Thursday, February 15, 2007

There's A New Bus In Town

The important thing about blogging as a Christian communicator IS the discussion based upon and through the divine lens of biblical truth. This is a tremendous tool that can be used for the iron sharpening the iron; to further Christlikeness; to promote stewardship of His gospel; excellence in ministry; to provoke one another to godliness; to stir the mind, enrich the heart, feed the soul; to contend for the faith; instruct in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict; to bring glory to God; to engage the culture from a clear unashamed biblical worldview; to edify His church; and along the way, to enjoy this journey, to have some fun, forge new relationships in ministry, and at the end of the day, to herald the life-giving truth of the gospel of sola fide to those who have no hope in this world.

Here is how one blogger, who I admire greatly, has defined gospel proclamation:

"I do not think we should so quickly jettison the idea of presenting the so-called "five points" in our evangelism.

I believe that if given the opportunity I would rather explain to someone:

1) their depravity and estrangement from God

2) God's sovereign grace in saving the lost

3) The substitutionary nature of the atonement seen in its particular purpose for redemption

4) The work of the Holy Spirit in convicting and convincing men of these truths and His granting of the gifts of faith and repentance in regeneration

5) the eternal, persevering nature of such faith in Christ" (Jason Robertson, of Fide-O).

As you can see by some of the graphics, that our bus above stands for some very basic yet important things:
1. Developing a "Band of Bereans." Discerning Christians who will "test all things and cling to that which is good"; measuring all that anyone who posit by the standard of God's Word regardless of name, position, station, prominence, influence, popularity, and fame.

2. Dedicated to the doctrines of grace. The Luthersrose on the bus represents these great truths of the gospel.

3. Upholding a foundation for ministry according to the simple mandate of 2 Cor. 4:5-7, "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord; and ourselves as your bondservants for His sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; "

4. Lastly, all are welcome here under this banner: "In the essentials unity; in the nonessentials liberty; and in all things charity."
But this also needs to be said, something has changed in the blogosphere lately and it hasn't been pretty.

Threatening others with being banned from commenting; shutting down threads instead of guiding the discussion; not answering or just avoiding legitimate questions; and treating others with a quick draw degrading humor is not befitting of Christ. Cutting sarcasm and nastiness are becoming increasingly more common place and sadly acceptable. This should not be beloved.

It is one thing to confront and engage each other with vibrant, honest conversation (bring it on), but it is quite another to needlessly belittle someone and their comments in the face of sincerity. Do these kinds of bloggers ever apologize or ask for forgiveness for their words? Rarely. They usually circle the wagons and still have at it somehow thinking they are above the fray. That should not be the case beloved.

We should all remain teachable beloved and be quick to forgive and seek it from another when we are wrong and being wronged.

The Lord has convicted me of this as well. Have I always said the right thing in the right attitude here at COT? No I have not. Have I always engaged people with long-suffering, gentleness and patience even in the face of being wronged and gossiped about by others? No I have not. I can only ask you to learn from my weakness; to pray for me that I would remain teachable under the words, thoughts, even the attacks of others; and that I would honor the Lord in what is being proclaimed and how it is being proclaimed. And in the end, that He would receive all the glory for the ministry in Word that is daily being done here (Roms. 12:18; Phil. 2:1-5).
To all those that I have needlessly offended or have not exhibited Christlikeness to on this blog in the past, please forgive me and know that I will do my utmost, by God's grace, to guard against anything that would discredit the ministry. As the apostle Paul said, "giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses" (2 Cor. 6:3-4).
Well, I just want you to know that if you're tired of riding that other kind of bus, that there's a new bus in town. Follow the rules of this blog and you can make your case on any topic being discussed here without fear that the thread will be shut down, threats given, and people needlessly made little of. It's OK if discussions get heated up from time to time... passion is lacking in so many discussions on truth these days. But let's show charity, be long-suffering, bold in the gospel, not given to playing politics, and to always speak the truth in love. Let's not comment to win a debate, but to provoke one another to godliness and to stir ones thinking to be conformed to Christ and obedient to His Word.

I can promise you a few things on this bus: we won't not scrutinize certain peoples opinions just because they are those with whom we generally agree with and who are in our theological camp; we won't embrace well made videos as orthodox if the gospel is not being presented and Scripture is not being cut straight; and we will by God's grace speak biblically, lovingly, and patiently, showing no loyalty to no man save the Lord Jesus Christ, but yet charity to all.

Above all, let's keep in mind that we, as Christian communicators, should do all we can to direct our conversations of faith to, from, out of, and by the authority of God's Word.

I am grateful that in the 19 months this blog has been up and running that no thread has ever been shut down--ever. I have deleted some comments when they fail to honor the rules here; but that is the rare exception. Say what you will; no drive by posting allowed; be prepared to be challenged and defend your assertions biblically; BUT, let's not feel the syrupy compulsion to qualify every potential comment of a more confrontational nature with the benign words of "but I want to ensure everyone here that we all make mistakes, we are all sinners, we love everybody posting here, and really don't want to appear as being divisive, judgmental, critical or negative, BUT..." Let's once and for all, get beyond the postmodern, liberal, artificial, Rodney King, can't we all get along veneer...

So, all aboard!!!

Now, please make me come back there and let's talk about the things that really matter.

From the Narrow Road...
Acts 20:24


Jason E. Robertson said...


ann_in_grace said...

I like this bus :)

donsands said...

Our flesh will rule at times in the war that goes on in, and with, each and every believer. Gal. 5:17

It's all about forgiveness. And we know this, because of the Cross. We need to forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Very difficult to do at times.

Great post. I'm encouraged to walk in faith and love more and more as I read such fine words as these.

Thanks brother.

Diane said...

Thank you for saying this. On my blog I really like comments, especially if they disagree with my stand. It makes me think and helps me to think through my side more. I've never had anyone be snide or mean. And, I try to answer anyone who disagrees with me.

Bhedr said...

Amen and thank you for your forgiveness in the past. I'm still out here learning and have learned much here in the past. Things I didn't want to know and things I did need to know and things that I am glad I know now; and this blog has played a good part in helping me see some things. Hey, I'm going to enjoy this bus trip, but please allow me from time to time to stick my face out the window and let the air lap my tongue, 'cause I know we all need relief from sparring sessions from time to time, but hopefully we have all learned a more centrally focused way of debating that is less caustic in nature.

4given said...

hopefully we have all learned a more centrally focused way of debating that is less caustic in nature.


I am one who can easily be sarcastic. Sarcasm is comfortable to me. Too comfortable. And I pray that the Lord takes my tongue... my typing fingers... but mostly my heart to be used as instruments that bring HIM glory.

Satire is actually used often in the Bible... but never at the expense of the Gospel. Never flippantly.

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person--Col 4:6

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence...--I Peter 3:15

Bhedr said...

Amen 4given and I'm like a dog too. Maybe we all are as we don't like people blowing in our face:-)

But I do like to stick my neck out the window:-)

Just gotta honor God in all things and pray before we hit the publish button.

Pastor Rod said...


I like your sentiments here. I too have been disheartened by some of the same things:

Threatening others with being banned from commenting; shutting down threads instead of guiding the discussion; not answering or just avoiding legitimate questions.

I also like what you say about not giving people a free pass just because they agree with you theologically.

Let me ask a pointed question: Will you consider removing someone from your blogroll if they consistently violate these ideals?



SJ Camp said...

Pastor Rod:

I would if that link demonstrated a continual propensity for arrogance, sarcasm, belittling of others, and pride. Especially if those things amounted to skewed doctrine.

Thanks for your thoughts here,
Col. 1:9-14