Crumbs of truth

The following BLOG from Scott Gamel really highlighted something to me that will probably continue to be more and more of a problem in the future. It talks about online discernment ministires (ODM’s). Please read it:

http://fiercegrace.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/the-speck-chasers/

Scott’s last paragraph said:

What you need to “discern” is what has so poisoned your soul that you feel led to “bite and devour” and to speak whatever crumb of truth you might stumble upon completely devoid of love.

I actually sent an e-mail to a guy that runs biblical discernment ministries a few years back. I really saw this guy as just not liking any Christian author at all. He was a self proclaimed Christian fundamentalist. Not a good response back to me,

These BLOGS are VERY common that tout this kind of attitude and theology. They all sound very much the same and pretty much speak “crumbs” of truth without the Cross being central to how they see God. These kinds of ministries are becoming more common as people try their hands at online theology. As I have stated before — this fundamental legalism is the default mode of the human heart so we always need to examine its roots in our own hearts.

I frequent at least one BLOG hoping to soften their critique of all the people out there. However, my feeling is it wont happen unless I have a real relationship with these kinds of people.

My opinion is these kinds of discernment ministries will become more numerous in our high tech age.

JS

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8 thoughts on “Crumbs of truth

  1. theoldadam

    Jon,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head here.

    ‘Fundamentalism’, for all it’s good qualities (like people actually read and take the Bible seriously) can really be dangerous because many of these poor folks don’t know how to read the bible.

    This is where a proper discerning of God’s Law and God’s gospel comes in.

    It is crucial (in my mind anyway) to know when a passage is demanding something from you (law), and when a passage is promising you something (gospel).

    God has a different purpose in these two types of passages and if they are not properly distinguished, the Bible can very easily (just look around) be turned into a law book. A ‘how to’ book for Christian faith.
    This leads to (as you’ve already mentioned, Jon) legalism, and a kind of Christian schizophrenia.

    As you said, trying to understand where these folks are coming from and then correcting with love is the way to go about dealing with them.

    Then, if that doesn’t work, I usually just pour the law on them until the little edifice of self-righteousness they have built for themselves starts to crumble.

    And if that doesn’t work, I just slap the dust of my sandals and move on, praying for them as I go.

    Excellent post.

    – Steve M.

  2. spadinofamily

    I liked the title “Crumbs of truth”. MY other was truth amplifiers. The reason I say this is there is definitely some truth in what they say. The problem is that they don’t keep Jesus and the Cross central to their truth.

    Steve, I realize you are not a fan of the LCMS [even thought you are Lutheran] but I like the way they said it on their FAQ.

    “[LCMS] Lutherans believe that the central teaching of Scripture–and the key to understanding and interpreting the Bible-is the Gospel: the Good News of Salvation for sinners by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”

    JS

  3. Jon Spadino

    I just got an e-mail from a guy who did not post my comment on his BLOG because I was not taking the same EXTREME stance he did on the Purpose Driven Church and Rick W. I am not a fan of RW’s. However, I found their critique of him to be mostly WAY OUT THERE so I was considerably more moderate in my assessment of him. The common thread on this BLOG is basically always critique something out there.

    I basically said they were throwing the baby out with the bathwater They were going down the path of saying that ALL relational evangelism is bad.

    Here are his comments to me:

    ——————————————–

    Also, you are looking at all of this from a Church Growth perspective which I consider insidious and evil. So, if you want to continue to participate in discussion on my blog then you must consider that this stance will be withstood and not by just me.

    ——————————————–

    Outreach is in no way a bad thing — even creativity in doing so. Abiding by any one persons set of rules in areas of freedom are is basically adhering to the legalism of the pharisees. Anything you can do to get traffic into the pulpits and to preach the Gospel is a good thing.

    People are gifted in various ways. Lets rejoice in our different gifts and embrace these gifts to the Glory of our Lord.

    JS

  4. theoldadam

    Jon,

    Wow! Somebody is a little upset.

    I am with you Jon. I’m not crazy about the purpose driven stuff either, but I do want to make an effort to shut him, or anybody like him down.

    The next thing they’ll want to do is head over to Rome and shut them down.

    The Lord can cut through a lot of baloney to get His message through to whomever He wants. There are alive people in R. Warren’s church and there are dead ones in mine…and vice verse.

    Thanks for the LCMS link. I will check it out. There are many good and faithful churches and pastors in the LCMS and some that are maybe a little off. In my own denomination, we are loaded with wackos, but we have many good and faithful churches and pastors as well. The Lord will take care of His Church, no matter where they happen to be.

    But, with all that said, we as Christians still have the right to critique (we do not judge anyone’s salvation) churches and pastors who get the gospel wrong. I would say that in our congregation, those that we criticize the most fervently, are our own congregation.

    Thank you Jon! Keep up the good work!

    – Steve M.

  5. theoldadam

    Jon,

    Good points (both you last comments I like the mini-me analogy quite a bit).

    As far as critiqing is concerned, I wasn’t referring to critiquing sins. I meant criticism of Church doctrine. And methodology only in as far as it distorts church doctrine.

    If a pastor at a church is telling people that Christ never really rose from the grave, we are all, as Christians, entitled to, and many would say obligated to correct them, and tell others of the false teaching.

    However, Jesus also warned about trying to stop those who are not against you.

    When criticism is done it should be done respectfully, not publicly (unless it degenerates to that point) and with love, bearing in mind (as you’ve said) none of us has this stuff down perfectly. But scripture stands as our source for all matters in faith and life, so we do have something to go on.

    Thanks Jon!

    – Steve M.

  6. Pingback: Online Discernment Ministries and their mixed up truth « Gospel Centric Thinking

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