Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mockery

What makes a blog like 'Discerning the World' so popular? It would seem to have such a narrow focus that one would expect it to have limited appeal - but I don't really know what the 'person in the pew' is thinking. The thing that I don't enjoy about the blog is the spirit of mockery that I find there.
As a preacher I have learnt to be very careful about mocking the things with which I disagree. It is is a very easy way of scoring cheap 'points'. It is quite easy to ridicule something and to get people to laugh and then they are somehow convinced that you are right and that those others are wrong. But they are cheap points - because we are wired deep down to side with the strong - and let's face it, those who are being laughed at are the weak. It is like the school playground where the class wimp has fallen in the mud and the school surrounds him and laughs and jeers. Or perhaps just watches. We know that we ought to go into the centre of the crowd and support him - but if our mockery is validated (we are told that this is appropriate behaviour) then we love to stand in the crowd and jeer. We feel strong, because we are not the one who is in the mud. We are part of the mocking crowd. We belong.
It is also cheap because we can usually find something to ridicule about everyone and their beliefs. We are not all 100% consistent and logical. But one or two silly spots doesn't necessarily invalidate us or our beliefs. Though, I must confess, that there are Christians who do seem to major in silly points and the ridiculous and these shouldn't be ignored either.
We had a speaker in seminary earlier this year. I can't remember anything that he said except that he was a mocking preacher. He mocked Joyce Meyer and her type. Then he mocked Rick Warren and his work. Then he indirectly mocked the Bible. He kind of lost credibility in my mind.
So I try hard not to mock when I preach.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny,

I listened to a solid expository sermon on Ephesians 4: 7-16 yesterday by a preacher called Tim Cantrell from Antioch Bible Church (http://antiochbiblechurch.org.za/Sermons/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=117:the-original-church-growth-strategy&catid=1:morning-services&Itemid=14). Amongst other things he addressed the necessity of Truth and Love to walk hand in hand together (Ephessians 4:15, “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”).

Although when I read the articles and comments I agree with much of the bent regarding Scripture (I like Deborah am a Dispensational, Conservative, Fundementalist) I to fail to see the Love component.

There again you and I (and Dion and David and Gus and Angus and John and...) disagree regarding matters of faith and yet the discussion is in Love and for edification.

God's less interested in web traffic than you might think.

Steve Hayes said...

I read "Discerning the world" a couple of times, mainly because they had attacked people I know, unfairly, I thought. But I haven't read it for a long time, because it's unedifying. You'll know them by their fruits, and from what I've seen, "Discerning the world" is all thistles.

It's full of lies and slander. They say what they are against but they never tell you what they are for. Now I think it's OK to be against things, by as G.K. Chesterton once said, the Jacobin could tell you the system he would rebel against, but he could also tell you the system he would not rebel against.

Thomas O. Scarborough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas O. Scarborough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi Jenny

I think your "discernment" of the "Discerning the world" website is a bit "unfair".

I know of two personal friends that where "rescued" from heresies because they read this site.
This is good fruit!

Regarding mockery... I read that Elijah did the same!

1Ki 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped about the altar which was made.
1Ki 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god: either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked.
1Ki 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them.

@ Thomas, You must be careful... you have fallen into the same "trap" that you warn others about. You have declared them "cranks" . . . are you now mocking too ?

Paul & Jesus was also called names so it must be ok then ....???

Thomas O. Scarborough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The different journalists on "Discerning the World" are all the same person, only one person writes it.

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

Incidentally Jenny, the reason for removing my posts here is that responses suggested that they may fall prey to mistaken interpretations. In that case, it would seem to make eminent sense to take them down.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Well, this could be a very interesting discussion. I wonder if we don't see in it (amongst more serious things) a battle of worldviews:
Pre modern - what I believe is true, because what I have been taught is true and I won't question it. Modern - let's try to understand, let's look around and ask questions, does this make sense in light of both faith and logic. Postmodern - I will interpret what I read in a way that makes sense to me - you may not challenge my interpretation based on the intention of the author. Logic and study may well be irrelevant.
Of course, there's much more to those worldviews and I've been a bit 'black and white', but it is interesting.
Thanks for all comments.

Anonymous said...

Ineteresting is a trace that is being done on Discerning the world, but traces take time. he/she/they are on an AFricNIC server , WebAfrica subscribers, located in JHB. Afrikaans language, connected with Win98. No name/s yet .

Dion Forster said...

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for the post. I laughed when I read the Discerning the World blog. My goodness! I wish I had the creativity (and time) to piece together such imaginary posts!

With regards to myself, and the few little bits about me and the ministries I serve in, I have long since found peace in the fact that I love Christ, and that there are others who don't like the manner in which I express that love for Christ.

In truth, I would not have known about this post if someone had not alerted me. I chose not to 'google' my name quite some time ago because I don't want to seek out controversy. I also don't want to spend my life explaining the way in which I experience my relationship with Christ and His world.

There's just too much else to do!

My advice is pay no attention to posts such as these. It is difficult enough to understand the subtlety and nuance of my own faith, yet alone to convince others that I fully understand theirs, or can help them to understand mine. I live my life each day in an attempt to be obedient to what God would have me do to participate in God's great work of bringing healing and transformation in the world. My part is far too small to be noteworthy, any much less worthy of significant comment or controversy!

In terms of the event, I enjoyed Turn2God - it was great to see Christians from many different cultures, age groups, denominations and theological perspectives gathering to give expression to their faith and express care for their nation.

I didn't agree with every speaker, or with every part of the program. But then, I don't always agree with my own sisters and brothers in the Methodist Church! I do, however, find enough to connect me with them (not the least of which is that we all share in the same inclusive grace of Christ), and enough reason to continue to try and influence responsible change and hope filled action for our nation and our world! And, I am even more thankful that they don't reject me for my imperfections or theological positions (there is plenty reason to do so!) I am truly inclusive - or at least I strive to be. That takes some measure of grace and some measure of restraint, but above all it takes love (much more love than I have, but I'm working on it!)

Be blessed in KZN!

Dion

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny, I've also read posts by 'Discerning The Word'. I find that their posts are unpopular considering their blogs examine doctrines of much more popular mainstream preachers in light of what scripture teaches. This is definitely not something that one would do if their goal is to gain followers or popularity. It's more of a death wish for an organization that presents itself as being Christian. I have found the blogs to be very well written and thorough. From what I've read, there is time & effort taken to make sure that scripture is rightly divided when challenging doctrine that they consider to be unbiblical. What I find troubling is that those that disagree with such blogs don't dispute the claims, they tend to argue against the claimer which amounts to an ad hominem argument. If they're wrong in there assessments, why not present scripture to that end instead of writing the blog off because their views are unpopular or deemed offensive? We're to 'earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints..." (Jude 1:3). It's our job to fight for truth. IF they're wrong, correct them properly with scripture and not opinion.

Ryan Peter said...

Personally, having some knowledge of Deborah from Discerning the World's testimony, I think I understand where she's coming from. She really has a wonderful testimony and God has done some wonderful things for her, and she also loves Jesus if you ask me.

Having said that, for me the real issue is one of fathering. There is no one around guiding her and helping her with what I would call a valid discernment ministry, to the point that she appears to be getting more paranoid by the day (a recent post on John Macarthur proves this point). Sometimes it feels like a witch-hunt, actually, which I agree is a strong thing to say, but nevertheless it probably needs to be said.

After she shared some of her background and the freaky stuff she was involved with to me once, I can understand her backlash to anything that looks in the least suspect. Unfortunately, I don't agree with her methods but can agree on some of what she says; yet I do often struggle to understand what she means. She's also human, after all, and fails badly just like I do at properly communicating.

I don't know if she would ever accept guidance from a pastor, though, or if she even has one, as a conversation around church accountability never got anywhere. At the end of the day, we will all have to give an account to Jesus Christ what we've said and done, and that gives me both comfort and concern, as I know what I've also said about people.

@ Smuggler,

I've seen many people love the Bible more thanks to the ministries of people like, ahem, Brian McLaren. Are you going to validate Brian McLaren's ministry, which I assume you would call heresy? You might say McLaren is wrong on many things, yet the fruit of his ministry has been both good and bad. This is because people have many different backgrounds and language is a very difficult thing.

The fruits of EVERY ministry have been both good and bad. You can check out anyone in history, and you will find someone somewhere got hurt or went into heresy in some way or something went wrong.

'By their fruits you will know them' isn't referring so much as to how many people get saved or grow through a ministry. You do know that many people have been genuinely saved at a Benny Hinny gathering? Again, I suspect this is another one you would say is a heretic. Are you prepared to validate his ministry because people have gotten genuinely saved through his ministry?

Remember, many will say "Lord, Lord" and even have had cast out demons. These are good things. Yet the Lord says He doesn't know them? That challenge is not just to be used for those who you may claim are false teachers, but on yourself and those who you feel are OK as well.

The fruits go hand in hand with 'by this they will know you are my disciples, if you love one another'. Therewith the real challenge.

I can see a lot of love happening between Deborah and her friends at her blog, which is good. It would be nice if the love could extend further than that, and I think it should, but perhaps it does yet I just don't understand Deborah's way of loving. The written language can be a very difficult thing.

Discerning the World said...

Ryan

Oh man you are so smooth. But not smooth enough to actually be taken seriously.

You have caused nothing but grief for me and others on my website and then you come and act 'all loving' on others blogs - supposedly speaking nice things about me.

Ah yes, that's the emerging way, 'love, whether it's fake or not, just loveee.'

And yes you are still banned.

Ryan Peter said...

Still love you Deborah whether you like it or not :)

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thank you all for the discussion. May God bless those who responded with love, those who responded with wisdom, those who responded with humour and those who responded with hurt. May his light shine in each of our hearts.

Amanda said...

Jenny

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'd forgotten that song. Great sixties feel. Listen free at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EegRh8Z4H-o

Deborah (Discerning the World) said...

Ryan

Oh btw, I know your discernment feelers are broken so I thought I would just let you know that Brian McLaren has declared that he does not believe in God.

Oops for you.

Deborah (Discerning the World) said...

Dion

Just incase your miss it:

http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/17/dion-forster-and-the-drive-by-rebuking-video/

Send my regards to Rev Thomas. I just know he will back you up.

Deborah (Discerning the World) said...

oops, typo 'just in case you miss it'

AND, I need to add the 'love component' to my comments. I keep forgetting. Here are my love words:

love, happiness, joy, light, rays, rainbows, grace, cosmic, unity.

Anonymous said...

Deborah = Danie Strydom. That's discernment! :-)

Anonymous said...

Wanna see a photo of D? http://www.lifestylec.com/contact-us.html

Deobrah (Discerning the World) said...

Anonimouse

Um, dude. LifeStyle C was posting my articles on their website from 2008 alreasy. I contacted then later via email to register my domain for me. The technical support name registered is Danie Strydom.

That is very easy to find on the internet by doing a whois on a domian.

Am I Danie Strydom? NO!
Am I affiliated with LifestyleC. NO!
Are they to me? NO!
Have they even met me? NO!
Do they care who I am? NO!


Are you a chop? YES!

Deborah (Discerning the World) said...

oh mee oh myyyy...I just learnt today what a popular blog can do.

See traffic does count :)
Sorry I knocked you off the top 3 list. It really was not my intention.

I sincerily appolgise for any harm I caused you. I can't mention your name.

Can I quote a comment from above?

"Thank you all for the discussion. May God bless those who responded with love, those who responded with wisdom, those who responded with humour and those who responded with hurt. May his light shine in each of our hearts."

Can I add this... "And those who reponded with hate" See you at the next Global Day of Prayer - this should be interesting.

Amanda said...

Jenny

From the point of Light within the Mind of God

Let light stream forth into the minds of men,

Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God

Let love stream forth into the hearts of men,

May Christ return to Earth.

From the centre where the Will of God is known

Let purpose guide the little wills of men -

The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the centre which we call the race of men

Let the plan of Love and Light work out

And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

Geoff said...

Hi Jenny,
I was the one who had most of my comments deleted by "Discerning The World" aka Deborah.
She accused me of posting unbiblical nonsence and that all my responses to posts were "Babble".

It seems that she is more concerned about being the no. 1 Blog than being truthful. To stay there she defames SO MANY OF THE GOD GIVEN MINISTRY gifts to the church that Jesus gave.

Jenny I HOPE YOUR BLOG GOES TO no.1
Below are the posts, some of which were deleted by Deborah.
We as Christians should also not be "discerning the WORLD - we have no place being the World Judge.
We should rather discern the WORD.

THE POSTS EVERYONE WANTED TO READ.

Will post seperately because of character space limitation.

Geoff said...

THE POSTS

Hello Deborah,

First of all can you allow me the picture of choice that appears next to my name on my comments because I certainly did not choose it.
Secondly, I watched both You-Tube streams concerning the comments on John McArthur "denying the blood of Christ for forgiveness of sin" & do not in any way understand why you are bashing this man of God, honestly I cannot.

I have a challenge for you. If you are standing for TRUTH, then allow me to debate ON ONE CONDITION!!!!!

Because you are the moderator of this Blog, you can simply delete any comments I make. Now, of course we all understand that swearing & basic hate speech etc. is unaceptable.

BUT if it is within the bounds of international norms of opinion & debate, I would like you to take up my challenge.

Now if you delete my comments for any other reason than stated above, then I would not respond, because then all reading this blog would realise that I am "Silenced"

So if you have any spunk, lets "talk" or are you no longer so sure of your "standing for the TRUTH".

If you are, and you sincerely believe you are, then you should have no problem in taking up my challenge.!!!!!

The points of debate would be:

I quote your comment "WoF and other people say that Jesus took on our sin on the cross, that is the most satanic thing ever. If Jesus took our sin on the cross, then he was no longer a perfect sacrifice and His Blood would be tainted".

Standing for the truth of God's Word AND our final judge would be exactly that, the Word of God.

Bashing the same body you are part of i.e. the body of Christ & the error in doing this.

Now, the condition I am asking for in all fairness is, if you accept, then I would like to register a new blog which you must in fairness post on your comments/reply to me for all to see, so that IF in the event that you as the adminstrator play unfair in regulating comments, then all readers following this blog can access my challenge/response etc.

I dare you to stand up for the truth which you so advocate, and if you do not, I doubt you really do stand for biblical truth.

Now please do not chicken out, I have asked for a SIMPLE right to reply, without you deleting me into the darkness of the unread blogosphere.

Will you truthfully take up my challenge? I mean after all, if you are so confident you would have nothing to lose?

I simply want to put it out to your readers that what you call correcting false doctrine might very well be in itself false doctrine!

Come on take up my challenge, you & I might learn a thing or two. On the other hand your readers might also learn much. lastly, I do not want to bash you per say, but surely will defend the truth against your false misconceptions. Sorry but as much as you think you take up the mantle for truth, please may I have the right to challenge you on the authority of God's word & nothing else.

Geoff said...

SOME MORE POSTS

Deborah,

I realize that you cannot be up for 3 sleepless nights without having to be responsible for earning a living etc. so I suggest we have an agreement that within a week at most, responses & replies would be posted.

I await your favourable affirmation in taking up this challenge seeing that you are standing for the truth as you so often say.

I posted a public challenge to Deborah which she deleted, so she is not willing to defend her defamatory statements about John Ma Arthur and some looney statements For Example:

QUOTE by Deborah

"WoF and other people say that Jesus took on our sin on the cross, that is the most satanic thing ever. If Jesus took our sin on the cross, then he was no longer a perfect sacrifice and His Blood would be tainted". - End of Qoute.

So how is it that you would not like to engage me on these issues publicly if you are standing for the truth. I honestly do not think you could recognize the truth if it were dressed in a King James screen-printed suite!

Or will this comment also be deleted?

So much for debate, views & "maybe" some insight, even if it just learning not to bash everyone, give them an opportunity to reply to what you write & POST IT in all fairness.

"Only your point of view, the ones that differ - Recycle bin & delete permanently is not even common journalistic ethics worldwide.

Did you copy your posts to john Mcarthur & invite him to respond?

COMMON COURTESY ...... ethics ..........Christianity in its most basic form would have invited the person to respond to what you are writing about him/her. If not, you are guilty of bashing people of God without the proper channel of "if your brother ofends you go to him.............. NOT bash publicly.
Have you gone to your brother John McArthur first before you publicly defamed him?

I Quote again part of my deleted comment “Now please do not chicken out, I have asked for a SIMPLE right to reply, without you deleting me into the darkness of the unread blogosphere.
Will you truthfully take up my challenge? I mean after all, if you are so confident you would have nothing to lose?
I simply want to put it out to your readers that what you call correcting false doctrine might very well be in itself false doctrine!
Come on take up my challenge, you & I might learn a thing or two. On the other hand your readers might also learn much. lastly, I do not want to bash you per say, but surely will defend the truth against your false misconceptions. Sorry but as much as you think you take up the mantle for truth, please may I have the right to challenge you on the authority of God’s word & nothing else”.
The readers who read this, need to ask for themselves “Is this religious Babble?

Geoff said...

Last Post
Deborah deleted

DELETED COMMENT (By deborah - Discerning The WORD - oops WORLD.

Posted again below,
Because you are the moderator of this Blog, you can simply delete any comments I make. Now, of course we all understand that swearing & basic hate speech etc. is unaceptable.
BUT if it is within the bounds of international norms of opinion & debate, I would like you to take up my challenge.
Now if you delete my comments for any other reason than stated above, then I would not respond, because then all reading this blog would realise that I am “Silenced”
So if you have any spunk, lets “talk” or are you no longer so sure of your “standing for the TRUTH”.
If you are, and you sincerely believe you are, then you should have no problem in taking up my challenge.!!!!!
The points of debate would be:
I quote your comment “WoF and other people say that Jesus took on our sin on the cross, that is the most satanic thing ever. If Jesus took our sin on the cross, then he was no longer a perfect sacrifice and His Blood would be tainted”.
Standing for the truth of God’s Word AND our final judge would be exactly that, the Word of God.
Bashing the same body you are part of i.e. the body of Christ & the error in doing this.
Now, the condition I am asking for in all fairness is, if you accept, then I would like to register a new blog which you must in fairness post on your comments/reply to me for all to see, so that IF in the event that you as the adminstrator play unfair in regulating comments, then all readers following this blog can access my challenge/response etc.
I dare you to stand up for the truth which you so advocate, and if you do not, I doubt you really do stand for biblical truth.
Now please do not chicken out, I have asked for a SIMPLE right to reply, without you deleting me into the darkness of the unread blogosphere.
Will you truthfully take up my challenge? I mean after all, if you are so confident you would have nothing to lose?
I simply want to put it out to your readers that what you call correcting false doctrine might very well be in itself false doctrine!
Come on take up my challenge, you & I might learn a thing or two. On the other hand your readers might also learn much. lastly, I do not want to bash you per say, but surely will defend the truth against your false misconceptions. Sorry but as much as you think you take up the mantle for truth, please may I have the right to challenge you on the authority of God’s word & nothing else.
I realize that you cannot be up for 3 sleepless nights without having to be responsible for earning a living etc. so I suggest we have an agreement that within a week at most, responses & replies would be posted.
I await your favourable affirmation in taking up this challenge seeing that you are standing for the truth as you so often say.