I have a very ungodly interest in the television series House. I can't defend my interest in the show, I just really enjoy it. The last episode of Season 4 really makes my point clear. Wilson's girlfriend, Amber, was dying. She hadn't been well liked by the team of doctors as her nick name surely attested. But as she was dying they each went to say 'goodbye' to her. When they were deciding IF they should go see her the conversation went like this:
Kutner: We should go see her.There really is a bit of truth about humanity depicted in this short television scene. We tend to like people much more when they are either dying or dead.
Thirteen: We didn't even like her.
Kutner: We liked her.
Taub: Did we?
Foreman: We do today.
Today when I opened my email I was warned of having been mentioned by name at a blog I used to frequent. One of my good friends, and a Brother in the Lord, is being attacked by a very disorderly Brother. It was suggested by the disorderly Brother that I should separate from the orderly, but outspoken, Brother. The blog post in question follows the author's well known style making use of his ability to craft manipulative writing to such an extent to be almost the perfect example of such.
The topic is that of how we should remember Zane Hodges who died recently. Zane is a hero of the blog post author. In fact, if one were to read the blog in question one would be hard pressed to find a post there that doesn't mention (directly or by implication) Zane. I have spent a great deal of time and effort correcting and protecting against the theology taught by Zane. No where near as much time and effort as some other people though, as I'm a fairly recent addition to the scene. I'm offended by the man's recent theology but others, having been longer in the fight, are much more so.
How do we remember the fallen? We remember Solomon as the "wisest man who ever lived" right? But Solomon didn't "finish well" did he? Does the great wisdom he used in his younger years give credibility to the terrible things he did at the end? Should we honor his error because he did so much at the first? I think not, and I would be surprised if any reasonable person would.
Consider Brother Hodges then. At the first he worked to protect the idea that the "free gift of God" truly is "free." I can not describe his good work, as I have not read the things I'm told were truly good. Unfortunately for me I have only ever been exposed to his later and very disorderly teachings. In debate it's commonly accepted that whatever both sides agree on can be considered reasonably accurate. Since every person I know considers Zane's earlier works to be good, I can state that they were with reasonable assurance. I honor that which honors the Lord.
Now the blog post in question seeks to build division between my Brother and I specifically. And generally between him and several men. I feel compelled to link because I am quoting the man, but I do not in anyway endorse the reading of the linked blog. In fact I believe those who are not very well read in the Word of God should absolutely stay away. This is quoted from Unashamed of Grace.
I have found men like Kevl, ExPreacherman, David Wyatt, and Jonathan Perrault to be gracious and honorable. My advice for them is to flee associations with XXXX XXXX, for it will be of no benefit whatsoever to be identified with that man. (I have removed my Brother's name so as to avoid adding insult to injury.)It's all well and good for someone to suggest separation. But one must be very sure that separation is required. If you are the one who is in error and are suggesting that everyone separate from the man who is pointing out your error you may want to reconsider. Are you sure yours is the Biblical response?
But it becomes all together unacceptable when words are put in someones mouth. To build credibility for his post the author quotes one WJC whom I'm unfamiliar with. The quote is strong and amusing in spots.
XX is a prime example of someone who seems to enjoy tossing around pejorative terms and assaulting Godly men like Zane Hodges - who's handling of God's word dwarfs their feeble attempts to establish a distorted view of God's free and simple grace. His speech of utter disrespect says much about his own character and what animates his obsessive attacks - certainly not the Spirit of our Lord Jesus! Such attacks are characteristic of self aggrandizing men that are afflicted with EDD - Exegetical Deficit Disorder. Their pathetic attacks will ultimately be relegated to the dustbin of errant doctrinal history. In the mean time they do serve a purpose - to show the stark contrast between Zane's thoughtful, consistent and solidly biblical views and the utter chaos that characterizes the ramblings of his detractors (such as XX). Thanks in part to God's provision of gifted men like Zane, ultimately God's light will burn through the perpetual fog thrown up by the likes of XX and those who like to parade and perpetuate his erroneous views.This is very clever. By quoting WJC, the author is neither seen as the "authority" on the quality of Zane's teachings nor the supposed violence that my Brother does against them. Unfortunately the author does not link to or provide a reference so we can not evaluate the quote as originally used. But the author surely benefits from how he displays it.
So now with credibility "established" the author goes on to inject thoughts, intents and words into the mouths of men such as myself. For example read the following from a comment left under the blog post by the same author. I was not in attendance at the funeral so I am not directly being referenced in this quote. I will leave the daring reader who reads his entire post to evaluate if words have in deed been inserted into my mouth by the author. I think some have been.
The disparity between the likes of XXXX XXXX and some of the others who disagree with the GES is stark and arresting. The more noble came and honored Zane Hodges at his death, speaking good words about him, and remembering him for the tremendous benefits he gave to the Free Grace Theology movement. They realized how much poorer our movement would be without the seminal scholarship and Christian statesmanship of Professor Zane C. Hodges. They understand the wealth of unrivaled exegetical and expositional material left for us by this man taken before his time.Unfortunately, I do not remember Zane in any such way. He has long since gone into error and has his teachings and followers have been preying on the Body of Christ and those who seek to become part of the Divine Salvation offered in Christ Jesus.
I honored the fact that Zane was a saved Christian despite his terrible errors when he died. His, and the GES's error about the Gospel is deadly. I can not in good conscience ignore this just because he was a Brother who did good things at some point in the past. The truth is that his error has become his legacy.
What's worse is his neo-followers are now building that error up into a mantra and using our natural inclining to respect the dead more than the living as a tool against Zane himself. Now everything good he ever did is being used to bring credibility to his error. He will, I suspect, become more and more well known for his terrible error instead of the good that he did. This is the true violence committed against Brother Hodges.