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Renegade Reverend

By Karl Priest May 3, 2011 (revised 5-17-11 for typos and the addendum was added 7-16-11)

The word “reverend” means “worthy of reverence” which especially means “profound adoring awed respect.” (Mirriam-Webster on line) Although some may claim it is simply a designation for a clergyman, I counter with the general usage of the title rooted in Catholicism and liberal Protestantism. I will not get into a discussion of the many men who have carried the title in front of their name and ultimately shamed the cause of Christ with behavior that befits unregenerate sinners. While a dedicated pastor of a church is to be admired, no man is worthy of reverence and I do not use the title in reference to a man (let alone a woman).

A local man who dubbed himself “Rev. Tony” has a lot to admire. However, his ego and willingness to compromise for whatever reason (self-aggrandizement perhaps) opened him up to be used as an attacker that I found much more troublesome than an evolutionist God hater. He slurred the reputations of me and two other brothers-in-Christ and it is not un-Christian to respond. Those who ignore Tony's behavior simply enable and actually encourage him to repeat his behavior.

“Many religious persons have a dread of controversy, and wish truth to be stated without any reference to those who hold the opposite errors. Controversy and a bad spirit are, in their estimation, synonymous terms, and to strenuously oppose what is wrong is considered as contrary to Christian meekness. Those who hold this opinion seem to overlook what every page of the New Testament lays before us. In all the history of our Lord Jesus Christ, we never find Him out of controversy." Robert Haldane (1774)

I had openly (with respect and love) criticized Answers in Genesis about “Already Gone” and had provided my comments to AiG executive Mark Looy. I did not do anything behind the back of AiG.

I voiced my opinion about “Already Gone” at the officers’ meeting of the Kanawha Creation Science Group. I did not make a ruckus about the group’s decision to show the Already Gone video. Nor did I mention the group’s regrettable decision to market the book by the same name.

As is customary after a presentation at a KCSG meeting, those present enter into discussion. Disagreement has nevert been prohibited. I distributed the article and everyone had my opinion in writing. Tony was offended at this and attacked via email and on the Internet. Tony was hostile and I encouraged KCSG members to see the complete correspondence. I have always been respectful and complimentary of Tony, but never have kowtowed to him. Kowtow means to kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission. I told Tony that I would buy him a coke and we should do the manly thing and talk face to face. Paul confronted Peter “to the face” (Gal. 2:11). Tony refused.

When he referred to me as a swine, I blocked his email.

The verse (Matthew 7:6) says (in part), "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine."

Wesley’s commentary:

Give not - That is, talk not of the deep things of God to those whom you know to be wallowing in sin. neither declare the great things God hath done for your soul to the profane, furious, persecuting wretches.

Matthew Henry’s commentary:

Among the generation of the wicked, there are some that have arrived at such a pitch of wickedness, that they are looked upon as dogs and swine; they are impudently and notoriously vile; they have so long walked in the way of sinners, that they have sat down in the seat of the scornful; they professedly hate and despise instruction, and set it at defiance, so that they are irrecoverably and irreclaimably wicked; they return with the dog to his vomit, and with the sow to her wallowing in the mire.

I take strong exception to being identified as vile and wicked. Tony’s accusation is blatantly false.

Tony also used a section of Romans 16 to accuse me of causing division. The context of his slur is verses 17 and 18.

[17] Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
[18] For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

I take great offense at being accused of promoting false doctrine and being a deceiver.

Totally unconnected to the KCSG, I wrote an email that pointed out the irony of Ken Ham criticizing Barry Lynn for not believing the Bible while Ken Ham doesn’t believe there is a perfect Bible. I expressed my concern that atheists can see the obvious. Tony used my Insectman email address and asked if I was the author. I told him I would be happy to meet with him personally. Without confirmation that I was the author and in violation of Matthew 18:15 (Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone) Tony sent his email stating that he could not be unequally yoked with me. That is a serious charge because II Corinthians 6:14-15 says:
[14] Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial (BEE-lee-ul)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

That classifies me as an infidel (unbeliever) and, even worse, Belial is Satan.

Tony seems oblivious to Matthew 7:1-5:

[1] Judge not, that ye be not judged.
[2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
[3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
[4] Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
[5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye
.

Tony also should carefully consider Matthew 5:23-24:

[23] Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
[24] Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.


I would respect a man who used Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” and told me and even the officers of his feelings.

Continuing with Galatians, in 2:14 Paul said his piece regarding Peter “before them all.”

Ephesians 4:26:

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Luke 17:3:

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

Tony has borne false witness against me and questioned my integrity, Christian character, and possibly my actual salvation. By misusing scripture Tony has publicly called me “vile and wicked”; of promoting false doctrine and being a deceiver; and of being a non-believer and even satanic! I declare Tony as a false accuser or woefully lacking in understanding of scripture.

The Bible does not say that forgiveness should be unconditional. God’s forgiveness is undeserved but not unconditional. It requires repentance. Repentance leads to change and would open Tony to Colossians 3:13:

Forbearing (be patient with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

I love Tony as a brother-in-Christ and I have no desire to see him harmed in any way, but it is not Christian love to ignore what he has done.

I asked the KCSG president to put me on the agenda for an officers’ meeting in order to request that the KCSG, both as Christians bound by scripture and as a legislative body hold Tony accountable for his behavior and for bearing false witness. I asked for the president to invite Tony.  My request was refused.

Knowing that future relationship would be uneasy for all and sincerely saddened that people who had known me for years would not either back me or point out where I was wrong, I resigned with prayer for continued blessing upon the Kanawha Creation Science Group.

Postscript:

I thought the matter was settled after my resignation. My conscience was clear.

Then Tony telephoned. He told me that the KCSG president had contacted him and told Tony that the president had refused to allow me to bring Tony before a “kangaroo court.” A kangaroo court is where “the outcome is essentially determined in advance, usually for the purpose of ensuring conviction, either by going through the motions of manipulated procedure or by allowing no defense at all.” In other words, Tony has called the officers dishonest or worse. I am “old school.” I do not stand silent while good people are maligned.

If the president used the term “kangaroo court” then he should admit it. I doubt if he said that. If the president did not use the term “kangaroo court,” then Tony-- at best--added to what the president said. At worse, Tony lied. Either way,Tony has slandered the KCSG officers.

Early during the brief telephone conversation I asked Tony when he would like to meet with me. He said that was not going to happen then he started on a spiel which I tried to nip-in-the-bud by telling him that if he would not talk to me face to face and we were not going to have a telephone conversation. He kept on talking. I told him at least three times “This conversation is over!” But, he kept going. I felt like I was talking to a kid or an emotional woman so I hung up.

That is why I wanted to deal with Tony in person and preferably before level-headed witnesses. You cannot look at a man’s eyes in email or by telephone

I remain ready to talk to Tony and I will buy the burger.

Addendum

Some men more knowledgeable and closer to God than either Tony or I responded to similar criticism.

Question: A frequent reaction to your book The Seduction of Christianity is that it causes division within the Body. What is your response to this criticism?

Response : I agree that we as Christians are to love one another genuinely and to seek unity. However, I would remind you that it is the "unity of the faith" that we are to maintain; and it is the truth that we are to speak in love. If members of the Body have erred, then we must in love correct them.

Furthermore, division is not always bad. Christ caused division everywhere He went (John 7:43; 9:16; 10:19). He even declared that He had come into the world to bring division (Luke 12:51)!

I've heard Romans 16:17 misquoted repeatedly on this subject: "Mark them which cause divisions and avoid them." That is not what Paul says. We are to mark and avoid those who "cause divisions and offenses contrary to [sound] doctrine...."

If division arises due to opposition to the truth, it is not the one teaching or standing firm for sound doctrine who is at fault, but those who "will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:3). That doctrine is despised today is one of the clearest signs of the last-days apostasy, which is growing at an alarming rate.

Let those who oppose The Seduction of Christianity point out from the Bible where we have erred. If they cannot do so, it is a pitiful cover-up of their aversion to truth to raise the cry of "division"!

http://www.thebereancall.org/node/9279

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