by Mike Ratliff
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
The great divide between what is genuine Christianity and what claims to be, but isn’t, is becoming more and more clear, it seems, everyday. We have seen the type of “Christian” that the Purpose Driven Church paradigm produces in the sorry situation in which a PDC apologist, Richard Abanes, attempted to get a Christian blog taken off line by threatening the blogger’s ISP with a legal action implying that a certain post contained objectionable, slanderous, or libelous material against him. I am convinced that this is only the beginning. This incident was the result of a “debate” in which the blogger, Ken Silva, refused to back down against the insistence by Abanes that any attempt to show the unbiblical nature of the seeker-sensitive, church growth, or Purpose Driven paradigms was inherently devious and wrong. Continue reading
I wish the reader to know that I truly was grieved to see that Richard Abanes felt that he needed to continue his dealings with me. As the pastor of a very small congregation known as Connecticut River Baptist Church (CRBC), who had seen their teacher attacked by Mr. Abanes concerning a pastoral article which I had written called The Falling Away of the Evangelical Church, I felt that it was incumbent upon me to then protect my integrity in front of them. One needs to keep in mind at this point, that prior to all this, I was simply teaching a precious few, and really had no personal intentions of elevating my work beyond that scope. Continue reading
Since Apprising.Org has been taken offline I have made a copy of Ken’s assessment of Richard Abanes from a Pastoral view available on my website Walk by Faith. To read it click here. A word of caution. Don’t try to use any of the navigation links on that page because it will not give you the desired results. To come back here just hit the back button on your browser. – Mike Ratliff
Christian Newswire has just released the following article. Here is the link.
Contact: Pastor Dustin Segers, Coalition of Concerned Bloggers, ChristianResearchNetwork.com, 336-848-7197
MEDIA ADVISORY, July 28 /Christian Newswire/ — Pastor Dustin Segers submits the following and is available for comment:
How safe are our blogs? That question was raised again when on the evening of July 26, 2008, a popular religious blog was shut down by an Internet service provider. A complaint filed by Christian author and apologist, Richard Abanes, claiming that one article on the religious opinion site, Apprising.org, had slandered him, caused the web host, IPower, to send its publisher, Ken Silva, a 48-hour warning to remove the offending piece or be taken down. In that the piece was not believed to be slander at all, but rather religious and theological opinion, he refused to be forced into censoring his site by Richard Abanes. The site went down.
There are serious implications here for all bloggers, regardless of what sort of blog they publish. Anyone who has a complaint about your views can claim that you have engaged in slander and the ISP Terms of Service usually allow for the companies to remove your website if you don’t take the material in question down. The First Amendment means nothing in these cases. ISP’s cannot and will not explore the claims of slander and simply notify bloggers to remove whatever is causing the problem. This opens the door for anyone to censor what a blogger writes online.
Everyone who values the right to read and publish blogs on the Internet has a vested interested in the issue. There is growing concern in the blog world over this, and a number of servers are popping up that offer “First Amendment” hosting. These are web hosts which require a court order before they will remove someone’s website. Their day has clearly come.