Over the last few weeks we’ve received a lot of questions, comments and concerns about the state of and plans for the Pulpit and Pen blog. Many people have been asking how we will be proceeding into the future with JD no longer blogging and having by and large taken a step back from Social Media [His @Pulpitandpen Twitter handle, for example, is now being used by the contributors]
Quite frankly: the same way we’ve been doing it since he removed himself over a month ago as a contributor.
There’s been speculation and assertions that our blog functions as a top-down organization, with Jordan at the head calling all the shots and approving or disapproving any articles or social media interactions. This is not the case at all. As the Managing Editor, anything published up to this point has been solely at my discretion without any input or oversight from JD, other than him poking me and prodding me to ensure that we have a reasonably steady supply of content. That’s the extent of Jordan’s involvement, and that’s how it’s always been.
Going forward nothing has changed. Jordan will still be producing the program and we will be featuring it and referencing it on the blog, and likewise he will be promoting the blog and the contributors. For example, in the very near future we hope to start transcribing portions of his program and pinning them up as posts, and we in turn will provide material for him to talk about on the program in a more deliberate way.
And so with that renewed mission and zeal comes a renewed focus of the blog. We all have our different strengths as contributors, but by synthesizing our passions we’ve agreed upon a five-fold focus of Pulpit & Pen in what we write about, speak about and rattle the cages about.
1) The Peddling of Heresy to the Church for Profit
2) Creeping Ecumenism
3) False Conversion/Easy Believism/ “Sinner’s Prayer Mythodology”
4) Political Expediency in the Church
5) Degradation of pulpit / lack of Biblical preaching.
So in that respect it’s a little different, but also a lot the same. People have assumed that certain events that have transpired over the last few weeks gave left an uncertain void in the room, and that we won’t continue to shed light on corruption in the Church, in the SBC, on bad and burgeoning theology, and on the voiceless souls being marginalized by the Evangelical Corporate Machine. There has been the suggestion that we won’t hit hard when we need to, shout loudly when we need to, and raise a ruckus when the situation demands it.
Not so at all.
The fire is still burning bright and its in the daily process of being fanned into flames higher and ever higher. We will strive as always to be more gracious in what we say, more purposeful in who we engage, and more thoughtful in our responses, but we will not back down or pull our punches when needed, nor be cowed or quieted by villainous men and women who sputter and spout when their bad theology, mischievous ways, and treacherous hearts are exposed.
If you have any questions at all about this, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
To that end, I leave you with a statement from JD:
I’ve heard it claimed by some of the more vocal ax-grinders – particularly those capitalizing on loss and tragedy to blatantly and shamelessly shield themselves from criticism – that the Pulpit & Pen will no longer discuss certain topics or controversies. Sometimes, wishful thinking and spiteful opportunism creates just this type of unfounded rumor.
To be fair, I handed the keys of the Pulpit & Pen to its managing editor, Dustin Germain and the other contributors almost two months ago. I can’t make a definitive statement of what the website will or will not discuss. My hand is on the plow of pastoral ministry, and my regular writing for the website is just one more thing that has to be sacrificed for the sake of this sacred calling. Obviously, if there is gross theological error or another kind of reproach to Christ, I can remove my P&P logo or commandeer what used to be my own blog. A more plausible scenario, however, is that Dustin and the gang will continue to fulfill the longstanding purpose of the website and do so in a way that will glorify God and provide lots of things for me to discuss on the program.
To all the people who have called, texted, direct messaged, or emailed me to say, “I hope you don’t stop talking about [corruption in the SBC, Downgrade issues, Lifeway’s peddling of heresy, imposters in the pulpit, etc…] my answer is that I put in three full years of my life in a brutal tour of duty addressing these very things. The Pulpit & Pen website, Lord willing, will always be a place these issues can be discussed.
Another question I’ve received is “What will you do with the Pulpiteers”? The way some have characterized the Pulpiteers is that they are this rabid army of JD Hall followers, sitting around just waiting to take marching orders for who to “go after” next. Therefore, this characterization begs the question, “What will you do with them now?” Here’s the truth of it – in spite of the hype, the Pulpiteers really are an army – in a sense. They are a group of people, fed up with the modern-day downgrade in the pulpits and pews (some of them are pastors, some are laypeople) who have decided to stop being silent. The Pulpiteers, as they’ve come to be called, are not under the “control” of any man, let alone me. For certain spokesmen to entertain the notion that if I stop my “ten year muckracking campaign” (which is a quotation falsely attributed to me) that legitimate criticism will go away is to reveal an astounding underestimation of the movement that Pulpit & Pen has helped to lead. You see, that’s the funny thing about the truth. You can’t stop it.
I do want to give some words of caution to the Pulpiteers…Temper your zeal with graciousness. Don’t let the Downgrade consume your life. Be Gospel-focused. Do not be like those who hate being called to repentance and despise it when they see others do it. Rejoice in both; the love it takes for someone to correct you and your love for others when they listen to correction. Make sure your belief in the sovereignty of God underpins your calls for reform – remember that God is in charge, even over the mess that currently is American evangelicalism. At the same time, don’t use the sovereignty of God as an excuse to do nothing, for such is the strategy of far lesser men that are guided by cowardice rather than conviction. Balance both edification and reproof, blessing and rebuke.
I look forward to seeing what the contributors to the website will come up with in coming days, and suspect it will play an important role in this continued struggle to free our churches and minds from the Modern Day Downgrade.
[Contributed by Dustin Germain]
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