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Religious Progressives’ Top 5 Most Hated Evangelicals

Most-Hated-1When your motto is “love” and “tolerance,” vitriol is unbecoming. Nevertheless, my progressive friends seem to inch ever closer to the ledge they decry. I mean, how else can you explain the 24/7 policing of Evangelicals? It used to be that the progressive community’s Evangelical bogies received equal insults, er, critique.  But as of late, I’ve detected a shift in the Hate Machine‘s nastiness. In reverse order of loathing…

5.) Rick Warren — Forced to back off of their Warren bashing after the tragic suicide of his son, his Purpose-Driven empire and support for traditional marriage keeps this pastor in the Top 5.

4.) Pat Robertson — Robertson’s become Evangelicalism’s version of Ron Paul, outrageous, senile, and eminently cuddly. He remains the go-to meanie on slow news days.

3.) John Piper — As the default rep for the singularly most hated belief system by religious progressives and “Satanic theology,”  Piper garners special surveillance from the AEHM command center. His  infatuation with tornadoes doesn’t help.

2.) Kirk Cameron — Cameron appears Unstoppable, edging out Piper on “celebrity” alone. As an (almost) Millennial, the actor / filmmaker infringes on the demographic progressives most covet.

1.) Mark Driscoll — The new poster boy for Evangelical hate, misogyny, bigotry, theological rigidity, parental abuse, authoritarianism, and phony hipsterism.

Driscoll has been inching his way into the coveted “Most Hated Evangelical” spot for some time. Now it appears Pastor Mark is in the bullseye of those loving, tolerant religious progressives. How else can you explain the rabid attention he receives? Like this popular blogger who Tweets that Driscoll’s new book “really is nothing but life-choking legalism.” Or this author / blogger who “innocently” asked “Is Mars Hill Church on the decline?” to which one commenter responded, “We can only hope and pray…” Not only does this FB page regularly update Driscoll’s every move, the author even has a FakeDriscoll Twitter account. Over at Patheos Progressive, this fella just came right out and admitted I Hate Loving Mark Driscoll. And then there’s the signature Fuck No Mark Driscoll website.

With this kind of preoccupation loving concern, Driscoll should remain comfortably ensconced in the number one spot. At least until the next tornado.

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{ 161 comments… add one }
  • billgncs September 14, 2013, 7:51 AM

    funny how that tolerance word, and that free speech expression only work in one direction

  • Robert H. Woodman September 14, 2013, 8:25 AM

    Progressives are only tolerant of those who agree with them.

  • D.M. Dutcher September 14, 2013, 8:52 AM

    “I hate you Dad! I like Mom better!” It explains an awful lot about things like this…

  • Larry Shallenberger September 14, 2013, 9:34 AM

    I’m a conservative Evangelical and have concerns about 3 of 5 on your list. Perhaps the issue is to evaluate the concerns and not generate ad homenon arguments against the complainants.

    • Mike Duran September 14, 2013, 9:38 AM

      Larry, I have concerns about all five on this list. I just happen to believe the Christian Left is as hypocritical and hateful and theologically screwed-up as the evangelicals they hammer. Not tactically wise to tout your love, compassion, sensitivity, and tolerance while mocking, ridiculing, and cussing out your opponents.

      • Cecilia September 14, 2013, 11:36 PM

        It seems, sadly, that you’re more willing to launch an attack and go “OH GOD LIBERALS HATE THEM” than actually address the problems of how certain messages are conveyed or created.

        • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 4:15 AM

          Cecilia, I have at different times criticized all five of these guys. I just don’t make it a mission, nor do I believe such missions do much to further the cause of Christ.

          • Cecilia September 15, 2013, 6:08 AM

            Then why harp on the “liberals?” That seems to be your mission.

            • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 6:35 AM

              If you peruse my posts, I think you’ll see I’m not obsessed with knocking down liberals. I absolutely disagree w/ them on many points. But “harping” on them? I consider myself an equal opportunity offender and do my fair share of criticizing conservative Christians.

          • Mike September 16, 2013, 12:04 PM

            In Acts 17:11 the Berean’s were praised, because they took everything Paul said and examined it against the scriptures.

            If the bible praises a group for examining everything an Apostle wrote, shouldn’t all of the above have everything they say and write examined against the scriptures as well?

            Plus, if these progressives have issue with the five’s messages not adding up to the teachings of the scriptures, according to Acts 17:11, wouldn’t that be a noble pursuit?

            • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 12:24 PM

              Sure. But a fake Twitter account, mocking religious kitsch, reTweeting things for eye-rolls and snark, and Fuck No Mark Driscoll websites? How is that in the spirit of Acts 17:11?

              • Jenni Noordhoek May 25, 2014, 10:28 AM

                This is one of the posts I was referencing…

      • Ame February 21, 2014, 8:16 AM

        in a non-public venue … i experienced this full-out with my ex-in-laws, and it has caused me to spend much time in thought over things like this. as beloved ministers, God used them mightily in some very unique ways. but they came to hate me (along with many others) because i didn’t agree or conform with/to their whole way of thinking/believing/living. in so doing i, and my kids (their only grandchildren), have been deeply hurt.

        so i’m left pondering without understanding … that God can use us in our imperfection … all of us. and i am even more thankful that He is God, and i am not.

  • Josh September 14, 2013, 10:16 AM

    Having read some of what these evangelical leaders have espoused, quite frankly, they’re fair game. Especially since they’ve expressed it in the public arena. I’m not saying that I agree with hate, but honestly, some of their opinions should never have been expressed and may have hurt more people (even if accidentally) than helped.

    • Robert H. Woodman September 14, 2013, 11:15 AM

      Josh, in a free society, everyone’s opinions (right, wrong, indifferent, irrelevant) are fair game for someone else’s criticisms, and, like Mike, I have concerns about all 5 of the people on the list. They all say, and have said, things that are worthy of concern and criticism. The issue for me, and I think it is the issue for Mike also, is not that the people on the list have earned criticism. Rather the issue is that these Leftist critics Mike has cited:

      1. Appear almost singularly focused on condemning these particular pastors;
      2. Espouse “love” and “tolerance” and then unload vitriol at these pastors, thus managing to exhibit neither love nor tolerance for people who espouse opinions that differ from the preferred positions of the Left;
      3. Demand that Christians “judge not, lest you be judged,” and then turn around and roundly condemn (read “judge”) these particular pastors.

      The Left demonstrates what I said in my earlier comment, which is “Progressives only tolerate those who agree with them.” They easily see the motes in the eyes of these pastors, and fail to acknowledge the logs in their own eyes. The hypocrisy is spectacularly cringe-worthy.

      • Nelson September 15, 2013, 4:52 AM

        They are talking about love and tolerance for the damaged survivors of evangelical christian culture, not love and tolerance for evangelical christians. I think they feel their duty is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
        Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

        • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:43 AM

          So it’s a double-standard. Got it.

          • Nelson September 15, 2013, 6:15 AM

            No Mr. Duran I was just throwing out some glib comments; they weren’t really intended to serve as some kind of logical argument.

  • Adam Graham September 14, 2013, 2:00 PM

    Robertson and Cameron certainly belong on the list. The rest? Meh. I’d add Bryan Fischer to the list. A good friend and certainly one that the left loves to skewer. Mark Driscoll and John Piper? I’d say more lefties haven’t heard of them than hate them. Rick Warren not really. Sarah Palin belongs on the list and so does Michele Bachmann. And Tim Tebow might make it one of these days too.

    • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 7:51 PM

      The AFA have legitimately self-destructed. I don’t know whether or not this is due to Fischer, or to them getting a tremendous amount of hate for bucking the gay marriage trend. Considering the AFA is the only political think tank I know of that has actually been attacked by a gunman (thankfully stopped before they could do any damage) in modern times, I wonder if they aren’t becoming radicalized due to that and the things people used to say about Maggie Gallagher.

  • Jill September 14, 2013, 2:06 PM

    Kirk Cameron is a millennial? I thought he was older than forty. Ron Paul is extreme, senile, and cuddly?
    I have concerns with all five of these evangelicals, too. And I can’t help but think Driscoll likes the attention. He seems to be very oriented toward the spotlight.

    • Mike Duran September 14, 2013, 2:18 PM

      OK. Cameron’s on the cusp. On the tail end of the Gen Xers. And you don’t think Ron Paul is cuddly?

      • Jill September 14, 2013, 4:21 PM

        The term cuddly just doesn’t come to mind when I think of politicians. So, no, I’m afraid not. Cameron is 42 (I looked it up). That means he’s older than I am. I don’t really understand these generation categories. Would you consider yourself a gen x-er or a boomer? Neither? An in-betweener?

        • Mike Duran September 14, 2013, 8:06 PM

          I’m a Boomer.

        • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 7:58 PM

          Neil Howe did a lot of writing about generations if you want examples. Gen X they call the Thirteenth Generation (we are thirteenth gen from the founding of the USA, and the unlucky ones,) and they were born from 1960-1980. Douglas Coupland, who coined the term Gen X, was born in 1961.

          Baby boomers were the babies born after World War two was over. Before them were the Silent Generation, and then the Greatest Generation. Millenials I believe were born 1980-2004. It’s some interesting stuff to read if you like social science.

        • Jessica Thomas September 16, 2013, 6:22 AM

          Kirk’s gen-x. Reality Bites, My So-Called Life, Smells Like Teen Spirit, yada yada. We only wish we are millenials, because it’s more fun being the generation in the spotlight.

  • Michael Trimmer September 14, 2013, 4:23 PM

    In the case of Mark Driscol, its a certain amount of “you get what you give out” when it comes to name calling. Mark Driscol calls male worship leaders “effeminate”, he routinely humiliates his wife by discussing intimate details of their sex life in the church, he says men should be into sports in order to be sufficiently manly, when commenting on someone who had cheated on his wife MD responded by saying the wife had clearly not been keeping herself attractive enough, and he made massive sweeping negative judgements about the entirety of the British evangelical community because there was no one in it that he could see as a comparison to himself.

    Now I agree, that many in the Christian Left are vitriolic and unpleasant, but as far as I can see given the amount of un-Biblical absurdities Mark Driscoll spills out, it’s understandable that he’s a target for lots of frustration. That doesn’t mean the conduct in this frustration’s expression is acceptable, it just means that he is receiving what he deserves in the fact of the frustration itself.

  • Jodie B. September 14, 2013, 8:31 PM

    Jesus wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. “Whited sepulchers” and “your father the devil” and “strain out gnats, swallow camels” and “hypocrites” etc. to the pharisees. We shouldn’t do the same? The links you chose are very mild, really. I didn’t see any true hate. In fact, in the hate/loving Mark Driscoll article he wisely points out that he loves Mark Driscoll as a Christian brother “because as much as I wish I didn’t, I see myself in him. I can’t claim any moral high ground over him when he and I are of the same cloth.”

    Also …. ad hominem arguments?

    • D.M. Dutcher September 14, 2013, 10:42 PM

      Well, considering a progressive Christian can deny the resurrection, the accuracy of the scriptures, whether or not miracles happened, the existence of hell, the idea that heterosexual marriage is sacramental/ordained by God and the ability of Christianity to be the only religion that leads to heaven they sure spend a lot of time on what those five guys say and get mad at them a lot.

      They want to play the sepulchre card, I think they are going to have to explain to Jesus first why Mark Driscoll is a bigger threat than their own pastor who in his more candid moments, admits that Jesus may never have existed.

    • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 4:24 AM

      Jody, that’s a common defense of progressives’ obsession w/ evangelicals. “Jesus wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade.” Jesus also said “Love your enemies” and “Turn the other cheek.” Things like that. If progressives are THAT concerned with showing the loving, compassionate side of Christianity, perhaps they should start w/ THEIR enemies.

      • *d.* September 15, 2013, 4:40 AM

        …are these 5 people their “enemies”? it just seems like you are unable to objectively analyze why “leftist” would take issue with these people, mostly because you have created your own version of their point-of-view. it’s hypocritical in the extreme that your followers invoke the True Christian® point-of-view, where any outside thoughts/ideas you’ve never heard of are proof that they aren’t really christian because they don’t think the way you told them too~ which cause you to:

        1. Appear almost singularly focused on condemning these particular churches;
        2. Espouse “love” and “tolerance” and then unload vitriol at these people, thus managing to exhibit neither love nor tolerance for people who espouse opinions that differ from the preferred positions of the Right;
        3. Demand that Christians “judge not, lest you be judged,” and then turn around and roundly condemn (read “judge”) these particular churches.

        ….so if you want to judge & put down others churches all day, then you are just all about doing it in god’s name, yet when others begin to exhibit the same behaviour towards your pastor buddies, those sinners are gonna get it! seriously…as a non-christian theist i understand if your natural reaction is to shove my opinion under the rug, but at any point where you have to personally defend pat robertson’s insane prattle, most of which has NOTHING to do with the bible or christianity, you’ve jumped the (biblical) shark.

        • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:52 AM

          Huh?

          I haven’t suggested that “any outside thoughts/ideas [I’ve] never heard of are proof that they aren’t really christian.” Also I’m not defending Pat Robertson. I think a lot of what he says is whacky.

        • CKeenKeen September 15, 2013, 6:23 AM

          Thank you *d*! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m not a progressive or a conservative. But I am a Christian.

      • Jodie B. September 16, 2013, 5:17 PM

        Mike, I hope you are not deliberately misspelling my name?

        For the record, I don’t follow Twitter or Facebook stuff. Generally not much of substance there. And these people? Yeah, doesn’t seem to be much substance, especially in the Facebook/Twitter feeds. But hate? Seems more like jerkdom, to me. People throw around the word hate so easily. People call Christian groups that lobby for the defense of marriage hate groups, and I foresee a day in which even to mention that one does not believe gay marriage is right will have people accusing them of hate.

        Like I said, seems more like jerkdom to me. Inappropriate and not something a Christian should engage in? Sure, and I don’t defend the use (by Christians, anyway, as they should definitely know better) of the f word … that is certainly going too far.

        It sounds like you might be OK with people disagreeing with what Driscoll or whoever said if they had better arguments (and not merely snide words) and simply presented the often controversial things these people say for the wrong doctrine they are?

        Or do you think Christians should never criticize wrong doctrine? I just don’t think it is loving to tolerate wrong doctrine, especially that which can lead people into sin or away from Jesus; and I don’t think it is hate to challenge wrong doctrine.

        I guess I do think we should stand against things. People teaching that you should spank the sin out of a three month old baby (as a mom, this really disturbs me). People twisting scriptures, saying that because men are the head of the house, they can beat their wives, and the wives have to submit in every way, and people that blame women if their husbands are cruel, saying that they are not submitting enough, and if they’d only submit enough their men would love them. Double standards that judge women more harshly for sexual sins, that even say young girls asked to be raped.

        For the record, these pertain to other preachers, mostly patriarchalists, not the five you mentioned. There are people out there who make Mark Driscoll look positively saintly by comparison.

        Not that Driscoll is great. I don’t really think there is any defending of his now infamous “I see things” video in which God apparently gives him the occasional porn-o-vision of someone elses sexual sin. If I am remembering correctly the video starts out sorta OK, with Driscoll having divine knowledge that someone was sexually sinned against by a certain person (other than that no details), and they use this to confront their abuser. And then, it gets really strange. I mean, yes, I know God told Nathan about King David’s adultery so that Nathan could confront King David, but I doubt He went into the sort of detail found in Driscoll’s “visions.”

    • Mike February 21, 2014, 7:25 AM

      Where is everyone? Guess I’m late again…oh well, I just learned of Mr. Duran (who shares a single instance of my favorite 80’s band name) so I’m creeping around (although Mr. Duran did link to this post on Twitter today so…).

      Something that’s been on my mind A LOT lately: 1 Peter 3:15.

      Jesus, if I may be so bold, was on a mission. Part of his mission was to lambaste the Pharisees of His day. Jodie, you asked (rhetorically perhaps?), “Shouldn’t we do the same?”

      I don’t think so. Jesus didn’t call us to do those things; He did call us to do a lot of others and I think if we let ourselves get too impassioned in our defense and move away from the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15 we can find ourselves following our pearls before the swine.

      But, if you just can’t quit, or you occasionally like a good dust-up with liberals and atheists, please wander over to http://www.beliefnet.com where you can argue your life away if you are a conservative Christian or http://www.slate.com where even the most innocuous articles will generate a comments stream that unerringly turns toward thought lines affirming that Christians are idiots, abortion is good and you’re a bigot if you don’t have an, “I give all my money to LBGT causes” bumper sticker.

  • Cecilia September 14, 2013, 11:34 PM

    I love that you’re unable to not throw ad hominems, either.

  • brambonius September 15, 2013, 12:30 AM

    So you mean that disagreeing with someones message or practice (and finding it dangerous or even hurtful/destructive towards other people) always means to hate that person????? Could you explain how that works?

    Is admitting that you as a Christian should love others, but that you find it hard to love someone whose message and work does hurt people (like Driscoll) like Piatt does, while knowing it is wrong, at least a step in the right direction?

    • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 4:29 AM

      Of course, ” disagreeing with someone’s message or practice (and finding it dangerous or even hurtful/destructive towards other people)” does not constitute hate. But starting fake Twitter accounts, highlighting every other statement or Tweet (mainly for the purpose of mockery), and administrating sites like “Fuck No Mark Driscoll” might, ya know, be a LITTLE more than just disagreement.

  • Will September 15, 2013, 7:55 AM

    The premise of this article is really flawed. This whole idea that Progressives are into tolerance, therefore they can never be critical of someone is misguided. You are right, people on the left have said some pretty harsh things about the people on your list. But here’s the thing, when Drsicoll screams that you are going to hell, and Kirk Cameron says you’re a heretic, and Pat Robertson says that hurricanes are happening because of what you believe then I say it’s fine to push back. Minus Rick Warren every person on that list says mean, awful things often. Is it any real surprise that people on the left think they are assholes or douchebags?

    For the record, what is worse. Calling someone a douche, or saying that they are going to be condemned to the burning pits of hell for all eternity?

    • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 8:09 AM

      Will, what is worse. Telling someone “they are going to be condemned to the burning pits of hell for all eternity” or comforting them with the idea that there is no hell and everyone will probably be saved? Progressives may be in as dangerous theological territory as those they condemn. Also, I think there’s a difference b/w being “critical” of someone and making it your mission to monitor every post, Tweet, Update in order to mock / ridicule / sneer at some absurdity or stupid church sign. That’s just, like, reverse heresy hunting.

      • Will Houk September 16, 2013, 11:55 AM

        What is worse? Those guys yelling at me that I’m condemned to hell is way worse. Especially when the doctrine of hell as preached by these guys has no historical consensus.

        When you make yourself the doctrine police and set yourself up as the gatekeeper then you have gotten into dangerous territory. There are those of us who have a philosophical problem with Confessional theology, that does not make us heretics. I guess by Augustine’s standards it does but why does he get to decide? There are other valid ways of engaging with scripture and the historical context of our faith that the guys on this list reject. (I don’t have any problems with Rick Warren but the other four are off the charts crazy) So, I don’t have a problem with these guys getting called out. They are spiritual bullies, so I don’t have a problem calling a spade a spade.

        • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 12:27 PM

          I don’t have a problem w/ them getting called out either. I just wish it was more substance and less snark. And to be fair, if you tolerate them being called out, the same should apply for the other side. Progressive theology is, in many ways, just as dangerous and potentially heretical as anything these evangelicals preach.

          • Will Houk September 16, 2013, 1:27 PM

            Correction on my part, I meant Constantine not Augustine.

            I have an issue with this whole idea of calling theology dangerous or potentially heretical. Who get’s to decide what is heresy? What makes a theology dangerous?

            To me what makes a person’s ideas/philosophy dangerous is how it hurts other people. Those guys on the list bring pain to other people on a pretty regular basis. That’s why the people on SCCL react with vitriol. It’s because they’re coming from a place of being spiritual broken by churches who apply the teachings of these guys.

            If I say a person can be a practicing Christian and openly homosexual Pat Robertson blames Hurricane Katrina on me. If I say my wife and I can both work and she is not subservient to me, then Driscoll shouts that I must hate God and the Bible. This stuff gets really old. When you’re in the position of getting yelled at all the time by these guys and their minions it makes you a bit defensive.

            For me personally I try to stay away from personal attacks because that’s a part of my spiritual development that is important to me. I can’t say I do a fantastic job at it, but I’m conscious of it. But when you hear the stories of physical/sexual/emotional/spiritual abuse that people have been subjected to you start to understand where this anger comes from. SCCL is one of the only places I’ve found where people discuss the hurt and pain that churches have caused them. Most of it is very real and heartbreaking.

            By the way I really appreciate you engaging with me on this and not just writing me off. For the record I don’t speak for everyone on SCCL, I’m just a fan of the page.

            • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 2:35 PM

              Will, neither of us can arbitrate someone’s standing w/ God. But the Bible seems to have categories for heresy and false teaching. Jesus talked about false Christs and great deception coming upon the world. The apostles spoke about “false gospels,” “false teaching,” and “doctrines of demons.” So while I don’t think we can go around condemning everyone we disagree w/ as heretics, I’m also not comfortable saying that we can never call something heresy or bad theology.

              You said, “SCCL is one of the only places I’ve found where people discuss the hurt and pain that churches have caused them.” I don’t follow SCCL religiously, but I don’t see that over there. Not saying it doesn’t happen. I’m just saying that I tend to see way more mocking and jeering and anger than I do people actually healing.

              • Will Houk September 16, 2013, 8:43 PM

                The bible makes reference to false teachings but it never uses the word heresy. That is a product of the councils that came after Constantine. So who gets to define heresy? A council that happened 1600 years ago? Does Piper, or Driscoll get to define it? You or me? The bible exists in it’s current form because of the councils but before that people did not have a bible the way we think of it. Were they all in danger of heresy if they didn’t have access to all of Paul’s writings and the 4 Gospel accounts we have?

  • SCCL-er September 15, 2013, 9:28 AM

    Your argument falls down basically immediately when you call at least one of those sites “progressive Christian.” The people who participate in conversation at SCCL run the gamut from currently-evangelical to Buddhist to atheist. I myself am agnostic and really don’t care to be labelled something I do not espouse, so don’t include me or mine in your little “ew the Lefts are doing a Thing” nonsense.

    • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 9:41 AM

      Progressives are notoriously chummy w/ anti-religionists and religionists of different stripes. Methinks it is SCCL’s progressivism that makes it home to Buddhists, atheists, and agnostics.But OK, you’re off the hook.

      • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 10:09 AM

        Yes. And Jesus was notoriously chummy with prostitutes and lepers. Good thing he’s not here today spreading his Leftist idea that those are the people he came for rather than the religious leaders and rich folk. That’s some dangerous heresy right there.

        • Robert H. Woodman September 15, 2013, 10:35 AM

          And you’re missing the point.

          Mike’s criticism is of the tone, the vitriol, in the content of the Progressivist criticism, not the criticism itself. Mike doesn’t hold back from criticizing any of the folks on this “Top 5” list, but his tone and his aim are different, and his level of obsession with them is, as far as I can tell, pretty close to nil.

          FWIW, the church I attend is pretty chummy with ex-prisoners, prostitutes, homeless, and various kinds of (social) lepers. We love them, and we do what we can to help them. We also tell them that hell is real and unless they surrender their lives in faith to the grace of God they will spend their lives there. The heresy would come about if we told them that hell probably wasn’t real and that they were going to be saved regardless of how they lived, if they just at least tried to be good people.

          • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 1:41 PM

            “Mike’s criticism is of the tone, the vitriol, in the content of the Progressivist criticism, not the criticism itself.”

            Sure, sure. I get that tone policing is very popular amongst those being criticized either directly or obliquely. It’s also worth noting that the content of the criticism is, in fact, the criticism. Perhaps you meant to point out that Mssr. Duran is not opposed to criticism in and of itself, but that he objects to the particular criticisms he references in this blog (along with the critics themselves, it would seem). Fair enough, if that’s the case, but what I see happening here on Duran’s part is a standard maneuver on the Right (both of the political and the theological varieties) in which the person decrying the criticism ignores the issues of power dynamics entirely in order to step right over to the intentionally obtuse position of claiming that those fighting for the injured and the oppressed are actually guilty of injuring and oppressing themselves because who—who, I ask you?—will ever speak out for those poor, unfortunate world-famous pastors with all that reach and influence and privilege. Poor things. How dare all those marginalized people question their motives? Now, please excuse them as they openly impugn the motives of the critics.

            As for your entire final paragraph, I find the standard mixed messages of conservative evangelicals. “You’re a hideous sinner who is beautiful in God’s eyes. You’re a worthless wretch who is worth so much God gave everything to ransom you. God loves you so much that he’s going to condemn you to torture for eternity due to someone else’s actions which you never had a chance to object to or change unless you do exactly what I tell you this Bible says you must do. God is so just that he doesn’t care what sort of person you are, or how you live your life, because he has already condemned you forever.”

            You can try all you like to make those messages more appealing, but in the end you’re offering a morass of conceptual confusion which does a fine job of keeping those who decide to bite under control but ultimately is an insult to the dignity and worth of the people you claim to love. To be fair, you’re as much under the thumb of this dogma as anyone else, but you’re not doing much to acquit yourself by spreading it.

            • Robert H. Woodman September 15, 2013, 2:18 PM

              “As for your entire final paragraph, I find the standard mixed messages of conservative evangelicals. “You’re a hideous sinner who is beautiful in God’s eyes. You’re a worthless wretch who is worth so much God gave everything to ransom you. God loves you so much that he’s going to condemn you to torture for eternity due to someone else’s actions which you never had a chance to object to or change unless you do exactly what I tell you this Bible says you must do. God is so just that he doesn’t care what sort of person you are, or how you live your life, because he has already condemned you forever.”

              You can try all you like to make those messages more appealing, but in the end you’re offering a morass of conceptual confusion which does a fine job of keeping those who decide to bite under control but ultimately is an insult to the dignity and worth of the people you claim to love. To be fair, you’re as much under the thumb of this dogma as anyone else, but you’re not doing much to acquit yourself by spreading it.”

              Obviously, you’re coming from a far different place spiritually than I am. I understand very, very well just how worthless a wretch I am compared to an all-holy God. I believe entirely that Jesus is the way, the truth, the Life, the only way to salvation, that there are not many paths, but only one path, to salvation. It does not insult the dignity and worth of any person to tell them that without Christ they are severed from fellowship with God and going to a lake of fire that was prepared for the Devil and his angels. I insult their dignity and worth when I make them feel good about who and what they are apart from the grace of God, because if they remain separated from the grace and God, no amount of “feel good” dignity and self-esteem is going to help them in the lake of fire and brimstone.

              • No_6 September 15, 2013, 6:14 PM

                And what if you’re wrong with your approach with “love”, Mr. Woodman? I’ve had far too many people lie to me while convinced their lies were from God–just as you are convinced that your treatment of others is from God. You speak with a serpent’s tongue.

                • Robert H. Woodman September 15, 2013, 7:05 PM

                  “You speak with a serpent’s tongue.”

                  That’s a pretty sweeping judgment of someone you’ve never met or talked with directly.

                  I start with this: As you would have men do to you, do also to them. Or, more conventionally, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

                  If I am in danger of falling off a cliff, I don’t need pious platitudes about how beautiful the scenery at the bottom of the cliff will be; I need rescue! When my life was a wretched mess of my own making, having someone tell me that I was going to get to heaven regardless of how screwed-up I had made my life was NOT helpful. Telling me of a Savior whose grace would deliver me from the hell I had made of my life on earth and of the hell that awaited me if I didn’t change was what I needed. And that teaching is Biblical. It isn’t some delusion of my own creation; it comes from the Bible, which I believe is the inspired Word of God.

                  The approach I take is faithfully (to the best I am able) grounded in Scripture, not in “Robert.” If I am lying, then the Bible is a lie. I don’t accept that the Bible lies. Do you? If you do, then there is nothing more I can say, because we start from diametrically opposed, irreconcilable positions. If you don’t, then we can talk about the reality of heaven, hell, and salvation, and the requirement love imposes on Christians to rescue the lost. Of course, such talk is foolish to most people; it was foolish to me until I reached the bottom of life and started pondering how I had gotten there.

                  • No_6 September 16, 2013, 6:02 PM

                    Who are you to determine whether or not someone else is on a cliff? Is that up to you, or is that up to God? And what a fallacious, egotistical point to argue from–to claim that if you are lying, the Bible is a lie. That’s a terrible logical construct, and a pitiful defense of something you claim to be the “inspired Word of God”.

                    • Robert H. Woodman September 16, 2013, 6:42 PM

                      You don’t want to listen or discuss. You just want to bluster and argue.

              • Jessica Thomas September 16, 2013, 6:29 AM

                Yep. I’d rather have the truth even if it’s ugly.

        • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 10:39 AM

          You mean “Leftist ideas” like He is the ONLY way to God, the road to life is narrow, the gate to destruction is broad, and that hell is real? Not those ideas? And Jesus may have been “chummy” with sinners, but it didn’t stop him from saying, “Go and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11).

          • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 1:56 PM

            More like “Leftist ideas” that rich people are in serious peril, the poor (both materially and spiritually) and the sick are the people he came for, and the conspicuously religious are full of crap, refusing to enter the Kingdom, and preventing others from entering while they’re at it. Of course, there are other Leftist ideas which don’t purportedly originate from Jesus such as textual scholarship suggesting that those claims that Jesus is God, that he claimed to be the ONLY way to God, and that hell is real were added later by scribes who wanted to make things a bit more consistent with the doctrine of their times. What’s more, you can decide to reject those possibilities, and I fully expect you have done so and will continue to do so. My point, however, is simply that you don’t even have to go terribly far to find room to question the things you apparently consider unquestionable. The fact that there are many different ways to interpret the statements you attribute to Jesus in your reply to me while still accepting them as genuine is more than enough cause to inspire tremendous humility in the best of us. Yet, your confidence in the rightness of your belief is quite apparent, and that does more than I ever could to expose the basis of your antipathy toward the people who criticize others whose motives and tactics you don’t much care for while still finding a way to defend them and their overall message.

            To be sure, you have found ways to nibble around the more appalling edges of Driscoll and Robertson et al, but I’d be willing to wager that if we stripped away the superficialities which separate you we wouldn’t discover much of a difference. I’m perfectly happy to be proved wrong in this instance, but considering who you’re attacking and who you’re defending you’ve already done a great deal to damage any case you might hope to make to the contrary.

            • Robert H. Woodman September 15, 2013, 2:44 PM

              “…I’d be willing to wager that if we stripped away the superficialities which separate you we wouldn’t discover much of a difference.”

              That’s probably true. In court, under oath, you don’t have to add many falsehoods to otherwise truthful testimony for the truthful testimony to become perjury. In Christian theology, you don’t have to insert many innovative ideas or novel doctrinal positions for orthodoxy to become heterodoxy. So, yes, many of the key doctrines held by Mike Duran and Mark Driscoll may be discovered to be similar, but that doesn’t mean that they are both equally right or equally wrong. Those small differences DO make a difference now and in eternity. Moreover, just because you can look back in Church history and find variant texts, variant textual interpretations, and historical errors that were debated, fought over to the point of war, mayhem, and murder, doesn’t mean that the once-unquestionable is now questionable. It just means that you have rediscovered a portion of humanity’s history.

              I’ll leave it at that. I am on my way to my evening Church service.

              • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 4:07 PM

                We can quibble all day, but my point was to say that when you strip away the superficial you’re not likely to find much difference in the way of substance. If you would prefer to view that as a good thing by all means do so.

                As for looking back and finding “variant texts, variant textual interpretations, and historical errors that were debated, fought over to the point of war, mayhem, and murder” but not finding anything to question about humanity’s role in how what you deem unquestionable came to be, well, I’d be interested to know how (perhaps, in your case, if) you would examine those things without a sense that there is much which may not be so settled as you might wish to believe. Even today, we have a handful of versions of orthodox Christianity along with literally thousands of denominations, large and small, of the protestant variety. Tell me, which of those is the correct one? Those variants and errors you seem to wish to swat quietly away as so much piffle make an enormous difference in how one views the central structure of Christianity. To be sure, some variants are small enough to accept as the same in principle if not precisely in practice, but some are enormous. How is it you have come to see what you hold to be the correct choices among these variants as the correct ones? It’s odd that you simultaneously proclaim that “small differences DO make a difference now and in eternity” as you wave away a sea of those differences as, for all intents and purposes, meaningless. I would very much like to learn how you know what you have accepted is the right collection of details while what others have accepted is not, and how does one go about making such a determination?

                • Robert H. Woodman September 15, 2013, 8:46 PM

                  Hugh,

                  You wrote:
                  “… my point was to say that when you strip away the superficial you’re not likely to find much difference in the way of substance. If you would prefer to view that as a good thing by all means do so.”

                  On key concepts (the necessity of redemption and salvation, Jesus as a real, historical person and God’s Messiah, salvation by faith through grace, inspiration of the Bible) it’s a meaningful starting point. On points of denominational difference, it’s probably not as helpful. I was intentionally vague, because I don’t know Mike personally to speak for him, nor do I know enough of Mike’s theology to make a specific judgment, just a general one.

                  I will also admit that not all differences that have been fought over have been worth the fight. Christianity would be far better if most of the feuding factions of Christianity would make peace, though I sometimes despair of that happening in my lifetime.

                  The Protestant milieu is simply a mess. Luther’s reforms pushed the Catholic Church to reform itself somewhat, but the schism out of which Luther’s church was born, especially in the political swamp that was Europe at that time, seems almost predestined to lead to splintering ad infinitum (or ad nauseum, if you prefer).

                  The Catholic-Orthodox split is embarrassing and tragic, and, sadly, it is maintained by stubborn people on both sides. Genuine compromise and return to ancient historical norms (e.g., returning to the idea the Pope is “first among equals,” not simply “first”; admitting that the filioque was a pastoral mistake, if not necessarily a theological one) could, I think, end the separation, but there is a huge amount of pain and anger in the history of that split, and healing the split is still decades, if not centuries, in the future.

                  To your questions:
                  “How is it you have come to see what you hold to be the correct choices among these variants as the correct ones? It’s odd that you simultaneously proclaim that “small differences DO make a difference now and in eternity” as you wave away a sea of those differences as, for all intents and purposes, meaningless. I would very much like to learn how you know what you have accepted is the right collection of details while what others have accepted is not, and how does one go about making such a determination?”

                  First, I’m on a spiritual journey. It’s been a long one. I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church. My extended family is made up of Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, agnostics, and cynics. Family discussions on religion or politics fascinated me as a youngster, and I dived into researching the various groups to try and understand how they were similar and how they were different. As a teen, I wandered away from my religious upbringing to pursue science (I eventually earned a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline). As a young adult, I kept on wandering and ended up in a pretty dark place in life. At that point, I began to read the Bible. I studied Hebrew. I struggled to study Greek (I found it harder than Hebrew in several respects). I read Church history from several sources (Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox, Baptist, Presbyterian). I read the major works of historical and contemporary church leaders and theologians. I read theology (most modern theology texts are good for inducing naps, IMHO 🙂 ). I pestered various pastors and priests with questions. I attended various groups worship services with an eye to learning by participation. Most importantly, I read the Bible, front to back repeatedly, from the major canons (Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox) and the Early Church Fathers (mostly from the classic 38-volume set, but also from various pastors’ and priests’ collections, when they were willing to loan them to me). I read the Book of Mormon and an English translation of the Q’uran by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, but neither of them made much sense to me, nor did I find them helpful to my journey. I’m still on that journey, but I’ve had to slow my pace of study to accommodate the necessity of earning a living.

                  Second, my journey has so far taught me that there are some broad outlines from Church history of who is right and who is not right. I accept the reality of God, of Jesus His Son as Messiah, Savior, and Lord, and the only way to salvation. I accept that the Bible is God’s inspired Word; I prefer the Catholic canon over the others I have read. I believe that the Bible contains God’s Truth, but I don’t find it all to be literally (i.e., word for word) true; cultural and historical context and a reasonable understanding of the underlying text have to be taken into account. I now attend a Southern Baptist church out of deference to my wife, which is not the same as saying that I agree with all SBC beliefs. I largely reject the religious Left to the extent that they hold positions clearly contravening Church history and Biblical precepts.

                  Third, my spiritual journey has drawn me to Evangelical Catholicism. On the basis of Scripture and history as I understand them after all my prayer and study, I find that this sect of the Roman Catholic Church fits best with what I understand to be Truth. There are several things about the larger Roman Catholic Church that disturbs me deeply, and I find those disturbing trends in the Eastern Orthodox churches as well, but as I said, where I am now in my journey has led me to Evangelical Catholicism.

                  I realize that this answer may not satisfy you or others who read it. That’s okay. I have to satisfy God, and that’s my goal in life. If you can find something good in this post to encourage or inspire you, I’m glad, and if not, I still must satisfy God, not human beings.

                  Have a blessed week, Hugh.

            • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:31 PM

              “Of course, there are other Leftist ideas which don’t purportedly originate from Jesus such as textual scholarship suggesting that those claims that Jesus is God, that he claimed to be the ONLY way to God, and that hell is real were added later by scribes who wanted to make things a bit more consistent with the doctrine of their times. ”

              Well, yes. You would side w/ those scholars, wouldn’t you? Couldn’t have Jesus claiming “to be the ONLY way to God, and that hell is real” could you? Finding scholars who support that is rather convenient. But I do appreciate that you hope to ” expose the basis of [my] antipathy toward the people who criticize others whose motives and tactics [I] don’t much care for.” So very progressive of you.

              • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 5:48 PM

                As I pointed out previously, you’ve left nothing for me to expose. Likewise, I haven’t sided with the hated textual scholars so much as point out their existence as a means of demonstrating the fact that there are widely varying takes on the Bible—where it came from, how it was assembled, how reliable it is, what any of it means—to suggest that all of us would do well to practice humility when we talk about it. You most decidedly do not do so, and it does baffle me that you can be as prideful as you are while expecting anyone to take you seriously when you claim not to be.

                Of course, that idea does not hold any currency whatsoever in conservative evangelical circles. The currency there is certainty presented with a large dose of bravado. Humility is (apparently) for the effeminate saps who don’t accept Ju-Jitsu Jesus.

                • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:55 PM

                  Hugh said, “there are widely varying takes on the Bible—where it came from, how it was assembled, how reliable it is, what any of it means—to suggest that all of us would do well to practice humility when we talk about it. You most decidedly do not do so, and it does baffle me that you can be as prideful as you are while expecting anyone to take you seriously when you claim not to be.”

                  I’m not sure how you conclude I “most decidedly do not… practice humility” when discussing various Bible interpretations. What have I said to deserve that? And does this mean I have to agree w/ all Bible interpretations? Cuz that’s just not smart.

                  • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 10:11 PM

                    Do you have to agree with all Bible interpretations? Don’t be silly. Of course, you don’t. You could certainly do worse than try to understand what motivates them. You could do more listening and less trying to win arguments. You could work much harder not to prove the critics of conservative evangelicalism right in their claims that its self-appointed spokesmen are woefully lacking in any sense of self-awareness. The fact that you evidently do not do those things is rather strong evidence of a significant lack of humility, and I don’t feel a need to restrict that statement to biblical interpretation.

                    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 4:40 AM

                      Hugh, thank you for humbly pointing out my “significant lack of humility.”

      • SCCL-er September 15, 2013, 4:11 PM

        Actually it’s their actual willingness to have us present and at the table that brings us filthy heathen liberal nasties, but if you wat to keep flogging your personal pet hobby horse go right ahead.

        • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 4:23 PM

          I’d say that’s pretty much on the mark. Conservative evangelicals are well-known both for saying they wish more “unchurched” (and what a horrid neologism that is) people would come to their services and also wondering ad nauseum why those same people more often than not do not come. A good place to begin, in my view, would be to stop drawing distinctions of that sort. It gives the impression of your faith being more like a club than anything else, and not everyone is interested in joining your club. Even worse, the neo-Reformed crowd seems determined to make the faith more like a fraternity—as in a Greek organization one might find on any number of university campuses—complete with hazing and secret rule books.

          Jesus, rather famously, entreated all to come to him and find rest. People don’t find rest in church today. They find rules. They find judgment. They find lots of things to do. Just not rest.

          • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 5:50 PM

            The problem though is that people who come in want to change the place around to make it like the world. To use an analogy, the church is like a youth hostel that offers free or low cost housing to anyone who agrees to its rules, and considering the price, the rules aren’t all that burdensome. But people come in, and want to smoke joints, drink alcohol, play music at all hours of the night, use the hostel for a place to arrange and have sex, and want its rules to disappear so they can take the best of it-the free cost-and make it what they really want.

            The rules are there not to keep people out, but to keep the place from being overrun and ironically help people to rest. There’s more to that than this, but rules get a bad rap when many times they are all that enables the place to function or be tolerable.

            • No_6 September 15, 2013, 6:21 PM

              From what I see, the world is very judgemental. The American church in particular does not veer or differ from that. Your analogy is more than crude in that it entirely misses the mark on several levels, particularly in that it expects the absolutely worst of other human beings as well as misrepresents the role of rules and order.

              • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 6:57 PM

                Christianity isn’t particularly known for expecting the best in people. Peter did deny his lord three times after all. I think the analogy for order is valid, and unless you make a better interpetation, I don’t see myself being off the mark.

                • No_6 September 16, 2013, 6:07 PM

                  It’s not my job to make a cushier, more accurate analogy for you. Lack of willingness on your part to challenge that which is sick in the American church is a sign of bending to established weakness.

  • Michele September 15, 2013, 10:05 AM

    As a man believes in his heart so he is. I think we are all guilty of being hypocritical some more than others. Jesus did say love your enemies, but I won’t ever love the devil & he is my worst enemy. Psalm 38:22 says don’t I hate those that hate you Lord? Yes I do, I hate them with a perfect hatred. I am a nobody with nothing to offer be cause I’m a horrible sinner who needs Jesus forgiveness every te I turn around. I don’t have a pure heart, but I want one. I think the whole heading was to get attention to certain wolves wearing clean white wool, but no geared at agreeing or condemning them. With God all things are possible & His grace & mercy & love & compassion are what we all need! Those are the things I covet. As in the words of my favorite movie “ARTHUR”
    “You feel unloved Arthur?” “Welcome to the world, everyone feels unloved!” “And incidentally, “I love you!” Have a happy day & rejoice in the gift of your life today, smile and have fun & bring a smile to the one you see with the worst of friend! Maybe they will have a better day because we smiled at then. And thank you for the comments everyone and thank you to pointing out the top 5 on someone’s list of these crazy men. I pray we all strive to be like Jesus, and I find no fault with any comments here, just glad to know some days are enough for me to handle & others are enough to break me down to cry out for my own faults which are too numerous to count, but still forgiven because I need forgiveness & I’m not too proud to ask, but at times too ashamed of myself to admit my own hypocrisy. Thanks Mark for sharing this post. God bless all of you & your words of wisdom, you’re all beautiful & unique and well spoken on your points. Pray for me, I need all the prayers & help I can get. I ask forgiveness in advance if my post offended any of you, and I pray you all have a fabooolussss day! It’s our present! God gave us another gift today! Life worth living for him. Hugs!!

    • Michele September 15, 2013, 10:09 AM

      Sorry bout that my spell changer turned Mike into Mark..
      So lemme try again: thank you so very much Mike Duran for sharing this post & your thoughts! You’re pretty wonderful in my opinion. God bless you!

  • Steve D September 15, 2013, 10:50 AM

    I am an Evangelical and a Baby Boomer. That being said, I looked at your list of people who “progressives” “hate” and found that while I can’t say that I hate any of them, that 4 of the 5 are not the best testimony for Christianity. I guess ‘m really a “Progressive”?

    The truth is that with the exception of Rick Warren, I have some serious issues with them. Pat and John seem stuck on blaming every disaster on some sin that we are committing as a society. Mark doesn’t feel that anyone but him is “man enough” to be Christian. Kirk has spent most of his time in the past couple of months whining about getting his Facebook page shut down while getting tons of publicity on none other than Facebook. I realize that some have done things that are not good either but, you seem to be tearing apart the whole Progressive movement based on s few. Isn’t that what you are complaining that the Progressive are doing?

    Frankly, I don’t believe that you have added anything to the discussion. Too bad, becuase you seem to be the exact image of those who you are complaining about.

    • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 11:02 AM

      “you seem to be tearing apart the whole Progressive movement based on s few. Isn’t that what you are complaining that the Progressive are doing?”

      The only difference is that I haven’t built a movement around critiquing those I disagree w/, much less feel a need to start fake Twitter accounts, police progressive blogs, post whacky religious kitsch, and host a Fuck No ________ (fill in name of some progressive leader) website. Actually, I would critique religious progressives on their beliefs not so much the idiosyncrasies of their spokespersons.

      • Steve D September 15, 2013, 11:27 AM

        “Actually, I would critique religious progressives on their beliefs not so much the idiosyncrasies of their spokespersons.”

        But the whole premise of your post is SOME of their spokesperson’s idiosyncrasies. I don’t agree with some of the tactics that some are using. I do not agree with the Fuck No______ website. Although, the Fake Drisoll and Fake John Piper Twitter feeds seem to be more satire than anything else. A quick search of Twitter shows that there are an abundance of “Fake” accounts. Including ESPN, Steve Jobs, Josiah Bartlet (Fake of a fictional character) and Bill Clinton. So, I’m not exactly too upset with that at all. he’s in good company.

        Part of thrusting yourself into the public eye is that some people will pick apart your foibles and criticize the dickens out of you. Each of the men that you listed were not “accidental” celebrities. In most cases, they sought it out. So, some of the criticism that they receive is part and parcel of the fact that they make controversial comments and make sure that they are heard.

        • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 11:40 AM

          Steve, are you suggesting that the websites I linked to are all anomalies, and not representative of the larger movement? I understand that once you’re in the public’s eye “some people will pick apart your foibles and criticize the dickens out of you.” The problem is when both parties claim to be believers. Not to mention whether it furthers the cause of Christ to nitpick and mock things about Christian culture you don’t agree with. If you believe someone is a false teacher, then call them out. Tell me why what they believe is wrong and why what you believe is right. But this nonsense of policing Twitter accounts and status Updates and posting them for your followers to ridicule, mock, and make crude jokes is just dumb.

          • Steve D September 15, 2013, 2:40 PM

            “The problem is when both parties claim to be believers. Not to mention whether it furthers the cause of Christ to nitpick and mock things about Christian culture you don’t agree with.”

            Discord goes all the way back to the Apostles. Remember that two wanted to seated on the right and left hand of Jesus when He got to His throne? They even got their mother to stick up for them! While intramural squabbles can be ugly, they are somewhat necessary, even helpful to get some of the differences out in the open.

            In regards to what could be called “stalking” (policing Twitter accounts for things to ridicule), I actually wish most of the guys that you listed got off of Facebook and Twitter (in particular). The trouble is that the medium does not match the message. I have seen tweets and updates from Driscoll and Piper that made no sense what so ever. Piper quotes verse fragments and Driscoll has a tendency to write things about how men need to “man up” (whatever that means). Yes, some of the comments are not helpful at all. After all, this IS a public media, not everyone is as they appear.

            Piper and Robertson have both made public comments about tragedies and disasters that were ultimately ill timed, not helpful, and hurtful. Having been involved in one of those tragedies, I can attest to the pain that comments like that cause. The pain that a fellow Christian inflicted to make a semi-spiritual/political point needs to be answered in as strong a way as possible. I also know of a Christian woman who was physically threatened by one of the pastors on your list.

            Fake Twitter accounts and a bit of satire is not that big of a deal. I believe that we don’t laugh at ourselves enough as it is. About 15 years ago I called the CBN about a comment that Robertson made on the air. I was told that the comment was justified (even for a Christian) because of what the other side had done. So, your idea of nice debates just don’t happen. Those in power see themselves as being impervious to criticism or even to dialogue.

            I was surprised to see Warren’s name on the list. Two or three years ago, Warren drew fire from some on the Neo-Calvinist side after being invited to one of their conferences. They didn’t think he should speak because he wasn’t “Calvinist” enough. The name of the conference was Together For The Gospel.

            • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 6:01 PM

              Steve, back up. You objected that, “the whole premise of your post is SOME of their spokesperson’s idiosyncrasies.” Again I ask, “are you suggesting that the websites I linked to are all anomalies, and not representative of the larger movement?” This is important. It’s a big reason why I post these occasional updates. I happen to think these are not “idiosyncrasies,” but a modus operandi.

              • Steve D September 15, 2013, 6:38 PM

                First, Stuff Fundies Like is actually run by Darell, who was a graduate of Pensacola Christian College. I wouldn’t exactly call him a progressive (he’d laugh at you). He falls into a category of recovering fundy. Probably closer to an Evangelical than anything else. He lampoons IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist) churches and culture. generally never goes near the five that you mentioned.

                SCCL is run by Stephanie Drury. To my knowledge, she is now a Christian Universalist. If I understand her bio, she was once a fundy as well. I get the idea from some things that she has wrote that she had some direct interaction with Driscoll (I may be wrong about this).
                Matthew Paul Turner and Christian Nightmares, I am not as familiar with as the other two. However, I think that you need to realize that the owner/editors of those blogs see themselves more of Christian Satire sites than anything. At different times they may get serious, but they are more like The Onion than The Gospel Coalition. For what it’s worth, I believe that satire is a healthy thing. There are few Christians who get satire (a shame).

                The Christian Left is actually not about the religious world, rather more about the political world. It is a response to the religious right.

                Rachel Held Evans is an author that has written 2 books and maintains her blog. She also now writes for CNN website on a regular basis. Rachel is hard to categorize. She claims Evangelical beliefs, but often questions some of them. I believe she sees herself as starting conversations that others are afraid of asking. She does go after Piper and Driscoll on occasion, but mainly for their views on Calvinism and male/female relationships.

                It seems to me that you have taken some of these sites, read a few articles and then made comments relating them to a view of Christianity that you don’t agree with.

                • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 4:45 AM

                  “It seems to me that you have taken some of these sites, read a few articles and then made comments relating them to a view of Christianity that you don’t agree with.”

                  Um, you’re wrong about that. Been aware of all these bloggers / authors / sites for quite a while. But I appreciate the recap.

                  • Steve D September 16, 2013, 7:59 AM

                    “. Been aware of all these bloggers / authors / sites for quite a while.”

                    Then why did you classify SFL as “Progrssive”? He is anything but. You might have been aware, but I don’t think that you read them…

                    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 8:31 AM

                      I haven’t classified SFL as progressive in this post. I made that mistake in a previous post, corrected it, and interviewed Darrell Dow HERE as follow-up.

                  • Steve D September 16, 2013, 8:11 AM

                    One thing that I will say, when presented with facts or alternate views that point to an inaccuracy. I have seen both Rachel Held Evans and The Wartburg Watch issue either apologies or retractions. It would be nice if those who claim to be evangelical Christians would do the same.

  • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 1:02 PM

    I think hating hatred is a necessity for being loving and tolerant. It’s certainly not a contradiction.

    • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 1:05 PM

      Thank you, Dolphin. That’s exactly what I’m doing here.

      • Steve D September 15, 2013, 2:41 PM

        Isn’t that sort of like starting a war to end a war?

        • Robert H. Woodman September 15, 2013, 2:47 PM

          No. It is a rephrasing of the much-maligned, but eminently true, statement that we “hate the sin and love the sinner.”

          • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 2:58 PM

            “Hate the sin and love the sinner” is only much maligned because, almost without exception, the people who say it devote 99-100% of their efforts on hating the sin most often at the expense of loving the sinner.

            • Hugh Banks September 15, 2013, 5:36 PM

              What Dolphin said.

        • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 2:55 PM

          No, but it is like going to war with the idea of war.

          • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:37 PM

            Well, wait. You suggested that “hating hatred is a necessity for being loving and tolerant”, right? Can’t I do that?

            • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 8:17 PM

              Umm. Yeah, I’d be thrilled if you did. Never said you couldn’t.

              • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 4:49 AM

                OK. Well that’s what I’m doing in this post: hating hatred.

                • dolphin September 16, 2013, 6:26 AM

                  And I’m saying (apparently I’m not being clear either since I keep having to repeat myself), that that isn’t the message that comes across. Your message comes across as adversarial in nature. If you’re actually trying to reduce hatred as you state, I’m just warning you that your writing is such that you’re more likely to stir more of it up.

                  • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 6:35 AM

                    dolphin, I AM “adversarial” in the same way that religious progressives are to evangelicals. Or are you defending THEIR critiques but not mine?

                    PS: I appreciate the “warning”

                    • dolphin September 16, 2013, 7:23 AM

                      Yes, you are in the same way that they often are to you.

                      I’m not defending anyone. I think the whole lot of you are hypocrites. You preach love but revel in hatred.

                    • Steve D September 16, 2013, 8:05 AM

                      So, Mike, it’s okay for you to be adversarial while progressives are not supposed to be adversarial? Frankly, I see you as someone who sees a fire and then throws gasoline on it. Really, you claim that you hate hate and then generate more misinformation and hatred than anything. I’m not defending anyone or anything. I just think that you have your mind made up and will argue even though people show that your information is inaccuarate.

                    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 8:27 AM

                      Steve D., not sure what “misinformation” you think I’m spreading.

                      You said, “it’s okay for you to be adversarial while progressives are not supposed to be adversarial?” I guess it depends on what you consider “adversarial.” Christians are supposed to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3), so debating ideas and theology seems important. I’ve simply employed the same type of satire and snark many of these same Progressives employ.

                    • dolphin September 16, 2013, 2:24 PM

                      Mike Duran: “I’ve simply employed the same type of satire and snark many of these same Progressives employ.”

                      The same that you condemn them for.

                    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 2:45 PM

                      dolphin, I’m not “condemning” anyone. Yes, I’m using the same methods Progressives use. (Apparently they don’t like that.) Two differences: 1.) I haven’t started any fake Twitter accounts, don’t devote 24/7 to policing Progressives, nor administrate a Fuck No ____________ website. 2.) Unlike Progressives, I don’t consider Love / Compassion / Tolerance the end-all / be-all of Christianity.

                    • Steve D September 16, 2013, 3:55 PM

                      Mike, you keep on talking about two things that seem to deeply offend you:
                      The website entitled “Fuck No Mark Driscoll”. Until you posted it here, I’d never heard of it (I imagine that his hits have gone up and doesn’t know why). After visiting it, there’s nothing to it. His last post was over a month ago and his posting is sporadic. With the amount of times that you’ve made reference to the site, he should pay you by the hit.
                      Second, the Fake Driscoll account. Actually, there seem to be three Fake Driscoll accounts. However, there are Fake Piper accounts, and several other “Fake” accounts. I counted at least 20 different ones all together. Perhaps you haven’t heard of satire? “Fake” accounts are SATIRE, they are attempts at humor, some successful, some not.

                    • dolphin September 17, 2013, 7:10 AM

                      You’re not condemning them? Your post doesn’t exactly come off as an affirmation.

                      As for your two differences. You don’t operate a now-defunct website set up by one man, and you don’t operate a satirical twitter account. You do regularly bash “progressives” but since you don’t use humor to do it, I guess you feel that makes it ok.

                      You also say “Unlike Progressives, I don’t consider Love / Compassion / Tolerance the end-all / be-all of Christianity.” Yet, I’ve never met a “progressive” who considers that to be the case either. In what I’ve read with you, I’ve noticed you like to do that A LOT. You’ll set up some wackadoodle view and assign it to “progressives” (a term that encompasses such a hugely diverse collection of views that, I don’t doubt you can find an example of one or two people who believe whatever crazy view you’re assigning to a massive segment of the population), then rail against it. Straw men are clearly your go to fallacy when you want to get some pats on the back, by attacking others.

                      I know no progressive Christian who believe that love and tolerance are the end-all; be-all of Christianity, they just believe that it should be part of it.

      • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 3:04 PM

        If that was your intention, might I suggest that you give it another go? Your heavy use of sarcasm to provoke and belittle people you disagree with comes off far more like an attempt to stir hatred and disharmony rather that to quiet it.

        • Steve D September 15, 2013, 3:54 PM

          I’m not sure if your comment was aimed at me or not. But here is my response.

          Hating hatred requires that you have an idea of where the hatred comes from. Blaming it on one side doesn’t work. Not to mention that like in many situations the problem is more complicated than just one side “hating” the other. The other factor is that in this case there are multiple groups that have a stake in the fight. Doing a little research sometimes sheds light on why people react the way they do.

          There are many in the Progressive Christian movement who have been either directly or indirectly hurt by the ministry of some of the men listed. There has been abuse that has been allowed to fester in some of the churches that fall under the teaching of these preachers or their friends and associates in other churches or church groups. Not only that but some are rebelling against a specific off shoot of Evangelicalism, the Neo-Calvinists (aka Young, Restless and Reformed).

          I realized my major problem with this post is that it sounds like there are the “Progressives” and the “Evangelicals” and that’s it. There are others who are deeply ensconced in this.

          So, telling the Progressives to behave themselves is simplistic and ultimately ineffective. Hating the hatred does not deal with the core issues. It only makes everyone think that sitting around a campfire singing “Kumbaya” and getting rid of the hate will work. Funny, I always thought that was more of a liberal concept than a conservative one. It still doesn’t work.

          • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 4:16 PM

            My comment wasn’t “aimed” at anyone but it was in response to Mike Duran’s suggestion that the purpose of this post was to “hate hatred.” I don’t see that in his post. At. All.

            I over all would agree with most of your latest comment.

          • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 5:37 PM

            Look, it is one thing when there is honest scamming or harm done. I could use the examples of Swaggart, Tilton, and Mike Warnke for that. But who here has specifically been hurt by the rather bland theology of Rick Warren? How many progressives have even watched the 700 club unironically? Who really has been hurt seriously by Mark Driscoll? There’s a difference between a theology you may not like and actual abuse or harm, and progressives tend to seize on the latter as a way to shut down people who say things they don’t like.

            • Steve D September 15, 2013, 6:10 PM

              Actually, there has been some damage done. Who has been seriously hurt by Driscoll? Try reading Mars Hill Refuge, The Wartburg Watchand others. You might change your view. As I stated before, I know a woman who was threatened physically by Driscoll.

              The 700 Club is presently being accused of channeling donations from a ministry to some sort of mine. Robertson does hurt people when he announces that tragedies and disaters are a direct result of some national sin (usually homosexuality or abortion, as if there’s no other sin.). Having been involved in one of the disasters that Robertson so blithely came up with an excuse for, I can tell you that it does do harm. It DOES hurt people, it DOES bring discredit to Christianity.

              • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 7:03 PM

                I’ve read them, and I don’t see evidence of widespread hurt as opposed to a near-pathological focusing on doctrine and evidences that could happen in any church. They are just hatewatching preachers they don’t like; the majority have never even been to Mars Hill or have been affected by the churches they chronicle.

            • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 6:40 PM

              In the face of the suicide rate for gay teens, it’s literally laughable to suggest that hate-based theology isn’t harmful.

              • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 7:26 PM

                There is no actual suicide rate documented for gay teens. There have been estimates due to studies but the figures cited are so unrealistic as not to be believed. 30-40% is given, but unless gay teens make up so tiny of a population as to be microscopic, there’d be more gay teen suicides than the entire amount of suicides in the USA (about 30,000 a year for everyone.) Literally, even counting gay ones as straight ones and figuring unreported ones, the amount of suicide in the west is very small.

                To put it in perspective gay teen suicide would be a worse epidemic than AIDS (which affects 20% of the gay population, and tends to be clustered in large cities.) More likely gay teens only have an average or slightly above average chance at suicide, and the real numbers are very small. Especially for teens; you’re more likely to kill yourself in any age bracket above 25 than below it.

                The numbers simply don’t match up.

                • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 8:08 PM

                  So fill me in, precisely how many dead children do you find to be an acceptable number.

                  • D.M. Dutcher September 15, 2013, 10:18 PM

                    Nothing to do with acceptable numbers and all to do with how the suicide rate was inflated to make a point that people should condemn certain theology based on harm. If you look at hate crimes for this year, too, the FBI’s reported roughly 1200 for all hate crimes based on sexuality out of a total of 7k. The amount of direct harm in general is really tiny considering the wild percentages people throw around, and it’s hard to make any serious link to specific teachings or behaviors. If the theology disappeared we’d still have the same rates of death and crime I think.

                    • dolphin September 16, 2013, 6:41 AM

                      Actually, you’re incorrect. I won’t argue against your strawman, but if you look at the ACTUAL numbers (you know the ones published by the CDC not in WND’s “the myth of gay teen suicide”), not only will you find that the suicide rate for gay teens is significantly above normal (no, not 40%, but you’re the first person I’ve EVER heard state that figure, so like I said, your strawman not withstanding), but it is 4 times the rate of straight teens.

                      It’s hard not to see the direct link when you have mainstream evangelical leaders TELLING kids to commit suicide if they are gay.

                      The amount of direct harm isn’t small. And it isn’t limited to suicides and hate crimes. Even Exodus International acknowledged the hurt they caused issuing apology when they recently shuttered their operations.

                      I’m sorry if I didn’t adequately address the inaccuracy of your numbers in my first common, but your type of wanton disregard for human life is one of those things that just makes me livid. I have to remind myself that you weren’t born a monster, you’ve just been taught to be one and there is always hope you can be shown a better way.

                    • D.M. Dutcher September 16, 2013, 9:53 AM

                      Citations needed for “mainstream” evangelical leaders telling them to kill themselves. Also, again the number of all teen suicides are very, very small; under 14 its virtually non-existent, and from 0-25 total you’re looking at 10k a year. The USA population is 321 million, and going with a 5% LGBT percentage, (and 20% of that being teens) you’re looking at barely 1% of gay teens suiciding if you triple the entire stats for all reported suicides in a year.

                      People who commit suicide are a tiny part of the population, period. The amount of people who would do so for any specific reason would be tinier still. It’s the same with say Mars Hill Church-it only has 5500 people, and people directly harmed by it would still be a tiny amount in real numbers. All these numbers get inflated and cloud people’s judgment when your probably more likely as a gay teen to die from complications due to insulin, asthma, or flu than suicide.

                    • dolphin September 16, 2013, 1:18 PM

                      I’m referring to “Love in Action” director John Smid saying “”I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery”

                      But in more recent news we could talk about the multiple conservative ministers who have taken to the television airwaves to encourage “christian” photographers to agree to photograph same-sex weddings, only to print print the message that couple deserves to die on each photograph.

                      The point isn’t the NUMBER of gay teens who commit suicide. It’s the fact that gay teens are 4X more likely than their straight counterparts to commit suicide. Gay teens with non-accepting parents (largely conservative evangelical) are 8X more likely to commit than the teenage population at large.

                      Your whole “It’s no big deal to try and convince gay kids to kill themselves because it’s not that many of them who actually do it” schtick is just disgusting to me. Vile in the extreme.

          • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:44 PM

            Steve D said, “telling the Progressives to behave themselves is simplistic and ultimately ineffective. Hating the hatred does not deal with the core issues. ”

            Totally agree! Which is why I’m hoping that progressives will stop policing evangelicals, snarking about every update and Tweet, and deal w. “core issues.”

            • Steve D September 15, 2013, 6:52 PM

              Mike, I have read some of your blog. Admittedly, only three articles so far. I will be honest, I think that you’ve found a whipping boy in Progressive Christianity, specifically some blogs. This may be difficult, but realize that the conservative Evangelical side does this as well. I know that Rachel Held Evans gets stalked by a couple of Neo Calvinists as well.

              I tend not to place people in categories unless they do it themselves. You seem to like to pigeon hole people (conservative/progressive). I realize that it makes it easier, but I also think it makes it more difficult to actually hear what people are saying.

        • Mike Duran September 15, 2013, 5:39 PM

          Sure, you can suggest that, Dolphin. I happen to think that my progressive counterpart’s “heavy use of sarcasm to provoke and belittle people [they] disagree with comes off far more like an attempt to stir hatred and disharmony rather that to quiet it.”

          • Dolphin September 15, 2013, 6:33 PM

            Well I don’t ascribe to the two wrongs make a right philosophy. Nor do I think a “but they do it too” statement in anyways clarifies your message to be anything other than adversarial. So, again, I have to say that if your intended message is what you say it is, you’re not communicating it clearly at all.

            • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 4:58 AM

              Dolphin, my “intended message” is simply to point out the religious progressive obsession w/ Evangelical bogies, the snark and vitriol it often assumes, and how inconsistent that seems w/ their message of love. I think I’ve communicated that pretty clearly.

              • dolphin September 16, 2013, 6:50 AM

                Well, see now you’re changing your story. First you said your intended message was to “hate hatred.”

                Now you’re acknowledging that you are hypocritically using the exact same “snark” that you are condemning to condemn others. That isn’t hating hatred, that is breeding hatred. I agree you are being clear in communicating THAT message.

                • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 7:09 AM

                  dolphin, “snarking snarks” = “hating hatred.” Methinks you’re working too hard to find me a hypocrite. But I do appreciate the policing.

                  • dolphin September 16, 2013, 7:22 AM

                    Not true at all. If you hate hatred, you want to see hatred eliminated. “Hating hatred” = “loving.” If you truly hate hatred, you want to see it dissolved. You are wanting to see it grow. When you are “snarking snark” as you suggest you are doing (which is inaccurate, you aren’t “snarking the snark”, you are “snarking” the people who you feel are “snarking”), you are, by definition, being adversarial. You are attempting to grow the divisions between people and breed hatred.

  • Abby Normal September 15, 2013, 8:36 PM

    So, you just basically generated a bunch of page hits using some of the most hackneyed old tropes in the conservagelical arsenal. Actually, the only thing missing was starting a sentence with “Now, this may sound politically incorrect, but …”

    Congratulations, I guess?

    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 4:59 AM

      Thank you for the page hit!

      • Abby Normal September 16, 2013, 5:30 AM

        Snark aside, you know what would be refreshing–heck, maybe even miraculous?

        For some religious blogger somewhere, when faced with another blogger that they don’t agree with to sit on their typing hands for ten minutes and do something that my mom was always telling me to do–try to walk a mile in the other guy’s moccasins before you shoot your mouth off.

        I have yet to see any one on either side of the liberal/conservative Christian divide actually do this, yourself included.

        • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 6:15 AM

          How do you know I didn’t do that before I posted this? I’ve had this post in my Drafts file for about three months. I only decided to post it after I saw the responses to Driscoll’s new book. Also, I posted it on a weekend (Saturday), which is typically a slow traffic period, mainly because I know these posts get a rise out some. If I really wanted to make this an issue, I could have waited till midweek. Instead, I’ll be posting something entirely different later today (Monday). So I’m not sure why you’re assuming I’ve just “shot off my mouth.” Perhaps we just disagree?

          • Abby Normal September 16, 2013, 7:19 AM

            I’m sorry–I wasn’t really referring to how much time you’ve spent writing or editing. What I was talking about was whether you actually tried to see things “from the other side of the coin” as it were–maybe try to actually understand what the people you criticize are actually trying to say?

            I’m not seeing evidence that you’ve done that, no matter how carefully written the post was.

            • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 7:40 AM

              Yes, I “try to actually understand what the people [I] criticize are actually trying to say.”

              • No_6 September 16, 2013, 6:26 PM

                Copying and pasting from others’ posts is the furthest thing from trying to understand where they’re coming from. It’s patronizing. Just saying.

        • dolphin September 16, 2013, 7:01 AM

          Sitting on their hands for a bit won’t do it (as Mike’s post illustrates since he said he did just that). They have to WANT to demonstrate love and compassion for others, even those they disagree with (you know, practice what they preach) and most politically motivated Christians (on either side) just aren’t that interested in that. Mike could sit on a post for years, but it’d still come out like this one because he doesn’t WANT to write in a way that is reconciliatory and compassionate. He wants to score some cheap political points and get patted on the back by folks who think just like him.

          • Abby Normal September 16, 2013, 7:29 AM

            Agreed. Also agreed that it’s something that happens pretty equally on both sides. Just one of these days, I’d really like to be proved wrong–that the religious blogosphere isn’t totally made up of isolated echo chambers without any real understanding or connection happening–but I haven’t come across any such thing yet. It’s all just spouting off the same rhetoric with the same wave of comments either for or against. It never really accomplishes anything.

          • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 7:43 AM

            Gee, you guys seem to know so much about me. Maybe you should try walking in my moccasins…

            • Abby Normal September 16, 2013, 7:59 AM

              Aaaaaand apparently you just made my point for me. I’m trying to understand you myself, which is why I even responded to you in the first place. I was actually trying to have an honest discussion, and you’ve just decided to shut it down with yet more snark. Same old story everywhere, I guess. Good day to you.

              • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 8:05 AM

                Dear Ms. Normal, It’s hard to believe you were “actually trying to have an honest discussion” when your first comment was:

                “So, you just basically generated a bunch of page hits using some of the most hackneyed old tropes in the conservagelical arsenal. Actually, the only thing missing was starting a sentence with “Now, this may sound politically incorrect, but …”

                Or am I reading too much snark into that?

                Good day to you, too.

              • Jessica Thomas September 16, 2013, 8:12 AM

                Doesn’t exactly come across that you are open to understanding the author’s POV here.

                ‘So, you just basically generated a bunch of page hits using some of the most hackneyed old tropes in the conservagelical arsenal. Actually, the only thing missing was starting a sentence with “Now, this may sound politically incorrect, but …”

                Congratulations, I guess?’

                • Abby Normal September 16, 2013, 8:30 AM

                  Point taken, and I apologize for the snarkiness of my initial comment, which was not as well-thought-out as I wouldve liked (ironic, right?) However, I don’t feel that my follow up comment was responded to in good faith, and Mike’s already been plenty dismissive of other commenters who started out with much more gracious criticisms than I did.

                  If he was dismissive of me solely because of initial comment, then I’ll just say “sorry” and leave it at that. This dead horse has been beaten enough.

                  • Jessica Thomas September 16, 2013, 8:49 AM

                    I appreciate your humility here. I think this comment thread pretty well demonstrates that online debates are often useless. Lots of talking “at” each other instead of to each other.

            • dolphin September 16, 2013, 12:08 PM

              So you write your thoughts out on the internet, then get offended when people take note of them?

              I actually see no problem with you being a jerk. If that’s what you want your life to be about, more power to you. May you rise or fall on the merits of it. But just don’t sit here claiming superiority over the other jerks of the world.

          • D.M. Dutcher September 16, 2013, 11:41 AM

            “If they only had compassion and empathy, they’d understand why we savage what they believe in and they’d be okay with it and hopefully change themselves” is the vibe I get from a lot of similar arguments. Compassion can be used as a club to beat people into silence and prevent them from reacting because accusing someone of being unloving to people that are hurting is easier than actually debating whether or not someone being hurt gives you carte blanche to tear someone a new one, especially if that someone is other than yourself.

            • dolphin September 16, 2013, 12:11 PM

              I know many people who are able to disagree while maintaining compassion and empathy. Granted, it’s a minority of folks, but there are plenty nonetheless.

  • Patrick Todoroff September 16, 2013, 7:23 AM

    I’m shocked – shocked – I say at the notion of hostility, contradiction and slander directed at the gospel message and gospel ministers.
    ***
    Classic ‘dislike the message/discredit the messenger’. This drama has been going on for centuries in every generation since Christ came. I know nothing ruins a good idea like a bad implementation, but there was only one perfect man and people killed him.
    And if wasn’t for his message of love and forgiveness, either.

    FWIW, not that I have an exhaustive knowledge , but I support and appreciate Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill. Warts and all.

  • Michael Trimmer September 16, 2013, 8:54 AM

    Mike, I kind of feel this post is lacking some sufficiency. You talk about the frustration against these people, and while I agree with you that the conduct of these people opposing these pastors is wrong, it would have made sense to examine why they get frustrated. You seem to be painting all “progressive” Christians as resurrection denying universalists, and I think there’s a lot more nuance there than that. Could you perhaps do a post looking into why there are frustrations with these people so as to balance this out a little? Right now, it seems your throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Dismissing these people’s complaints because of their conduct.

    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 12:36 PM

      Fair enough, Michael. I don’t believe all progressives are venomous. However, this post was not intended to go in depth about the reasons for people’s frustration w/ these evangelical leaders. This post was purely for fun.

      • Michael Trimmer September 17, 2013, 1:36 AM

        I can see that its just for fun, but I feel that by ignoring the reasoning, you’re laughing at someone because they havn’t finished their point. These people are getting angry with good reason. Their conduct may not be perfect, but they arn’t just spiteful for its own sake. Perhaps you could make another post going into more detail about people’s frustrations.

  • Phineas Marr September 16, 2013, 9:08 AM

    Any word has to be understood in its own context. I don’t know of any website or Facebook page, be it The Christian Left, The God Article, etc., who defines tolerance the way you do. They all believe in diversity of opinion, but if one is going to uplift that as a standard, which they all do, you cannot tolerant those viewpoints which are exclusionary, and everyone of the folks on your top five have such a viewpoint to one degree or another. Stuff Christian Culture Likes is unashamedly a place where those who feel they experienced abuse at the hands of evangelicals (that is not to say that people do not get abused by progressives, but that isn’t the point of that particular page) can gather together, vent, name-call, do what they have to do to heal from what they feel are deep wounds. They never claim to be tolerant in the sense you are using it.

    Additionally, calling out abusive opponents isn’t exactly new to Christianity. In Philippians 3 Paul calls his opponents dogs and mutilators of the flesh for advocating circumcision as a necessary part of earning the love of God. Not exactly loving and tolerant language. So add Paul to the list of people you are sarcastically mocking as being supposedly loving and tolerant. Paul wanted toleration for Gentile converts. By definition he was not tolerant of those who would insist such people adopt ALL Jewish customs.

    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 10:09 AM

      Phineas, I agree that “calling out abusive opponents” and sometimes using sarcasm and mockery to do so can be appropriate. But don’t you think Progressives put a special emphasis on compassion, understanding, feelings, tolerance, etc.? (I addressed this recently in a post entitled Love is Not God. ) This is why many religious Progressives emphasize social justice, do not believe in hell, do not define homosexuality as an aberrant lifestyle, believe the communion table should be open to all, and even toy with Universalism. My reason for posts like this is to highlight what I consider a terrible hypocrisy among proponents of Loving Leftism. If they really believe love, mercy, understanding, forgiveness, etc. is so important, why so much vitriol? If they want to point out theological flaws in their conservative evangelical counter-parts, more power to them. What bothers me is the number of progressive bloggers who don’t; they simply sneer at, mock, ridicule, make Fake Twitter accounts and Fuck No Mark Driscoll websites. I have questioned whether or not sites like SCCL actually accomplish what they intend, or whether or not they just ratchet up hate.

      • Phineas Marr September 16, 2013, 3:27 PM

        Remember, the guy who wrote Philippians 3 also wrote 1 Corinthians 13. Obviously Paul thought that espousing and promoting love didn’t mean that one couldn’t call out one’s opponents. And please note that when New Testament folks did so, they didn’t always spare the vitriol. To reiterate, Paul used the term “dogs” and the phrase “mutilators of the flesh.” Jesus and John the Baptist used the term “brood of vipers” which isn’t far from “sons of bitches” when you consider the original meaning of the terms.

        You seem to think it’s OK to call them out on theological terms. But theology isn’t always the problem. Mark Driscoll is a neo-Calvinist, but he isn’t always called out for that. He’s called out because he is a bully. I know many Calvinist folks that are nothing like Mark Driscoll. It’s Driscoll’s abuse of power, as evidenced by those who have left his churches, that seems to be the issue for a good deal of his critics, not his neo-Calvinism per se.

  • Tess September 16, 2013, 10:50 AM

    What did do I before I found this page? I’m glad you’re around to essentially tell me as a liberal Christian (ELCA Lutheran) I am wrong because I believe in social justice, an open Communion rail (you are welcome if you have been baptized and believe that Jesus is your savior….I know, radical, right), and I am proud to say that my mother was a voting delegate at the 2009 National Churchwide Assembly when the denomination voted that ALL of God’s children were truly equal regardless of orientation.

    But the thing is, you appear to believe that is what we focus on. When was the last time (if ever) you attended an ELCA service? Our pastors and congregations simply focus on the message of Jesus. Our pastors don’t campaign/politicize from the pulpit like the five on your list do. Our pastors give guidance and advice when it is asked for, and they most definitely do not shun parishioners for asking uncomfortable questions or for disagreeing with them.

    • Mike Duran September 16, 2013, 12:40 PM

      Not sure where I said “social justice” or “open Communion” were wrong. I said, in my reply to Phineas, that religious progressives tend to emphasize those things like acceptance, compassion, and tolerance.

      • dolphin September 16, 2013, 2:21 PM

        How horrible of them.

        • Michael Trimmer September 17, 2013, 1:38 AM

          I think Mike’s point is that they focus on acceptance etc, and then they go out and display this vitriol.

          • dolphin September 17, 2013, 7:45 AM

            I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what acceptance is.

            When Pat Robertson says that martial artists use Buddhist chants to become possessed by demons before competing so they get super human strength, it’s not non-accepting to call the crazy out.

            Acceptance doesn’t mean agreeing with everything anybody ever says or does.

            • Michael Trimmer September 17, 2013, 5:50 PM

              But the question is, where do you draw the line when it comes to acceptance. The issue here is that progressive Christians claim to have a somehow more reliable monopoly on where that line is drawn, because they are somehow much more accepting. But the truth is, they just draw the line in different places.

              • Dolphin September 17, 2013, 7:36 PM

                I disagree.

                The difference between the intolerance of intolerance and the intolerance of anything else is fundamentally and structurally different. I don’t know that I’m eloquent enough to precisely explain it though I have already tried in my comments here. Earlier Mike suggested that “hating hate” = “snarling snark” and I tried to explain why they are fundamentally different. If you hate hate, you want to see hatred dissolved, necessarily want to see hatred dissolved. You want it to no longer exist and if hatred no longer exists then those who hate it no longer have anything to hate. The entire notion is a self-resolving concept. “Snarling snark” has no such self-resolution. Mocking mocking just leads to more mocking.

                Hating anything other than hate has no such self-resolution either.

                Sorry I’m not more eloquent with my words. I wish I were, but the difference between hating hate and hating people isn’t just some arbitrary line drawn on a spectrum. Even if I can’t find the words to precisely explain the difference.

                • Michael Trimmer September 18, 2013, 12:48 AM

                  That’s not quite what I mean.

                  I agree with you in this example, hating hate isn’t the same as hating in general, however that isn’t quite what I meant here.

                  You said that you should call out Pat Robinson like craziness vis a via martial arts, and I agree with you there. But my issue is, others would regard different things as being “crazy”. Like for instance, some would regard universalism as being crazy. Is it okay to call that kind of thing out and still be accepting?

  • Steve in Toronto February 21, 2014, 7:15 AM

    I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I might be a progressive Christian so let me critique your list.
    1) Mr. (Rev?) Warren I certainly don’t hate him. Seems like a genuinely nice guy who handled terrible tragedy with a lot of grace. I do however think his church is a pretty shallow and superficial operation (I suspect he is coming to this conclusion as well). Drop him from the list and substitute Joel Osteen.
    2) Pat is old news a crank and likely a hypocrite (there is no way a man with his education believes in all the nutty things he promotes on his show but he did come out on the side of the angels regarding the recent Ken Ham debate. Replace him with Mike Huckabee (but to be honest I can’t get really to worked up about him either He is no worse than the rest of the nuts of Fox News I just expect better from such a prominent evangelical)
    3) Piper seems like a thoughtful intellectual to me. I think he has swallowed too much Edwards without properly chewing him and there is a touch of hypocrisy in how he handled his son’s rebellion but we are all guilty of that sin. Drop him from your list and replace him with Albert Mohler now that guy is a piece of work. Go back and read about how he managed the coup d’état at southern seminary and weep.
    4) Kirk Cameron? who the hell is Kirk Cameron? A celebrity really? he stared in what? Why should I care about him?
    5) Mark Driscoll now there is a guy who really gets under my skin if my kid went to his church I would seriously think about hiring a team of crack commandos to kidnap the poor child and subject them to a semester of deprograming at General Theological Seminary in NYC.

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