August 1, 2011 in Sovereign Grace Ministries
PLEASE SEE NOTE AT THE END OF THIS POST.
In keeping with the Sovereign Grace Ministries slogan, “Constant change is here to stay,” Josh Harris has apparently changed his mind about “the blogs.” In this past Sunday’s teaching, Mr. Harris said that he was “wrong” for telling people to read “the blogs,” and that the people of Covenant Life Church can be on the lookout for some refresher courses on the topics of gossip and slander.
In other news, several people have written me to share their confusion about some statements Dave Harvey made recently on the Sovereign Grace Ministries blog. Mr. Harvey has spoken about how communications on that blog are “slowing down.” In the context of the SGM board members’ return from their retreat this past weekend, Mr Harvey says,
Looking back on our retreat, I’m confident that God answered many of your prayers for us, and the silence on the blog was a stark contrast to some of the ways God seemed to be speaking to us. [emphasis added]
My correspondents were puzzled by this statement, as it sounds as though Dave Harvey was conveying that the SGM blog has been “silent” – that readers are no longer commenting. Yet several people have indeed submitted comments. Apparently, SGM’s blog only would appear to be “silent” because whoever is moderating comments hasn’t let any through to be published.
Finally, in other CLC news, it looks like Ken Sande of Peacemaker Ministries will be the featured speaker this coming Sunday, August 7.
EDITED TO ADD:
Ok, here’s the deal…
As Guy said, I’m presently out of town with limited internet access. (As I type this, I’m sitting in Starbucks, feeling kinda like all those CLC pastors who have to hit “the blogs” while sipping their $5 lattes or enjoying lunch at Panera. ) Consequently, I have not been able to comment and clarify until just now.
I heard about Josh’s message from three different people, two of whom have been absolutely accurate in everything they’ve ever shared with me. All three folks said they’d been at CLC on Sunday morning and took away essentially the same message from Josh Harris’ remarks – that Josh expressed regret for having urged people to read online. All three folks also shared – in one way or another – that they suspected our traffic here would slow down now, because Josh’s teaching would have a dampening effect on people’s open-mindedness about “the blogs.”
I haven’t listened for myself to the recording of the teaching. This is, first of all, due to my lack of internet access. But it’s also due to the fact that Guy and I are aware that Covenant Life Church has edited out portions of teachings before they are posted online…which (in my thinking) makes sound files less trustworthy than accounts from people who were actually there.
That being said, though, I will amend the post to reflect the clarification so many of you provided.
I have noticed, however, that no one is disputing the part about how CLCers can look forward to further teachings on “gossip” and “slander.” Or the fact that Ken Sande is on the roster as a guest speaker. Those two (thus far) undisputed aspects of the original post would indicate that even if Josh Harris is all over the map with his “precise” instructions about, “Read the documents for yourselves, but don’t read them, but read them with discernment, but be careful about gossip and slander, which we will teach you about soon,” it seems to me that SGM/CLC is still trying to control how Brent’s documents (and by extension, the “blogs”) are perceived and understood.
Is “discernment” really such a weak area for SGMers, that they cannot be trusted to read Brent’s documents for themselves without all that special tutoring about what to think and how to think? Are CLCers so stupid that they would forget that Brent’s documents represent the perspective of “one man”?
If so, then I would think CLC pastors would have bigger fish to fry, even, than CJ’s problems right now. What they’d have on their hands, if they’re REALLY so worried about their members’ discernment and reading ability, is a case of a weak-minded congregation.
Since I do NOT think that CLCers are actually that dumb, and since I think most CLCers have enough discernment to be trusted to read for themselves and draw correct conclusions without a bunch of special training, I think all this chatter about “read with discernment, and don’t gossip” is unnecessary and an insult to the congregation.