Friday, December 02, 2005

Double Standards
...the abomination of differing weights and measures

(The following hypothetical examples are in no way an endorsement of Rick Warren's theology of which I share concern. But he seems to be the logical choice to help illustrate the truth principles of this article.)

"Can I excuse wicked scales or bags of
deceptive weights?"
-Micah 6:11

This Has Got to be Said
-If Rick Warren were to appear on TBN he would come under instant criticism by some in my theological circles for being pragmatic and using any means necessary to promote his PDL material. But let one of "our guys" go on TBN and promote his book suddenly it’s OK, a great opportunity for the gospel, courage in proclaiming good theology on that frothy network; and you better not say anything publicly against them. They are immune and above such scrutiny.

-If Rick Warren was to have a Romanist speak at his church on a Sunday evening talking about cultural issues and politics, he would be criticized immediately by those in my theological circles for embracing an ecumenical paradigm (unity without theology) that is destroying the church today. But let one of "our guys" have a Romanist in the their church on a Sunday night to share the platform on political and cultural issues, then you better not say anything publicly against them because you’d be attacking the motives and ministry of a fellow servant of Christ. They are immune and above such scrutiny.

-If Rick Warren were to host a leading Roman Catholic writer and teacher to explain to his church the mysteries, metaphors, and allegory of “Lord of the Rings”, he would be challenged immediately for compromising the faith, partnering with those who deny the gospel and dumbing down doctrine for wider acceptance in religious circles about a fictional movie that is not Christian to begin with. But let one of "our guys" invite a Romanist as a guest lecturer to one of "our" seminaries to speak on the “Lord of the Rings” we must give them a pass and mustn’t say anything publicly about it for it would be unloving to characterize those in "our camp" who would do such things as “a turkey.” They are immune and above such satire and scrutiny.

Are you beginning to see the problem here? I'm only using Rick Warren in the above hypothetical examples because he is clearly the most marked target in most evangelical circles today. His fame and influence have made him the envy or the scorn of those jealous of his success (even though they'll deny it) and will hold him to a different standard than they themselves don’t hold each other to. As you know, I don’t agree with a lot of Rick’s material; and for the most part there are some foundational theological/doctrinal issues in his PDL material that need revisiting, rewriting, and reforming.

But the simple fact is, when Warren does something today it is instant news. Bible expositors will mention him from their pulpits and on their radio shows as soon as Rick does something that isn't theologically precise or methodology suspect as soon as they can. Like sharks to blood in the water, they will quickly decry his actions as unbiblical, invalidate his writings because of enormous sales, and are quick to judge his motives sweeping it all under the proverbial rug of pragmatism. He [Rick Warren] is the centerpiece discussion at most pastors conferences, Bible seminars, and the delight of most Q&A pastoral panels to rip into.

But Here's the Rub
When one of "our guys" does the exact same thing as mentioned above, it is "understood" that we are to give them a pass, remain quiet, look the other way, only deal with it in private, don't mention their names publicly, not to say anything if you haven’t contacted them first, and even edit out content from recorded material to protect their image, persona for fear of making them an enemy. And why? Because they're "one of us" and deserve to be glossed over. When those in "our evangelical club" agree on the essentials theologically and are politically beholding to one of "our guys" then the consensus is, they shouldn’t be challenged publicly - just give them "a wink and a nod" and forget about it. But if you do challenge them publicly about something they've said in the public marketplace as a good Berean should (Acts 17:10-11), holding them to the same biblical standard they applauded you for when you took on those on the other side of the theological aisle, then you are deemed as unloving, unkind, and un-Christlike. And here is the justification I am told all the time: "Steve, there are so few guys out there that really understand the issues biblically, why nit pick at one of "our guys" because they maybe went off-base on a certain issue. And besides they're "one of us." Better to just keep quiet and let them work it out privately. Cut them some slack and remove the post from your blog - yada... yada... yada."

Playing politics with each other on spiritual matters is irresponsible; playing politics with God is dangerous just to protect ones platform, ministry footing, conference attendance, denominational posturing, or reputation. It is wrong beloved.

I have at the top of this blog the phrase, “the evangelical spin stops here.” The reason I chose that phrase is because when we are critical of one evangelical leader and then give a pass to another evangelical on the exact same issue because one is our friend and agrees with us theologically; and another is not our friend and represents something we would never embrace doctrinally, then fail to honor the Lord and do each other a grave disservice in the body of Christ . I believe that passionately and it's that kind of spiritual double standard that should disgust us all with every fiber of our beings. I'm tired of it... are you?

Wisdom from Solomon
The word abomination is an interesting word in regards to our discussion. It means extreme hatred or detestation. One of the things that God has an extreme hatred of and considers detestable is differing weights and measures. When the scales of measurement are unjustly tipped to favor one against another on the same issue – this is an abomination to the Lord.

Listen to the what Proverbs says about this:

Proverbs 11:1
“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.”

Proverbs 20:10
“Differing weights and differing measures, both of them are abominable to the Lord.”

Proverbs 20:23
“Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false scale is not good.”

That is why “A just balance and scales are the LORD’s all the weights in the bag are his work” Proverbs 16:11.

We need to give an equal appraisal of anyone’s theology, doctrine, and methods in light of Scripture alone and regardless of who the individual might be. The same standard for all and to all, without exception. Someone should not be given a pass because they are a known personality, for political expediency, job security, or remaining in their good graces. But, holding each other accountable to the plumbline of God’s Word irrespective of name, title, position, influence, personal cost, loss of opportunities, etc. is the right thing to do. We owe no man loyalty save that of Christ Jesus our Lord. Anything less than that is politics; anything less than that is a differing weight; anything less than that is an abomination to the Lord.

IT'S POLITICS
Playing politics with God's weights and scales for denominational growth, funds, notoriety, personal advancement, etc. causes us all to act in ways that are not biblical, ethical or honoring to the Lord. Again, it’s politics. It exists profoundly in the Christian music/book publishing industry; it's present in Christian radio, among evangelical seminaries and their leaders especially within the larger denominational institutions; and sadly, it's present even within the local church. We should hate it, beloved, with an extreme hatred as the Lord does. Because if we're honest, this usually happens when one of us is offended for being challenged or publicly held accountable for our beliefs or methods. And so we run to the defensive posture-mode by making the tone or tenor of someone's comments the issue, rather than the issue itself. Deflection of responsibility on "owning the issue" has become a spiritual gift in most evangelical circles today.

But what usually happens instead, is that we succumb to our fleshly ways of being more concerned about our own hurt feelings or protecting our own press releases and market driven reputations, than we are to admitting the faults and correcting the wrongs. And we've all been there--no one has arrived at this. Pride causes us then to default to a double standard; we embrace it, justify it, dance around it, massage it, use it to our benefit, and hide behind it. I've done it and others have too and it's wrong. We need to be quick to get over ourselves, own our own noise, and repent of the methods and messages that are not in accordance with God's Word which we have done.

I have been severely criticized for some of the posts that I have made on this blog when it comes to "our guys" in "our camp” who are one of "our own.” I've been rewarded with silence; the loss of ministry opportunities with the ones I respect deeply; put out of some "inner circles" in ministry for simply “taking on one of our own.” It has caused me great sorrow that the very ones who have modeled to me and encouraged me to “instruct in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict” are the very ones who are crying foul when the same standard is applied to them. I'm speaking honestly here. I know that I have been guilty of these same things in how I have communicated and commented on this blog--no question. And when that has happened, I have tried to quickly admit those things and change them on the posts immediately.

But beloved, I cannot back down and will not be silenced from addressing any issue affecting the church which is not in accordance with sound doctrine regardless of who is saying it or championing the latest trend. My own credibility will be lost if I begin to play politics with my brothers whom I love by measuring one with differing weights and another with differing scales on the same issues.


One Standard for All
If we are not willing to apply the same biblical standard for ALL regardless of friendship, denominational affiliation, theological persuasion, or doctrinal conviction, then may I make a suggestion? This next year at our pastors conferences, seminars, retreats, worship services, concerts, etc. may we all just shut up! If we're going to talk about Rick Warren, then you better be prepared to talk about ___________ by the same standard (fill in the blank with your favorite Bible teacher, radio personality, author or singer of your liking). For unless we’re willing to hold all to the same standard biblically and publicly, then we’d be better not to invoke the extreme hatred of our God by offering differing weights and measures because of playing politics with each other.

Have a good day.
Steve
Proverbs 20:10

26 comments:

T.B. Vick said...

Sounding a needed alarm is always good, but you should never let your method destroy your message.

1 Peter 3:15 ". . . gentleness and reverence."

I have fallen in the same trap with ‘correcting’ certain theologians/Christians when error seemed so obvious and have learned that the way I have performed certain criticisms/corrections has caused more division than good (and I mean unnecessary division).

I saw this occur with one of my seminary professors in certain circumstances and with certain other theologians who differed from his view. With gentleness and reverence is how Peter instructs us to behave when giving a defense (or critique).

Albeit, I think you make a very good point when you declare:

"We need to give an equal appraisal of anyone’s theology, doctrine, and methods in light of Scripture alone and regardless of who the individual might be. The same standard for all and to all, without exception. Someone should not be given a pass because they are a known personality, for political expediency, job security, or remaining in their good graces. But, holding each other accountable to the plumbline of God’s Word irrespective of name, title, position, influence, personal cost, loss of opportunities, etc. is the right thing to do."

But one can do that very thing you mentioned above in a very sinful fashion (with disrespect, and in anger, or with ill words that are unnecessary). 1 Peter 2:23

littlegal_66 said...

When a spotlight of truth shines on the Church, no one should be exempt from its beam. Its ray might well prove to be one of eternal magnitude & consequence. And make no mistake, sledgehammer would not hesitate to turn a beam on himself, if just cause became evident.

To be honest, I am somewhat surprised by the fact that it became necessary for this to "be said." I would expect this type of reaction if, say, a conservative actor in Hollywood pointed out a weakness in a fellow actor's political beliefs--he'd be criticized by his peers; blackballed by filmmakers. The consensus would be: "How dare he say something negative about one of 'our own?'" But we're Christians, here. Shouldn't we be different from the movers in Hollywood?

Sigh...........Campi, Campi...........It is comforting and encouraging to know that we have someone of your ilk and intestinal fortitude functioning in the unofficial but risky position of "Church watchdog"........standing firm, holding fast, refusing to play favorites, & relentlessly speaking out when it seems as if no one else will.........an example of genuine Christian OBJECTIVITY, (which apparently is so lacking today). I am so grateful that the Lord has provided us with someone who will not back down on these issues. You once posed the question in a song, "Where are the Heroes?"
I hope you've taken a good look in the mirror since then, brother!!
Your frankness and boldness in reproving should be considered an inspiration and an asset to the Church, not a source of contention on behalf of those whose toes have been bruised. And if the shoes of error fit, we should be humble enough to accept that fact, and wear them without murmuring.

Pound on, Steve. I truly believe that you daily live dangerously in the hands of God.

Sigh..........thanks for letting me speak my mind......I'm coming down from my soapbox, now. (If you'd been posting a little bit more often, maybe I wouldn't have so much to say at one time, LOL. ;-)
________________________________________
P.S. And before anyone asks........no, I have NOT been sipping the Camp Kool-Aid.

wisdomofthepages.com said...

I don't presume to think you wrote this post in response to my one little comment the other day, but since today's post directly relates to what I said...

I never said for you to give "a pass" to Russell Moore. I said that I disagree with you regarding whether what he did was wrong.

Some may be telling you to "go light on our own", and I agree that playing favorites is dastardly behavior.

But, just for the record, I did not say you are wrong for criticizing "our guy" Moore, I said your criticism itself is invalid.

I would say the same thing if you critized Warren for holding a weekday lectureship on various cultural topics and invited the RC to speak on LOTR.

Respectfully,
Scott Lamb

Carla said...

Interesting timing on this - I've written over the last couple of days on a very similar topic.

I agree with every word you wrote here. Double standards have no place in the Christian life.

Thanks for your blog Steve, it's a blessing.

SDG,
Carla

Des71 said...

Steve,

The sharks you mentioned in this article would be wise to meditate on and do the following.

For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:7-9, ESV

Thank you for holding firm to the Word of God. I am still waiting and praying for you to appear on TBN as you did on PTL in 1984 (does anyone have a video copy?). Performing 'The Agony Of Deceit' for Paul and Jan Crouch, Benny Hinny, Rod Parsley and the rest of the TBN crew. To see the look on their faces as you sing 'But the cash they steal from you WILL buy the coffin to seal their defeat' would be glorious. Even more glorious if they would break down in true repenetance of their sins.

God Bless,

Des
His Afflicted Ambassador
Psalm 119:107, 2 Corinthians 5:20

Breuss Wane said...

I have to disagree with you. :-) I don't believe that our camp has the fortitude to critique Warren for bringing to his platform this week Jim Towey, a devout Catholic. http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20031023.html

The Reformed camp is more interested in scoring brownie points in the political, social, and yes, evangelical circles, than biblical correctness.

Great post!

SJ Camp said...

Scott: Please rest assured that it was not your post that triggered this article. Your thoughts were most appreciated and I thank you for your insights.

Other circumstances, conversations and events prompted this... I have been wrestling with this for several months now and have shared my concerns with many friends and co-laborers in ministry as well. It seemed like the timing was right for this piece to be written.

However, to assert "that the criticism itself is invalid" is a short-sighted. All criticism has some merit to it; and we can profit from it as from the Lord (Prov. 15:10). BUT, to say that being concerned that a Romanist lecturing at a Christian seminary is not valid... is simply naive and cavalier.

The Reformation did have a purpose and it was not to achieve some pseudo-ecumenical marriage between biblical Christianity and the satanically inspired Romanism of Tridentine doctrine we see today.

The Henry Institute was wrong about this one - and on that, there should be no debate.

Grace and peace,
Campi
Col. 1:9-14

Bhedr said...

I am convinced that you are the only one brave enough in well known evangelical circles today to write this. I say this not gladly but sadly.

I hear a song on the radio sometimes, "Jesus had to walk this road before him, nobody else could walk it for Him. He had to walk it by himself."

Brother you are in a more public arena and you are doing what many have to do day to day in the work place. Selah!

All who desire to live godly in Christ will suffer. The time is short, keep blowing the trumpet.

Keep brother. The first will be last and the last will be first.

2Tal said...

I really liked this article because it rings true in circles I've seen. I also didn't like it because it rings painfully true in what I see in my own heart.

t.b. vick stated:
But one can do that very thing you mentioned above in a very sinful fashion (with disrespect, and in anger, or with ill words that are unnecessary). 1 Peter 2:23

This is very true. I would only ask you to give us the answer? How do we avoid disobedience in fulfilling the scritpural mandate to publically rebuke people, denouncing, exposing, and opposing their error? We all know it would be unloving to not obey these commandments if they apply. We may need it fleshed out some more.
Gentleness and respect for all? Paul didn't seem too gentle when he opposed Peter to his face, or when he referred to those people preaching circumcision as people he wished would castrate themselves. I guess that's why we need to walk in the Spirit to be Spirit guided. Otherwise our tongues will forever remain untamable.

ScottyB said...

dang i can't believe you just said that...that was needing to be said.

As for Rick Warren I agree he is an easy target. I wish we would deal with him the way we ourselves like to be treated. I wish the world would know christians by their love one for another and not just their love for those of the same clique.

If we truly dealt with all believers the same-(i mean encouraging those that need encouraging/rebuking those that need rebuking/being patient with those that need patience)- based on their confession of faith then we could make a dent in theological favoritism(James 2(i understand this is talking about material wealth but i think application can be made to treating all believers with equal esteem-even those that have messed up theology or less theological acumen)).

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

wisdomofthepages.com said...

Steve,
"Invalid" was not the word I should have used.

Your criticism is indeed valid, even though I disagree with you on this one.

In attempting to clarify the "give him a pass" comments, I used a word that communicated something I did not intend.

In Him,
Scott

Douglas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Libbie said...

I was thinking, though.. if Rick Warren goes on Praise the Lord and talks the same kind of man-centred stuff as usual, that's a fair target..
But I've seen John MacArthur on there, and at first did a double-take of horror.. but what came out of his mouth was so straight-down-the-line it made the audience gasp. And by the end they were practically cheering because he actually spoke the truth you hardly ever hear on there.
I struggled with the seeming endorsment of the 'ministry' of TBN by MacArthur. But then I thought, well, if God can speak through a Donkey, He can do it through TBN.

But this is a rare case, of course, and your point is well made.

Douglas said...

Rick Warren needs sharp rebuking just the sames all the others you infer, need sharp rebuking too.

I have been a Christian for 24 years, and at times curled up in a ball, in tears and sobbings, on the floor, and I have not seen a false teacher as cleverly deceptive in the church as Rick Warren.

If Rick Warren truly was a humble faithful servant and disciple of the LORD Jesus Christ the world would hate him but as it is, the world loves him. They are tripping and stumbling all over each other and oohhhhing and aahhhing and fussing all over him.

Rick Warren's teachings are rotten to the core, extending to the very roots, the tree is corrupt.......

In the Modern Reformation interview who let Modern Reformation know without any promoting from them that he paid back(supposedly) all his salary to Saddleback? Was it an afterthought? Like "by the way, I paid back all my salary to the church." Was he blowing his own trumpet? Where does he get all the money from? From the sales of all his false teaching Purpose Driven® books and other Purpose Driven® products and trinkets by blind people all around the world? He is no different than all the other false teachers on TBN.

Rick Warren, take note: Matthew 6:1"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2"Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

My good friend Ray Comfort and his friend Kirk use TBN to preach the true gospel...... I am not that happy that Ray uses TBN but God sure does use Ray!

Who told the world that Rick Warren reverse tithes e.g.: gives 90% instead of 10%? Where does this information come from? Who is blowing his own trumpet here? How much income from his falsehoods does he generate each financial year? Does he still claim that $300,000 or so isn't it, tax free housing allowance each year or does he pay that back as well? What about fuel and that, for their personal vehicles? And other tax free perks? By the way, tithes was a practice commanded under the law, a tenth or portion of produce and not of income. Tithing is NOT for today and he who tithes is trying to justify themselves by the keeping of the law and actually falls from grace. The New Testament teaches the principle of free-will offerings and giving, cheerfully and willingly and freely, not grudgingly. We can use 10% as guideline if we so desire but as far as God is concerned it is not how much you give but what is your true motive for giving and what attitude do you have when you give, is it pure or is there even a little hint of the flesh involved? God knows and we are to make judgments, not by appearances but by righteous judgments.

Who has let the world news media now that Rick Warren set up the three foundations he runs with his wife? Who lets the news media know of all Rick Warren's good deeds, do they have inside information into all that Warren does? Does Rick Warren have a public relations manager letting everyone know what Rick is doing or does Rick just do all that himself, like at the Pew Forum and other high profile events and every opportunity he gets, boasting about what HE is accomplishing. Rick sure is getting heaps of free media coverage for himself and Purpose Driven® and all things relating to ALL that he is supposedly doing for AIDS and Africa and so on and so forth. What about all the Christians that have worked with AIDS patients behind the scenes, working quietly away in seemingly obscurity who get no credit or recognition by man? I have worked with a man who ended up dying of AIDS, where I had to lift him in my arms at times to get him in and out of bed and change his clothes, including his underwear, for him and who died within a few short weeks after he came to us. What about all the thousands upon thousands that have gone on before us, suffering for the faith and the giving of their very physical lives? Where is their hall of fame? Where is all their recognition? Rick Warren wouldn't be going to Africa unless it was all nice and safe and cozy for him. Why didn't he go there during Black Hawk Down days???? Why doesn't he go to Iraq instead and set up a Purpose Driven® model outfit their and sell all his junk Purpose Driven® books and trinkets etc. there? Why did he not go to the Sudan well before now, wickedness has been going on for a long time, selling Christians into slavery, eh? There is just as much wickedness and evil in America and the homeless and poor in America, Southern California even, why doesn't he focus on all the problems there first? Why doesn't get his own home town/city/county/state in order first? Why doesn't he make a purpose of going to the Hells Angels motorcycle gangs in California and tell them God has a purpose for them? Instead, Rick nips off in a comfortable jumbo Jet to Africa. Does he travel first class?

It makes me sick to the pit of my stomach and I want to vomit when I think of what this false teacher, heretic, wolf in sheep's clothing, is getting away with, all the while with a cheesy smile on his face and the world is blindly on its way to the lake of fire......

Does Rick Warren boast in God alone or does Rick Warren boast in all that he has accomplished? Answer that......

Does Rick Warren fear Almighty God alone? AWESOME(fearful & dreadful) God! Answer that......

Does Rick Warren tremble at the fact that he has twisted and mishandled God's holy Word too?

Look at this blasphemy : Rick Warren's best-selling book, The Purpose Driven® Life, has spiritually energized tens of thousands of churches and millions of people in the last three years. For one small country church in Arkansas, the book helped bridge a long-standing conflict, unify its members, and spark new growth.

Rick Warren's book is credited with doing what only the Holy Spirit does in conjunction with The Word of God. The only "spiritually energizing" going on through Rick Warren's Purpose Driven® life book will be demonic unless God uses the contorted and twisted verses that Rick Warren uses to lead people to study true translations of His holy Word for them selves and then God "spiritually energizes" those people and churches Himself.

Rick Warren travels over land and sea.........Matthew 23:15

Does Rick Warren give ALL glory to God alone? Answer that......

Why the church has not gathered as a unified voice and denounced this master of deception and false teacher, Rick Warren, only God alone knows I suppose. There is a massive blindness in society and in the church.........

He is not different than Jim Jones as far as I am concerned. And look what Jim Jones got away with.....You Americans are sick........your Nation is corrupt, inside the church and outside the church.....YOU NEED TO REPENT.......

No wonder Muslims hate Americans........you are a prideful arrogant people in the main......True? When 9/11 happened, middle eastern Muslim taxi drivers in Perth in Western Australia, where I lived at the time, dance for joy in the streets.

Many Kiwi's detest Americans now and we as a country do not allow your nuclear warships here, or any of your warships...

I do not detest Americans but I am very concerned for you......

Oh God, please let my motives be pure in all of this, for your glory alone o God! I throw myself upon your grace and mercy o God.

O God, please bring a time of deep and true repentance to America and New Zealand, where the Purpose Driven® horror is entrenched now too.......Amen

Do you remember what your old buddie Keith Green said? He said that he read all his mail, including the critical negative ones, just in case God used them to speak to him.

Uncialman said...

I believe that you have missed Steve's entire motivation for the post Douglas. Steve was *not* saying that he is in agreement with Rick Warren's theological convictions. Steve was stating that if we hold Warren, Ryrie, Schuller etc. to a certain standard then the same standard should be used for those within our own camp.

Steve: excellent article. Sadly, it may draw more heat than light from those that are convicted by the content.

Sparks said...

Amen Steve.

Add to the list bloggers who are quick to behave in the same manner.

littlegal_66 said...

Douglas-perhaps this will help: (This is a quote of Steve's regarding Rick Warren from an article he wrote/posted a couple of months ago).

"First off, I am not a fan of Rick’s material. Though I believe there are some helpful things in PDL that are biblical and worthy of our time. But the reasons I wouldn't publicly endorse it center around (a.) the core pragmatic emphasis absent of biblical foundation that permeate his writings; (b.) the very weak gospel presentation (if there was one at all) presented in PDL; and (c.) the proof-texting, ad-nauseam, using primarily 'stream of consciousness opinion-phrase' like The Message (it was like a Logos Bible Software search on the word 'purpose' overheated, then exploded and all the 'purpose' words from twenty different bible versions had landed neatly in this book and then carelessly applied to support the PDL concepts whether those verses meant those things or not) remain major issues in his book for me that I would like to hear him address."

Here's a link to the original article: Ashley Smith's Unusual "METH"ods

Lord bless you "down under," brother.
--Steph

Denise said...

May I be so bold as to say here that what Steve has said is what many other unknowns have noted for a while now?

This is just what I commented on over at Reflections on something Carla posted. I applaud Steve for his stand for truth and trying to be consistant, and for taking the heat when rightly calling into question/accountability 'one of our own.'

But here's the rub: why is it that Steve's voice is "the brave trumpet" when many others who are not well-known are not considered so? They are fighting the very same battle, loving the Lord and His Word. Have you considered that they too, get a lot of heat from their own circles? Yet they are brushed off as non-entities. The favoritism happens even here.

I understand that our brother Steve has been in the spotlight due to his ministry in the past, and gave up a lot for his stand for living consistantly the truth. However, there are many other brothers and sisters who have taken the very same stand yet who also suffered for it---regardless of their lack of a famous name.

So this is just a friendly reminder (hoping all of us here are in this battle together), that while encouragement for Steve is definitly needed (You go, bro!), let us not fall into thinking that he's the only one that 'matters' in sounding this alarm. All our brothers and sisters who have been critiquing (sp??) our "own" deserve just as much encouragement.

Let's not play favorites even here.

Blessings to all of you who are fighting for biblical truth---from my heart!

Denise

Denise said...

I wanted to post a few verses from James that addresses this very issue. I know its easy to pass over so many verses, but I hope you guys read this. You can insert "the one with a famous name" or "the one with a title or degree" for "the rich man" here:

Jam 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
Jam 2:2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
Jam 2:3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet,"

Jam 2:4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Jam 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?
Jam 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?
Jam 2:7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
Jam 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.
Jam 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Jam 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
Jam 2:11 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
Jam 2:12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.

SJ Camp said...

Denise:

I echo your words completely. The few "celebrities" at the top of evangelicalism have dominated for too long and feel now they are above confrontation, scrutiny and criticism. It is up to all of us in the church to hold each other accountable, even when it is unpleasant or inconvenient to do so.

May I encourage all of you to let your voice be heard through emailing and phone calls to those that are in the public market place who are not cutting it straight in doctrine or in duty... maybe even guilty of this double standard I have recently written about. And as some of you have done already, thank you for beginning with me.

To all the faithful Bereans out there... keep on!!!

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Bhedr said...

Denise,

What you said was basically my point, but I am beginning to understand more and more I need to speak with more clarity so that I am not missunderstood. It has partly to do with the fact that I intellectually hail from Rio Linda. i.e-being a space case I sometimes articulate as one. Then again sometimes we all have our Rio Linda moments.

Humility said...

Amen Steve,
I could post comments on about everything you write, but just to come forward on this one alone is more than worth the time and thought. I was recently censured and "evicted" from a web site that would have been a great spot to have featured some of my own work, yet I risk this to point out that a fellow writer had misquoted our Lord and misinterpreted scripture. I'm no Bible scholar mind you, it's just that the inaccuracies were so blatant I couldn't keep quiet. I also was berated for not "just excepting" the article for it's good points and was told I was being to critical.
Just to keep myself accountable, I even had my pastor read the comments and my intended reply. Even before reading my reply his comment was "I'm not sure what Bible 'he's' using, but it's not the same one I read." Anyway, point is if we don't keep others who lead accountable, then "we" are "allowing" others whom may not be 'as' aware to be lead astray.
Winston Churchill once said that "All that evil needs to prevail is for good men to do nothing." Amen? We don't want to get into that "frog in boiling water" syndrome do we? (Place a frog in room temp. water and he will just sit there. Gradually bring the water to a boil, and you can boil a frog to death. He will do nothing to escape because he will not even be aware he is being cooked!)
Everytime I hear of Mr. W----- and his antics, I think of the scripture 2 Peter 2:1-3 1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Each time we embrace a point in their 'false' doctrine, are we not deluding our own beliefs? Are we not a frog in warm water?
Also I think of 2 Timothy 3:1, 2, & 5 "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, holding to "A FORM OF GODLINESS, ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE DENIED ITS POWER"; Avoid such men as these." (Emphasis mine)
Are those of the watered down faith not denying the "power" of Christianity by not allowing crosses to be displayed or songs mentioning the blood of Christ to be sang because they are concerned that they may make someone "uncomfortable" and not want to return to their (so called) church?
Anytime we see a "form" of this church slipping into our own we are, as believers, responsible to point these things out or we are just as guilty as the originator of the comments.
Well, so much for my soap box.
In Christ Humble Service
Ernie <||><

johnMark said...

Steve,

I agree with you and have shared some thoughts will some background on Pearce here: http://reformatabaptista.blogspot.com/2005/12/moore-pearce-camp-and-lecture.html

And be nice or I'll post that pic of you choking me. :)

Mark

SJ Camp said...

JohnMark:

Thank you for the article... very well done. Don't be afraid to draw definitive conclusions though. :-).

Here is another link you might find just as interesting:

"http://www.saraharthur.com/links/newsreviewarticle.html"

This is a devotional called: "Walking With Frodo." I'm not joking. It is a daily Bible devotional and a woman named Sarah Arthur, a Methodist, on "The Lord of the Rings" to be published by Tyndale. Oh my!

Who knows, maybe she will be invited for next year's Gheens Lectures?

Campi

Denise said...

You guys would enjoy this post"Robert Haldane on Controversy"
http://runningwell.blogspot.com/2005/12/robert-haldane-on-controversy.html .

He begins:"Many religious persons have a dread of controversy and wish truth to be stated without any reference to those who hold the opposite errors. Controversy and a bad spirit are, in their estimation, synonymous terms. And strenuously to oppose what is wrong is considered as contrary to Christian meekness. Those who hold this opinion seem to overlook what every page of the NewTestament lays before us."

The article is short but excellent and was written over 150 years ago or so.

Seth Huckstead "The Petty Athanasius said...

I have been reading up on the latest ETS meeting, and I believe that Evangelicalism is doing this under the guise of "Scholarship".

Look at how we accept N.T. Wright and similar, scholars. They would not have been accepted 50 years ago.

Gnosticism is the problem with the circles we travel in. Ph.D's and the like have become the new priesthood.

Young men (such as myself) have too often listened to the vain posturings of the worldly educated and influenced scholars, the same age as us and we call it wisdom. Rather we fall into the Sin of Reheboam. No our pitfall is not so outright as to have visible fellowship with Belial. Rather we fall into the trap of playing with fire and burn slowly to death.