this “Christian” country does not go to church, and “exposing” Rick Warren is the best thing that we can do!  I have never met Rick Warren.  I am sure there are things that he says and does that I would not agree with.  Then again, I have never met a person that I WOULD totally agree with.  I am not a disciple of Rick Warren, nor a disciple of any seeker-sensitive church, traditional church,or any man, woman or Bible study method.  I’m a follower of Jesus.

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Julie relates her banning from Slice…
Memorable Quotes:

Perhaps it my last post, regarding something I’d read on Slice that seemed a bit two-faced, was the final straw.

I’m not a true Christian, maybe, not enough points? I can’t goose step high enough? Not willing to take someone else’s word for it?

What was that about being a Berean?

But now I’m not Christian enough because I took the time to disagree with them. Or maybe I wasn’t lady-like enough. Maybe there’s no room in some Christian discussion for going after a bothersome point or question full bore, no room for brashness, no room for someone in a discussion who doesn’t know all the polite code words, the right way to hold a tea cup…no room for a female Peter. I really don’t know.

This lesson I’m very sure of: I don’t have to sort it all out. Sorting and ordering everything is not the point, though it’s a hard pill to swallow. I see that it is better to have the unsettled feeling of knowing things aren’t sorted rather than the comfort of never asking the questions. I don’t have to understand everything because frankly, that’s an impossibility. Anyone who indicates they know it all exactly no questions what-so-ever are exactly the man (or woman) you should not be following. Instead, I have to have faith that where I’m going, despite the confusing road signs along the way, is the right direction because the Map I’m using is the True Map, a map you gotta read every day. And that, I’m finding, is a very great lesson indeed. Even with such minor hurts as being blacklisted by a Christian web site.

Ah well. Another day. It’s kind of funny and ironic in a way; Slice regularly posts on Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church plan calling for the removal of people who don’t fit his movement. I’ve just gotten a little taste of such removal from the pot; I’ve no desire to follow the black kettle, though.

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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.
Memorable Quotes:

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…
Memorable Quotes:

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.
Memorable Quotes:

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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