Saturday, December 23, 2006

And we're the crazy ones?

Anyone who thinks Christians are crazy needs to see this story from Yahoo! News. Yes, we feel that it is our right to say Merry Christmas, and we get a bit miffed about people saying Happy Holidays instead. But how many of us burn Christmas trees, American flags, and ourselves in the process?

(HT: John at Verum Serum)

Labels: ,

Friday, December 22, 2006

An Upcoming Project: The Gifts of the Wise Men

In the next couple of weeks (likely after the new year) I'll be working on a three part study of the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus. We all know they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but have you ever wondered about the significance of those three gifts? I have, and I'm going to do some digging and see what I can learn. I'm going to post what I find here, and I invite you to join me.


Time's Person of the Year

While I intend for this to be a blog dealing with news and issues within the Christian Church at large, I wanted to take a few minutes to mention Time magazine's announcement of their Person of the Year. And yes, this does relate to the church, as you'll see in a few moments.

If you haven't walked past a magazine rack yet this week, or you haven't seen the news stories (man, where have you been?), Time has named you (yes YOU) their "Person of the Year" for 2006. Why? Because, in their words, you, and I, and all of the millions of Internet users, have changed the information age. From social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, to YouTube, to the myriad of blogs that exist today, information and the way we share it has significantly changed in 2006. Blogger, the site that hosts this blog, along with and other blog hosting sites, have also played a big part in this, allowing anyone with access to the Internet to start a blog.

As with just about everything, the ease of entry into the blogosphere has it's positive and negative effects. While blogs and bloggers have added a myriad of unique perspectives on the news of the day, and can provide local content in a way that big news agencies can't match, it is also very easy for disinformation to spread. It's a bit like the chain emails we've all received on a variety of subjects. Have you seen the one about Target being French-owned? (It's not true, by the way). Unfortunately, the disinformation and half truths that can be (and have been) spread in the Christian blogosphere can be far more damaging. Their consequences can be eternal.

I say all that to say this: Whatever you read, be it here or anywhere else on the Internet, especially in the blogosphere, don't accept it as absolute truth. It's the old addage; don't believe everything you read. Read the blogs, certainly. But if something doesn't seem right, research it for yourself. Read something about what Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Life? Stop by the library or your local bookstore and check the citation for yourself. Read something about John MacArthur's latest book? Again, check it for yourself. Did someone cite a Scripture you're not familiar with? Crack open your Bible and look it up, and read the surrounding verses too. If you'd like to look at a different translation, Bible Gateway is a great resource. Above all, don't just accept what someone else says is true. Find out for yourself if it's true.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sliced Out of Laodicea *UPDATED*

It is with mixed emotions that I find I have earned the following badge, which will soon find a permanent home on the sidebar of While Rome Burns:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

That's right, fans and friends, I've been banned from commenting at Slice of Laodicea. While I don't know for sure, I suspect the ban was enacted by Rev. Ken Silva, pastoral advisor to the blog, sole contributor to Apprising Ministries, and pastor of Connecticut River Baptist Church in Claremont, NH. Ken is an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Convention, even while he decries the "emergent vipers" and "purpose driven madness of Rick Warren" that are "rapidly apostasizing" that denomination. Why he continues to hold his credentials in the SBC is a mystery to me. He tells me it's because a denomination's leadership doesn't make it apostate. If you figure that one out, let me know.

The ban came about (again, I can't confirm any of this) due to an exchange I had with Ken and a few other commenters at Slice about his recent post Rob Bell Your Fruit Is Showing. Apparently my only offense was pointing out flaws in Ken's logic, and later, taking offense at my faith and devotion to Christ being questioned. If that's all it takes to be banned from commenting at Slice, I feel sad for the contributors, and pray the Lord will open their eyes, that they may see how blind they truly are.

Yes, I said blind. They surround themselves with people who agree with their every word (aptly titled an "amen chorus" by Chris over at Fishing The Abyss), and when anyone disagrees, they allow only comments that can be picked apart easily to pass through the comment filter. Logical responses disappear into the ether. Those who continually disagree are forever banned from commenting. While I can understand the need for a filter with the myriad of spam bots on the Internet today, and I can certainly understand deleting malicious, mean-spirited, and just plain rude comments that add nothing to the discussion, their refusal to entertain opposing points of view says a lot about their character, and the lack of content and logic used in their posts.

As I've said so many times before, sometimes the irony of their posts is simply staggering.

*UPDATE*: Ingrid, the administrator and owner over at Slice, caught wind of this post, and has (if I'm reading her comment correctly) lifted my ban. So, I guess I have to take down the Slice-Shunned tag on the sidebar, for now at least. I do admit to jumping to conclusions, but I feel the conclusion was logical given Ken's track record in the past. As I have told Ingrid (via my comment section) I will continue commenting at Slice if I am allowed. She has conducted herself well even in disagreements on that blog. I wish I could say the same for Rev. Silva.