(or Cutting off your face just to spite your nose )

In the comments of my recent post, Rick Frueh made a very good observation:

I find that many legitimate points are sometimes raised by men like [name deleted], but the method and tone with which they raise them, as well as these non-issues, obscure any thoughtful addressing of these same issues.

Rick reminded me of a post that I wrote a couple weeks ago over on my blog.  I’m re-posting it over here, given the level of relevance that Rick raised.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

While I will name “victims”, I’m not gonna name the offenders:

  1. It’s not relevant.
  2. Why would I give them free publicity?
  3. I’m old and can’t remember 2 of the 3, anyway.

Illustration 1

Some time ago, a well-known pastor released a video series on the problem of the Bible not being taken seriously enough and/or the Bible being twisted in these days. As part of his defense of this topic, he played audio clips of “preachers” that illustrated his point.

Among his issues was the alleged irreverence of using humor. And yes, if your church has a two-drink minimum, then maybe there’s something wrong. But among the clips played was one of Ken Davis. For those of you not familiar with Ken, he isn’t a preacher; he is primarily a — wait for it — comedian. Ken uses his comedy to segue into issues of a serious nature.

Apparently, this pastor has a problem with a comedian being funny. Or at least, if he’s also a Christian.

Hezekiah 2:43
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all to the glory of God. That is, unless, it’s being funny.

So, with such a silly thought, how am I supposed to take any of what you say seriously?

Illustration 2

During one of Rob Bell’s recent “tours”, a blogger who adamantly disagrees with him attended his city’s stop on the tour. While the blogger spun his response as simply a report of what occurred, it was an obvious fisking.

Regardless, in the midst of a theological analysis of the evening, the blogger felt it necessary to note that several of the men in the audience looked similar to Bell, particularly in hairstyle and glasses. He made the declaration that obviously, these guys were idolizing Bell, further “proving” his point that things were amiss.

(It was pointed out that Bell is somewhat fashionable, and if others are fashionable as well, there’s a good chance of overlap, rather than idolization. No response was made to this rebuttal. I was shocked, shocked.)

So, let’s take a serious theological questioning about Bell’s teachings, and throw in a judgment-passing, divinely-revealed analysis of others’ actions, that Bell has no control over, and probably wasn’t true in the first place.

But I’m supposed to buy your larger points?

Illustration 3

Someone email’d me what turned out to be a copy of a blog post. The thrust of the post was intended to be critical of Rick Warren shortly before the forum in which the presidential candidates participated. In passing, the Democractic nominee was referred to as “B Hussein Obama”.

The implication was clear — let’s focus on Obama’s Muslim heritage. Such silliness obfuscates any legitimate arguments that one might have, drowning them out by those who simply dismiss you as a xenophobe.

Now here’s the kicker

  1. Much of what the well-known pastor teaches is spot-on, IMHO. Even in that series.
  2. There are some major theological differences that I have with Bell, some of which were highlighted by the anti-Bell blogger.
  3. If you know me at all, you know that I’d rather sit next to David Dukes at a Jeremiah Wright sermon than see Obama in the White House. And with the kind of goofballs that he hangs with, it would not surprise me to find out that Obama is overly-friendly with those he should not be, who happen to be Muslim.

In short, on a lot of issues, and sometimes even in their main thrust, I agree with all three of the unnamed men that I have decried here. But in their passion to dismantle those that they oppose, they are all three perfectly willing to use any and every issue that they disagree with, regardless of its accuracy or relevance to the main point.

And so the main point gets totally clouded over and ignored. And for those that don’t know better (and that’s more than you might think), everything that that person says gets ignored. For the guy in “illustration 3″, it’s political suicide, as he drives more people over to his opponent’s side or further affirms those that are already there.

But when you start mixing personal opinion (and/or gross stupidity) with Scripture, then you’re driving people away from God — a much more serious offense — “two-fold the child of hell”, “millstones around the neck”, and all that stuff.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 9:01 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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15 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 22nd, 2008 at 9:53 am

Brendt,

I have to say that this fits 100% with a number of RL conversations I’ve been having that start with “Have you ever just wished certain people weren’t on your side of the argument…”

And while some of these conversations have been political in nature, sadly a number of them dealt with issues of faith, as well…

2   Chris P.    
October 22nd, 2008 at 10:46 am

So you get to set the rules of “dialogue”. Your post is arrogant. So what’s new?
This blog is amazing in that it critiques the “armchair” folks (a term I resent since I generally view you, i.e. a collective you, and showoffs like Warren and Bell to be of that group) but employs the very same methodology as the alleged odms, which you critique. I see nothing here that shows concern for content, other than the talmud, Rich Mullins,Metallica, and the restorationist movement are the true path to enlightenment.
My purpose in writing or speaking here is usually not to engage in “conversation”, it is to proclaim truth, and I could care less if you accept or not. I find the comment threads always end up in a pointless stalemate;I’m ok you’re ok, which is the real theology of the postmodern era.
You are not going to “change my mind” nor will I change yours. Nowhere in scripture are we told to do this.
I once had some former friends ask me “haven’t you learned anyhting new from scripture in the last ten years?”
My answer is of course. I learn something new from the Word every day, However their real question was “‘hasn’t the post-modern era altered your belief in the fundamental and immutable facts of the bible?”, as they were arguing with me about the “wonders” of open theism and a “star trek” multi universe theology, i.e. God knows every possible choice we can make, but He hasn’t a clue which one you will
choose. Idiocy if you really think about it.
Such nonsense needs to be brought down, not “dialogued over”, as a lofty thought or opinion which exalts itself against God. Kinda like most of the rhetoric and straw presented on this blog.

3   Chris P.    
October 22nd, 2008 at 4:18 pm

my my my

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 22nd, 2008 at 4:52 pm

We have come to define “orthodox Christianity” as what we believe to the exclusion of how we behave and speak. We sometimes act as if our light is our systematic theology and not the pure essences of Christ as seen through our lives.

For every book and blog post about how to lives lives of Christ’s grace you will find 1000 on the finer points of doctrinal truth.

5   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
October 22nd, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Test

6   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
October 23rd, 2008 at 1:31 am

your your your what?

7   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
October 23rd, 2008 at 1:44 am

Chris P, can you please explain to me which of the 297 words in your longer comment have any relevance whatsoever to this post?

Or would that constitute a conversation?

8   Aaron    
October 23rd, 2008 at 1:46 am

My purpose in writing or speaking here is usually not to engage in “conversation”, it is to proclaim truth, and I could care less if you accept or not.

Sooooo…. if you ever end up wrong (unknowingly, most likely, it happens to all of us) and you don’t care if other people accept or reject it…. then how would you ever know if you’re wrong?

In my hermeneutics class today, we covered Proverbs 26:6-12 as an example for interpreting Proverbs. The message was resounding loud to me once I got it, and I’m the new guy (junior in undergraduate work). I wonder if I’ll still hear it when I get older.

Proverbs 26:6-12
———————-
6He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence
Who sends a message by the hand of a fool.
7 Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds a stone in a sling,
So is he who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.
11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit
Is a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
—————————

9   ianmcn    
October 23rd, 2008 at 7:52 am

Sorry, what’s wrong with being friends with a Muslim?

10   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
October 23rd, 2008 at 8:16 am

and I could care less if you accept or not

.

Wow, Chris P. Thank you for offering such a stark contrast between yourself and both Jesus and Paul who wept over those who rejected the gospel.

Jesus said: They will know you by your love.

11   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
October 23rd, 2008 at 8:44 am

I once had some former friends

The double negative not withstanding I certainly have no doubts after that rant why you have “former” friends.

12   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
October 23rd, 2008 at 8:49 am

chris,
What an odd thing that for some people (like Chris P) to have “former friends” is worn like a badge of honor.

13   nc    
October 23rd, 2008 at 9:08 am

Four Corners Community Church exists to win people to Jesus Christ and bring them to his eternal family through membership, tosee them grow to Christ-like maturity, and equip them to effectively fulfill the mission of evengelizing the world and ministry to the Church to use whatever means necessary to fulfill his mandate for us in order to magnify his name.

This is a direct copy and paste from Chris P’s church website.

Despite the fact that it is very purpose driven and clearly advocating contextualization of the Gospel to fulfill the great commission, it also stands in contrast to the words he always writes here.

Chris P is the text book example of a double minded person. I used to think he was only a hypocrite. No doubt he still is, but it is clear he’s also deeply confused about what he believes.

Maybe he’s taking on a persona while on the internet and just playing cyber-dress up…

who knows?

14   nc    
October 23rd, 2008 at 9:08 am

Honestly, I’m still confused as to what “evengelizing” is, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt…

;)

15   nc    
October 23rd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

cyber dress up sounds kind of…naughty