I have to admit I have now read several BLOG topics on some of the online discernment ministries. These ODMS probably have some good points they make at times. The author of the the Old Adam BLOG (Steve) and myself are not allowed to post on one BLOG anymore.
ODMS see themselves as the truth police or heretic police. Not all of their articles are wrong. My reading of them as they attempt to find “truth” is that the facts they present about people or ministries they dislike are usually overstated “minor” nitpicks that have no relevance on the main message the ministry or person was trying to present in the first place. I have followed several of these BLOG topics on their sites, I agree with a few points, but the other topics I have to ask myself why are you wasting so much time on this because its really not a big deal and your missing the bigger picture of what the ministry was trying to state. The truth was twisted since the truth they maintain is a twisted, slightly gnostic truth with elements of legalism and pharasaism. I actually posted another BLOG about ODM’s a while back that was inspired by Pastor Scott Gamel’s BLOG:
Indeed these ODMS have crumbs of truth that goes beyond legalism and are completely devoid of the two greatest commandments to love God and love others.
You wont see this the first time you read these Blogs but if you maintain a keen eye I hope you eventually see through some of the lies the ODM’s have to offer. Now, do not get me wrong, I believe you will find plenty of good information at these ODM sites too but you will also find these good articles inter-mixed and intertwined with plenty of witch hunts as these heretic hunters see the same truth the pharisees saw.
Also, Blogs that promote cultural and religious elitism (which ODMS will inevitably do) will always get plenty of readership and people to promote their ideas. Man wants to be seen as being on top, the best if you will. If we do this in religious ways, without a servants heart, we end up the same as the pharisees.
I also want to characterize the basic reasons why, I believe, ODMs have abused “truth”. The bible, of course, is the inspired, infallible word of God. But even inspired Christian leaders have interpreted scripture different from other Christian leaders.
Here is how the abuse of truth works in Christian circles. Its not that hard for all of us to do this so I want you to know I am holding a mirror to myself as I type this.
Truth, when the Gospel is not at our core, can lead to a sense of superiority because we have the truth and others do not have the same truth. This causes us to separate from other people because we see them as impure or less pure “sinners”. We then caricature these same people and make them one dimensional. They then become cartoonish with big ears and big noses and we amplify the impure traits to this overly simplified caricaturization of these impure people. This then leads to a passive or active repression of these impure people. Its a slippery slope that leads from truth, a sense of superiority, separation, caricaturization, and then passive or active repression. This, I believe, is a clear MO (mode of operation) of an ODM. Without the gospel, and keeping the cross at our core, this is how truth gets misapplied to becoming man centered.
Another trait of ODMs is they will have an inaccurate assessment of the humanistic tendencies and follies of man. They will condemn worldly idols by never blink an eye at religious idols. This shallow and narrow definition of sin will allow them to paint an incomplete picture of how the Gospel needs to work in the world. It will allow a certain side of sin to exist as they try to paint their “biblical” definition of truth. It will not allow a grace and mercy narrative to exist when dealing with people.
Anyhow, I am hoping people can respond with a list of these online discernment ministries so I can track them and point to people to this BLOG topic. As you read about the witch hunt these ODM’s are going on I recommend you actually read any books and articles from the person they are complaining about so you can make your own, informed decision as opposed to listening to a bunch of potential half truths (also half lies) that the ODMs offer. I will not make any judgements or calls on how good or bad these sites are but will lead a discussion on them only.
I also want to point out that many of these ODMs are anti-ministry distractions for where real ministry needs to take place… at the relationship level with real people where we show the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action. They may accurately portray the poor ministries of TV evangelists at times but they stretch themselves into attacks on valid ministries wasting time and effort on these anti-ministries. I was also thinking about ODMS as I wrote my BLOG topic Its Far Easier to Point Out Faults Than Offer the Gospel . Even if there was a good ODM, the satellite ODMs that link to the main ones often inadequately reflect the true Gospel.
Please list your “suspect” ODM site below and debate if you really think its an ODM site or not and why you think that way. Please post websites but do NOT post names here. I will bleep out or not post any responses with names used.