Tribal gatekeeper Owen Strachan wants a scalp, doubles-down on dickitude

Birds gotta sing. Fish gotta swim. And the tribal gatekeepers of white evangelicalism gotta be vindictive little jackwagons who try to get people fired.

Owen Strachan doubles down on his total dick move from earlier in the week. This is truly indecent behavior.

Here’s his latest:

There is disagreement in evangelicalism about the nature of violence in the Christian life. I had a conversation not long ago with a godly friend who inclines the way of Anabaptism on this question. We had a great email discussion. He and I disagree, but he nowhere claimed that the Bible is “immoral” or “unsavory” or “downright unhealthy.” No doubt there are some who would agree with him, and who in adopting some form of pacifism would continue to very much uphold the full authority, trustworthiness, and inspiration of Scripture.

But this is not what Seibert is doing. He is subverting the faith of his readers and, I assume, his students. I don’t know what could be more problematic for a biblical studies professor than this. Remember – these aren’t my interpretations. I’m pulling direct quotations from his piece. He’s put his argument out there in public on a widely-read evangelical blog. He’s invited engagement; his unbiblical and spiritually dangerous argument deserves it.

It will be interesting to see how Messiah College responds to this. Will it take its own statement of faith seriously, as Steffan and Christianity Today pointed out? Or will it treat its confession as unimportant? Do professors at Christian schools need to abide by their doctrinal statements, or not? Is a statement of faith just a piece of paper with some well-intended but ultimately inconsequential thoughts, or does it shape the life and health of the students entrusted to the school by God?

Confessions aren’t for policing. They are for health. Doctrinal statements aren’t designed to punish, though that should happen if needed. They are intended to lead people to flourishing. In this doctrine, a school or a church says, you find the core of biblical teaching. This is what will give you life. This is what will bless you and lead your feet on sure paths. We offer this to you to guard you, protect you, and keep you. We will answer to God in some sense for your soul, and we are doing our utmost to shepherd you to glory.

It is therefore good and right and gracious when a school upholds its own standards and protects its students so that Satan cannot destroy them. And it is devastating when a school allows it standards to grow lax.

Will Messiah College leadership allow this to happen? We’re all watching and waiting to see.

With many others, I am praying that good will come from this, that error will be corrected, that the truth will be vindicated, that God’s Word will not be attacked but will be seen as right and true and without error and loving and good and life-giving.

And that students, young men and women who are put in the care of professors by their parents and churches, will thrive in Jesus Christ, triumphing over darkness and doubt and sin.

Wow. You don’t ordinarily see someone take such pride in such embarrassingly shameful behavior. But Strachan relishes this. Gatekeeping is his passion, his love, his calling, his gospel. And he seems far more committed to it than to any other gospel.

Or, again, to put this in the only language Strachan understands:

There is disagreement in evangelicalism about the nature of jackassery in the Christian life. I had a conversation not long ago with a godly friend who inclines the way of Southern Baptism on this question. We had a great email discussion. He and I disagree, but he nowhere claimed that the Bible is “vindictive” or “McCarthyist” or “festering with smugness.” No doubt there are some who would agree with him, and who in adopting some form of dickishness would continue to very much uphold the full authority, trustworthiness, and inspiration of Scripture.

But this is not what Strachan is doing. He is subverting the faith of his readers and, I assume, his students. I don’t know what could be more problematic for a biblical studies professor than this. Remember–these aren’t my interpretations. I’m pulling direct quotations from his piece. He’s put his argument out there in public on a widely-read evangelical blog. He’s invited engagement; his unbiblical and spiritually dangerous argument deserves it.

It will be interesting to see how Boyce College responds to this. Will it take its own statement of faith seriously? Or will it treat its confession as unimportant? Do professors at Christian schools need to be decent human beings, or not? Is a statement of faith just a piece of paper with some well-intended but ultimately inconsequential thoughts, or does it shape the life and health of the students entrusted to the school by God?

It is good and right and gracious when a school upholds some minimal standards of non-dickish behavior and protects its students so that Satan cannot destroy them. And it is devastating when a school allows it standards to grow lax.

Will Boyce College leadership allow this to happen? We’re all watching and waiting to see.

With many others, I am praying that good will come from this, that error will be corrected, that the truth will be vindicated, that God’s Word will not be attacked but will be seen as right and true and without error and loving and good and life-giving.

And that students, young men and women who are put in the care of professors by their parents and churches, will thrive in Jesus Christ, triumphing over total dickishness and douchebaggery and sin.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    You just compared people disagreeing with you with lynching.

    You are utterly despicable. 

  • Foelhe

    Pretty sure lack of oxygen to the brain is a common problem for Strachan.

    (Cheap shot is cheap, but c’mon.)

  • Hth

     Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, I am so effing *finished* with people who think that getting scolded on the bottom half of the internet is a GODDAMNED LYNCHING.  If you honestly think you can score Righteous Persecution Points off the backs of people who were *murdered for existing,* then I’m done, I’m done, there is literally no hope for you.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     

    from an understanding of Strechan’s beliefs and/or the simple belief
    that the only unforgiveable sin is declaring that God is not Lord, does
    Strechan really have any room to deal with Seibert’s ideas as ideas to
    be considered rather than herasies to be feared? – Charles Scott

    First, go read Lori’s post replying to yours. I like the points she makes.

    In addition, you seem to me to be trying to frame your question in such a way that we’ll be forced to say “Oh, okay, Strachan is beyond reproach, and Seibert should sit in dust and ashes and beg Messiah College to fire him and rescind the degrees granted to any of his hellbound former students so they can’t spread the contamination.” Sorry. First, understanding Strachan’s beliefs does not require us to agree with them. Second, yes, as I said in the post you’re replying to, there is always room to engage with ideas. We may indeed come to the conclusion that the ideas are wrong and even harmful – we may, for instance, conclude that Strachan is mistaken, just as you may (or not) have concluded that Seibert is wrong; then again, we may find that our own ideas and the ideas we’re troubled by can lead us to deeper insights that go beyond either of the original positions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     Can we just take a step backward and agree that “You disagree with my doctrine, therefore Satan!” is a little bit messed up?

    Hey, at least he didn’t literally use the S-word in there (or at least, not that I noticed) as the governor of my state did when referring to people who voted against fetal personhood (“on Satan’s team” was the exact phrase).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     Which verses discuss that? Not doubting you, just curious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    I’m sorry for ruining your lynching party, though.

    “Saying mean things on the Internet” =/= “lynching.”  People who suggest. otherwise are, at best, lacking in any sense of proportion and, at worst, dicks.

  • AnonymousSam

    Numbers 5:11-31 describe the Sotah ritual, which is further elaborated upon in the Mishnah. Put shortly, when a man suspects his wife of being pregnant by another man’s child, he has her taken to the temple and forced to drink a potion, which will abort the child and disfigure her body if she’s guilty and do nothing if she’s innocent.

    It was extremely heavily skewed to an automatic guilty verdict, and if she or the child didn’t sicken in all that time, her husband was to be held completely blameless.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotah

  • Foelhe

    He did, actually.

    “It is therefore good and right and gracious when a school upholds its own standards and protects its students so that Satan cannot destroy them. And it is devastating when a school allows it standards to grow lax.”

    The nicest thing you can say is that he leaves some wiggle room. “Hey, I didn’t say Siebert was allied with Satan, just, y’know, talked about Siebert and then mentioned Satan was involved. Totally different!”

  • Jared Bascomb

    Well, as a lapsed ECLA Lutheran, now gay agnostic/atheist, I have no dog in this particular fight but I can’t help chortling  that Strachan doesn’t seem to recognize the irony in that both he and Siebert are *Protestants* with all the religious history about questioning and challenge and doubt that that carries.

    And as an aside, that pic of Strachan set off my gaydar.

  • Baby_Raptor

    “Well, to say that the bible has parts where it is decidedly immoral, meaning not just that bad things are done but that they are treated as moral, says that one is not being humble before God.”

    If your God can’t take people questioning him and will torture anyone who doesn’t kiss his ass, he’s not worth worshiping. He doesn’t want followers, he wants robots.

  • Baby_Raptor

    “Question again, does Strechan, given his own beliefs, have the freedom to not be a jerk?” 

    Does the bible not teach that all men have free will? Or does adhering to certain beliefs completely strip that from you? He ultimately chooses what he does and does not do, despite his beliefs. They don’t control him like a puppet. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Prost/100002434484052 Tony Prost

     I refer all readers to the comment string on the Inquisition, supra.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Prost/100002434484052 Tony Prost

     And you love this god?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    Does the bible not teach that all men have free will?

    Does it?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     IIRC, Charles has previously identified as an atheist? I think they are simply describing what they understand the (or a?) Christian position to be wrt God, not describing their own position.
     

  • esmerelda_ogg

     

    I think they (Charles Scott) are simply describing what they understand the (or a?)
    Christian position to be wrt God, not describing their own position. – Dave

    Yes, Charles Scott does describe himself in passing as an atheist earlier on this thread; I lost track of that detail because he seemed to be working so hard to defend the Strachan position that he gave a convincing imitation of completely agreeing with it.

    But – if he’s arguing as an outsider to Christianity, why is he so determined to insist that only the most offensive positions taken by self-identified Christians can be legitimate? It may be understandable to back Strachan when you’re convinced that the universe is run by a vengeful megalomaniac who will torture you forever if given any excuse. Since Charles doesn’t believe that, shouldn’t he allow information into his analysis about what Christians who disagree with Strachan think?

    (I am definitely not saying that only Christians are allowed to talk about Christianity. What I am saying is that, just as we Christians don’t get to dismiss embarrassing groups like WBC as “not real true Christians”, non-Christians like Charles don’t get to claim that the only Christians who count are the harshest, most judgmental ones.)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I agree that it’s not legitimate to cherry-pick subsets of a community in order to justify a judgment of the whole community, for good or ill.

  • walden

    “error will be corrected”

    – This seems to be the chief value of some strains of fundamentalism.  It trumps love, patience, forbearance.  It is apparently the paramount fruit of the spirit.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    That dude looks like he’s a pokemon about to evolve into Ross Doubthat.

    ARRRGH WHY CAN’T I LIKE THIS MORE THAN ONCE. 

  • WingedBeast

    I’m an atheist. I’m not talking about a real god that exists or even God as Christians in general believe in him.
    I’m was talking about Strechan’s own beliefs, and the beliefs of many like him, that lock him, and they, into subservience to monstrocity.
    I’m not even trying to justify, only to comprehend.

  • WingedBeast

    I didn’t claim that Strechan was the only one who counted. I was talking about Strechan’s beliefs, not Christianity in general.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Charles, (1) I had pretty much forgotten the details of this three-month-old discussion and (2) I don’t have time to review it in detail right now to refresh my memory. At this point I’ll have to maintain neutrality on how general your earlier remarks might be. Have a pleasant summer.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X