Friday, July 07, 2006

Regarding Blog Comments

It has always been my intention to allow open comment on The Seventh Sola. By and large I will continue to do so. However, I have removed the comments section in the post on Anne Lamott because some of the comments there got out of hand and became personal.

It is always regrettable when brothers and sisters in Christ disagree so intensely that tempers get out of hand. The biblical pattern for such things is to forgive each other and move on. I do forgive any offense toward me wholeheartedly. And I apologize where offense was given. None was intended.

However, I make no apologies for my view on the ISSUES that post was intended to address. My writing style at times is rankling to some because I do not mince words when important issues are at stake. I am direct, blunt, at times sarcastic, and forceful in articulating my position. I am hopeful and prayerful that my position on all issues will always be biblical.

I pray for God's grace to be gentle when gentleness is called for, but not to shrink back from a sharp rebuke when that is needed. I also pray for the humility to accept correction if I stray doctrinally, or engage in unbiblical behavior. I have no desire to offend anyone just for the sake of offending them. I am not talking about those who are what I call the "professionally offended," or those who use being offended as a defense mechanism. I am talking about offending someone either through a sinful attitude or action, with malice, or some other evil attitude of the heart.

So, there you have it. I have not yet engaged "comment moderation" as I don't think I should have to proofread comments before I allow them. To date, I have only deleted unsolicited advertisements and one vulgar post that I can remember. All others have been allowed until today's exchanges. I hope that I don't have to mass delete again, because good comments get zapped in the process. And "good comments" include those who disagree with me on a biblical or doctrinal basis. But when it begins getting personal, I reserve the right to delete.

9 comments:

crownring said...

Understood, Sola.

To all posters:

If my words have caused offense, I apologise wholeheartedly for doing so. While I'm certainly not one to sky away from controversial topics or to write plainly at times, I have no wish to cause difficulties between my brothers and sisters in Christ and myself.

Thank you.

crownring

Primitive Person said...

Man alive, your hypocrisy is quite staggering. You say you don't like personal attacks, yet you rip into and tear apart anyone who disagrees with you even slightly.

Talk about bringing the message of Christ into disrepute. Your holier-than-thou attitude is quite sickening.

So, you disagree with Ann Lamott. Engage with what she's saying, but don't tear into personal attacks. Did Jesus ever do this? I don't think he did.

SolaMeanie said...

Abby, posting under another name to launch an attack is a bit dubious, don't you think? Please don't do it again.

I removed the comments section on the Lamott post from sight because things got out of hand and now you are beginning again under another name. You have objected to troll-like behavior in others before, so why are you engaging in it?

More than anything else, the removal of those comments was an attempt to show you a bit of mercy. If anyone is getting personal here, you have to look no further than in the mirror. I can repost the comments if necessary to prove my point. They speak for themselves and they really don't reflect well on you.

It is not a personal attack to confront sin and false teaching in a false teacher, no matter how much you try to make it so. If you continue on in this manner, I will have no choice but to prohibit you from posting here.

I feel badly we had to cross swords like this, but I won't back down on this issue. If you find my viewpoints so bothersome, don't read them, and I mean that kindly.

I wish you all of God's best as you continue to serve Him.

SolaMeanie said...

One thing to add to the above and in response to your question about Jesus. I suggest you read what He had to say to certain false teachers in His midst. He called them liars, hypocrites, whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

He also confronted the woman at the well, albeit more gently. She was not a teacher.

Primitive Person said...

It's not Abby. It's her husband. I have an identity of my own...but needless to say we share a computer.

I'm shocked at your arrogance and self-righteousness, and strongly suggest you do a Bible study on humility.

That's said entirely without malice - I really feel you need to do it.

I've got a blog as well, do drop by and say hello.

Abby said...

Sola,

Hi, it's Abby here.

I live with my husband Splee, and needless to say we discuss with each other the interactions I have on the internet. He felt moved to post, and I counselled him not to bother as I didn't realy think there was anything else to say on the subject, but he did anyway.

I'm shocked and upset that you think I would "troll" under another name. I've never done that. Never seriously anyway, I might have done it for fun (not malice) on the IMDb, but I don't believe in messing about with my identity online. The fact that you instantly assume I am doing something underhand and dishonest reflects badly on you. I'm not like that.

I don't think there's anything else to say about Ann Lamott - you've made your position clear and so have I - and never the twain shall meet. So there you go. Not much else to say really.

But please apologise for assuming I was trolling you. If you notice I didn't even post comment no 18 (or whatever it was) until AFTER I discovered you had been badmouthing me on another blog. I was willing to let it lie at that point. I've told you before I don't really see much point Christians arguing amongst themselves.

Hoping to move on now,

Abby

SolaMeanie said...

Abby and Mr. O...

I will be happy to apologize for assuming the comments was Abby's. When I looked at the blog profile link and saw the name, you can understand why I reached that conclusion. In the past, Abby had remarked that you didn't post on message boards etc..so I didn't think anyone else was involved. However, I was wrong to jump to that conclusion. My sincere regrets.

As to your (both of you) charges of arrogance and hypocrisy, it is very hard to disprove a negative. I'll only say that this is baseless, and anyone who really knows me would tell you that. Those of us who are engaged in apologetics ministry are often accused of that, because apologetics by its very nature is confrontational. I would also think the fact that I am engaged in full time ministry might mean something in terms of at least granting that I might know what I am talking about. Would either of you chew your pastor out like this if he preached a sermon on people in the congregation living an immoral lifestyle while claiming to be devout, faithful Christians? And in more connection with what I was talking about, what if a teacher in the church or an associate pastor was doing this? And unrepentantly! I know full well you both would not approve of such a thing, so I am surprised that you would chide someone in public ministry for dealing with this stuff.

Abby, I didn't think I "badmouthed" you on another blog. I didn't even mention any names. While I can't recall my exact words without hunting for it, I did mention the argument and that someone was giving me grief over my comments. However, I will apologize for that as well. I have no wish to insult either of you personally, despite our disagreement.

I hope to move on now as well, but I hope you will allow me to make this final point about your last line above. I can email you the comments from the Lamott post if you like. If you don't see much point in Christians arguing, can't you see that when you throw a challenge or confrontation to what I write, I am going to respond to it. If I agree, great. If I am wrong, I'll admit it. But if I believe I am right, I am not going to accept a rebuke for it. That is not arrogance or self-righteousness.

You both wouldn't believe the grief and sleepless nights I have sometimes over these issues. Abby, you know my health is rotten, and I may well be facing something terminal with my liver situation. I would love nothing more than to just retire from it and go fishing, or at least do a ministry that is light, airy and easy. But if the Lord calls you to a specific ministry and has gifted you for this, you can't forsake it. He will hold me personally accountable if I DON'T speak.

Warm regards,
Joel

crownring said...

At the risk of saying something that will only ignite this situation further, I have something to say to Abby and Splee.

Dear Abby,

I was rather shocked when you went on the attack against Sola over his condemnation of Anne Lamont's lifestyle. Apparently you are not familiar with with the woman and her teachings and her lifestyle that goes completely against everything Christ and the apostles taught. That there is a portion of the church (EC) that actually fawns over this woman and engaged in endorsing her hypocrisy is literally stomach churning. Would you support a pastor or a Sunday School teacher who chose to openly live in sin? Would you want this person teaching your children about morality? That is exactly what Anne Lamont is doing, Abby. supposedly teaching people about God while living a lifestyle that is completely contrary to His Word. Dr. Gleason's comments were also aimed at the hypocrisy of a woman who claims to be a Christian and yet openly admits to feeding a man pills, fully knowing the pills would lead to his death. If this isn't a case of capitol murder, what is? Since when do Christians take life and death into their own hands except in times of war?

Dear Splee,

I find it highly disturbing that you chose to get involved in a situation without even seeing what Abby and Sola wrote back to each other. I do understand your desire to defend your wife, but you have let EMOTION rule over facts and the truth. I did see it and made the deliberate choice to not involve myself in its increasing ugliness. Sola made the painful, yet wise choice to delete it rather than allow it to continue to cause friction that would serve the devil's cause, not God's. In response, you have called a man you don't know from a hedgehog and have never spoken to before a hypocrite on the basis of blog entries you didn't even see and could easily be unintentionally misrepresented.

Abby and Splee,

Now before you start calling ME unjust names as well, let it be known that I am not Sola's "yes" woman and if your positions were reversed I'd be telling him exactly what I'm telling you. Sola knows that I do not agree with him on some issues, (particularly on the roles of women in the church) but he has been willing to hear me out for the sake of discussion and understanding. I have never known Sola to be anything but open to other points of view as long as they were presently honestly and without rancor. Without trying to be mean, Abby, I've been reading your blog and I know you are going through a rough time right now, but you are misdirecting your emotional angst. To put it bluntly, Sola is not responsible for your troubles and is unprepared to deal with your misplaced anger. You would be wise to find a more appropriate outlet for your rage because this isn't the place for it.

Now I've said ALL I'm going to say about this situation on this forum.

crownring/MamaTigeress

Abby said...

Sola,

When I say that I cannot see the point of Christians arguing what I mean, is that I think Christians should have arguments and the if they cannot resolve things they should not continue with the dispute (getting heated, personal comments etc). I would rather just agree to disagree than have a big fight that isn't going anywhere because nobody comes off the better from it. If you see what I mean.

Would I criticise my own pastor if he condemned someone living an immoral life? No, I wouldn't. But it all depends how he came across. If he came across as if he were condemning them for their wrong moral choices I would be critical, because noone is better than anyone else, we are all sinners, and to imply that we are somehow better than other people is wrong and will drive people away from God. If people don't see that we rely on God's grace every day they will assume we are self-righteous and think ourselves better than others. My problem is not what you are but *how you come across* in your weblog. I'm not saying you *are* self-righteous, but that this is how you *come across* in a short weblog entry that could be stumbled across by any non-Christian weblog reader.

But I'm sure I'm repeating myself here and I know it's not really worth it. Sorry to hear about your illness, I am praying for you, and thankyou for apologising. I am sorry for any offence, I tried very hard to choose words that were helpful and not inflammatory. I try to engage in constructive and not destructive criticism.

Abby