Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Complete Meltdown Over at Boundless

I had been having a dialogue with a woman named Jennifer here. Now, you have to understand, you have a woman that has written on the meaning of 1 Corinthians 7:8 using the Greek, and yet, she has never set foot in a Greek class. That, of course, doesn't stop her from making, and continuing to make, all kinds of errors on the Greek text, even when I have corrected her on it before this. She even openly and blatantly commited an exegetical fallacy in this very discussion that no scholar of any language would accept.

Anyway, the other day I tried to post my response, and it told me that I am not able to post messages. I figured that something must be wrong with my computer or something, so I just waited until I could get to school. Unfortuately, Anakin Niceguy posted this:

The Boundless Line blog has a post on the supposed relationship between single people and shrinking churches. Among other things, the post noted:
Dr. Wilcox explains that even while family formation is central to the life of a church, many churches are instead trying to fill empty pews by compromising Biblical positions on family.I tried to respond with the following comment:

If churches are shrinking, is it really the problem of unmarried people, or is it the problem of complacent congregants and church-leaders who couldn't look beyond their comfort zones and heed the message of Luke 4:15-24? The last time I checked the wording of the Great Commission, it didn't say anything about having babies.However, the website rejected my comments and informed me that I am not allowed to post.

Now, of course, I am looking at this, and wondering to myself why it is that this has happened. Ted Slater, the editor at Boundless, posted his reason:

Anakin -- we strive for a conversation on our blog that is productive and cordial. We oftentimes publish comments that disagree with the original post. The thing is, your comments have consistently been contentious, often misrepresenting us. While the comment you mention here is innocuous, other comments have been unacceptable. Such distracting and unhelpful communication is not welcome on The Line.

Thank you for understanding.

My first question to Ted is why it is that she posts, and even gives special blog posts, to Debbie Maken? Debbie Maken is a perfect example of someone who is terribly contentious, and is consistently misrepresenting the reformers, and even altering quotes to prove her case which I have documented here. Yet, the do not ban Debbie Maken.

Worse than that, Ted just asserts that Anakin misrepresents the authors of Boundless. Where does he do that? It takes much more than just an assertion to prove your point. You have to show a distinction between what you are saying and what they are saying. Ted simply does not do that.

Also, what about the other comments that are posted on Boundlessline that I have documented before? Well, Ted has a response to this:

TMD -- Yes, we publish a lot of disagreeable and contentious comments. The thing is, these people have shown in other instances that they are interested in furthering a discussion, in having an honest debate.In Anakin's case, I haven't seen that. I've only seen him bent on misrepresenting Boundless and facilitating contention.

Well, my question is where has Jennifer, Darren Allan, Captain Sensible, or any of these other people agreed with anything we have said? Jennifer is still posting away, Captain Sensible is still pursuing her weirdness, and Debbie Maken does not even think that single men deserve a substantive response. Perhaps, it was Albert Mohler and Debbie Maken that facilitated contention by writing and publishing the things they have on this topic, and using the language that Debbie Maken has in her book? Yet, Ted seems to think that their writing is productive.

Now, have I shown that I agree with Boundless on some issues? Yes, I most certainly have! Consider this article that I wrote a while back, and also consider this post on feminism, wherein I defended Candace Watters. Also, consider the materials I recommended to help people who are dealing with atheists here, and also consider that I further commented on Candace Watters' statements concerning Sam Harris here, agreeing with Candace, and adding to the discussion, presenting more arguments against Mr. Harris. I have also posted on abortion on Boundless, discussed John Piper's use of profanity, and pointed out the self-contradictory nature of the arguments abortion rights advocates. I defended the president of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson against the attacks of the media here, and I also even discussed Anna Nicole Smith! To say that I am just there to be contentious is simply absurd. If Ted wants to use that argument to say that this is the reason you were banned, then he is going to have to deal with these things. Ted wrote the following to me when I was talking with Jennifer:

It's one thing to be fastidious with Scripture in order to determine doctrinal truth. It's another to foster a critical spirit.

Well, where is the critical spirit in all of the above instances? And, even if I am fostering a critical spirit here, he said that he is willing to publish comments of people who are contentious in one place, but not in other instances. Why then not publish my comments? Ted is simply saying something that is untrue. Ted does not know me, and he does not know my background, nor my personal life. No one is fostering a "critical spirit." We are concerned about the sociological ramifications of a movement that is clearly unbiblical. We are concerned about the fact that the people in leadership positions in this movement are refusing to take responsibility for their own teachings. Apparently, Ted must think that Albert Mohler, Debbie Maken, Candace and Steve Watters, et al. could never teach something unbiblical that has horrid sociological ramifications for single men. In fact, I find it very funny that Boundlessline would publish this comment by Steve Watters:

In a recent comment, "Justin" wrote, "If I don't want to get married until I'm 40, then that is between me and God. Not me and the congregation."
I think by this statement it's fair to say Justin's concept of marriage fits into a category researcher Paul Amato describes as "individualistic." In a book that he (and a team of other researchers) wrote called Alone Together, Amato describes the transformation of marriage to the current individualistic focus:
Marriage changed from a formal institution that meets the needs of the larger society to a companionate relationship that meets the needs of the couple and their children and then to a private pact that meets the psychological needs of individual spouses.
We believe at Boundless that God created marriage to be larger than us as individuals, larger than any one couple and larger than any children that couple has. That "institutional" view puts us at odds with the individualistic zeitgeist.

only a short time after Ted Slater said the following:

Is it because you're afraid of change or of rejection? Is it because you're content with the status quo? Is it because you cherish the (selfish) control you have over your time and money? Is it because you'll only settle for a "10"? Is it because you're getting the emotional (and maybe physical) benefits of marriage without the commitments? Is it because you don't want to be inconvenienced? Or are you staying single because doing so enables you to serve the Lord in a peculiarly effective way?I personally don't want to hear your answers to those questions; that's between you and God.

Of course, this illustrated what I have said all along, and has been demonstrated to be true in my blog series entitled Fanmail from the Mandatory Marriage Movement, namely, that this movement has sociological implications for the way single men are to be treated, and thus, if it is false, needs to be dealt with. However, if you dare suggest that this movement is unbiblical, and then go on to show that the arguments from the other side have no weight, you are viewed as having a "critical spirit."

Let us turn this logic around. Let us say that Ted was on a forum disagreeing with a Jehovah's Witness about the trinity. Now, I am sure that Ted, as an orthodox trinitarian, would not agree with anything the Jehovah's Witnesses say about topic of the trinity. However, when he has addressed all of their arguments, and shown them to be wanting, would it be rational for the Jehovah's Witness to counter by saying that he is just fostering a critical spirit, and then ban him from the board? We could go all the way down the line, and any time Ted would not agree with anything that was said on a board, he would be guilty of fostering a "critical spirit." Indeed, such is absurd.

Let's face it. There was no reason to ban Anakin or myself from that blog. I have a feeling that when Ted says that he publishes comments that disagree with their position, what he means is that he is willing to post comments from people who voice a simple disagreement with Boundless, but he is not willing to post comments from someone who is seeking to examine the writers of Boundless. In other words, they are immune to cross-examination. However, what does the book of Proverbs say?:

Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

Yet, Boundless does not want cross-examination for some reason. They don't want to have to be put into a situation in which someone comes along and examines this mandatory marriage teaching, and shows it to be wanting. That is what is "unwelcome on the Line." As Dr. James White always used to say, "Truth is most clearly seen against the backdrop of error." Yet, interestingly enough, they can't even remain consistent when accusing those who would like to have cross-examination on this issue. To do this, I guess, means that you are "not interested in furthering the discussion." No, it is Boundless who is not interested in furthering the discussion, because they are not interested in cross-examination.

You see, it is dishonoring to God's truth to say that we should not examine each other Biblically, and hold us to sound principles of reason and exegesis. Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms did not shy away from cross-examination. He said that, unless he could be convinced by the Bible or sound reasoning, he would not recant. However, that is just the opposite position of the folks over at Boundless. They seem to say that we will not allow anyone to convince them by the Bible and sound reasoning that they are wrong, because they will not allow anyone to cross-examine them. It is amazing how 500 years of Christian history has changed how much we value truth.

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in this topic to file a formal complaint with Boundlessline. Let them know that you are interested in "furthering the discussion" by, first of all, allowing us to cross-examine their position on their blog, and second, by posting an article with a long, formal disputation between Anakin or myself, and one of the people who have written in defense of this position such as Candace and Steve Watters. Let those who promote this position deal with the criticisms of their position, and do so in a manner in which everyone who supports this stuff can see.


Songbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Songbird said...

If you don't agree with Boundless being pro-marriage and don't like the webzine at all, then don't read their site or blog. It is not that hard.

PuritanCalvinist said...


That has nothing to do with it. First of all, Boundless does a whole lot of good for 20 somethings. As I mentioned in this very post, I have even defended them on many issues. They also have a whole lot of good clean humor on their blog. Hence, I do enjoy reading their blog.

However, when they start misusing scripture, and endorsing terrible scholarship all to "shame single men" [as Debbie Maken says], then I have to, out of love for the truth, and love for them as brothers and sisters in Christ, rebuke them for it. It is that simple. Do we love the truth enough to confront, even our brothers and sisters in Christ if they misuse the very word of God? That is the issue.

Songbird said...

I get it. Thanks for the clear up. I guess the problem lies the fact Boundless tries to be in the middle too much. For example, they fully supported Carolyn McCulley's writings and yet they have Debbie's article as well as somewhat to say they are pro-marriage or something. There are articles that they support but don't necessarily agree with some of their premises on some aspect, which can be difficult for a lot of readers to keep their mouth shut about it, especially when some of those aspect aren't always logical.

However, I see your point. I'm sorry that I came out too strong. The thing is that the importance of the service of marriage and celibate singleness should be the least debated, not the most. I'm serious. I don't mind hearing different ideas but this GoS vs marriage mandate is retarded. There are more serious ones to really debate about. I guess it's because you are so passionate for your views (not a bad thing) that I misunderstood you. I didn't mean too

Anakin Niceguy said...

I'm with you on this on, PC. The marriage mandate doctrine is not harmless. It has the potential to spread the following heretical doctrines:

1. The Church is expanded by family ties rather than by sinners regenerated through saving faith in Christ's atonement.

2. God leaves most believers without the means to be chaste; therefore they must get married or be doomed to sin.

3. For most believers, being single is sinful, therefore one's standing before God depends on the willing cooperation of one member of the opposite sex.

Men don't need to get married in order to live meaningful lives before God. While marriage may be often helpful for chastity, it is not necessary for such nor always desirable.

PuritanCalvinist said...

Hey, Songbird,

I agree with you about this stuff. The only reason I am dealing with it is because of the sociological implications the movement has for single men. If this were just a few people who were presenting some weird teaching on the internet, I wouldn't give them the time of day. The problem is that they have the support of folks like Albert Mohler, James Dobson, and Candace and Steve Watters. Until these leaders come out and say that they were wrong to support this movement, we have to protect the single men of the church by holding these teachers accountable for the unbiblical things they teach.