The acceptable face of charismaticism?

In a post on his blog today, linking to sermons by one of his heroes, Adrian Warnock wrote:

C.J. Mahaney is well-known as the acceptable face of charismaticism.

I commented in response:

If CJ “The Father killed the Son” Mahaney is “the acceptable face of charismaticism“, then may God preserve the non-Christian world from its unacceptable face!

Adrian deleted my comment, as he did not want to open up a new debate on this matter. In fact I had no intention of taking it any further, but maybe others would have tried to reopen the debate we had in June. (By the way, I don’t want to reopen it with this post either.)

Well, I sympathise with Adrian to some extent. He recently had the comment thread on an excellent post on the charismatic debate hijacked by an irrelevant discussion about Benny Hinn. But in this case I was responding directly to a statement Adrian was making about Mahaney. It seems that Adrian is not willing for his statement to be questioned. He allowed all kinds of frankly libellous accusations to be made against Hinn (in fact he could probably get in legal trouble for publishing them), before eventually calling an end to that discussion. Could it be that he is so sensitive to a negative opinion about Mahaney because he doesn’t personally agree with it?

Is censorship “the acceptable face of charismaticism”?

0 thoughts on “The acceptable face of charismaticism?

  1. I apologise for publishing a quotation from your private e-mail. I thought you had intended it to be public, because of one of the comments in that e-mail. I have edited the posting to remove the quotation.

    As for the accusation concerning libel, accusing someone of being a false teacher and a heretic, in order to discredit them, is libel.

    DJP wrote, in a comment on Adrian’s blog post:

    Benny Hinn’s false teachings, hucksterism, and bizarre statements are widely known and well-documented.

    donsands wrote in the same place:

    Benny preaches and teaches a different gospel, and a differnent Jesus. … I pray that he would repent of his false teachings…

    and later

    If I share some of Hinns heresy, … Been good to share about this heretic.

    These accusations of false teaching and heresy (not debating the issues, which were not mentioned until I insisted) seem to have been made with the intention of discrediting Benny Hinn and his ministry and as such would appear to be libellous. It might be possible to defend such a libel action on the grounds that the accusations are true, but that is another matter.

  2. I can add to my previous comment that I first made the suggestion that comments on Adrian’s blog were libellous in one of my own comments on the same post, written on 8th September. In fact I wrote:

    Further to the discussion of Benny Hinn, I read at Tim Challies’ blog that Ligonier Ministries is suing a blogger which persistently libels it. Anyone who makes allegations against a named individual or ministry, for example that they are a false teacher, without evidence to back it up is similarly in danger of being sued for libel.

    Adrian did not respond to this directly, although he did soon afterwards request: “Please stop discussing Benny Hinn“. I did not at that time suggest that the blog owner as well as the commenter might be guilty of publishing the libel; that occurred to me later, but I am not a lawyer so I don’t know the actual legal position on this, which anyway may vary from country to country. But I would suggest that Adrian ought to take legal advice if he does not take a firm line on his blog against potentially libellous comments.

    Could he claim to have started this firm line by rejecting my comment about CJ Mahaney? I don’t think so, because I said nothing againt Mahaney except for quoting a few of his words.

  3. This is a real problem, Peter.

    I think that a blogger should close the comment section on a particular post rather than deleting comments on a discriminatory basis.

    Not only did Justin Taylor delete my comment last January but now Andreas Köstenberger has deleted my comments on his blog post here.

    He writes that his blog is intended to be an ‘editorial’ only, although other blogs may be a forum for discussion. I guess that would be the BBB, where we enjoy quite a bit of discussion.

    But, IMO since Kostenberger has blogged about women here, and has posted the following,

    My conclusion: In 1 Tim. 2:15, Paul says that women will be spiritually preserved (from Satan) by adhering to their God-ordained role related to family and the home. This is contrasted with Eve, who transgressed those boundaries and fell into temptation (v. 14).

    I think that women should be able to respond to him, but he just deletes me. What kind of academia is that? I only commented with some anecdotes about children, I was relatively polite.

    He needs to decide if he really wants a blog or not. Maybe just a sermonette site!

    Someone should take on censorship in the blogosphere.

  4. Well, at least Kostenberger can argue from his own discussion of blog genres that his blog is intended not as a discussion forum but “as a distribution mechanism by which some at times more technical material can be simplified, condensed, and presented in a more accessible format“. But Adrian’s blog certainly seems to be a discussion forum. If that is not what Adrian intends, or if as he suggests this is true of certain posts but not of others, he should make his intention clear, publicly and not by means of e-mails which he insists are private.

  5. Suzanne and Peter,

    I think the issue of what type of a blog a person thinks they’re running is becoming less and less important. With blogs available free to anyone who wants, and more and more services providing ways of tracking topics through the blogosphere, it will be hard to prevent criticism and challenge.

    Personally I simply stop commenting at blogs that censor comments in ways I find unacceptable. People can easily find the entries. Those who are truly interested will do so; others likely wouldn’t have paid attention.

    In the old days, if the newspaper wouldn’t print your letters to the editor you’d have to found a new newspaper to get back at them. Now it’s about five minutes of work.

  6. I think what Henry says makes a lot of sense, and is in fact what we are seeing right here. Adrian is free to delete comments on his blog, and Peter is free to post about those deleted comments (and apparently delete someone else’s to boot!).

    It’s a free blogosphere!

    -ts

  7. TS, thanks for your comments. But what do you mean about me deleting others’ comments? I have not done so on this thread, and I don’t think I have done so at all on this blog apart from a couple of pieces of obvious blogspam a few months ago. Henry deleted his own comment, probably (from the timing) because it was an accidentally posted duplicate.

    Of course I reserve the right to delete comments on this blog. I intend to do so only if they are abusive or offensive, or if commenters continue to discuss an off topic matter after I have warned them to stop. Note however that I do consider unsubstantiated allegations of heresy or false teaching to be abusive, and if the commenter does not provide evidence I will consider deleting the original comment.

  8. Ah, you’re right! Plain enough to see from the timestamp. I would say sorry, but there’s no blame in the first place since I fully endorse people’s right to moderate.

    Delete away, I say!

    -ts

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