An issue arose that necessitates my having to interrupt the archival series by Dr. Rick Flanders, Salvation & Discipleship. That series will resume on Monday morning with the second in the five part series. On Tuesday, Sharper Iron (SI) site publisher, Aaron Blumer posted an article titled, Seven Years and Counting. I am going to hone in on two brief excerpts from the article then close with an appeal to people who care about and exemplify the best of Fundamentalism.
From the section, “Something we need”
“Speaking of accessible, thoughtful writing, consider this an open casting call for writers. Though we continue to find some pretty good stuff in the work of various bloggers as well as some print publications… SI could use more work that is exclusive and arrives at regular intervals.”If you were to submit articles to reject and/or correct doctrines such as Calvinism and Lordship Salvation your polemic will not be published at SI’s front page. SI has never opened its Blogroll for any such bloggers. If you have an opinion and the nerve to raise legitimate concerns with the growing trend of new evangelical influences making inroads into Fundamental schools, colleges, seminaries and fellowships your article will never appear at SI’s main page. What has taken place in SI’s discussion threads affirms SI’s open hostility toward opinions such as I suggest above and assure they will never be allowed to appear at SI’s front page.
Post a thread comment at SI critical of the doctrinal aberrations and ecumenical compromises of evangelicals like John Piper, Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan and watch what happens. If you do not stand down you will be surrounded and suffocated by SI staff and certain members of SI. Still hold your ground and you will receive stronger warnings and/or threats of censorship and banishment from Aaron Blumer. Of course, SI moderators and members friendly to SI positions freely berate and chastise with impunity and encourage one another in it. Take a reasoned position against any of SI’s pet doctrines, personalities and fellowships, state your position with biblical conviction, without compromise and your voice in an article submission will never see the light of day at SI. Take a position on behalf of the best Fundamentalism has been, can be and still offers the church today your article will not be given so much as a column inch of SI’s front page.
No article has ever appeared in the seven years of SI that is thoroughly positive toward Fundamentalism and uplifting for Fundamentalists. None whatsoever! The open challenge to Aaron Blumer still stands. He once attempted, failed and has never been able to offer even one front-page example from the 7-year history of SI that was thoroughly positive toward Fundamentalism and uplifting for Fundamentalists. His inability to produce even one is easily explained, there is no such article whatsoever at SI. IMO there never will be such an example because the primary history and legacy of SI is to castigate Fundamentalism with the broad brush and run interference for contributors at SI who do so, most notably Dr. Kevin Bauder.
Irrefutably SI plays favorites on behalf of evangelicalism and is loosely organized against any legitimate questions and concerns over evangelicalism’s star personalities, doctrinal aberrations, worldliness and ecumenical compromises. The SI team has consistently gang-tackled members who raise legitimate concerns over the attacks on Fundamentalism, the drift away from fidelity to biblical separation among some who circulate in Fundamental circles or protest the compromisers in evangelicalism. The SI team has consistently practiced censorship by omission,* run interference for the conservative evangelicals and set upon those who try to flush out the issues within evangelicalism.
From the Section, “Identity questions”
“Along the way, critics have accused SI of having an anti-fundamentalist bias, of being a secretly neo-evangelical organization, etc. And we’ve always been interested in helping fundamentalism by challenging it, rather than simply lauding it. ”“Accused” of and documented from the site itself that SI is highly biased against Fundamentalism. “Helping Fundamentalism?” SI wastes no opportunity, real or perceived to castigate, besmirch and demonize Fundamentalism. Certain personalities have been tried, convicted and given an Internet lynching with Aaron Blumer and Jim Peet presiding and participating. At the same time SI plays favorites with and runs interference for conservative and New evangelicals in the T4G, TGC camps.
No one I am aware of, especially this writer, has ever suggested SI is “secretly” evangelical because it is not a secret. SI is a place for evangelicals, which was previously acknowledged as such by Aaron Blumer at the site. Blumer described SI as a site for those, “who identify with conservative evangelicalism of the fundamentalist variety.” SI is without question a site for the promotion and advancement of evangelicalism.
Closing AppealSharper Iron enables and facilitates evangelicalism’s insidious spread into once balanced, charitable Fundamental separatist schools and ministries.
SI needs people to disagree with them or the site would grind to a halt and Aaron Blumer knows this. Is Aaron’s appeal for contributors a subtle signal that SI may be on count down to extinction?
If it were not for Aaron changing SI rules for moderators to drop the role of impartial referee, to freely participate in threads to impose their positions and will SI would have come to a halt. Aaron and Jason Janz before him ran off just about anyone who once did or might have considered participating on behalf of the very Fundamentalism that has been the target of unceasing criticism and attack by the SI team and most of the few members still actively posting comments.
If you presently contribute even thread comments at SI you are enabling SI to continue its pattern of castigating Fundamentalism. You are keeping SI alive to heap lavish praise on and advocate the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism. Does your participation help SI to attract new readers and lead the unsuspecting toward the doctrinal errors and ecumenism of conservative and New evangelicalism? If even one is lost to evangelicalism’s compromises of doctrine and practice a genuine tragedy has occurred. If you keep threads alive by your participation you fuel the SI team and evangelicals wanna be’s in SI’s membership to propagate the egregious errors of evangelicalism, isn’t it possible you share some culpability for the losses.
* One writer said,
“I call it CENSORSHIP BY OMISSION, where by silence, religious and historical ignorance and illiteracy is promoted. Why, this silence? As one editor told me: ‘because it would offend the Christian community among our subscribers.’ Even though factual and accurate history, it would offend them.”This IMO is exactly the dilemma of Aaron Blumer at SI. If he were to allow for open criticism on SI’s front page of the obvious problems within the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism, back down his moderators from going after those who raise legitimate concerns with evangelicalism he “would offend the Christian community among [SI] subscribers.” Offending what is left of the SI membership, which is far and away pro-evangelical, is what Aaron is not willing to risk. If SI were to allow for sharp, legitimate criticism of evangelicals on its front page SI would fold for sure. Therefore, the disconcerting issues about evangelicalism are censored (silenced) by omission. (Censorship by Omission)
Site Publisher’s Addendum:
Rather than post a series of articles as footnotes I have opted to direct your attention to my secondary blog, Sharper Iron: In the Iron Skillet for further reading. There you will find supporting documentation. I also encourage you to read,
Is That The Voice of a “Proud [SI] Fundamentalist?”
I Had to Ask, “Does This Sharpen Me?”