Home > Brandenburg, Discourse > A Failure to Communicate

A Failure to Communicate

November 29, 2006

My friends and I in college often joked about someone having a basic youth conflict.  If you don’t get the humor of that; you can ask me sometime.  Usually the said youth was hung up on one of the latest fashion fads. Today they call those props. Well, maybe 5-10 years ago they called them props and probably have a new word for them now. Those were the days (those days when I was in college, think Calvin Coolidge) you’d hear about a generation gap. The older folks and the youths sometimes seem to talk past one another.  Young people often don’t think their elders understand them.  But then, the ancients don’t sense those of lesser years like to listen too much. They hear you; just that it goes through one ear and. . . . right. They act like they know it. . . . right. That’s why they’re called cliches. Why am I even saying this? You already know everything anyway.

Drill SergeantI was informing one of the basketball players on the team I coach that if he didn’t start running, he might get to experience one of my size thirteens. He ran faster. That’s good. We didn’t fail to communicate. Another young man behind me quietly said within hearing of the rest of the team: “That would be itchy.” Guess what? Now everything that is bad is itchy in our school. If someone falls down, that’s itchy. A bad grade? It’s itchy. Starting to get a cold? Itchy. You might be surprised in a few years when, in Webster’s, “itchy” has another meaning. Mosquito bites can be itchy too, but you’ll need to look closer to the top of the definition.

Why is it that we often can’t get anywhere in a doctrinal discussion?  The usual.  Fear.  Pride.   Youth do have extra doses of these.  Christians will grow.  Life has a way of knocking people down.  The young ones haven’t had the equal share of smack-down that older folks have.  I want to hone in on what I think is a major fear factor that throws obstacles across the trail of truth.  Many men have some loyalty to non-Scriptural institutions that inject fealty into their followers, keeping the serfs on the manor.  They pipe in fear through the I-V tubes.

I may be mixing my metaphors, but pay attention better and I wouldn’t be making this look so hard.

When we threw away our binkies and blankies, we men should have rid ourselves of the need to cling.  Large organizations feel safe and provide cover, if only for fragile egos.  Nothing like a pat on the head from the powerful man behind the curtain.  Sure he might be a bumbling professor, but that’s a mighty kingdom he’s a part of.  Perhaps we can call it the Baruch Syndrome.  Jeremiah and he were doing big work, of tremendous value.  Problem was, no one was buying it, even at the blue light special.  When he looked in the mirror, it always came back “fairest preacher of them all,” but no one else seemed to recognize it.  He started shrinking in that mirror until he looked like a dwarf.  He was getting his view of himself from the populace instead of from his position before the Lord.  So God gave him this therapy:

Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not.  Jeremiah 45:5

The B in Baptist is supposed to be:  Bible Sole Authority for Faith and Practice.  We sort through the Bible and do what it says.  But men begin thinking that they report back to the big blankie in Greenville or Detroit or Lansdale or Watertown or Minneapolis or Hammond or Chattanooga.  Instead of What Did Jesus Do, it is:  What does BJ approve?  Can you say honorary doctorate?  Can you say preaching invitation with large “love” offering?  Can you say Jason Janz will let me swim in his in ground swimming pool?  Can you say you get my drift?  Or do we have a failure to communicate?

Categories: Brandenburg, Discourse
  1. November 29, 2006 at 9:16 am

    I certainly agree. I have met many people who use their college as the standard for all right and wrong instead of caring about what the Bible says. Great post!

  2. November 29, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    I doubt if Mr. Janz will allow you to swim in his pool. You may bring in the Bible in and clean up the water

  3. Greg Linscott
    November 29, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    What you have communicated by devoting several posts and comments to this subject is that you are more concerned with having a personal audience in the “in ground pool” and its various “water sources” than perhaps you care to admit.

    If you truly are ambivalent to this matter, why continue to keep this going months after the fact?

  4. November 29, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    I just preached on John the Baptist tonight in Mark 6, going through Mark. When he told Herod Antipas about his incestuous relationship with Herodias, it uses the present tense. He reminded Herod every time he saw him, I believe. Herod feared John.

    This post mentions J.J. in one line. It wasn’t about SI at all. That line came to mind about that point along with many others. I think it is apt to know that people will change their behavior to fit into a situation. Some might call it unity, but it also could be the kind of fear I’m talking about, Greg. It is good to know that you won’t change your behavior based on the culture of SI. It doesn’t change your behavior, correct? Does peer pressure affect the SI crowd?

    What motive do you think that I have for writing one article about SI? I don’t believe anyone can assume what it might be. Someone could only ask. I am judging actions. In real life, J.J. and SI come up zero. In a sermon, zero. When I evangelize and disciple, zero. When I coach, zero. When I teach, zero. When I pray, sometimes. They come up in the blog and forum world, because they are in the blog and forum world. There is some significance, but relatively little. I have mentioned it my two times, to make a point. I don’t control what Dave writes. He decided to write on this too. I’m glad he did. Just to let you know, I’ll probably write more on SI if we have another appropriate or applicable monthly topic. I want to discourage people from being like the typical SI crowd.

    Next month is on the call to the ministry, so I don’t see it happening. The first two months of Jackhammer happened to be about the Lord’s Table–it didn’t come in then—and then on preaching—it didn’t come in then. Do you wonder why it came in on the subject of discourse? And then why it was two months afterwards?

    Thanks Greg.

  5. November 30, 2006 at 11:47 am

    I don’t see the connection between Sharper Iron and Greenville or Detroit or Lansdale or Watertown or Minneapolis or Hammond or Chattanooga. I know a lot of people from some of those places are on there, but they seem to be different types of entities. How does SI promote the same kind of fealty that an educational institution does? To me, the reference came out of no where in the line of thinking you had me on in the article.

    To me, you may see people changing positions or succombing to fear on SI, but that would be because of the other people there. People who are tied to those “fear-inspiring,” extra-biblical institutions. So, I think SI is a place where you may see what you’re referring to, but not a place that does what you refer to, itself.

    What do you think? Greg? Kent?

  6. Greg Linscott
    November 30, 2006 at 12:54 pm


    That’s where I think Kent’s point gets muddied (and from my perspective, why I would say it seems there is a motivation that is personal in nature behind at least Kent’s articles in this series).

    If anything, SI has contributed to the de-centralization of institutional powerin the Fundamentalist movement- though I would say that the influence is perhaps not as large as it might seem.

  7. Juan Asmat
    November 30, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    Pastor, I really like this picture very much that it got very personal and emotional when I saw it.

  8. November 30, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    See, look at the liberty we have here in discussing the application of Scripture. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you admit you are judging my motives Greg. Again, I don’t think you can do that. Let me go through my questions one by one and let’s see if they parallel. Here’s the quote first:

    “But men begin thinking that they report back to the big blankie in Greenville or Detroit or Lansdale or Watertown or Minneapolis or Hammond or Chattanooga. Instead of What Did Jesus Do, it is: What does BJ approve? Can you say honorary doctorate? Can you say preaching invitation with large “love” offering? Can you say Jason Janz will let me swim in his in ground swimming pool?”

    First line: That had to do with colleges and seminaries and the pressure they give.
    BJ line: College.
    Honorary Doctorate: College or Seminary.
    Preaching Invitation: Churches, FBF, Camps, Colleges, or
    Seminaries. Do you see that one question before the JJ question
    I brought in something more?
    JJ, SI: Online Forum. SI has its culture. It is hostile to KJV, local only,
    strong cultural standards people, among others. If you can’t see
    this or know this, then I would have a difficult time showing you. I
    am not out at SI because I broke any rules. I just argued my
    positions as hard as other guys argued theirs. You can’t say
    there are not guys in the SI culture that don’t argue as strongly or
    more strongly than I do. I didn’t bow down when the music
    played (probably CCM when it did).

    That kind of thing is a big deal to people. They are willing to fold to some degree to be accepted. Greg, you think its a big deal to me because I write two months later in one post on Jackhammer. I didn’t pick Discourse. Dave Mallinack did. I picked The Call to the Ministry, which is why I wrote the teaser. Discourse was two months after this all happened, hence, two months afterwards. Only reason. I also thought I was safe to write on something without someone falsely judging it was only an initial emotional reaction. It also gave the guys at SI time to repent. As far as I’m concerned, they’re open season whenever I want now.

    Greg, you’ve judged my motives. I’m smiling and enjoying my day. I think Jeff could tell you that I’m not obsessing on this. However, Greg, I can judge your behavior. Your behavior has changed based on SI. You didn’t answer all me emails. You have been rather mum about the whole thing. You don’t link anything from my blog anymore, even though you link about anyone else in the universe, secular to liberal. You have no fear of J. J.?

    How could SI decentralize power without power? I think there is a sizable and growing influence on younger men. Normally when something is a sizable and growing influence, and not one with which I agree, I say something about it. I can’t say it at SI, so I say it here. Greg, are you saying that it would be good for SI to go uncriticized?

  9. November 30, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    I can relate Juan. We are looking forward to seeing you return. Everyone misses you.

  10. Greg Linscott
    November 30, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    I never said it was a big deal. I came because I was invited personally via emails. I’ve kept my comments short here. Feel free to criticize!

    I’m not sure what you mean by laying the charge that my behavior has changed. I continue to serve my church generally as I have in the past. We’ve added psalm singing, I suppose. On the site itself, I link to whom I want to. I haven’t seen much noting on your site(s) lately. Give me something to work with and perhaps you’ll see it up there.

    SI has no power because, essentially, no one person is “SI.” There is a wide range of people who post there, representing a wide range of perspectives. It’s not a monolithic entity- it’s a roundtable discussion. Even in this comment, you seem to think that you were persecuted because of various positions you hold. I would say that is not the case. Dave Mallinack and Jeff Voegtlin are still able to post at SI. John Cereghin posts there regularly. We have an outspoken Free Pres KJV defender who goes by the name of Sam Hanna who is very outspoken on many of the same issues you were. Don Johnson has his points of contention, but remains free to post whenever he likes. Scott Aniol regularly argues against CCM (and even the gospel song genre!), and is prominently featured on the SI blogroll.

    I generally remain silent to your emails because I am not going to intervene in the decision made. I see this as a matter that needs to be settled between two men- you and JJ. Frankly, I have no interest in getting in the middle of your schoolboy scuffle.

  11. November 30, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Greg, you’re welcome to stay too. I liked that: schoolboy scuffle. You can write, Greg. It is derogatory, but it is interesting.

    Dave and Jeff hardly argue on SI, so you’re apples and oranges. I agree that Sam Hanna goes for the juggler, but he is mainly the KJV issue, and even there, he is a majority text guy, by his own admission. Your other guys have some connections with us: world view, strong music, KJV, yes, but they don’t go it in so many opposite SI culture positions. SI is close to monolithic by most standards. I think it would be difficult for you to judge inside the barrel. It’s hard to call SI persecution, anymore than having Phil go after me at Pyro is persecution. I’ve heard you mention this kind of persecution syndrome before, but that is a cop-out. I am telling the truth about the culture of SI. That doesn’t mean it is personal. Jason doesn’t want my influence on SI. That’s essentially what he told me.

    Be well, Greg.

  12. December 2, 2006 at 10:46 am

    You have to appreciate Greg coming on here and disputing with us. Well, okay, I can’t find any Scriptural proof requiring you to appreciate him, but…

    I do! I’m learning more about him watching his work. I would say that we might find one or two things we agree on, maybe not more. But I admire courage, I admire a man who can speak his mind, and I appreciate his coming over here and not letting us off easily.

    Thanks, Greg!


    The Mallet Factor

  13. December 2, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    I think I can see how it would take courage to come here and disagree. For one, my sleeper hold and then my guillotine move. And then your young ninjas, Mallet, armed with small hammers, pounding, pounding—the cumulative effect alone—if not a vexing monotony. Jeff lures his victims into a false sense of security before they don’t even know what hit them. Anyways, Greg gets to watch, but never start, disagreement on a regular basis, the SI cage matches, no holds barred, adult scuffles, not to be confused with truffles or schoolboy scuffles, or even girly catfights. So, he’s got more experience at this in his left pinky finger than all of us combined.

  14. Greg Linscott
    December 2, 2006 at 8:05 pm


  15. Mike Marshall
    October 31, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Dr B, Let me join SI. I think I could get banned faster than you did. 🙂 . I am only kidding. With Detroit Baptistic Theological Cemetary school literally in my back yard, I deal with enough.

  16. November 1, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Mike, I think you would get banned faster than me. But we can only speculate, can’t we? You learned the art of the smiley face very quickly.

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