“Let the one without sin…”

Friends,

I realize that I am running a great risk posting the comments I am about to make. I realize well that it is not wise to cross certain Defenders of the Faith in the world of blogs. I realize full well the power of blogdom to ruin lives and to be judge, jury, executioner, prosecuting attorney all in one. But I recall that somewhere in the Scripture that Christians claim to live by, we were told to be full of grace. Oh, I have no doubt that we are to make judgments about one another to a certain degree (see 1 Corinthians 5:12-13). But I think it is this very Scripture that bugs me a little when it comes to some comments that I have been reading about a certain preacher named Tim Reed and a certain blogger named Ingrid Schlueter.  

Evidently, there have been some barbs tossed back and forth between the two. Also included in the mix is Ken Silva at Aprising Ministries. Oh, and there’s also a rather lengthy post here at Old-Truth. I have a couple of thoughts about this since Tim Reed and I share a similar heritage in the so-called Restoration Movement churches. In fact, I went to college just up the road from the church Reed preaches among.

First, let it be stated that I am in no way defending Reed’s ‘drive-by’ comments or his use of derogatory language to designed to insult Ingrid, Ken or the author of Old-Truth. If in fact Reed is saying such things, well, he should be ashamed of himself. I preach in a Restoration church and I am only too aware of how difficult it has been in the history of our denomination to get our message across to people and to be accepted as sincere disciples of Jesus within the evangelical world. The last thing our denomination needs is set backs. I fully understand Reed’s point, but I think there is a better way to dialogue with those whom we disagree. So, I am not defending him in that respect.

Second, on the other hand, neither am I calling out Schlueter or Silva or Old-Truth for pointing out his (Reed’s) apparent lack of class (although, to be sure, I don’t see where in Scripture a lack of class is considered a sin or even name calling. I did read something about unwholesome talk, but none of them are quoting Scripture). It is one thing entirely to point out that some bloggers are beyond arrogant in their presumptuousness and in their judgmentalism. It is something else to merely ridicule them with salty language and other verbiage that does not befit a minister of the Word of God; Reed should hold himself to a higher standard even if he is a self-proclaimed watchdog of the watchdogs. Old-Truth is right that Reed doesn’t advance his cause by being immature. I have read some of Reed’s blog posts and he seems to be rather intelligent–someone with whom I could have a great conversation about aspects of the church that need to be changed, corrected, or otherwise done away with entirely. For that matter, the four I have mentioned so far have a lot to talk about in this regard. However, and here’s the point…

What is wrong with this picture? Ingrid at Slice of Laodicea has, in my opinion, really stooped to a new low in her recent post concerning Reed. I don’t know how she found it, but she dug up some post that Reed evidently made at some Gaming message board. I seriously wonder how much effort went into digging up the quote–which is a rather ridiculous quote from someone claiming to be a minister of truth. But what is worse is that she says, “If you want a taste of the new pastors today, here you go.” She then reproduces the quote.

Why?

Here’s the rest of her post sans the quote by Reed (I have linked it, so you can check it yourself):

A pastor, friends. He calls himself a pastor who sends out “vulgar missives” where he insults another with a claim of having had sex with his opponent’s mother, using what he calls “anatomically correct terms.” I understand Pastor Tim Reed’s vulgar attacks on me and Ken Silva in a far clearer light after reading this. We now have men in the pulpit who are showing by their fruit that they are enemies of Jesus Christ. Why are they enemies? Because they embrace the moral filth that Jesus died to save us from. Those who love Christ and His true church will warn about “pastors” like this.

Now, she is writing about one person, one man, one pastor, one preacher, and yet she says, ‘We now have men in the pulpit who are showing by their fruit that they are enemies of Jesus Christ.” No, you don’t know what men in the pulpit are doing. You have no idea what it means to stand in a pulpit week after week and preach the Gospel. You sit behind a mic or a computer monitor and contend for your versionof the truth from the relative safety of your home or office (did I read that you don’t even consider yourself an evangelical Christian; yet you judge it? Did I read that you criticize Britany Spears and the Church that decided to write her letters to tell her about Jesus? Can you have it both ways?) You have a man who has made some poor decisions with respect to his language and the manner in which he uses it. You don’t have men who have somehow failed in their calling. It is a terrible thing you have done to judge any or all of the ‘new pastors’ because of one man’s transgression (s).

Men, friends. Is ‘pastor’, ‘elder’, ‘apostle’, ‘prophet’ Slice really saying that the only menwho are in pulpits nowadays are those who are enemies of Christ? Is the Watcher saying that those who are imperfect by her standards are disqualified from preaching the Good News? (I wonder where Paul the Apostle would be in her book. He calls his former way of life in Judaism something equivalent to ‘crap,’ Philippians 3; and in another place told certain Judaizers that he wished they would emasculate themselves. Have you read Scripture and the language it uses?) Is Slice really suggesting that Reed does not love Christ because he insulted her? Is she really suggesting that the Lord’s servants stand and fall before her judgment? To his own master does a servant rise or fall! There is a big difference between taking someone aside and quietly rebuking them and telling them to grow up and something else entirely to call their salvation, which the Lord Jesus himself secured at the Cross, into question.

I like much of what Slice of Laodicea has to say. I visit the blog two or three times a day looking for updates and quotes. I enjoy reading much of what Pastor (I don’t know if the ordained Silva preaches behind a pulpit each week or not) Ken Silva has to say at Apprising Ministries. I don’t know Old-Truth (or whether [he] has a pulpit either) so I don’t know if I like [his] stuff or not. But I have a couple of questions for the three who operate these blogs and a couple questions for all parties involved.

First, to Slice. Are you now without sin that you have the right to cast judgment on Reed? Do you really have the right to cast the first stone? Are you really suggesting that you are the ultimate arbiter of who does and does not love Christ? By whose measuring rod do you make such a decision?

Second, to Pastor Ken. Because you seem so well acquainted with the Word of God: Isn’t it a blessing to be insulted for the Name of Christ? Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are you when people say all sorts of things against you because of me?” Are we now to return insult for insult? Or shall we now bless when we are cursed?

Third, to Old-Truth. Do you think that you have advanced the cause of Christ by printing the name of the Church that Reed preaches at and judging his entire denomination? Do you think that all the people whom he leads in worship are somehow guilty of his infractions; his sins? Do you think that his entire denomination is somehow demeaned by his behavior? (We should be happy that not all Baptists are guilty of the sins of Baptist preachers, and not all Presbyterians are guilty of the sins of Presbyterian preachers, etc.)

Fourth, to Tim Reed. Do you really think you are helping your cause by acting so immature? Do you really think you have a defense by using the language you use? I understand well the desire to connect with people at their level, but the sinners with whom Jesus ate came to Him and enjoyed His company. He elevated them; they did not lower Him. Maybe you should try to raise the standard of your conversation.

Fifth, where is the grace? Seriously. This is one of the main issues I have with all of blogdom–and especially this case in particular. I wonder what it is that the people who are not Christians who read these blogs of Christians think about Christians and Christ after they read these blogs? I can’t believe Reed publicly says the things he says about Ingrid, Ken, and OT. I can’t believe they have responded with nothing better.

Sixth, are there not people dying every day and going to hell? Is there not something better we can do with our blogs? Seriously?

What is all this hatred? (That’s what it is.) What is all this questioning of someone’s credibility or someone’s standing before Christ? What is all this childish name-calling? Why can’t there be honest, adult conversation and dialogue? Look, I’ll debate any of these people, for example, about Harry Potter books any day of the week because I happen to think they (at least Slice’s author) are wrong about them. On the other hand, Slice’s author happens to think I am wrong too. Or, I’ll debate the (de)merits of the Reformed doctrine of election (or any other aspect of TULIP Calvinism) which is absolutely horrifying and unbiblical. But just because I disagree with those who hold to it doesn’t mean we are not together in Christ. Nevertheless, isn’t there room for adult conversation? Isn’t there room for opinions? Isn’t there room for love? Shouldn’t all of our conversations be salted with Grace? Are any of us so without sin that we have a right to sit in the sort of judgment that calls one person who preaches the Gospel an ‘enemy of Christ’? Is that really what grace is about? Are either of us lost because we do or do not read the right books? Seriously, is there any room for grace among these watchdog types? I think God’s grace is enough for us all, but also think that we’d rather be right than for God to be Justified and Justifier. I really don’t think Christians like grace at all. For all we talk about being saved by it we sure don’t want to live by it when it comes to our theological mountaintops. We’ll die for our Calvinism, but nor our Arminian brothers and sisters. Sad. How did I hear it said? The Church is the only army in the world that shoots its own wounded. Sad.

Jesus said one time, ironically on the night he was betrayed, the night before he died for all our sins, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus could have mentioned a lot things in that space, but He chose to tell us, over and over again, to love one another. Well, if we demonstrate that we are his disciples when we love one another then whose disciples do we demonstrate ourselves to be when we hate each other? Here’s how Old-Truth ends [his] post:

 It’s interesting that a foundational slogan of the Restoration Movement of which Tim Reed subscribes is “In Essentials, Unity. In Non-essentials, Liberty. In All Things, Charity“. That kind of talk sounds good on paper, but when somebody doesn’t agree with where the essentials begin and end, then charity is quickly abandoned in favor of the pursuit of a pound of flesh. In the end – Tim Reed’s treatment of Christians who have differing convictions than his own, will likely prove to be his undoing. Aside from the obvious pastoral incompatibilities, his methods bring a more revealing spotlight on his own public behavior than on the behavior of those he calls-out, name-calls, and watches.

This is a danger that I think was understood early by the likes of Dan Kimball who is an Emerging Church advocate with similar complaints as Tim Reed, yet Dan seems to be able to eliminate his own conduct as a potential point of focus for his opponents. The Dan Kimball types do this through actually trying to follow the bible’s pastoral directives (ie: being self-controlled, kind to everyone, and not quick-tempered or arrogant). So while I usually disagree with Dan and the Emerging Church, I can at least listen to his views and appreciate his genuine attempt at humility. Conversely, I would venture to say that there are a good number of people who no longer even hear what Tim Reed is protesting against, because they can’t get over the glaring lack of the fruits of the Spirit that accompany his protest. (Emphasis mine.)

I think that is precisely Reed’s complaint. It’s not only Reed who cannot tolerate other people’s opinions, but it is the people he is complaining against who cannot, indeed, will not, tolerate others’ opinions. Honestly, there is guilt here on both sides. Reed, to be sure, needs to mature a little (or a lot). He needs to speak with no unwholesome language only those things which are useful for building up the Body of Christ. The rest need to speak the truth in love. All need grace.

None of this is doing anything to advance the cause of Christ or to build His Kingdom. In my opinion, both sides are doing all they can to tear apart the very fabric of that which Christ died for: Oneness, Unity, Love, and Truth; the salvation of the World; the Glory of God; the Exaltedness of Jesus Christ; the Triumph of the Lamb! If we cannot speak the truth in love, then we are mere legalists who have left no room for grace. And if we have love without truth, then we are mere sentimentalists. I’d sure like to see Bro. Reed use his creative energies to uplift people instead of tear them to shreds with his sarcasm and language. I’d like to see Slice and Silva use their considerable influence to train up people in the way they should go with grace and love instead of not.

jerry

ps–I know I’m setting myself up for a dismal day with this post. But I cannot help it. I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but I’m trying to bring some peace to this part of the Body of Christ. I’m not saying I’m perfect; I’m saying none of us are. There is so much hatred in the world that I wonder why anyone would want to find refuge in Christ, let alone the church. If this is what the Church is to people, why would anyone want to be a part of it? There’s more love and grace in Elk’s meetings or AA meetings or a Major League Baseball game.

I’m calling on both sides to fix this publicly. There needs to be some growing up on both sides, some repentance, some forgiveness, and some clearing up of the real issue at hand which is: How can we best Lift up the Name of Jesus in this desperately, spiritually perverse world in which we live? Are not all sides involved concerned with the Gospel? Do they not all, in their respective ways, preach the Crucified Lord Jesus? Then why enmity?

“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.” (Philippians 4:2) For the sake of Christ, clear up this matter and end it. Let forgiveness and grace and peace reign.

“Let he without sin, cast the first stone…” And one by one, they started to walk away, the older ones first until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. I ask you sincerely, when it is all said and done, won’t it be us and Jesus, one on one, with no one else left? Won’t Jesus ultimately be our judge? “Has no one condemned you? Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

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  1. Jerry –

    Let me lower the “dismalness” of your day with some encouragement; your willingness to address this is commendable and I appreciate it. I didn’t realize that you (like myself) came from a Restoration background. I grew up attending (and still do) a non-instrumental church of Christ and attended Harding.

  2. “Let he without sin, cast the first stone…”

    Does that include you Dan?

    “[Ingrid] says, ‘We now have men in the pulpit who are showing by their fruit that they are enemies of Jesus Christ.’ No, you don’t know what men in the pulpit are doing. You have no idea what it means to stand in a pulpit week after week and preach the Gospel.”

    How do you know Ingrid has “no idea” Dan? To use a classic argument today: Have you spoken with her personally? I happen to know that Ingrid’s close with a number of pastors and we speak with her on a regular basis. Ah, but you didn’t know that.

    “You sit behind a mic or a computer monitor and contend for your versionof the truth from the relative safety of your home or office (did I read that you don’t even consider yourself an evangelical Christian; yet you judge it?”

    How can you possibly know the full scope of Ingrid’s labors in Christ, Dan? Using your logic one would have to be a killer to condemn murder as sin. Why yyou are a man and yet you’re judging the life of a woman.

    “You have a man who has made some poor decisions with respect to his language and the manner in which he uses it. You don’t have men who have somehow failed in their calling. It is a terrible thing you have done to judge any or all of the ’new pastors’ because of one man’s transgression (s).”

    What about you Dan? You judge Ingrid yet apparently are not familiar enough with her body of work to realize she has been speaking out (when most men are too scared) about what she has called “the new breed” pastors for a couple of years.

    If you were well enough acquainted with her work to actually have made a right judgment (see-John 7:24), then you would know that Ingrid is using Reed as an object lesson illustrating yet again the sordid conduct of these man-centered neo-evangelical “pastors” like Tim Reed.

    So, where are you showing the grace you whine about above Dan? You’d best wake up and recognize the time in which you live.

  3. Ingrid Schlueter

    I had never heard of Tim Reed before when last year a website appeared called http://www.slicedlaodicea.com. It was a mockery of my own webiste, sliceoflaodicea.com. They later changed their name to CRN.info to mock Ken Silva’s site which I named and started. The sole purpose of their website was to tear down, mock and ridicule everything Ken Silva or I wrote online. I do mean everything. Chris Lyons, Tim Reed and someone named Nathan began a campaign of name calling and abuse, all in the name of watching the “watchdoggies”. (Their term.) Pastor Tim Reed is the most abusive of all, using terms for me like “jerkhole, idiot, ass, stupid,” and a whole lot of other things he would never tolerate his wife being called. The readers at CRN.info then pile on and add insults of their own. My posting of Pastor Reed’s filthy choice of insult to another gamer, something he left public for a year and a half, came after someone emailed me the direct link. No searching was necessary. I also recently received a page of insults by Reed emailed by a reader, a cumulative collection of the things he has written about me in the last year. It’s eye-popping. I have never written a word about Tim Reed until yesterday. All I know about him is by the testimony of his own writing online, and frankly, that says enough about him both as a man, and a pastor. These are the pastors the Scriptures warn about in Philippians 3:17-21. I do not apologize for posting Mr. Reed’s boast regarding having “imtimate” pleasure with another gamer’s mother (as an insult.) It simply reveals the character of the man who has made a practice of maligning and abusing those he disagrees with. I disagree with many today in contemporary evangelicalism as my site will attest to. I will not stoop to calling these false teachers vulgar terms. I repeat that I have never written anything about Tim Reed before yesterday, and my post appeared only after a year of abuse in my direction from this “pastor”. Those in the office of holy ministry are held to a higher standard. Scripture tells us that they are not to be brawlers. In that I have never before encountered Pastor Reed before his unwarranted attacks on CRN.info, the very name of which is a mockery, this is not a case of two immature people firing back and forth. It is a case of long term provocation by a man who says he is a pastor and shepherd of souls. Exposing his true colors is not, I believe, over the line. It is overdue.

  4. Odgie,

    Thanks for stopping by again. I appreciate hearing from people who share a common heritage. As you may have guessed, I went to Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing. Currently, I’m attending CCU. As you will see below, what I feared has already taken place. I hope all is well with you. This issue is one that has raged in the Body of Christ in many forms. It’s not just about someone preserving something they think is Orthodox or Biblical. It’s about preserving something that is their opinion. Take for example musical instruments. You know as well as I do that this has been a huge issue in our denomination forever and a day. What I wish is that the Body of Christ would wake up and see the Crucified Christ. If we all worshipped where would the one-upsmanship be in the Body?

    Glad you stopped by. Have a Happy New year! I appreciate the encouragement.

    jerry

  5. Jim at Old Truth

    Jerry:

    Where to start. First of all let me say that while disagreeing with some of your assumptions I do appreciate your tone of objectiveness. I really have not had any contact with Restoration Movement people until I encountered Tim Reed and his blogging friend Chris Lyons (who you will find listed on the Old Truth page that you linked to above). I sat back for months and watched as the two of them aimed blog posts my way referring to me as “Old Jim” or “Jimbo” etc. My first thought was, who are these guys and why are they trying to demean people’s names like a kid on playground? Prior to that I had never met either of them or had any contact with them at all. More disturbing were the constant assumptions that I kept reading about, in which my beliefs somehow hold various creeds or “systems” as EQUAL WITH scripture (rather than being BASED ON scripture or as a SUMMARY OF scripture), etc. It wasn’t until recently that I began to post some of my opinions about their views.

    You stated above that I judged a whole denomination by their actions; I don’t remember doing that (perhaps you could point out where I did). I will however admit that my experience with these two has left me wondering if there is a propensity within the Restoration Movement to be intolerant towards anyone who isn’t as tolerant as they are. ie: “I’m a ‘minimalist’ and you better be one too, or else!”. In a nutshell, it’s a movement that wasn’t even on my radar until I started to see my name popping up on the blog of these guys on a regular basis. Now I really don’t know what to think of it.

    Tim Reed, Chris Lyons, and yourself, all call for more love and grace, but why is it that in the very next breath – my beliefs are misrepresented and distorted? I’m told that I value “systems” MORE THAN the Gospel, “a creed” MORE THAN the Gospel, etc. Even you yourself called my beliefs “absolutely horrifying and unbiblical” in your text above. I have no problem with your publicly disagreeing with my beliefs, and even stating your opinion that you think my beliefs are wrong, but where is the ‘grace’ that you are calling for, when you (the three of you) use descriptions like the ones I just mentioned? I could ask, how does that “advance the cause of Christ”, as you say, and how does it reflect on your movement? The others have publicly referred to the beliefs which I hold as “another gospel” (I’m sure you know what Galatians says about that). I challenge you to find any statements that I’ve made publicly about the regenerate-state of any of you three, or where I called-out one of my mainstream Arminian brothers in Christ as being a false-believer. That’s something that I’m careful about in my blogging. I’m not trying to proclaim self-righteousness in saying these things, but am attempting to distance myself from the caricature that I think is implicit in your watchdog label.

    Jerry, I want to answer all of the questions that you asked of me above; here’s another you had:

    “Do you think that you have advanced the cause of Christ by printing the name of the Church that Reed preaches at and judging his entire denomination?”

    I don’t think I’ve judged his entire denomination, but I have said that his conduct does not seem inline with the denomination’s tenets of charity and liberty. As far as printing his church name: If I were searching for a church-home in that area (Owosso), I’d want to know if the pastor uses foul language, publicly posts jokes about reproductive organs, and uses these words in reference to Christians: jerkhole, nutjob, maroon, retarded, clown, freak, insane; there’s more disturbing terminology that I won’t even mention here. Those are all outward indicators of something inwardly wrong. Presented with that evidence, I would be thankful to anyone who pointed that out to me, so that I could explore other options for local churches.

    You ask: “Do you think that all the people whom he leads in worship are somehow guilty of his infractions; his sins?”

    No, not at all. I don’t doubt that there are some true believers in his church, and moreover – I believe that there are some false-believers in my own church.

    “Do you think that his entire denomination is somehow demeaned by his behavior?”

    No, but it’s probably in your best interest to confront such behavior within your own denomination, so that it doesn’t turn into the kind of thing that we are seeing here.

    You rightly ask “are there not people dying every day and going to hell”. It’s an important question, but I actually think that it’s beside the point, insofar as intentions are concerned, since all of the parties involved likely feel that their blogging is in defense of biblical standards and ultimately of the Gospel’s purity.

    Perhaps there’s a way for everyone involved to express their disagreement in a manner that avoids name-calling, crude language, axe-grinding, mocking, and misrepresentation of each other’s beliefs. That sounds like a good place for ‘grace’ to begin. I would also say that I will be more than willing to remove any related content from my site once I see that a prolonged pattern of change has been demonstrated. I certainly don’t want to red-flag Tim Reed as an unqualified pastor, for life, or harm his congregation in any long-term way. Who knows Jerry, maybe you can play an intermediary role in facilitating a commitment from the various parties towards a change of conduct. I certainly am willing. My only caution would be to not lump us all together with assumptions of the same conduct.

    God bless you brother, and thank you for your posting and especially your concern for the lost.

    –Jim

  6. Mr Silva,

    Thank you for stopping by and responding to my short missive. I am sad that you managed to only read what you wanted to read. You asked if I am without sin in your first line. Here’s what I wrote in my PS:

    “I know I’m setting myself up for a dismal day with this post. But I cannot help it. I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but I’m trying to bring some peace to this part of the Body of Christ. I’m not saying I’m perfect; I’m saying none of us are.”

    OK. I’ll grant that you didn’t read that far in the post.

    My point about the author of Slice having ‘no idea’ is that she does not stand behind a pulpit week after week expounding the Word of God as a typical located preacher does. She may well have contact with many pastors; so? That means nothing. There is a qualitative difference between putting your views in public in a local community in a local church for everyone and their brother to judge instantly to your face and sitting behind a computer monitor or radio mic. That’s all I was saying. It matters very little how much you speak with her. It’s not the same. And unless she has stood behind a pulpit she has no idea. Unless she visits every single church in America and listens to the content of every single preacher in America then she really has no idea what the current breed of pastors are preaching and teaching behind their pulpits.

    What about me? Read this blog. Read the sermons I post. Look at the blogroll and who I link to. Look at the defenses I have mounted against atheists and Darwinists here. I have nothin to be ashamed of about my teaching or my theology. But I will say this: I’m not hiding it either. And if I make a mistake or need corrected I will do so and have done so.

    I really don’t think you read what I said because I specifically said that I was not calling you out for calling out Tim Reed–fourth paragraph. Nor did I say I was defending Tim Reed’s behavior–third paragraph. What I was doing, if you had cared to read, was calling out Slice’s author for digging up dirt on Reed and stooping to his level of behavior. What I was doing was asking what right or authority the author had to call Tim Reed an enemy of Christ. I asked, however implicitly, if she were an apostle, prophet, or even an elder at Reed’s church. Has Reed somewhere dismissed the Resurrection? Has he denied the Divinity of Christ? Has he mocked the Crucifixion? Has he vacated the Word of God? Then her accusations of him being an ‘enemy of Christ’ would be valid and justified and the warnings would be well taken. As such, I can’t see where Reed has done any of those things.

    So what is the point of all the stooping to his level in order to make a point about him? How will it stop Reed from attacking people if the response to Reed is to attack his person?

    I think if you had bothered to read, you would see that I was calling for peace. I was trying to mediate a dirty confrontation in the Body of Christ. I can see from your response that you are not interested in solving the problem. Did you read anything I wrote? I grant that I called the author out on some things, but I was also very appreciative of her work (and yours) and I will continue to frequent your blogs. But really, is there no room for grace at all in your theological perspective?

    jerry

    ps–i have no problems admitting i am a sinner. but neither do i have any problem admitting i am saved by grace.

  7. Ingrid,

    And what is strange is that if you read my post, you would see that I really don’t disagree with anything you said. I just think that by stooping to this level you have done no favors for the Body of Christ. I understand well your concerns for the Church which is why I visit your blog. At the same time, you seem to have missed out entirely on the grace of God. I wonder why it is that the only people who are never wrong at your blog are those who agree with you? In many cases, I think you are fighting the wrong battle.

    In my opinion, you should not have posted a comment that was a year and half old. As I read something you wrote at CRN.info isn’t there room for things to be ‘under the blood of Christ’? Did you consider the possibility that perhaps Tim Reed had repented of his comments and been forgiven by the Lord Jesus himself?

    Re-read what I wrote and you will see that I am only calling for repentance, forgiveness and grace to rule in the Body of Christ. Nothing more.

    Thank you for stopping by.

    jerry

  8. Dan – I have had my disagreements with Ken and Ingrid, but after reading the quote attributed to Tim Reed I cannot understand how that doesn’t trump everything else. Ingrid is given to overstatement but her point in this is that this quote is representative of not only common Christian language, but it increasingly mirrors (if you can believe it) the language of preachers.

    I personally have never heard in 33 years a Christian say such a thing and actually I’ve never heard an unbeliever say that in such detail. I do not approve of the unkindness whether from me or anyone else, but the character of Christ continues to be sullied through the lives and words of Christians of all sorts.

    To even now realize that preachers play role games is a personal eye opener. I am a dinosaur and I shake my head almost daily when I hear things that go on. Love and mercy and grace to be sure, but correction as well. Walking that balance in humility is a great challenge, but I almost wept when I read what Tim said. We all should weep.

  9. Jim,

    To be sure, I don’t even know you and I specifically point that out in my post several times.

    Second, I didn’t call any of your beliefs as ‘absolutely horrifying and unbiblical”. I referred to the Reformed, TULIP doctrines of election as horrifying. But even ‘your’ Reformed leader John Calvin referred to the doctrine of election, his doctrine of election, as a horrifying doctrine. And it is. But if you happen to agree with it, what do I care? What I care about is Christ Jesus crucified. If you accept that because God made you accept it, fine; if I accept it because I choose to, fine. Are we not still in Christ–together?

    You also wrote, in response to my question about the entire Restoration denomination:

    “No, but it’s probably in your best interest to confront such behavior within your own denomination, so that it doesn’t turn into the kind of thing that we are seeing here. ”

    Shouldn’t we do that in all denominations? But, our churches are independent. It is the responsibility of the local leaders to govern the behavior of local members. If his behavior is unnacceptable, bring it to the attention of the elders, or confront him quietly in private. That is part of the Biblical pattern. Calling someone out the way that has been done is wrong especially when people like the author of Slice, Pastor Silva, and yourself get angry when people call you out for your sin. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

    My point about people going to hell is not beside the point. As the Body of Christ we are called to be a kingdom and priests who will lead people to worship the only True God and His Son Jesus Christ. If we are fighting all the time, how can we do so? People go to hell while we worry about who called us what name or when we worry about the planks in others’ eyes and disregard the logs in our own. That is not beside the point.

    I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt because someone called you Jimbo. But I don’t seriously think that being called Jimbo or Old Jim is an offense against the Gospel and at worst, you should have confronted him privately as the Scripture says: When a brother sins against you, go to him. With so much animosity between the parties involved, I don’t know how any of you offer your sacrifices on the altar since it doesn’t seem that there has been any repentance or any forgiveness. If Reed needs to grow up, and I said that a number of times in my post, how much more the rest of us?

    Finally, don’t lump me in with Reed and Lyons. I don’t know them and I specifically said that I was not defending Reed. I have made no assertions about what you believe–I said in my post I don’t even know you, I didn’t even know if you were a man or a woman–so how can you say that I made assertions about what you believe??

    What I said was: There are people who are not Christians, not saved, and going to hell who read these blogs: Where is the grace? If you wouldn’t want to be a part of Reed’s church because he has a foul mouth, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to be a part of your local church where there is no room for sinners and where the preacher must be perfect before he is qualified to preach. Have you read about Peter who called down curses, denied Christ three times, was a racist or at least a hypocrite and yet was still chosen by Christ to proclaim the Gospel? Is there no room in your theological outlook for people to grow, to mature, and learn? Perfectionism is a deadly sin that has no place in the Body of Christ. And this is the problem with the post the author of Slice made.

    Ironically, she is not the judge or the jury on theological Orthodoxy nor is she the one who calls people to be preachers of the Gospel.

    Yes, we call for grace because we need it–people like Reed, Lyons and myself. I’m sorry that there are others among us who think that their entrance into God’s kingdom had something to do with their ability to be orthodox in all things. I’m sorry there are some who think their merits are more important than God’s grace.

    I hope you are not among those who do. Thanks for stopping by. I hope we can all find a way to demonstrate God’s grace to one another, better, more. The world needs it and God has already given it. We may disagree at any number of places, but in the end we can only claim Christ. I’m putting my hope in Jesus, not in being right.

    jerry

    PS–you said you want to see ‘prolonged pattern of change’ before you will make changes in yourself. Why? Will it make you more gracious to forgive wrongs done to you only after they repent? Isn’t it the essence of grace to forgive and bless when wrongs are done to us? It’s a good thing that God doesn’t work that way, isn’t it? “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins.” Why not try to live the Reformed doctrine of grace instead of just paying it lip service? Why not take the path of forgiveness first? That’s the point of my post.

  10. Rick,

    Again, I am not defending Reed. That was not the point of my post. However, I will say: It doesn’t trump everything else; can anything trump the grace of God?

    I have been in ministry now since 1992 when I was ordained. I’m sorry that you have never heard the things that Reed said ‘even from an unbeliever.’ I would ask: Where do you spend all your time? I work 5 days a week at a middle school, in the lunch room, monitoring children in grades 6-8. You should try it sometime so that you can hear the sorts of things people say–even children. I’m not defending it; far from it. But as I read somewhere, A Candle burning outside at high noon is redundant.

    Where is a sin in Scripture for a preacher to entertain himself by playing a role playing game? I have three sons and I play video games with them. Does this disqualify me from preaching? If one of the kids in my church invited me to come over and play some games you can be sure that I would. And why not? Don’t we have a right to do with our time what we want? Isn’t that the freedom we have in Christ? Are not all things to be received with thanksgiving?

    I’ll bet there are some things that your generation did that would cause me to open my eyes in shock too. The idea that a person is less of a disciple because he plays a game is absurd. But everyone needs to have something to rail against, don’t they? Some day all the perfect people in the church are going to get together for a big party. The rest of us are going to know God and enjoy Him forever. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but the hypocrisy is tired and it is a warning to those of us who would trump the grace of God with our perfectionism.

    I hope in the next 33 years of your ministry you can find space for a generation of people, not unlike myself, who are doing our best to preach the Gospel of Christ to a generation of people who have been inundated with Darwinism, atheism; who have rejected all truth; who have been told they can abort babies at will; do drugs freely; and solve all the world’s problems with war and violence. I’ll bet preaching 30 years ago wasn’t much different was it? But do you think there is room in your life to pray for us who have these things to contend with instead of merely writing us off as worthless?

    I think if people like Ken, Ingrid and others would do that instead of tearing us down all the time, we might make progress in this degenerate generation of unbelief. What solutions do you have? How will you help solve the problems of this generation, this culture? Is tearing down the answer?

    Go spend a day at your local high school eating lunch with the kids. Go among the lost. Take a chance that there is a world of sin outside the stained glass windows that needs to be touched by the grace of God.

    Thanks for stopping by.
    jerry

  11. “But do you think there is room in your life to pray for us who have these things to contend with instead of merely writing us off as worthless?”

    A self serving statement that doesn’t resemble anything I mentioned. The outside the stained glass window phrase is self righteous, you know nothing about me or my ministry. I walk among the lost as well, but I never heard anyone say with intimate detail the pleasures of having sex with someone’s mother. I guess I am secluded.

    I do not agree always with Ken and Ingrid, but there never is any outrage and embarassment about Christian behavior anymore. Just because you work in a public school and are exposed to the deterioration of the society doesn’t alter our Biblical mandates to live as Jesus did.

    We must not make God’s grace an excuse for careless living.

  12. Rick,

    Can you show me where I suggested that God’s grace is an excuse for careless living?

    I disagree that there is no embarassment or outrage about Christian behavior anymore. Have you read Slice of Laodicea? Have you read Apprising Ministries? Have you read Old Truth? Have you listened to White Horse Inn? Do you read Modern Reformation? Do you regularly visit the blogs associated with these things? Have you read the Bible? Isn’t the Bible itself testimony to the outrage towards Christian behavior? If you did, then you would know there is plenty of outrage.

    It is not outrage that we are lacking, it is grace, forgiveness, restoration, and humility. We are plenty outraged. We are not enough humbled.

    Of course you are going to play the ‘you don’t know me card.’ My point wasn’t that I do. My point was that if you have never heard salty language then you are indeed secluded. I’m not saying it is right; I never have. I’m saying that if we are going to be the sort of people who exude forgiveness in the Name of Jesus then we must learn to be around people who have not yet met Jesus or been elevated to His level. I think the cross does that for us. And remember, Jesus said it is the sick who need a doctor. I need grace. Perhaps there are some among us who don’t. Jesus also said, “He who has been forgiven much, for gives much. But he who has been forgiven little, forgives little.” I am one who has been, and continues to be, forgiven much. Perhaps that is why I am willing to give Bro. Reed the benefit of the doubt when it comes to repentance and forgiveness.

    I hope after I have been in ministry for 33 years or so I can come back with something better than, “that [statement] is self-righteous.” This is a case where you have read what you wanted to read instead of interracting with the content of my thoughts. I’m glad that you have never had to hear things about someone else’s mother. (I also spent some time in the military, and come from a military family. It’s not always pleasant there either.) It is not pleasant and it is not edifying. But as I said in my original post, I was not defending Reed’s use of the statement. What I was doing, however, was suggesting that perhaps he had repented and needed to be rebuked quietly and in an uplifting way instead of being smeared. How does acting the way he acts change his behavior?

    How does anyone benefit when everyone lowers themselves to a standard instead of raising themselves above it?

    Next time, friend, try interract with the substance of a conversation instead of taking it all so personally. Still, I think you should visit a local high school and eat lunch with the kids. It might just change the way you think and the way you preach.

    jerry

    ps–I hope after 33 years of becoming a disciple by being a preacher I learn half as much as you have evidently learned in yours. And I hope I never forget what it is like to be outside of the grace of God as you evidently have.

  13. “I hope after 33 years of becoming a disciple by being a preacher I learn half as much as you have evidently learned in yours. And I hope I never forget what it is like to be outside of the grace of God as you evidently have.”

    You are sarcastically disingenous. And your personal judgments mirror those you criticize.

  14. Rick,

    If that’s all you can take away from everything I have said, then that is decidedly your problem.

    The name of Christ continues to be sullied by the arrogance of people who are so near-sighted that they can’t see the grace of God in anyone but themselves. It has not been sullied by those of us who walk in His grace and share it with others in every way possible. You are the one who limits grace–you, Slice, Apprising–not me, not Tim Reed, not Chris Lyons. This conversation is about the sort of people Jesus warned about: They go half way around the world to make a disciple and then make him twice as much a son of hell than before he was saved. How can we so quickly have forgotten about who you used to be?

    I’ll tell you why we should weep: Because too many Christians think they have arrived at perfection, so they shake their heads and weep at others instead of at themselves. That is why we should weep: Too many Christians are interested in their own perfection instead of getting their hands dirty by interracting with the dead, the lost, the hopeless.

    But I know: I don’t know you or what you do. So I repent that I have judged you unfairly. That is not disingenous. Still, I hope I never forget what it is like because I know what I am in Christ and what I hope never to be again in the flesh.

    jerry

  15. WOW, Goodl Stuff. Ken Silva, Ingrid, Jim and Rick all in one comment thread. Exposing a sin already forgiven. I love how they call themselves ministers! Good Stuff.

  16. “It is not outrage that we are lacking, it is grace, forgiveness, restoration, and humility. We are plenty outraged. We are not enough humbled.

    —That is a great quote!

  17. “I’ll tell you why we should weep: Because too many Christians think they have arrived at perfection, so they shake their heads and weep at others instead of at themselves. That is why we should weep: Too many Christians are interested in their own perfection instead of getting their hands dirty by interracting with the dead, the lost, the hopeless.”

    I’m so glad that you’ve pointed out how judgmental I am, as well as Jim and Ingrid. Man, did you even read what you wrote in that quote above? And now that you’ve finished congratulating yourself that you’re not like those OTHERS; you still think WE’RE the Pharisees?

    Better look a little closer at the parable jerry, looks like you’re being pretty inconsistent with your self-righteous twaddle above.

  18. WOW!

    Ingrid, Jim, and Ken in all one place.

  19. Ken,

    With all do respect, you really need to learn how to read. Notice that my pronouns are inclusive–with the exception of where I point out that you and others limit the grace of God to a standard you have established. Everything else I said was inclusive–which means it includes me. I never called you a Pharisee, but If you have felt that punch, how is that my problem? I’m just relating what the word of God says to ALL OF US. I’m fully prepared to admit that I am a sinner saved by grace and I have done so numerous times now. You seem to be the one who has no concept of repentance or grace.

    Look at again at what I criticized in the post I wrote about Slice. Look again at what I said. I’m not being inconsistent. I criticized someone for saying that a brother in Christ is an enemy of Christ. That is just wrong. That is the gist of my criticism and you seem to be avoiding that for some reason. Look at my posts concerning grace at this blog. Look at my Musings page. Look at the Dan Goldfinch page. I’m not congratulating myself, I’m weeping with you. That is what you are failing to notice in your efforts to justify your graceless attitude towards those who preach the Gospel, those whose views differ from yours. Again, I did not criticize you for calling out Tim Reed. It’s there; read it over again and stop taking me out of context.

    How typical: When you have nothing better to say resort to the ‘you are so self-righteous’ card. That’s real mature. Do you have an original thought? And to think that I have recommended your blog to others.

    But if I have offended you, I am sorry. My original intent was to in some sort of way mediate a spirit of forgiveness and peace in the Body of Christ. I’m trying hard to interract with ideas that people have. I am sorry if you have misunderstood me, or if I have offended you.

    jerry

    ps–‘Self-righteous twaddle.’ That’s classic. I agree with your assessment. Here’s to the Grace of God covering even my sin of self-righteousness (which, according to your definition means something like, “I think my ideas are more valid than yours and I’m telling you about it.” Other than that, the term ‘self-righteous’ is an oxymoron since there is no righteousness in man, only filthy rags. As it is, Christ is our righteousness. I’ll repent for thinking that I hold the opinion that your ideas are graceless and pray that God will forgive me.

  20. Joe,

    Thanks a lot for the encouragement. I’m glad there are a few people in the world who understand what I am saying. It has been a long day trying to get certain people to understand that I am talking about peace in the Body of Christ. I appreciate your thoughts.

    jerry

  21. Rick Freuh,
    Let us call hypocrisy as we see it here. Is Ingrid still a woman? Is Tim Reed still ordained? Have you not loudly wailed against females rebuking pastors in public? But not when it is against something you disagree with?
    Oh and your question about how what Tim said not trumping everything else? That’s the beauty of Grace Rick, it does trump everything. Even your apparent hypocrisy.

  22. “I am sorry if you have misunderstood me, or if I have offended you.”

    No reason for feeling sorry jerry. No harm done. Neither happened.

  23. E.G.

    Great post. Thanks for that.

    I used to read “Slice” fairly regularly, but got tired of the judgmental and caustic tone there.

    Then I started reading “Sliced,” but the same has happened there as well (though, on the other side of the ledger).

    It is good to see that someone still sees and writes in perspective.

    To all: why not either discuss the issues in a reasoned manner, as would befit a seminary (or similar place)…

    …or just abandon the blog yelling all together, and get out there and be a light in a dark, dark world.

    Then, in the latter (preferable) case, come back to tell us about the work that Christ is doing among the unsaved that you interact with.

  24. chris

    Hi Ken! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (I would have extended my salutation on your blog but…you know)

    Jerry appreciate your thoughts.

    Blessings.

  25. Chris,

    That is the funniest thing I have read all day. I just spit cheese ball all over my computer monitor and Coke is coming out of my nose. I’m serious, that is funny.

    jerry

  26. EG,

    Thanks for stopping by. I agree: Light to a dark world instead of darkness in the light.

    jerry

  27. chris

    Anytime Jerry.

    From what I read over at CRN.info you could use a laugh.

    And again; I appreciate your words and the apparent heart behind them.

    Blessings

  28. E.G. I would love to share with you what God is doing in the world around me but I’m rather certain the ***ahem*** “discernment ministries online” would find some way to slam me or my church. Happy New Year

  29. E.G.

    Joe… understood.

    However, it would be much more edifying than much of what I see on Slice or Sliced.

    Anyhow, happy new year too!




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