Friday, August 17, 2007

A curious phenomenon

Using “Google Alerts” I come across a variety of blogs. Occasionally, there is a blog that is one of those ultra-conservative, anti-everything blogs. What I find very curious about those blogs is that, inevitably, those are the blogs that don’t have a place for comments. They are so concerned about accountability for heresy and wrong teaching, yet don’t offer their own writings up for critique or reproof. Hmmm…interesting.

Two blogs visited recently are of this nature: Jeremy Green’s and Ken Silva’s . Three things are striking about these blogs. First, their dogmatic views come at you like a bullet train with a steam roller attached to the front. Second, their views come across as uninformed. Their “research” comes only from written literature and then compared with stalwart theology of yester-century. Some of these bloggers need to get out and mingle with lostness for a while. And thirdly, the lack of any feedback loop (as mentioned above). I once had a friend that felt it was his duty to deliver the gospel to people no matter how understandable, and then the recipient is culpable to respond to it. It is as if I can quote John 3:16 to a bunch of people in a language not their own, and I am relieved of my responsibility to share the gospel. Conservatives are going to have to learn how to communicate their views to non-conservatives and be willing to take criticism.

This is not my usual kind of post, but I needed to get it off my chest.


Ken Silva said...


Thanks for stopping by. :-) Just a little point of caution, k. You say: "Some of these bloggers need to get out and mingle with lostness for a while."

Politely, how would you know that I don't? Answer: You wouldn't. Please be careful not to draw assumptions based on a lack of information.

Because I believe you are sincere let me just fill you in a bit on what the Lord has me overseeing. I don't share this to try and change your opinion, just to give you a fuller understanding of the scope of my labor in Christ.

Rest assured I am led the same way any other pastor-teacher is. Specifically my calling began simply doing apologetics, counter-cult evangelism and Comparative Religion. You would need to know that back in 1994 I had planted a mission church in Rock Springs, WY.

I had hair down the middle of my back, my secular rock band coming out of the church, missional and relevant "hanging with sinners," the emerging thing before there even was an emerging church. It doesn't begin until Leadership Network had Doug Pagitt help them gather 10 youth ministers and youth pastors for their Terranova Project in 1997 and I even have a contact who was one of those original 10.

Long story short when God gave me the first website Apprising Ministries as a former Roman Catholic the Lord led me into defending the Body of Christ from the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church. I have been shocked to see how necessary my studies in those areas have been for me as I now am using many of the arguments I would in those settings in the Church itself with professing Christians!

As far as accountability, I think you should also know that Apprising Ministries is a fully integrated auxiliary of my local church Connecticut River Baptist Church (SBC) and the leadership there helps oversee it with a separate board of directors which includes three other ministers of the Gospel. In addition to this there are four other pastors who don't know each other, nor are they directly involved with me, whom I also get advice from.

Then out of AM itself also comes Christian Research Net with multiple volunteer contributors under my supervision, four of which are also pastor-teachers with all of this itself also under AM's leadership. And then from CRN extends Symphony of Scripture another website in conjunction outreach from my local church with a few 22-23 year-old men from some churches in Sydney, Australia.

The Lord be praised that through AM I also have the extreme privilege of personally advising numerous pastors from all around the country. In point of fact, one of those directly associated with CRN has just gone over to Russia for three weeks of teaching biblical counseling there.

Psychology is flooding into the Russian church and Biblical counseling has not yet been taught in the preacher’s institutes and seminaries so we feel the writing and teaching of this curriculum is immensely important. I am so grateful to the Lord for the privilege of serving our Russian brothers in this way.

Since God alone is the one Who should be praised I have really seen no need to broadcast this, though I don't mind telling people when it seems applicable. I have hidden absolutely nothing but even in the face of many detractors I have maintained proper Christian ethic and not "boasted" of this publicly.

You see the Lord has literally been giving me these websites and people to work with as I have not asked for any of it. My only goal is simply to do whatever Jesus wants me to do and I actually would rather not want to have any attention whatsoever.

The nice thing is though, that through encouraging, as well as advising pastors and leaders within many churches, I'm actually involved with quite a bit of other types of Christian service well beyond my more controversial work at Apprising Ministries.

Maybe now that you know I'm involved with a lot more than ministry than you previously were aware of maybe you might feel a little differently. The fact that I am bold and direct most certainly does not mean I have no love for the people I speak out against such as a Rob Bell. Quite the contrary I spend hours and hours studying their materials that I often purchase out of my own pocket to try and understand their views from their perspective.

But you need to understand this is no game and this is no time for a "business as usual" approach to the Christian faith. Our Lord is at war and I am a soldier doing what I am personally asked to do for Him. What others do they will have to one day stand for themselves before God, as will I.

May the Lord open your eyes that you might see the dark red sky this morning and recognize the time in which you live. I am afraid this is only the beginning and should the Lord tarry things are going to get mighty rough spiritually in the days ahead. You may believe me when I tell you that I sincerely wish I had better news.

sdawg said...

Just an observation on Ken's comment:

That's a long list of ministries and Christian activities. I may have missed it but I didn't see in the list a sense of currently spending long hours with lost people in a relational manner. There were a lot of in-house Christian activities, but I didn't see that one.

The sense of accountability reminded a little bit of an echo-chamber. I'd like to see the full option for comments on Ken's website. If you can't learn from those who might disagree, critique you, or admonish you as a brother/sister in Christ, I'm not sure there is a real sense of accountability and feedback. But what do I know, maybe our brother Ken isn't in an echo-chamber of people who simply agree with him. But allowing comments on his site would be a concrete way of demonstrating that.

sdawg said...

Something about this aggressive and hostil attitude found among some in the hyper-conservative crowd just doesn't seem like what Jesus would want his Church to look like.

A rendering of 1 Corinthians 4:1 in The Message gets at this somewhat:

"Don't imagine us leaders to be something we aren't. We are servants of Christ, not his masters. We are guides into God's most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them."

sdawg said...

A related post on conservative "attack-dogs."