Update 05/07/11 – Readers have been asking me what my birthright denomination is. The denomination is EFCI (Evangelical Friends Church International), of which EFC-NA (Evangelical Friends Church-North America) is a part.
Some of my blogs may be password protected. When you come across a blog that requires a password, go to the About tab at the top of this blogsite. Then leave me a message such as “Request password” in the Post Comment box.
I password protected some blogs due to some reader complaints. The blogs dealt with issues in my birthright denomination. It was felt that I had been too harsh, or that I was too judgmental, or that I named names unnecessarily, or that I did not really understand what is going on in the denomination. Looking back, I think some of these complaints were legitimate, at least to some extent.
I am considering toning down some of the “tamer” blogs and placing them back online. I will attempt to research other blogs more thoroughly before placing them back online, to make sure I get my facts straight. And there are other blogs I will probably leave offline (password protected) permanently.
To readers from my birthright denomination who FAVOR the blogs I wrote, please, please, PLEASE let me know. I promise to keep your comments private and confidential unless you inform me otherwise. I need to have your positive feedback in order for this discernment blogsite to continue its ministry. I had a huge spike in readership of my blogsite during the time I had blogs posted about my birthright denomination. For the most part, I have no idea what percentage of readers favored these blogs, as opposed to what percentage opposed them.
I do see the negative side of my blogging about my birthright denomination – that such articles can cause hurt feelings, loss of friendships, etc. I am still learning about blogging – what works and what does not, what is appropriate and what is not, and how far to push my views. I have seen a great deal of Facebook etiquette broken by various individuals, and I am learning about etiquette (or lack thereof) in the blogosphere as well.
Since this is a discernment blogsite, it is inherently impossible for me to say I will never criticize anyone (and as a result offend them.) What I can do, is work on being more positive. And I can work on making general statements, rather than naming names (at least not more than absolutely necessary). Hopefully these steps will help smooth things out a bit.
I find the following Bible verse rather intriguing: “… speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15, KJV). This verse tells me it is indeed possible to speak (or blog) the truth of God’s Word and God’s will (including confronting and differing), yet do it in love. I’m still trying to find that balance.
By the way, not to rile things up any more than I already have, but I must say this: I know for a fact there are more and more members of my birthright denomination who are becoming upset about Spiritual Formation, Emerging/Emergent Church teachings, Ecumenism, and other “liberal” issues. This is particularly true for the older generations – approximately ages 50 and up. So even if I never write any more about this denomination’s issues (or never had), the denomination may eventually face chaos over these issues anyway.
There are thousands of articles on the Internet describing the chaos which is already occurring in the Nazarene denomination (and many other denominations) over these very same issues. (No, I have never been a member of the Nazarene denomination.) Even if I were to remove my discernment blogsite completely (or had never created it), dissatisfied/ concerned members of my birthright denomination would still seek out blogsites similar to mine. They would still locate articles on their own, from numerous other websites, finding out about these issues and the various denominational splits which are resulting.
I pray that God willing, and with enough supporters, we could perhaps form what is called a “Confessing Movement” dealing with my birthright denomination. A Confessing Movement is, in a nutshell, members that commit themselves to remain in a denomination while expressing their wishes for a return to biblical teachings within the denomination. Click here for my blog about Confessing Movements. I must admit, the “Confessing Movement” approach is more positive than my “Discernment Blogsite” approach.
Bottom line – I still believe Spiritual Formation, Emerging/Emergent teachings, and Ecumenism come straight from the pit of Hell. I find it interesting that progressives/liberals of every theological stripe gladly accept these teachings as their own. Every mainline denomination from Episcopalians, to UMC, to UCC, and the list goes on and on. Even Unitarian Universalists and New Agers seem comfortable with Spiritual Formation, Emerging/Emergent teachings, and Ecumenism. This should be a huge red flag to born again Christians to stay away from these teachings. Yet young people (approximately ages 13-30) in evangelical churches continue to flock to these teachings in droves. God help them. And God help all those “pied pipers” who are leading these evangelical young people down the path to Hell. Sorry folks – I will not back down on my stand against Spiritual Formation, Emerging/Emergent teachings, and Ecumenism. I’ll just be “nicer”!
God bless you all – Dave Mosher