Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A General Reminder To Those Who Wish To Leave Comments

As I have already stated in my Commenting Rules, you are welcome to comment on any of my blog posts. However, your commenting is subject to my rules.

Occasionally I get comments that are just unfit to print and when that happens, they get dumped. It’s my blog, not yours, so if you want to see your profanity in print, post it on your own site.

I do post most of the comments I receive from anonymous contributors. I realize that there are probably good reasons why some people cannot reveal their identities. I don’t have a problem with that. But sometimes I get comments from cowardly people who hide behind the veil of anonymity so they can either spew their venom or proffer their inane or irrational views without accountability.

This week I received one of those comments on a recent repost of an article I wrote last year titled, If Just One Person Comes To Jesus, It Is Worth It All.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why I cannot post the comment but I cannot simply ignore it either. So I will make some statements here in order to assist the feeble-minded who may lack basic thinking skills to understand the point of the article.

A Response To My Anonymous Critic

Frankly, I don’t even know where to start with a reasoned response to your disconnected and off-the-mark diatribe. I introduced this particular blogpost with a single proposition (that means statement) that is clearly identified in its title. That’s it; that’s all there is; a single proposition with several supporting points. There is nothing more and nothing implied so if you want to challenge me on the merit of the proposition, you would do well to stay on point.

Now, I admit, that some of my writing is intentionally absurd for the sake of illustrating absurdity and sometimes it is intentionally sarcastic to emphasize the point. You might not appreciate that style but you have demonstrated your own absurdity by your willingness to ignore the point and create for yourself, a false context for my words in order to make inappropriate accusations against me. You, in your irrelevant bloviations, have attempted to distract attention from the proposition and defend your affinity for programatic ministries with emotional and anecdotal arguments. But I will not be deflected from the point. You have missed it by a mile so let me try to steer you back onto the track.

If you go back and carefully read it again (this time trying to identify the subject), you will see that I am not against programs or ministries per se. In fact, I clearly stated that there may be (and I believe there are) many good reasons for church leaders to invest in programs but they must identify their ministry objectives, support them from Scripture, and then convince the people about God’s leading. But the point I made is that the cost of an event cannot or should not be justified solely on the subjective evidence that “it is worth it all if only one person makes a decision for God.” Then I enumerated several rational arguments to defend that position and, by the way, some of them are actually biblical. Surely, you cannot disagree with that, can you? What if no one ever gets saved as a result of your program? What if no one makes a decision for God? Does that mean that it should not have been done? That kind of nonsensical, irrational thinking is precisely what I said, “freaks me out.”

Suppose your church has a large reserve account of about a million dollars. Do you think it would be wise to invest the whole million on a large, city-wide “head-banging rock concert” next month in hopes that one person might attend and get saved? Do you think that anyone else in your church would agree with that? Why not propose that to your church leaders or the congregation and see just how many people would agree with you? That would be absurd, unsustainable, and foolish. And that is exactly the point of my
blogpost.

One more thing - you remind me of a character in the movie, “Hider in the House.” You see, I know that you have been secretly trolling around on my blog, multiple times every day for quite a long time now, looking for ways to attack or discredit me personally. And it is obvious, from some of the content in your recent, unfit-for-publication, comment, that you have fundamental disagreements with my style and my conservative political and biblical ideas. I really don’t care about that. I think my ideas are right and my convictions are defensible and biblical. However, sometimes, when people who disagree with me have introduced reasonable evidence to the contrary, I have been know to change my views. If you think some of my ideas are wrong, or my positions are unbiblical, why not identify yourself and make your arguments on substance and objective truth rather than hiding behind an anonymous tag, changing the subject, and taking foolish potshots at non-issues.

As a wise person whom I respect once told me, “Don’t raise your voice; strengthen your argument.”

My name is Ralph Petersen and I approve of this message.

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