Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm a big meanie, or Priorities, people!

Well, the Internet hate for me is approaching white-hot levels since I dared tangle with the sacred cow of the large-university liberal religion professor (or is that professor of liberal religion?) a few days ago.
Credit where credit is due, first of all. McGrath declined to identify me by name (or handle) in his post on this incident. That's being a stand-up guy. I, also being a stand-up guy, have identified myself as the tattle tale, and this has led to a few humorous comments about my identity.
My favorite comes from the very rude blog of Dr Jim West, who first said this in the post:

I have no time for the coward, hiding, as he does, behind anonymity. I’ll not engage the person since it would be an utter waste of time.

Then, in the combox:
ashrebg Says:
Why is this guy a coward and NT Wrong a hero?

Jim West Says:
gee i dont recall ever saying wrong was a ‘hero’. as ive said now countless times, i know wrong. hence, he isnt anonymous.

NT Wrong is apparently a frequent commenter on West's blog. This is hypocrisy in action, absent a retraction from West. Dr McGrath knows my name, where I'm from, and other details such as the name of my church, and has had the decency not to broadcast such, just as I haven't broadcasted the name of his church or of his pastor. So he "knows" me. West castigates me for being anonymous (which I'm not, really), but gives a pass to his buddy NT Wrong b/c he knows him. I'm a coward; NT Wrong is alright.

Moving on, yesterday I had pressed a commenter hebrewandgreekreader to substantiate his accusations that I've been "unloving". He responded.
Before I take it point by point, let me register my vexation and naïve (by now) surprise at the screwed-up priorities exhibited by this commenter and by most others who have reacted to my actions toward Dr McGrath. Here we have a patent, obvious heretic and denier of the most central of definitive essentials of Christianity - the bodily resurrection of Christ - sitting in a position of authority and teaching in an ostensibly evangelical church. Apparently the widespread idea is that a Baptist Sunday School is better meant to be a weekly interfaith dialogue, the crunchy, flaky exterior of Baptist with a gooey, chewy Unitarian Universalist middle. So...one would certainly expect them to be open to Wiccan, Muslim, Hindu, Branch Davidian, Satanist, atheist, Moonie, and Mormon teachers too, right? Anything except a conservative Reformed teacher, no doubt.
The New Testament (and Old, now that I think about it) condemns such welcoming of wolves into the sheep pen in the strongest possible terms, and this blind, biblically illiterate church is letting it happen.
Finally on this point, Dr McGrath is bound for eternal condemnation as it stands now. Unless he repents of his sin and bows the knee to the biblical Jesus, "you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). And hebrewandgreekreader and the rest of these libs are concerned that I'm not being nice? Priorities, people!

On to his points:
"Turns out he is a typical liberal, substituting hand-waving and politically-correct bloviating for actual arguments." - If you've never met him, this is unfounded and rude.
I've met him...on his blog. Is the man not responsible for what appears on his blog, from his own keyboard? If you don't think I've fairly characterised his comments, can you explain his neglect of my actual questions?

"...requesting that he recognise that McGrath is a heretic who doesn't belong as a member of any church that claims to hold to the Bible as its final authority, let alone as a Sunday School teacher." - Again you've never met him and never sat in one of those classes.
I give Dr McGrath the benefit of the doubt, that he teaches and believes what he says on his blog. If the two are inconsistent, there's something perhaps even more problematic going on. I'm doing McGrath less a disservice than you are - I give him credit for meaning what he says, whereas I'm not at all sure you do.

"Boo-hoo; no doubt he wants us all to bear with him as he works them out, to come to an "honest" and "authentic" (to use the liberal buzzwords) faith." - This dismisses the liberal Christian view. It does not critically engage it. And again, just sounds rude.
It stands dismissed w/o substantive answers to the numerous questions I've been raising and which Dr McGrath did not interact, b/c liberalism is just plain silly and a clear ad hoc syncretism between Christianity and modern naturalism, and b/c it's indeed a different religion altogether, dishonestly attempting to veil itself in the veneer of Christianity, much like the Watchtower and the LDS Church. I certainly invite anyone to interact with them.
Did you know that Jesus was frequently rude to false teachers who kept up the veneer of true religion while denying its foundations? Let me commend Matthew 24 and John 5 to you, not to mention John 6.

"Sadly, he is most dangerous to the lemmings who should be sheep under a kindly and godly shepherd but whose ears are being tickled by this false teacher." - Not only have you once again said something rude about your brother (which 1 John doesn't like), but also his students, who are not lemmings. You should apologize to this class of people you've never met.
Dr McGrath is no brother in Christ. I've already asked this commenter at least once for an argument that McGrath is a Christian; I am still waiting.
His students are clearly lemmings, as they have not recognised the biblical teaching regarding their responsibilities towards false teachers and towards the church as a whole. The pastor stands chiefly condemned, sadly.

I'm glad your post ends with your wanting the best for them all, but following remarks like the ones I've noted, its hard to believe.
Perhaps b/c our priorities are different. I'm concerned with the state of their eternal souls, even it means I have to be a little harsh and blunt in the short-term. You're apparently more concerned that everyone play nice, even if it is with poison. You're a tool of political correctness in the church, ironically, I say, b/c you are probably also a proponent of church-state separation (I presume, perhaps wrongly).

It seems your greater problem is not with James, but the pastor who has him teach and those who sit in his class.
Absolutely right. The pastor stands condemned for his failure to lead his flock in truth and to exercise the church discipline he is clearly called to do on Dr McGrath and anyone else who stubbornly holds to heresy in the midst of his church. The case of the pastor is indeed the saddest of all.

8 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Dr McGrath is no brother in Christ."True.

"I'm concerned with the state of their eternal souls, even it means I have to be a little harsh and blunt in the short-term."John the Baptist and Apostle Paul were said to be harsh and blunt too.

"The pastor stands condemned for his failure to lead his flock in truth and to exercise the church discipline he is clearly called to do on Dr McGrath and anyone else who stubbornly holds to heresy in the midst of his church."

The senior pastor at Crooked Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis where McGrath teaches Sunday School should review Titus 1:9 and James 3:1. Not to mention Crooked Creek's official Statement of Beliefs.

hebrewandgreekreader said...

Actually, you dropped an argument a few comments ago (about McGrath being your brother). I assumed you conceded the point.

You are a self-proclaimed Calvinist. Do you have a copy of the list of the elect? How do you McGrath isn't in? You don't. You rely on your poor reading of Scripture (which contradicts your theology) to equip you with new venom. We're supposed to be known for how we love, not how many dividing lines we can draw (though there are obviously some, like if you have no love for your brother, the love of God is not in you -1 John).

By the way, "hebrewandgreekreader" is not a he.

We are saddened by this whole ordeal. It is commendable that your love for truth has lead you to concern for others. But the way that concern has manifest is not love. It's pride and its exclusion.

A life surrounded by the gospel that still does not love (especially those you don't want to love) must surely be the saddest.

I think you should take Steph's advice.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Rho,

"Hebrewandgreekreader" is unloving in how she communicates with you. Her comment above is a prime example of that. Not to mention being judgmental and prideful as well.

Rhology said...

Yep, especially b/c she thinks she's right. How much more arrogant can you get?

{/tongue-in-cheek}

Rhology said...

reader,

I have no list of the elect, but the elect are known by their profession among other things. the profession is minimal, and McGrath (and Reitan)'s professions are non-Christian. They are something other than Christian. I'm not ripping them for that (now), I'm holding them to their words. I take what they say they believe seriously, apparently moreso than you do.

I simply rip them for misrepresenting themselves as Christians when they are clearly not.

captain howdy said...

The spirit of the Inquisition is alive and well on your blog, Rho.

You reported somebody to his pastor because you didn't deem his comments ideologically pure enough.


You actually turned somebody in for heresy. Torquemada would have been proud!

Rhology said...

capt howdy,

I missed where I was advocating torture and civil penalties.

captain howdy said...

I missed where I was advocating torture and civil penalties.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You accused somebody you disagree with of heresy and reported him to his pastor in an attempt to silence him.

But if you don't specify that he should be tortured, then that makes what you did okay??