Sooner or later every debate on these discernment blogs–the ones I peruse–boils down to the moderator threatening someone or kicking them into moderation oblivion because he or she doesn’t like the “tone”. It’s all about making people “feel safe” on the blog…whatever that means. How many times have you read that? I can’t count the number. It’s bullshit.
First, if people don’ t feel safe (as opposed to actually not being safe, I guess they mean) why are they on the blog in the first place? They want to comment and offer their ideas but they don’t want to get their hands dirty or their sensibilities offended. That’s like going out on the football field and telling the opposing team “don’t hit me”. You are going to get in the arena and tie your emotions inexorably to your ideas and then have the gall to cry foul if you get “offended”? Well…to those who feel “unsafe” when their ideas are challenged: Boo fucking hoo. Here’s a solution: don’t comment. A spiritually abused adult is still an adult, and they are still on the hook for their own choices. You don’t assuage the effects of tyranny by affirming the right of the victim to engage in a tyranny of their own; a tyranny which forces everyone else to put a cork in their own ideas because they don’t like hearing them. And also, I never understood why it’s the job of a blog operator to make readers and commenters feel “safe”. Especially when “safe” is nothing but a euphemism for putting people’s irrationally delicate sensibilities above relevant discussions of doctrine.
Let me be clear. I have little sympathy for anyone who engages in the suffocation of debate and the exchange of ideas, no matter what their reason. The vehement rational debate of ideas is the ONLY thing that halts human destruction when all the manipulative emotional bullshit exists the premises. You use your right to “feel safe” as the trump card to avoid an uncomfortable discussion of ideas which challenge the the doctrines of human destruction? Then you have lost any credibility whatsoever, even to claim “victim” status. You are doing as your teachers have taught you, nothing more. You seek to silence the opposition by appealing to vile altruistic doctrines which put people at the utter mercy of YOUR whims.
The real reason people don’t fee safe ever in any context is that ideas are despotic and evil. But ideas are usually besides the point on the blogs. The ideas are never challenged. Everyone can believe whatever they want…and yet they still cry for a “discernment” blog to point out when the meanies are being mean. How does that happen? Because the contradictions never change. Our thinking is still fundamentally Platonist, and that’s why nobody ever bothers considering that rationally impossible ideas might just lead to human misery.
It’s why I struggle to muster any interest in discernment blogging anymore (and I do NOT consider myself a discernment blogger, by the way). Even the article I read recently on a popular discernment blog concerning the neo-Calvinist practice of “Wife Spanking”. I was like, who cares? Why the fuck is anyone surprised? These Calvinists are violent animals who make a living telling people that man is a beast; that brute force is required to compel human beings to “godliness”, and if that means beating the shit out of your wife and children…well, the ends justify the means. And the ends don’t really include PEOPLE anyway. So, again…shrug. Big deal. More tyranny from tyrants. Why does this necessitate 500 comments, as if this is in the least bit shocking. If you preach beating people for God in order to maintain His sacred caste (i.e. “biblical roles”), people are going to get beat. 2+2=4. Why is this so riveting?
At the end of the day, no one is really challenging the root assumptions. Even with the moderator of a very popular anti-Calvinist blog, as much as I like him and admire what he’s trying to do (offer a systematic theological challenge to Calvinist epistemology), I still struggle to support his ideas or really scrape together an interest. At heart, he is still a full-on Reformed Protestant, I submit, and so even with his ideas…well, unravel them down to their roots and you will find he concedes the exact same Platonist assumptions he savages the Calvinists for. The Bible is still “God’s Word”, which is simply another way of saying that the writers of the Bible somehow have a monopoly on truth and are fully above human context life or man’s “reason”. And their absolute Gnosis (special, otherworldly knowledge) thus must somehow translate into “understandable” terms that humanity can apprehend and apply, even though the idea of a “special revelation” which doesn’t involve the context of individual human beings (meaning, it cannot be vetted for truth by HUMAN context) cannot, by definition, be translated into “biblical absolutes” which man can apply to his human context. NON-contextual absolute “truth” cannot be reconciled with finite contextual reality in a way that doesn’t contradict it. As soon as individual human life is factored in, the “special” and “divine” absolute truth is destroyed.
If you were to ask this blog moderator, he would declare that the Bible is God’s Philosophy to man. Which means ultimately that man is totally irrelevant. God does not need man to have a philosophy for Himself. MAN needs a philosophy, and that is what the Bible is trying to tell us. There is NO special revelation. There is human life. Period, full stop. There is YOU and there is God. You get to be you. God gets to be God. You are not ever obligated to accept the idea that TRUTH comes in the form of a revelation that has NOTHING to do with YOUR human context.
This is a false idea.
And further…man, according to this blogger, is still a contradiction in terms…”a spirit and a body”; and God still has knowledge of a future which MUST demand an orthodox acceptance of absolute determinism; man is still subject to conform HIMSELF to the “form” of words’ “literal meanings” found in the Bible; man’s faith to believe for salvation still is totally outside of himself…God is the one who saves man in SPITE of himself, thus completely jettisoning man from the salvation equation. Man still cannot do any good unless God lets him.
Shrug. So…these sites don’t really blow my skirt up, so to speak. Because true healing can come only from having right ideas. And these blog sites have huge traffic. But tone is more important than truth, unfortunately. And that, ironically, is likely why there is so much traffic. These blog moderators know their audience, and that is precisely why they have such a large one. The audience does not care to be challenged concerning their “sound doctrine”, they care to be coddled and fed heaping amounts of seasoning for their “righteous indignation”. Nothing more.
I often wonder how many commenters on these blogs still go to the same church they bitch about. I wonder how many actually have taken salient, volitional action and protested with their feet and their checkbooks. I’m guessing…few.