The Richard Abanes Ken Silva Fiasco

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I will most likely lose quite a few readers over this post but I really don’t care. This blog has never been about numbers or statistics but about the truth. There has been a situation recently that has taken the blogging world by storm….the situation involving Richard Abanes contacting the ISP (Internet Service Provider) of Apprising Ministries, owned and operated by Pastor Ken Silva. Abanes alleges that Silva made statements that were libelous and wrote a letter to the ISP asking them to remove said article from the Apprising website……Silva refused and out goes Silva’s website….and then all hell breaks loose……

 

That’s the short version Brethren……

 

What a mess!!!!

 

Prior to this fiasco I had never heard of Richard Abanes and barely heard of Ken Silva. I really don’t pay that much attention to Rick Warren (Abanes authored a controversial book defending Rick Warren) and when researching for information on the various subjects highlighted on this blog I use more well known sources then Ken Silva so I don’t have a “dog” in the race but having been personally involved in a mess like this (only on a smaller scale lol) my interests were piqued so to speak.

 

So, I have been following this rather closely and when one of my readers emailed me and asked me to examine this more closely because “something’s wrong here Phil” I decided to research this more extensively.

 

Ok. Richard Abanes probably should have gone to Ken Silva and asked him personally to remove said article from the website. There are plenty of Scriptures instructing him to do just that. There are many within the blogosphere chastising Abanes for not doing this. From the now famous article “A Pastors Assessment of Richard Abanes;

 

“And with joy in knowing that Apprising Ministries and CRBC truly belong to my Master anyway, as I read, and prayed about, Mr. Abanes’ rather shallow rebuttal, I began to feel that God would wish me to dialogue with him again, but this time specifically as a pastor/teacher in Christ’s Church, my biblical office in the Lord. For me personally, the mandate for this is found in the pastoral epistle Titus, chapter 3, and verse 10 – Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.

 

Keep in mind the article was written in 2005. It’s fairly obvious to me that Abanes is still supporting Rick Warren regardless of this “assessment” so what does the above paragraph mean to you? “Have nothing to do with him” and if Ken Silva is a man of his word, and I have no proof otherwise that he is not, then I wouldn’t have gone to him either. Would you?

 

Fast forward to July 24, 2008. Mr. Silva receives an email from his ISP informing him of a complaint that has been filed from one of Silva’s readers asking for the article in question to be removed. How do we know this? Because on July 24 2008 Silva published the following post on his website;

 

http://apprising.org/2008/07/richard-abanes-to-sue-apprising-ministries-over-defamation-libel/

 

There are plenty asking, or rather demanding to know why Abanes didn’t follow either 1 Corinthians 6 or Matthew 18….but where is the demand for Silva to have done the same? He didn’t and didn’t just take this to the “church” but screamed “foul” from the mountaintops for all the world to see and NO ONE is questioning this.

 

Forget about the legal consequences of publishing and forwarding emails without the authors permission ( a federal crime BTW). Why would a “pastor” disobey the very Scriptures that others have been attempting to hold Abanes to? If the “pastor” won’t follow God’s Word how on earth can we expect anyone else to follow the mandates of Scripture in this or in any other matter?

 

Richard Abanes went to an ISP…..Ken Silva went to the entire world Brethren. Doesn’t this bother any of you in the least? It bothers me greatly because I’m seeing a double standard here. Is it really ok for those who desire to hold Abanes to Scripture but look the other way when Silva goes one step further and notifies possibly the entire world that he was “wronged”?

 

There are some within the blogosphere who are asking Abanes to go and reconcile with his brother…entirely Scriptural….but why aren’t these same people asking Silva to do the same? Didn’t Silva violate Scripture also Brethren? Why shouldn’t Silva be held to the same standard…..in fact as a “pastor” shouldn’t Silva be held to a HIGHER standard (1 Timothy 3)????

 

This whole fiasco probably started badly (Abanes) was handled badly (Silva) and now has been blown so far out of proportion that it borders on the ridiculous Brethren. Wouldn’t our time be better served defending the Kingdom and the Creator instead of choosing sides in a MINOR dispute between two brothers who should have known better?

 

I think so….don’t you?

 

I suppose now I’ll be labeled a “Richard Abanes apologist” and some far reaching knucklehead will say I’m a “Rick Warren Apologist” as well. For the record I have never read the Purpose Driven Life or any other book by either Rick Warren or Richard Abanes and unless they send me their books I don’t plan too either. I’m just interested in the truth and putting a fiasco behind us……one that BOTH men played a part in.

 

What say you?

 

Related articles worth reading

 

http://apprising.org/2005/09/a-pastors-assessment-of-richard-abanes/

 

http://mondaymorninginsight.com/index.php/site/comments/two_discernment_websites_cease_publication_on_the_web/P150/

 

http://richardabanes.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/ken-silva-more-lies-more-sensationalism-more-sin/

 

http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/2008/07/battles-in-blogosphere-when-conflicts.html

 

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104 thoughts on “The Richard Abanes Ken Silva Fiasco

  1. Phil- It seems to me that both of these guys are trying to gain support by continuing this fight. While most everyone is rightly using scripture to determine how such a matter should be handled in the church, they are assuming that both are members of the “church”. This copyright agruement is interesting to me because I have had personal emails posted on impostors websites before. But since I have no repretation to protect(I’m not marketing anything) or a flock to grow(I don’t seek followers) I could care less. Abanes sounds a little like the silversmiths of Diana, who claimed their livelyhood was at issue. I’ll bet they both brag about all the “hits” they are receiving about this matter.

  2. Greetings,

    I appreciate your thoughts and perspective. This Open Letter to Steve Camp, which is my response to his article you reference, outlines my initial thoughts/intentions/motivation for writing to Ken Silva’s ISP. It also covers various issues relating to the “Ken Silva vs. Richard Abanes” controversy, including:

    1. Bible Study notes on key passages being discussed (1 Cor. 6 and Matt. 18),
    2. the actual contents of my email to Silva’s ISP,
    3. observations about the current state of the church,
    4. an indictment of today’s so-called Online Discernment Ministries, and
    5. documentation of Ken Silva’s violation of federal copyright/privacy laws, and other issues.

    My open letter should answer most questions being asked in cyberspace about this issue. Th article herein linked is my final official word on the issue — although I continue to make short comments on blogs. I believe that those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, will both hear and see the truth.

    Proverbs 18:13 reads: “He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame.”

    Proverbs 18:17 tells us: “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”

    Richard Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix

  3. I’ll never support Richard Abanes or purchase anything that he writes. He handled this sitation like the local school yard loser or jerk would have handled it….crying and whining to a server host to have a man taken down.

    Unbelievable.

  4. Hi Phil:

    Great thoughts and I believe you are 100% on the mark biblically. I also addressed this issue in like manner on my blog
    http://filesfromtoni.blogspot.com/2008/07/ken-silva-chooses-to-have-site-shut.html#links

    concerning Ken Silva, as he is the one who started this entire controversy “publically” across the blogsphere, and I addressed it in comments at Mr. Albanes blog, DefendingContending,http://defendingcontending.com/2008/07/28/apprising-ministries-is-back-online/#comments

    who unbelievably claims to be discernment ministries, but proceeded to blame me for pointing out the error.

    and Living in the Way Blog https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7177469837373285045&postID=3506555086547405482

    It is quite apparent these ministries are setting double standards for themselves and taking sides rather than look at what the scriptures actually say about all the issues involved here, and are more concerned about their site “stats”, promoting their sites and self rather than the truth in scripture.

    I know neither of these two people involved, but I have read various reports concerning both on certain boards where some have witnessed what I have from Silva’s site. It appears Silva has a track record of attacking other Christian ministries( Ray Comfort comes to mind here, being the most recent one) because he disagrees with a “nitpicking” issue, blows it way out of proportion and causes dissention between brethren.

    Silva, with Slice of Laodicea’s assistance, crossed over the line in Abanes’ situation, with sensational spin, and promoting more gossip and discord among brethren which is totally against scripture. Where is the outrage from all of the “so called” discernment ministies here who have joined in?

    Toni

  5. Hi Boyd,

    This morning, I sent Phil a copy of an article written about me by one of the “emergent” supporters. I thought he would get a good laugh out of it. It was plastered on a website and posted to a few groups. lol I know there was a lot of pressure brought on the author and last I checked it was removed. There was no need to defend myself.

    Like you, I have no reputation to protect and even if I did, I would trust that time would reveal the truth. I take the stand of just taking the offense. I have two opinions on this stuff….if they’re talking about me at least their leaving someone else alone…and if I’m the most important thing they have to discuss…then they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for conversation. lol

    Personally, I think they both crossed some lines they shouldn’t cross. It doesn’t appear to me that either one have been humbled by the experience. I have yet to read where either one said “examine me”. If I’m in error here, then I’ll repent. Instead it’s all about trying to prove who is correct….wrong response in my humble opinion.

    Like Phil, I have never bought one of Abanes books and the only one of Warren’s I’ve bought I bought used, so not to add to his coffer, because I heard he colors outside the lines. I disagree whole heartedly with Abanes that quotes in Christian literature can come from anywhere. Of course, he referred to the athiest Bertrand Russell that Warren quotes:

    http://abanes.com/proctorintro.html

    BUT – I have to ask what does Anias Nin (ch 5, pg41-The Purpose Driven Life) have to contribute to a Christian book? I guess they don’t realize that when someone reads a quote they like, they often go to the author to read more. I’m sorry, but a woman who was known for her prolific writing on female erotica has no place in Christian literature….Just what you want your daughter reading – right?

    Well, I got a little off topic here….this post just took on a life of it’s own. I am looking forward to hearing what others have to say on this topic.

  6. Ken Silva’s alleged “sin/crime” was in the open for all to see and judge. Everyone with some legal sense who has read the article knows the truth that there was absolutely no offense. More importantly, the threatening takedown notice was to stifle online dissent and that’s an ongoing pattern for Purpose Driven defenders who follow the Saddleback Way in dealing with resisters. So the threat itself became an extension on the original debate.

    On the other hand, Mr Abanes’ “sin/crime” was hidden and secret until his bluff was called and he was exposed when we otherwise wouldn’t have known. It was also a lurking threat to other Christian bloggers and even the general public’s constitutional freedom of speech if the precedent was quietly allowed to stand. Others could have been similarly bullied behind the scenes into thinking they had no choice and no way to fight back on an even playing field vs some big author and his legal team.

    Therefore it seems Silva felt and I think had a public duty, even with the personal risk, to bring the hidden to light. His bold step in raising the stakes instead of folding allowed people to judge both sides in the open and now we see more clearly how the game is being played. One side sure does a lot of huffing and puffing and bluffing.

  7. Hi All,

    Thanks for the comments;

    Boyd,

    I don’t have any way of knowing whether these two men are of the elect or not….but I would be curious if either of them believe each other are of the “elect” and how that possible belief played a part in all of this…..

    Naomi,

    I agree….Silva should have kept this to himself…..he clearly didn’t “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5) and by whining and pouting on his website (as well as forwarding copywrited emails to his friends so they could whine and pout for him) gave the Body a black eye and IMHO showed his true colors…

    Richard,

    Thanks for stopping by. Is there any chance you two guys can put this issue to rest by reconciling your differences?

    Pj,

    Thanks for stopping by…..

    Toni,

    Thanks for the link. This is a difficult situation but could have and should have been handled better by both parties. I’m starting to believe that this issue has more to do with Rick Warren then it has to do with Richard requesting an ISP to remove ONE article from a website. The folks at Defending Contending are good brothers Toni…..and when they take a step back and take their ‘I hate Rick Warren’ blinders off hopefully they will see how disturbing and unbiblical Ken Silvas actions were and continue to be in this matter.

    Dorothy,

    Well, my friend was getting libeled so I didn’t laugh that much:)…I asked my friend who is the largest book distributer here in Greece to obtain a copy of PDL….he says it can’t be found here in Greece….but as always I will find a way….

    Jeff Carter,

    Sin is sin brother whether it’s in private or in public and is a stench in the nostrils of God. Giving the Body of Christ a black eye before the world was and is a bold step….wilfull disobedience to God’s Word always is. Why not turn the other cheek as commanded in Mathew 5 ? Ken Silva claims to be a “pastor-teacher” so IMHO he should have known better. BTW libel isn’t protected by the 1st ammendment Jeff.

    Hicktown Press,

    Richard Abanes didn’t have Silva’s site “shut down” nor did he request any such thing. This was Ken Silva’s decision as was also his decison to turn this into a public fiasco for anyone with an internet connection and a modem to discover…..I agree Abanes could and should have handled this better but so should have Silva. As my momma used to say “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.

    I’ve been receiving quite a bit of hate mail from supporters of Ken Silva….oh the words they use and the decriptions of what I can do with this post…and each of these folks claim to be “Christian”….I’d publish some of them but I don’t want to break the law like some folks seem more then willing to do…..

  8. JEFF: Everyone with some legal sense who has read the article knows the truth that there was absolutely no offense.

    RA: IPOWER legal felt differently. And their legal sense was the legal sense that mattered. And my legal sense as a professional journalist — that mattered, too.
    ____________
    JEFF: More importantly, the threatening takedown notice was to stifle online dissent and that’s an ongoing pattern for Purpose Driven defenders who follow the Saddleback Way in dealing with resisters.

    RA: Really? Did you know that Silva had up more than one article on his website that spoke about me negatively? I didn’t agree with any of them. And do you know what else? I only complained about ONE of them.

    Clearly, I wasn’t trying to “silence” anyone. This is the party line coming from those who want to be able to say anything and everything on the Internet with no accountability. Your assumption about my motives is wrong, as the evidence I cite shows.

    I had/have no desire at all for SIlva to be silenced. What was INDEED important to me, however, was not only having a single article removed, but also showing how all of us, as Christians, cannot just claim our Christianity as a free pass to say/do whatever we want, and hide behind various Bible passages as shields.
    ____________
    JEFF: On the other hand, Mr Abanes’ “sin/crime” was hidden and secret until his bluff was called and he was exposed when we otherwise wouldn’t have known.

    RA: Well, first of all, writing an ISP is neither a sin, nor a “crime.”

    NOTHING in the Bible prohibits my having contacted an ISP to alert them to what I felt was someone’s violation of their TOS. That is against neither Matt. 18, nor 1 Cor. 6. And it is tragic to me that Christians have gotten to a place where they are hiding behind scriptures, abusing them and twisting them, to make sure they are not accountable — and can go on the internet to say/do whatever they want to do. That is tragic.

    Moreover, if what I did was indeed a private “sin/crime,” then it is Silva who violated Matthew 18, which does indeed cover any PRIVATE sin that someone feels has been committed against them by a brother. My alleged “sin” was obviously private (i.e., complaining to Silva’s ISP). But instead of going to me privately, Pastor Ken Silva skipped steps #1 and #2 of Matthew 18 and took it not only to the church, but to the entire world—creating an internet circus of hate, anger, bitterness, judgment, condemnation, arguments, and church division. Now what say you?
    __________
    JEFF: Therefore it seems Silva felt and I think had a public duty, even with the personal risk, to bring the hidden to light.

    RA: I see.

    Ken Silva translation of Matthew 18: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you — unless you feel like it is your public duty to expose him to the world. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over, and if he doesn’t, at least you have the entire world behind you breathing down his neck to help out as much as possible. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses — unless, of course, you have already taken it to as many people as possible, in which case you can just keep rejoicing, for the pressure will be unrelenting If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. But worry not, my brothers, about the last step if you’ve already moved it up into the first step you decided to take.” (Matt. 18:15-17, KSV – Ken Silva Version).

    Hmmmm. Something isn’t right here. 😦 Just trying to keep it light. No offense intended.

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix

  9. Phil: I would be curious if either of them believe each other are of the “elect” and how that possible belief played a part in all of this…..

    RA: I have no idea whether Silva is elect or not. It had no bearing on my actions.
    _________
    PHIL: Is there any chance you two guys can put this issue to rest by reconciling your differences?

    RA: Sure. Always hope — although slim. In fact, I have made an offer online to reconcile with Ken, given certain conditions. And even offered to go behind closed doors with Ken, using as a third party mediator, Todd Wilken, who is a very well known staunch critic of Rick Warren, although he and I also have a good relationship (I even signed the petition for Wilken to be put back on the air after KFUO canceled his show — so much for me wanting to silence critics of Warren).
    _________
    PHIL: I’m starting to believe that this issue has more to do with Rick Warren then it has to do with Richard requesting an ISP to remove ONE article from a website.

    RA: ding ding ding ding ding!!! You win the prize. Search online to see how often my personal email to this ISP regarding another individual has been linked via conspiratorial theories to Rick Warren. Say Waaaa??? I’ve even had peopel posting that I was put up to it by “higher up” or “Warren himself” or via a “purpose driven order.” A littel strange, tbh.
    _________
    PHIL: BTW libel isn’t protected by the 1st ammendment Jeff.

    RA: True. And neither is standingup in a darkened theater and shouting “FIRE!” Firts Amendment issues are not even on the table with this incident. Issues dealing with First Amendment freedoms such as criticizing specific acts as sinful (e.g., fornication, homosexuality, etc.) and declarations about alternate religious belief systems being false (e.g., the New Age) are in no way being endangered. Such assessments are completely protected in the blogshere by our Freedom of Speech. The problem with the article in question was the personal nature of its attack on me. It was not about my theology or doctrinal views. Bloggers are PERFECTLY safe.

    the issue actually goes FAR FAR FAR beyond just me being wronged. That is only ONE aspect within the controversy. This is one reason I have been talking about it online so much. It involves accountability, responsibility, the proper mode of apologetics/discernment, our conduct as Christians, what it means to strike our hand to an agreement (e.g., a TOS agreement), needless division in the Body of Christ. These issues are huge. And that is what I am trying to also call attention to. The violent response is telling me that the Body of Christ is very, very ill. The time has come for these people to be held accountable and responsible for the unnecessary, unbiblical,and ungodly division in the Body of Christ that they have been causing. My email to Ken Silva’s ISP was as attempt to help bring about at least a modicum of accountability/responsibility.
    __________
    PHIL: oh the words they use and the decriptions of what I can do with this post…and each of these folks claim to be “Christian”

    RA: Ahhhhh, you too? Yeah, I’ve received emails containing threats, condemnations to hell, profanity, and exhortatiosn to repent, or else. I wish I could print them, too. But alas, I follow teh laws of the land (unlike others). But here are a few gems published online:

    * “Hey Abanes, you’re a filthy liar, unwilling to tell anyone the full truth without adding half-truths, practicing deceit, playing word games, and not having the common sense to keep your mouth shut and let the matter die.”
    charismamag.com
    KafirCrusader

    *If you don’t like a damn blog, then don’t damn read it.
    charismamag.com
    PoetProphetPreacher

    *”Here’s dirty rat Richard back again and he brought a friend with him this time. Richard KNOWS his claim of making a ‘final word’ is bogus. He’s going to keep yakking, dirty rat.”
    independentconservative.com
    IndependentConservative

    * You also defend Christians watching pagan nonsense like Lord of the Rings, rather than teaching them to be SEPARATE from worldly foolishness. You are part of the Country Club Christianity plaguing America. . . . you need to get Baptized in the Holy Ghost, and be filled with the power of God, and begin speaking in other tongues. When you receive that Pentecostal experience, you’ll understand what all those who long for heaven, its power, and its purity know.”
    charismamag.com
    Providential

    * RA must be treated as a Gentile and a publican until he publicly repents. . . . I exhort you to join me in calling upon RA to repent of his rebellious, flesh pleasing, and prideful resistance to loving scriptural rebuke and correction in this matter. I encourage likeminded Christian bloggers to pick up this clarion call and trumpet it forth until there has been full and public repentance and reconciliation in this situation to the praise of the glory of Jesus Christ alone.
    stevenjcamp.blogspot.com
    Coram Deo

    Can’t you just feel the agape? I do like all those power words in the last one, though, I must say: “clarion call,” “trumpet it forth,” etc. etc. etc. — nice.

    It reminds me of another post elsewhere by Daniel Chew, another online discerner, who announced: “For all those who claim that 1 Cor. 6 is not applicable for Abanes’ action, I challenge all of you to prove through sound biblical exegesis and argumentation that my exegesis is incorrect. Otherwise, hold your peace forever.”

    They love this kind of lingo. It sounds so grand, powerful, and authoritative. Sort of like something Gandalf might say to a Balrog in the Mines of Moria—“YOU SHALL NOT PASS, THOU DEMON OF THE DEPTHS, YOU SHALL HOLD YOUR PEACE …… FOREVER!!!!!”

    Richard Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog

    Phil: Hate mail is flowing……One “christian” called me the “next Rick Warren apologist”…..I of course replied “only if He is the Christ the Son of the Living God” and last time I checked Rick Warren wasn’t Jesus nor does he claim to be…..

    I don’t know man….the double standards I’ve begun to see were the reason I tossed my hat into the ring in the first place….and I see I wasn’t wrong. Where’s the call for Ken Silva to repent?

    Thanks for stopping by Richard….I’m sure more will come in here ranting and raving:)

  10. PHIL; Where’s the call for Ken Silva to repent?

    RA: Now, that IS an interesting question, isn’t it? And the absence of anyone dealing with that issue is very revealing. Clearly, there is a segment of the Body of Christ that is very, very, ill.

    RA

  11. I am indeed willing to talk. I’m waiting. I’m making the blog rounds, looking for him. I am telling the truth about what happened. He is nowhere to be found. I am open to reconciliation. Where is Ken Silva? That is another question I keep asking.

    RAbanes

    Phil: That’s another thing that bothered me….he shows up on his “friends” blogs pouting and whining but when called to the task his response? “This is not the forum”….from MMI correct? My question is “which forum then”? The one where Ken gets to do all the talking and no one gets a chance to respond?

    I’m really surprised Ken didn’t bust out the “touch not mine anointed and do my pastors no harm:)

  12. PHIL: I’m really surprised Ken didn’t bust out the “touch not mine anointed and do my pastors no harm

    RA: He didn’t have to — all of his devotees have been essentially doing it for him using not so many words.

    That is the way cult leaders, BTW, usually handle strife and unrest (and/or a dissent within the ranks). I’m just making an interesting observation here, not necessarily drawing a DIRECT parallel.

    But the cult leader often plays the role of a martyr — a spiritually humble, gentle, non-confrontational victim who is just trying to serve God and fulfill his calling as a helpless under-shepherd or a reluctant prophet trying to desperately warn the people and save souls. He or she then let’s their “Holy Warriors” do all the dirty work when it comes to perceived “enemies.”

    Such a technique was used in the early days of Mormonism, as well as during the heyday of the Branch Davidians under David Koresh, and other groups. It’s a perfect. The “man of God,” or the “anointed” one, remains above/beyond the worldly forces seeking to destroy him, while the underlings take up the battle. And he/she, through it all, remains unaccountable for those things people are saying about him.

    Hmmmmm……….

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog

    Phil: You better be careful man….the next thing you know someone will use this comment and claim you called Ken Silva a cult leader….which he DID NOT BTW……

    Critical thinking skills aren’t a premium these days in the Silva camp so please don’t give these guys more fuel for the fire:)

    I can not believe that Silva’s friends see him as innocent in all this mess….I don’t see you as totally innocent either BTW Richard but at least you are willing to talk which is something “Pastor Ken” has shown a reluctance to…..unless it’s to say “this is not the forum”…..

    Question…..If you had this to do over again what if anything would you have done differently?

  13. PHIL: Question…..If you had this to do over again what if anything would you have done differently?

    RA: Yeah. I would have taken a few minutes to re-think how Silva might respond. Although I don’t know if I EVER could have thought he’d respond in such an unreasonable/unpredictable manner. I am still taken aback by how he reacted — I mean, really, not only taking it to the church/world (in violation of Matthew 18), but also violating federal copyright/privacy laws!!?? Goodness.

    If I would have known he was going to do that, I would have:

    1. Called Silva first, just so I could say, “Hey, I called him about it, and he refused to take it down (which is exactly what he would have done, trust me). I would NOT have called as some kind of obedience to Matthew 18, which is not applicable in this case.

    2. I would have read through that boiler-plate email, and deleted any references to attorneys or legal action, simply because that would alleviate any hint whatsoever in the minds of Silva’s camp that there was any kind of intended threat whatsoever — against Silva or anyone else. (This part of the controversy remains absurd to me because that email was addressed to a secular, godless, heathen business anyway, not Ken Silva). Once more, the results would have been the same. I have no doubt that IPOWER would have still requested that Silva to remove the article in question.

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog

  14. Wasn’t it the goal of Richard Abanes to have an article removed? And didn’t the Silva blog receive a threatening notice as a direct result of the Abanes whining letter to them?

    We as bloggers cannot afford to have people try to control what we say. That’s a slippery slope. If his skin to too thin to take any criticism, he needs to get off the internet. This is a tough place.

  15. Again, any abusive, quasi-legal or illegal attempt to crush dissent and freedom of speech online should be exposed so that offenders are known and can apologize to the Internet community as a whole. This is not a church, but the public square, and many tricks are used to shut people up, including hacking their website to forcibly remove their opinions. What we Christians do online impacts the public square and public debate. To say someone using various tricks to shut people up is simply a private matter where a cheek should be turned is silly and a misapplication of scripture.

    Here’s another current example where anti-Obama bloggers are having TOS disputes and blogs are being shut down. Should they just not say anything? No it needs to be exposed so the trend can be stopped, then they can forgive and the whole community can move forward in peace with the freedom to resist whatever cult of personality they choose to resist.

    http://www.nysun.com/national/anti-obama-bloggers-say-they-were-silenced/83179/

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/07/petition-to-inv.html

  16. Toni,

    Thanks for the link. This is a difficult situation but could have and should have been handled better by both parties. I’m starting to believe that this issue has more to do with Rick Warren then it has to do with Richard requesting an ISP to remove ONE article from a website. The folks at Defending Contending are good brothers Toni…..and when they take a step back and take their ‘I hate Rick Warren’ blinders off hopefully they will see how disturbing and unbiblical Ken Silvas actions were and continue to be in this matter.

    ———————————————————

    Hi Phil:

    I totally agree here that this issue is more about Rick Warren and his PD Agenda than Richard making a simple request to remove one article… I even brought that up under the comments section on Richard’s site. As far as DefCon goes, I think, from the comments I have personally witnessed from Coram Deo, he comes across w/a very self-righteousness and holier than thou manner. For instance, when I simply posted scripture outlining Ken Silva’s errors, pointing out the issues, Coram Deo comes back with a one sided “subjective” point of view in favor of Ken Silva, not even looking at the scriptures I posted, which clearly is a bias point of view and has no place in biblical Christianity. Here is what he said to me, which are clearly subjective and not objective following.

    What CD did was blame the messenger, me in this case, for pointing out the strife and dissension that Ken Silva and his supporters have caused among other Christians by leaving objectionable material up on his site concerning Richard, and not removing it as Richard had asked, which would have been the godly thing to do thereby avoiding all of the strife and discord and thus being in compliance w/scriptures. As it is, Ken Silva who claims to be a pastor, was totally non-compliant w/the scriptures I had put up. I was simply showing the other side of the story as I saw it from a scriptural point, which CD took offense to. CD even misrepresents my comments saying things that I never said. His subjective message w/undertones of subtle hostility and false accusations read:

    Toni,

    All the facts surrounding the Abanes/Silva dust up are matters of very public record and anyone who’s interested in spending a few minutes to research the entire situation from both sides of the issue can easily do so.

    What I find disturbing about your comment isn’t that you disagree with Ken Silva’s actions, but rather that you engage in the very same “personal” and “character” based speculations and judgments which necessarily result in the sowing of selfsame “strife” and “discord” that you yourself decry.

    You also managed to bring up the Ray Comfort Situation wherein I, as you well know, vigorously opposed Ken Silva and Ingrid Schlueter and their “supposedly Christian cohorts” as you flippantly refer to them.

    But the difference here Toni is that I, evidently unlike you, can separate the abstract from the personal and defend a position from scripture as opposed to resorting to ad hominem cheap shots and questioning my opponents’ commitment to Christ.

    I’m not sure if you’ve realized it or not Toni, but the content of your comment here demonstrates the both the character and methodology that you’re railing against.

    You obviously have a problem with Ken Silva and that’s between you, Ken, and the Lord but it has no place here, and in fact your personal beef with Ken Silva is unwelcome here.

    Please be advised that I will allow your comment to stand “as is” as a testimony Matt 7:4-5, but you should also understand that as of now you have been put on notice that I will not tolerate future comments of this kind from you at DefCon.

    ‘Til He returns or calls me home,
    CD

  17. Phil,

    “copywrited emails”

    Oops, might serve you well in the future to get your facts straight. Unfortunately for you, and contrary to your false assertion of “copywrited emails”, I received but one email. And this email was from IPower. This single email contained within it Abanes’ email sans his disclaimer.

    So it’s IPower who’ violated Abanes’ disclaimer and not me. So I’ll be looking forward to him making the libelous claim as he did me when he documents: “IPower’s Illegal Activities.” I’m sure it’ll make spellbinding reading.

    Phil: Hello Ken….one email….two emails….whatever. You published said email Ken for anyone with a modem and an internet connection to read. Why didn’t you go to your brother as required in Matthew 18? Do you believe you have done nothing wrong in this matter?

    Unfortunately for me? In what way Ken? Please explain this to me?

  18. I’ve never seen a person have as many “my final word on the subject” as Richard…

    Frankly i don’t care for either of the people involved, but sheesh enough already….

    laughing stocks

  19. ps to be fair to Ken someone posted

    “(as well as forwarding copywrited emails to his friends so they could whine and pout for him) gave the Body a black eye and IMHO showed his true colors”

    On the question of the emails,a thread was started at crn info by Chris, who appeared to imply that Ken had exaggerated the threat by the ipower,i think the emails were published then as proof…

    It seems harsh of Richard to be involved in that thread, but then spit his dummy out when Ken published the email to defend the claims of the thread..

  20. This whole thing is sad and disheartening- Satan must be ROFL at the time and energy expended by Mr. Silva and Mr. Abanes thrusting and parrying at each other – all the while the Body of Christ suffers the ridicule of the world because of this behavior.

    I have a simple solution- both parties surely have a telephone. pick it up and work out the issues like brothers in Christ. If this proves impossible may I suggest you seek the services of a Christian Mediator to privately work out your differences.

    Forgiveness, grace and humility can go a long way.

  21. I have visited KS’ sites in the past to review some materials but I have never heard of RA until this episode. I am also not a fan of Rick Warren and his twisted gospel.

    Seen some of the exchanges between RA and KS. Between 2 professed believers, this episode brings no honor to the name of Christ. It puzzled me why KS a professing Pastor leading a church would not comply with lawful authority to simple just take down an “offending article” temporarily and talk over with another Brother-in -Christ ? I found KS’ tone and style of blowing a matter way out of proportion as really sad, dragging everybody’s energy in a wrong direction.

    For the sake of Christ’s name, Both RA and KS should make an apology to each other. They must not let pride to continue to drag this matter and it become an idolatry in their hearts !

  22. I believe this is an issue we should stay out of cos we don’t even have first hand information. No matter the comments each one of them may come to put up, we may still not be able to figure out the truth of the matter.

    Let the two men sort themselves out.

    BTW Phil: I viewed all the links presented here and on Ken’s site and I think (personally) Mr Abanes should have contacted Ken instead of going to the ISP, which I believe is a third party here. We shouldn’t take cases between us (believers) to the world to judge. Thanks.

    Phil: Hi Naomi…..I agree with you…..and Richard Abanes has admitted such…..but Abanes didn’t bring this issue before the world Ken Silva did……

    What a mess my friend!!!

  23. “Phil: Hi Naomi…..I agree with you…..and Richard Abanes has admitted such…..but Abanes didn’t bring this issue before the world Ken Silva did……”

    Why shouldn’t he?? I’m a ex believer,but its still an important topic that a person in theory can by one email ,cause a blog company to threaten closure of your blog…

    As a owner of a blog, wouldn’t you warn your readers,of the perceived threat that your about to be closed?

    Phil: That’s a good question Andy…..I’ve been threatened with this very thing a couple of times and handled it privately….I’ve even had one guy ‘anonymously’ defaming and libeling me for five years….went through the Matthew 18 process…..still no stoppage from the person…I finally wrote to the ISP and they removed the blog…

  24. Also its all a bit rich of Richard,considering his books about how other faiths are wrong, or reading harry potter is terrible..To be honest the pair of them are one step up from snake handlers..

    Sheesh people in glass houses

  25. I believe for the two gentlemen involved they should stop focusing on what should have happened. You cannot change the past. The focus now if they are true brothers in Christ is should be on Matthew 6:14-15. Also since everyone is mentioning Matthew 18 let’s look a little farther down and concentrate on verses 21-22. This would be a great start to some sort of reconciliation and a great testimony instead of the stuff that is going back and forth now from both parties and their supporters.

    Phil,
    I applaud you for giving both a say as some bloggers have refused to allow one side or the other to post for wahtever reason. At least you are trying to moderate an intelligent discussion and encourage repentance and reconciliation at the same time.

    God Bless You Brother,

    HBOC

  26. Thks for comments one lastttttt point

    Everyone who seems to fall on Richard side on this issue,seem to imply he didn’t want Kens site taken down, but then on the flipside say he should of spoken to Ken first…The truth is Richard got this thing rolling,then discovered he had a tiger by the tail…

    In one hand he says “i didn’t contact Ken because i knew what his response would be”,but then in theory he contacted him via ipower(but not to get it closed down)Hmmm then why not ring him in the first place and skip the middle man????

    I’m sorry people its either do it or donut !! You’ve been libeled sue him,or your feeling have been hurt so grow some hmmmm 😉

  27. How is any of this edifying the body of Christ. My heart breaks as I read this and other blogs. As a struggling christian in a world that I do not belong to I am distressed and torn up inside over all this arguing and defending. What is the point of all this? Is it to encourage and uplift the saints? Is it to bring glory to God? I can tell you that I am not being edified here and my God is heartbroken with His creation and His wrath will be poured out. Come soon Lord Jesus and save us from ourselves!

    Phil: Hopefully it will show us all how reconcilliation works….

  28. Is that the purpose of all this then? To learn reconcilliation…I have missed that lesson. I have learned, however, that we are all in need of a Savior whether we are”saved” or not. We are all wretched and vile human beings. I realize my depravity and the depravity of my people. I am grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary which was the ultimate reconcilliation to God the Father. Because of Jesus we have been cleansed from all unrighteousness and we are able to stand in the light of God’s glory. But we are still wretched and will be till this world passes away. So why not use our time in prayer and the reading of God’s Word and the edification of our brothers and sisters in Christ so that we may be salt and light to a dying world instead of acting like the world? People are dying without Jesus and we are arguing amongst ourselves. I pray for humility and for God’s will to be done and that we would not be stumbling blocks and that the light of God would shine. Let’s start acting like the bride of Christ and stop acting like the world. We cannot be both. God bless the saints and sanctify us to do your will, Heavenly Father!

    Phil: I don’t know what the purpose of all this is which is why I said hopefully….just pray like I do that something good will come of this

  29. HICK: We as bloggers cannot afford to have people try to control what we say.

    RA: Oh, you mean the same way we can’t afford to have the government control what we say in a darkened theater — the way we can’t afford to have someone stand up and yell “FIRE!”? We have laws ALL around us that keep society running in a civilized, orderly, lawful way (read Romans 13). I simply notified an ISP that I thought Silva had violated their ISP, they agreed. That action on my part is IN NO WAY a violation of anything in scripture. The problem here is that too many “Christian” bloggers do not want to be held accountable for what they say/do on the Internet — even though they sign TOS agreements. They publicly break those agreements, then cry persecution when someone simply says, “Hey, you shouldn’t do this.” In this instance, instead of following that simple request from his ISP, Ken Silva chose to be defiant. And now he, and his supporters, are hiding his actions behind misapplications of 1 Cor. 6 and Matt. 18 against me. Interesting, but very sad.
    ____________
    Jeff: Again, any abusive, quasi-legal or illegal attempt to crush dissent and freedom of speech online should be exposed so that offenders are known and can apologize to the Internet community as a whole.

    RA: Sorry, First Amendment free speech has NOTHING to do with this issue. That’s a smokescreen to instill fear in everyone. Issues dealing with First Amendment freedoms such as criticizing specific acts as sinful (e.g., fornication, homosexuality, etc.) and declarations about alternate religious belief systems being false (e.g., the New Age) are in no way being endangered. Such assessments are completely protected in the blogsphere by our Freedom of Speech. The problem with the article in question was the personal nature of its attack on me. It was not about my theology or doctrinal views. Bloggers are PERFECTLY safe.

    The fear and paranoia being exhibited over this incident is absolutely appalling to me. You, me, everyone on the Internet have ALREADY signed a TOS that outlines what we can and cannot say. So, you, my friend, have already agreed to have you speech and conduct restricted by your ISP. Don’t make this seem like I have somehow set a precedent for some new law that will suddenly restrict what the whole world can say/do on the Internet. This is unreal to me, what I have been seeing.
    ___________
    JEFF: What we Christians do online impacts the public square and public debate.

    RA: Yes, and a great deal that Christians have been saying has been doing nothing but make Christians and Christianity look idiotic to the world — NOT because of the Gospel; NOT because of Jesus. But because of how Christians portray themselves and falsely portray Christ. And that is unfortunate indeed.
    ___________
    KEN SILVA: I received but one email. . . . And this email was from IPower. This single email contained within it Abanes’ email sans his disclaimer.

    RA: Ken, I suggest you get your facts straight and find some legal counsel beyond Chris Rosebrough and his assorted graduate classes in Law 101. But I am not going to get into a legal debate with you online, especially when the substantive issues continue tobe something you are unwilling to discuss in an open forum. Too bad. But here’s an issue for you.

    You an others apparently feel I sinned against you by PRIVATELY going to your ISP without speaking to you personally. Well, in my view, and in the view of many others, that is absurd because your statements were public — while Matt. 18 covers PERSONAL/PRIVATE sins. Be that as it may, you and your supporters do, in fact, claim that I sinned against you privately. So, the obvious question is: If you’re such a champion of Matthew 18, why didn’t you call me and say, “Richard, brother, why have you done this? Why have you sinned against me by writing to my ISP?”

    That would have been step #1 in Matthew. You skipped it. You also skipped step #2, choosing to take it not only to the church, but the entire world in general! And THAT is what has now caused so much anger, division, arguing, and contention. Congratulations, Ken. Way to go. I tried to keep it between those of us directly involved: You, me, your ISP. You brought everyone and their cousin into it. Is that what you were after? Apparently so. Nice mess.
    ___________
    SIN CITY: christianresearchnetwork.com/?p=5878 – Abanes’ Unsubstantiated Allegations of Libel

    RA: Rosebrough’s attempt at playing lawyer in the above article at christianresearchnetwork addressed as an update in my Open Letter to Steve Camp.
    ___________
    ANDY: its all a bit rich of Richard,considering his books about how other faiths are wrong, or reading harry potter is terrible.

    RA: First, I never said reading Harry Potter was terrible. Where did you get that from? Just fyi, you might want to look into that a bit more. 🙂 Second, writing books or blogging about other faiths is not even an issue within this incident. That is something different entirely. The problem with the article in question was the personal nature of its attack on me. It was not about my theology or doctrinal views. Bloggers, authors, commentators, pastors, radio preachers, are PERFECTLY safe and must have their rights to critique false doctrines protected.
    ___________
    ANDY: The truth is Richard got this thing rolling,then discovered he had a tiger by the tail…

    RA: Actually, the natural, civilized, private, rational thing would have been for it all to happen privately with no one else being involved except those……well……involved — i.e., me, Silva, and Silva’s ISP. All three of us could have EASILY handled this behind closed doors with a mess and involving the whole church. Ken Silva, thank you, deliberately made this into what it has become. It’s hard for me to understand how people cannot see that.

    RA

  30. TMR: I’m starting to believe that this issue has more to do with Rick Warren

    RA: You have hit the nail on the head. The root of this began back in 2005 when I released a book about Rick Warren. This is where it REALLY started.

    THE REAL STORY: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
    Before 2005, these people had no problems with me at all. In fact, they carried my apologetic/discernment books dealing with all kinds of issues: New Age, Harry Potter, Mormonism, near Death Experiences, false religions, cults, the occult, etc.

    But then I wrote a book, [i][link=http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Warren-Purpose-That-Drives/dp/0736917381/ref=sr_1_15/103-0056843-6927040?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186249116&sr=1-15]Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him[/link][/i] (using the same research techniques I had always used) that discussed Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven teachings (see the link to this book on my [link=http://abanes.com/]main web page[/link] for more info). I found him to be innocent of many of the charges being leveled against him by these so-called Online Discernment Ministries (ODMs). I then posted some articles online bringing correction to some of the false statements, misinformation, and inaccurate reporting that was taking place regarding Rick Warren. Here is where the story begins.

    One of the articles I posted was on Ken Silva. It dealt with various statements that he had made about Warren, Saddleback, and Purpose Driven that, according to my research, were false, misleading, and damaging to the Body of Christ. My observations dealt with his research methods, accuracy in reporting facts, and conclusions of his that I found to be erroneous regarding Warren’s views. Such observations fell well inside the bounds of apologetics/discernment.

    Silva was not happy. He responded to my observations by posting not one, but two articles. The first article was a kind of point-by-point refutation of what I had stated (I NEVER complained, BTW, to IPOWER about this article). His second response was the article in question, “A Pastors Assessment of Richard Abanes,” which in my opinion, fell well outside the bounds of apologetic/discernment critique and into the area of personal attacks deliberately intended to harm my personal/professional reputation.

    Soon after I published my article on Silva, I saw that things were not going well. So, I took down ALL of my articles that were critical of the Online Discerners, including Ken Silva. They remained gone from the Internet for 3 years!!! And yet Silva kept up his two response articles to me all during that time and up to the present day — even though his responses were to articles that no longer even existed (cached or any where else).

    I began discussing Warren again online in December 2007. And noticed the continuing presence of this article by Silva, which had gained a significant presence on the Internet. And I also began receiving emails about it. To my mind, something needed to be done — as long as I remained within my biblical parameters and within the law.

    Those guidelines allowed me to write a simple email to Silva’s ISP, asking them to take a look at t because I felt it was violating their TOS. They agreed. And the rest, as they say, is history.
    It was a boilerplate, generalized, form-letter, all-purpose template I downloaded from the Internet years ago. I used the template, giving very little thought to the few words of legal-speak it included, not believing it would cause any ruckus.

    I had used the template before, since it was intended by the anonymous author as a catch-all form covering ALL manner of complaints that can be sent to an ISP (e.g., illegal pornography, unlicensed photograph use, libel, anything that is covered in a TOS agreement). It was designed to only have its subject tweaked — that’s what the instructions were. I was not going to go re-write a template when I could simply throw it up to use.

    I never thought about those few passing comments about attorneys because that was not my place. Moreover, I never dreamed someone would be radical enough in their thinking to actually take something like this to the world and cry persecution — as if. It was never my overt intention to threaten a lawsuit because, tbh, it never entered my mind for this situation EVER to go so far.

    As I have noted elsewhere on the Internet, the 2005 critiques I wrote on Ken Silva (the very ones that he quotes and discusses in his so-called “response” articles against me) have not been online since 2005! The obvious question is: If those articles he is using as the bases of his critical attacks against me are no longer online (and haven’t been for three years), then why are his responses to those long-dead articles by me still up on the Internet? No one seems to be asking this question. I can only wonder: Why?

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog

  31. Phil,

    God bless you–this was a hard topic to even broach in light of what (I’m sure) you knew would come your way.

    I’m actually glad you took it on (Thank you Jesus!) only because a few days ago I had considered posting on the topic myself–now I don’t have to. Not on the topic of the two men involved and their blog war, but on the fact that it has been picked up by many MANY of what use to be my favorite ‘reading holes’…I say ‘use to be’ for over the last 24 hours I have regrettably removed a few of these ‘once favorites’ from my feeds: I got sick and tired of receiving continuous stories and/or updates on this continuing saga on the hour….

    I hate TV soaps, and pouring over all these stories and updates coming out daily (and which are continuing as I write) to me, was like watching a TV soap: “As the Christian blog-world Turns” (and makes a fool of itself)

    This has become like ‘the thing that refused to die!’ …and why is that?

    Well, from what I saw before deciding to ‘disconnect’ from these certain blog/website feeds,its because the parties involved and their fan clubs keep resuscitating the ‘beast’ if it comes close to gasping out its last breathe!

    My only conclusion is no one involved wants it to die.

    Further proof of this continual ‘keeping it alive is the fact I’ve seen both parties and/or their supporters on THE SAME NUMEROUS blogs TOGETHER, continuing to go at it–or trying to have the last word on ‘said blogs’…

    So let them go at it–that’s my opinion. It just not anything I’m interested in following. And I have a word for either or both of these people: from discussions I’ve had off the internet, and from emails I’ve received from many others concerned, I’m not alone in feeling this way. You are going to lose many of your long time readers AND your credibility if you don’t stop, forgive, and move on with what God has given you to do.

    Again Phil, kudos to you. You took on a task which needed to be taken on; sadly I have noticed that you yourself now, have become a target out in ‘blog world’…

    May God bless you for your courage and continue to use you to address topics which many are afraid to go near…

  32. The sad part is RA has just opened pandoras box– now when someone doesnt like what another said. We cry and have them shut down instead of standing behind our belief and taking the hits as they come– So we can not state our belief unless everyone else falls in line? thats not what Christ died for, for many didnt belive him also. Next time RA- print on your website what you want to defend if you believe you need defending. but to to ask another to not defend what they belive is wrong. You should have spent your time shutting down the smut found all over the internet and in society.

  33. This post was made by a message board administrator in charge of moderating the forums at crosswalk.com and christianity.com.

    +++++++++++++++++++++ BEGIN

    From an Admin stand point I usually encourage people to use the report feature when they see someone violating our Terms of Service. One thing I have found is that the anonymity of the Internet fosters hotheadedness. Therefore, one never knows how terribly the recipient of a warning will respond. This is not to say that Mr. Silva has a tendency to that sort of behavior. (However, his response certainly does seem to indicate that it is in the realm of possibility that it would be so.)

    We provide a service with a Terms of Service to which everyone agrees to abide by. Outlined in that service is how we will deal with violations of our Terms of Service. Rather than our members having to deal with this sort of unpleasantness we offer to deal with the situation privately.

    In my opinion, a person does the right thing when he/she reports what is perceived to be a violation of our rules so that the situation can be reviewed and the appropriate action taken.

    I doubt that the service provider in this case lost any sleep over any perceived threats of a law suit from Mr. Abanes. Such a suit standing up in court would be near impossible.

    I believe, rather, that they did much the same thing I do. Look at the content and determine if it violated their rules. They found that it indeed did break their rules and sent a notice to Mr. Silva requesting that the content be removed for violations of the Terms of Service. (This is actually more than what we do in that we remove the content ourselves and notify the offender of the action taken.) . . . . In this Admin’s view Mr. Abanes did the right thing. . . .

    Mr. Silva should have reviewed the Terms of Service and determined if they were rules by which he wished to be governed. . . . When asked to remove the content for violations of the Terms of Service Mr. Silva should have complied as per his agreement and then considered finding a site more suitable for his style.

    +++++++++++++++++++++ END

    This sums up the incident fairly well. I have nothing to add, except my 100% agreement with this administrator. As I have noted before, those who have ears to hear and eyes to see will both see and hear the truth.

    See his full post at my website, under Thoughts of a Web Forum Administrator: A Look At Ken Silva’s Actions

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website

  34. ref Potter well i read it online with a quote from you,are try and dig it out maybe you could write to them :-p

  35. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html

    (Not the site i saw previously) but it states you say ” Author Richard Abanes has written a book called Harry Potter and the Bible. He says that the movie and books not only teach anti-Christian lessons on the occult, but also moral relativism, and desensitize children to profanity and off-color humor.”

    Hmmmm thats you recommending we read,i take it??

    Anyhow that wasn’t my point,my point is i’m sure theres many manyyy people who dislike what you say about their faith..For instances your book on Mormons,gets some scathing comments on Amazon reviews,its not a giant leap to make for them to write to your provider…

  36. ANDY: Hmmmm thats you recommending we read, i take it??

    RA: LoL. Uhm, no. Sigh. There is more than one position to take than simply, a) it’s evil no one touch it; or b) it’s wonderful everyone read it. My view on Harry Potter can be found in my bio article at my website. Click It.

    This quote: “He says that the movie and books not only teach anti-Christian lessons on the occult, but also moral relativism, and desensitize children to profanity and off-color humor” is ESSENTIALLY true but misses the nuances of my position. it’s an advert blurb and should be taken as such.

    RAbanes

  37. Phil,
    Good, insightful writing! Great application of Scripture to life situations!

    Abane flunks the Deuteronomy 13 test. There we read that anyone who encourages a saint to go after a false religion ought to be put out of the assembly, killed actually under the Old Covenant. (This is my only disagreement with you on this issue, Phil–and it’s probably due to the simple fact that I am familiar with Rick Warren’s body of work–possibly a bit more than you are, just as you have put much more time and effort into knowing the WoF heresy than I have. And none of us can do it all.)

    Rick Warren, in his breakthrough book, The Purpose Driven Life, actually encourages folks to stop going to Bible Study, because they know enough already. However, they ought to study his books, spending, I suppose FORTY DAYS WITHOUT THE BIBLE!!! This ideas is both blasphemous and illogical to the extent that it’s laughable.

    I mean this: Rick Warren, if asked, would say that his books are scripturally based. But if we know enough about Scripture already that we ought not waste our God-given time in that pursuit, is it not then just as silly to waste our time reading Purpose Drivel since the author readily admits it’s biblically based?

    Further, Warren pushes in his works heretics like Brother Lawrence, Henry Nouwen, and others. All these are New Age Old Heresy. Thus he, like Abanes, iis guilty of the very same sin of false teaching.

    Therefore, Phil, Silva ought not reconcile with Abanes unless Abanes is converted. I believe, though, that you are absolutely right in that both have violated the biblical rule against airing the dirty laudry of the Assembly in the face of the world.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.

  38. Bro. Phil,

    I personally have decided to take no side anymore on this, simply because what should be an intramural issue has become an axe to grind. I originally sided with Pastor Silva, but now I see this is nothing more than 1 Corinthians 1 all over again, “I’m with Abanes…I’m with Silva”.

    Mr. Abanes,

    If truly you have been wronged, then why not be wronged and forgive Pastor Silva? Surely if you are right, can you not “be the bigger man” and extend a hand of fellowship to him…unless this is a case of bruised egos rather than legitimate pain over the defamation of the Gospel

    Douglas
    http://www.blackreformingkid.wordpress.com

    Phil: Very wise words Douglas….are you sure you are only 17?

  39. PHIL: Abane flunks the Deuteronomy 13 test.
    RA: LoL. Wrong. I happen to believe, preach, teach, and live by all of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith that date back to the oldest of doctrinal creeds we possess, particularly The Apostles’ Creed. From that historical creed emerged the following beliefs that I fully accept without reservation and preach/teach through my apologetic writings:

    1. human depravity,
    2. Christ’s virgin birth,
    3. Christ’s sinlessness,
    4. Christ’s full deity,
    5. Christ’s full humanity,
    6. God’s unity,
    7. God’s triunity,
    8. the necessity of God’s grace in salvation,
    9. the necessity of faith in salvation,
    10. Christ’s atoning death on the cross for our sins,
    11. Christ’s bodily resurrection,
    12. Christ’s bodily ascension,
    13. Christ’s present High Priestly service, and
    14. Christ’s second coming, final judgment, and reign.

    In other words, so there will be no question about my faith, I hold to the historic, orthodox, conservative, biblical explanations/definitions of the Trinity, the full humanity/deity of Jesus Christ, the miraculous conception of Christ, the inherited sin nature of humanity, the atonement by Christ for fallen humanity via his shed blood on the cross, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the eventual return of Jesus (physically/visibly), and the inerrancy/infallibility of the the Bible.
    ________________
    PHIL: Rick Warren . . . . encourages folks to stop going to Bible Study, because they know enough already

    RA: Again, wrong.
    ________________
    PHIL: Warren pushes in his works heretics like Brother Lawrence, Henry Nouwen, and others.

    RA: A debatable area of issues well within the parameters of scripture and differing opinions among Christians.
    _______________
    PHIL: Silva ought not reconcile with Abanes unless Abanes is converted.

    RA: Woah!!!! That’s all I can say to that one.

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog­

  40. Richard you truly major in the minors ….

    I noticed on Camps site,when he asked about reconciliation between you and Ken,you decided not to respond to that,but instead concentrated on the one small part of his post you disagreed with..

    God forbid you would try and solve the situation,after all theres only one thing worse then being spoken about 😉

  41. Hello All,

    This has been an interesting discussion…..

    Richard has been gracious enough to answer all of our questions but I would like to ask you all to please refrain from the following topics;

    1) Harry Potter

    2) Speculation on either Richard’s or Ken Silva’s salvation….

    Still waiting for Ken Silva to answer my questions from his only response on this forum……..

    Thanks Again,

    Phil

  42. LOL Phil! Yes I’m only 17, and also I’ve done peer mediation in school…hence why I am grieved at all this, bro.

  43. Hi Richard,

    You left off “total forgiveness”. Do you understand it in context to your relationship with others? I ask because you mentioned a reconcilliation with conditions. Can you share that link? I would like to read it.

    While you list your beliefs, I do pause here because I’ve read Warren’s work that you consider in high esteem and that gives me concern. Warren does not handle scripture correctly. There are tons of errors in his PDL book and apparently you don’t see them so while you declare positions, I’m not confident we have agreement on what those positions entail.

    Also, what parts of Silva’s article did you consider libel or slander? I have yet to see some any clarification on that.

    And, I do hope that people here are wise enough to know that while accusations have been made, no court has ruled on any of this. You can have “legal opinions” all over the place, but that doesn’t make any of them true.

    Great discussion Phil. I am looking forward to Silva’s response and I do hope he will respond.

    Phil Perkins – I agree with your assessment of PDL. I actually use my used copy of Warren’s work. Open a Bible beside the passages he quotes and in less than 40 minutes – pun intended , I can show someone the fault lines.

    It’s pretty amazing that those who don’t profess Christ are the ones who get very angry about a Christian author quoting Anais Nin or Bertrand Russell. They do expect us to hold to a higher standard than that.

    I also use the PDL platform to witness and talk about Biblical discernment. A new Christian will learn the value of reading Christian work with a Bible in hand. It’s a great tool in that respect.

  44. DOROTHY: You left off “total forgiveness”. Do you understand it in context to your relationship with others?

    RA: Reconciliation comes about as two people look at a situation and reach an agreement to: 1) forgive each other; 2) right those wrongs that have been committed; and 3) move forward not looking back or holding grudges against each other. I am most certainly willing to do move through all three of the above steps. My “set of hurdles,” as you call it, is in connection to step #2.

    With regard to step #1, in my private prayer closet, as I have knelt before God, it is a step that I have already taken. I have forgiven, Ken. But there remains a great deal that must take place before reconciliation is possible. For example, a person might truly forgive someone who has stolen from them, but that doesn’t mean the thief is not arrested, or that the thief must not make restitution to set things right.

    This is where I rest at the present time. And that is partly why I have been posting in so many places online. But where is Ken? Why is he not here talking this out as I am seeking to do? I quote from the comments section of a discernment ministry website that is very well known as a serious critic of Rick Warren and Purpose Driven: “Richard seems eager to discuss, Ken does not.” – Peter Hamm; “They both need forgiveness but I would agree that Richard seems willing to discuss.” – David Norris
    __________________
    DOROTHY: I ask because you mentioned a reconciliation with conditions. Can you share that link? I would like to read it.

    RA: See above conditions, which I see as Step #2 in the reconciliation process for me. The link is Steve Camp’s website. And as you read that article, you might want to read my Open Letter to Steve Camp has now been updated and contains new information, including the story of how/why this REALLY started and outlines my initial thoughts/intentions/motivation for writing to Ken Silva’s ISP. It also covers various issues relating to the “Ken Silva vs. Richard Abanes” controversy, including: 1. Bible Study notes on key passages being discussed (1 Cor. 6 and Matt. 18), 2. the actual contents of my email to Silva’s ISP, 3. observations about the current state of the church, 4. an indictment of today’s so-called Online Discernment Ministries, and 5. documentation of Ken Silva’s violation of federal copyright/privacy laws, and other issues.
    __________________
    DOROTHY: While you list your beliefs, I do pause here because I’ve read Warren’s work that you consider in high esteem and that gives me concern.

    RA: Warren is a man. An imperfect man who has.does.will make mistakes. But he is not a heretic, false teacher, or tool of Satan. I have repeatedly shown where many of Warren’s critics have condemned him using half-truths, false information, sometimes outright lies, faulty reasoning, unsubstantiated assumptions, quotes taken out of context, and manipulation of facts. And that is why there is such a hue and cry over this whole “Silva vs. Abanes” thing. Silva and his supporters are trying to make it into some kind of Rick Warren issue — and that truly ridiculous. Some have gone so far as to suggest that this was something Warren/Saddleback put me “up to.” Sorry, but that is laughable. I don’t want this to digress into a Rick Warren thread, so I will not pursue more discussion of him or his views.
    _________________
    DOROTHY: while you declare positions, I’m not confident we have agreement on what those positions entail.

    RA: Feel free to read any of my books and cite specific instances where I diverge from biblical truth dealing with any doctrines. Scripture tells us that the measure/validity of a person’s salvation is their relationship to Jesus — NOT whether or not they agree with us down the line on whether or not some pastor of a church in the 21st Century is as bad as a certain segment of the community makes him out to be (see John 3:16; Romans 10:9; 1 John 5:11-13).
    ________________
    DOROTHY: what parts of Silva’s article did you consider libel or slander? I have yet to see some any clarification on that.

    RA: Silva took this to the church. I didn’t. That was his doing. My one and ONLY course of action was to simply notify Silva’s ISP to let them know that I felt Silva had violated their TOS. That is where this issue SHOULD have stayed. They investigated the article, and based on THEIR own understanding of THEIR own TOS, they requested that Silva take down that article. The world in general, including everyone jumping into the situation, is not even involved, to be honest. I have no real motivation, therefore, to prove to you or anyone else my thoughts/assessment of the article using SPECIFICS. We are not in a Christian courtroom or before some kind of divinely-sanctioned Tribunal.

    In GENERAL terms, however, I believe it can be stated that the article had NOTHING to do with my doctrinal views: Theology, Soteriology, Thanatology, or even Eschatology. It was a personal attack piece deliberately intended to harm my personal/professional reputation. So far, I have repeatedly posted a challenge online that no one, not even Ken Silva has taken up, and I’ll post it again here:

    “If Ken Silva wishes to place another article up titled “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES,” which actually critiques my theology, then my all means, I welcome it.”

    “I challenge ANYONE to find ANY criticisms, observations, corrections in that Ken Silva article that discusses my theology or doctrinal beliefs. Such material is not there. That article was personal in all its attacks. It was nothing more than an article deliberately designed to impugn my personal/professional integrity.”

    So far no one has taken up that challenge, even Ken Silva. Interestingly, one critic of Rick Warren, who disagrees vehemently with not only Rick Warren, but also my support of Rick Warren, was honest enough to take up the challenge. And this is what he learned:

    “For the record, I like Ken Silva, Ingrid Schlueter, and many other ODMs that are online. I stand vehemently opposed to the purpose-driven programs and ideology that you support. I know that you and I are perhaps diametrically opposed on many things in evangelicalism. But you know what? You were right for what you did. I took your challenge of finding anything resembling an argument of your doctrinal and theological positions in that article, and could not find anything substantive. And, the more time I took in reading it and looking for evidence, the more I found myself agreeing with you that the article bordered on being slanderous. The points that you listed for why you chose to contact the ISP and requested the article be removed made sense to me” (Monday Morning Insights).”

    Another individual, even without getting from me specific sentences listed from me, was astute enough to read the article and note: “What I saw was Ken tell Richard he was prideful, worldly, immature, aiding to sinfulness by purchasing secular music, calling into account his character, his faith and belittling him in tone. Can you show me where his article actually addresses the theology of Richard?”

    The tone/purpose of that article is clear to people who wish to read it with an unbiased eye. It was inappropriate. It was damaging to my personal/professional reputation as a Christian author. And, just as importantly, after Silva’s ISP conducted what THEY termed a prompt investigation, they found that the article did indeed violate their TOS agreement with Silva that prohibits “harassment, defamation, libel and hate speech or other offensive speech or content.”

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog­

  45. To all,
    Richard Abanes said, “Again, wrong.” (In response to “Rick Warren . . . . encourages folks to stop going to Bible Study, because they know enough already.”

    HOWEVER….

    Rick Warren wrote, “The LAST thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They arlready know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are SERVING experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.” The Purpose Driven Life, page 231, mid-page. (Emphases are Warren, though in italics, not all caps.)

    Why does Richard Abanes lie like this? The Scripture requires a life commitment to “continue in the Sacred writings.”

    Lying is truly, according to Scripture, a sign of an unconverted soul. (Suppose I’ll get sued for that statement?) Proverbs 14:2 states clearly, “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him.”

    So, according to that passage, we can say with certainty that RA despises Yahweh, whether or not he recognizes it. And this is just one passage about dishonesty. Any unrepentant sin is a warning about judgment to come.

    And if one wishes to put the happiest face possible on this situation, one might say he is simply ignorant. Well then, he ought to take the correction if he is simply mistaken. We can watch. At any rate, it’s troubling to watch a man who has defended a false teacher for years. Has he not had time to familiarize himself with that teacher’s body of work. Isn’t it Abanes’ business to know what he is defending? And what of a man who pretends to know that of which he speaks and writes, all the while know he doesn’t? Even then he’s been dishonest.

    Now, as to his claims of orthodoxy, there is no evidence to say he’s lied about preaching and teaching the orthodoxies he listed above. However, even the demons are more devout than Richard. At least they have the wisdom to believe and tremble. Abanes seems unafraid of the judgment that he’s facing.

    Finally, brethren, Abanes makes fun of the sin of encouraging others to follow or even sit under the teaching of liars. This has to do with the two-pronged test laid out in Deut. 13. Mr. Abanes doesn’t know what that is, seemingly, since he admits above that Warren DOES PUSH false teachers like Bro. Lawrence and Henry Nouwen, saying this is no big deal.

    God disagrees. Henry Nouwen, for instance, sought to mix Freud and Yung with Catholic mysticism. In addition, Warren pushes in the PDL liars like Thomas Merton, Mother Theresa, and Madame Guyon. Bro. Lawrence’ view of salvation was work-based, admitting that he didn’t know if He would see God in heaven–hardly the gospel.

    Again, good work to Phil.

    And TO DONNA: You go girl!!!!!!! And isn’t interesting to watch RA spending SO MUCH time defending himself, rather than admitting that, perhaps, he might take a correction or two. Puurrriiiiiide if I’ve ever seen it.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.

  46. PHIL: Rick Warren wrote, “The LAST thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are SERVING experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles . . . Why does Richard Abanes lie like this? The Scripture requires a life commitment to “continue in the Sacred writings.”

    RA: Phil, you need to start reading things IN CONTEXT — not just ripping out a sentence from here or there to then use it OUT OF CONTEXT in order to make it seem like Rick Warren is saying something he has never said. That is what CULTISTS do.

    IN CONTEXT, on page 231 of PDL, Warren is talking about people who just sit around and attend Bible study, after Bible study, after Bible study, after Bible study — and just keep getting fat fat fat on a lot of HEAD knowledge without actually doing/practicing anything they are learning!!!

    As James stated very clearly: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (James 1:22). Hence, the sub-heading of the section you quote: “You Are Commanded to Serve God.” In fact, the ENTIRE CHAPTER is about that very subject — serving God and putting into action what you have learned in all your Bible studies!!!

    Here are a few more statements from that same section that for some reason you FAILED to quote. They easily explain exactly what Warren is saying:

    – “Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry.”
    – “We must act on what we know, and practice what we claim to believe.”
    – “But as we mature in Christ, the focus of our lives should increasingly shift to living a life of service.”

    These passages are also from page 231. Did you miss them? Do you even have the book? Or, did you just find this quote on some “discernment” website? In fact, the very sentence you quote explains what Warren is really saying: “They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are SERVING experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.”

    NOWHERE on this page is Warren encouraging “folks to stop going to Bible Study.” That is ludicrous. READ WHAT IT IS ACTUALLY SAYING!!!!!!

    You have just illustrated perfectly the kind of hunting/pecking that is going on to find some isolated quote that can be taken out of context and used to unfairly/unrighteously lodge an accusation at Warren. I thank you for the example.

    And, BTW, we have constant Bible Studies going on at Saddleback, particularly the FOUNDATIONS series of maturity that is several months long and goes through all of the MAJOR doctrines of Christianity, including the Trinity, mission/person of Jesus, the atonement, the Holy Spirit, and the End-Times. And EVERY staff member MUST go through these Bible Studies! That doesn’t seem like Warren is encouraging “folks to stop going to Bible Study.”
    ____________
    PHIL: Lying is truly, according to Scripture, a sign of an unconverted soul.

    RA: I couldn’t agree with you more, Phil.I couldn’t agree with you more.
    ____________
    PHIL: Any unrepentant sin is a warning about judgment to come.

    RA: Again, you are soooooooooo correct. It is a terrible thing to slander a brother, misrepresent his teachings/faith, and remain unrepentant.
    ____________
    PHIL: Well then, he ought to take the correction if he is simply mistaken. We can watch.

    RA: Go ahead, Phil. We are all watching.
    ____________
    PHIL: Abanes makes fun of the sin of encouraging others to follow or even sit under the teaching of liars.

    RA: I suggest you check again to see who’s lying, my friend. It ain’t me. And it ain’t Warren.

    RAbanes

  47. Richard,

    I’m curious about something…..

    I’ve read the article in question several times now, and while he did take some personal swipes at your character I highly doubt that whatever he has to say will or would have a direct bearing on your credibility or ability to sell your books so my question is;

    Why do you even care about what Ken Silva writes about you? I mean who is he anyway? As far as I can tell he’s just a guy with a modem, internet connection and an opinion…..

    Wouldn’t it be better to make the first move and extend the right hand of fellowship with Ken Silva?

  48. Phil,

    You asked: “Why do you even care about what Ken Silva writes about you? I mean who is he anyway?”

    That’s a really good question! Here is how I’ve answered that elsewhere:

    The current issue actually goes FAR, FAR, FAR, beyond just me being wronged. That is only one aspect of the controversy. This is why, in fact, I have been talking about it online so much.

    What’s happening now actually involves accountability, responsibility, the proper mode of apologetics/discernment, our conduct as Christians, what it means to strike our hand to an agreement (e.g., a TOS agreement), needless division in the Body of Christ.

    These issues are huge. And that is what I am trying to also call attention to.

    The violent response is telling me that the Body of Christ is very, very ill. The time has come for these so-called “discernment” people to be held accountable and responsible for the unnecessary, unbiblical, and ungodly division in the Body of Christ that they have been causing now for some time. My email to Ken Silva’s ISP was as attempt to help bring about at least a modicum of accountability/responsibility regarding one individual. You see the response.

    The Online Discernment Ministries (ODMs) have been allowed to run rampant—attacking whom they wish, dividing the church, falsely accusing the brethren, spreading gossip/rumors, hurting those who are trusting them, etc. etc. etc.

    They have remained accountable to NO ONE. They have used slander, half-truths, misinformation, disinformation, flawed research, double standards, out-of-context quoting of their chosen “enemies,” thought suppression, illegal activities, (e.g., violating copyright/privacy laws), concealment of facts, and character assassination to drive wedges between brothers and sisters in Christ. And it has all been done under the guise of “defending the truth,” being a “watchman on the wall,” so-called “apologetics,” and “discernment.”

    This, I believe, is the reason why so many of these online “discernment” people are responding with such intensity. They are in a panic because my action put them on notice. They must be more careful about what they say, or else risk a complaint about one of their articles. Everyone is so upset, I believe, because such an incident threatens their ability to say/do whatever they want to say/do no matter how hateful or hurtful (or inaccurate) it might be to others and to the Body of Christ. And far too many of the “discerners” are now trying to hide by abusing passages like 1 Corinthians 6 and Matthew 18.

    It is time for these people to stop: 1) causing unnecessary division, 2) abusing God’s word; 3) making a mockery out of, and bringing shame down upon, the noble calling of apologetics/discernment.

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website
    Pop Culture Blog

  49. Richard,

    Thanks for the answer…..

    I’ve seen somewhere that you asked Ken Silva to remove the article once again…..and it still is up there. looks like what you tried to accomplish concerning blogs and their need to be more careful had little if no effect….at least with Ken. I guess my question is this;

    If you are so passionate about getting blog writers to change their tactics, and it didn’t work (at least for Ken) what’s next?

  50. Phil: If you are so passionate about getting blog writers to change their tactics, and it didn’t work (at least for Ken) what’s next?

    RA: I guess we’ll see. 🙂

    TBH, I actually might just move on to other issues/projects/books, and visit this subject again after I have assessed what the final results were — I have already seen some good. Truth i coming to light, IMHO, and we are learning a lot about these ODMs. Light always exposes darkness.

    RAbanes

  51. PHIL: Would you consider this blog an ODM?:

    RA: LoL — no. 🙂 Not from what I have seen. But you might always surprise me. 😦 But seriously, no. It’s a blog.

    RA

  52. Hi Richard,

    I’m going to let this topic rest with these final words. I will say that as an “old fashioned” grandmother, if you and Silva were my sons, I’d have you both out behind the woodshed for a good ole “meeting of the minds” because quite frankly, I have issues with both of you.

    You said: It is time for these people to stop: 1) causing unnecessary division, 2) abusing God’s word; 3) making a mockery out of, and bringing shame down upon, the noble calling of apologetics/discernment.

    Me here: When pastors like Rick Warren, who pastor large Churches, have wide influence, write books that take scripture out of context, use faulty reasoning, to the level I see in PDL, then imho, the above admonishment should be directed their way.

    These men have great influence and if their work is faulty the body suffers for it. Only if and when these men govern their work more rigidly, will the fuel for ODM’s cease and those of you who apologize for it won’t be in the spotlight for examination. Unfortunately, way too many keep contributing fuel for the fire.

    Maybe your time would be better spent making sure that those you know are more diligent in the accuracy of their work. Want to really have a purpose – imho that’s the best one to start with.

    Now, I’m heading to a few more used book stores to see what I can find. The suns out, it’s a little cooler today, and a ride into town is on my agenda.

  53. Phil, new to the conversation, here at least. You ask a great question about taking on the ODM’s in the blog forum. It crosses my mind from time to time but the reality is that it IMO it would be a futile proposition. It might be the kind of thing that would make a good book, such as the Christianity in Crisis books written a few years ago. For someone to simply take the time to document the lies, deceptions and tactics of the ODM’s would be a very interesting proposition. Over at Verum serum a few years back they took to task Ken Silva and he got kind of nasty and cried persecution. That is the problem in the blog world. Even here the other Phil setting forth outright false thoughts concerning what RW wrote. He won’t be accountable. He wont apologize, he will just move on to another weak argument. That is the approach of the ODM’s.

    These ministires have shown themselves to be dangerous while claiming another mission. They are filled with bright people whose discernment skills have been stiffled under the weight of a critical heart. The bible actually advises us in this matter about many in the ODM movement.

    Titus 3 instructs us: 9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

    If someone did tackle this in a book, they should make sure that they cover:
    Tactics of the ODM’s
    Tools of the ODM’s
    Poor use of scripture and hermeneutics
    Claims of the ODM’s
    False claims and out right lies and deception of the ODM’s
    The passing of the torch of hate that ODM’s so effectively do.
    How ODM’s stack up against Jesus, Paul and the Fruit of the Spirit.
    I could think of much more.
    I am not a writer but if I were I might think the time has come.

    Richard, how about it, see a book there?
    Leonard

  54. Mr. Abanes, I have to ask: Do you believe there is any merit to these so-called ODMs?

  55. Hi Leonard,

    While your suggestion may have some merit, let me tell you that those of us who do speak out against false doctrines or teachings are subject to all sorts of underhanded attacks.

    Look what happened at “Yomi Says”. While I don’t host an online blog, I’ve been hit with a nasty virus to take down my system and it happened after I made a call for a man who told a bald faced well documented lie to the Church and I called for him to repent in a very nice manner.

    The ODM’s at least work in the light of day where all can evaluate what they profess, right or wrong. They aren’t talking behind your back.

    What was it Richard said in defense of Warren’s work – we are all suject to error. What’s the difference between Warren and the ODM’s if we use Richard’s model? See the problem there? It’s ok for Church leaders to publish books filled with error of GOD’s WORD, but the ODM’s are to be crucified for theirs? I’m sorry. They should both be held accountable and called on the carpet.

    I find it very sad that the call isn’t for all of us to be more diligent and thorough about what we declare publicly and that a little more charity isn’t granted.

    Unfortunately, there are those who don’t like the work of the ODM’s and attack under the cloak of darkness instead of using a public venue.

    Now, I don’t have my PDL book with me and if Phil Perkins made false statements, then he needs to come forth, in humility, do the right thing and set a much needed example. It’s a very hard thing to do and yes, I’ve had to do it before, but it’s very important that we all need to be diligent and responsible. I hate Warren’s abuse of scritpure as much as Phil P. I hate the fact that Warren hasn’t pulled the book and corrected it but it is very critical that our reporting be accurate. Will we all make mistakes? That’s a given. It’s what we do AFTER we know we’ve made one that separates the wheat from the chaff.

    I’m pretty confident that Phil Perkins will do the right thing. I would also like to feel as confident that Richard will take a more even handed look at the Warren issue, but right now, I don’t see that happening.

    Btw, I am ordering a used copy of Richard’s book in defense of Warren. Once I’ve read it, I’ll come forth here and discuss it’s shortcomings.

  56. Dorothy,
    Thanks for the reply. I have a couple thoughts I would like to share. One would be that your final statement is loaded. “I’ll discuss it’s shortcomings.” you have not even read it yet. Perhaps that is not what you meant but I am sure you can understand that in light of this discussion how that statement jumped out to me.

    I am not a defender of Warren, I am frustrated with poor use of scripture and have found myself guilty of it time to time. However I would also say some of the poorest use of scripture I have ever seen within the ranks of Christianity comes from the ODM’s.

    As for the book; I think it would be an excellent venue to bring much needed accountability to ODM’s, so statements like Phil’s and many more that others have made about people can be scrutinized. O would love to see a book like this so that ODM’s would then adopt more than the mantra of truth to justify the twisting of facts to match poorly applied scriptures.

    I do not hide my bias but it does come from a deep love for the truth, a deep passion for Christ, a deep commitment to the church and a strong belief that GRACE must not be separated from TRUTH and that what you have when we separate Grace from truth are the extremes of liberalism and legalism.

    I am not confident at all that Phil would do the right thing. Not because I know Phil but because I have not seen those who bash Warren retract any statement…ever. I am sure it has happened but I have just never seen it happen.

    One final thought. you ask what is the difference in Warren’s error and the ODM’s if we use Richards thinking. One major difference is that Warren has not made his living out of attacking other believers. I would add that were it not for Warren and a few others, Ken Silva would be the pastor of 8 people, with an unknown internet site. It is in his best interest (read self serving) to not admit error, to keep attacking ad hominem. To admit error would mean that he did indeed stretch facts, sensationalize truth, deceive and cross the line in tone and words.

    That would devastate his ministry and all those who mimic his hostility. While it would be right before God to admit his error, he wont because he could not stay in business. There are many others like Ken, that is why a book like this would be necessary. It would force into the light the tactics and words of the ODM’s. People are afraid to challenge them because all who do are vilified. I have several e-mails in my folder from people calling me all kinds of names, simply because I challenged ODM’s.

  57. I would be interested to know if Mr. Abanes draws any distinction between those online discernment ministries that have a donation policy and those that don’t.

  58. Dorothy: Btw, I am ordering a used copy of Richard’s book in defense of Warren. Once I’ve read it, I’ll come forth here and discuss it’s shortcomings.

    RA: To be honest, far more important is what is happening with Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey and the New Age teachings they are trying to pass off on the world as compatible with Christianity. THAT is a danger. I would rather have you: 1) cancel your order for my Rick Warren book; 2) just keep thinking I am TOTALLY worng about Warren, for whatever reason; 3) order my book on Eckhart Tolle from amazon (see my web page)</a; 4) read that book and have the information you need to talk to friends, family, and neighbors about the dangers of Eckhart Tolle.

    R. Abanes

  59. Richard,
    As to contect, I read the entire book. AND in the context of Warren’s body of work this type of disrespect for Hoy Writ fits quite nicely with his “DEEDS, NOT CREEDS stuff. His intention is to down play biblical knowledge. There is a simple reason for this: iBiblical knowledge defeats his cause.

    As to the lying, I cought in this lie right here. So why deny it? Do you really think so little of Phils and his readers? Are we that dumb?

    Repent,
    Phil Perkins. PS–I await your defence of Warren’s pushing Bro Lawrence et al.

  60. Here is a quick question for all of you: Richard Abanes claimed right here on this comment portion of Phil’s blog that Rick Warren never tells Christians to stop diong Bible study. When I documented that he has done just that, he still denied that Warren did so, and then proceded to tell us just exactly why Warren was justified in doing the very same thing that Abanes haddaid he did not do!

    So HERE IS THE QUESTION: Do you suppose he would have felt free to lie like that if he knew someone on this comment line was armed with the truth?

    No wonder these types hate those of us who arm aourselves to give an answer! And how imperative it is that we do just that!

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins

  61. Boy what deception and how misleading the following which Abanes put in this blog:

    * “Hey Abanes, you’re a filthy liar, unwilling to tell anyone the full truth without adding half-truths, practicing deceit, playing word games, and not having the common sense to keep your mouth shut and let the matter die.”
    charismamag.com
    KafirCrusader
    _______________________

    Now lets look at it in the context it was written which can be found here http://www.charismamag.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2962&p=52068&hilit=filthy+liar#p52068 :

    rabanes wrote:
    KAFIR,

    You really could have just saved yourself ALL that wasted time and wasted space, by simply stating the obvious, and making it plain for everyone. You could have just said:

    “Hey Abanes, you’re a filthy liar, unwilling to tell anyone the truth, and no matter what you say, I’m not going to believe you because I’ve already decided you’re guilty of everything.”

    See how short and sweet?

    RAbanes”

    My response was:

    “The following opinion statement might however work for me:

    “Hey Abanes, you’re a filthy liar, unwilling to tell anyone the full truth without adding half-truths, practicing deceit, playing word games, and not having the common sense to keep your mouth shut and let the matter die.””

  62. Hi Leonard,

    Shortcomings? hmmmmm

    First, let me share with you what I had to do to the PDL book to analyzing it. I had to cut the index out of the back and I spent 8 hours writing all the verses in the columns so I could review the scriptures he cited as I read it.

    Some were so weak that even Richard would not be able to give a good apologetic response and I have read he left those parts alone. Even if what I read was not true, I know there will be shortcomings in defense because there just isn’t one.

    Richard: You probably aren’t going to like my thoughts here, but sometimes when you’re on the “inside” of an organization, it’s very hard to look in the windows and see it as someone else does. I’ve been there so I do know what I’m talking about. It’s warm and cozy and you can hear what you want to hear. The stuff that kind of “nicks at your conscience” is easily supressed.

    I’ll finish my response tonight.

  63. Kafir,

    In the end, you said: “The following opinion statement might however work for me . . .”

    So, you said what you said, it is inconsequential whether or not you said it in response to my paraphrasing of your thoughts. You edited that paraphrase, then used it as being something which would “work” for you. So you did, in fact, make that statement in reference to me. Therefore, live with the words you used to express yourself — the very words that you said might indeed “work” for you.

    RAbanes

  64. Abanes,

    Not would work for me…might work for me.

    The quotes in their context speak for themselves and they don’t align themselves with your version of the “truth”. Such statements taken in their context is not as inconsequential as you would like to pretend them to be. You made a statement, said I might of well have said that, and I just took your quote and tweaked it saying that said opinion quote MIGHT work for me. And based on what I see of your character said tweaked quote may do more than just “might work” for me.

    Throughout said thread on Charisma you have been less than candid and you like to twist and distort statements of others taking statements out of context in order to put yourself in a favorable light and it does not matter to you, if you put another in a false light, to do so.

    Here is again in the link: http://www.charismamag.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2962&p=52068&hilit=filthy+liar#p52068

    If you want to learn more about the true nature of Abanes read the entire thread. It is revealing about the man and his character.

    The start of said thread is:

    http://www.charismamag.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2962&start=0

  65. Richard,

    I thought about how to say this so you might grasp it and not take it out of context, so I’ve decided to keep it real short.

    imho Warren’s book doesn’t reveal the love of God. No where does he talk about a sinner in the hands of an angry God and until a sinner understands their position before God, they can’t begin to grasp the sacrifice for atonement that took place. Understanding those concepts a sinner sees themselves from God’s eyes. It’s conviction of sin that takes a sinner to their knees in remorse, repentance, and a true spirit of thankfulness. That’s when a sinner can truly declare Jesus the Son of God and his savior.

    When we have Christian authors who remove God’s wrath from his love, then it’s just another social gospel and frankly and then PDL and Tolle don’t sound that much different. PDL just comes across as another version of a religious philosophy.

    So while you claim Tolle is dangerous – and I certainly agree, I also see books like PDL, that don’t speak about God’s wrath and our position before God and only speaking of God as love, as taking the very strength and message out of the gospel, watering it down to the point there is no offense to those who are perishing.

    Ghandi was what you could call pious and self sacrificing and imho the work he did was no different that what Warren proposes. Ghandi made huge sweeping reforms in India that attracted the worlds attention for their success. So tell me, what’s so different about what Warren is doing and what Ghandi did? I’m sure you’ll respond Warren promotes Christ and belief in Him. But I have to ask again – What good does that do if you fail to teach the wrath of God so we can grasp the significance of the love of God?

  66. >Worth listening to. “Growing hostility towards Biblical Christianity….from evangelicals”

    Yes, a perfect example of how Christians are being deceived by these ODMs. Schlueter completely:

    1. ripped my words out of context,
    2. misapplied my remarks to people for whom they were NEVER intended (i.e., Bible believing Christians in general who hold to absolute truth),
    3. misrepresented my doctrinal views by subtly implying that I do not believe in the Second Coming of Jesus.

    Honestly, I don’t know how these people sleep at night and dare to do/say what they do/say in the name of Jesus — and under the guise of defending the truth.

    Tragic.

    R. Abanes

    Phil; I’ll be listening tonight after I finish work…..look for a post about some of the things I’ve been learning since this whole thing started…

  67. Phil,

    FYI. I will be more than open to answering any doctrinal questions regarding my own conservative theology, doctrine, and views on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ — which I absolutely embrace and uphold.

    RAbanes

    Phil: I listened to the show last night….could you tell us what you meant by their extreme endtime views (paraphrase)? That seems to be what got their knickers in a twist so to speak…..besides the fact you wrote a book about Rick Warren.

  68. Phil,

    You asked about my comments regarding “extreme endtime views.”

    CONTRARY to what Ingrid and her guest implied, I have NEVER categorized as “extreme” any legitimate, biblically acceptable eschatology — i.e., the very popular premil views that include various stands on the rapture, Antichrist, tribulation, Great Apostasy, or literal Second Coming of Jesus Christ to judge the living and the dead.

    My remarks, which Ingrid Schlueter UTTERLY ripped out of context, were in reference to a “minority” of Christians who have become obsessed/fixated on such issues at the expense of clear thinking, rational analysis of world events, and care/caution when making pronouncements about people within the Body of Christ with whom they might disagree on any number of issues. Such persons have, in my opinion, lost all perspective and have launched a Holy Heresy Hunting Crusade that sees:

    1) the Antichrist and his minions all around them (going so far as to make it a habit of falsely accusing the brethren of heresy),

    2) false teachings in nearly every word spoken by anyone with whomever they might disagree on non-essential issues, and

    3) enemies in those whom they should consider fellow believers.

    This has gotten so bad that they are now using as a litmus test of someone’s Christianity (or Christian maturity) whether or not another individual agrees with their eschatology and/or signs of the times that THEY consider as such. This kind of measuring stick for someone’s Christianity (or maturity in the Lord) is NOWHERE in the Bible.

    And, might I add, that contrary to what was alleged during that program (both directly and indirectly) – I MOST CERTAINLY embrace absolute truth from God as found in his Holy Word, and most DEFINITELY I do await with eager expectation the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh!!!!

    Ironically, that radio show by Shculeter was a PERFECT illustration of the very thing I alleged in the remark they were reading to their listeners!!! The way they slice/diced my words, their misrepresentation of my thoughts, their excessive paranoia about persecution in that comment (which wasn’t persecution of any kind), their linking of my remarks to the kind of anti-Christian propaganda being put out by Theosophists/Lucifereans (excuse me, but ROFL) — it demonstrated beautifully exactly what I was saying.

    You cannot reason with these people. You cannot have intelligent, thoughtful, honest, civilized, open discussions with them. They are living, it seems, in a world/reality of their own making where black has become white, up is down, right is left, yes means no, and vice versa. Truth and facts are what they determine are truth and facts — despite the objective evidence to the contrary. If anyone has become subjective and non-accepting of objective truth, again ironically, it is them!

    This is indeed very cult-like responses. I stand by that assessment. And they are, in my opinion, a danger to the health of the Body of Christ — this, I believe, is already most apparent.

    R. Abanes

  69. Hi Phil. I’ll be interested as to what you have learned throughout this campaign. It should be an interesting post.

  70. I attend a resoundingly premillennial, pre-tribulational rapture church (Southern Baptist), but I am personally amillennial (as are Lutherans and those who are Reformed, such as R.C. Sproul who is one of my favorite teachers).

    RAbanes

  71. Hello Richard, I disagree with the PDL philosophy, but I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the attitudes at Slice and Apprising Ministries. If worship music isn’t their preference of hymns, no matter how Christ honoring the song is, the artist is accused of chanting, because they have choruses after the verses. They could point out what is wrong in other ministries to help others to be careful of false teaching and pray that God would open their hearts to truth, but they usually attack. If anything, this has brought out their desperate need to reexamine how they treat other believers in the Body of Christ.

  72. Richard,

    Don’t you attend Saddleback? You confused me here….

    I was raised SBC, but they lean into dispensationalism where I am and don’t believe in trying to convert any Jews. They were also arminian and while they did hold to God’s Sovereignty, they do give man credit for his own salvation.

    Do you hold to the 5 points of Calvinism? I ask because I have read that Warren claims to be Calvinist, but PDL is arminian and very works based in flavor. I have grave doubts about Warren’s Calvinist claims. No Calvinist would write the way Warren does imho.

  73. DOROTHY: Don’t you attend Saddleback? You confused me here

    RA: Yes. Saddleback is a dispensational, Southern Baptist, premill, pre-trib church (that is the eschatology held by most members). It’s th esame eschatology held by Calvary Chapel.
    _________
    DOROTHY: I was raised SBC, but they lean into dispensationalism where I am and don’t believe in trying to convert any Jews.

    RA: Yes, on the dispensationalism by Saddleback — classic SBC. As for Jews, it sounds like you were in a bizarre SBC church. Jews need to be converted (see Jn 14:6).
    __________
    DOROTHY: Do you hold to the 5 points of Calvinism?

    RA: Yes. A decision is in there somewhere to accept Christ, as we are drawn and enabled by the Holy Spirit to do so. Don’t ask me to explain how it all works out beyond that. I am not dogmatic in my approach. All I am absolutely sure of is that I need to preach the Gospel, and at some point a decision for Jesus must be made to accept Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior. God sorts out how that all works together in the metaphysical realm.
    __________
    DOROTHY: I ask because I have read that Warren claims to be Calvinist

    RA: I believe he is a 4 point Calvinist (as he calls himself), but I’d have to see exactly what quote you’re referring to.
    __________
    DOROTHY: PDL is arminian and very works based in flavor.

    RA: PDL is NOT Arminian, nor is the salvation taught by Warren a works-based salvation. That is absurd in the extreme.

    RAbanes

    PS And no, I will not get into debating Calvinism pro/con with anyone. How about we all just spread the Gospel and be obedient to sharing the Jesus of the Bible with people who are lost without Christ? There’s a novel idea.

  74. Hi Richard,

    As far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as a 4 point Calvinist. lol

    Now you say PDL is not a works based salvation but I didn’t equate the works portion to salvation – but to an arminian theology.

    So let me show you some down home arminianism teaching. This is where we get down to the difference from being “inside” Saddleback to being a “outsider” who just happens to purchase the book – knows nothing about Saddleback or Warren and proceeds to read PDL.

    We live in an environment where those who are unconverted believe people are basically good. They have this pioneer spirit where they can achieve whatever they set our minds to and with enough hard work, they can make it happen. Most believe in a God, but have a different idea of God than what scripture reveals.

    So, because they believe themselves to be good, they see no need for God not to love them too. Most believe they are here for a reason and they believe it to be to do good things for others.

    Then out of the blue they are given or purchase the PDL book where it is affirmed that God loves them, wants a relationship and in 40 days, they are going to know what God wants them to do.

    Page 58 is very interesting:

    Make a choice to live for Him
    Believe God loves you and made you for a purpose
    You are not an accident
    You were made to last forever
    God chose you to have a relationship with Jesus
    God wants to forgive you
    Receive Jesus into your heart
    Receive His forgiveness for your sins
    Receive His Spirit

    Whisper this prayer to change your eternity:

    “Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you”.

    According to Warren if you sincerely meant that prayer – congratulations – welcome to the family.

    Arminian to the core.

    Add to that, no mention of the Cross, atonement, a broken and contrite spirit, seeing yourself from God’s eyes, or knowledge of sin that takes you to your knees, no Biblical confession of faith…nada zip zero.

    Then the balance of the book is about servanthood/ministry. Is there anything the above presentation that would lead you to believe someone who prayed that prayer has a grasp of the Full Gospel or had a true “conversion”?

    The faith spoken of here is not a scriptural faith imho.

    PDL manages to reaffirm what people already believe about themselves. Now PDL is going to tell them about the “works” that are expected of the family. So yes, I personally qualify it as a works based “faith” with a strong dose of arminianism.

    It’s interesting that this book would work well in any faith based group that has some profession that God exists. I’ve seen programs like this in charitable organizations. One I’m aquainted with and known for their good works claim in their creed- faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life. Sound familiar?

    You rightly recommend spreading the Gospel and I couldn’t agree more….but I recommend the Full Gospel that leads people to a “real” conversion…and not a gospel that I see in PDL which looks to me as some redefined version lacking in Biblical foundation.

  75. Dorothy,

    Without getting into a long drawn out argument, let me say, that i am a Calvinist and I see the full gospel presented in PDL — not exactly Paul Washer’s bang you over the head because you’re a worm version — but the full gospel, nevertheless.

    You, me, others MUST leave room for those who present the true/full gospel differently than you or I might present it. The Gospel itself is the issue, not how we present it. NOTHING in the list you gave above is untrue. It’s all true.

    Make a choice to live for Him
    Believe God loves you and made you for a purpose
    You are not an accident
    You were made to last forever
    God chose you to have a relationship with Jesus
    God wants to forgive you
    Receive Jesus into your heart
    Receive His forgiveness for your sins
    Receive His Spirit

    A Calvinist vs. Non-Calvinist could debate well into the night about each of the points and how they work out, but they are all essentially true and biblical. You also missed, BTW, for some reason, a few other things Warren says in PDL:

    “God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you.”

    “If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with his arms outstretched on the cross.”

    “When he paid for our sins on the cross, the veil in the temple that symbolized our separation from God was split from top to bottom.”

    “In the Old Testament, God took pleasure in the many sacrifices of worship because they foretold of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross.”

    “[Praise God] for what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s Son died for you!”

    “The church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it.”

    “[Jesus] was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards.”

    “[God] wants his lost children found! . . . [T]he Cross proves that.”

    “When Jesus stretched his arms out wide on the cross, he was saying, ‘I love you this much!’ . . . . Whenever you feel apathetic about your mission in the world, spend some time thinking about what Jesus did for you on the cross”

    (Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 58, 79, 86, 105, 112, 132, 198, 288, 294).

    Sorry, Dorothy, I must disagree most strongly when you say, “this book would work well in any faith based group that has some profession that God exists.”

    No basic, run-of-the-mill, faith-based, whatever organization is going to let this fly if they are against Christianity being lifted up. This is a Christian book through and through.

    R. Abanes

  76. Oh, you also said, “As far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as a 4 point Calvinist. lol.”

    I agree with you there. But meh, that’s what he calls himself, I think. So, I say, bah, whatever. 🙂 I am 5-Points. Woot! Go R.C. Sproul!!!!

    RAbanes

  77. And that’s all you have to say? After I offer that many examples of why PDL would not, contrary to your assertion, be acceptable in “any” faith-based group? Dorothy, is it really that difficult to just admit that Warren is not the demon everyone wants him to be? (sigh). And just fyi, if you can’t see the repentance in anything I have noted so far, then you need to do a study on what the word “repentance” means. No offense intended.

    RAbanes

  78. Nice try Richard. You don’t have an answer to my question, so the fault is all mine. You need to place failure where it belongs.

    I know Warren refers to a “change of mind” in his book and while that is a small part of it, the guts of it are left untold….Take the following link and scroll down to “Repentance defined by Baptists of the Past” and you will see what Spurgeon and Carroll had to say about the men in their day who taught it was a “change of mind”. They do a great job of stating my position in a nutshell. Carroll was so strong in his position called it treason.

    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/repent.htm

    Also:

    WCF Chapter 17 “Of Repentance Unto Life”

    Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.

    II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments.

    III Although repentance be not to be rested in as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ, yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.

    Also from the SBC:

    Baptist Faith and Message Section IV – Salvation

    Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

    A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

    B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

    So I’m going to ask one more time – Where is repentance (as defined by the creeds) in PDL?

  79. In case anyone else would like to see the quotes I’m referring to, see the 6th paragraph and the 11th about 1/3 of the way down in the article.

    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/repent.htm

    Unfortunately this article is under heavy copy write so even using a piece of it is a violation. I will say should I have been able to bring it forward, I would have highlighted some areas in these quotes that were not.

    These men were very thorough in how they viewed the issue. We are talking about an essential of the faith imho. This is no light topic.

  80. No light topic Dorothy…. Sigh!!!

    The topic of discourse above is a fundamental one and no one should get it twisted. It is a matter of life and death.

    Thanks Phil, I’m beginning to appreciate this post more than ever. It is really revealing the true state of some things. Cheers!!!:-D

  81. Hi Naomi,

    Yes, this is what I believe to be at least one fundamental difference between the camps, so to speak and it is a critical difference.

    It has been my experience that when we see disagreements that turn into battles, then into an all out war, that the crux of the problem resides in how each side interprets a particular topic or topics.

    Unless we can get to the root of the problem and start reasoning from there, then the battle will continue because the way each side interprets a topic – like repentance – dictates how we will respond to each other.

    If Richard holds that repentance is just a “change of mind”, then it goes a long to way explaining why he can’t understand our argument. I actually like Richard and if I have correctly identified his position, then I can say he has been using a logical argument and I can’t fault him for that….but it isn’t the correct position and holding faulty positions can lead to other issues.

  82. Hi Naomi,

    Would you mind taking a look at this and telling me what you see? It’s Richards proof texts that Warren teaches repentance.

    http://abanes.com/repent.html

    If Richard is in agreement with Warren here, then we have definitely identified one problem and this feeds the second one.

    Phil – I think this is one issue that is contributing to the issues with Abanes & Silva. Now, I’ve checked Silva’s site to see if he has dealt with the doctrine of repentance, but a cursory glance didn’t answer my question. So, I’m going to look some more.

    Now I understand why Abanes can defend Warren when it comes to the scriptural misappropriations in PDL as just a man subject to mistakes and I must say I have never witnessed Warren show remorse over his errors. It appears to me they have adopted the RCC position on repentance. If I am correct, then they have stepped outside the creeds of the SBC and the WCF which are in agreement on the doctrine of repentance.

  83. Richard,

    You made this statement:

    RA: Yes. A decision is in there somewhere to accept Christ, as we are drawn and enabled by the Holy Spirit to do so. Don’t ask me to explain how it all works out beyond that. I am not dogmatic in my approach. All I am absolutely sure of is that I need to preach the Gospel, and at some point a decision for Jesus must be made to accept Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior. God sorts out how that all works together in the metaphysical realm.

    (me)
    You claim to be a 5 point Calvinist, but Calvinists have such a well stated position here that this just doesn’t compute with me.

    I hate to say this, but I think you hold to definitions that are not the common definitions. One thing that does bother me about you is that you are dogmatic about Warren and PDL, but you are not dogmatic about doctrine. The apostles took an opposite position. Maybe you should spend more time on doctrine and I say that with the best of intentions here.

    Have you ever read Calvin’s Institutes?

  84. > I think you hold to definitions that are not the common definitions.

    You should be less concerned with Calvinism, and more concerned about Jesus. We are called to be Christians, not Calvinist.

    __________________
    > One thing that does bother me about you is that you are dogmatic about Warren and PDL,

    Actually, I am not……..

    _______________
    > but you are not dogmatic about doctrine.

    Actually, I am…….where it matters.

    RAbanes

  85. Thanks for the link Dorothy. It’s a good thing I viewd. I saw d following on the site:

    RA says,
    “Warren actually tries to take the time to actually explain what repentance means to the unchurched, and uses ways to illustrate it in their lives, rather than simply commanding that they do it—or else.”

    My ohh my!! This is a serious one. Is he trying to say that the word of God is not sufficient to get one saved? That we need to make the gospel palatable to the target audience so that we can have results. Hmm… Sounds like religion of tolerance to me. Was just wondering anyway.

    I guess this is from Warren himself:

    “Repentance is just changing the way we think about something by accepting the way God thinks about it”

    This is another serious one. You mean that’s all that gets you to heaven. Why did Jesus have to come and die then?

    “That’s all repentance is. . . . Changing the way I act is the fruit of repentance.”

    You saying repentance is all about changing the way I act. So. a sinnerr can just decide to stop sinning and turn to God. Are you saying true biblical salvation is dependent on man? Sigh!!!

    “The Bible clearly states ‘all have sinned.’ It is my nature to sin, and it is yours too.”

    If you truly believe this, then why do you think repentance is just a change of mind?

    I would really like some answers to the following. Dorothy, without mincing words I already know where Abanes belong.

    Why would anyone who claims to hold to the authority of scriptures defend Rick Warren???

    I would say again that this topic is really helping us to know who is who. Thanks once again Phil.

  86. Naomi,

    The problem is, you apparently can’t understand English. is it your second language? I am truly curious. Because I can’t tell what you’re reading.

    You say, “Is he trying to say that the word of God is not sufficient to get one saved? That we need to make the gospel palatable to the target audience so that we can have results.”

    But that is not AT ALL what I am saying.

    And then you respond to Warren, stating: “You saying repentance is all about changing the way I act. So. a sinnerr can just decide to stop sinning and turn to God.”

    But that is not AT ALL what Warren is saying.

    So, it seems that you can’t even understand what is being written by some people in plain English without spinning it to meet your own preconceived ideas and prejudices. Odd. You are not listening at all. You are reacting in a pre-programmed way to certain people/ideas about which you’ve already made up your mind.

    There is really nothing left, therefore, to say and nowhere else for us to go. It’d be like trying to explain directions to an isolated jungle village to a guy/gal who doesn’t understand a single word of English. Ahh well. Say what you will, then, and in all sincerity, I wish you the best.

    RAbanes

  87. RA- You should be less concerned with Calvinism, and more concerned about Jesus. We are called to be Christians, not Calvinist.

    Then you added that you are dogmatic on doctrine where it matters….

    Me – I assume you are referring to the essentials of the faith. I have to ask which doctrines take a back seat and are less important? Which ones can we compromise for sake of unity? I’d like to see that list and our scriptural mandate for such.

    I consider doctrine to play a vital part in a maturing relationship with Jesus. It isn’t to be dismissed in such a casual way as if one is being pitted against the other. Your statement just reveals your misconceptions about the role of doctrine.

    Calvinism is a system that reveals God in sovereign rule over all things and Jesus and the Father share the same characteristics and attributes, so shouldn’t it be the goal of every Christian to know and understand those characteristics and attributes and accept God’s sovereignty to do with His creation what He wills and the role of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

    Correct doctrinal beliefs are essential to forming a solid relationship and they aid us in defining truth. It’s not a question of whether one believes, but doctrines actually define what one should believe about Jesus & God the Father and our relationships.

    Correct doctrine aids the Church in discerning those who teach falsely. We are called to do just that and we are to search the scriptures daily to see if things are true and correctly divide the word of truth. That is not an option, it is the characteristic of a bonified born again Christian. Someone who isn’t interested in God’s likes and dislikes, character and attributes, can’t have a long term relationship with Jesus nor can they know him. They also can’t relect an image if they don’t know what the image is.

    Richard, I fully believe you have bought into some of the deceptions that have slithered into the Church whether intentionally or unintentionally. They are there to chip away at the fabric of Christianity and they need to be stopped. Example – Warren doesn’t like the word repentance because it has a negative image. REPENTANCE IS GOD’S WORD. Failing to use it shows a blatant disregard for God’s word and he is toying with it imho. Shoot, if we’re going to redefine one because it has a negative image, why not change all of them we don’t like. If we keep that up, pretty soon there won’t be any of God’s word in our Churches. That practice should be strongly rebuked.

  88. Naomi,

    I see the same things you do in Warren’s statements and then some. Just because Richard doesn’t think they’re valid observations, doesn’t make them less visable.

    Of course his condescending attitude to your post just means you have struck a few chords. He just doesn’t recognize the song.

    I may add some thoughts to yours tonight.

  89. Hi All,

    I’m going to let you all have your final say and I will be closing this thread at 11pm tonight PDT…..

    Thanks for an interesting discussion everyone!

    Phil

  90. Last say:

    Like I said earlier without mincing words I already know where Abanes belong.

    Dorothy, thanks for that because I’m not even planning to respond to him.

  91. People like RA that go about showing the defender of the PIMP atittude and displaying the Silly sheeple syndrome are better left alone IMHO.

  92. Dear Phil:

    Well, let’s get Richard and Ken into the ring with headgear and training–not competition–gloves (so, they don’t really hurt one another); Marquess of Queensberry rules applying to the fight.

    Winner washes the other’s feet. In case of a draw, both men go to China and spread the Gospel in that country.

    Plainly, my eyes glazed over with this discussion about 50 comments up toward the header.

    By the way, Phil, did you know that the Greeks were the first people to give rules to the sport?

    I still like your site, nevertheless, phillyflash.

    Peter.

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