Monday, January 23, 2006

My Agenda, Mr. Manelikocu

I have an anonymous lurker who, on another blog, has accused me of having some kind of hidden agenda among Faith Harbour issue. On this blog, he identifies himself as Manelikocu, but gives no real identifying information, except that he knows a great deal about the Harbour/SBTC issue and claims to have information that would easily correct me on the issue.

Let me be perfectly clear.

As you erroneously on The Harbour's blog, I do not have some kind of agenda contrary to the SBTC, as a former employee. I am blessed to serve as Student Pastor at a loyal SBTC church. As an inerrantist with a 'high view of scripture', I am grateful for the theological, missiological, and methodological philosophies which founded our convention. If you're not sure what those are, google it. I have neither the time nor the inclination to play tag with an invisible man's cowardice.

You mistakenly assume my brother, worship pastor at another church in another city, is me. My brother NEVER worked for SBTC, and doesn't even serve at an SBC church, but a Vineyard church. Let's get the facts straight.

When you claim I have an agenda, you are making me into some kind of evangelical Jesse Jackson, directly attacking my character and integrity. You are treading on very thin ice, my brother. Have the nads to email me at tom@fbcpville.org. I'll give you my cell phone and we'll talk face-to-face. Better yet, I'll drive to Baytown and buy the Starbucks. Either way, let's grow some and act like big boys, k?

I'll let you in on a litte secret, little bro. I DO have an agenda. You can read about it here.

At this point, I'll refrain from removing your comments and 'disassociating' this blog with anonymous bloggers in the hopes that others will feel uninhibited to take part in discussions here without having arrows flung at them.

Of course, Jesus had an agenda, too.

18 Comments:

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Manelikocu said...

I am sorry abou the confusion between you and your brother. I would have asked you the same question if I was led to believe that you were an ex-employee of the SBTC and you were saying what Shae was saying. I do know Shae from a girl he went out with in High School and a Christian bookstore he worked at. My position did he know something about the situation or was he simply basing his opinion on his relationship with Randy. I do know Randy personally have talked to him but I have also talked to other people who were at that meeting some who do not work for the SBTC. I have also weighed more than Randy's words but also his actions. Blind faith in a person is wrong. I do not have any inside info I am simply a student of the Bible in a SBTC affiliated church. I have met some and have a lot of respect for some of the leadership in the SBTC.

I am very grateful to the SBTC therefore I cannot take the sole word of Randy in what has transpired with the SBTC.

I am sorry in regards to the confusion with Shae again I was misinformed by a person I trusted completely. As you can see blind trust can lead to being completely wrong. I was not attacking your character or that of your brothers only questioning it, which is what you should do. You can read my belief about the other side on my blog at Faith Harbour's blog site. Check it out and see if you think there is truly more to the story.

Again my apology...

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger tom cottar said...

I appreciate your kind words. I *still* wish you'd identify yourself, here or elsewhere,...or at least give some reason why you keep ducking the issue of your identity.

My grandad used to say, "There's always 3 sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth."

I also am grateful for the SBTC and the work we do in partnership with other like-minded churches in Texas.

In the future, if you ever want to 'question' my character, feel free to come here. I'll definitely check out more of your posts at the Harbour's site.

Thanks again. May God truly, truly bless your ministry.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Manelikocu said...

My email is Manelikocu@yahoo.com
I am Manel Ikocu. I am simply a student of the word in an SBTC church. I do not believe I am hiding my identity. My identity is posted. Just because you do not know me does not make my statements false. I do not know you either. That does not make your words false. I agree with your grandfather, I just believe that the only story that is getting out is Randy's and I know that story is not 100% unbiasedly accurate. The SBTC has only responded in press to help defray some of the fallout over this issue. Other people know bits and pieces of this story and have only taken the word of others to choose a side. I believe taking up others offenses is biblically wrong. That is what I see happening here. People taking up offenses that should be resolved between Randy and teh SBTC, the South Texas Baptist Association, the SJBA, and BRBC.

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger shaeman said...

Manel-
1. I hope you now understand that my faith in Randy is not blind.

2. I hope you also understand the breadth of my stance here.

3. My goal was never to take up Randy's offense....only to come to his DEFENSE against the anonymous attacks he continues to receive. I am trying to get "Christians" to act like Christians in the way they are handling the disagreement. Surely that isn't something worth challenging my character over, is it?

I have yet to really talk about my own stance on the issue of homosexuality...I have only offered to help unravel this circus of anonymous attacks....anonymity carries no responsibility for reconciliation and no accountability for words uttered. Responsibility. Accountability. Surely those aren't bad things to hold leaders, pastor and Christians to, are they?

Tom-
That's an agenda I can sign up for.

Good on ya.

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger scott m said...

Manel,

First, I apologize for my assumption that you were commenting anonymously (though other people on the Harbour blog site were). Without any separator (such as a dot, underscore, or space) in the string published with your post and with no information in your profile, it looked like the sort of pseudonym people use when they wish to comment anonymously. And I only indirectly referenced your comments because I am reticent to engage comments that appear intended to be inflammatory, especially anonymous ones. It's an old habit developed way back in the heyday of Usenet. Don't feed the trolls was a maxim of the time.

With that said, your first comment in the previous thread began with this charge:

How can you guys say that you are Christians when you are bashing each other and other Christian groups.

That's a pretty serious charge and would appear to include me since I had commented a lot. Please clarify where you felt we were bashing either each other or other groups. I did not get that impression from anything I read and I certainly did not intend to write anything that could be construed as bashing. However, I also am aware that I know Tom and have interacted with Shae online. That history may mean I interpret things they write with a different tone than others without that history would get. Though I strive to avoid it, I know the same thing is possible with anything I write. In fact, sometimes even people who know me aren't sure what I mean. ;-)

So if you feel there was any bashing going on, please provide some specific examples. I know I would appreciate it and I'm sure others would as well.

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger scott m said...

And Tom,

That's definitely an agenda to which I can commit. Easily and without reservation. Even if it is something that is easier said than lived.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger eaglewood said...

Tom,

I am sorry for not answering your question sooner. Family life and work have taken a lot of my time plus I spent more than ample time over at The Harbor website to get a fairly clear picture of what is going on. I am commenting on this post because it is closer to the top of the blog aai hope you do not mind.

I like Bro. Haney but I think he may be a little blinded by the friendship he has with Ms. Bailey. While I think that the leadership of SBTC felt they were doing the right thing and upholding their bylaws I think they handled the situation in the wrong way. I say this as someone on the outside and who has absolutely no dog in this fight other than my friendship with Jimmie.

You asked a question concerning my philosophy on non-essential doctrines. Please bear with me because some of this may seem simple or something that is foundational to you, but I have basically taught myself theology by leaning on the Holy Spirit for guidance.

I have for some time believed that the teaching about the body of the church had more meaning in it than for the local church body to function together, but that in reality worked on a more global scale in the form of the different denominations. Little things like worship style and such were accommodated by G_d this way and allowed for a quicker spread of the gospel because more people could relate to it. The problem is that man and the enemy have used these differences to divide us and keep us largely ineffective. Basically the different parts of the church were meant to work to together in harmony agreeing on the most fundamental doctrines yet being able to reach more people due to how each person is different and responds differently to the message.

My quandary has been just what constitutes the fundamental doctrines. Some were quite easy, others I have struggled with, and one of those was where do you draw the line on how we treat sin. That is a recent revelation. Jesus treated sinners all the same way. He would love them, and part of that love was to admonish them for their sins and then tell them to go and sin no more. With some sins it is that simple, with addictive sins it sometimes takes a little outside help but that is one of the things the church is there for.

That is my problem with Ms. Bailey. By her own words she seems to have no problem with people continuing in their sins even after accepting Jesus as their savior as long as they are comfortable with their choices. She even goes to the point of saying that some sins the Bible is clear on are in fact conditional upon things like relationships, and circumstances.

I hope that helps to make my position a little clearer.

In His Name
David

 
At 7:31 AM, Blogger shaeman said...

I think a lot of this boils down how large our God is and just how we define his relationship with us, his people. For instance, Wendy (on her blog) states with regard to her belief about homosexuality "I realize, though, that I could be wrong. I wish ... I only wish ... that people who disagreed with my stance on homosexuality could only admit that they, too, could be wrong."

I know that to be true from my own experience. It's really difficult to admit that we (the more conservative-side) could be wrong about our interpretation of scripture. Why is that? Rufus would tell us that we should have ideas instead of beliefs. Ideas can change more easily.

I think some of it has to do with our feeling that we must defend something of God's dignity or integrity. And certainly those are things about which we should be concerned, but really - isn't God big enough to handle these things on his own? It seems he is more than able to defend his name, correct his people, and keep his integrity in tact.

Sure, he uses people. But we also have a book filled with examples of his ability to get the job done in the midst of his people's inability to act, think, speak correctly about him and listen correctly to him. That's the beauty and wonder of our relationship. He doesn't need us to help get his job done - but he chooses to use us anyway because he loves us.

My God is very big. He's big enough to take Wendy's conviction (whether she is correct or not) and my conviction (wether I am correct or not) and utilize us both for his purposes. The caveat here is that we both are desperately seeking God about these issues AND our pliability in case we're wrong.

It certainly seems she has that pliability and that earnestness.

Do we?

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger scott m said...

Shae,

Now I have to thank you for one of those light bulb moments. Somehow, through all these years, I had never picked up on something you casually toss out almost as an afterthought.

I think some of it has to do with our feeling that we must defend something of God's dignity or integrity.

Well, duh! As I hit myself on the head. As things reshuffle and click into new places in my head, it's obvious. And I never saw it.

I guess as I enter the story through the Incarnation, the details of Jesus' ministry, his passion and resurrection, and work of the Holy Spirit through his early church, I don't see a God who is overly concerned about his dignity and integrity. That's not his passion or his focus. Rather, as I engage the story from creation on, and particularly in the focal point of the Incarnation, I feel God's overriding love and unexplainable passion for us. For us, he made himself a little lower than the angels, became a servant, suffered without cause, but also without complaint, the grossest indignities, and in so doing transformed them with his innate dignity and glory.

I've certainly never had the slightest thought that God was interested in having me defend his dignity or integrity (which are qualities beyond reproach in God anyway), but rather that he desires me to emulate Christ and join with him as he continues his redemptive work. I'm not very good at it, but that's always been my perception. And I've certainly never felt worthy of defending God's dignity and integrity even had I sensed he desired it.

But now that you've spelled it out, I can see that the actions and words of a lot of people appear driven by that desire. It makes it no less alien to me, but at least now I have a place to slide things that have never made any sense at all to me.

I don't have any problem hanging with, talking with, and dialoguing with people who have different thoughts than mine. In fact, I find that's one of the ways I have mine tested and stretched. A homogenous environment strikes me as pretty boring. When I sense a discussion distresses someone, I tend to remain silent. And I never like to argue. That seems pretty pointless. But then, I have a pretty fluid framework.

Thanks again.vwhgf

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger eaglewood said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger eaglewood said...

“I think a lot of this boils down how large our God is and just how we define his relationship with us, his people. For instance, Wendy (on her blog) states with regard to her belief about homosexuality "I realize, though, that I could be wrong. I wish ... I only wish ... that people who disagreed with my stance on homosexuality could only admit that they, too, could be wrong."

I know that to be true from my own experience. It's really difficult to admit that we (the more conservative-side) could be wrong about our interpretation of scripture. Why is that? Rufus would tell us that we should have ideas instead of beliefs. Ideas can change more easily.”


This situation has nothing to do with how big our G_d is, or how we define our relationship. As a mater of fact if we allow ourselves to define the relationship then we in a way are attempting to make Him fit our preconceived notions. The relationship is for Him to define we are merely to submit to His loving authority.

In some regards you and Wendy are correct. We should always be examining what we believe. Questions like “Is what I am saying Biblically correct?”, or “Am I seeing what the Word is saying correctly?” are questions we should be asking ourselves continuously. Could I be wrong should always be asked especially in the light of the scripture. This is good with the things that are not so clearly defined, but when something like homosexuality and a number of other sexual acts such as adultery, and fornication are clearly defined as sins wondering whether you are wrong in you interpretation goes out the window. We are not to interpret scripture we are simply to apply it to our lives as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. Quite frankly that would mean that if the Word stated that chewing bubble gum while standing on your head in the corner was a sin it would not change simply because there were a number of people currently engaged in doing said act and we were uncomfortable with informing them it was in fact wrong to engage in. (totally fictitious but I wanted to get off of the issue of homosexuality and back to where it belonged on sin in general)

”I think some of it has to do with our feeling that we must defend something of God's dignity or integrity. And certainly those are things about which we should be concerned, but really - isn't God big enough to handle these things on his own? It seems he is more than able to defend his name, correct his people, and keep his integrity in tact.

Sure, he uses people. But we also have a book filled with examples of his ability to get the job done in the midst of his people's inability to act, think, speak correctly about him and listen correctly to him. That's the beauty and wonder of our relationship. He doesn't need us to help get his job done - but he chooses to use us anyway because he loves us.”


You are right in that He does not need us to protect His dignity, integrity, or to get His work done, but He does chose to employ us in those regards. Throughout recorded history there have been those He has chosen to use to either write His word or to ensure that His word does not get corrupted by those who would attempt to change it’s meaning to suit their own agenda or simply make it fit their own preconceived worldview.


”My God is very big. He's big enough to take Wendy's conviction (whether she is correct or not) and my conviction (wether I am correct or not) and utilize us both for his purposes. The caveat here is that we both are desperately seeking God about these issues AND our pliability in case we're wrong.

It certainly seems she has that pliability and that earnestness.”


First saying “My G_d” puts the relation ship in the possessive and sets the person saying it to defining the relationship. (See my point above) But that is not the issue here. If we were discussing the doctrines of different denominations such as infant baptism vs. adult baptism, security of the believer, what kind of clothing and hairstyles are acceptable, or even if Bono has anything worthwhile to say :), you would be basically correct. We should have the pliability to work with each other to further spread the gospel. Yet that is not the issue either we have a more fundamental issue at stake here.

1. Is the Bible the inspired, infallible Word of G_d?
2. If it is, then are there passages that contain clear references to what actions are considered sinful?
3. If those clear references exist (they do), then how are we to treat those lost in sin (without Christ) and those who have made a profession of faith yet still have sin in their life? In other words are we to tolerate unrepentant sin on the part of a believer?

These are the important questions and the real issue at hand. Do we partner ourselves with someone who has expressly stated that they believe that a sin clearly represented in the Word is not one, and said that even if we did agree that it was a sin should we hold someone who has made a profession of faith accountable if they continue in that sin?

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger shaeman said...

We are not to interpret scripture we are simply to apply it to our lives as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us.
One cannot read scripture without interpreting it. Even the simplest of verses must go through a series of interpretive questions to be thought of with the authors intent and therefore applied correctly to our lives. It is ontologically impossible to simply look at it and then apply it. To assume we can is to be less than mindful of the very real process going on in your self as you study it.

First saying “My G_d” puts the relation ship in the possessive and sets the person saying it to defining the relationship.
I never said "our defining God" was capturing him in his whole definition, I was simply referring to the reality that we do, as a race of people, attempt to define him...everywhere. As to this quote you speak to, I am in great company with scripture to call him "My God". Shall I list the verses for you?

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger eaglewood said...

“One cannot read scripture without interpreting it. Even the simplest of verses must go through a series of interpretive questions to be thought of with the authors intent and therefore applied correctly to our lives. It is ontologically impossible to simply look at it and then apply it. To assume we can is to be less than mindful of the very real process going on in your self as you study it.”

In a sense you are correct we do have to ask questions about the meaning of the verses we are reading. My statement was more of who do we ask them to. Do we go to other men and ask, do we ask ourselves, or do we go to the author and ask Him? I would say the best option of the three is the one who wrote it, The Holy Spirit. My statement is backed up by Peter in Hebrews. If you need me to I will cite the verse but this, is a quick reply.


“I never said "our defining God" was capturing him in his whole definition, I was simply referring to the reality that we do, as a race of people, attempt to define him...everywhere. As to this quote you speak to, I am in great company with scripture to call him "My God". Shall I list the verses for you?”

My point here is that whenever someone brings the argument of my G_d is bigger than your G_d it is an attempt to put down the argument by belittling the person on the other end without actually addressing their argument. It is a strawman argument as regardless of our pitiful attempts to define Him, who He is does not change. It places you in a position of weakness to someone who knows the true art of debate. I do not doubt that there are many places in the Word that have the reference “my G_d” but that still does not negate my argument that doing so places a possessive qualifier on Him. It is still best to allow Him to define who He is.

It is also duly noted that you argued with my side points and not this issue at hand.

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger shaeman said...

Actually, I didn't intend to speak to your side arguments. I was addressing the way you utilized my post. So I was actually trying to clarify my earlier points.

I will go back and re-read your post again and see what else should/can be addressed.

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger eaglewood said...

Shae,
No problem my friend. I do understand. I was responding to your comment because I thought it was a response to mine.

I do have a tendency to add side arguments to my points and it should not surprise me when those arguments are addressed and not my main point especially when my side points address a large part of your comments.

It seems I may be wrong about the location of the scripture in Hebrews. I will have to do a more diligent search when I have time.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger eaglewood said...

For some reason I was thinking it was in Hebrews. I had the author correct just not the book. The verse is in reference is in 2 Peter.

I will step back and say that you are correct that a certain amount of questioning (interpreting) is required. But we need to be careful about the sources we look to for that interpretation. I will say that the best source is the Holy Spirit. My experience has been when I have listened to other men on just what a verse means without taking it to the Holy Spirit I have gotten it wrong. I depend allot on the Spirit due to my calling and have found He has never steered me wrong.

Unfortunately we were talking about semantics. My apologies if I have offended you.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger shaeman said...

No offense at all. Thanks for your concern about it, though. I would agree with your warning about interpretation and agree, as well with this statement, I will say that the best source is the Holy Spirit. The only addition I would make to it would be to also use as a source of interpretation the rest of the canon of scripture. Rarely will scripture be found that the HS and the whole counsel of scripture can't give us a clear picture of how to interpret it.

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger eaglewood said...

Shae,
I would have to agree with your point on using the rest of scripture and have found myself using that for context when looking at a verse that could be seen a totaly diferent way by itself.

 

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