Sunday, April 24, 2005

Apologetics that need an apology

Christianity Today:

[Christian Research Institute] said Alnor's repeated attacks have harmed the ministry and must be challenged. In a prepared statement, CRI told CT, "CRI is not opposed to fair and truthful comments or opinions with respect to matters of public debate and certainly honor[s] the constitutional right to express them. However, fabricating malicious falsehoods and then actively circulating them not only belies any profession of Christianity but is defamatory and libelous. Unchallenged, such unjustified accusations ruin reputations, damage ministries, and cast aspersions on the cause of Christ."

On why CRI is taking a fellow believer to court, Hanegraaff told CT that Christians should never do so in an arbitrary fashion, but, "At some point, you have to say, 'Enough is enough.' Truth and justice do matter."

Hanegraaff added, "If you don't respond, people think there may be something to it."

One guy's opinion: It does greater discredit to CRI that they would disregard what the Bible says when they think they have a good reason to do so than the false accusation of a blogger.

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:1-11

The latter part of the passage is a well-known one on behaviors that are inconsistent with being a new creation in Christ. It is preceded by --and seemingly prompted by-- the practice of Christians suing other Christians.

One would be forgiven for wondering: If CRI isn't above explaining away a clear passage when they are affected financially, what is to keep them from doing so in their apologetic work? Alnor's accusation was bait, and CRI bit hard.

For the record, I gave up getting CRI's newsletter around a decade ago, as I thought that their monthly pleas for funds were over the top then. I'm surprised they don't seem to realize that our actions are an apologetic also.