"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Ten Commandments for Christian Civility on the Internet

Today I came across an interview with the editor of a new book to which I have contributed as an author. Christian Civility in an Uncivil World is a book that is needed in our day. The chapter I contributed contains what I call "The Ten Commandments for Christian Civility on the Internet." Periodically I check up on how I'm doing in relation to the principles put forth in that chapter. Not all of you may agree with what I've written, but I would be interested in your comments or opinion about the necessity or beneficiality of the commandments as listed in the book. I might also encourage you to purchase the book for the writings of other fine evangelical Christian men and women, including Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary and Jimmy Allen, former President of the SBC (1977-1979).

The Ten Commandments for Christian Civility on the Internet

1. We will seek to glorify God in all we write. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).

Nothing we write, no matter the content, can be called good without God’s glory as the ultimate aim. If a person seeks recognition, his or her own praise, the applause of people, or any other selfish end through what he or she writes on the Internet, it should not be written, nor will it be accounted by God to be a good thing. There are no restrictions upon Paul’s command, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). The best way to determine if God is glorified is to ask ourselves what God thinks about what we write. Is it God’s will? Does it display God’s attributes? Is it consistent with God’s desires as expressed in the Bible? Does it honor God and God’s people? Whether our words are formed for praise and prayers, concern and correction, exhortation and encouragement, they should glorify God first and foremost.

(2). We will refuse to post anything online that we wouldn’t say face to face. “The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks” (Prov 25:23).

Unless we are in physical danger for what we would write or say, we will never write anonymously. Freedom of thought and freedom of expression are both human rights, and in those instances where governments, societies, or men seek to remove that right by force, we reserve the right to post anonymously. Otherwise, we must be as responsible and civil on the Internet as we are in person. To hide behind anonymity on the Internet is similar to backbiting and gossiping, two serious sins. We will post it, claim it, and stand by it.

3. When we are offended, we will connect privately before we respond publicly. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone” (Matt 18:15).

There are times when posting differing philosophies, opinions, and thoughts will cause emotions to escalate. During these times, when offenses between brothers and sisters might occur, we will connect privately with the person with whom we have an offense before we write anything publicly. And we will keep in mind that Christian love covers a multitude of offenses.

4. We will think carefully and pray sincerely, before we post. “Let every person . . . be slow to speak” (Jas 1:19). Before we hit the submit button to publish our post, we will think twice about what we are trying to say and will ask ourselves “Is this how and what I really want to be conveyed?” Next, we will pause and ask God to give us wisdom and discernment, and reread the post for a final time. We will then ask if our words stand the test of eternity, when we shall give an account to God of everything we have said or written. If we prayerfully come to peace that what we have written honors God and advances God’s kingdom, we will hit the submit button and publish our words. We will not allow others to corrupt our writing efforts. “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil” (Prov 14:16). We are committed to enforce civility.

5. We will not allow others to corrupt our writing efforts. “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil” (Prov 14:16).

We will strive for only acceptable content on our website, and we will delete all writing and comments that are unacceptable. We will refrain from allowing to stand (a) comments that are abusive, harassing, or threatening to others. (b) comments we know are libelous and/or false. (c) comments that infringe upon any copyright or trademark. (d) comments that violate any obligation for confidentiality. Though the above guidelines are often subjective, we determine what is unacceptable on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to the above, but could grow as our knowledge and understanding of unacceptable content matures. When a comment or guest post is deleted, a clear explanation will always be given.

6. We will not allow others to comment anonymously. Jesus said, “I have spoken openly. I have said nothing in secret” (John 18:20).

We will require commenters to follow the example of Jesus and supply their real first and last names, or if an alias or pseudonym is used, the commenter will supply to us a valid e-mail address with information about themselves before they can post. The necessity of an alias is only in rare circumstances (safety or security of the commenter), but we will always be able to trace the pseudonym to a real person.

7. We will do no one any intentional harm.Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thess 5:11).

We will intentionally seek to make the people around us better by writing things that encourage and build up. When times come that call for what we feel to be correction, we will speak the truth in love. We will never seek to destroy a reputation, harm a person’s good name, or disparage a person’s character. Our focus in writing will be on a person’s conduct or actions, thinking or philosophy, but not character. The Spirit of God is able to change the heart, not us, and we will accept our brother or sister in Christ where the Lord has them in life.

8. We will be decisive over what we delete. “Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say ‘Yes, yes’ and ‘No, no’ at the same time? Our word to you has not been Yes and No” (2 Cor 1:17-18).

We have already stated the importance of taking responsibility for removing unacceptable material from our website. We retain the right to decide what is unacceptable and will not vacillate back and forth as those whose comments have been deleted argue and debate our decision.

9. We will personally rebuke those who post unacceptable content. “But when Peter came to Antioch, I rebuked him to his face” (Gal 2:11).

When someone is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive in nature, we will tell them privately if at all possible and prove, in writing, the unacceptability of what has been written. We will then ask them to make amends publicly, unless it is considered that doing so will only worsen the situation. Where published comments are considered threatening or libelous, we will involve local law enforcement. If the offensive material breaks no laws, and a private rebuke is not received, we will inform the public of the offense in order to create a civil online society where people feel the uncivilized are called out, just as they are in the real world. Of course, it is of highest importance that we safeguard the ability for people to feel safe in disagreement, and that rebukes never be used to silence dissent. Rebukes are used as a last resort only for those who are uncivilized in their writing.

10. We will promote these commandments for increased online Christian civility. “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught” (Rom 16:17).

We appeal to all our Christian brothers who write or read published Internet postings to distribute and promote these commandments for Christian civility on the Internet. Through raising awareness of particular actions that can be taken to ensure civility, we “watch out for those who cause divisions.”

131 comments:

Dave Miller said...

#11. I will not leave out commandment #2.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

lol

Katie said...

#2?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
I believe trying to improve on the Ten Commandments is what Pharisees did.

Would you explain why these are different?

Most of these commandments involve posting and not commenting which I take is your responsibility.

I believe to make people write under all these rules is the quickest way to kill your blog.

For example #6 may require an e-mail address. That’s what the Baptist Standard requires and sometimes they have less comments in a month than you have in some days.

Oops, did I bad-mouth my favorite newspaper – did I exaggerate? How many commandments did I break? I don’t think I prayed sincerely.

Do I need to contact Christiane to find time for confession? Ut Oh, now I’m in trouble for making fun of their custom.

But then she may not be around any longer because her husband may not give permission to reveal her e-mail.

These commandments reminds me when I was a kid being a charter member of the church I’m in now. (That “charter member” may get deleted on the basis of ‘self praise’)

The deacons decide to quit smoking, (only one smoked) and soon the whole church (about 30 members) agreed not to smoke.

The song leader’s large family left the church because his wife was not permitted to teach SS because she refused to stop dipping snuff.

I don’t believe ‘rules’ can change people’s hearts.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Dave. Wasn't left out, just a typo--no number or bold highlight!

Smile.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I agree. Rules cannot change peoples' hearts.

It might just prevent those in need of a heart change from posting.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

You just violated four of the commandments.

:)

Bob Cleveland said...

I remember, from my years in the Rotary Club, that we had a 4-Way Test of all we said, or did:

1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3) Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Strange that a bunch of Christian bloggers have to set forth a set of rules, applying to blog posts or comments, so we can encourage the same decency of actions as a secular civic service club.

greg.w.h said...

Bob:

I think you're onto something there: perhaps it is the distinction between sanctity and sanctimony? Perhaps we are better at seeming than at being Christian?

And while I know the general disdain that Calvinists have for the concept of (serial, annual) revivals, I know the starting place of revival is an emphasis on replacing our righteousness with God's Holiness. Because (self-)righteousness kills, but God's holiness sustains us and fulfills our every need.

We need holiness in our midst. Anything that gets our attention on real holiness is a step in the right direction, I think. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for [His] righteousness.

Greg Harvey

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Would your saying: “It might just prevent those in need of a heart change from posting :)” apply to those in need of a heart change from attending church?

As iron sharpens iron, I believe we all get some of our rough edges smoothed down from others comments – even Joe’s humor about the missing #2 has a point.

And Kevin’s “LOL” speaks volumes that I believe will be hard to improve on.

If we all had the same opinions there would be no need of blogging, but in trying to get others “in line with our thinking” (Acts 21:24 Living) we’re like a ‘think tank’ showing our strong and weak points in the way we conduct ourselves.

In one way, these commandments would require boxers to apologize every time they hit each other.

Alan Paul said...

Good set of rules.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

You write: "If we all had the same opinions there would be no need of blogging, but in trying to get others “in line with our thinking” (Acts 21:24 Living) we’re like a ‘think tank’ showing our strong and weak points in the way we conduct ourselves.

In one way, these commandments would require boxers to apologize every time they hit each other"


I disagree. We do not all have to agree to be civil and kind to others. Christians are not in a boxing match with each other.

We might, at times, play a little chess game among ourselves as we seek to manuever our positions on the different boards (grin), but we should shake hands after it is over instead of belting our opponent.

Wade

John Fariss said...

Dear Joe,

Some say that people never change. Me, I say that Christ changes hearts, therefore people do change. But even with that--basic personality traits often remain. Speaking for myself: He's still working on me; but I know there have been changes. Before I became a Christian, I was developing a really bad outlook, and a very superior attitude towards "bad guys" and people I identified "as scum and trash" as a detective. Jesus changed that, actually before I even recognized it, but I could tell you a story about it. . . someday. . . .

I wonder what your personality was before Jesus became your Lord and Savior? How would your interactions then compare with your interactions now?

Just something to think about.

Because He lives,

John

Pege` said...

Wade thanks for the reminder that first we are Christians and in all things we are to honor our God. I believe out of the abundance of our heart our mouths speak or fingers type and you can tell allot about a person by what they say and write. I will not keep the list posted next to my computer to follow but the scriptures will be a reminder that I am called to a higher standard, no matter my opinion, I am to be like Christ.

Thy Peace said...

I will be upfront and admit that I have broken many of the above commandments.

I attempt to follow this (whenever I can remember to check):

The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers.

Is this true?

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Tom Kelley said...

Thy Peace said...
The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers.

Is this true?

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?


That 3rd one knocks out probably about 95+% of blog posts and comments. :)

Thy Peace said...

The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers.

. said...

I know I said I'd stay away, but when God won't let me go, I don't tell Him no. But rest assured I'm not here to get anyone to listen to me, or to wallow in the mud again, but simply to report what God will not let me keep silent about.

Which of the following are an examples of Christian civility?

A) Jesus is the only Way, Truth, and Life; no one comes to the Father except through Him. So there is no other path to God, and those who do not have faith in the crucified and risen Jesus will spend eternity in hell.

B) Jesus is the only Way for me, but God is Love, so as long as you're sincere and kind to people, and work for social justice, he won't burn you in hell as the hatemongers say.

C) You have one standard for people who are nice and another for people who are mean. That's hypocrisy and you need to repent.

D) You might want to consider whether your present behavior is different than it was before you were saved. If you're still mean, what might that tell you? Pray about it.

Now read Prov. 27:6-- "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

Flattery is when someone says sweet, gentle, indirect words, but the message they convey is hateful, mean, and vicious. It's the thought that counts, not the package.

So A) is "a wound from a friend"; it is direct but honest, conveying a message of truth from God Himself. It is GOD who says there is only one Way, and that those who reject that Way will suffer eternally in hell.

B) is "kisses from an enemy"; it couches a false message in sugar-coating. It hides the truth and does not try to change the path of those on their way to hell. And it judges those who disagree with hatefulness.

C) is another "wound from a friend", a true statement of confrontation over sin. It is God's standard being put into practice, and we dare not shoot His messengers.

D) is a backhanded insult, because it judges another of being lost because the judger doesn't like the other person's style, his bluntness.

Remember 1 Samuel 16:7?

It is popular today to judge on the surface, to homogenize Christians so that there is never a raised voice, never a disagreement, never a confrontation over sin. Yet, hypocritically, these same people judge, bash, confront, mock, flame, and villify those whose only perceived "sin" is directness instead of flattery, and standing for the Truth of God's Word even when it isn't popular or pretty.

I've seen it all here; I've seen the double standard, the passes given to certain people while others are singled out and picked on. You want specifics? There are plenty in this comment stream, but here's a couple that stand out in my mind. The first is one that happened right here in this blog, with no reprimands or cautions given by the blog owner. Read the comments there, especially from one "misshunary":

http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-covenant-christian-living-at-its.html

The second is from my own blog, where I refer to this one. Read all the comments there too:

http://www.fether.net/2009/10/23/duplicity/

The fake civility that is taught and practiced here and in many other "Christian" venues just makes me sick. There is no real civility, only flattery, and the few who call it out are made to be the villains. The sickly-sweet words said to our faces are revealed to be venomous hatred behind our backs. Nobody dares to make waves; nobody shows a backbone for Truth; nobody sees past the syrup or recognizes the hypocrisy-- unless they expect to be hated all the more.

I realize, to quote a line from the first link, that "nobody cares what [I] think", and that in spite of some here who post books with impunity, I'll be accused of writing too much. But this isn't about me, it's about looking past the surface and being genuine, about giving civil MESSAGES, not merely polite vocabulary.

Paula

Wade Burleson said...

Paula,

Were our salvation dependent upon our obedience to any law, I might scream, shout and holler at the lawbreaker.

Since salvation is totally dependent on the performance of God on behalf of sinners through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ, I shall refrain and simply point sinners to God's grace through Christ.

Blessings,

Wade

Robert said...

Wade,
Wow eisegesis to the max!

certainly your choice to allow and disallow who you want to comment on your portal.
Please, please don't tell me that you really believe # 6 is any shape,form or fashion is Biblical.
Thy Peace.....are you not a member of the EFF. This would certainly clash with those values.Must I choose between between Wades new religion and the EFF?

No Thanks

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Bob Cleveland said...

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."(Ephesians 5:1-2)

Eisegesis?

Robert said...

Wade,
You also seem to be contradicting ever your own blog.
see here.re #6.

http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/search/label/Anonymity

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

Nope. The title of the post to which you refer is "Anonymous Writing Is Not Intrinsically Evil."

Websters defines "intrinsic" as - "belonging to a thing by its very nature."

There are VALID reasons for anonymous writing, including fear of loss, fear of physical harm, etc....

There is no contradiction at all.

Wade

Robert said...

Bob cleveland,
I do believe that being civil is Biblical but the Commandment to not blog anonymously is no where to be found in Scripture.
And for sure not in John 18:30.
Just Extra-Biblical but then again so was the Shack and Wade promoted that pile of manure!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Tom Parker said...

Robert:

You just can't get over the Shack can you? Have you read it yet? If not, why not read it and you might just change your mind about the book.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

Humor me Robert by answering my serious question to you.

IF that "pile of manure" leads tens of thousands of people to faith and trust in Christ, and IF you stand before Christ on that day besides those thousands of people led to trust Him by that "pile of manure," and Christ asks you about that "pile of manure" in front of all the redeemed, will you still call it a "pile of manure"?

:)

Robert said...

A question or two for Wade,

I find this strange. Some people who host blogs are anonymous. Some of Wade’s stories are leaked to anonymous sources (I can think of some from the IMB, some from Southwestern and others).



If it is not good for people to comment anonymously, then why is it o.k. for people to either blog anonymously or for bloggers to base stories on anonymous tips and such?



He might respond that, well, it’s important to get the story out and I am trying to protect my source so they are not harmed. O.K., but don’t commenters also have valid concerns about their identities and the desire to be protected? And why should they have to reveal their identities to the blog host if the host is protecting the source. What if the commenter knows something about the situation and the source? Wouldn’t it be fair to allow people to comment anonymously to allow for other thoughts and parts of the story to be posted?



If the basis of the disallowance of anonymous commenters is Jesus’ statement, that statement applies across the board to all of the parties in a blogging transaction – the source, the blogger, the commenter. Not just to blog hosts and their sources (who by all means should really be the people identified, as opposed to some person who may be simply commenting on a story). There are no exceptions to Jesus’ statement.



I would really like to see Wade explain this. I am sure he will have an explanation because his personality and thinking run very much like that. But while I am sure the explanation will be enough to satisfy Wade, I doubt that most people who are not in his church or his devoted blog followers will find the logic very tight.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

The anonymous sources to whom you refer were afraid for their jobs, their careers, and their family's sustained livelihood -- and for good reason (think Sheri Klouda).

Kevin M. Crowder said...

If my lol speaks volumes then please turn down your speakers. It simply made me chuckle. Wade is usually so observant. I found humor in that kind of mistake on a post about rules of blogging. Nothing more than that.

I think there is something missing here however from the list of rules, so if I may give my own rule #11. And that is that we must be better blog listeners. By that I mean that due to the nature of silent communication, we must listen for tone and tenor of a post. Part of this comes from knowing the about the person blogging. This is why profiles, pics, etc are so important. I mean I would simply want to duke it out with GeneS, except for his pic. He is a good ol' boy who smokes a pipe. I could never hate a good ol' boy who smokes a pipe.

Taking time to get to know the people with whom you are conversing is wise in my opinion. Those of you who have emailed me privately tend to get a different perspective of me than my sometimes one or two line zingers on here.

I have many friends who lurk and read Wade's blog but never post. Some like "the old Kevin", some like "the new Kevin" and I realize that for the past few months I have been somewhere in the middle (Title credits go to Thy Peace). I think it is all about mood, or topic, or life circumstances. Also, we tend to change our minds about folks we chat with after long periods of time. Just like I like Joe and Tom Parker, but they both drive me insane, but for completely different reasons--Yet I have come to love them for who they are. Two people on here with who I have deep respect but with whom I have the least in common theologically are Liam and L's. Liam is a bleeding heart liberal and L's is Catholic. But I love them both not for what they believe, but for their personalities, and their Christ-like behavior.

And so this community goes on.

Is real life all that different? Not really. Wade's 10 Commandments are relational commandments. Read the Scriptural Proofs he has given. Are they not all biblical precepts by which we should be living anyway?

I have broken all 10. I will likely break all 10 in the future--but hopefully with less frequency.

Christiane said...

OFF TOPIC:

Please remember to hold the Haitian people close in prayer.

The doctors, and nurses, and rescuers, and care-givers will do all they can:
all that is humanly possible.

But there comes the time when what humans can do is no longer enough. And it is in that hour of our humility, that we may call upon the merciful Lord for the care that only He can give to those who suffer and are beyond our ability to help.

These prayers to God for His help. acknowledging our own human limitations, are very, very powerful when done in the Name of the Lord Christ. Please place these people in His Care tonight.

Robert said...

Wade,
I do not believe God will ever ask that question because to do so would mean that God contradicts his own Word.Not happening!!!!!
Lastly no book leads anyone to Christ only the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit accomplishes that in an individual.
In my best Southern Revivalistic voice......Jesus Saves!!!!!!
God gives His glory to no other especially a 2bit blasphemous book.

Tom
I read the book a long time ago....I grew up in West Papua. My dad was killed by cannibals there in 1968. Only one lady out of aproximately 1000 missionaries who gave there lives for service in West Papua believe that it is anything less then manure. Most are also skeptical of his own story because it runs completely contrary to the costumes and culture of the people where it was said to have happened.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Rex Ray said...

Kevin,
A few years ago I learned the word ‘it’ was one of the worst words a writer could use because so many times the reader is in the dark in knowing what ‘it’ refers to.

I’m referring to you’re saying, “It simply made me chuckle”, and not till your next two sentences did I know what ‘it’ means.

Now in your first comment, you only said, “LOL” which led me to believe you were referring to Wade’s post.

How was I or anyone to know you were referring to the typo Wade made that Dave Miller pointed out?

Sorry my speakers were turned up so high; I though LOL was perceptive insight. My mistake. :)


Christiane,
I know why you made an ‘Off Topic’ about Haiti. I’ve felt the same way in these posts that were scheduled previously. The post that got me the most was ‘moon time vs.: sun time’.

It reminded me of my 5 year-old nephew in his SS class outside. The relatives had been talking about my uncle’s book, and when the SS teacher asked what he thought about the lesson that day, he replied:

“The birds and the flowers, the birds and the flowers! They’re killing all the Christians in China, and nobody cares!”

So I would say, ‘The moon and the sun, the moon and the sun…’


Robert,
Hey! Are we on the same side here? I might have to rethink my words. :)

You said, “No book leads anyone to Christ…”.
I hope you’re excluding the Bible.

Your father being killed touches my heart. Just knowing that gives me more respect for you.

Rex Ray said...

Paula,
Just read your blog discussing contemplative prayer from the link you referenced.

First time I’ve heard some Christians think they’re praying when their mind’s a blank. Huh?

I know the subject is off topic, but because I have a dog in this fight, I want to make it more off topic by saying some promote ‘praise songs’ of repeat, repeat, repeat are doing the same thing.

It really came clear to me while visiting a church were the song leader called out, “Just turn your mind off.”

OK, back on topic or at least in Wade’s reply to you I believe he contested your saying:

“Jesus is the only Way, Truth, and Life; no one comes to the Father except through Him. So there is no other path to God, and those who do not have faith in the crucified and risen Jesus will spend eternity in hell.”

I said contested because he didn’t say amen, but said:

“Since salvation is totally dependent on the performance of God on behalf of sinners through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ, I shall refrain and simply point sinners to God’s grace through Christ.”

Paula, see; Wade is bringing up Calvinism. That’s the topic of his post that you referenced on Monday June 29, 2009.

That’s where you got chewed on by missshunary, and didn’t get ‘spanked’ by Wade for misshunary saying:

“It's not your "disagreement" on the matter that makes you an easy target Miss Paula. It's your intentional DISTORTION of a doctrine that people from the Apostle Paul to the owner of this blog hold to that paints a huge bulls-eye on your forehead. If you can't take it, then stop it. Otherwise, suck it up and prepare to be ridiculed if you insinuate that Piper, Edwards, and Spurgeon are idiots and Paula has it all figured out. It's laughable. I'm even laughing right now. So don't think I'm angry and full of hate towards you.”

I cannot see how Wade can believe man has nothing to do with his salvation when Wade wrote on that post: "…look what God has promised to do, and will do, for those who trust Him."

That’s almost quoting John 3:16.

. said...

Rex Ray,

You're the first person to even notice what I actually wrote here and respond to its actual content instead of trying to deflect attention to a topic known to bring out the worst in people. ::wink wink:: I know we have our differences, but I really appreciate that!

I agree, the chant-like nature of much that is called "praise and worship" music is a long-recognized method of inducing an altered state of consciousness. All music has repetition, but psycholgists know that with the right pace and words, you can essentially hypnotize a whole crowd to be receptive to anything a persuasive speaker might say. And the people love it because it's a spiritual high, a thrill, but a poor substitute for the deep devotion of a life joined to God by holiness and truth. It is the "quick and easy path".

Thank you also for noticing the avoidance of the narrow truth of the gospel and what that implies, and for noticing that "misshunary" was never even gently confronted for what would surely have gotten say, Joe, an immediate and scathing rebuke. Negativity and bluntness are apparently only a sin when certain people commit it. I've long watched the pattern of responses here, and there is a clear and consistent difference depending on who did the flaming. The silence at times speaks volumes.

Wade Burleson said...

.?

Negativity and bluntness are apparently only a sin when certain people commit it.

On the contrary, negativity and bluntness are never sins --

Only attacking character and questioning motives of brothers and sisters who believe in Christ--or questioning their salvation by God's grace--is considered sin

Blessings,

Wade

. said...

Only attacking character and questioning motives of brothers and sisters who believe in Christ--or questioning their salvation by God's grace--is considered sin

Both of those things have either been committed right here in this comment stream or referenced here. You have said nothing to those who did these things.

And you know very well that my use of the word 'sin' was referring not to God's standards but to yours.

Wade Burleson said...

.?

You write: Both of those things (attacking character/motives and questioning one's salvation) have either been committed right here in this comment stream or referenced here. You have said nothing to those who did these things.

I do not police other blogs, only this comment stream.

If you will point out where those things you mention have occurred, I will be happy to issue an appropriate rebuke.

Blessings,

Wade

. said...

If you will point out where those things you mention have occurred, I will be happy to issue an appropriate rebuke.

I already have, but I'll do it one more time.

Judging motives, bluntness and hateful personal attack:
your blog, where "misshunary" is quoted as saying "“It's not your "disagreement" on the matter that makes you an easy target Miss Paula. It's your intentional DISTORTION of a doctrine that people from the Apostle Paul to the owner of this blog hold to that paints a huge bulls-eye on your forehead. If you can't take it, then stop it. Otherwise, suck it up and prepare to be ridiculed if you insinuate that Piper, Edwards, and Spurgeon are idiots and Paula has it all figured out. It's laughable. I'm even laughing right now. So don't think I'm angry and full of hate towards you.”"

Questioning salvation:
Blogger John Fariss said...

Dear Joe,

. . . .

I wonder what your personality was before Jesus became your Lord and Savior? How would your interactions then compare with your interactions now?

Just something to think about.

Mon Jan 18, 02:28:00 PM 2010


And then there's the recent personal attacks of Gene S. against Joe and his wife, among others.

When I see you consistently and fairly using one standard for all commenters, I'll be impressed.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

You are an embarassment, not to the SBC only (of which I'm no longer a part of due in no small part to your affiliation with), but to the body of Christ.

I humbly beg to differ. Pastor Wade is one of the few pastors who exposits the text of the bible faithfully. All his sermons are driven from the text of the bible. I would encourage anyone to listen to his sermons.

Of course, Wade won't refute that position because we certainly can't claim that someone isn't a Christian if they say they are.

I have heard in Pastor Wade sermons, that he clearly teaches that the Jesus Mormons believe is not the same Jesus we Christians believe.

Thy Peace said...

I would like to mention this about Pastor Wade sermons. He clearly teaches ALL sides while expositing the text of the bible. Where there differing interpretations or ambiguity, he clearly and patiently explains ALL sides of interpretations.

And then he asks the listener to VERIFY for themselves from the bible, the Truth.

Rex Ray said...

Paula,
It may be to get a ‘fair shake’ or even ‘allowances’ you need to change as Kevin said:

“I would simply want to duke it out with Gene S, except for his pic. He is a good ol' boy who smokes a pipe.”

I can see it now: ‘Paul with a cowboy hat and pipe’ would go a long ways with guys like Kevin and Joe. :)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Amen to Thy Peace. This is truly the genius behind Wade's preaching.

. said...

Thy Peace,

The problem is that here, in this blog, we don't see that. We don't see any attempt to correct when someone says Mormons are Christians; we don't see any attempt to correct when Catholicism is painted as just another "tradition" instead of the abomination the reformers (and many others!) died to confront and defy. What we see instead is ecumenism to the point of condoning falsehood.

But the point on this comment stream I'm raising is about inconsistency in applying those "ten commandments". Why is it that some people are never reprimanded even when they make blatant personal attacks, or more commonly, subtle backhanded insults? Why are a few people always the ones getting reprimands, even if they are only defending themselves against outrageous statements from others?

What I see here is a caste system based upon appearances. Civility is not mere politeness, and it does not forbid dissent. Yet time and again I see people committing identical "infractions" yet only one gets a reprimand.

. said...

Rex Ray,

Maybe you're on to something. That way I might not get one of those punches in the nose. ;-P

Wade Burleson said...

.?

I apologize for not coming to your defense, Paula, in terms of the comment to you from "misshunary." Honestly, I did not see it.

I do not believe John Farris is attacking as much as asking a direct, bold question, something that you yourself has said is needed. You might ask John what he intended by his comment. Or, you might ask Joe is he was offended.

By the way, the "Joe" that you have taken offense for, is he Joe Blackmon, the blogger who who wrote the comment at 12:16 p.m. today? I ask only because it seems that those who write caustically seem quite capable of jumping to their own defense.

But if this is the same Joe, and he is offended by John Farris' comment, then I will ask John to remove it.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

.?

Everyone, please be kind in your comments to . (Paula?)

Thanks,

Wade

. said...

I do not believe John Farris is attacking as much as asking a direct, bold question, something that you yourself has said is needed.

My point is that you, here in this blog, consistently favor the INdirect insult over the direct. In many cases, IMHO, Joe has been unfairly picked on for that reason alone, while others, who are every bit as caustic, are never confronted. How is it possible to only see one person's infractions and not another's in the same comment stream?

You might ask John what he intended by his comment. Or, you might ask Joe is he was offended.

Why don't you do this, Wade? Why do you and others here jump to conclusions and judge motives, and only against certain people?

These "ten commandments" ring hollow when they're not practiced consistently and fairly, without regard for the person. Which brings up a question about anonymity: wouldn't it be far better if everyone were anonymous, so we stop judging by appearances or reputations? Wouldn't anonymity facilitate judgment of arguments instead of people?

Many here have made charges and claims but were never required to back them up, and refused to do so when asked. I've backed mine up so far, but I really think it's only fair to hold everyone to the same standard on that as well.

I ask only because it seems that those who write caustically seem quite capable of jumping to their own defense

Then why do you only pick out the "caustic" who do so directly? Why not also reprimand everyone who is caustic, even if they coat it with syrup?

You say you didn't see "misshunary"s vitriol, but there was much more than the one comment, and in other threads as well as I recall. But what about Gene? Didn't you see what he wrote about Joe? Does Gene get a pass because Joe is judged to be "caustic" and can fend for himself? Why can't Joe's alleged victims fend for themselves?

All I'm asking from you, Wade, is to face a double-standard. I've tried to point out instances of it, but that's all I can do. If we are to fend for ourselves, then apply it consistently; if it's wrong to be caustic, then it's wrong for everybody, even if they are subtle and indirect. If we are to ask someone to clarify before taking issue with their words, then let this be done across the board.

That's all I'm trying to say.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

For Wade

Thy Peace said...

From my reading of this blog, perusing old posts and recent posts, there is a marked change since this post. In the past the comments were fairly aggressive and combative, given the nature of this blog historically and Pastor Wade was contested very vigorously in comments of his posts, for then his posts were challenging some of SBC practices. Now given that the posts are not politically (SBC) based, the comments have become more or less "mellow" or less combative.

Debbie Kaufman said...

This post is being read like some people read the Bible or hear a convicting sermon. Instead of self examination, it has turned into a but I didn't...but he/she did... but you didn't...


It's turning some into victims who are not. I hope I have said this as kindly as possible, but this blame game needs to turn into self examination, and if you haven't done anything, so be it. I know I'm guilty of most of this and I admit it.

I always loved when I would read or hear something that in a sermon or in scripture that I have done, because that meant God was in the midst of sanctifying me. Some of which was pretty painful, but it is causing me to be a kinder person, it is taking away my power to hurt some one else of which I was guilty of doing. I'm thankful for such sermons and such passages, not for what I could blame others for, but what I could see in myself.

Lydia said...

Paula,

The bottomline is that one is affirmed if they are indirectly insulting and sugar coat it. The innuendos and "general" insults to a group (conservatives or captialists) are ignored because they are couched in empty plaititudes and called "Christian".

The lesson is this: Wrap your insults in generalities and whipped creme with lots of sugar on top and it will look "Christian". Never use names but do it in a way that everyone will know who you are talking about but there is plausible deniability if you are asked to be precise.

I lived in this world in the seeker movement which is wraught with totalitarian niceness. It is all fake.

Warren calls for civility but I would certainly warn anyone who dares disagree with him. It used to be one had to sign a membership covenant that they would never critisize the church or leadership.

His whole 'civility' pronouncement came because many were questioning not only his PDL doctrine but many other things such as taking PDL to Jews, Muslims and his sad commentary on Syrian Christians. His 'pastors.com' forum on transitioning the church was finally pass protected because the pastors sounded more like wolves discussing strategies on how to get rid of folks.

So, Warren simply brands these diagreements and questioning as 'uncivil'. It is a great tactic and works with the masses.

The whole civility mantracan many times cover over lots of evil. It is about image. We want to be "seen" as nice or humble when we really are not.





PS: The book of Hebrews is Inspired but the author is anonymous. Should it be discounted?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Apollos wrote Hebrews.

. said...

That's what I've observed too, Lydia. That's why I mentioned that the only "sin" being called out here is that of failing to sugar-coat. It's fake civility or flattery.

PS: The book of Hebrews is Inspired but the author is anonymous. Should it be discounted?

Good question! And we could ask more, such as why it's okay to be convicted by a blunt and confrontational sermon, but not so in public blogs. Or why the gospel is to be clearly and unashamedly given to those in churches who already know it, but not to the public at large where most of the lost are.

Lydia said...

"Apollos wrote Hebrews."

No, I bet you Prisca. And that is why it is anonymous because men would not read it if they knew.:o)

If I win, you owe me something when we get to heaven and we find out. I don't know what it would be since we will have everything we need?

. said...

If I win, you owe me something when we get to heaven and we find out. I don't know what it would be since we will have everything we need?

I think Priscilla should get to put a pink tutu on everyone who presumed she was a man.

Tom Kelley said...

The book of Hebrews must have been written by a woman because if a man had written it he would have assumed that making coffee was a woman's work and he would have named it "Shebrews".


Word verification: blablabb. 'Nuff said.

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

We agree on something again! It was Prisca who wrote Hebrews. This better not start happening too often. :)

As for the Gospels, who knows. Matthew and Mark are great candidates imo. But they were brilliant whoever they were.

Lydia said...

http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2010/01/let-cognitive-dissonance-teach-you-how.html

Great post about cognitive dissonance and spiritual abuse

Paul Burleson said...

Several years ago in a fellowship I pastored, the custodian, a fine man, was killed as he fired up the furnance and there was a sudden explosion which claimed his life. I carried him in my arms to the hospital a block away. it was too late. My clothes had to be burned. An investigation showed he had skipped, out of familiarity with the unit, a couple of steps outlined and printed on the wall for the lighting of the furnance. It was a sad event and loss for our fellowship and his family.

A code [commandments] that someone suggests for the internet and the writing of blogs are more akin to that event than to the Law of Moses given in scripture. They are not inspired, God given, nor infallible. But they do help when given in the context of trying to learn to wisely use a somewhat new venue which has yet to be experienced enough for us to be wise in it's use. In observing them [and other things perhaps yet to be learned] we might perhaps avoid some damaging and hurtful situations in communication with one another.

I think Kevin was correct in suggesting much of the posted commandments deal with truths about our character which the scripture has already showed us all. But I also think I need to be helped along by learning from what others may suggest as they restate those scriptural truths in practical words in a given situation. [Kinda like the scripture tells me to defer to others but a law that tells me to wait my turn at a fourway stop is not bad either.]

But I see these "commandments" as more suggestions than anything else [Certainly not Divine or social law.] and I believe the author probably assumes that. I'm assuming because I haven't talked with him. Besides, I'm not a controlled victim to anyone [nor is he] and will always choose from within my own conscience, informed by scripture and enlightened by the Spirit, what I do in any situation. I think the author of those commandments knows that, does that himself, and expects all to do the same.

So..I say to the author of those "commandments" a "thank you" and "God bless you" for seeking to help us all grow. May we all learn something.

I can also honestly say I would write these words were the author named Kevin, Thy Peace, Paula, Lydia, Joe or anyone else.

. said...

Paul,

Your point applies equally well to the matter of God's directions for keeping us spiritually safe. When I see dangerous practices or teachings, and people ignore the warnings or fail to see the danger, I must speak up.

Big red or yellow signs that say DANGER or HIGH VOLTAGE may upset people, but they may also save their lives. It is most unloving and negligent to remove those signs because they clutter up the scenery.

Likewise, there are clear words of warning in the scriptures against false teachings, "another Jesus", and compromise with the world, and especially against trying to find another Way, Truth, or Life. When some of us put up a big warning it upsets people, because it's intrinsically negative and upsetting. But warn we must, and we must do so clearly and bluntly.

Superficial civility which forbids the voice of warning unless it is painted pink and covered with flowers does no one any good. It attempts to mute or marginalize the impact of the danger. Some people think those who give warning signs are for taking potshots at, shots taken by the allegedly gentle. But they do so to their own demise.

The Christian community at large, not just here, needs to seriously reconsider their treatment of those who sound the alarm at the first sight of compromise with falsehood. We need those kinds of "commandments" just as much as any other.

Paul Burleson said...

.said..

I appreciate your quick response and must say I agree with the basic point of needing to sound alarm often times. I do think that can be done with civility however.

When you said.."Superficial civility which forbids the voice of warning unless it is painted pink and covered with flowers does no one any good," I have to say I could not agree more.

I have to also say, however, I've not seen that in the people who connect with this blog and I think "superficiality" and "civility" cancel each other out in reality anyway. True civility is real. Superficiality by definition isn't, it's only pretending.

. said...

True civility is real. Superficiality by definition isn't, it's only pretending.

Exactly.

I have to also say, however, I've not seen that in the people who connect with this blog and I think "superficiality" and "civility" cancel each other out in reality anyway.

Yet I've seen plenty of it here. I've seen people say some pretty wicked things to others, but they were praised instead of reprimanded for one and only one reason: the barbs were coated with syrup; they were subtle and indirect. By virtue of the fact that they were never called out, this became the de facto definition of "civil". This is what I'm saying is superficial and fake.

Conversely, I've seen people called mean, negative, accused of not caring for the poor, etc. etc. etc., all because they (1) were direct and clear, and (2) they spoke the new curse word, "doctrine".

But doctrine and love are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they are both needed together. I've said many times that love without truth is no better than truth without love, and yet in this blog, it seems that truth is unwelcome unless it is spoken so vaguely and gently that no one is alarmed.


A case in point is my citing of one person questioning the salvation of another. It is subtle, indirect. But in the context in which it is found, and considering the larger context of the history of people's interactions here, the message is quite clear. By this time I'm also sure it will be denied that such a message was intended, but this is hardly an isolated incident. The salvation of whole groups of people has been questioned here, but nobody says a word because the accusations are well-concealed.

I also see a lot of twisted logic, such as this typical syllogism:

P1 - Conservatives are against giving Social Security to illegal aliens

P2 - It is compassionate to give Social Security to illegal aliens

C - Therefore conservatives lack compassion for illegal aliens

This sort of judging through inference is rampant online, and alive and well in this blog. People can get away with it because the make inferences instead of clear and bold statements.

I don't know how else to explain this.

John Fariss said...

Dear . (sorry, I am too much of an old fossil to know how to underline the period),

I just got in and looked at Wade's blog, for the first time since yesterday (I think, certainly the first time since you posted). I most assuredly was NOT questioning Joe's salvation. In fact, part of the question I posed to him referenced Jesus AS his Lord and Savior, and I meant that with all sincerity. Now, Joe and I have wrastled around several times on several different issues; there are times I think he has been wrong, times I think he has misstated a position or made incorrect assumptions about a position (usually involving what he perceives as liberal or moderate Christians and/or Baptists), and times I think he has been unduly curt or uncivil towards someone's position. But (1) I have never questioned Joe's salvation, (2) I have never intentionally or knowingly attacked Joe personally, and in fact (3) I consider Joe an internet friend, with whom, if we lived closer, I would be glad to enjoy table fellowship with. And as for our exchanges--well, as the Bible says, iron sharpens iron.

Now I will say a word to Joe: Joe, if you feel I attacked you personally, or that I was questioning your salvation, you let me know. (Somehow I don't think you would be shy about doing that.) I will first, assure you I was not (because I wasn't), and second, I will apologize for the appearance of having done so.

But, uh, ".", saved Christian people do sometimes say things that fail to reflect the Christ who lives within them--it is, I suppose, an artifact of our fallen, human nature. I do, you do, Wade does, Joe does. To ask a question on that issue is, IMHO, not to question that person's salvation.

John

. said...

John,

Thank you for clarifying. And FWIW, I personally don't think it's wrong to question a person's salvation--- as long as it's done out of genuine concern and not "you are mean so you might not be saved", or "you don't agree with [name it] so you must not be saved".

But you have to admit that the statement as you made it left the inference (the "C" part of a syllogism) to the imagination. It's this kind of ambiguity which I see frequently used here to flame without saying anything directly that could be held against them.

My whole issue here has been one of consistency. The fact still remains that some people are never reprimanded in spite of the things they say, yet others are frequently reprimanded for the very same "crime". If the line were to be drawn consistently and without "respecting of persons", I wouldn't have cared. I just hate injustice.

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

O boy, at least we now know that "dot" is a sophomore religion major (prolly at TMC) who just had into to logic last semester. :)

K


PS: You shouldn't post "wit yo pants on the ground"

Kevin M. Crowder said...

That should have been "Intro to Logic"


K (typing with his pants on the ground)

. said...

So Wade...

Is Kevin's comment "civil"?

Can he get a "get out of jail free" card if he says it was a joke?

Is it okay to make statements like "pants on the ground" as long as it's all in fun?

Can I use those excuses?

Just asking.

John Fariss said...

Dear ".",

I am sorry, but no, I cannot agree with what you think is some inference that I questioned Joe's salvation. Again, I referenced my question to him with "Jesus as your Lord and Savior." To me, that removed any ambiguity of the sort you state--unless of course you think that I was being sarcastic. Not knowing who you are, I do not know if we have had any interaction or not on blogs, electronically--or for that matter, in person. But I am not a sarcastic person (the photo I use I think is a pretty accurate summary of my personality), and if you thought I was being sarcastic, then I will have to be a bit blount and say you have made an incorrect assumption or presupposition about me and my comment. Furthermore, I am somewhat offended that you would do so on the basis of an assumption, and without addressing me or speaking to Joe about it. But then that is the shortfall of the medium of communication, that we cannot see facial expressions or hear vocal intonations.

John

Debbie Kaufman said...

I have problems with the use of sugar coated and syrupy. Telling the truth kindly, which is telling the truth in love, is always mistaken for syrup and sugar. We don't have to stab someone with the truth. We don't have to beat them with it, nor should we. If you have right doctrine and no love aka syrup, according to 1 Corinthians 13 it doesn't mean a thing. And it certainly doesn't mean a thing to the person you are beating with "truth." It's just an excuse to fight and to be a bully. It's not going to produce a changed life and it's certainly not honoring to God.

Right doctrine means nothing without love. It's just a lot of loud noise. And it's not right doctrine in the whole sense of the word because it leaves out passages such as 1 Corinthians 13 or Galatians 6.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I should add to that Galatians 5:22.

Chris Ryan said...

Paula,
I don't know how much tv you watch. But Kevin's comment is not at all meant as rude or insulting. Following one American Idol audition performance last week, "pants on the ground" has become somewhat of a pop phenomenon. I imagine this is just another instance of Kevin attempting a pop culture reference and it not going over as intended (usually because people are unfamiliar with the reference). If you were familiar with the event which Kevin was referencing, you would not only be laughing but would probably be agreeing with Kevin.


Kevin,
Remember, you and I are the two youngest folks on here. The world of pop music isn't going to be familiar to most commentators. Remember one of the first rules of sermon illustrations: they must be accessible to your audiences. That might be a wise rule for blogging, too, even if it has nothing to do with civility.

Tom Kelley said...

Chris,
Even old fogies like me know about "pants on the ground". Those who don't are prolly just more sanctified, not necessarily old.

Wade Burleson said...

. Paula?

Can you use your name rather than a dot? Smile. I feel funny typing a dot and then writing.

Anway, I have just returned from driving 500 miles to bury our Hospital Chaplain in cemetery near Hope, Kansas.

I have not been able to keep up with all your comments, but to answer your specific question about Kevin, yes, he does get a pass. In the same manner Joe is given a pass. I would encourage you to read Chris's comment to understand Kevin was using a pop song in his comment, not meaning to be disrespectful.

Blessings,

Wade

. said...

Can you use your name rather than a dot? Smile. I feel funny typing a dot and then writing.

Well at least I make you feel funny. ;-) But call me whatever you'd prefer.

As for my comment about Kevin, everybody presumed I was deadly serious. Interesting. I'm also curious about when Joe gets a pass, and who it's from. :-D

Now it's off to badger my web hosting co. about why the extra memory I bought for my vps tends to fill up during the least active time of day.

Chris Ryan said...

Tom Kelley,

My apologies. But I don't know that that makes them more sanctified, just caught up in other endeavors. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand the culture you are ministering too.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

CR,

Do you think all biblical illustrations are accessible to present day audiences? I think not. And so we help the reader/listener to understand.

But I am not preaching here. I am pontificating ek cathedra (dogmatically asserting stuff out of the cathedral; genitive of separation--as in, 'not in' the cathedral).

hehe

K



YAY for Scott Brown! YAY for America!

Chris Ryan said...

Kevin,

The illustration WERE accessible to the readers they were first intended for. Come on, you know the grammatical-historical approach. It is our cultural and historical and lexical distances that makes it necessary to explain biblical illustrations.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Run rabbit run!


My point is...err was, that not all illustrations are understandable by all in the audience. This is true on blogs as well as in most every church in town. Dot, in his or her short history here, has had a tendency to force offense into most anything.


K

PS to Wade, I am saving my "pass" for another time as I see no reason to use it now. :)

Word ver: potsua = Jamaican Brew!

Christiane said...

KEVIN,

"Dot, in his or her short history here, has had a tendency to force offense into most anything."

In kindness, show some compassion for this person who needs to be here now.

Christiane said...

Please keep vigil prayer for the Haitian people, if you are able.


Still, people are being found alive. But for the lost who suffer, buried before their time, who cannot reach the hem of His Garment;
please pray that Our Lord comes to be with them so that they are not alone.

Christe eleison

. said...

Kevin,

If you carefully read the comments here, you will be able to solve the great Mystery of the Dot.

And far from "forcing offense into everything", I'm trying to force it out-- into the open.

The fact remains that some people here never get a reprimand no matter how wicked their tongue, because their venom is concealed in innuendo. Their hapless victims see through it and react, and then the venom-spitters act indignant. Because they never actually state the "C" part of their argument but only leave it to inference, they cannot be pinned down and thus evade being called out, and they retain the victim status in the eyes of the readers.

Some don't ever see it, but there are many I've met online who were former atheists for example who knew this game and played it well. It's a game of appearances, smoke and mirrors, and getting away with un-Christlike attitudes toward fellow believers. When someone does see through this, they rely on technicalities to deny the charges.

But my efforts in this thread were not to stop offense, but to make it fair by bringing it to people's attention. Some people will always take offense, while others will keep dishing it out and deny they do it. All I've been trying to do is get people to see it, to level the playing field.

John Fariss said...

Kevin,

Speaking as a fossil: I smiled when I read your comment at 8:55 and laughed out loud when I read your 8:58 comment.

Language and the human mind are such that virtually any words can be (and probably have been) used as codes for something else, often sexual or other nefarious activity. That is just a fact. I do not, however, think that makes those words or phrases "off limits." My parents may not have known what Jerry Lee Lewis meant by "great balls of fire" or what the "Chantilly lace" he liked so much was, or what the thrill that Fats Domino found on Blueberry Hill was. But I did (if not in the 50s, certainly by the mid 60s) because I was became part of that youth culture while they were not, and hey, I still like the songs. By the same token, I doubt that Kevin understood that the "pants on the ground" comment once (way back when) related to old, bad, beastiality jokes that circulated in south Alabama about farm boys and cows because of his age and origin. Nor should he be barred (or condemned) for using the phrase just because someone else, in a far different time and setting misused it.

At least that's my opinion. Now That and a couple of bucks will get you a cup of coffee at most fast food joints.

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I think it is time for Wade to do some IP comparisons.
******************8

Dot,

You said: "If you carefully read the comments here, you will be able to solve the great Mystery of the Dot."

Thank you for the tip Mrs. Blackmon.


K

. said...

Kevin,

Okay, I'll give you a hint:

Mon Jan 18, 05:25:00 PM 2010

Look very, very, carefully. And if you call me Mr. Blackmon again I WILL punch you in the nose. ;-)

But we're both just joking, right?

. said...

I meant to type MRS. Blackmon

J. et K. said...

I'm new to your blog (via Upstream Collective tweet) and really loved this post. The timing, for me, is perfect. Thanks for sharing this.

. said...

And of course, I could have added, "My sincere and honest prayer is that you read the Bible more carefully than you read these comments", but it would surely have been deemed uncivil. :-D

Thy Peace said...

. or Dot is Paula Fether. Her blog is Words of a Fether.

. said...

Aw, ThyPeace, I wanted Kevin to find it. Just having a little fun... ;-)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dot,

I had called you MRS. Blackmon. But I see now I had missed a crucial piece of evidence.

Paula, let me say this: Your paper on Calvinism is foundationally flawed. How can you speak against Calvinism when you do not even understand it?

Finally, your "book" on Nicolaitanism is nothing more than a rant on something you do not like. That is not scholarship. You have clearly limited your research to gain the desired result--that is to bash the present evangelical ecclesiastical order.

At the very least I find you interesting and think you will make a fine addition to the Congegacion de la Wade.


K

. said...

Kevin,

You also missed my correction; MR was a typo and I posted quickly to say so.

And trying to turn this yet again into a mudslinging contest about Calvinism is just pathetic, yet predictable. Your assessment of my writings is over the line, though it appears that my sense of civility is a whole lot different than anyone else's here.

Will Kevin get a pass for this blatant personal attack? Stay tuned!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dot, Can I call ya Joe?

I refuse to change my style of communicating for you as (and this is a HUGE compliment) you seem to be pretty intelligent. Just know that if I did not already find you interesting I would have totally ignored you. You can call it whatever you like, but consider my comments bait for the taking.

Don't drink the Fool-aide!


:)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dot,

For the record, I am impressed with your writings. I just happen to not agree with any of them.

And one would think that you would enjoy a good wholesome debate about most anything as it is you who have been stirring the pot on here lately. (I really do appreciate that--Grace and Truth 2U has been umm, well, let's say not as exciting as it could be lately.)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Well, Hallelujah! We have a conservative senator in Massachusetts! The liberals have awakened the sleeping giant called "normal people." Marriage is for 1 man & 1 woman; babies are for nurturing, not murdering; gov't should be little, not gigantic; and free enterprise is better than socialism/communism. Normal people, ...it's not too late for America. The Wizard of Oz of liberalism has been exposed!"

~ Steve Gaines

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dot,

How come you can "have a little fun" but no one else can? Btw, I agree with your assessment of Halloween.

K

Wade Burleson said...

Paula, Dot, whomever you may be ...

If you read the comments over the course of the last five years, every single comment that is an assault on my character, or an attack on my person, or a ringing, derogatory indictment of my ministry or family -- is left up.

My life, my ministry and my writings are my vindication.

I put little stock in comments from those who do not know me. However, I do remove comments that are deemed derogatory about others upon request.

Please send me the complete list of comments that you feel are derogatory towards you and I will remove each of them--though in the long run I think the better response would be to be civil in your own comments and ignore the uncivility in others.

That's my policy.

Blessings,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Dot:

You would have much more credibility if you would identify yourself. You are just slightly above the scale of being anonymous.

But you sure seem to be stirring the pot.

. said...

Kevin,

Thank you for the compliments. :-) Now let me address your questions and claims.

"I am impressed with your writings. I just happen to not agree with any of them." is a huge improvement over sweeping generalizations like "you don't understand Calvinism" and "your book isn't scholarship", esp. w/o providing details to back up the claims.

You said, "I refuse to change my style of communicating for you", and I wouldn't want you to. But this is the whole point: style vs. substance. The style of incivility doesn't make it more civil; it's the message being conveyed. Your assessment of me and my writings, off topic as it was, was a personal attack no matter how you would have worded it. Had you said something like "Your statement in paragraph 3 of page 19 has a fatal flaw, and here is my explanation of that flaw", I would have considered it a legitimate point of debate.

So yes, I do enjoy a good debate… but "you're wrong" isn't it. We need specifics and details, and counter-arguments. That's a debate. And remember, as I wrote in my first comment, I'm not "stirring the pot" because I wanted to. I most definitely didn't. (But then, we all know it takes a woman to stir a pot!)

You said, "How come you can "have a little fun" but no one else can? ". Where did I say this? In fact, I deliberatel started "having fun" just to see if the game was fair. The jury's still out on that one.

Tom,

Haven't you been reading the latest comments? I identified myself in the very firs post, and several others responded to me by name. Thy Peace even provided a link to my blog. What else do you need?

Wade,

Same questions as for Tom. Plus, I'm not asking for censorship but an even playing field. I grieve that this point, though I've made it repeatedly, has not gotten across.

And I fully understand that you intend to keep "hands off" of other people's insults. Yet take a look at the times you've confronted Joe. Was every one of them an insult against you personally? Did someone complain to you that they felt insulted, and did you privately go to Joe about it before posting publicly? This is the double standard. And I sincerely like to know why Mormonism is considered "Christian" here in this blog but not, according to Thy Peace, in your church.

Re. "be civil", that's the whole question, Wade. What does that mean in practical terms, consistently-applied terms? As I have watched this blog over quite a while now, I see nothing consistent, but a blurry, wavey line that seems to favor certain people. No, I'm not interested in going back over your whole blog any more than you are. But it's what I've observed, and I've just been trying to bring it to light.

I have run out of ways to try and say these things, which I'm sure will meet with a sigh of relief.

Wade Burleson said...

Your own bias, dot, is clear and evident to all readers.

I am reminded of Hamlet's "methinks thou protesteth too much."

Blessings,

Wade

. said...

Everybody's biased, Wade. I just wish you could see it. If you did, you'd never have written this post. And the facts are no less truthful due to the flawed sinner that tried to get you to face them.

Let he who is without bias throw the first stone. And let anyone who thinks that because we're all sinners then we can't ever confront sin, ask how even the NT writers could do so.

Those are all rhetorical questions.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

O boy, I confess to not being in the right mood to give what one might call a "civil" response, even while that same response might indeed make the rest chuckle. And so I simply say to Dot that if I have offended you in any way I am sorry. I think there is a divide in the way we communicate online that simply is not going to work. While I find Wade's posts to be generally serious and intelligent in nature, the comment stream varies from post to post and from day to day in how one might respond, be it one on one dialogue or be it proclamation to the entire readership. I admit that I do not desire to swim as deeply and as seriously as you do. Once in a while I can put on my theologue hat and use the Bible to beat some folks silly, but usually my demeanor is just that...silly.

I claim nothing more and wish you the best in your quest.

K

Tom Parker said...

Paula:

I don't get it. You are calling other people uncivil while at the same time being uncivil.

. said...

Kevin: thank you. :-)

Tom: I'd ask how anything I've said is less civil than anything others have said, but I already gave up trying to get a definition of civility that doesn't change with the weather.

Christiane said...

Good Morning Everyone,

It's me, L's

Please pray that God will guide the efforts of the USHS COMFORT which has arrived and dropped anchor in Haiti.

My dear niece, Linds, is on board and will no doubt be working long shifts. She serves 'from the heart' in the way of a Christian.
She is also next in line to be sent to Afghanistan. Please pray for her and all who serve aboard the COMFORT. Love, L's

Tom Parker said...

Paula:

You said:"Tom: I'd ask how anything I've said is less civil than anything others have said, but I already gave up trying to get a definition of civility that doesn't change with the weather."

Carry on.

Thy Peace said...

All the posts for this blog that include the word "Mormons":

Is There a Culture Among Southern Baptists That Goes Beyond Biblical Christianity? [SEPTEMBER 16, 2009].

Are We Southern Baptists Becoming a Benign Cult? The Danger of Casually Dismissing Scripture When Defining 'True' Christianity [DECEMBER 15, 2007].

Letting Go of All Our Affections for This World [JUNE 25, 2007].

Something I Genuinely Do Not Understand [MAY 15, 2007].

All the posts for this blog that include the word "Mormon":

Shiloh Has Come! The Joy of Fulfilled Prophecy [JULY 22, 2009].

The Labor and Toil Involved in Entering His Rest [AUGUST 29, 2008].

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Praying for L's niece. I read this morning that that ship can hold 1000 patients at a time. What a mission! What a cause! What a blessing! Oh Great Comfort, we pray for thee, mighty hospital of the sea.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Thanks for the help with the "Mormon" links. I really appreciate it.

Statements from Joe and Paula about how I don't "oppose" Mormon doctrine, etc... ring very hollow to me.

Frankly, their protestations are silly. It's like they think "let's think of the worst thing we can about what a person believes in order to discredit him."

Mormons are cultic in their doctrine and ideology -- just like some Fundamentalist Baptists.

Smile

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

L's,

I, too, am praying for your neice.

wade

Christiane said...

Thank you so much, Wade and Kevin.
There is a saying often posted in Christian hospitals:

'We bandage the wound.
God heals it.'

The Navy hospital ship 'COMFORT' is one of two ships in a special classification called:

the 'Mercy Class'

We can thank God for the good hearts of our people.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Parker said...

Joe B:

You said:"I told a friend yesterday that I was done commenting here after he suggested I stop. And I will, after this one."

Fantastic news!!!!! You just made my day Joe.

Chris Ryan said...

Joe,

I realize I probably won't get a response.

But have you (or Paula) ever considered that Carter's problem may not be a fundamental misunderstanding of the Gospel but a fundamental misunderstanding of mormon teachings?

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

You as a person will be missed. Many of your comments will not. Blessings in your future endeavors.

Wade

Lydia said...

"Mormons are cultic in their doctrine and ideology -- just like some Fundamentalist Baptists. "


I have yet to meet a fundie Baptist that believes or teaches that Jesus is the brother of Satan or that an Angel called Moroni appeared to any Baptist with special prophecy buried in upstate NY.

I'm a fundie because I believe in the primary fundamentals of the Gospel.

Lydia said...

I don't get it. You are calling other people uncivil while at the same time being uncivil.

Wed Jan 20, 12:41:00 PM 2010

It is interesting what some find to be uncivil and civil. It seems the basic format for informal debate is considered uncivil to some.

Tom, was this civil according to the definitions here:

"You said:"I told a friend yesterday that I was done commenting here after he suggested I stop. And I will, after this one."

Fantastic news!!!!! You just made my day Joe."

Color me confused.

(I was accused of calling FDR a Nazi on this blog because one commenter read something Christiane wrote in response to me and got it mixed up that **I** said FDR was a Nazi. To me, that is exactly what she was trying to get across indirectly. It worked. It is ok, Christiane, I forgive you even if you deny it..similar things have happened in such a way too often as in greedy republicans who want kids to die type of comments. But it was a bit amusing considering that the Nazi's called FDR, The Jew Roosevelt.)

Uncivility takes all forms.

And I am concerned that these rules of civility cover over lots of evil. Actually, I have personanlly witnessed just that happen in many venues. We already see that happening in many churches where pedophiles/perverts roam (Even on staff) and anyone who says anything is unforgiving and bitter.

It seems to me that confronting or even mentioning Patterson concerning the Klouda scandal could now be seen as uncivil.

I am writing as one who is concerned not angry. Hope you guys can see that.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
"Well, Hallelujah! We have a conservative senator in Massachusetts! The liberals have awakened the sleeping giant called "normal people." Marriage is for 1 man & 1 woman; babies are for nurturing, not murdering; gov't should be little, not gigantic; and free enterprise is better than socialism/communism. Normal people, ...it's not too late for America. The Wizard of Oz of liberalism has been exposed!"

~ Steve Gaines
Wed Jan 20, 11:31:00 AM 2010


Kevin, is that a real quote? If so, it's amusing. Since Brown is neither opposed to gay marriage nor most abortions, the first part of the comment is a non sequitur. And for those who have followed Gaines closely, a remark about the Wizard of Oz being exposed is priceless. :)

Tom Kelley said...

Joe Blackmon,
I hope you will stick around and keep commenting and making things interesting. I hope "." will, too.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

To the rapper T Kelley,

Yes, that was a post from fb.

I am not sure if that was proper for me to post a facebook quote or not. I, like Wade, am still learning all the rules of Facebook.

Maybe someone one over at ethicsdaily.com could look into the ethics of social network cross contamination.


K

Thy Peace said...

Emmanuel Enid > Sermons > The Christ We Know > The Mighty God.

That Jesus is "The Mighty God" is a confession that causes conflict.

We live in a day when we are free to talk of our belief in God, our love and devotion to God, and our worship of God. But once you mention that Jesus is God, watch out! Some say that Jesus is a good teacher and we should simply follow his teachings. "Blessed are you when people revile you, persecute you . . . on my account" (Matthew 5:11). When the Muslim or the Mormon, the Jew or the Jehovah's Witness, the Hindu or the heathen tell you that we all serve the same God -- it is just simply not the case.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

T Kelley,

This Site seems to agree with you on the abortion issue (saddly) but also indicates he voted YES to define marriage as a union btwn a man and a woman. I guess we really didn't have a choice though. Killing most of the babies is better than killing all of the babies. (Can't believe this "one issue voter" just said that.)


He needs our prayers.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/Scott_Brown.htm

Try that.

Christiane said...

Hi THY PEACE,

If you go to the seventh chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, verse 29,
there is mention that Jesus taught 'as if one having authority'.

Perhaps it is the same today: people will only listen to the message if they feel that the messenger 'has authority' (?)

We have all seen the difference here where people sometimes argue a doctrinal point;
and then the same person on another occasion, will speak 'from the heart' in a way that 'connects' or 'resonates' with something in our own souls.

The 'believability factor' may lie in the degree of commitment that the soeaker has to his/her message which enables the Holy Spirit to act through him.

Is the listener hearing just another intellectual doctrinal argument set forth in arrogance and pride?

Or is the listener permitted to witness the humble sharing of a deeply-held vision of Christ which has transformed and illuminated the speaker's life ?

'Deep speaks to deep' and the voice of the Spirit is able to speak through a humble and thankful believer to another person's spirit.

It's more than just the that words one 'says' that communicates of Christ to others.
It's so much more.

Tom Kelley said...

RevKev,
I stand corrected -- Brown has, as you said, voted against gay marriage.

mitchc said...

Wade, I have said in print that I believe that your chapter in Christian Civility in an Uncivil World,is one of the most needed. Of course, I am the editor who chose you. Some of the e-mails that we received after starting Say Something Sunday prove that your contribution is badly needed. I would like to see your contribution reprinted in every church newsletter. Mitch Carnell, Charleston