Posted by: Yvonne | January 14, 2010

Sidetracking the Mission of the Church with the Social Gospel

By Paul Proctor
January 6, 2010


What’s Wrong With a More Social Gospel?

In a recent article for Christianity Today titled, A More Social Gospel, C.L. Lopez writes about a new evangelical emphasis emerging on college campuses:

“There has been a definitive shift in how campus ministries think about connecting with students,” said Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary. “More and more campus leaders are realizing that the gospel is both personal evangelism and justice.”

The gospel is “justice”?

If there is any “justice” to the gospel, it is that the Lord Jesus Christ took our “justice” on the cross to satisfy the debt we incurred in our rebellion against God. But that’s not what “social justice” or the “social gospel” is about.

Lopez continues:

Scott Bessenecker, associate director of missions for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, said students within the organization’s 850 groups on 562 campuses have focused more on social causes in recent years.

As Mr. Bessenecker points out, their “focus” is “more on social causes” which, frankly, is not the gospel Christians are called to proclaim. Still, he added:

“[We] want to engage students with a Jesus who walks among the marginalized,” Bessenecker said. “InterVarsity is trying to help students embrace and engage the social dimensions of the gospel in a way that will inspire individuals to say, ‘I want to follow this Jesus.'”

How many Jesus’ does Mr. Bessenecker think there are?

First of all, when one talks about the “marginalized” in general, they are usually referring to those outside the mainstream of society. But then, one could make the case that all minorities feel “marginalized” at some point along life’s way, from African Americans to fundamentalist Christians to homosexual activists to witches.

In fact, I would dare say that most individuals have, at one time or another, felt to some degree, “marginalized.” So, in this context, statements like Jesus “walks among the marginalized” might have a universal appeal and even sound compassionately Christian, but in reality, may not be at all biblical or even relevant with respect to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. And that is my concern here.

Moreover, it has been my experience that whenever someone refers to “a Jesus,” they’re probably not talking about the Jesus of the Bible, but instead, a less scriptural and more worldly personality that appeals to “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” – a “Jesus” more useful in advancing earthly agendas than those of heaven.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” – 2nd Corinthians 11:4

The social gospel and its increasingly popular “social justice” campaign is not an acceptable substitute for preaching repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Its promoters all too often set aside the vertical, spiritual and eternal issues of sin, rebellion, obedience, holiness and reverence toward God in order to redirect the focus toward more horizontal, physical and temporal values. In the end, the flesh is, for a time, fed and comforted, but the souls of sinners are left abandoned to biblical ignorance because disobedient do-gooders have spiritually sidetracked the Church and its mission.

And then there was this in the CT piece:

Josh Spavin, an intern with the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Campus Crusade for Christ chapter, said traditional evangelistic outreach still works, but times have changed with this generation.

It “still works, but times have changed?” Sounds like dialectic doubletalk to me – designed to carefully steer the undiscerning in a new worldly direction without alarming or offending anyone.

The article went on to say:

“Students tend to not just take it unless they experience it or see it in someone else’s life,” Spavin said. “It is still the same gospel and it is still the love of Christ that is being shared – it is just a different tactic.”

“For by tactics are ye saved?” Is that what the Apostle Paul taught in Ephesians?

The “love of Christ” is obedience to His Word, not doing what is right in our own eyes to “connect” with people and win their favor so they might hopefully hear the truth someday. If we put our relationships with each other over and above our relationship with Jesus Christ and withhold the whole counsel of God so as not to offend, not only are we breaking the two greatest commandments given, we are yielding to the flesh and prince of this world.

I would say the greatest failure of the Church today is its unwillingness to say and do the unpopular thing. Too many Christians busy themselves these days trying to come up with new ways of being admired and desired by the world rather than simply being obedient to the Lord they claim to love.

With a self-sustaining focus on acquiring evermore results and relationships (i.e., “church growth”) by way of pragmatism and consensus, none of which is biblical, today’s Christians are, by and large, being persuaded and trained week after week to embrace surveys, marketing principles, public relations programs and people skills as their new commandments with dialectically-trained consultants and facilitators posing as prophets and preachers – people pleasers who know how to work the crowd and steer the herd while selectively applying the scriptures as needed to maintain a biblical appearance of righteousness and religiosity.

We’re essentially giving people what they want at church these days in hopes they will reciprocate with more participation and support. How is this “tactic” any different from those used on Wall Street and in Washington D.C.?

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1st Corinthians 1:18



  1. “Social Gospel”? Surely that movement died out! HAH!

    Thanks for another excellent post describing the social gospel as it is today – just as insidious as always.

    • Hi, Glen.

      I wanted to ask you something–if you don’t mind–about your comment. TWO THINGS, REALLY.

      Firstly: You said “Ha, Surely that movement had died out.”

      I wondered what that was alluding to? You and I and the ladies had various conversations about this (the liberal social gospel movement), and I NEVER said it died out. I did not imply it, or suggest it. I wouldn’t have, because I don’t believe that. It has not, unfortunately. I just said that the people you were tarring with that name didn’t deserve it. I said that I indeed know liberals who deny historic Christian thinking, and that their social gospel liberal views are around, esp in mainline churches. I did not think that CCO had much if any influence by the liberal social gospel. I also think the above piece is a bit misguided in naming the Campus Crusade Chapter in FL (which does excellent soul winning alongside their service projects) and Scott B from IVCF, another who is passionate and active in evangelism and disciple-making. I suppose you could quibble about their balance or focus, but they sure aren’t influenced by any sense of the liberal social gospel: they preach Jesus, see converts, have their hearts thrilled by seeing the lost become found through God’s sovereign grace. That is NOT the social gospel.

      So: you said “HA” which I take as a fun bit of sarcasm. Fair enough, but I wonder where in the world that came from? WHO said it had died out?? Nobody I know has claimed that and nobody has claimed that on any of the comments on this website, have they? I hope it wasn’t any allusion to any of our conversations about the social gospel, as I sure never said it died out. Wish it would, since it isn’t the real gospel. I said that on several occasions, right?

      So what brought you to say that?? Just wondering.


      IF, as you say, this article is an “excellent post” you must believe the authors report that the two examples he gave, Campus Crusade in Florida and Scott Beesenecker, a world missionary leader for IVCF, are not preaching the gospel adequately. I think it is a cheesy post, very unfair at parts, as it suggests stuff about the Crusade chapter at that campus based on one line from an intern, who was quoted as saying that this generation has changed. (Do you deny that? Do you think it doesn’t matter at all? Was the author fair to extrapolate that much criticism from that one kid’s line?) He went so far as to imply the youngster was knowingly using language designed to deceive others, knowingly plotting to lead folks astray. What an ugly thing to imply about this Crusade helper! I think the author should be ashamed of himself to treat a brother like that without evidence that that is in fact the situation. Just like before, I have to ask if you folks at this website might have the courtesy to investigate things to see if they are true before blasting away with your shotgun blasts of mean rhetoric?

      The powerful paragraph after the 2nd Corinthians quote is interesting, but who is he applying it to? It comes after his reportage about Scott Bessenecker, although he didn’t exactly say that is what Scott thinks. It is an amazing paragraph, saying that these people doing social justice work ignore the call to repentence and faith (who does that?) and de-emphasizes the spiritual (who does that?) and that “the souls of sinners are left abandoned” (who does that?)
      I am glad he didn’t say Scott B does that, but it seemed to follow that he was taking aim at him? I hope not, as that accusation just doesn’t begin to come close to being true to any evangelical activists I know.

      I agreed with the authors final point, that we need God to work as the gospel is preached,, not techniques and formulas or tactics. But to imply that “tactics” is all bad strikes me a bit of a straw man. I’ve had to think through tactics sharing the gospel with others: sometimes you cite this pasage, sometimes that. Sometimes you pray, sometimes you give ’em books. Sometimes you act super nice showing genuine concern, sometimes you just remind them of the reality of impending death and hell. Jesus sometimes spoke about hell, sometimes about the loving daddy (prodigal son story.) Sometimes he talked about the woman at the wells husbands and then to her need for living wather. Any of us who do evangelism and truly care about soul-winning–as I know you do–know that we use different tactics and efforts and plans to reach the lost. If that is “all” it is, we are fooling ourselves as it is the power of the gospel that brings salvation, not our cleverness. But surely it isn’t wrong to plan ways to reach a campus, to design fruitful programs and efforts, Bible lessons or mission trips or what have you. To suggest that “tactics” is all that the Campus Crusade is doing is just nasty, unless the author, or you, have been to University of Central Florida, rejoiced in some of the lost souls that have found Christ, and seen the discipleship plans they have to mentor these youngsters in Christ with solid theology. Otherwise, the guy is just speaking unfairly, reading that ministry in the worst possible light. A bit unfair, it seems to me, to judge them in that way without really knowing what they are doing down there.

      DO YOU DENY THAT THEY ARE LEADING OTHERS TO CHRIST THERE IN FAITHFUL AND EFFECTIVE WAYS? IF NOT, DO YOU REJOICE IN THAT–YES OR NO? IF SO, WHY THE INSINUATIONS ABOUT THEM AND THEIR MOTIVES? Why call them “dialectical” when they are just trying to love God and others and preach the saving message of the cross? These are real people, Glen, your brothers and sisters, and they are trying to win the lost, and seem to be working hard at that, trying to bear good fruit for the Lord. You should have chastised that author, and Yvonne for having posted it, Glen, not affirmed it, UNLESS YOU KNOW THAT HE IS RIGHT.

      Why oh why go after people you don’t know anything about, as it seems you’ve done here yet again? I ask that because it is obvious you don’t know that Crusade chapter (and I have first hand reports of some of their work as a matter of fact.) Yes they have ramped up their efforts to serve the poor (something Yvonne, in a reply post a few days ago agreed was acceptable, as long as the focus was on preaching the gospel, right? And you yourself affirmed that it is “apparent” that you think social concerns ministries have their place. )

      So the question isn’t if they are wrong because they’ve learned that serving the poor is a legitimate (and formerly ignored) aspect of Biblically-informed ministry, (it is apparent, you said, that you believe this is an okay thing to do.) And you value soul winning, and they’ve found that service projects also opens doors to evangelism which they are passionate about–YOU SHOULD REJOICE IN THAT AS IT IS BEARING FRUIT IN LOST SOULS BEING WON TO CHRIST AND THE KINGDOM BEING PROCLAIMED TO OTHERS., without any compromise of Biblical fidelity or truth. You could ask if they are they only doing social concern. We both have agreed that if somebody is only doing humanitarian work, that is inadequate. We’ve agreed that the focus of ministry still has to be announcing the gospel of the Kingdom, doing evangelism, preaching the truth of the cross. This article implies that those in Central Florida’s Cru (as Campus Crusade for Christ is sometimes called) chapter aren’t doing that.

      Ditto with Scott B and his amazing world missions efforts. He has preached the gospel, even as he has lived with the poorest of the poor all over the world. He has seen people come to faith, he has witnessed at the risk of his life, even in dangerous places. That this author wonders if he is following the “real” Biblical Jesus because he found the grammar concerning is uncalled for, I’d say. In fact, he says “this Jesus” meaning the Biblical one! Unless the author knows something about this man and his work, he should not have written so critical of him, impugning his motives and reputation. Have either of you read either of his two books, by the way, in which he tells stories about this very thing??

      Yes some churches have watered down the gospel, some don’t even preach at all any more. Going after those two examples, though, were ill considered. If you wanted to post a comment you should have asked if the author was informed about his subject, telling the truth, and being charitable about those he is concerned about.

      You chided me earlier for not trying to understand. But here, again, is why you are so confusing: you affirm articles like this that say stuff that is wrong, that imply stuff about people that isn’t fair or accurate. So I have to ask, again: what gives?

      Might you want to admit you don’t know anything about the Cru chapter at UCF and Scott B?

      • Here’s what gives, Byron.

        “Scott Bessenecker, associate director of missions for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, said students within the organization’s 850 groups on 562 campuses have focused more on social causes in recent years.”

        Scott clearly admits the focus of Intervarsity has changed to social causes.

        I believe you are desperately trying to hold onto some idea that the ministries that we’ve mentioned are still (if they ever were) preaching Christ and Him crucified. Bessenecker speaks here for the entire organization, and yet, you do not seem to see this as a problem. So be it. As Judy and I have said before, it is not our job to try and convince you.

        You say:

        “Yes they have ramped up their efforts to serve the poor (something Yvonne, in a reply post a few days ago agreed was acceptable, as long as the focus was on preaching the gospel, right?”

        Wrong. I never said nor implied that.

        • 1. Yes, Yvonne, I am holding on to this idea that these folks are still preaching the gospel. Here is why:

          I think it is the way of the Bible, most charitable, and just common decency to assume innocence until proven guilty. (I Peter 3:8 says to be “sympathetic” and 2 Tim 2:23 says to resist “speculations” and that even when correcting others one should be “kind to all.” which, as I see it, at least being honest about them; Exodus 20:16 demands that we not bear false witness, as you know.)

          So I don’t think it is fair or right to go after somebody (in this case alleging that they are not preaching the gospel) until you know that they in fact aren’t preaching the gospel with as much vigor as they once did. I think even our court of laws know you shouldn’t presume guilt until the facts are in. I don’t think you can judge Scott’s habit of doing lots of evangelism unless you know him, have seen him or have read his own or others thorough description of his work. I just think it is unfair to presume the worst about him because he does social cause ministries, taking people on trips to refugee camps and such. In fact, they have found that the more social cause stuff they do, the more opportunities they have to share the gospel, and the more evangelistic fruit they are seeing. You could (or the reporter whose piece you posted could) refute that, but you’d need to have evidence; you’d have to hear him admit that they don’t value evangelism as much as they once did, or see the stats they have on the numbers of people they’ve lead to Christ in conversions. I believe it would have been fair to say that you wonder if this is going to distract from evangelism; you could have said you have your doubts if this is going to remain evangelical and true to the real gospel. Expressing concerns is one thing: indicting a person of false teaching and bad practices, without evidence gleaned from reliable source interviews, is simply spreading disinformation. Don’t you agree that we should speak the facts about those whom we critique?

          So, you are correct: I hold on to the brother’s basic innocence in this charge until you can show that he is not doing Biblical evangelism.
          Your article failed to show that, it seems to me. I do know a bit about his ministry, know his passion for souls, know that seeing lost sinners saved is vital to him and those with whom he works. I’m a softy when I hear about true conversions and count it as a great privilege to be used by God to help usher another person into Christ’s Kingdom. Scott does too. I assume you do, too. So why not be glad that Scott’s organization is winning people to Christ–probably more than you and I combined!

          Your attitude (wondering if he ever was preaching the gospel at all) is judgmental from the git go. Why is that?

          By the way, being focused “more” on social causes (as he reported) doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing less evangelism. You say he has admitted that IV has “changed to social causes” but that isn’t really what he said, as if they are changing from doing evangelism. How many IVCF chapters are you familiar with? Tell us, Yvonne, so we can judge if you know what your talking about?? I asked before if you knew anything about the Crusade chapter in Central Florida University. How many IFCF staffers do you know? Come on, tell us. Are you speaking about something about which you have any first hand knowledge? Might you be speculating a little bit?

          Because they (IVCF) were generally doing precious little social concern in years gone by, and they are now doing that more intentionally, doesn’t mean that they have abandoned the soul winning efforts they were doing. That just doesn’t follow, and for you to suggest that Scott has said that I think is reading him unfairly. He wouldn’t say that if you asked him, I don’t think.

          2. I thought you did say that we should be involved in helping the poor. You said that after I cited a batch of verses about poverty, helping the alien, doing justice and such, and you said “Christians should do likewise.” So I thought that you allowed that we should as Christians be doing that. You did say our whole ministry shouldn’t be focused on that, but I thought with that line you were clear that some social action was legit. Glen even chastised me for thinking that you weren’t fully clear, saying it was “apparent” that you never resisted some social concern. (Glen: if you are reading along, *this* is the sort of thing that is so very frustrating and why it isn’t apparent: what is apparent here is that Yvonne is very, very suspicious of any social concern, judging those who do it in the worst possible light, and now saying she hasn’t even implied we should be doing this sort of thing.)

          So, I will observe that you didn’t really answer the questions I asked above: do you know anybody in Cru at UCF? Do you know anything about Scott B’s world mission work via IVCF? Why did you post that guy suggesting that they are knowingly distorting the gospel in some intentional way: that is a huge and ugly accusation, and it doesn’t seem right to make it without being sure you are right.

      • Yes, Byron, that comment was directed at you. It was sarcasm because you kept harping that we were using wrong terminology, insisting that the social gospel was a movement of a century ago.

        I think you are very disingenuous when you say we don’t care about social justice just because we condemn the social gospel. We continually point out the FOCUS of a minisistry; if the FOCUS is social gospel, then that is a false gospel. Social justice should be a by-product of the Gospel message. This has been said repeatedly in various ways by Judy, Yvonne and me, yet you still want to defend those people who are more about social justice than the gospel and are making social justice what the gospel is about. Many, many ministries today have social justice as their focus, and that is the problem.

        • Glen,

          You can keep saying I’m disingenuous, even though that doesn’t make much sense to me, because I’ve bent over backwards to agree with some of what you say. In each post I qualify and nuance what I am concerned about, saying that I agree with some of what is written.

          And you keep misrepresenting me, which I don’t appreciate. (I do know it isn’t easy to jump back and forth in this response area, and you know how I’ve made some mis-quotes, too, so I’m not angry about it. But it is irritating, and I wish you’d be more careful to not caricature my view or mischaracterize it.)

          I just have to keep saying that you should read this stuff more carefully and hear what I am and am not saying. I do NOT keep harping saying you don’t belief in any social concern. I affirmed you several times for your good work in that area, after I asked if you had experience in that sort of ministry. I did NOT say that Judy or Yvonne didn’t believe in social outreach, I asked them if they did or didn’t. And I asked them often, and their lack of a clear answer made me continue to ask. Go back over the threads, Glen, and see if accused them of not beleiving in any social concern. I asked a lot of questions because they were so constant in judging any and everybody who does any social concern. I didn’t see them ever offer appreciation or accolades or concede that at all.

          And, as I said above, I thought that some who made claims about CCO and Jubilee didn’t have a leg to stand on when saying they were influenced by the liberal social gospel. And they never gave an inch there, either, so I kept asking them to be fair and honest.

          As you can see from what I posted at a thread from a few days ago, and, again, above, it seems it still isn’t resolved, what Judy and Yvonne believe these days. I don’t know what they believe about this: Yvonne said that Christians should “do likewise” in regards to Bible commands about the poor and justice, but when I nicely said I thought she thereby affirmed social concern actions, she denied it. I don’t know what I said that made her say she never even implied such a thing, but somehow she seems to have changed her mind. I guess it just isn’t that clear. Judy said we must always preach Christ FIRST, otherwise it is a false gospel. I asked how that works, really, as it seems an odd thing to say. I asked you if you preached Jesus before picking up a drunk, or afterwords. It isn’t a dumb question, if she is going to get all firm about that. It just seems like a weird way to answer the question. It sure doesn’t comport with the Good Samaritan story, say. So I think it is fair to wonder what they believe, since their beliefs inform their harsh condemnation of me and some of my friends and colleagues. I’m not being “very” disingenuous, I’m being defensive against what seem to me to be untruthful, unfair, and unBiblical attacks.

          BUT HERE IS MY POINT OF WHY I WROTE TO YOU: I don’t mind the sarcasm (the Bible has some of it) but you have to get it right. It is wrong to make a joke at my expense that isn’t right on. I NEVER said the liberal social gospel had died out. I just didn’t. So why did you get sarcastic about THAT? IF you are going to mock me, brother, please do it in a way that is either truly funny, or at least truly accurate. That was just a cheap shot that had nothing to do with anything I ever said. You and I both know that I stand against the liberal social gospel, which I have said repeatedly isn’t a gospel at all if it denies Christ and His cross.

          AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, you fail to answer the biggest question: is it right to affirm a post that makes egregious accusations about a brother that you do not know? IF you know that Cru chapter in Florida and how many souls they have or haven’t won, or if you know Scott Bessenekker and can say how he has or hasn’t be faithful to the Bible and the call to do regular evangelism, then bring it out to the light. That post made some nasty insinuations that would make a fair-minded person feel creepy. Why did you applaud it?

          I think parts of the post that Yvonne put up was mean and irresponsible. It named names that, I bet, the author really didn’t know and is speaking out of his ideology with no regard for who those men really are and what they do or don’t do. It seems to not care how his judgments hurt another’s valid ministry. Yvonne was irrepsonsible in posting it, and you were irresponsible in affirming it.

          Prove me wrong with facts, citing somebody who knows those two situations and can prove your allegations. Otherwise, recant a bit saying that it was unfair to judge these two outfits without fuller facts. If you can’t get the data right, just stick to writing about examples you know about directly.

          Otherwise, you are complicit in spreading dishonest information about people.

          • Glen:

            Speaking of mis-representing me: I thought I should be specific so it doesn’t just sound grumpy of me. Here an example.

            You write, about me: “yet you still want to defend those people who are more about social justice than the gospel.”

            Since you have in print accused me of this, could you be specific and show where I have done this?

            Name even one group that is more about justice than the gospel that I have defended on this website. Give me one ministry or organization that clearly fits that bill and show me where I’ve endorsed that.

            (Of course you can’t say the University of South Florida chapter of Crusade of Scott Bessenekker’s global mission work through IVCF since it remains to be shown that they have allowed their justice concerns to trump the plain, unadorned gospel of Christ. I have not defended them in that heresy, because I do not think they are guilty of doing that. I have only asked that they be treated fairly, innocent until proven guilty of any heretical charges, and asked for some evidence before the charges are made.)

            I will admit that in a qualified way I will commend secularists or atheists or anybody that does good stuff; I rejoice that heathens have done charitable work. I know an ACLU guy who once helped some Christians (me, actually) with a freedom of speech arrest. I know that Amnesty International has kept prisoners from being tortured, and I’m glad for their brave work. I have nonChristian friends who have a strong marriage and help others in marriage classes, and I am truly happy for them. I am under no illusion that it is saving or “redemptive” but I don’t knock ’em for trying. I am glad the Red Cross is helping save lives in Haiti, aren’t you? (Aren’t you?) So sure, I’m glad for that, as I assume we are all in a limited way, even as we lament that anybody things that saving one’s body from pain is as significant as saving one’s life for eternity.

            But, theologically speaking, name one Christian group that does social justice work to the exclusion of the gospel that I have defended here. Since you suggest this is a common theme of mine, that I “still want to” do, it should be easy to find one.

            Tell us what you are talking about, please.


            • Byron,

              You are correct that you haven’t defended those promoting the social gospel – at least I think that’s correct, so I recant and apologize.

              Your dissertations are so lengthy that it’s difficult to remember what it is we’re talking about. But without trying to wade through hours of your writings, this is the best I can remember:

              As much as Yvonne and Judy have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that certain groups have supported or promoted emergent theology, including contemplative prayer, you DO defend these organizations/groups/people.

              As for the social gospel, I think the debate was a definition of the term because when Yvonne or Judy (or I) used the term you stated that term referred to a teaching from 100 years ago and not today. Our position is that there is a social gospel preached today, and the evidence has been conclusively demonstrated. Now I believe the argument is whether those people who Judy & Yvonne claim are presenting the social gospel really are doing so.

              If you define the S.G. as having one’s primary focus social justice instead of preaching the gospel, then they are indeed preaching S.G. If social justice is a by-product of preaching the Gospel, then they are NOT preaching S.G.

              A church assembly can be gospel focused and yet have ministries specifically designed to help in catastrophes or helping the poor and needy, etc. Having groups to do these things is not preaching S.G. as long as the assembly’s primary purpose is the Gospel, making and edifying disciples. But when these ministries do their good works, if they never once mention the name of Christ so as to point the people to the reason they are being helped, then we have slid into S.G.

              This can be with any ministry. For example, the ministry I believe the Lord led me into is apologetics, which includes working with members of cults and other false teachings. But my primary focus is still leading people to Christ. If my primary focus was just pointing out peoples’ errors yet rarely doing anything to lead people to the Lord (and I have seen people like this), then they would be wrong in their ministry. Every ministry must have as its primary focus leading people to Christ and discipling them once they have come to the Lord.

              • Glen,

                Thank you for this. I appreciate it.

                By the way, you and I never talked about contemplative prayer and I have not mentioned it, one way or the other, on any posts on this blog. You must be thinking of somebody else.

                You accuse me of supporting emergent people, organizations that you say Judy, Yvonne and you have shown to be “without a reasonable doubt” to be emergent.

                [I want to say “Man, what blog are you reading, since that has been a huge contention! I and others have insisted that Judy and Yvonne have been quite dishonest about facts about organizations–saying Jubilee is liberal, that they believe in bettering the world without God, that CCO has admitted to being emergent and other utter lies. You even went so far as to say that on one point Chuck Colson was “liberal” a point I went to great length to show to be unproven and unhelpful. “Reasonable doubt”? You have to be kidding!]

                So, I’m not sure why you felt compelled to bring that up again (since that hasn’t been the focus of our recent conversation about the proper role of social action and evangelism.) But since you did, I must respond saying that I don’t quite recall who or what ministries you might be talking about. I have not, on this blog or website, said anything promoting or endorsing McLaren or Tony Jones or Doug Pagitt or any of those controversial emergent village guys. Except in passing to say that the CCO never booked any of them, haven’t used their books, don’t draw on that stuff in their training. And that the review of Donald Millers book was a crass caricature, unfair about what he really says in the book. I didn’t defend emergent stuff here at all, I don’t think.

                We have talked about Chris Seay, and I asked what the beef was with him. It seemed to me (and I asked for clarification) that the thing that they didn’t like was that he was part of the emergent conversations–without saying what he was heretical about or what essential doctrine he failed to uphold–and that he did a Bible paraphrase. If *that* is your complaint about me, that I’ve found it inadequate to blast a guy like that because of doing a Bible paraphrase, then I suppose I’m guilty. But I have not particularly engaged in conversations here in favor of emergent theology nor supported their organizations or websites. You can search back through every post, and I have not endorsed them. I defended CCO for having Chris Seay speaking about Lost, and I noted that they have a speaker who is critical of emergent, Jim Belcher. I applaued CCO for encouraging students to read widely, and to engage in a vareity of theological conversations. But to say I’ve supported groups that have been shown beyond doubt to be emergent isn’t a description of me. Just ain’t so.

                AND, you and I have never disagreed whether or not the social gospel is being proclaimed today. (That why I chastised you for that sarcastic joke that didn’t ring true. You shoulda apologized for that, too, I’d say.) I’ve said that a dozen times, and yet, above, you again note that that has been shown that they are still around (as if you had to convince me or something, it seems.) Yes, it has been proven, and I quickly agreed. That heresy is still around. So we have no disagreements there and we both lament it and are committed to replacing it with a Biblically-faithful, orthodox, classic, evangelical perspective.

                I think it is wrong to rush to judgment about people without evidence, and that it is unChristian to judge people without the facts. We are called to “speak the truth in love” and I don’t think it is right to compromise either of those, and some of what you applaud on this site is lacking either. No hard truth, no sweet kindness, no real proof of evidence, no apparent love. I think this is reprehensible, and I’ve written (often saying what I think is good or right about your work) inviting you to do this better.

                Yvonne has this habit of showing these verses that remind us that it is all right to criticize others. Of course it is. I said that in my very first few posts—the Bible calls us to discernment and to warn others against false teaching. BUT WE HAVE TO BE ACCURATE, not bearing false witness against those who we are accusing. THAT is the biggest issue I have with your generous applause to these posts that bring dishonest distortion, caricature, simplistic critique and dubious accusations without fair or kind study of who it is your blasting.

                I invite you to tell us what you think about my rebuke, and you rarely get down to brass tacks. You thought the article was good, and I think it told lies and didn’t deserve to be promoted. I ask you why you endorse such inappropriate diatribes. Then you complain about other stuff, but never defend your positions. I know this is hard work, Glen, but you got involved by endorsing pieces that don’t speak with Christian truthfulness.

                This matter is a big difference between us. I am with you in theory with your desire to return the wayward to Biblical fidelity. I just think you are too quick to jump on some bandwagon of judgment which name names of organizations without really trying to see if those people are as bad as they say. I Corinthians 13 famously suggests we hope for the best, and while I know we dare not sweep idolatry and bad practices under the rug, we also can’t blast unfairly, without proof and evidence and pastoral concern for the people your passing judgment upon.

                I like what you said about apologetics, Glen, to and glad for your work against cults. I’ve seen some unbelievable brainwashing in groups like The Way and I’m even now in intense conversation with a Mormon fellow. And you are right, we can’t just destroy their arguments, but have to care whether they are truly turning to the gracious redemption only Jesus can provide. I don’t pick up that tone in some of the authors and posts you applaud, though, so I guess that perplexes me.

                For instance, I think that piece that suggested that the Campus Crusade Chapter was knowingly saying what they do just in order to trick people into moving away from classic forms of faith was such an ugly accusation and utter speculation and illustrated only contempt for them, contempt that isn’t even deserving since the report was wrong about the facts of Cru’s soul winning efforts. Why did you affirm that?

                I’ve asked you before and you didn’t answer.

                I asked you why you thought that was worthy of your applause, since I think that is just downright rotten to say such things about people without proof. Esp people, as it ends up, who may be similiar to you and your views about the wisdom of some social concern, but based on the focus of gospel preaching.


                I asked you to clarify what you thought about those kinds of ministries that specialize in relief and development. These are motivated by sure gospel truths, partner with solid churches, work in cooperation with evangelists, but, truth be told, don’t do so much soul winning, but specialize in loving acts of disaster relief. They know what to do and specialize in allocating resources, like now in Haiti, and they know what to do because they’ve focused on it, specialized in the expertise to do so, got into that care-giving for times such as this.

                I asked for your opinion if these kinds of groups that, although Christianly motivated and Bible-believing, and hoping for fruitful evangelism, actually don’t do much soul-winning, but do disaster relief.

                I asked if you are glad some groups are doing that. OR, if you think they have compromised the gospel by doing this kind of humanitarian work.

                Since you have affirmed some limited social action, I’d think you’d say yes, you affirm those groups, who specialize in this hard work, and rejoice and support their humanitarian work, praying that it is effective (and an opportunity to share the true gospel, too.)

                Yet, with that bit you gave at the end about what always has to come first, and that verbal evangelism always has to be the primary focus, I am guessing you don’t want to affirm these groups (groups that most Christians affirm, applaud and are praying for.)

                Maybe the question got missed in my long writings.

                But it would be very clarifying for your readers to know, to see how you live out your theory in the real world.

                Which is it?
                DO YOU OR DO YOU NOT affirm groups like we are watching in Haiti that aren’t primarily evagnelistic but are mostly doing social ministry, passing out water, rebuilding schools, saving lives from rubble, clothing refugees? I’m not asking about secular groups like the United Nations or Red Cross, but Christian organizations that name the name of Christ, but don’t primarly, at first, preach the gospel, but are busy doing relief and social ministry.


                Answer that clearly, and I’ll stop pestering you for a while. 😉

  2. Hello all,

    My name is Dan. I am a graduate of Geneva, and know a decent number of CCO staff. I’ve been watching the discussions on this blog silently, from the background, not feeling that I could speak for either the CCO or Geneva College, nor wishing to. But at this point I’m curious about something. What is your positive assessment of the gospel? In other words, I can figure out from your website what you think the gospel is not. But I’m not so sure (or sure it all) what you think the gospel is. If you would address this for me, I’d be very interested.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Dan,

      Thank you for the question. Of everything we have been asked this is the most honest and fair. I am still at work and have to run our son to activities this evening but wanted to respond and to let you know that I will answer your question. To restate for accuracy — you are asking what we think/believe the Gospel is. No need to respond unless this is not the question. judy

    • Dan,

      You ask: ” What is your positive assessment of the gospel?”

      Paul summarizes the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, so I’ll use his words.

      “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”

      Also, please see check out the ‘pages’ above, to get a better idea of our beliefs.

      Thanks for your visit. You are very welcome to come again and share your comments.

      • Yvonne,

        Actually, if at all possible, I would prefer it if you used your own words, not Paul’s. This is simply because I am more interested in your interpretation of Scripture than Scripture itself. In other words, I feel like you have answered my question, “What do you believe the gospel is?” with “We believe the gospel is what the Bible says it is.”

        This answer is certainly legitimate, and at the end of the day, I would argue the same thing. However, in the context of this conversation, it proves not to be very helpful. If I only wished to know what the Bible says the gospel is, I would simply read the Bible, and bypass conversation with you entirely.

        No, what I am interested in is this: If you argue that the gospel is one thing, and not another thing (especially over and against other’s claims), I would very much like to know what you think it is, and why, and I find both the verse you cited and the other pages of your website insufficient in helping me to do so.

        To reiterate: in (at least some) your own words, what is the gospel and why is it gospel (good news)?

        • Daniel,

          I can attempt to expound a bit, however, adding my words to that which is inspired by God can be dangerous! 😉

          Ok, here goes:

          Jesus, God the Son, second Person of the Trinity, left his Eternal Home to become flesh and dwell among us. In obedience to God, the Father, Jesus offered His life as a propitiation for sinful man; He was crucified on a Roman cross, where He bore the sins of the world and took the punishment that we deserve. By repentence and belief in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for our sins, we become justified by the God’s Grace and Mercy. Once saved, God looks at us and sees Christ’s righteousness.

          Also, I believe there is so much more to being a Christian that we must study Scripture, Genesis to Revelation, in order to show ourselves approved to God…rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15).


          • Quick response:
            I don’t quite understand what you are saying in the last paragraph. Something just isn’t clicking for me grammatically, but no matter.

            So what I read you as saying is the following: the good news of the gospel is that Christ died as a propitiation for our sins – we are no longer to be punished for what we have done (mercy), but rather rewarded for what we have not done (grace). Correct?

            • Daniel,

              You say: “the good news of the gospel is that Christ died as a propitiation for our sins – we are no longer to be punished for what we have done (mercy)”

              Yes. Christians will not incur the wrath of God that we deserve. I believe this is an act of God’s grace and His mercy; all sinners deserve God’s wrath and judgment.

              You say: “…but rather rewarded for what we have not done (grace).”

              I’m a bit unclear on this part. I do believe salvation is a gift of God that we cannot earn. Is that what you mean by ‘rewarded’?

  3. Byron,

    Here is more evidence in support of what Scott Bessenecker, of InterVarsity, admitted to in the quote above.

    The ‘falling away’ continues and we should be mindful of it! (2 Thess. 2:3)

    “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things…” (2 Tim. 4:2-5)

    Byron, I pray that the Lord will open your eyes to the apostasy that in within our midst.

    • Yvonne,

      I had asked you to clarify why you protested when I said you had conceded that Christians are to help the poor. You said you didn’t say that, and so I wrote back, asking what it was that I said wrong about your position.

      Some of us are trying to understand your teaching on this, and it just isn’t easy. You said a proper organization must be focused on preaching the gospel, Judy says the gospel must be preached FIRST and Glen says it is apparent that you all believe in some social concern (a position he explained quite nicely today.)

      Yet, when I said that there was something in the way I said it that set you off. What did I say wrong? What IS your position, then?

      Why didn’t you reply when I asked—surely you don’t think this is inconsequential?

      To clarify, then, I asked this urgent matter: do you or do you not affirm those evangelical relief groups that, though Christianly motivated, are specializing in humanitarian work, as we see in Haiti? These are groups that don’t mostly do evangelism (although they may hope for opportunities to speak the gospel so the lost can get saved) but they don’t mostly do that. Can you affirm their work, or not?

      Please let us know your position. Thanks.

      • Byron,

        This comment is in response to all of your latest inquiries. I have attempted to address a number of your questions concerning Christian ministry, (not all–some are not worthy of response), and yet you continue to ask for clarification so I will make one final ‘belief’ statement.


        Jesus commands His followers to preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples. (Matt. 28, et. al.) This is the ‘Great Commission’; this is the ‘job’ of every Christian.

        Jesus also commands that Christians ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and will all your mind…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matt. 22)

        Any ministry that claims to be ‘Christian’ MUST be focused on these commands. Its priority MUST be the Gospel and making disciples. If not, then it is not biblical.

        If a ministry, as a by-product (to us Glenn’s term), feeds the poor, visits the prisoners, helps widows, and/or helps when disasters strikes, etc., then God is glorified and Jesus’ name proclaimed.

        I also believe that within many, once-sound ministries there are still Christians who are doing the work of the Lord. However, apostasy is rampant (1 John 4:5) and that is the reason Judy and I began this blog; we are contending for the faith (Jude 1).

        This is offered, hopefully, without an attitude of pretentiousness. I do not consider myself to have any more wisdom than anyone else. I do, by the grace of God, recognize the falling away and the deception which has inevitably followed and am heartbroken by it.

        Byron, it is my sincere prayer that this will suffice in answering your questions. I do feel that it is off topic, but hope this will allow us to re-focus on the posts.

        The evidence presented on this blog is just that–evidence; pieces of the puzzle which, when put all together, is becoming a picture of apostasy. We are pointing others to it and pray that God will mercifully open their eyes.

  4. Yvonne,

    Thanks for this important article. It is written by an insider, so he knows what he’s talking about. He shows balance, affirming some of the social concerns agenda, and he doesn’t dismiss his colleagues with dramatic language, as if the whole organization is bankrupt. I appreciate his hopeful tone, and I appreciate that you posted it. Thanks.

    I think some of his colleague might have a reply that is also worth hearing, but this is a serious conversation. Again, thanks for posting it. (He said that somebody at IVCF said “deeds not creeds” which is a classic old school liberal social gospel slogan? Wow, I have never, ever heard anybody in IV say that, and wonder if Mack can document that, or if it was some undiscipled kid who was later chastised…

    Either way, I don’t deny that there are concerns about Biblical orthodoxy within evangelicalism, and that we must be vigilante.

    I don’t see, though, how this gets you off the hook for saying specific things (via the article you posted) about Scott B and his global missions work, implying that his taking students to live among refugee and the third world poor and to embrace social causes proves necessarily that they no longer want to preach the gospel. And why you felt it appropriate to offer the snide “if they ever did.”

    That whole article failed to offer real facts about the two examples they were so critical of. Mack saying that IV is having theological conversations at their high levels is troubling, but not surprising, really. But that doesn’t vindicate the nasty lines in that article about Scott.

    Do pray for me. If you say it sincerely, I’ll take it. Sounded like a retort, though, like a shot. Funny how what should be a graceful offer–to be prayed for–comes across like a jab.

    So, while your at it, pray for yourself, too, that you would lose some of that arrogant tone. I am not the only one who thinks your articles come across like you are so special with inside truth that makes you better than everybody else. One person wondered if you were part of a gnostic cult, since your final position is usually that some see it and some don’t, this mystical knowledge that it seems only you and your very small circle of followers really have. Just saying what I’ve heard…

    • Byron,

      My prayer for you is sincere.

      Despite the evidence that is offered, you resist the possibility that the ministries that we have been discussing are falling into apastasy. You continue to focus on my beliefs, now even resorting to accusation, instead of discussing the issues at hand. It is apparent that you cannot refute the evidence, so instead you deflect attention away in order to avoid the subject of the post. My heart is heavy for the deception which is apparent.

    • PS: For viewers that are still following this, it may be helpful to see what it is that I find so troublesome, and the quality of the “evidence” that Glen assures us is there. Judy posted in December a piece that was excellent about Chris Seay. It was right from his own webpage, I gather, so was fair and clear. You can see it here:

      The problem is that, for most standard evangelical Christians with a good eye for a pretty standard interpretation of the Bible, there is really nothing terribly wrong in what Chris Seay says about himself and his work. Yet Judy meanly calls it a “MUSEUM OF CHARLATANS.” She later suggested that maybe she could have chosen a better word (and I think she could have given us some indication of which parts of his statements she founded wanting, instead of just blasting his integrity.) Anyway, she slightly conceded, but didn’t change it. Glen then, citing this post, I suppose, says the evidence is clear.

      I don’t know what ordinary readers think about this circular group of folks who say outlandish things about others, applaud one another, and then get sarcastic and complain when somebody asks for clarification.

      There is another post against Seay, one I’ve already alluded to, saying The Voice is a bible for heretics, or something wild like that. Again, they didn’t really say what made it for heretics, but asserted it as if it is self-evident.

      I AM NOT DEFENDING Mr. SEAY here, only insisting that these two posts have not shown him to be a heretic. I have read a few of his books, and don’t rave about them, but don’t find much to fault, really, either. There could be places he’s gone off the deep end, but all we know is they’ve called him a charlatan and The Voice paraphrase is for heretics, and they don’t like that he has joined in a conversation with other controversial writers. Perhaps he shouldn’t be involved in that varied gang, but it is clear that saying he is guilty of heresy without showing precisely where and why, is not only unfounded, but unacceptable.

      • Don’t know why this got posted here, it belongs after my reply to Glen in the discussion about what constitutes acceptable evidence before branding a person or organization. Wish it showed up as the PS to that post…

      • Byron,

        For the record I did not “concede” to anything concerning the entry of Seay into the “Museum of Charlatans” I was merely being ‘snarky’ (a word I have never seen used before you and I do love it). This is what I said:

        Byron, you may have a point — perhaps one may not be able to be both a “Charlatan” and “Deceived” simultaneously — will take that nugget under consideration.

        Perhaps you should be still and ‘listen’/read with as much effort as you ‘talk’/comment.

        Please, explain this phrase in your comment:

        “I have read a few of his books, and don’t rave about them, but don’t find much to fault, really, either. There could be places he’s gone off the deep end, but . . .”

        Do you find fault with his books or Do you not find fault with his books?

        Byron, you continue to condemn yourself as one who is deceived by investment. Your livelihood, your family finances, your reputation, your pride, your time, your efforts are all invested in selling books.

        Your ability to manipulate words is an art form – one that is probably fine tuned by the myriad of authors’ ideologies and philosophies that you ingest. You have an uncanny ability to write scads of words and not commit to anything.

        When I asked you if you agreed with the John MacArthur quote;

        “Half Truth presented as if it were the whole truth is an untruth.” I cut and pasted just the section of your comment (into MS Word to do a word count) that responded to that question. Do you realize that you wrote 2 FULL PAGES – 600+ WORDS to answer? It only required a simple “YES” or “NO”

        You are unwilling/unable to embrace the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. Instead, as demonstriated by your bookstore inventory, book reviews and opinion of “Christian ” authors — Byron, you subscribe to the same faulty inductive reasoning which Eve used in the Garden.

        She subjected the tree (Genesis 3:6) to these tests:

        Test #1: It [the tree] had physical value “good for food” – nutritional value

        Test #2: It was “a delight to the eyes” – not only would it benefit her body nutritionally but it had emotional or aesthetic value. In postmodern language — She felt good looking at the tree.

        Test #3: It was desirable “to make one wise.” – it had intellectual value that would make her wise like God.

        Because Eve determined with her own mind that the tree had “value” (It met her needs physically, aesthetically, and intellectually.); she inferred that God was wrong or that God had lied.

        Satan’s deceit successfully lured her away from God’s absolute and unfailing truth. Eve rejected God’s instructions.
        — from Think Biblically! John MacArthur with the Master’s College Faculty.

        Byron, are you willing to see the problem of reading all the philosophies and ideologies of man? Chris Seay along with Brian McLaren and a cast of other writers — paraphrased Scripture – why?

        Here is my answer:

        “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2Cor 4:4)

  5. Yvonne,

    Happy to hear you are sincere. Glad for that. I didn’t say you weren’t, just told you how it feels to be on the receiving end of your heavy claim about me being so very deceived.

    I don’t know what you are talking about in saying I don’t answer your claims. I am not “resorting” to anything, just telling you something about your attitude that many have noted. Take it or leave it.

    But it does not change my questions for you. I am pretty frustrated—and I think any fair minded person reading this with an open mind would see why. I have asked you to clarify your views, wanting to know your teachings. You rarely answer very completely. And you seem to get irritated when people like me defend against charges that seem like they are hearsay or insinuations.

    Yvonne, you keep suggesting that I don’t want to hear the truth, or that I am unable due to how low I’ve fallen. But this isn’t about me. It is you making these often outrageous accusations that you usually don’t back up. I ask you to back things up and you get all annoyed by that. That just doesn’t seem right, that you take your freedom of the press to slander others unfairly, and when I protest, asking how you know what you claim, or if it is really true, of if you could have said it with a little less condemnation, you get mad.

    You see, it seems to me that in most people’s experiences, and in the ordinary world most of us live in, it is common courtesy to document allegations, or qualify your judgments a bit, sometimes even to spice it up with some relatively nice things you might say. Affirm a bit, complain a bit. Look for the good, even as you lament the bad. Sound a bit humble, and maybe say “perhaps I am wrong about this, but…” OR “it seems that it could be…” But no, you make these large pronouncements, or post authors who do (and then Glen chimes in saying how great it all is.) You aren’t some Biblical prophet like Jeremiah or Paul, you know, and we all see through a glass dimly. Yet you never seem to admit to that. I can take your no-nonsense approach, but I just think it is fair to ask you to only critique that which you can document. To speak the truth in love. And it isn’t loving to fail to tell the whole truth, to paint some group like the Crusade chapter as those who have shifted away from soulwinning, moving away from evangelism. That simple isn’t the case. Did you rejoice when I told you that, back off a bit, apologize for misrepresenting them. Or even say that you don’t know, so you’ll hold the matter under consideration? No, you did not. Why?

    I do NOT fail to hear fair reports shown with good evidence for concern. I said more than once that I was grateful that you pointed us to this piece by Mack Stiles, for instance, and admitted it was troubling.

    But the post you made about Cru in Central Florida had some ugly accusations in it. I’ve asked you at least three times now to tell us if you know for a fact that there isn’t Biblically faithful soul winning going on down there.

    And you accuse me of being somehow avoiding things, unable to refute your stuff? IT IS THE EXACT OTHER WAY AROUND, friend. I don’t have anything to prove because I am not attacking. I am defending, and YOU have to prove that what you say is true. I do know something about those brothers and sisters there, and I asked if YOU DO.

    You haven’t answered. Why is that? You say I’m hard to converse with here, but it isn’t me that is avoiding these questions about basic fairness and decency.

    Further, I asked you what you really know about Scott B from IVCFs global work. You sent an article about IV generally which didn’t back up the negative insinuations about Scott. It didn’t refute my claim that you were unfair to him. I thanked you for that, sincerely, noting that warning about dangers in that big organization was important.

    BUT IT DIDN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION: DO YOU OR DO YOU KNOW KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SCOTT B? Why won’t you answer that? It is easier to complain about me, but it seems that you should just come out and admit that your posted article could have been less nasty. and that it is wrong to speculate publicly about men you don’t know much about.

    AND, I asked, twice before–three times, now—why you said I misquoted you about concern for the poor. I sincerely want to get your position right and don’t want to misrepresent you. I asked you to tell me, but you have not.

    Why not just answer questions? Nobody made you start this blog or forced you into this habit of being so judgmental towards others, and if you are going to do this, you have to then have the responsibility to get it right. The old adage is “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” If you are going to make unwarranted claims, then you have to be prepared for some to say “prove it.” So stop whining about my soul, and just take responsibility for putting things right. This isn’t about me and whether I’m deceived, and that isn’t the subject of this conversation. The point of this, on this blog, after these outrageous accusations you have posted, is about whether you are telling the truth.

    I’ve asked you for documentation and you get testy? Gee whiz, what are we supposed to think? That your writing must be trusted and we have to believe everything you say? I really don’t think you think that. You know we all make mistakes—I’ve had to apologize here a time or two. So why turn everything back on me when I ask fair questions? Why get snippy when I only want you to be honest about what you are claiming, in this case about those two specific cases I’ve asked you about.

    Most ordinary folks who have something to say want to get it right. And when people ask, they usually want to make themselves clear. You posted something which said insinuated heavy things about two groups this week, and I’ve named them (the Campus Crusade chapter in Florida and Scott Bessenekker.) I don’t think those claims were fair or just or true. I’ve asked you to prove what you’ve accused them of.

    I’ve asked you what you really know about them, if you can document the snide stuff that author you posted suggested about them.

    At this point you can find other unrelated stuff to add or snipe at me for my blindness.

    Or you can just answer the question. Do you or do you not know anything first hand that can validate the judgments you’ve posted about these two groups. YES OR NO?

    We are waiting.

  6. Byron,

    I really don’t think you want to understand, or don’t want to listen because you have one mission and that is to defend the leaning of anyone towards emergent as long as they are doing what you believe is acceptable ministry (emergent includes contemplative).

    As for the social issues, I thought I made it very plain as to organizations working relief as to whether they are properly part of a Christian ministry, and I thought Yvonne & Judy have also made it plain. Your lengthy dissertations twist what is said: One example is your continued harping on me about my comment about Colson. I did not say he was liberal – I said he was liberal ON ONE POINT (what part of ONE POINT don’t you understand?) and that was the point of his stance with Romanism. If you think it isn’t a problem to work with Romanism, so be it, but I think it’s a real problem to join with them in doctrinal matters. So quit twisting what I said about Colson into more than the original intent and context.

    I am really not interested in continued debate with you because it is futile and time consuming.

  7. Alright, have it your way. But you have agained spoken falsely of me, and I hope you agree it is my God-given right to protest. How dare you say things that are not true, and they say it “time consuming” when I try to defend myself.

    You say above that My “one-mission” is to “defend the leaning of anyone toward emergent”

    That is just not fair, and any honest reading of my replies and questions would not justify that.

    Who do you think you are to lie about people and then walk away when they try to set things right.

    If that is how you want to act, you are just a verbal thug.

    I have not, absolutely not, had that as my one mission, and you and I have not discussed much about “emergent.” Why in the world would you say such a thing? I am flabbergasted that you disdain my fair questions to try to allow you to speak what you think.

    We’ve been through the thing about Colson, and I believe it is fair to rebuke you for saying something wrong about that “ONE POINT” a notion that is very plain. You must not have read my post about that very carefully, so rather than go over it fully again, I just invite you to go back and see what I said. I explained what it means to say one is a social gospel liberal, and how they make decisions (disregarding the Bible and spiritual truths.) To accuse Colson of that on that ONE POINT is sinfully dishonest of you. Words matter, and you simply dare not use them any way you want. Feel free to criticize his error, but to say it was a liberal error is just nonsense. So don’t harp on me saying I don’t understand you. I just disagree with you. And I have said why, that to be “liberal” means certain things, and you have not shown that those things apply in any way to Colson’s choice about that one ECT thing. He wasn’t being liberal there, although he could have been mistaken. To apply that word to him is a violation of basic uses of the word. If you intend to use that wild accusation against him, you should argue you case and disprove what I said about him (that he was using Biblical, theological, evangelical piety in making his mind up about that ONE thing. Can you prove otherwise?? You have not even tried, just saying over and over that is liberal, and chastising me for not falling for this illogical notion that your saying it was liberal makes it so. Sorry, but your saying it so doesn’t make it so. I have shown why. Prove me wrong if you care try, but readers following this carefully will know that your insisting, no matter how loudly, doesnt make things right.)

    You also say I don’t want to hear. over and over. It is tiresome, since it doesn’t prove anything. Of course this takes time, but it would be a lot quicker if you quit saying that over and over and just my fair question.

    I did not want to think this, but it seems natural now to think that maybe you are afraid to answer my simple yes or no question.

    Readers can decided for themselves if it is clear what you think about Haiti relief. I have no idea what you really think. I belief according to your logic they are not faithfully Christian.

    But you know that won’t play well, so you don’t have the guts to come out and say it.

    That you will not affirm my simple question, Glen, is unbelievable.

    I guess that is what you want us to think of you, that you refuse, when asked three or four times, a simple, fair, honest, seeking, question that you could answer in ten seconds: yes or no.

  8. Byron,

    I went all the way back to Dec. 11 and here is what I found:

    Judy & Yvonne made the clear nexus between Geneva College, CCO and Jubilee, and demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a lot of emergent movement from one group to the other. Not only that, but she demonstrated conclusively that Chris Seay is emergent (as have other ministries) and that “The Voice” has emergent teachers behind it.

    Even with the evidence presented you have over and over again defended Geneva College, CCO and Jubilee as not really being emergent or the connection isn’t there, etc, and that Seay is not emergent. You have had, on this blog, an apparent mission to defend these groups and people against the charge they are emergent or emergent leaning or supporting emergent. You continue to claim Judy & Yvonne are wrong when their evidence of the emergent connection has been plain all along. So now tell me, am I really wrong – that I am lying – to say you have a mission to defend these groups and people? Okay, if it isn’t a “mission,” then what is it?

    And then you call me a “verbal thug.” I had to laugh – you are such a victim, aren’t you? Besides, this is print – not verbal.

    Talk about misrepresentation – I NEVER suggested Colson was a “social gospel liberal.” This is exactly what I mean when I say you twist what is said. I said he is liberal ON ONE POINT – and that point is his buddying up with Romanism. That is NOT a social gospel point, it is a THEOLOGICAL point – the “liberal” is THEOLOGICALLY LIBERAL, and the charge is only at the point of his ecumenical movement towards Romanism.

    If a Christian mission to Haiti is primarily that of social justice, helping the poor, etc, without much mention of the Gospel, then that would be another gospel – a social gospel. If a Christian mission to Haiti has as its primary goal to reach those people for Christ and to disciple them afterwards, and helping the poor and working for social justice is a BY-PRODUCT, then that would be right and proper. What is so difficult to understand about that?

  9. Glen,

    I’m willing to agree to disagree on this, but it really seems to me—and this debate has been heavy on my heart, and I am sorry it has gotten so testy—that you are mis-reading me.

    I am not really defending emergent people. I am asking that the unfounded evaluations and descriptions and “guilt by association” insinuations stop, as I think such insinuations are cheap and inadequate.

    I don’t think there is any debate that Geneva promotes CCO and I know that Chris Seay is going to be at Jubilee. (Never said otherwise, did I?) It simply does not follow in my mind that, logically, that that means Jubilee, let alone CCO, let alone Geneva, is thereby all equally tainted with heresy. Maybe Y & J don’t believe that, but that is how many have interpreted them, an intense, hot, indiscriminate accusation against any and all…

    So I would ask you to consider that maybe I haven’t defended emergent ways of thinking, which I really have not done. I haven’t attended to even one of their notions or ideas, given a pro or con on their new-fangled ways of thinking, the good or bad on their take on postmodernism or any of their stuff here on this blog, not one bit. Can you go back and find any place I’ve argued about emergent theology, per se? No. So I think it is unfair to accuse me of that. (Let alone for you to presume you know what my main mission has been here.)

    It is fair to say I’ve defended those organizations that have only minor and inconsequential relationships with some of the more moderate emergent folks. I defend CCO and Jubilee because I am a part of them, know them, trust them….Judy knows many of them, too, from her old camping days, and she knows who I mean: good folks that ought not be tarred with one bad brush, as it seems some have done here. I’ve defended Scott and Crusade, because I know a little about them—–however, even there, I didn’t completely defend them, but asked for further evidence of their disregard for soul winning. Why am I the bad guy for asking for some evidence about that wacky accusation?? Let’s talk about the joys of soul winning at UCF….I want to know what you know or don’t know. I suspect the answer is nothing, which is why you haven’t even answered. Which is my point: Yvonne shouldn’t have posted that guy offering that critique without some fair knowledge and you were foolish to approve of it UNLESS you know something I don’t know about UCF. I’ve asked over and over and over and you think I’m rotten for doing so. I think that is a cheap shot, blaming me instead of your own foolishness for getting caught speaking about something yuu don’t know anything directly about.

    (Had you said, when I first ask, “Yeah, you know Byron, I trust that author, but I’ll admit I don’t know how many lost souls have been one by Crusade in FL and it would please me greatly to know they are still strong in the Lord’s work” IF you had said that, I’d have been glad for your humilty and honesty. Instead, I get one can only be seen as arrogance and dishonesty.

    That is, you pridefully act like you know something you don’t and you won’t come clean about it.

    IF I AM WRONG I WILL TRULY APOLOGIZE but your refusal to talk about this strike me as nearly self-evidently so.

    And that is THE chief mantra I’ve been singing all along—-most recently in the unfair caricature of Scott B (of IVCF related missionary division) and the University of Central Florida’s Campus Crusad Chapter. Whether it was the campaign in December to tar Jubilee with outlandish accusations that don’t hold up to even casual scrutiny (just go back and read the stuff Y and J said about it) or the more recent snide stuff about UCF Crusade, I haven’t defended emergent (and certainly not liberal social gospel) stuff, I’ve only insisted that everybody get a fair shake and that you describe them accurately. I just want you all to come clean and say what you really know, or admit that your talking about stuff you may know have first hand info on. That seems like a far stretch than defending emergent organizations.

    I think this website has made accusations that are beyond the pale. When I’ve confronted writers about their lack of facts and their overstating the allegations it seems to me that you’ve unfairly jumped to conclusions, presuming that I am somebody who is pro emergent, just because I want to sort out which of the accusations here can be trusted. You’ve implied I’m a social gospel liberal because I think that not everybody who does social action is thereby preaching a false gospel (even as I’ve allowed that that could be the case.)

    (I suppose this got off to a very bad start because I entered this website with two very, very looming and corrupt statements being made, both of which have since been somewhat modified. So I learned quickly that J & Y said stuff without being informed or fair—-like that CCO said that people can redeem the culture without God. That exceedingly dishonest claim was my introduction to you’all. and it hurt. And I got my guard up, wondering how many other times evil stuff was being said that was patently false.)

    No, I have not promoted emergent thinking, nor have I suggested that there are no troubles within evangelicalism. I just think if anyone is going to go as far as you all have, saying pretty extreme things about these folks—-CCO, Campus Crusade, etc—you ought to do more than name-call. You should say how you know what you know and be specific, instead of innuendo.

    Here is what I guess we must let rest for now: that you really think you’ve presented evidence. And I think not.

    That has been the burden of my posts, showing that the stuff that passes for ‘evidence’ doesn’t quite make it. Often, though, I’ve asked: what do you know that gives you a basis for making these evaluations? Nobody ever says. Readers, I guess, have to take your or Yvonne’s word for it, that the guys you post and applaud have some inside truth. But it is my sense that it is just not adequate evidence to make a clear case that there is heresy afoot in the places you say.

    Chris Seay? I have said repeatedly that I don’t know him, but don’t know anything that he has said or done that is wrong, heretical, unorthodox. He has entered into conversations about new thinking in theology that they call emergent, but I don’t know what he has or hasn’t endorsed. I have asked about five times what you all have on him. Even here you’ve again maligned him, and if I ask why, you rebuke me. I just don’t get that Glen, how it is so wrong for me to want to know why you dissaprove of him so, other than that he has agreed to be a part of that emergent gang. But what has he said that is wrong? I have said that IF the only complaint is the Bible paraphrase—endorsed by conservative translators like Darryl Bock who knows Greek and Hebrew better than you or I, so I gather is isn’t so bad— then that isn’t enough to bar him from Jubilee. His book on Lost has some nice sermons in it, and while it may not be your thing, it doesn’t seem too bad, nothing particularly theologically deep or odd.

    So, now, I don’t defend him, only insist he get a fair “trail” here at this judgment spot. And if you think me going to bat for him to get a fair trail is endorsing him, then I haven’t done a good job explaining myself. Or you just aren’t very logical. To ask for a guy to get treated fairly is our command, to be a good neighbor, follow the golden rule, that’s all.

    I have regularly, I thought, asked for evidence and data, and asked you to be judicious and fair. To tell the truth, only what you really know.

    Which is why I’ve asked—over and over and over—WHAT you really know (say, about the speakers at Jubilee, or Cru, or Scott B.) THAT DOESN’T WARRANT YOU SAYING THAT I AM ENDORSING THEM, when I am only asking if they are being treated fairly.

    So, like yesterday, I DO feel like the “victim” like you are just a bully that keeps saying bad things about me that aren’t accurate or fair. I’m not whining about it, but defending myself from misrepresentation.

    I remember a month ago I asked how you would feel if somebody tarred you badly, spoke on a blog untruthful things about you. You never replied, but I’m sure you know how that feels. And it isn’t wrong to insist that the record be set straight.

    Your comment last night was just so off base, and it wasn’t inappropriate for me to call you out on so mis-stating me.

    I just hate it when people judge others unfairly, and because God has said “I, the LORD, love justice” we know that we dare not fall into judging wrongly, accusing falsely, or spreading rumors that are not fully founded. TO ASK FOR FAIRNESS towards a brother or sister does NOT mean I agree with that brother or sister, only that I want to know what gives Yvonne the right to use her freedom of speech to post articles that are mean and unfair towards others. And why you applaud them. And you mock and misrepresent me for sticking up for fairness.

    I guess you think that saying Chris Seay is emergent is all that has to be said. And that makes him wrong, makes Jubilee wrong for hosting him, makes CCO wrong for sponsoring Jubby, and Geneva College wrong for having some CCO staff on board.

    You see, I have said repeatedly that I just think that each of these cases needs to be evaluated on their own. Yes, I conceded that Jubilee has Chis speaking. I asked what (other than The Voice) is wrong with him. Anybody know him? Anybody read his books? Anybody asked him directly? Anybody asked the CCO director who has heard him several times, and studied tapes of his to be sure he’ll do a good job? Anybody done anything that ordinary honest folks do before they attack?

    I think if you or Yvonne or Judy have not done so, you should be ashamed of yourself. Going public with rebuke, and then not even showing any shame when it is shown that you’ve sometimes spoken falsely, and then not even having the guts to admit you were speaking out of ignorance…well, it just seems there should be some serious evaluations here about your standards and what constitutes fair reporting.

    And you say I’m “defending emergent” thinking when all I want is you to play fair.


    We will continue to disagree that Colson made a point with his ECT decision that had anything to do with theological liberalism. Perhaps we don’t agree on what theological liberalism is, but, usually, when nearly anybody uses it, it means disregarding orthodox thinking knowingly, believing in human reason rather than Biblical revelation, exalting in liberal (non)doctrines that humans are not sinful, so there needn’t be atonement, and God is so all loving that He isn’t holy so there is no hell. You surely know what liberal mainline church seminaries tend to teach. And Colson, even in his choice to sign that ECT document, was NOT motivated by that liberal theological ethos or way of thinking AT ALL. Not. At. All. It is a slander to suggest that. You can say he was mistaken, that a right-thinking evangelical would not have signed that, but you seem to conflate theological error or disagreement with liberalism.
    I think this is truly very odd, a claim I’ve never heard ANYBODY make (among those that think Colson was dead wrong.) John Piper and John MacAurthur, for instance, would never say that Colson’s choice there was guided by liberal theology. To say that is either a terribly unusual definition of what liberal theology is, or a terribly mean judgment of who Colson is. Either way, I am not convinced you have described him honorably, and will ask you to prayerfully seek God’s wisdom on this. Call Colson if you want. Talk you anybody that knows him. Talk to a real liberal, if you dare. Nobody would say that he, in that one point about which we are conversing, acted as a theological liberal or thought like a theological liberal.

    I really don’t know why you keep thinking I don’t understand you. I surely “get” that you are talking about theological liberalism. on that one matter. And it just doesn’t compute.

    Anyway, thanks for not giving up on this conversation. To slander someone and then walk away is thuggery. You’ve shown yourself to be better than that by caring enough to give it one more shot. Thank you.

  10. Byron,

    I think the evidence for the Geneva College/CCO/Jubilee connection with emergent, allowing it, permitting it, whatever you want to call it, but by doing so they foster emergent. And therefore, yes, the are being “tainted” with heresy. You have consistently defended them as not doing so no matter how much evidence has been presented. That seems to me to be a big issue. You keep claiming the evidence is not what it appears, that things are out of context, etc.

    I did not say you were defending “emergent ways of thinking,” rather I said you were defending these organizations as NOT accepting emergent, that THAT was apparently your main mission on this blog.

    Maybe I’m just stupid, but I thought the evidence in the article cited was enough to approve of! Perhaps you want evidence of full-blown heresy in order to warn about someone’s teachings? And whether or not lost souls have been won to Christ is not the arbiter as to what they are doing being biblical.

    By the way, Campus Crusade on a national level is indeed playing with the emergent movement. But that is another discussion for another time.

    I think all accusations by Y & J have been well enough documented, but I also don’t think it will ever be enough for you because you are a part of the organizations and like the people, so you will not be objective about their bringing in emergent stuff. It reminds me of all the Beth Moore followers who denounce all the evidence I bring before them as to her being a very poor teacher, and often a false teacher, because they like her so much.

    I don’t remember ever implying YOU were a social gospel liberal, and I did tell you I erred in saying you defended the social gospel because I was getting the issues confused due to your lengthy and often confusing dissertations.

    Oh, and as far as being able to redeem the culture, the culture war was long ago lost. We really need to work on redeeming the Church!

    Y & J have demonstrated the emergent nature, emergent teachings of Chris Seay and yet you say you don’t see it. There are many other sites that expose his teachings as going emergent, that he works together with emergent leaders like Brian McLaren. If you join with a movement, then you support that movement. Yet you still insist there is no evidence. I don’t know what you want. He has a “fair trial” and he has aligned himself with emergent leaders.

    Yes, the evidence is solid that Chris Seay is supportive of emergent, and that makes it wrong for Jubilee to have him, and then wrong for CCO to sponsor as long as he is a speaker, and if CCO staff are emergent, then they should not be part of Geneva. Connect the dots.

    If any Christian joins with Romanism in doctrinal matters, which ECT is a prime example, then that Christian is operating from a theologically liberal point at that issue. I will cut no slack for anyone agreeing with Romanism of matters of ecumenicism. You can define it and excuse Colson in any way you choose, but I will not excuse it his actions when it comes to buddying up with Rome in any way.

  11. I think we are at an impasse, and for anyone just tuning in, it may be helpful to sum up.

    You are absolutely correct that I do not think that Yvonne or Judy or you have shown adequate evidence on the issues I’ve most protested.

    (For the record, some of their reports strike me as a tad uncharitable, and snarky, like the thing on Peterson, say, but I do not accuse them of seriously distorting anything in those. Some are pretty interesting, and some include links to articles that are worth reading. I have only protested those that are specifically about something I have some knowledge about and that I feel compelled to ask more information about, to learn if my awareness of things could be changed due to new facts you may have.]

    You think I am being stubborn, I guess, but I honestly think I am not. I am honestly asking, usually, very precise questions about certain specific things that would allow a reader to know if your reports and evaluations are reliable and to be trusted. Stuff like, who do you know at UCF’s Cru chapter and is their soul winning efforts fruitful and faithful or not? (You found the writer, citing a CT article, that cited one line from an intern that says they are doing more mission trips, and then made awful accusations about that.) What info do you have on Scott Bessenekker’s ministry? (Again, one basic note about taking up good global causes, was read in its worse possible light, suggesting that because of this he doesn’t care much about evangelism. You applauded that unsubstantiated cheap shot.) SILENCE, SILENCE, SILENCE is all I got when I asked if you knew either of those situations. And then you have the audacity to find ME troubled or complicated for insisting on facts about what you do and don’t know, why you say what you say.

    If the evidence was as clear and the documentation as earnest you say it is, you or Judy or Yvonne would simply say something like this:

    “Thanks for asking, here is the answer.” OR, “we said that before, please see right here where we did, check there and get back to us if it isn’t helpful.”

    But no: that has not happened. Not even close.

    (Except, I’ll admit, on the thread about social transformation. It took some doing, but J or Y or both showed that many of us believe that God wants us to obey the cultural mandate to tend for the things in the world, and we agreed that many believe that God desires to use us as His agents of reconciliation and social betterment. They did some good documentation on those who have used the language about being “redemptive” in culture and I agreed that I do not find that word appropriate for our Christian obligation to serve God in daily life, as salt and light and leaven. We disagreed on our evaluation of such writers, but they showed a lot of places where folks do talk like that, and they fairly described the views they find wanting. I don’t think that makes us heretics by any stretch, for believing that the BIBLE calls us to that, but we agreed that the evidence is clear that many of us, and most who speak at Jubilee, reject the dualism between social action and evangelism, piety and public life, serving God in church and serving God in the work-a-day world, etc. I applauded their showing all that, but disagreed with their harsh, harsh evaluation of it.]

    I will insist that your claim that CCO is emergent and therefore tainted is undocumented UNLESS you think that hosting a speaker taints the whole group. I guess that is it, eh? (Of course, the sticking point then would be, if you are correct about said speaker, even if you are right that you ought not have anybody speak that you don’t agree with 100%. For instance, you think Colson is wrong on ECT. But do you think, therefore, that that disqualifies him to speak? Would you disapprove of his solid talk about good doctrine and the jab or two he took against shoddy emergent thinking at Jubilee two years ago? I don’t agree with everything Colson has said, but I wept during his good and solid talk to young people from Jude. Perhaps you think it is wrong to host a speaker you can’t 100% agree with. We can disagree on that.)

    SO, it comes back to evidence, and IF you have shown that Chris Seay is heretical and any key point, and if CCO is thereby wrong to host him. Have you or Judy or Yvonne shown that CCO is emergent or tainted or social gospel? Have you shown it to be so, based on reliable information?

    I can admit that that is a judgment call, and you may think that you have made it clear but iI maintain that you haven’t done much more than assert things, based on meager real evidence, so it isn’t real evidence, at least not the sort that would pass in a logic class or a court of law.

    So, I suggested the kind of evidence that would be helpful to prove your points. Or to keep you away from the unbiblical position of having slandered another, or spoken falsely.

    I have asked what CCO persons you have interviewed, what you know about the many, many, many, many conservative evangelical leaders that have been at Jubilee affirming strong doctrine, and which of those you’ve found fault with. I’ve asked you to tell us what about Jubilee makes them emergent—-they have an anti-emergent speaker this year, for instance, so your accusations are sketchy and seem really an overstatement.

    You see, you think it is a slam dunk accusation, clear and obvious, but THAT is what I want to hear about. And you just keep saying it has been shown. And I say, do you know any of these people well? Do you?? You have never answered that.

    It would be refreshing, actually, if you said to all of us watching this conversation: “Nope, I don’t know any of those people. Never met ’em. Never been to Florida’s Crusade group, don’t know anybody there. Don’t have to, though, since I don’t believe in what they are doing, which is obvious enough.”

    At least then we would know what you are basing things on. I think it would weaken your case for most fair minded folks, like the goofy view that dares to criticize a book they’ve never looked through. I suspect you know that, which is why you won’t be honest about your lack of familiarity with the subjects of your attacks.

    Why don’t you just speak forthrightly, Glen: say this: “Central Florida Cru? Nope, don’t know them at all, but I don’t care, because I think I’m right regardless, so I piled on in the judgment.”

    OR, this: “I want to admit that you are somewhat right–I could have given them the benefit of the doubt, since I don’t really know if that article Yvonne posted told the whole truth or not. I’ll try to be more charitable towards those I’m suspicious of next time. At least I’ll try to get some first hand facts before I applaud somebody else’s critique.”

    I don’t know, of course, but I surmise that you don’t say this candidly because it will make you look bad. So you avoid the truth that you have been applauding things that you don’t know anything really about.

    (By the way, I talked with several young Campus Crusade for Christ students who who were at a gospel-sharing beach evangelism project all summer long the last few years. They have a serious passion for lost souls, and don’t mess around much with cultural engagement or thinking that one must form strong relationships before sharing God’s Word, or doing social service, they just do old fashioned gospel proclamation. I can’t speak to the charges you alluded to about national CCC, but I do know that on most campuses on the East Coast, at least, they still have a reputation for being pretty fundamentalistic, single-minded on evangelism, skeptical of emergent type new perspectives. That is my experience, so while that doesn’t refute your claim about them above, it is interesting that, again, it doesn’t match the experience of most CCC that I know of around here.)

    But, anyway, you say you have offered proof, and your proof seems to be (regarding Jubilee) that are allowing Chris Seay to speak. But that doesn’t, logically, tar the whole conference, let alone the whole organization and its many, varied, diverse and geographically distinct ministries in that coalition.

    SO I’VE FAIRLY WONDERED WHAT YOU HAVE ON THE JUBILEE CONFERENCE other than hosting Seay. AND, I’ve asked–ad naseum–what you have against Seay, other than your disapproval of his work doing a Bible paraphrase.

    Look: I know most of the leaders of the CCO and all of the leaders of Jubilee. I know their faith, their prayer lives, their piety, their Bible knowledge, their scruples and their tendencies. I’m not as smart as most of them, and I cannot speak for them, but I DO KNOW that if anybody here is going to say they are up to no good, that would need to tell your readers WHO who’ve talked with, WHY you think that, and make accusations that stick.

    As I recall Judy recanted from the one thing she said about CCO being admittedly pro-emergent, since they’ve never admitted that, and I think she or Yvonne retracted their accusations a tiny bit away from that slander that CCO thinks we can save the planet without God. That utter nonsense was NOT proof of anything, Glen, and I thought we had agreed that it was really off base to say such a thing.

    SO, you say I defend them, and I say, OF COURSE I DEFEND THEM AGAINST SUCH LIES.

    But as to your accusation that they are emergent, I just don’t think you’ve shown that. And when I ask for information about who you know, who you’ve talked to, on what basis you and Judy and Yvonne makes these claims, the info is not forthcoming. Yet you get sarcastic with me for asking.

    You have helped the conversation along considerably in the above post. You have said that because Seay has identified with the emergent movement that has disqualified him for speaking at Jubilee. You say two curious things:
    1. That Yvonne and Judy have documented his failings (even though I have repeatedly asked you to point me to their work on this, but nobody has directed me to it. I think the thing I saw was a rather blunt critique of the idea of “adding to God’s word” that seemed to me to misunderstand the nature of Bible translations. Since Judy and Yvonne don’t say you have to read Hebrew & Greek, I figured that was a pretty eccentric critique. I suppose one could say The Voice is a bad paraphrase, but the idea of putting God’s inspired word into language of the day is nothing uniquely emergent and certainly nothing liberal, since Bible lovers through history have died for doing this. So I didn’t think (and have said repeatedly) that THAT isn’t enough to consider him reprobate.

    2. You say that others elsewhere have shown his theological fallacies. I have asked often for what Yvonne and Judy and you disapprove of, and NOW, at least, you come out with a suggestion: other people, other places have done that critique. Okay, fair enough. Why didn’t you just say that before, that you don’t have the goods on him, but you’ve read other people who have analyzed him. I don’t think that is a bad thing, mind you, but one would have to know if one could trust the folks you base your evaluations on. You certainly faulty me, as Yvonne has, for not “seeing” the truth of your accusations. Now, it seems, you are suggesting that the basis for these accusations are elsewhere. No wonder I was blind, if it ain’t here!

    SOOOOO. You blame me for standing up for organization like the CCO that are allegedly “emergent” and yet their being called that seems to me to be based almost entirely on one invite of one guy. And when I ask what you dislike about that guy, it is that he talks to McLaren and is part of the emergent conversation. Or on criticisms that I have to find from other people that I don’t know about.

    I can see why you like that easy “guilt by association” critique, but it isn’t fair or adequate, in my view. I find it unacceptable, ethically, to judge a person based on who he talks to, unless you know that he has ruined his testimony in doing so. Unless he has really written or preached things that are wrong. Like Paul who says that he doesn’t care why the gospel is preached or by whom, he is happy for it all. I am joyful if even controversial folks preach the true gospel. If they are not preaching the true gospel, if they fail on the essential things, then that is trouble. So I wanted to know what you disagree with about Seay’s doctrine or teaching.

    By the way, one other little thing: I don’t think I’ve ever said, and if I did, it wasn’t a big deal, that Judy or Yvonne “take things out of context.” I know other people have claimed that about them. And I no doubt have concerns about that. But my concern is beyond that, that they have said stuff that is downright wrong. To misconstrue is bad enough, but they have sometimes said stuff that is just out and out inaccurate.

    Funny, isn’t it (or sad.) We agree on this: I think you just say stuff that you are predisposed to believe, snarky and skeptical and judgemental. And you think I do the same thing, standing up for folks that I like.

    Thing is, though: I can defend my view because I can tell you exactly about several the people involved. It is becoming evident that you simply cannot. I think is is pretty evident that Yvonne and Judy choose not to, either.

    You are mad about a speaker or a book and in one of my first posts I suggested that that could be helpful on your part, warning against slipping into trouble. But you and Y & J did more, you went beyond warning about potential trouble, and smeared the motivations and reputations of good people. I asked if you knew them well enough to make a fair judgment. And you whine about me being confusing.

    Nothing confusing. I want to know if you have good foundations to make judgments, if you’ve spoken truthfully and lovingly.

    I think the evidence is pretty clear that much of what is on this site would be illegal libel or slander if it went to court; any objective jury would see that you’ve smeared folks without proof, overstated concerns into attacks, saying stuff about people that are false, and mocked those who won’t lay down and take your accusations.

    • Byron,

      It has taken a few days to catch up on your rantings — surely with Jubilee around the corner there are other items which need your attention.

      Please give me the Scripture that supports: “I can see why you like that easy “guilt by association” critique, but it isn’t fair or adequate, in my view. I find it unacceptable, ethically, to judge a person based on who he talks to, unless you know that he has ruined his testimony in doing so”.

      AND it is much more than “talking” when a professing Christian organization, Jubilee/CCO invites speakers who align themselves with the ECM. It gives that speaker CCO’s mantel of ‘approval’.

      Byron, it all began in the Garden with a simple question — and the seed of doubt was planted.

      AND I do have names of people (past staff and those associated with CCO) I have spoken to who will say that CCO ascribes to Dominion Theology — They have given me the Scripture verses to support it. Do you ever read blogs and websites of CCO staff? Or is what they write not really what they believe?

      You want to focus our attention on the speakers/leaders who have been theologically solid and give just ‘overlook’ of those who are not. Please give us something to support to Karen Sloan’s invitation to speak at Jubilee.

      I will concede that it is a challenge to ‘nail down’ (ever heard of nailing jello to the wall?) what emergents and post modern thinkers really believe — because if it gets too uncomfortable it just morphs into something else. The philosophy is blended with the world with enough orthodoxy to make many comfortable and agreeable.

      Did you know a large church in the Pittsburgh area just proposed a position statement to its Elders on Rob Bell. They are proposing that none of his materials be used in the church and with the youth!
      What is your position on Rob Bell? Do you have any copies of Bell’s books in your inventory?

      Hmm, on Dec. 7, 2007 Chris Seay spoke at Mars Hill — Rob Bell’s Church. Have not listened to it yet, but look forward to it later!

  12. You know Bryon, you are exactly right. I am not interested in a ‘conversation’ with you. I do not respect your business or your opinions. I believe you and your ‘books’ are dangerous to many young-in-their-faith Christians and CCO should be ashamed to promote them.

    I hope you can live with yourself after Jubilee weekend. Everytime you give a ‘sold’ book to another eager, heart-on-fire young Christian student, anxious to learn about Christ, the Gospel, their ‘call’ — think about how that particular book will impact their faith. Will it point them to Christ or point them to man’s philosophies.

    Every book with which you have tried to review ‘fairly’ and is sold off your table — you will be held responsible — for placing that false teacher into their trusting hands, mind, and heart.

    They won’t know your secret — that you just want to sell books.

  13. Byron,

    If you take just five minutes on the Net and search on Lighthouse Trails, Slice of Laodicea, or Apprising Ministries – to just name a few – you should easily find plenty of evidence that Rob Bell teaches heresy and that his noomas are worthless pieces of emergent trash.

    I challenged you before about eliminating false teachers (Rob Bell is hard-core emergent) from you book sales, and as long as you fail to do so it demonstrates one of two things – your extreme lack of discernment or your value of money over sound doctrine.

  14. Glen

    I don’t trust the spirit or the honesty of those places you mentioned. Sorry. LT called me a panentheist, which was slanderous. Goofy, since they don’t know me from Adam. And they seem to think they are teaching people what you call “discernment.” Gossip and rumors and innuendos and insinuation and a sort of doctrinal view that at times sounds like a cult. No, thanks, I’d rather people look at things themselves and make up their own mind. You can trust those guys who spread lies if you want, and who have warned against not only far out weird stuff, but have demeaned fairly widely acceptable, non-controversial stuff as well. Nope, not going to trust them as they’ve proven themselves unreliable about basic decency and truth-telling.

    The noomas are “worthless?” Most of us can swing a conversation around to the blood of Christ and our need for salvation and discipleship from almost any such resource, so I’d say it isn’t worthless at all. The Bible even calls pagan Cyrus God’s servant, so He can use all sorts of methods and styles of teaching.

    I have found young people having great conversations and opening of the Word of God to study more after these provocative conversation starters. Trash?

    You are so ill mannered, I cannot believe it. Do you talk to your wife or friends like that when you disagree? I think I was correct when I said earlier that sometimes corresponding with you makes me feel like you are a bully.

    Mature adults rarely talk like that, I’d say. Maybe you should back of the blogging a bit until you can control yourself, or allow the Spirit to bear fruit worthy of Christ-like public discourse.

    (Yvonne or Judy suggested that to me a month ago–a note I thought fair, except that what irked them, I think, was a joking comment I made about funny eggnog. Okay, maybe that wasn’t proper, but it was a stab at humor. Calling other’s work that has been used by God for genuine repentance “worthless trash” obviously isn’t a joke. It’s just ugly.)

  15. Byron, your victimhood is getting very tiring. Just call me a bully and that marginalizes my argument.

    You don’t like LT? What about Apprising Ministries or Slice of Laodicea? Or do you just not like anyone who criticizes Rob Bell? I have many other good apologetics sites I could send you too, but you obviously are not objective about this subject.

    What in the world are you talking about as to something I said not being the way mature adults would talk? Or that it is ill-mannered? Or that maybe I wouldn’t talk to my wife that way? Or that I have lost control?

    Because I called Noomas “worthless pieces of emergent trash”??!?!?! You’ve got to be kidding me. YES, God can use anything and therefore in that way one could say the Book of Mormon or the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “New World Translation” of the Bible aren’t TOTALLY worthless. SO why don’t we just sell more heresy and false teachings because they aren’t worthless – GOD CAN USE THEM! I’m sure we can swing someone into a conversation about Christ while we watch porn together, so I guess porn isn’t worthless either!

    Byron, I don’t know how to say this politely or nicely, but, frankly, your are being intentionally stupid to defend something as not being worthless just because God can use it. You are doing nothing more than trying to justify your support for false teachings and you should be ashamed of yourself for doing so! YES, Noomas are theological trash which are good for nothing but steering people into the emergent heresy. You say you don’t defend emergent yet you defend Rob Bell – a well known emergent leader – and Chris Seay—these two specifically! Gee, I don’t know how many others you’ve defended without my paying attention; do you like Brian McLaren also? Since you think “the Voice” is okay, I’m guessing you support him too – or am I wrong there? Wait a minute – how can I trust you to say you don’t support him when you say you don’t support emergent yet defend zealously the likes of Rob Bell and his Noomas and Chris Seay!?!?!

    And then you have the abject nerve to say it is not “Christ-like” discourse to call something trash. Gee, don’t I recall Christ calling people white-washed tombs? How ill-mannered can you get?! And that darned Paul, saying those people teaching a false gospel should be eternally condemned – very ill-mannered man, certainly not very Christ-like.

    God used the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants to bring me to leaving the LDS church and eventually to the true faith, but I will still call them worthless pieces of trash as all false teachings should so be called!

    You should repent of your defending such garbage.


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