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Yes!!! Negative Press Rules!!

December 14, 2009

Hello Thomas Lovelies,

So, as you remember, Hemant and Ashley will be speaking at the Jubilee Conference, the national conference for the CCO. The CCO is  the campus ministry orginization that, for some reason, employs yours truly. As far as I know, it will be the first time that atheists will speak at a national Christian conference.

I’m proud of my organization, because they took a risk on my idea. I suggested that we do this because I thought it would be good for Christians to understand that atheists are actual people, not scary straw people as painted in the media. Plus, to be frank, I want them both to know Jesus, something they understand completely. I figured we would get some negative reactions and I turned out to be right.

Enter the blog, “And The World Hears Them…”.  I tried to find out more about this blog and the people that run it. There is not much information there except it’s a blog run by two people named Judy and Yvonne.

Allow me to quote some of the (cough) finer points of this post and my reactions.

At the 2010 Jubilee Conference sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Outreach bridging-the-religous-divide of the 39 speakers there are at least 2 proclaiming atheists/heathens . . . Interesting, what is the purpose of a Christian organization sponsoring a Christian conference for college students and presenting a panel discussion between Christians and atheists? Very progressive.

The last time I checked, I don’t think anyone asked Hemant and Ashley to come speak because we want to be “progressive”. I’m not even sure what that means. Although, from exploring their site, it seems that they are trying to accuse the CCO of compromising the Gospel as they see it. Or indirectly, me, as this was my idea. I encourage Yvonne and Judy to ask Hemant and Ashley if I ever compromise the Gospel when I’m talking to them or back down from the idea of Jesus being the answer. Go ahead. Ask. Oh, and, no one is hired at the CCO who doesn’t believe this statement of faith.

Can you see the unfolding deception? Jubilee is entrenched in social justice, save the world, and man-centered initiatives. If we all stood side by side and ‘did good’ together the world would be a much better place. Will that be the conclusion which is reached?

And, once again, dualism rears its ugly head. I wonder if Yvonne and Judy ever asked themselves, “I wonder if my version of Christianity is steeped in Platonic dualism rather than real, biblical Christian thought? Maybe God is concerned about seeing all of creation redeemed?  Nah, that would be too hard, much better to just see the world collapse in it’s own filth while we wait for Jesus to come back.”

How would Jesus bridge the religious divide?  Perhaps a panel discussion between a couple Pharisees and Disciples?Perhaps build a house together in Jerusalem with an ecumenical group of Christians, Gnostics, and Pagans.

Well, first, Gnostics didn’t even exist until much later. And, when they did, their philosophy resembled much of what Y and J are saying here.

But, that’s not even the worse point of this post. The worst part is how they blatantly misprepresent  Jesus.

So, let’s run down some quick categories of people Jesus hung with:

Taxcollectors, Sinners and Prostitutes: Matthew 9:9-10, Matthew 21:31-32,

And my favorite verse Matthew 11:18:

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Jesus also hung out with the Pharisees: Luke 11:37

So, yes, Y and J, that’s exactly what Jesus would have done. I could also mention Zaccheus. You remember him, yeah? There is a cool kids song about him.

The worse part of all this is that Y and J have forgotten the core aspect of the Gospel, which is God’s grace to sinners. Remember Y and J that you are sinners and God gave grace to you. God met you where you were and still meets you were you are. Remember that you are the servant, not the Master.

All we try to do at the CCO is to be obedient to God and His word. Y and J, your critiques are not only off base, but they misrepresent the organization. The CCO is a group of faithful believers who are daily ministering the Gospel on a college campuses. I know most of them. I know their hearts. They engage people daily for Jesus, face to face, and not behind the cover of a blog. They follow Jesus by imitating Him and loving what He loves. They try to learn what the Bible teaches and they struggle to be obedient.

I would encourage you to do the same.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2009 2:05 pm

    If you look around their website, they have other criticisms of the CCO – so this is not actually their first.

    Anyways I’m glad to see you addressing this. 🙂 Very nicely put.

  2. thomas2026 permalink*
    December 14, 2009 3:12 pm

    Yeah, I actually saw that after the fact. I have no idea what their issue might be, but they obviously don’t like us

    Strangely, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

  3. Eric Worringer permalink
    December 14, 2009 5:55 pm

    They went after Andy Crouch as being emergent! They cited his article “Emergent Mystique” but it was actually a even-handed criticism of the movement. Do these people think for themselves?

  4. thomas2026 permalink*
    December 14, 2009 7:01 pm

    I’m afraid not, Eric, I’m afraid not.

  5. Richard Eis permalink
    December 15, 2009 4:50 am

    I would have thought any faith not theirs would be “heathen”. Is that the new, new atheist moniker…we are new-athiest-heathens?

    I would have thought that a conference on “bridging-the-religious-divide” would include non-christians (it kinda gives it away in the title).

    -If we all stood side by side and ‘did good’ together the world would be a much better place. Will that be the conclusion which is reached?-

    Humans…helping each other!!! Heresy!!!! We should sit on our asses and starve to death until God appears on a magical rainbow to tell us what to do.

  6. thomas2026 permalink*
    December 15, 2009 9:43 am

    Richard,
    Yes, you are now the new-atheist-heathan-nonbelievers-threatstoourliberty people. How does that feel? 🙂

    In seriousness, these branch of people represent a branch of Christianity who claim to be following the Bible, but show their ignorance at every turn. The conference isn’t really about bridging the religious divide, but that’s certainly the idea with having Hemant and Ashley there. This person thinks they aren’t standing for Jesus if they aren’t bashing someone or being completely and willfully stupid about a whole group of people. Even worse, she thinks that Jesus would be a white, middle class republican. There is a huge danger in making Jesus in our own image, no matter what our position. Look to my good friend Matt’s upcoming book, “Imaginary Jesus” for details.

    I’m thinking about writing a long post about why “standing side by side” to do good is actually a biblical concept.

  7. Richard Eis permalink
    December 15, 2009 10:25 am

    Yes, you are now the new-atheist-heathan-nonbelievers-threatstoourliberty people. How does that feel?

    It tickles by blackened, shriveled heart. Though frankly I think you should look out for a better nemesis. There wasn’t nearly enough capital letters or shrieking of persecution.

  8. thomas2026 permalink*
    December 15, 2009 11:01 am

    Damn it. I’ll have to work on my paranoid shrieking.

  9. Yvonne permalink
    December 15, 2009 12:35 pm

    Hello, Thomas Society,

    Since we at ‘…and the world hears them’, were ping’d by this post, and since Mr. Weyer could not seem to find enough information about us, I thought I’d drop by, say ‘hello’ and give you some more information.

    My name is Yvonne and I am one of the hosts of ‘…and the world hears them’ blog. Please allow me to introduce myself to everyone.

    I am a sinner saved by the glorious Grace of God. I place my faith and trust in the perfect sacrifice of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ, who bore my sins and took the wrath of God that I deserve on himself on Calvary’s cross. In obedience to Him and Him alone do I endeavor to live each and every moment of my day.

    Now, enough about me. May I offer some additional thoughts on the issue of the post that was ping’d and to Mr. Weyer’s response?

    Firstly, our concerns are not with Ashley Paramore or Herman Mentha. They have been quite clear that they reject God. They are not being deceptive in what their beliefs are or in what they are trying to accomplish.

    The post was offered as evidence of what Jesus warns in Luke 7:15–“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

    Understand, please, that we are not accusing Mr. Weyer of being a false prophet or a wolf in sheep’s clothing! In fact, we did not know anything about him or this blog until he ping’d us. This is not about him or his ministry at Ohio State.

    This is about CCO leaders being deceived and deceiving. This post is additional evidence that emergent thinking is being advocated by the leaders and speakers at Jubilee.

    One more thought, if you will allow it.

    Mr. Weyer has accused Judy and myself of forgetting ‘the core aspect of the Gospel, which is God’s grace to sinners.’

    May I suggest that by reading Mr. Weyer’s post and subsequent comments in reponse to his post, that he and the visitors of this blog are guilty of his accusation, as well?

    Thank you for your interest in our blog. Now I will return to my “branch of people [who] represent a branch of Christianity who claim to be following the Bible.”

    May the Lord bless you today!

  10. Richard Eis permalink
    December 15, 2009 12:38 pm

    We will get you a persecution bell for Wintermass (evil snicker).
    You can ring it when you feel the need. Saves straining the voice.

  11. thomas2026 permalink*
    December 15, 2009 1:38 pm

    Yvonne,
    Welcome to the Thomas Society.

    A few points: As you call into question the organization that I work for, you are calling me into question. You are accusing the leaders of the CCO of something that you have yet to demonstrate is a bad thing. I’m personally not emergent (whatever that means), but I appreciate some of the questions they have raised. So, I’m not sure how you paint me as being “emergent”. In fact, many of my emergent friends often accuse me of being too dogmatic. Is there bad theology in the movement? No doubt. Are there things I dislike about it? Sure. But, I have failed to see in any of your posts exactly what you are trying to critique. You make a ton of accusations without any coherent discussion or proof of your objections.

    And, I have no idea what you mean by this statement, “May I suggest by reading Mr. Weyer’s post and subsequent comments in reponse to his post, that he and the visitors of this blog are guilty of his accusation, as well?’ If by that you mean, I fail to live out the Gospel on a daily basis. You are right. I certainly do. If you are refering to me not giving you grace with your post about the CCO, then you are wrong. I called you out on your blatant misrepresentation of the CCO and its leaders, of which I’m a part. You are the one who made the accusations first and you made them in public. Therefore, Matthew 18 doesn’t apply to this situation. You are accusing fellow believers of Christ of lying and distorting the truth. Again, without evidence. How is that grace again?

  12. AdamK permalink
    December 15, 2009 2:12 pm

    Oh, goody — bickering christians!

    [munching on his heathen popcorn]

  13. thomas2026 permalink*
    December 15, 2009 2:38 pm

    Glad we could entertain. Maybe I’ll start charging admission.

  14. Richard Eis permalink
    December 15, 2009 3:40 pm

    -I’m personally not emergent-

    Perhaps they expect you all to pop up and take over……like daisies.

    Popcorn over here please AdamK. We may need to duck low flying scripture…so watch out. Leviticus can leave a nasty mark.

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