January 5, 2008

Is There Genuine Concern for “The Heretic in Me”?

Dear Guests:

There are two recent developments related to Jeremy Myers’ personal revelations in his article, The Heretic in Me. The first item is not a major, but has to do with Jeremy’s unwillingness to discuss the doctrines he is leaning away from or toward. The second item, however, is a far more serious issue. I will follow those two items with a brief personal note to Bob Wilkin.


Discuss the Doctrine
In the thread under his Heretic in me article Rachel from Pursuit of Truth, kindly asked Jeremy the following,

Jeremy: I’m wondering, if you listed for us here the doctrines you are considering changing your mind on, why wouldn’t you discuss your ideas about them here as well? If you think there are some ‘compelling reasons’ to change your views, then why wouldn’t you share them here, and others can see them and either change as well or possibly present ‘compelling’ reasons from the other side? It does seem kind of like ‘hit-and-run’ for you to post that you are considering changing on some major issues, but then potentially not give any reasons as to why.

Another person asked Jeremy a question along the same lines of what Rachel asked him.

Both requests for clarification and discussion were unfortunately brushed aside by Jeremy.

Why does Jeremy post an article about his “leaning & teetering” on major doctrinal issues, such as Creation and Hell, and then refuse to discuss them? It would seem reasonable to me that Jeremy, who we trust would claim the Bible as his sole authority, should be willing to discuss his doctrinal positions. This at least allows for a better understanding of the direction he is headed, and/or recovery from a possible slide into heresy.


The Second Development
This is, in my opinion, a more serious concern. Jeremy has discovered, linked to from his blog, and begun participating at a blog that has an unfortunate reason for its existence. The blog Jeremy has linked to and commented at is titled, de-Conversion The blog’s subtitle is: “Resources for Skeptical, De-Converting, or Former Christians.”

The following is how de-Conversion describes itself and its requirements for becoming a contributor.

About
For the most part, we believe the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, & Islam, based on the perceptions and myths of a nomadic ancient Middle Eastern tribe, should be viewed critically - as should the holy books of these religions. This blog attempts to critically, but respectfully, address issues with these religious ideologies, especially Christianity. If you are a skeptical, de-converting, or former Christian, you may find these discussions interesting.

We also believe that whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds -when there is a significant lack of evidence on who God is or if he/she even exists.

Becoming a Contributor
If you are a de-converted Christian or a Christian with a healthy dose of skepticism towards the teachings of Christianity and would like to become a contributor to the de-Conversion.com blog, please email us at… . (bold added)

With those descriptions of the de-Conversion blog in mind please read Jeremy’s comment which he posted under the article titled, Christianity is Confusing.

I just found your blog yesterday and am enthralled. I am a pastor’s kid that went to a Christian grade school, a Bible College, pastored a church for five years, and am now finishing up a Seminary degree.

Recently, I have found myself not wanting to be associated with what has come to be known as “Christianity.” I don’t think Christ is pleased with us and what we have become. I find myself in agreement with much of what is written on this blog. And the things I disagree with, I understand (I think) where you are coming from.

This post really hit home with me. I am getting tired of doctrinal statements. Recently, I made it known to some Christian friends that I am questioning seven key doctrines that I have believed my entire life. WOW, did I ever get blasted! Apparently, I am now a heretic under the influence of Satan for even questioning the truth of these seven doctrines. I haven’t rejected them yet, I’m just questioning them. I wonder what would happen if I actually rejected a few?

Jeremy wrote that he is, “leaning, not holding firm, and teetering.” My question would be what are you (Jeremy) teetering toward? Does Jeremy’s interest in the de-Conversion blog give any indication of where he is headed? Could it be Jeremy is headed toward an Emergent Church mentality?

The emerging church (also known as the emerging church movement) is a controversial 21st-century Protestant Christian movement whose participants seek to engage postmodern people, especially the unchurched and post-churched. To accomplish this, “emerging Christians” (also known as “emergents”) deconstruct and reconstruct Christian beliefs, standards, and methods.

The Heretic in Me article and note at the de-Conversion blog should raise genuine concern among those who are close to Jeremy. IMO, any pastor/teacher who might have some influence in Jeremy’s life, has a genuine concern for him and senses the danger of where he may head doctrinally, should sit down with Jeremy and find out exactly what direction he is headed.


Personal Note to Bob Wilkin
Bob, I am putting aside my view of your “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel for the moment. Jeremy works along side you at the GES office. I am, therefore, going to ask you point blank: What are you doing to help and counsel Jeremy through this time of personal doctrinal upheaval he is experiencing? Are you cautioning him about the direction he may be headed? Of course I do not ask these questions for a public reply. Bob, God help you if you are either encouraging Jeremy's new direction, or doing nothing while this young man is floundering and may be sliding toward some form of doctrinal heresy and/or the Emergent Church movement.


LM

20 comments:

  1. This is a most interesting post. It illustrates why Christians should limit their association with those who do not attend their church or like minded churches. Even those who are instructed in theology can be easily deceived and led astray by the thoughts and lives of those who are not committed Christians. We need to continue to teach and stress with our people that when they think that something seems to conflict with what they have been taught that they need to ignore it. We need to hear more and more that the world is awash in dangerous teachings that can appear to be so logical and seem to be so right. Rather than trusting their misguided thinking, those who have moments of doubt should affirm their faith and hold firm to their trust is what they have been taught by their pastors.

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  2. Joe:

    Thanks for the note and concerns you raised. I'll have to reply more fully later.

    Kind regards,


    Lou

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  3. Oh dear brother...this makes me want to fall on my knees and weep for Jeremy. May we fall on our knees and weep and get before God. I am going to get on my knees now. How this breaks my heart. Let us pray hard now for him.

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  4. To All:

    I disabled the direct link to the de-Conversion blog.

    Typically I do not link to sites that IMO might be a source that could lead unsuspecting or uncertain believers into doctrinal error.

    This is why I do not have links in my Recommended Sites area to any of the GES sites or blogs that are sympathetic to the Hodges, Wilkin, GES "Crossless" gospel.

    In articles I will refer to, quote from and link to certain of these pro-Crossless sites for verification and/or documentation of issues I am discussing.

    This morning I thought better of having linked directly to de-Conversion. It is a site that IMO, is not one believers should be directed to. I learned of that because Jeremy Myers linked to and wrote a comment at his blog and at de-Conversion praising aspects of it. Once I got there I was taken-aback that Myers would find this site praiseworthy.

    I trust this explains why I pulled the direct link to de-Conversion from the body of this article.


    LM

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  5. To All:

    As I read more of Jeremy's interaction at the de-Conversion site and his latest article at his own blog it seems to me that he may very well be headed toward the Emergent Church movement.

    He is shifting, but won't speak openly of where he may be leaning. He has, however, been developing a network of new friends and alliances and this may be giving some indication of his direction.

    Lord willing, he will not become a new casualty. I have to wonder out loud if any of his GES friends are trying to work and/or counsel him. I wonder if Antonio, who expressed shock over Myers's "Heretic in Me" article has been trying to get through to Jeremy.

    Is Jeremy opening up to da Rosa, Wilkin or someone else? Is there are professor at DTSA who has been encouraging Jeremy’s leaning and skepticism. Is any one try to help him sort through this confusing time he is going through?

    Jeremy is interacting with the de-Conversion crowd, but not to minister to them. He is interacting to share ideas with them. The problem there is that he may very well become more like what they are at de-Conversion because he is floundering and this makes him susceptible.


    LM

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  6. Joe:

    You wrote, “It illustrates why Christians should limit their association with those who do not attend their church or like minded churches.”

    The barriers we erect are for our protection. I am all for outreach ministries, but not hob-knobbing alongside unbelievers and apostates.

    Thanks for the helpful insight.


    Lou

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  7. To All:

    Among the new friends Jeremy has made at de-Conversion is a man named Ray that has a blog. Yesterday morning Ray posted a comment at Jeremy’s Heretic in Me article with a link to his (Ray's) blog.

    Today I clicked on the link at Jeremy’s blog to find an article by Ray that is of course supportive of Jeremy’s new direction, but expresses unhappiness with my blog.

    Here is the reason I draw this to your attention. In Ray’s article, that Jeremy is linking to, Ray uses the four letter “F” word expletive three times.

    I would have hoped that Jeremy had retained some sensitivity toward this kind of thing.

    Pray for Jeremy,


    LM

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Lou, thank you for your bold clear voice. You are correct that there is a difference between witnessing and interacting. It too make such a distinction. In the earlier post I was referring to social interaction as well as to unproductive and harmful conversations.

    Too often social interaction and unhealthy dialogue is rationalized as witnessing. The church leadership should speaking dismiss such rationalization and clearly state that the person is using godly language and justification to cover a godless activity. The Lord warned us about interacting with the world as it will lead to compromising not only one’s personal faith but the faith that has been entrusted to us by Christ Jesus. The Lord cautioned us because he knew that the world can so easily lead us astray.

    While many of our young people think that they can take on worldly and godless debaters, they delude themselves by holding such thoughts. Few are ever equipped to deal with the wiles of the world and their distorted harmful thinking. The world has a way of making that which is the most ungodly seem so right. Their twisted ideas can sound so good that if a Christian is not careful they will find themselves agreeing that having sexual relations with those who are not their spouses is a proper activity. Such harmful reading and debating can easily lead our youth to think nothing is wrong with having a drink or smoking marijuana.

    Our leaders need to be extolling that instead of being engaged in such debates and conversations our people need to spend that time in prayer and studying of the Word. We need godly people who are not part of this world. We need people who are stand apart as a witness to the purity of God and who by their lifestyle and testimony discredit the world and draw the ungodly to Christ. Such activities in which this young man is engaged does not bring honor to Christ or draw anyone to Him. When harmful doubts and questions arise our people need to trust their Lord and the teachings handed down by their godly teachers and pastors.

    As to the anonymous poster who speaks of this being a gossip-fest, we are talking about a wider issue that was triggered by Lou’s concern for one individual. As there are concerns that other people will follow the same unrighteous path Lou has done a great service for the Lord. He is alerting others in the church about dangers which are pulling people away from their faith in Christ. Gossip is harmful and counterproductive. Gossip serves only the self-gratification of the participants. When sin and ungodly activity are pointed out the Christian is engaged in helping to build people in the faith. The focus is not upon self-glorification or self-satisfaction but upon glorifying Christ our Lord.

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  10. Well,

    After several anonymous persons (not Rose) posted some inappropriate comments in previous threads I had to enable comment moderation. That was about 10 days ago.

    Today, I decided to disable comment moderation, and I went to watch my boys play basketball for their school.

    In my absence an anonymous person used the opportunity to post a comment that was not helpful. I deleted it.


    LM

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  11. Sorry to inconvenience those of you who have no axe to grind or personal vendettas. I will look in often and post your comments.


    LM

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  12. Joe:

    Thanks for the well thought out notes above.

    I pulled the "gossip-fest" comment you refer to above.

    I'll get back to you tomorrow. I have some follow-up to your notes.

    Thanks again,


    Lou

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  13. Joe:

    Sorry it took this long to get back to you.

    You wrote, “…there is a difference between witnessing and interacting.”

    Yes, and while have no problem with interacting with the lost in the right places and situations, if we are not careful about our interaction it could cause us to stumble and possibly become like them.

    Even in Christian circles we could interact with some who have a low view of Scripture and/or personal holiness that could cause us to stumble in some areas.

    Last year I wrote an article for another blog that addresses the slippery slope of compromise. I thought of that article because it has become timely for it to be republished. I have been given permission to repost it here at my blog. I’ll put it up next week.

    You wrote, “As to the anonymous poster who speaks of this being a gossip-fest, we are talking about a wider issue that was triggered by Lou’s concern for one individual. As there are concerns that other people will follow the same unrighteous path Lou has done a great service for the Lord.”

    Indeed my primary goal is to teach and alert others that this kind of interaction that Jeremy has embarked upon is not IMO the best choice. Nothing wrong with study as we seek to grow, but going to skeptics, agnostics and the like to learn is sure to tear one’s faith down.

    Thanks for the great post. I appreciate your articulation of some very valid concerns.


    Lou

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  14. Hi all,

    Lou is away on a ski trip right now, in a remote location where he has no internet access (how can he survive?? LOL). But he is aware of this development and plans to comment when he returns.

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  15. Hi:

    I'm just back and will have some comments in the morning on Jeremy's dismissal from the GES.

    LM

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  16. My concern for Jeremy increases, and so does the intrigue surrounding the GES.

    Kev

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  17. To All:

    I have prepared an article on this development with Jeremy and the GES. I will post it on my main page either today or tomorrow.


    Lou

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  18. What a sad situation.

    This is exactly what I have warned about regarding the Hegelian Dialectic going on due to the dialogue with varying degrees of New Evangelicals and Theological Liberals. Thousands of Christians are being deceived and enticed into leaning away from Biblical absolutism. My experience is that people always fall in the direction they lean.

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  19. Dr. Ketchum:

    It is truly sad what is going on in Bible believing circles. The Internet is a great tool for learning and interacting with fellow believers. However, the Internet has allowed some believers, who are not well equipped to recognize, address or refute error, to come in contact with people and ideas that are antithetical to Scripture. Some succumb to the allurement of New Evangelical thinking and ways.

    You wrote, “…people always fall in the direction they lean.”

    This is why I warn believers not to take that first step (or “lean” in the direction) of compromise, because once they do the next step will become easier.


    LM

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