Mike’s response to our article “Being Offensive is Being Odedient?”

Friends sent me warnings about what was going in the emergent camp about this.

No one here (to my knowledge) is part of the emergent camp

At first I was a bit confused, because I could not recall saying anything that would offensive to anyone who sought to obey God in all things. Then as the day went on I began to see that the focus of their outrage was the fact that Christians are called, by Jesus, by God, by the Holy Spirit, to be obedient in all things. Why would that invoke such rage.

That would have never invoked “such rage”.  We all agree that obedience to the Word and God is the highest priority in our lives.  What invoked the response was that you said if we are being obedient, we would naturally offend people.  You basically suggested that if we are not at odds with the majority of Christians in our churches, we are not being completely obedient.  I believe that your exact quote was

If you are being obedient to God and you are actually drawing closer to the majority of professing Christians then you only THINK you are being obedient to God.

Our beef was not with the fact that we need to grow closer to God.  Our beef was the fact that many of us are in community with godly people.  That many of us hold dear our fellowship with other believers and fathers in the faith.  To suggest that one should not draw closer to the family of God as they grow closer to God is not only unbiblical, but almost heretical.  It is your martyrs complex that concerns us the most, not your call for obedience.  The gospel should not always offend.  In fact, I believe that it should be the exception.  If you look through history, the only ones who really were offended by the gospel were the pious religious leaders.  They, in turn, set the government and culture against the Christian community.  The gospel, at it’s best (in its entirety) is attractive to a lost and dying world.

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17 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris P.    http://jeremiahsquestion.blogspot.com
March 21st, 2007 at 1:02 pm

“What invoked the response was that you said if we are being obedient, we would naturally offend people.”

Actually guy, Oswald Chambers said that.

I believe that Mike’s point is that the majority of those claiming christianity, which is a religion btw, are not necessarily true saints. He can correct me if I am wrong.

The NT is full of warnings from Paul, Jude Peter, John James etc and most especially from Jesus re: the false church, false leadfers, false prophets false teachings etc. i.e. all that is masquerading as His.
By your standards these men are all borderline heretics.
So far all I see coming from here is a get CRN get Ken, get whomever mission. Since you see fit to defend the ecm and emergent carte blanche, then you are with them.
Nowhere are we told to give any and all ideas, “oligies”, “isms” and movements the benefit of the doubt.
I am so glad you fellowship in a utopia where all are genuine. Seems we can’t discern that there are wolves in the church, but you are able to discern that all are sheep.
Easy to do when it is you who make up the criteria.

2   Neil S.    
March 21st, 2007 at 1:15 pm

RE: ” Since you see fit to defend the ecm and emergent carte blanche, then you are with them.”

This and Mike’s comment about the emergent camp show the lack of discernment to which I have become accustomed from Ken, Chris, and now Mike…

There is no emergent camp, as if that metaphor fit as an all encompassing group – again, their are significant differences that continue to be ignored.

And, no one is defending anyone carte blanche – man of us have repeatedly made distinctions and called for those doing the condemning to do the same.

I suspect – as all my other calls for interactions have been ignored – this one will be as well.

Neil S.

3   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
March 21st, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Chris, I need to pick this all apart.

1. just because chambers said that does not negate the fact the Mike said it as well. Mike did say it.

2. No one said anything about teachings regarding “the false church, false leaders, false prophets false teachings etc. i.e. all that is masquerading as His.” This is about a man who finds it necessary to offend people in order to have the true message of Jesus Christ.

3. This post has very little, in fact nothing to do with accepting any and all ideas, “oligies”, “isms” and movements. This is about a man thinking it is his right to say that if I am growing closer to my fellow brothers and sisters, I am wrong.

4. FOR THE LAST TIME, NO ONE THINKS THAT DISCERNING WOLVES FROM SHEEP IS WRONG. It is when YOU become the definitive voice from God on the matter that we have a problem. I discern people who are going down a bad path all the time. I do my best to help them back on the right track. I do not however, create a blog telling the whole world that God has spoken to me about the status of their church and/or salvation.

4   Pastor Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
March 21st, 2007 at 2:00 pm

“This and Mike’s comment about the emergent camp show the lack of discernment to which I have become accustomed from Ken, Chris, and now Mike…” You can repeat this mantra from now until the Lord returns and this, your opinion, does not change anything.

We turn right around and say, you’re not understanding Mike’s comment about the Emergent centered on self rebellion against the Bible just shows the lack of discernment among the Amen Corner here to which Chris P., Mike and I have become accustomed from you self-appointed watchdawgs of the watchdawggies here. peace…oops, make that grace and peace.

5   Matt    
March 21st, 2007 at 2:08 pm

I’m not sure about my rebellion against the Bible. I think it’s inerrant. Does that mean Ken considers me a brother in Christ?

6   Todd    http://toddblog.net
March 21st, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Ken, it took me a while to understand what you meant. Rather than “you’re not understanding” it should read “your not understanding.”

Hope that helps everyone.

So are you and your peeps the watchdawggies?

How can you mock a salutation like “grace and peace” and expect to be taken seriously?

7   Neil S.    
March 21st, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Thanks Ken, I appreciate the response… though you seem to have combined my comments with the others and responded in general – but that’s ok – “we” do the same.

My point remains though – as long as the metaphor of a camp in employed, as if there is a unified emergent camp – true discernment has not taken place.

There are vastly different theologies between, for example, Driscoll, Kimball, and Burke on the one hand and McClaren and Pagitt on the other – the former are thoroughly orthodox, the latter are not… yet all fall within the so-called Emergent Camp.

8   Neil S.    
March 21st, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Again, I ask…

Ken, from one brother in Christ to another, why the hostility?

Under the same Sun,

Neil S.

9   Nathan    
March 21st, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Ken, we have not received any comments here from the discernment ministries involved against the idea that if you obey God, then you are/must offend the MAJORITY of people (specifically Christians). I don’t think it is a matter of not understanding. Mike is a good writer, and makes his points very clear. I am not too sure what we are not understanding. This wasn’t about “the Emergent centered on self rebellion against the Bible” at all.

10   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
March 21st, 2007 at 5:23 pm

I just love how people refer to “the emergent.” One of Mike’s sympathizers said
“Hey you’re getting a good first-hand experience as to what it’s like to argue with liberals and emergents”
Anytime someone thinks anything different than them, they are liberal and emergent. I bet this guy couldn’t define who are what emergent is to save his life.
Another person wrote on “emergetns”: “He now questions everything and his beak is tightly closed around his new found theology. He is not interested in being fed by God’s Word anymore.
Who isn’t interested in being fed by God’s word? We are all interested in that. We are not interested in being fed by the words of men. But apparently these guys are. He closes his response with “Keep speaking truth, Mike, your words feed those whose beaks are open. Pray for those whose beaks are closed but do not waste much time with them because if we do some open mouths will go hungry.” It’s scary to think that if a man stops preaching someone will go spiritually hungry. And we are the ones who don’t want to be fed with God’s word anymore?

11   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
March 21st, 2007 at 6:41 pm

“…just shows the lack of discernment among the Amen Corner here to which Chris P., Mike and I have become accustomed from you self-appointed watchdawgs of the watchdawggies here…”

There are a lot of Amen Corners on the web. They tend to shout at each other from corner to corner to see who can “amen” the loudest. The point of this is to accomplish nothing except say “amen” really, really loud.

12   Pastor Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
March 21st, 2007 at 11:02 pm


Indeed. And this is another of them. Which is actually the point. Here they are hypocrites to accuse CRN of being one of these corners you speak of all the while patting each other on the back as each of them tells the other what they already believe anyway.

13   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 22nd, 2007 at 6:58 am


You seem pretty new here, but we welcome all views – censoring none – and we do not always agree (I can point you to some threads, if you would like). Even so, the point is around learning/discussing, not patting each other on the back for giving the heretics what-for.

With Chris P, I will admit it is difficult, but we’re actually trying to get him to converse – rather than just post general diatribes/rants. Nobody commenting here, though, has ever accused him of being a ‘false’ Christian – or questioned his salvation. Nobody commenting here flat-out mocks him. These are two key attributes of an ‘amen chorus’.

Additionally, another ‘amen chorus’ characteristic is to be predominantly back-patting posts with little or no substance. (”Way to go Ken! Don’t those emergents know they’re going to burn in hell…” etc, etc,). You will find little, if any, of that here.

With you, I have pretty much given up any hope that you will ever say something of substance with which to discuss. You admittedly sit in the seat of mockers, and 90% of your comments (including the above) demonstrate this. Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, so for you to label anything as hypocritical is laughable at best.

So, if you happen to have anything of substance to say – to discuss – please, by all means get to it. If your only purpose is to mock and jeer and play the part of a perpetual seventh-grader, please slither off and spread your poison elsewhere…

14   Neil S.    
March 22nd, 2007 at 7:12 am


I see you took to pandering instead of addressing my sincere questions to you.

I tried to come out of the corner for a dialogue, but, alas, you seem to have chosen to stay in your corner and shout.

If you decide you wish to interact, I’ll check back.

still your brother in Christ,

Neil S.

15   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 22nd, 2007 at 7:22 am


Just to demonstrate what an ‘amen chorus’ looks like, you can just go to the article linked from Mike Radcliff’s site. There are currently 15 comments, so let’s examine them:

1) Henry Frueh – it’s a diatribe against the ‘emergent’ stereotype with lots of hyperbole, but little substance. Not really an ‘amen chorus’ post, though.

2) Jay – Amen chorus

3) Loddie – Amen chorus

4) Coram – Amen chorus

5) Mike – reply to Henry with labeling those who disagree with him as being ‘liberals’ (and, by inference, there is no need to even listen/discuss with them). [I would dispute this contention, as well, as none of this blog's authors - that I know of - would call themselves 'liberal', nor would 'liberals' consider them to be.

Note: Mike is incredibly fragile when people disagree with him. I've come in to support him on some past posts where it really did seem he was making a mountain from a molehill where someone disagreed with him. So, this isn't surprising.]

6) Mike (to Jay) – Amen chorus return echo

7) Mike (to Loddie) – Amen chorus return echo

8) Mike (to Corem) – Amen chorus return echo

9) Jill – off-topic (going off on PDL churches, instead of emergents), but not amen

10) Ken – Amen chorus (with predictably affected blether of self-made labels & such)

11) Kim – Amen chorus

12) Kim – Amen chorus (Which, interestingly, includes these as her only original words – “Amen and amen!”)

13) Mike (to Jill) – not amen chorus

14) Mike (to Ken) – Amen chorus return echo

15) Mike (to Kim) – Amen chorus return echo

So, 11 of 15 posts on Mike’s blog article were easily classified as ‘amen chorus’.

This thread (including this reply) has 15 comments, two of which are off-topic rants by you (both sorry attempts to mock/cry ‘hypocrite’, both of which do nothing to address the topic at hand), and none of which would fit into the criteria for ‘amen chorus’.

So, just from the two posts at hand:

CRN/Slice writer – 11/15 ‘amen chorus’ posts
CRN.info writer – 0/15 ‘amen chorus’ posts

This is not atypical…

16   Neil S.    
March 22nd, 2007 at 7:45 am

Chris L.

You could also add the propensity of the others to censor those who ask questions contrary to the amen theme. I’m not sure if that’s true of Mike’s blog, but we all experienced that from Slice 1.0.

My personal experience – I asked a couple follow up questions, nothing attacking, not even in opposition really, just a follow-up… they were never posted.

Neil S.

PS – I still have multiple questions pending with both Mike and Chris P., and while these questions have gone unaddressed, they’ve continued to post attack barbs. In my mind, the biggest unanswered question re: Ken and Chris P. and Mike is why they are so hostile? Why to vehement in their attacks? Even before you started this blog, the original Slice 1.0 rarely asked questions or simply raised concerns, from the start it was amazingly hostile – I wonder why?

17   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 22nd, 2007 at 8:03 am

Neil – check your email… I sent you a note yesterday…