Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It Is Never Time for a Millstone

I am preparing a blog post regarding my thoughts on the Covenant Network Conference I attended in Cleveland last week. I hope to complete it next week. I am enjoying reading the reports by Leslie Scanlon of the Presbyterian Outlook and by Edward Terry, reporter for the Layman. Both attended the conference and both have reported accurate summations of some of the addresses that were given.

So far Edward Terry has reported on Mark Achtemeier's address and just today, Kenda Creasy Dean's address. Mr. Terry's reporting has been fair and accurate without scare quotes or loaded phrasing that is often typical with the Layman. I hope he keeps his job.

I say that because his editor, is, well, a bit unhinged.

Carmen Fowler on her latest blog post has found a passage in the Bible that she thinks applies to Dr. Achtemeier. She writes:

He has publically exchanged the truth about God for lies. He has publically renounced the truth of the Word of the Lord by subordinating that Word to his own sincerely held and heartfelt desires. He has become the kind of teacher about whom we are warned in II Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Jesus has something to say about false teachers: “Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin’” (Luke 17:1-2). Harsh words? Yes, but they are not my own.

No, Carmen, they are your words.

When you find a passage in the Bible and apply it to someone it becomes your interpretation, your application, your words.

Notice the violent image she chose to apply to Dr. Achtemeier.

It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
The title of her blogpost is Time for a Millstone?

What exactly does that mean? Who is going to be the one to tie the millstone to Dr. Achtemeier? Will she do it herself or count on someone she will stir up with her rhetoric?

I am confident that is not her intent. But there are enough unstable people in the world who do take that type of rhetoric seriously enough to do violence in God's name.

I am not one in favor of censoring anyone's speech, but a little responsibility and sensitivity from an editor of a Christian publication is in order.