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Sometimes when I search for pictures, I simply type the first phrase that comes to me. Today’s phrase: rubber meets the road and this is what popped up:
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Yes, skid marks. I’m slamming on the brakes to discuss this. Tim Challies is going off on discernment bloggers today on his most recent blog article and I posted about it in the comments of yesterday’s article. Reader, Sergius Martin-George asked me this:
So what bothers you the most about the poor, beleaguered Mr. Challies’ apologia, JA? Do tell. Inquiring minds and all that…
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I wasn’t planning on posting this, but after Sergius’ comment, I figured I would go ahead. To understand why I got all worked up, be sure to read the article:
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Sergius and readers, here are my rambling thoughts. Below is one of the quotes from Tim Challies’ article – – the “they” he is referring to is “discernment blogs”:
They are the playground bullies of the Internet, shaking their fists and demanding your lunch money; if you give it to them you go hungry, if you don’t give it to them, you get your head shoved in a toilet. Where the Bible calls us to approach conflict with equal parts truth and love, discernment bloggers operate by lies and fear–or half-truths and fear at the very least. It is an intimidating combination if you are the one who may face their wrath.
I have a hunch that one of the blogs he is referring to is The Wartburg Watch (TWW) blog. Deb of TWW recently posted this article:
Look at Tim’s recent article title: In the Crosshairs of the Discernment Bloggers.
Is it a coincidence that the phrase “cross hairs” is in both titles – – – especially since Wartburg Watch’s article was just a month ago? What do you think?
Here’s another concern:
If a well-known ministry is teaching heresy and leading people to hell or systemically promoting or allowing abuse of children, I am certain we can find someone to do a real and honest investigation, to verify the facts, to talk to the people involved, and to determine if this is the case. If it is, I will join in sounding the alarm.
I have sounded the alarm to Challies about the Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) fiasco. I am certainly not the only one. He has me blocked on Twitter because I asked him the tough questions. Why does he not sound the alarm?
Here’s where I stand on the issue. It does not demonstrate love by remaining silent on issues of abuse. It is love to call for action from those in positions of authority who have a platform to do something.
Challies says that discernment bloggers are operating in fear:
The second lesson is one I am surprised I did not see before: Discernment bloggers often operate by fear. They are intimidating because of their willingness to release information and misinformation, to speculate and fabricate, to share personal details and confidential correspondence and to stretch what doesn’t quite fit.
Fear? This is most bizarre. No, discernment bloggers aren’t afraid to call people in authority figures to action. That’s not fear. They are emboldened by love to action.
I need to identify one thing that is glaring so obviously at me. Challies is talking about discernment bloggers as the mean bullies. He spent a lot of time in his article discussing that lies or half-truths were said about him, defending his reputation. It seems he is projecting the fear he has. He is playing the victim card. I’m not buying it. Fear blocks comments. Fear blocks Twitter accounts. Fear shuts down communication. Fear of what? Fear of truth exposed? Fear that maybe his friends and acquaintances really are those who cover up abuse in churches and leave a trail of victims?
What Dee/Deb, others, and I stand for are the victims. Why is there so much focus on Challies himself and so little on victims, the ones who have no voice?
The role of a pastor or church leader is to help people make decisions and discern truth, not to act like they are the Holy Spirit. The way his blog post is written, he expects everyone to believe him at his word – to follow him blindly based on what he says, in which blogs to follow and not to follow. Is this something he should be deciding for us? If he thinks people are lying, then he needs to name them so that people can judge for themselves, using their own discernment and following the Holy Spirit’s leading, not the Tim Challies leading.
He calls discernment bloggers as schoolyard bullies. Can someone please hand Tim Challies a mirror? Did he not do what he is claiming others are doing? Which bloggers are schoolyard bullies? We want to see. How is he defining a discernment blog? Does he not have discernment articles? As someone mentioned in the comments, Pyromaniacs has discernment articles – are they discernment blogs?
Challies is indeed connected with Sovereign Grace Ministries as stated on his church’s affiliation page.
Here is a compilation of book reviews from The Boar’s Head Tavern blog: Book Reviews
I know that Challies recently reviewed Josh Harris’ new book. I saw Josh’s tweet about it and also it went through my FB newsfeed. That’s another connection.
Tim Challies, instead of hiding behind words bashing “discernment bloggers,” really needs to come clean himself. He has chosen to live a life in the public spotlight. God has given him a very unique gift of having a public platform and friends and acquaintances who are church leader. Is he using it in a way that is honoring to God and all of God’s people, including ones with no voices who have been hurt/abandoned by their own church leaders?
Challies, because of his position, shouldn’t feel threatened when people are concerned about his finances/connections/acquaintances. His position demands transparency and open dialogue. Tim is a pastor, very popular blogger, co-owner of a publishing company, and author. He is a very public figure. It doesn’t look good to have affiliations, book reviews, etc, with leaders in Sovereign Grace Ministries and pretend that there is no real problem there and there are no victims. Enough is enough.
Tim, in his blog article, seems to come across as a victim. He is not a victim. Instead, in my opinion, he uses his platform to complain about how people have called him to account. This story gets so old with me. I know for a fact that many times when a victim sees yet another pastor fail to hear their cries, it triggers abandonment issues, questions about who God is, whether He is there for them. It makes them question in their mind are all pastors like this? And this, folks, is the primary reason I am frustrated – it’s about the true victims and yet Challies has turned it around to blame discernment bloggers, missing yet another opportunity to call to account abuse in church which so many discernment bloggers keep blogging about. Not only that, he is dragging his buddy pastors/church leaders alongside. And that just makes me a little irritated.
It’s shameful. End of rant.
Edited to add: SGMSurvivors has added an article on this topic: Tim Challies has No Room for Discernment Bloggers