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://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Confessions aren’t for policing. They are for health.

    Somehow I’m not sure he realizes the slight contradiction in terms that creates. Regimes large and small the world over have used confessions, real and engineered, as a way to reinforce social norms. In that respect, confessions most certainly do get used for policing.

    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.

    This kind of paranoid pandering to imagined fears is of the same genre as CAPAlert’s ongoing insistence that Satanic influence is woven into the very air when you watch a movie that contains mythical fantasy elements (such as Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter).

    It is pitiful and a spectacle no-one should have to witness.

    Making a religion about constantly being perpetually “on guard” against potential invisible elements of evil strikes me as being in the same state of fear as the more wonky Republican War on Terror folks would like people to be.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Doctrinal statements aren’t designed to punish, though that should happen if needed.

    What is this I don’t even.

    Setting aside the poor construction of the sentence, the sentiment sure goes to show, once again, that there is absolutely nothing separating Christians from anyone else when it comes to kindness and charity. 

  • esmerelda_ogg

    there is absolutely nothing separating Christians from anyone else when it comes to kindness and charity – Ruby Tea

    And that is a matter for deep shame. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” And if we don’t love one another, who are we following?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    that there is absolutely nothing separating Christians from anyone else when it comes to kindness and charity.

    Sure there is. For lots of groups of non-christians, when they fall short of kindness and charity, they’re not being hypocritical about it.

  • Chad Holtz

    In other news:  Bloggers Everywhere Ratchet -Up the Rhetoric To Increase Fan Base and Therefore Blogging Commissions All In The Name of Loving Jesus More Than The Other White Guys  

  • http://twitter.com/upsidedwnworld Rebecca Trotter

    I saw that over on the patheos evangelical channel and shockingly (not), his blog appears to be the only one on patheos which doesn’t allow comments. When it went up, the title under “more from patheos evangelical channel” sidebar as well as the url on the post make it appear that Scot Mcknight was calling  Seibert a Marconian based on an out-of-context quote about Seibert’s last book which isn’t even mentioned in Strachen’s post. And of course, he makes no mention of the fact that he wrote the Christianity Today article which the CT blog post he links to is based on. Which is all, you know, dishonest.

    I totally agree with the commenter on the last post you did about this that the world would benefit from a cage match between you and Strachan.

  • Marta L.

    I find myself hesitating to jump into the fray without knowing the particulars. I’m going to force myself to go read Strachan’s piece now to make sure there isn’t something going on that I’m missing. Not that I don’t trust Fred to give a good reading of the situation (I do), but hearsay is always dangerous.

    But if this is accurate… this is just… wow. It makes me glad I went to state school rather than to Bible college of any kind. And that I study religion through the lens of philosophy and theology rather than Bible studies, though I am sure good people are doing good work in that field. The role of a university professor –any true teacher, really– is to challenge in a way that allows for growth. It sounds like Strachan would prefer that students never be given any guidance and so be left with no resources to pull upon when they encounter the hard passages of the Bible that should challenge us as human beings. Or at least that they not learn about them from him.

    If anyone deserves censure as a Christian educator, it’s Strachan, not Seibert.

  • Marta L.

     When I come across situations like this I’m reminded of Gandhi’s quote, that he liked our Christ but that we Christians were so unlike him. It’s worth remembering that by the Bible’s own claims, many people will claim to be followers of Christ who it will turn out just weren’t. Not everyone who claims the label is living by the lights of what the religion claims. And I’m not talking about a liberal vs. evangelical divide – true Christ-followers come in all corners of Christianity, it’s more about the character than anything.

    Not that that excuses the fact that institutional Christianity actually enables those people in their dickishness. What I’m trying to say is that, when you have millions of people claiming to be Christians, a lot of people are going to do some really awful things in the religion’s name. THe fact that they wear a cross doesn’t give them a free pass.

  • Lori

    Still not able to stick the flounce Chad?

  • Ben English

    I really have to laugh at the line about Seibert trying to “subvert” his students’ faith. Allowing them to critique the ideas of the Old Testament in light of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is the only way to save their faith from the fact that the Old Testament suggests some pretty awful things about God.

    A capacity for massive cognitive dissonance is not the same thing as faith and Evanglicals should stop treating it as such.

  • P J Evans

     Yes, Strachan certainly is trying for bigger click-through payments. In other news, water is wet, dogs bite people, and he’s still a douchebeck.

  • Foelhe

    Oh, Chad. You really are determined that this is the hill you’re going to die on, aren’t you.

    Strachan just flat-out called Seibert’s teaching the work of Satan, and you’re going to accuse Fred of ratcheting up the rhetoric? Can we just take a step backward and agree that “You disagree with my doctrine, therefore Satan!” is a little bit messed up?

  • Chuck Finley

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

  • Albanaeon

    Wow.  I’m a little shocked by someone that puts genocide as a part of God’s goodness so easily.  That’s a clear sign in my book that someone’s a little off the WWJD path…

  • Madhabmatics

    I love that this whole thing is about a terror that students might be influenced to non-violence. What if that happens

    what then

    *Shudders*

  • Mark Z.

    NOBODY expects the Quaker Inquisition!

  • Chrissl

    Quaker Inquisition sez calmly: That is not an interpretation that would have occurred to me.

  • AnonymousSam

    I’d really like to ask this man his opinion on the Bible mandating abortion in cases of suspected adultery. I suspect he would have some slight difficulty with that one.

  • Marta L.

    You know, as I think more about this I can’t help wondering what Strachan would make of Genesis 18. You know, the passage where God tells Abraham he’s about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham’s reaction is essentially to do a double-take. *Surely* he must have heard wrong. God wouldn’t destroy a whole city, right?

    Is this idea that we should use our good sense, both intellectual and moral, useful for teaching, rebuking, etc.?

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

    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.

    Cult.

    Not allowed privacy: check. Other people claim to know what’s better for you, and that includes punishment: check. Punishment for what you think: check. Pretensions that the people in power are doing this all for your own good: check.

    Is there a history of how Satan became an issue in late 20th and 21st century Christianity, after being seen as a metaphor/superstition by most Christians (in North America anyway) from the 18th to early 20th centuries?

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

    Quaker Inquisition says: Maybe we should all consider the good of this world God gave us and look to the environment. You know, if you want. Excuse me, I have to go tend to my own garden now.

  • Chad

    It is possible that Strachan is correct. God may very well be just as Scripture reveals Him to be. Seibert could be correct to, and may in fact be enlightened more than most who have gone before him.
    Not being God, I can’t tell. So I care only to point out the thing I do know: none of us knows for sure, which is why we shouldn’t judge. With the measure you judge it shall be measured back to you. Or is that debateable, too?

    All this grandstanding is just sad. And makes a mockery of the faith.

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

    none of us knows for sure, which is why we shouldn’t judge.

    If there is anything more irritating than someone telling other people they should not judge, while being incredibly judge-y themselves, I have yet to find it. 

    With the measure you judge it shall be measured back to you. Or is that debateable, too?

    We’re not all Christians here. I’m perfectly fine with people judging. When my judgment is different than theirs, I will argue with them about it. I’m not perfectly fine with hypocrisy, though.

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

    I don’t  know if I see this sort of gate-keeping as inherently dickish.  If a science-oriented school were to start teaching pseudo-science, I would probably react in a similar fashion.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     

    none of us knows for sure, which is why we shouldn’t judge – Chad Holtz

    Chad, drawing lines about good and bad is one of the things humans do. Some personal history which I’ve mentioned here before – I grew up in a very judgmental fundamentalist church. (For example, at ten I was told that I was going to hell for playing cards with my grandmother.) As I got into my middle teens, I realized that many of the things we were told about God only made sense if God was eager to seize any excuse to send us to hell – this seemed particularly unfair since God was the one who got to make up rules that were basically impossible for us to follow successfully.

    The result? By the time I was sixteen, I had decided the only moral choice left to me was to refuse worship to God the Monster. Calling that creature “good” definitely made a mockery of the faith. Sure, he would send me to hell for that, but he was pretty much guaranteed to send me to hell no matter what I did. (Eventually, I came to realize that many Christians worship a God who loves us as opposed to worshiping God the Monster, and I returned to the faith, though not to the same branch of Christianity. But I still hold that, given the information available to me in my teens, turning my back on that vicious portrait of God was the most moral choice I could make. Yes, that’s judgmental. I don’t believe that the real God is offended by it.)

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I care only to point out the thing I do know: none of us knows for sure, which is why we shouldn’t judge.

    This is surely applied to Owen Strachan right? He is expending a awful lot of words in judging Eric Seibert and trying to bring greater judgment down upon him.

    Beams and motes, my friend, motes and beams.

  • Lori

     

    All this grandstanding is just sad. And makes a mockery of the faith.

    The fact that you apparently include both Eric Siebert and Fred in “all this grandstanding” and seem most bothered by Fred’s comments (certainly more so than you are by Strachan’s) says a great deal more about you than it does about them. What it says isn’t particularly good. If you’re concerned about people making a mockery of the faith I think you should focus a bit more on self-assessment and quite a bit less on Fred.

  • Lori

     

    If there is anything more irritating than someone telling other people
    they should not judge, while being incredibly judge-y themselves, I have
    yet to find it.    

    QTF

  • DZ

    I second Rebecca Trotter’s comment. How very cowardly of him not to have comments open on his blog. But my favorite part of his post was this: How do we know that the Bible is perfect? Well, because the Bible says it is, of course. And here are three verses to back that up, as solid proof. 

    I am guessing this is what happens to your brain when you get tons of conservative Evangelical theology in your education and not enough of EVERYTHING else.

  • Foelhe

    “With the measure you judge it shall be measured back to you. Or is that debateable, too?”

    Not a Christian, still agree with the sentiment, don’t think it means what you think it means.

    Look, I loathe hypocrisy. I loathe it in others, but I particularly loathe it in myself. So I’m happy to call Strachan a bully, small-minded and theologically-blind, because he’s being a bully, small-minded and theologically-blind, but also because if I was any of those things, I’d be sick with myself. If anyone catches me at any of those, by all means call me on my shit, and I will apologize. Because yeah, I fully expect people to judge me by the measure I judge others.

    (And before you ask, no, criticizing someone’s ethics logically on a blog they don’t read is not “bullying”, unlike accusing them of being in league with Satan and trying to get them fired. Nice try though.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    It’s worth noting that what Strechan is doing is neither new, nor is it necessarily counter to Christian values.

    Yes, one can say that it is counter to the Christian values of love, kindness, generosity, acceptance.  But, of the Christianity that is primarily shown in news, popular fiction, and in its general popular face, there’s also that Christian value of obedience/submission to God.  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.

    In the bible, God may be questioned.  He may be presented with argument.  But, his position as absolute ruler may never be challenged.  In fact, even in the New Testament, which is marginally gentler in some respects, the only unforgiveable sin isn’t anything to do with how one treats one’s fellow human beings, but saying that God is not Lord.  It could very well be that saying “God does not have the authority to command infantacide and make that moral” says much the same thing.

    Is Strechan being a jerk?  Yes.  But, I have to wonder, when one lives within his particular belief system, does one have the choice not to be?

  • Lunch Meat

    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.

    Only if you believe that the bible was dictated verbatim by God. It’s entirely possible that some passages are wholly human in origin, and it’s possible to be a Christian who believes in God’s authority, but doesn’t take the bible as the inerrant vessel of that authority.

  • Alex SL

    Yes, this is the trouble one runs into with sectarian-run institutions of “learning”. There is a fundamental incompatibility between education – teaching people what really exists and what doesn’t, what makes sense and what doesn’t, and how to think for themselves – on the one side and, to cite from a above, “statements of faith” and “doctrinal statements” on the other. The entire point of the latter is to remove some item from the area of allowed discourse and critical examination; to the degree that they exist and are followed, they turn education into indoctrination.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Arguably, even a non-verbatim bible understanding would, if one says that God does not have the moral authority to command infanticide, still have one saying that God does not have absolute authority and, therefore, is not Lord.

    Either way, it is questionable whether or not Strechan has, withn his own beliefs regarding God, any other acceptable choice in this reaction.

  • Foelhe

    “It is possible that Strachan is correct. God may very well be just as Scripture reveals Him to be. Seibert could be correct to, and may in fact be enlightened more than most who have gone before him. ”

    Okay, but again: “You disagree with my doctrine, therefore Satan!”

    I should’ve put this in my last post, but ah well. Do you seriously not understand why we think Strachan is a lot more hostile than Fred here? And if you do understand that, why accuse Fred of judging when defending Strachan of the exact same thing?

  • Foelhe

    “if one says that God does not have the moral authority to command infanticide, still have one saying that God does not have absolute authority and, therefore, is not Lord.”

    I could maybe buy that if they weren’t arguing that God is also good. As it stands it’s pretty obvious that God is subject to his own moral authority, and I don’t see how that diminishes him in any way.

    Take away God’s goodness and that fits perfectly, but it also turns Christianity into a protection racket. People would only worship that kind of god because they don’t want it to hurt them. Conservatives are welcome to make that call if they like, sad as I think it is, I just wish they’d admit it.

  • Lori

     

    Is Strechan being a jerk?  Yes.  But, I have to wonder, when one lives
    within his particular belief system, does one have the choice not to be?   

    I’m pretty sure he’s not required to call someone Satan and publicly attempt to get him fired. Also, there’s no indication in any of this that Strachan has made any attempt to follow the Biblical instruction on disagreeing with a brother or sister in Christ. As long as he’s not adhering to that teaching, which I’ll just add is actually quite clear and not at all difficult to understand, then I don’t think he gets some sort of obedience pass for being a jerk for Jesus to a guy whose crime is wrestling with the difficult stuff in a way that Strachan doesn’t approve of.

  • AnonymousSam

    The Westboro Baptist Church teaches that sinners are not allowed to seek redemption. This could also be true. Should we not have an opinion about the WBC’s attitudes and way of going about showing them? Is it impossible to fervently disagree with this kind of theology?

  • Chad Holtz

     To be fair, he didn’t call Seibert Satan.   He was stating a perfectly orthodox belief, and one in keeping with his faith:  That doctrine has handed down to us by the Scriptures is good for keeping the faith and that Satan is a real adversary, even coming in sheep’s clothing, in hopes of deceiving the elect. 

    I’m not defending Strachan any more than I would Seibert – or Fred.   I think this entire enterprise is what’s wrong.   Scripture also calls for us to speak truth “in love” and to only speak that which edifies others and builds them up in the faith.    Does Fred pass that test?  Or does he get a “pass” because Strachan is a bully?    I don’t even need Scripture to convince me that 2 wrongs don’t = right.   

    If this were really for the purpose of doing some good, why not just email Strachan a letter listing your concerns?    I know why:  Cause that isn’t entertaining.    As a former blogger myself (and one courted by Patheos to be in their Progressive section), I liked to think of myself as doing good but in reality I was simply stirring the pot to get blog hits.   I was busy building my own kingdom while telling myself I was God’s voice of reason in the midst of a bunch of hypocrisy.   The only hypocrite, however, was me.   

    And so we put the word “dick” in a title, cuzz that generates buzz, call out some guy that none of us knows personally nor does he know any of us (nor probably even cares), and we sit around for hours making fun of him and any one who disagrees with our “tribe” so that we feel better about ourselves and our own cherished beliefs.   And tomorrow, a new goat will emerge that everyone can throw stones at until we all get bored and move on to the next one, etc., etc.    

    Is anyone the better for it?  Is the world a better place because of your pithy comments or put downs of others?   (Stick the flounce?   I have no idea what that means, nor care.).  

    That is why I say this is all just very sad.   I’m sorry for ruining your lynching party, though.   If you feel you must, because Strachan will possibly repent because of your blog post, carry on.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    But, are they free to admit it?  That’s the question.

    Are they free to say that the kind of God who would command infanticide and genocide and send you to Hell for not holding the right kind of beliefs is anything less than the perfect moral rolemodel?  Well, no.  As they believe, they’d go to Hell for that.  So, they are required, by their faith, to say that 2+2=5, if God says that to be true.

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

  • Beroli

     

    Is anyone the better for it?  Is the world a better place because of
    your pithy comments or put downs of others?   (Stick the flounce?   I
    have no idea what that means, nor care.).  

    That means that you keep saying you’re leaving and popping back up.

    The fact that you don’t believe you’re defending Strachan means only that you have an odd perception of what you’ve been writing, including in the sentence before the one where you say you aren’t defending Strachan. And the fact that you’re able to, with no awareness of hypocrisy, write and publically post, “Scripture also calls for us to speak truth ‘in love’ and to only speak
    that which edifies others and builds them up in the faith…. I don’t even need Scripture to convince me that 2 wrongs don’t = right….If this were really for the purpose of doing some good, why not just email Strachan a letter listing your concerns?” demonstrates that there is little point to attempting to convince you of anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Nobody’s claiming that Strachan or those like would repent because we call them jerks, dicks, or bullies.  However, by acknowledging that they are, in fact, being bullies, some are making the point that not all Christians are bound to even give him a pass.

    I say this as an atheist who has seen horrible actions given a pass not even on the basis of God’s command (though that is horrible in its own right) but simply on the notion that the acts are acted out by Christians acting ostensibly in the name of Christianity.

    Sometimes, creating a tolerant society means not tolerating the intolerance.

    So, in conclusion, specifically responding to your last paragraph, false dichotomies are false.

  • Lori

     

    Is anyone the better for it?  Is the world a better place because of
    your pithy comments or put downs of others?  

    The available evidence says that yes it is. For one thing, more than one person here will tell you that Fred, and his willingness to take a stand when his coreligionists act horribly in public, is the only reason they’re aware of self-professing Christians who aren’t jerks. Can you say the same? I’m guessing not.

     

    (Stick the flounce?   I
    have no idea what that means, nor care.).    

    Stick the flounce—like stick the landing, but instead of referring to actual gymnastics it refers to people who flounce (announce that they’re leaving because the other commentors are mean or stupid or whatever) and then keep on commenting.

    Once you flounce you really need to stay gone. If you can’t stay gone then don’t flounce in the first place.

     

    That is why I say this is all just very sad.   

    Cry us a river Chad.

     

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

    You should be ashamed of even thinking of comparing criticism to lynching, especially when the criticism doesn’t even include calls for Strachan to be censored or fired, let alone killed. Since you obviously aren’t, I’ll be ashamed for you. Shame on you, Chad. Shame. 

     

    If you feel you must, because Strachan
    will possibly repent because of your blog post, carry on.    

    You mean like Stachan carried on because his blog post would possibly make Seibert repent?

    You are such a hypocrite Chad.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of dickitude, a pastor and Applebee’s deserve to have that label hanged upon them.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Is anyone the better for it?  Is the world a better place because of your pithy comments or put downs of others?  – Chad Holtz

    This is an excellent question, Chad. I’ve certainly seen other sites where the comments were entirely devoted to ridiculing outsiders, and I don’t bother to read them.

    But I do follow Slacktivist, partly because I enjoy Fred’s Left Behind posts, but mostly because this site somehow manages to keep a community of readers that holds discussions on various topics and is usually able to accommodate disagreements without either censorship or viciousness. (I realize it may not feel like that to you; I’d suggest reading through the comments on a selection of posts you haven’t been involved in to get a feel for how things usually go. And I’d suggest entering discussions with a less snarky tone than your original post in this conversation. Or not. Use your judgment.)

    Why do I read Slacktivist? Because Fred keeps finding material that interests and informs me. Why do I also read the comments, when I have time? Because I often learn from them – either information I didn’t have, or other perspectives that support or challenge my opinions – challenges are A Good Thing because they can either help me correct, clarify, or refine my own position.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     

    Arguably, even a non-verbatim bible understanding would, if one says
    that God does not have the moral authority to command infanticide, still
    have one saying that God does not have absolute authority and,
    therefore, is not Lord. – Charles Scott

    Then again, a non-verbatim Bible understanding might, and often does, lead us to puzzle over why the Bible says troubling things about God and humanity. From there, we have a chance of finding new insights that would never have occurred to us if we stopped short at “I better just grovel so God doesn’t get mad and punish me. Because that’s what he enjoys doing. I know, because the Bible tells me so.”

  • Foelhe

    “To be fair, he didn’t call Seibert Satan.   He was stating a perfectly orthodox belief, and one in keeping with his faith:  That doctrine has handed down to us by the Scriptures is good for keeping the faith and that Satan is a real adversary, even coming in sheep’s clothing, in hopes of deceiving the elect.”

    So it’s not so much that Seibert is Satan, he’s just in league with him, great.

    “I”m not defending Strachan”

    No, you just think he’s stating a perfectly orthodox belief. Not defending Strachan my ass.

    “I’m not defending Strachan any more than I would Seibert – or Fred.   I think this entire enterprise is what’s wrong.   Scripture also calls for us to speak truth “in love” and to only speak that which edifies others and builds them up in the faith.    Does Fred pass that test?”

    Love for who? Fred spoke in defense of Seibert, that’s loving behavior. How bout love of justice, which effects all of us? And even if we pretend Strachan is the only party here who matters, what the hell makes you think you can’t scold someone in love? By your philosophy Jesus loved the world, and yet, “I never knew you! Away with you, evildoers!”

    “If this were really for the purpose of doing some good, why not just email Strachan a letter listing your concerns?    I know why:  Cause that isn’t entertaining.”

    Because he isn’t listening. Strachan has a forum just like ours, except he turned off the comments. What makes you think he’d listen to an email but not a comment field?

    “And so we put the word “dick” in a title, cuzz that generates buzz, call out some guy that none of us knows personally nor does he know any of us (nor probably even cares)”

    Oh no. Dick. Fetch me my fainting couch.

    I don’t care if I know the guy personally, he’s made his opinions public and he’s trying to get someone fired for doing their job. That doesn’t become less of a dick move because it’s someone I don’t know personally. And if you think it does, then no, I believe it is you who are the asshole.

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

    And now you’re comparing a blog post to race murders. You’re the tops, Chad, kindly go fuck yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    And, that’s very good, as far as it goes.  But, where you’re going with it is outside the question.  I’m not asking a strict “is a non-verbatim bible understanding good or better”.  The question I’m asking is, 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?

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    And they’ll know we are Christians
    By our flounce, by our flounce,
    Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
    By our flounce.

  • Lori

     

    The question I’m asking is, 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?   

    He better have. First of all, the Bible doesn’t say what the so-called unforgivable sin is, so if Strachan has decided that it’s declaring that God is not Lord then Strachan is at best on thin ice and should tend to that mote before he goes after his brother’s speck. Also, my earlier comment still stands. Strachan is clearly not dealing with this dispute in the Biblically prescribed manner. As such I really don’t think he has any room to claim that obedience compels him to behave this way, nor should anyone else make that claim on his behalf.

    The other thing I would add is that I honestly believe that if Strachan’s concern was really about a deeply held belief in the importance of theological orthodoxy the substance of his criticism and the way he presented it would have been quite different. Strachan is not presenting a exegesis on the Lordship of God, he’s clutching his pearls so tight I’m surprised he hasn’t lost consciousness due to lack of oxygen to the brain.


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