December 8, 2013

I Told You This Was No Boating Accident! (Fighting for the Faith)

(note as of 2-24-2015: I am no longer a Pirate Christian supporter.  On 9-2013 there was an update on the Ingrid/ChrisR situation - please go here:  Ingrid and Chris had reconciled.  This was a good thing.  We were all friends again.)

 Further update here:
I am no longer a Pirate Christian supporter.  Too much hypocrisy, too many double standards, too many false accusations. I apologize for all the confusion.  I pray it won't happen again.)

I Told You This Was No Boating Accident!

More astute analysis from Chris as he links to an article from Jonathan Merritt
Late yesterday the story hit the media like a thunder clap that Janet Mefferd was silenced by the Evangelical Industrial Complex.
The story written by Jonathan Merritt of the Religion News Service says it all. Wrote Merritt:
Religion writers at various outlets including Religion Dispatches, Patheos, and Urban Christian News, are reporting that Ingrid Schlueter, a part-time assistant producer for syndicated radio show host Janet Mefferd has resigned. According to these reports, Schlueter claims that the resignation is a result of the Mark Driscoll “situation”:
I was a part-time, topic producer for Janet Mefferd until yesterday when I resigned over this situation. All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex.
Read more at Fighting For the Faith

Also, Amy Spreeman had Chris on Stand up for the Truth last Friday

On Plagiarism, Tone, and Tribalism

This program does contain a summary of what has been going on, so a decent one to bring you up to speed if you haven't been following.  His Dec 5th Fighting for the Faith ("This Was No Boating Accident!") is a longer version, also worth listening to.

If we want the world to take us seriously the answer is not to be more hip and relevant.  The answer is to take the sin in our own camp seriously.  The world sees it.  The more we deny it and cover it up the more foolish and delusional we look to them.  Wake up people and notice the elephant in the living room.  Driscoll and Macdonald hold up a rattlesnake and tell us it's an elephant in the room, all the while ignoring the ACTUAL elephant and telling us that it's just the household pet goldfish.

We sit and complain that the world persecutes Christians.  Well no duh.  Why should we expect any different when we have "Christians" persecuting Christians for standing up for the truth and calling "Christians" to repentance?  We expect the world treat us fairly and not conform to its system, while worldly "Christians" in the church hypocritically do exactly the same thing and force us to conform to the world that has invaded the church, being ushered in by divided men who try to worship  partly at the altar of God and partly at the shrine of mammon.

The Evangelical Industrial complex (EIC) has excused proven liars like Ergun Caner with a slap on the wrist, and continue to defend and promote his hypocrisy now as a badge of honor.  They only reason anyone has done anything is because of the dogged persistence of people like James White who refuses to bow to the EIC's dysfunctional (i.e. sinful) demands to shut up, and who should only be commended for his refusal.  And so the hypocrisy continues.

The EIC has had top names defending C J Mahaney for the sake of friendship, though the court documents prove he among others in the Sovereign Grace network presided criminally negligently over issues involving child predators under their charge.  Again those who dare speak about the problem honestly are threatened,  harassed, shamed, falsely accused (irony of ironies) and silenced or ignored, and the hypocrisy continues.

The EIC has still excuses the false teaching, the blatant extortionary and abusive tactics of the Word Faith preachers used to steal the retirement of desperate and lonely people, and pretend this is an acceptable alternative form of Christianity.  IT is NOT.    And so, the hypocrisy continues.

The EIC has excused Mark Driscoll's oppressive behavior and unbiblical consolidation of power in his church and expulsion of those who would rein him in and keep him accountable, those men God puts in his life as a blessing to him FOR that purpose.   The EIC has excused his claims of pornographic visions.  It's no wonder they then will excuse plagiarism.  Plagiarism, while very serious, just isn't as sensational as covering up that other stuff and that other stuff barely gets a blip on the meter.  And so, the hypocrisy continues.

If it weren't for the Christian names involved,  I might think I was looking at stories about the US Congress.

The only way to stop this is to pray, repent, seek his face, and in the courage of conviction to not back down.  To stop subsidizing the worldly leaders within the church and to demand accountability at least as strongly as the EIC movers and shakers demand silence and compliance from the whistleblowers.  But like the US Congress, petitioning them to do the right thing might become a full time job, were we to actually do what needs to be done to stop this Titanic.  However, no one is taking tithe money to support the EIC by force of law.  You can always stop giving and feeding this monster. Blind legalistic obedience to some kind of 'tithe' teaching, buying the latest and greatest recycled books by popular pastors (especially when a lot of them are already using tithe money to inflate their sales numbers, hoping you'll be persuaded that you're "missing out" on something), and support of ungodly and hypocritical "Christian" leaders is not godly obedience.

Search the Scriptures.  Stop listening to them, as the Scriptures tell us. Depart from them.  Hear instead the voice of Jesus in the Scriptures, calling you away from these man centered things, from the love of money, from the desire for fame, influence, and prosperity, to green pastures and still waters, and the restoration of your soul in fellowship with him, by grace alone, through faith alone!

Jeremiah was very negative.  I so often feel the same way.  It is very hard for me to see among the widespread shenanigans that there is much good going on.  Oh, there is good going on in the small towns, in small churches who have remained faithful stewards of the message entrusted to them, but it is not generally promoted by the Christian media because it is not exciting and newsworthy and it doesn't sell books.  That is the problem.  I am here trying to say that the faithful remnant is NOT that which is held up for the public to see, it's not the big Christian industry which is mostly geared around selling merchandise.  It is out there, but it is not popular and never has been and it is not about  growing a large audience and making money.  And no matter what these megachurches tell you, they aren't doing any more effective or faithful or less "selfish" a job as your great grandpa's little church of less than 100 souls. It's all smoke and mirrors. (And too often, literally, it's smoke and mirrors and pyrotechnics and giant thumping amps.)

Though Jeremiah 23 is directly addressed to Israel, the principle illustrated in the whole chapter and even the whole book, is very applicable to our compromised and wandering Evangelical Church, but for sake of space I will only quote five verses. I would encourage you to read the whole thing.

starting at v 13:
In the prophets of Samaria
      I saw an unsavory thing:
they prophesied by Baal
      and led my people Israel astray.
But in the prophets of Jerusalem
      I have seen a horrible thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies;
      they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
      so that no one turns from his evil;
all of them have become like Sodom to me,
      and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
“Behold, I will feed them with bitter food
      and give them poisoned water to drink,
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
      ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”