So-Called Keepers of the Peace
More and more I find myself referencing Phil Johnsons blog. What can I say? I happen to agree with nearly everything he puts to paper (or onto Microsoft Word).
This past Lord's Day I wrote about one of Phil's latest entries. He provided some accurate criticism of how many (including the Emerging Church Movement) approach postmodernism.
Never fear, I'm not about to write (waste) more blog space about his entry. Today I want to write about people's comments in response to Phil's entry. As I write this there are eighty-nine comments. EIGHTY-NINE COMMENTS! Sheesh.
It only took about 15 comments until Emergent Churchers (ECers) began with the complaints. I wasn't aware how many ECers followed Pyromaniac, but a handful were steady with their comments. Some were polite. Others were ... less than polite. For lack of a better term, some threw a hissy fit. It was a terrible thing to witness.
The tactics of such men (the hissy-fitters) have been interesting. They begin by reminding us that we ought to be Christlike in our discussions. Next, they throw out one, two, even three complements at their opponent. But THEN, then comes the declaration: "you obviously don't understand the Emerging Church Movement (ECM) because your criticisms of the movement are exaggerated and unfair!" Allow me to translate that for you: "You don't understand the ECM because you criticize the movement." Furthermore, you know a movement has some major issues when proponents must qualify their allegience by saying: "Hey! Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater..." What exactly are they admitting with that statement? Could it be that they recognize that the ECM, by and large, produces churches more concerned with stylistic appearances in our local churches than with sound doctrine?
These commenters then follow up with insults. They accuse Phil of arrogance. Master's Seminary - same thing. I'm not sure if these ECers thought we would excuse their blatant rudeness because they gave complements first? They want to come across as keepers of the peace, but then show utter comtempt towards Phil. Complements before insults do not make insults okay. It just doesn't.
As I emerge from the trenches of this little shoutout, I have been mando impressed with Phil's humility as he interacts with these guys. I have noticed in prior entries that Phil oftentimes ignores the rediculous comments left by these men. But in this post Phil chose to interact with them ... for a while. He responded a few times, and it now appears that he has given up. Way to go Phil. He is practicing the wonderful art of pulling out of unproductive conversations. It is painstakingly clear to any fair reader that these certain ECers are unwilling to listen to reason. They have already decided to defend the ECM - no matter how many doctrinal errors it continues to espouse.
Titus 3:9-11, "9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned."
It takes a lot of restraint to end conversations with unwilling men, but Phil has done just that.
Isn't it amazing how much patience Phil has demonstrated towards these men? He not only allows their comments to exist on his blog, but he attempts to reason with them until it becomes clear that they are still unwilling to hear his arguments.
In short, Phil's blog is doing a wonderful work. This Reformed Baptist *points to himself* can't get enough of it. w00t
The gospel message is always relevant,