Please Give Credit Where Credit is Due Christian Bloggers!

The last two days or so we have been blessed, or annoyed, depending on your point of view, by an anonymous Matt Sorger and Benny Hinn supporter named “David”. This anonymous poster claims that both Sorger and Hinn are “friends of God” and in fact “David” claims God actually told him Benny Hinn is “His friend”. (source)

This anonymous poster reminded me once again why I dislike the Internet and why I continually ask myself “Is it really worth it”.

This anonymous poster has issues. I’ve deleted comments from this person because he/she/it makes statements and claims he/she/it refuses to back up with proof. This person found it “odd” that I would have the audacity to ask for proof that Matt Sorger does indeed preach repentance.

How dare I do such a thing?

This person, just like scores of others over the last two years I’ve been operating Theology Today, represents all that is wrong with the Internet and why I’m seriously considering walking away from all this nonsense.

Aren’t we supposed to test all things? Didn’t Paul commend the Bereans for their diligence in searching the Scriptures to see if Paul was indeed preaching the truth?

Guess God forgot to tell “David” this during his chat about who His friends were huh?

David” isn’t alone in his refusal to offer sources to back up his claims. Nah, this sort of thing happens all the time on the Internet. In fact this “ministry” is infamous for making claims without sourcing where they discovered their information. Just take a look around their site and you’ll see what I mean. See here here here and here for starters.

Here’s another article from Spiritual Pathways Ministries. Did Chuck Swanson interview the parties involved or did someone else? If he did then bravo! If he didn’t then why hasn’t he at the very least given credit to the person who actually did the legwork involved?

What are we supposed to do just take their word for it? It seems Spiritual Pathways Ministries is more interested in entertaining their readers with animation rather then informing their readers with facts buttressed with sources doesn’t it?

Even the gossip rags found in supermarkets at least offer “a source inside” or “a friend informed us” or something of that nature to “source” their supposed stories so shouldn’t we expect a “watchman ministry” to be above that standard?

Is the SPM team the only ones within the blogosphere guilty of unethical behavior? Hardly. A simple surf of the ‘net will demonstrate plenty of this type of nonsense. I just happen to know about SPM as I’ve watched them do this daily. In fact I’ve already exhorted them publicly for failing to source their information both here and here. Seems they prefer statistics, numbers and “being in the know” over integrity and ethical standards huh?

In the academic world, and I mean from freshman year in High School on up, anytime you write a paper you are required to offer proof somewhere on said paper that informs the reader where you obtained your information. If you don’t at the very least the paper would be dismissed; the worst case scenario would be the accusation of plagiarism and most likely a dismissal from the learning institution.

If these practices are unacceptable in the world why do we accept these practices from supposed Christian ministries? I expect this sort of unethical behavior from a “David” but unethical behavior of this nature from a “ministry” is unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated.

A perfect example of a tremendously sourced and researched article can be found here. Roderick has actually taken the time to source EVERYTHING right down to the commentary he used to formulate his opinions. You may disagree with his position all you’d like but you can’t accuse him of sloppy research or not offering the reader the opportunity to test all things without going on a wild goose chase.

Check out this article by my friend Phil Perkins. He’s gone to great lengths to source his work and whether you agree with Phil’s position or not you can’t accuse him of any unethical behavior.

Roderick and Phil are exceptions but sadly not the rule when it comes to Christian bloggers. It seems some within the Christian blogosphere are in such a hurry to report the “news” or act like they’re “in the know” they fail to take the time to adhere to ethical standards such as linking a source. If some of these bloggers were employed by a reputable news source they would be fired for incompetence. On the Internet they are applauded for their “discernment”.

This isn’t a game people. This is serious business and some within the Christian blogosphere are at the very least being irresponsible and at the worst downright unethical. It needs to stop but sadly I don’t believe that it will.

Finally, I exhort one and all to take the time to research and document your articles appropriately. Please give credit where credit is due. Give your readers as much information as you can so they can be good Bereans without sending them on a wild goose chase to see if what you are reporting is factual. You/I owe it to them and you/I owe it to the Body of Christ.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Please Give Credit Where Credit is Due Christian Bloggers!

    • Hi,

      The SPM boys missed the point……like usual. They responded rather quickly and I will be responding with a podcast that hopefully will be up tomorrow morning!

      Phil

  1. Hi,

    The following article is the reason for my dismissal from SPM…..we used to call it iron sharpening iron….SPM calls it “division”.

    https://phillyflash.wordpress.com/2008/09/13/context-is-everything/

    Notice that I disagreed with Darren Crane and NOT Scott Kyle as this “rebuttal” has claimed;

    http://obadiah1317.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/theology-today-a-spirit-of-contention-against-brethren/#comment-24063

    Geesh…..those guys just can’t seem to get their facts straight nor did they direct their readers to the OP they critisized…….

    Phil

    That error is just one of many I will address on my podcast…….

  2. I fail to see where calling for higher ethical standards causes discourse among the brethren, nor do I see any value in information from someone who stays inside a false ministry just to report on what they are doing. With the exception of some small private cult, these wolves expose themselves with their teachings and activities for all the world to see. My position is that if a person carries a bible in their hand and stands before people to preach(and earn a living), then they should be judged by the book itself rather than second hand anonymous information.

    • I agree Boyd. Where did the call for higher ethical standards fall into ill repute?

      Our goal should always be a higher calling. When I see others balk at that, make light of it, or skirt the issue, then I have grave concern. It usually reveals those who are “self” asorbed and not community minded.

      I know that I fail daily in many ways and at the end of each day, I ponder on what I could have done that would be more God honoring. I must admit that sometimes I’m a slow learner in that regard but I do eventually learn. We are creatures of habit and some habits die hard but if they are not God’s will, then we must make a strong effort to dispense with them.

  3. Despite it all, Phil. Yes, it’s worth it.

    Regardless of posts, views, ranks and traffic, you have no clue the power you possess once you hit “publish”. Your posts can make folk think, consider and ruminate… and anything that’s about Jesus having that affect, is more than worth it.

    Peace, brother.

    HiScrivener

  4. […] How about these last few weeks eh Brethren? Hasn’t it been interesting around here? Well maybe it hasn’t been interesting around here as much as another place that has decided to throw some stones at Theology Today in general, and me in particular, publicly accusing me of being divisive and contentious because I had the audacity to use SPM as an example to exhort them as well as the Christian blogosphere to be ethical. (source) […]

Comments are closed.