Gabriel Hughes of WWUTT : Pulpit & Pen are ‘Slanderous,’ Have an ‘Unhealthy Craving For Quarrels’
Yesterday, December 30th, 2016 Pastor Gabriel Hughes of First Southern Baptist Church of Junction City, KS and voice behind the WWUTT (When We Understand The Text) podcast made unwarranted allegations of “slander” against us at Pulpit & Pen. During the episode entitled WWUTT 340 Q&A Bethel Church and Jesus Culture Pastor Gabriel Hughes leveled the following accusation toward Pulpit & Pen, its editors, authors, and contributors.
“…and Nabeel deserves an apology from Pulpit & Pen. I have seen them make slanderous and un-true statements about Nabeel Qureshi and even when they were shown their errors they would not relent. I do not recommend Pulpit & Pen. They have an unhealthy craving for quarrels. Which is a real shame because they have had their moments exposing false teachers. They even provided links to WWUTT videos, but unfortunately I can simply can not share their articles as long as they continue this ungracious pattern of beating chest and brow … I maintain that they do own Nabeel an apology.”
The above audio can be found starting at the 35:11 mark in the show. The context of Hughes’ criticism of Pulpit & Pen comes among his criticism of Bethel Church, Jesus Culture, and Nabeel Qureshi. I will address this later in this post. However, first let me address the erroneous accusation of slander made by Pastor Gabriel Hughes. Let us first define slander, especially from a precise legal standpoint. Slander is to knowingly and maliciously make a false and damaging statement about someone. [i] To be able to claim slander, you must be able to show that the alleged slanderer made false and damaging statements, which, after multiple attempts at reaching out to Hughes privately requesting substantiation of his accusations, he has refused to do.
(For a more thorough definition of ‘slander,’ see here.)
Pulpit & Pen did not slander Nabeel Qureshi, nor do we owe him an apology as Hughes demands. Pulpit & Pen simply presented the facts surrounding Qureshi and put out a warning to discerning Christians about the need to keep a watchful eye on him. It has been primarily Seth Dunn and his various articles that have raised the flag of caution on Nabeel Qureshi. Hughes also accuses Pulpit & Pen of having an “unhealthy craving for quarrels.” Scripture clearly demonstrates in 1 Corinthians 11:19 that there must be factions among us or divisions among us to know the truth. That so-called “unhealthy craving for quarrels” as Hughes suggests those at Pulpit & Pen of having is a biblical response of discernment against false teaching. It is that same response to false teaching that any discerning Christian polemicist should be striving to achieve. The ability to tell right from almost right.
One should be alarmed at Hughes’ arrogant accusations against the motives of those involved with Pulpit & Pen. To infer that Pulpit & Pen has a quarrelsome attitude against the body of Christ a misstatement of ignoramus proportions and repugnant to those who cherish and hold the gift of discernment. The gift of discernment is needed significantly today in the church. It is this direct, definitive and impersonal approach that is our overriding concern in what we do at Pulpit & Pen. For a pastor like Hughes who is in the same supposed arena of “discernment” ministry to make a charge of slander and to presume to know our motives is an outrage. To have it be promulgated against us when he is now making the same discernment judgments against Nabeel Qureshi that we made show a lack of character.
As I stated early in the beginning of this post I wanted to address the criticism that Pastor Gabriel Hughes brings against Bethel church, Jesus culture and Nabeel Qureshi in this episode of WWUTT. Pastor Gabriel Hughes’ criticism on this topic, while well-warranted, is secondary and past due. We at Pulpit &Pen have been warning about Nabeel Qureshi and the Bethel Church connection for quite some time. Hughes’ warning is equivalent to a relief pitcher showing up in the ninth inning in the second out of the World Series and claiming victory for all the hard work he did and taking credit for the entire game. When in all truthfulness, it was the pitcher before him that did all the work.
Gabriel Hughes has attacked our journalistic integrity here at Pulpit & Pen. We at Pulpit & Pen have an obligation to present facts as accurately as possible and make every effort to do so. Besides reporting facts, we also opine on those facts. We may come to an opinion regarding the facts we have presented that some, like Hughes, David Wood, or Nabeel Qureshi don’t like or agree with. This does not substantiate the accusation of slander. We are calling on Hughes to either substantiate his allegations by showing us the factual errors that Pulpit & Pen made in reference to Nabeel Qureshi or to publicly retract his allegations. We have made this request to him privately to no avail, and have been left with no choice but to request this publicly. To fail to do so would only expose his own prideful heart.
[Contributed by Richard Haas]
More recently, in 2015 I founded Cross†Roads Radio along with my wife. Our goal is to bring a clear, concise, and Christ-centered focus to the body of Christ in Apologetics, Polemics, Family, Marriage and the Church.
Latest posts by Richard Haas (see all)
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- Gabriel Hughes of WWUTT : Pulpit & Pen are ‘Slanderous,’ Have an ‘Unhealthy Craving For Quarrels’ - December 31, 2016