Opened eyes

This past week, I have been taking a break from a lot of things that usually fill my time – the internet / computer, the television, music, and so on. There’s a Christian web forum where I serve as a moderator. Having not visited in a while, I visited today, and was grieved at the things I saw. Granted, it’s not new. It’s always been going on, however, now that I have taken a step back, I see it with what seems to be brand new eyes.

It’s the same old stuff – non reformers blasting the reformed, some reformers being arrogant as though they are 100% theologically correct even though we’re all fallible men (which fuels the “Reformed Christians are soooo pompous” claims), other arrogance, people defending heresies, people twisting Scripture, arguments over who’s right and who’s wrong, arguments made without providing backup Scripture (usually because there IS none)… a lot of clanging cymbals. It’s grievous and to me, seems like a waste of time. There are heardened hearts, wheat and tare, those who profess to be Christian but don’t hold to, understand, or DEFEND the very attributes of God and the Bible… There are people who seem to defend the very things that God hates. There are people who defend ‘Christian worldliness’ although Scripture says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17 ESV

I need to reevaluate my position / purpose there. I understand why so many don’t visit the board. I do. It leaves me wondering though — Can I even make a difference ? With so many people choosing to follow hard after what they WANT concerning Christian liberties and doctrine, can I really say something that will cause people to listen ? I sometimes don’t feel that I can. I think that people get comfortable and lackadaisical concerning growth. Sometimes it hurts to get of your comfort zone – absolutely – but if it is for the glory of God, isn’t that pain 100% worth it ?

I also get exasperated at the fact that prayer / praise threads get very few replies and views, but let someone discuss anything that can cause potential drama (Buzz Words – Joel Osteen, WoF, Jonathan Edwards [ yes, even JE ], Benny Hinn, and the like) and you have tons of responses and views within very few minutes. It’s sad. As Christians, our hearts and minds should be set on things above (Colossians 3:1 – 2) and not on the things that please the flesh. The flesh is a beast, but if we’re constantly feeding it what it thrives off of, how can our minds be set on the eternal and not the temporal ? Rushing into a thread with a knowingly controversial topic yet putting off a prayer request thread which could mean life or death ? This should not be.

It’s jacked when emails are sent to the 13,000 + board members asking for donations and less than 100 respond / donate. There have been emails sent out about sending a ministry to the Honduras to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, an email sent out asking for a donation to help with the costs of the site, and more recently ? An email was sent because the site owner knew of a family member in Christ with a spouse and children who is struggling financially and doesn’t even have the money to buy the children FOOD. Needless to say, very few donated in ANY of these situations. YET, people are QUICK to partake of the benefits and the products of the above ministries / people with nooooo problem.

There are people there PURPOSELY deceiving the brethren, admittedly so, who continue to do so even after ‘apologies’… What, then, is metanoia ? What is repentance if you’re still wallowing and continuing purposely in the very thing you apologized for… ?

Quite a few of the above named reasons are EXACTLY why Christians aren’t, for the most part, taken seriously. Folks don’t take CHRIST seriously; the BIBLE is not taken seriously. People don’t do their Christian duties… helping their brothers / sisters, interceding on behalf of their brothers and sisters….

So with that said, I haven’t posted on the board since last week. I don’t have much of a desire to. And with so many other moderators in the forums, am I really needed ? I’ll be praying about it.

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13 thoughts on “Opened eyes

  1. Rick says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever found a forum based in Christianity that I stuck with for very long. Just too many inherent problems with a forum, I guess. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so attracted to the blogging. I don’t see near as much of the you-suck, no-you-suck-more mentality that seems to pervade many forums.

  2. Sis, I completely feel you.

    It’s funny, I lurked around the board today (having not posted since my ‘hiatus from HCR began, although I’m still PMing folks) and saw much of the same things you mentioned.

    Originally, I posted on HCR because I *knew* that somewhere, someone was reading but not posting and they could decipher through the mess. I’ve seen good FRUIT in several folks on the board – people who’ve PMed me and said that a lot of what I’ve posted, they’ve read and agreed with. I’ve gotten e-mails from the many folk who defend heretical doctrine calling me all sorts of names privately, yet publicly, they act as though they are all about unity and preserving the peace.

    HCR is a good board and there are good people on it. But every once in a while, you need to take a break from it. You see what constant warfare has done to our troops in Iraq. There are enough ‘brethren’ on the board to keep the apologia moving along. You’ve heard of ‘staggered breathing’ before, haven’t you ?

    Think for a moment…. the road is narrow and there be few that find it. So a bunch of folk presenting their carnal desires as ‘Christian Liberties’ should not surprise you. Their ‘god’ is their flesh. A bunch of people clinging to WoF doctrine because it’s ‘powerful’ and doesn’t leave them ‘sitting ducks for the devil’ appeals to their ears (2 Tim. 4:3). So of course they’re going to defend their false teachers. And every opportunity to tear at sound doctrine, they will take. Note the same 3-5 people who do it in EVERY thread.

    The more I look at some of the stuff on the board, part of me is actually a little on the thankful side I’m no longer a mod at this moment (maybe again in the future if Vic lets me back on board). There are bigger issues that need to be addressed in the faith – and having the ‘HCR stamp’ on your name may actually prevent you from doing that. I don’t say this to say abandon Vic – he’s a good man and he needs some good, SOLID folks as moderators (and he has a good group now). But the solid folk need to stay, guide discussions and yes, even censor some of the erroneous teachings that are posted on the board. The mods need to set the example for good discussion and stop all of the cattiness that non-reformed cats bring to the board (though a lot of them don’t see it because they really haven’t been exposed to reformed theology outside of their narrow circles).

    All this to say….. keep praying, use your time wisely and seek wise counsel in regard to leaving or staying. I see the need for you to do both (leave, but stay). God doesn’t NEED you on HCR, but He will use you there…..mightily (as He already has).

    In the meantime, in a few days, I’ll be posting the ‘Why are some non-Calvinists such Jerks’ entry on my blog. 🙂 (Yes, I’m serious…. and I’ll be citing posts from HCR as examples).

  3. Hey Rick – Visit my forum (The Sanctuary). In the years it’s been up, I’ve only had one major ‘argument’ there (with an open theist who didn’t know how to act – and he was removed). Very peaceful.

    KJG

  4. Michael says:

    Hey Jenn:

    I feel everything you’re saying. I’ve seen much in my few months on the board. The same people defend the same heresies, the same people show the same arrogance, and those are usually the same people who ignore the Scrips when someone posts them.

    I feel the same way you do about the prayer/praise threads as I do about my attempt at making “Love and Unity” threads and trying to show folks through the Scrips how it is to treat each other, even when we disagree. I’ve had a few “less than charitable” moments as well, but I’ve made amends with those who I allowed to push my buttons. But I think most don’t really wish to do that.

    At times, it seems very overwhelming to hear professing Christians say some of the most worldly things, defend horribly ecumenical practices, and worse. They are more concerned with defending preachers than defending the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

    Sometimes I wonder why I’m even there. If you disagree with something, people even want to question your personal ministry and what you’re doing to make a difference.

    But anyway, we have to understand that the wheat must grow with the tares. I know you understand that, because you said so. The reason I stay is so that there’s SOMEONE willing to actually defend the Scriptures and try and make sure our great Saviour isn’t spoken ill of. But maybe some time away will help you out.

    I personally have missed your presence on the board. You always seem to bring a ‘moment of clarity’ to situations that arise. HEY KERRY, I MISS YOU TOO BRO!!!

    Take your time. Pray. Fast. Read. If you feel led to stay, then I’ll be waiting for you, sis. I LOVE YOU, SIS!!!! If you decide to walk away from the board, I LOVE YOU SIS!!!

  5. Rikki says:

    I hear you, Jenn. I see it too. Take a break, and pray. All I can say is that I’d rather be on THAT board than the secular ones I’m a member of. There will always be disagreements and dissension, no matter where you go. But I also see Godly people who I would have never come across otherwise. It’s not the same without you and Kerry….but…. Whatever you decide……I know how to reach ya! 🙂

  6. Sis, I feel you completely. It seems as if there are cycles on that board. Sometimes there is a lot of fruitful conversation, but then all the sudden a thread pops up, then another, until half the board is filled with strife, arguments, and people become puffed up with knowledge – many times not even according to scripture!

    Philippians 2:3
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

    That is the problem with message boards and communication over the internet period. There is an element of anonyminity. Even though many of us have developed relationships and feel like we know each other, the truth is people still say what they want, act as they feel, and with many people there is no need to show respect because it is just the internet. There has been a lot of damage done. But on the flip side, you can look at certain members of the board and see that they have grown tremendously!

    But hey, what can we expect from an internet messageboard when anyone in the world can create a screenname and start posting their thoughts. It is easy to get caught up, but like Kerry said, sometimes we just need time away. I thank God for HCR and for everybody that I’ve met and gotton to know off the board.

    I absolutely agree with you and thank God for this statement:

    “I need to reevaluate my position / purpose there. I understand why so many don’t visit the board. I do. It leaves me wondering though — Can I even make a difference ? With so many people choosing to follow hard after what they WANT concerning Christian liberties and doctrine, can I really say something that will cause people to listen ? I sometimes don’t feel that I can. I think that people get comfortable and lackadaisical concerning growth. Sometimes it hurts to get of your comfort zone – absolutely – but if it is for the glory of God, isn’t that pain 100% worth it ?”

    I feel the same way. Amen.

  7. lol @ me starting the post almost the same way as BC.

  8. eve says:

    thanks for the blog, jenn. there are some things there that are directing me to examine myself. i appreciate you ministering in this way.

    please continue to retreat to intimacy with the Lord.

    Christ alone is life … nothing else.

  9. Hey Lifey,

    Continue to Seek the Lord for His Will during your time of rest. i have been blessed tremendously by your insight on the board! Despite what others may say or do, please don’t let this detour you from speaking the Truth in love (which you do) on the board. We are called to speak the Truth to the world to teach, reprove, and correct (Titus 2:11-15). You are a bangin’ moderator and i appreciate your news posts…their always insightful and news we as believers need to know. i’m keeping you lifted, sis!!

    christina

  10. andrew says:

    jenn

    i can totally understand where you’re coming from. i think i’ve been a hcr member since 04, my profile on the site says 05 but i was member before that cuz the board went through a major change and everyone had to re-register. NE WAY, i’ve seen the same things on the board that you’ve mentioned and because of that i’ve been hesitant to really get involved in threads. i do like the site and it’s one of the better christian boards i’ve been on (i’ve just visited other sites).

    the theo board has definetly challenged me to get more into the Word and the build board has been a good source also, but the beefs i see on there sometimes have me like “wow”, and some days it seems like every other thread has some kinda beef going on in it. even though i rarely post, i have thought about taking a break from hcr too, just to get some clarity from the Lord about things i’ve seen and/or learned from reading the hcr threads. the whole reformed vs non-reformed thing has me scratching my head sometimes, cuz it gets sooo ugly and it’s not necessary. but i do thank God for hcr and it’s members cuz i’m one of the “guests” thats usually in the cut reading and observing hcr. the site overall is very encouraging because IMO, it’s hard nowadays to find young cats who are into hip-hop AND love the Lord and have a true desire to get closer to Him.

    i’ve been in contact with Chrs (christion) off and on and maybe some day i’ll get to know other members too. it would be great to be able to build and grow with others in the faith, but unfortunately i don’t feel as comfortable as some to just jump in, cuz my main goal is to grow in my walk with the Lord and to learn from His people and getting into beefs over doctrine is just not my way. hopefully you’ll get some clarity from the Lord about your purpose on hcr.

  11. Jason Im Saved says:

    Hey Jenn, one of the reasons I don’t post often is because of the many reasons already listed. I do love the site however, even with Christian sites, many times they too are microcosims of society. Trust in God not man. I believe and still do you have a place there, seek Jesus my friend.

  12. Ndidi says:

    Hmmm…wow. I really don’t know what to say but I can understand why many people don’t post on the boards. But like everyone said, take a break. It’s much needed. So will I. I’ve only spent a week at school and there’s already enough drama going on due to an online forum.

    About the reformed vs. non-reformed thing, I believe each party should learn about the other. I’m not trying to be biased, but some people speak without having anything to back up what they say. When people do that, that causes conflict.

    On another note, keep up with the blog, sis. One of these days, I’ll call you, but I’m ankle-deep in study notes. Maybe I’ll see you in Denton sometime

    Paz.

  13. Czarina says:

    I cannot leave a comment which leaves the reader with the idea that I not only see all that goes on on HCR but that I have tried all in my power to improve the situation. Its a lie.

    When I see a fellow member post something ridiculous, or believe something that is blatantly known to be false, I may refrain from posting, but my heart is in the wrong place. In my heart I call them idiots. I let my flesh take over my emotions and I think “you must be the dumbest person” or “you are going to hell, man” or worse. I take minimal time to pray for these people.

    I see pride in majority of the people there. I see the pride in the people who claim to be humble and pride in those who think they are/ want to be the “brain” of the body. I cant stand to view certain members post for long periods of time and if I hear another person talk about Love and Unity I think I might puke.

    Mostly however, I see the pride in myself. I want to pick and choose which part of the body I am. I want to be something seen, something that people will be like “Wow, she sure is great!”. I find myself trying to fill my inferiority complexes with praises that should go to God.

    For all of this I must repent. Its one thing to see all the bad that happens on HCR and want to leave. No one is bound to stay. Its another to see it, place yourself in it, repent, and pray God uses it for glory to help change the atmosphere.

    So as others have stated, pray whether you want to stay or not. Praying over something for a time helps weed out our initial “fight or fly” response and any fleshly emotions that come along. Whatever you are left with is cool.

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