The AHA and the Vineyard, Columbus

Does the Abolish Human Abortion organization support the human sex trafficking industry? Using the normal logic they employ, they just may. Bear with me as I flesh this out. Firstly, I do not believe AHA promotes sexual trafficking or child rape and prostitution. So don’t take statements from this post out of context.

The Premise

Recently, there was an unfortunate Facebook thread concerning the Vineyard Church of Columbus and an apparent attack by the Abolish Human Abortion organization.

The post was focused on a particular picture, but more so, the events surrounding the picture. According to AHA,

This “church” does not want to “expose evil” (Ephesians 5:11) it wants to “ignore” it (VineyardCulumbus) [sic].

The spelling error is theirs, not mine 🙂

The picture depicts the Vineyard Church encouraging its members and passersby to ignore the protesters. vineyardpicture Sadly, the AHA resorted to a typical sensationalistic tactic of marketers. The sign put up by the church is referring to the protesters when the word “them” is used. But the caption on the FB picture is clear – Vineyard Church wants to “ignore” evil. It allows skimmers to get the wrong idea immediately.

The Problem

Please allow me to point out that it tells you a lot about AHA when they put quotation marks around the word church when describing the Vineyard. This is clear attack on the authenticity of this body. These types of attacks may be warranted at times, but I do not believe that because this church refused the AHA’s teachings and resources that this qualifies them to be publicly attacked as a false church. The continued testimony in the thread is, in fact, of a group of people who for the sake of Jesus Christ are actively opposing abortion AND providing resources for mothers and families.

The implication that Vineyard Church intends to ignore evil and the babies who need help is a lie, as well. Maybe we should protest lying on their property.

This is what prompted this video by the producers of Babies Are Murdered Here concerning the AHA.

More Irrationality

An advocate of AHA posted the following on the thread. The first portion, enclosed in “\\” is this user quoting another user who seemingly is a member of the church.

\\This is my church, and for the past 6 weeks we have to tell our kids to close their eyes as we drive in and leave because of the obscenely graphic banners of cut up children this group displays along the road. My kids are 6 and 7. They don’t need to see this at that age.\\

I’m less than heartbroken for you.
Did you know that every day you do that, 3000+ children are murdered in this country? Why are people so often so much more concerned over the PORTRAYAL of evil rather than the actual evil itself?

I’ve seen this line of thinking before. People politely (or impolitely) request that people stop exposing their children (or themselves) to gruesome signs depicting murdered babies. Here are a few examples of the types of responses I’ve seen:

  • You are more offended by the portrayal of evil than the evil itself.
  • If you don’t like it, why don’t you do something about it.

The Analogy

Let’s look at the rationality of this by considering an analogy. Every day, hundreds of thousands of already born humans are used by perverts in the fastest growing criminal industry in the US. It is called human sex trafficking. Average ages of sex slaves from a variety of websites are 12-14 years old. Human sex slaves are forced to perform sex acts with several people daily, resulting in a horrific lifestyle filled with disease, captivity, degradation and poor nutrition. Many of these young people are actually enslaved by the person they had trusted to help them from what they thought was a more dire situation. Becoming pregnant, they are forced into abortions.

Many of them people probably wish they had been aborted themselves. This is a different discussion. Please do not use this to say I advocate for abortion.

Logical Fallacies

Now, do you think it is right to say that the AHA supports human sex trafficking, particularly the trafficking of children for sexual abuse because they are not currently picketing this evil? It is a well understood evil in our society, and can happen anywhere; they don’t even need a facility! But that is the general logic employed by AHA concerning abortion. If you or your church are not actively picketing outside a clinic – you are not truly pro-life. What I think you would find is there is likely an inconsistency in AHA’s application of these principles.

But let’s go further. What if I decided to print images of child rape on posters and display it on the sidewalk outside where AHA members’ children would view it. Does anyone honestly think that is a good idea? The fact that no one wants to or needs to necessarily see the evil depicted visually has no bearing on whether they actually abhor the evil. Did you catch that? It is non sequitur, or logically fallacious, to make the claim that because someone doesn’t want to see pictures of aborted babies, or because they even protest the use of those pictures where their children’s eyes will take them in that that person does not, in fact, oppose abortion.

I strongly oppose human sex trafficking. Not only do I not want my children to view images or videos exposing this evil, but I do not want to see these images myself!

There is no biblical precedent which AHA uses to lambaste churches who don’t do “enough”, and there is no biblical precedent for holding up signs depicting evil. There are evils which are not even to be spoken of. AHA likes to use Ephesians 5:11 to defend “exposing evil,” yet ignored the verse following:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12 ESV)

It is shameful to even speak of some of things done by evil doers. It may even be possible that it isn’t necessary to publish visuals of some of these atrocities as well. Not to mention the fact that AHA has no authority over a local church.

Concluding Thoughts

The following has needed to withstand correction. I have been corrected by a number of people that the official stance of AHA is that of only truly born again Christians. They oppose yoking with nonbelievers. I apologize for misrepresenting this point. In my defense, the very first person I met from AHA was as self-professing Catholic who told me they are an organization of Christians who oppose abortions from all denominations. I simply took this at face value.

Look, I’m appreciative that there are people out there who oppose evil. But I am reminded that the AHA opposes evil in a few ways which I do not.

  1. They oppose a particular evil more than others.
  2. They oppose a particular evil at the expense of the gospel. Even though their stance is that of gospel-centered, my personal experience (as can be seen in this comment thread at times) does not seem gospel centered. AHA seems all too defensive and ad hominem attacking all too quickly. I have found (a few) of them to be difficult to have a rational discussion with.
  3. They use tactics which are designed to elicit emotional responses, (incendiary signs), instead of attacking the real problem, the heart. I also oppose the tactic they’ve chosen concerning abortion in regard to protesting a local church.

So, when you feel you are attacked by people who say you are not doing enough about abortion, instead of going on the defensive, ask them how many sex slaves they’ve freed. When you are vilified for wanting to keep your children eyes from imagery that may scare them deeply, ask them if you can show their children a depiction of child rape and its after effects.

Sadly, it seems organizations like this are doing more to hurt the cause than help due to the unbiblical nature and practices of the members. Remember to be compassionate toward these folks, too, as you would any person relying on their own self-righteousness for Heaven’s sake. And if you meet a true believer from this group, greet them as a brother and maybe you will be able to have a useful conversation about the hows and whys of our behavior and association (yoking) with non-believers in spiritual endeavors.

[Note: Some comments have been removed as there was a misunderstanding concerning some links that hadn’t been shared.]

40 Responses to “The AHA and the Vineyard, Columbus”

  1. Jon Norman says:

    Thank you for writing this. I know the original founders personally, here is what I wrote concerning them (much more could’ve been said, but it was taken for granted as already known to those involved):

    http://reformedreform.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/before-dividing-a-church-and-starting-your-own/

  2. Jason McMurray says:

    To begin my response, I too feel I need to write a few qualifiers. First, I am not and never have been apart of Abolish Human Abortion. Second, I do not advocate the picketing or protesting a true church of Jesus Christ. Third, any person that chooses to picket or protest a true church of Jesus Christ because they do not agree with the protestors hierarchy of evil is unrighteous in their actions and they need to repent.

    I should also add that I have seen videos of AHA protesting in front of heretical congregations such as the United Church of Christ. These congregations are not churches by scriptural definition. I actually think this is a waste of time on AHA’s part unless they are preaching the Gospel and not trying to get the UCC involved with AHA as this would have the Christians within AHA being unequally yoked with unbelievers. Of course many in the Roman Catholic Church are involved with AHA and the RCC denies the doctrine of grace alone by faith alone in Christ Jesus alone for salvation and believes that works are necessary for salvation. This means that AHA is unequally yoked with heretics already.

    My response has more to do with your use of an argument involving the sex slave trafficking industry as a response to AHA. There are few things wrong with your use of this evil as a response. First sex trafficking is illegal in the United States and many other countries, regardless of age of the victim. Second your use of the example of showing pictures of children being raped would be illegal for you to possess and to show children. Showing a pornographic image to a child is also illegal, even if the depiction is of adults.

    Trust me I do understand why you would want to use this argument but the unfortunate fact is that in 1973 seven men in black robes, without a hint of wisdom, decided that a woman could legally murder her unborn child. ( I purposely used that oxymoron). Thankfully no judicial body has made the same ruling with respect to sex slave trafficking, especially the exploitation of children.

    I pray for the day that people who are involved in the murder of unborn children are criminally prosecuted and yes that includes the mother, just as those that are involved in sex slave trafficking and child exploitation. I pray for the day that Planned Parenthood and other abortionist are forced out of business. Most of all though I pray for the day that all of these people come to true repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

    Let me end this by saying that there is never a valid reason for protesting a true church of Jesus Christ that is rightly preaching the Gospel and carrying out the Great Commission regardless of whether or not they are involved with specific preaching against a specific sin. The fight against abortion and all sin begins and ends with preaching the Gospel for it is the power to changes hearts and minds.

    • Michael says:

      Jason – Although I agree my analogy isn’t perfect in the sense that it isn’t the same thing as abortion; I argue that the arguments which the AHA uses to defend the tactics they use could be used against them in regard to this other evil.

      I could have also used adultery or lying or idolatry as my examples of things that the AHA isn’t doing enough about in protest.

      But the sex trafficking argument I think is strongest when it is used to combat the idea that it is always ok to portray evil, even when people request that you don’t show it to their kids.

    • Ken Cook says:

      Jason,

      I am deeply troubled that you think that you have pointed out a logical flaw. The legalization of murder does not change the ontology of the act, it simply changes the law of the land. In China, Government forced abortion is legal, that doesn’t make it ontologically good. So to compare murder to rape is not illogical, or even unwarranted. I would say that you have failed to address the heart of the issue which is Should Christians “display” evil.

  3. Dave Dunbar says:

    Thanks, Michael, for an insightful and most useful article.

    May God use it to help each of us walk in wisdom in these matters…

  4. AHA has not changed the content of our website in over a year. We regularly update our blog and our facebook page. You can go read our website abolishhumanabortionDOTcom and read our Facebook page and see whther the information in the above blogpost is true. There are actually a very large number of plain and simple errors in the article above and some of the commenters here actually know it. AHA doesn’t yolk themselves with Catholics (we are infamous for not being Catholic) and we do not think the gospel is a secondary issue. Please read for example this paragraph from our website: Abolitionists embrace a certain bold posture in the face of evil and utterly reject the widely accepted, largely ignored, or complacently permitted injustices that most people choose to ignore. Abolitionists make a point of bringing darkness out into the light of day, or rather, of shining light in the darkness that is already there.

    We seek to contrast two visions of reality and morality and demonstrate how one vision, the Christian view, centered on God, leads to the Humane and dignified treatment of human beings, while the other view, centered on man, leads to the inhumane and undignified treatment of human beings.

    We strive to provoke a clash of absolutes between the Gospel of Christ and the worldly wisdom of man. The goal of all abolitionist movements is the redemption of man from the dominion of man. At the root of all abolitionist movements you will find the presence and power of two interrelated propositions. The first is that human beings are created in the image of God and created to reflect that image. The second is that the Creator Himself became a man in order to rescue mankind from self-destruction, death, and eternal separation from God, from himself, and from his own kind.

    As a society we are a gospel centered. This is a gospel driven movement. We are committed to an unfettered, untainted, uncompromising adherence to the Good news that Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth and stepped down into space-time-history to redeem a lost, wandering, and wicked people from sin, certain death, and eternal separation from God. We are abolitionists because we have been adopted by God. Our work is biblically mandated and sovereignly ordained. We are called to be salt and light in a darkened, and defiled world; we are commanded to care for the fatherless and bring justice to the oppressed and preyed-upon. We have been exhorted to expose deeds of darkness, and destroy all speculations raised up against the knowledge of God. We are exhorted to rescue the weak from death, snatch the falling from flames, and hold back the stumbling from the slaughter.

    • Michael says:

      T –

      There are actually a very large number of plain and simple errors in the comment above.

      That was very easy to type. HST, why don’t you point out the large number of plain and simple errors in the article above.

      It is possible the experiences I’ve had with AHA and the example shown above in the linked FB post are not common.

      • rhology says:

        There are actually a very large number of plain and simple errors in the comment above.

        Such as?

      • I believe that Rhology has thoroughly dismantled your article. And would request that you please do read the series of articles that will be published in response to your tabloid treatment of AHA as they are posted on the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma blog over the next few days.

        Please know that many of us are out there daily bringing the Gospel into conflict with abortion in ways that preclude our participation every internet battle that can be waged.

        Please help us and be unified with us in the work of abolition and the cause of Christ. We like constructive criticism, but it is more constructive when it is emailed to us. This whole wake up in the morning and read about somebody who doesn’t understand what we are doing thing, is just plain tired.

        • rhology says:

          Oh, and I was able to modify our webpage today. 🙂
          It’s better now.

        • Michael says:

          Russell – Rhology hasn’t interracted with my post at all except the part about being unequally yoked which was a side comment which has been corrected. If you read my latest comment, I tried to re-explain what the post was about for those who didn’t get it from the first reading.

          I’m sorry you are as busy as you are. I would be happy to offer constructive criticism. As I maybe didn’t point out very well, this post was for the people who have been hurt by the actions on the thread about the Vineyard. I simply took the words used by AHA folks and explained how people could deconstruct those into meaningful chunks logically to determine the validity of those statements (which I would submit to you are indicative of the general theme from the AHA although maybe that’s just my perception).

    • Shane Dodson says:

      “AHA doesn’t yolk themselves with Catholics”

      This is simply not true.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWtQ1a02Xds&list=UU9F7HnFzMU76AGVyWaiXZwg&index=6

      Todd Bullis (who identifies himself with “AHA” in the video title) and a pro-life group called “Surivors of the Abortion Holocaust” team up to protest outside a Planned Parenthood.

      Most of those who were in this group are Romanists.

      AHA’s partnership with these people has not been explained, to my knowledge. If so, I’m certain Russell will provide more information.

      • Burt Grusy says:

        Who is Roman Catholic? Survivors? Or just some people who where with the group survivors?

      • Burt Grusy says:

        My comment must have gotten deleted although I don’t know why. I was just walking for clarification that I would assume would be helpful. I was asking Shane who was Catholic, the group Survivors or some people who where with them. If its the latter how is this known.

      • rhology says:

        Interesting definition of “yoke” you’re using there, Shane. It’s not one I’d use.
        Merely spending some time with people in this sort of agitation isn’t exactly “yoking”. You should argue for that definition instead of assuming it.

      • Shane Dodson says:

        “Merely spending some time with people in this sort of agitation isn’t exactly “yoking.””

        Why did you tell me that you were going to suggest that AHA not join forces with Romanists again, then?

        If joining enemies of God in ministry isn’t “yoking,” then please provide your definition so we can discuss it.

        Thanks.

        – Shane

      • rhology says:

        Shane Dodson,

        You used the term, you introduced it in the conversation. You define it, please, so I can let you know whether your considerations are accurate.

        Grace and peace,
        Rhology

        • Shane Dodson says:

          Alan (Rho)…

          What was unclear about what I said?

          This is how I define “yoking” in response to Russell’s initial use of the term…

          “Todd Bullis (who identifies himself with “AHA” in the video title) and a pro-life group called “Surivors of the Abortion Holocaust” team up to protest outside a Planned Parenthood.”

          You said it’s not a definition YOU would use.

          So what definition would YOU use?

          And if this isn’t a problem, why did you tell me you were going to suggest to AHA that you guys not do this again?

          Thanks.

          – Shane

          • rhology says:

            What was unclear is what you mean by “yoking”. So, to you, it’s “teaming up”. You gave no indication of what the teaming up consisted of (since you don’t know) and how long it lasted (probably b/c of your bias).

            Also, since you’re bringing up things I told you in private conversation, aren’t you supposed to not be talking about this stuff anymore, since it’s a distraction?

            Here’s our answer, by the way.

      • rhology says:

        Michael,

        you are not actually writing any criticism of the actual post

        I know. That’s why I have been leaving replies to specific comments. My reply to the post is forthcoming but my time is limited.

        The fact that AHA has been publicly anti-Catholicism was a point which I made clear I was happy to be corrected about.

        You made it clear, then you took it back.

        It simply contradicts my personal experience with AHA folks in Ohio where the first one I met was Catholic and proud of what they told me was AHA’s multidenominational culture.

        1) As I mentioned in the article to which I linked, we’re still figuring all this stuff out. We don’t have the luxury of casting stones from afar like yourself. We’re trying to awaken a nation and a sleeping church, and your scope is far more restricted.
        It’s a messy process and it’s gonna take time. Meanwhile, if you want to stick to preaching the Gospel, sniping at us online, and cheering on Pittman and Pastor Speed in making their movie, go for it.

        2) Not everyone is as well versed in what Rome teaches as I am (and as I presume you are).

        3) When I can I do try to educate abolitionists about Rome as much as possible. Got a name I could contact to help this person understand the issues better?

        4) We’re not a top-down authority structure, so we can’t exactly tell people what to do any more than my church elders can boss you around.

    • Michael says:

      As I assume you understand, Rho, the statement I made was followed by the sentence, “that was very easy to type:” the point being that “T” made an unsupported accusation in the original comment. I then asked for clarification.

      If AHA doesn’t team with Catholics, great. That isn’t something I knew. I have met Catholics with AHA posters, but that isn’t AHA’s fault. But the post isn’t about that; the post is about the lack of “gospel-centered” attitude AHA displayed against this particular church AND the accusation you made concerning the portrayal of evil as quoted.

      It should be understood that I appreciate what AHA is trying to do for the unborn – that wasn’t at issue. If you’d like to comment on the mistakes I pointed out AHA making that would be considerate to the post. Maybe if AHA spent as much time protesting idolatry instead of attacking the brethren we’d believe AHA was really trying to be Christian.

      • rhology says:

        Maybe if AHA spent as much time protesting idolatry instead of attacking the brethren

        1) This is a hypocritical statement, sir. Unless you believe we are unregenerate, then you have also offered a criticism of brethren. By your own standards, you have “attacked the brethren”.
        If your reply appeals to the basic concept of “Wounds from a friend can be trusted”, then why didn’t you consider that’s precisely what we are doing? How is it that criticism has suddenly been equated to “attack” in these sorts of interactions. It makes no sense.
        Are you “attacking” the lost when you do street preaching? Of course not. Be consistent.

        2) You did not inform yourself before writing this article, and so your criticism is actually much closer to an attack than what we do or intend to do. We don’t pull the trigger until we know whereof we speak. You could learn from us in this.
        I’m asking you to acknowledge that you spoke rashly without knowledge, and that you will pray for God’s grace to be slower to speak and quicker to listen in the future.

        3) Protesting idolatry? Just what do you think abortion is. and what is its source, if not idolatry?

        4) Here, read this, please.
        What you should have done is asked us about this before speaking.

        5) If by “protesting idolatry” you mean speaking out against the errors of Rome, we have done that many, many times.

        6) However, Romanism has not resulted in the deaths of 55 million innocent people in this country in the last 40 years.
        Historically speaking, for all of Rome’s evil activities and persecutions, I doubt one could plausibly lay 55 million deaths at her doorstep since the first uppity thought occurred to a bishop of Rome. 55 million is A LOT.
        And what’s more, Rome has put the evangelical church to shame with her pro-life work over 40 years.
        Yes, Rome is evil. Yes, Rome preaches a false Gospel. But there are worse things, such as a sin-addicted culture that rejects the Gospel outright and murders children left and right.

        we’d believe AHA was really trying to be Christian

        Oh, I get it. Our engaging in public criticism of a church about which you know basically nothing for reasons about which you know basically nothing is enough to cast doubt in your minds as to whether we’re Christians, despite all we’ve said and done, all the times we’ve preached the Gospel and refused to secularise our message.
        In that case, sir, we are not at all interested in what you think about us. You should repent, however, of this wicked way of thinking about brethren. It is entirely unbecoming.

        Grace, peace, and clearer thinking to you,
        Rhology

      • Michael says:

        Rho –

        I appreciate what you are trying to do, but you are not actually writing any criticism of the actual post. You have not offered any counter argument to the logic employed in discussing the facts which were discussed in the post.

        The fact that AHA has been publicly anti-Catholicism was a point which I made clear I was happy to be corrected about. I am glad to know AHA is getting that right. It simply contradicts my personal experience with AHA folks in Ohio where the first one I met was Catholic and proud of what they told me was AHA’s multidenominational culture. It seems she was incorrect and now what I took at face value from her has been corrected.

  5. Roy says:

    Very good article. Thank you.

  6. Michael says:

    Now, allow me to respond to your comment. I will put your comments in italics
    “Maybe if AHA spent as much time protesting idolatry instead of attacking the brethren”
    1. This is a hypocritical statement, sir. Unless you believe we are unregenerate, then you have also offered a criticism of brethren. By your own standards, you have “attacked the brethren”.
    If your reply appeals to the basic concept of “Wounds from a friend can be trusted”, then why didn’t you consider that’s precisely what we are doing? How is it that criticism has suddenly been equated to “attack” in these sorts of interactions. It makes no sense.
    Are you “attacking” the lost when you do street preaching? Of course not. Be consistent.”

    Rho- you misrepresent me. It is not hypocritical to write an article critiquing the methods used in the facebook post which the article is about. I do not believe I have attacked brethren by writing an article criticizing the technique of your organization and showing why it is logically inconsistent. I would submit that what seems to be the AHA’s proud protest of the Vineyard appears to be an attack and that maybe I am wrong in that judgement. I think if I actually thought that it was proven that the Vineyard was pro-abortion, I might agree with the criticism you leveled against them; I didn’t see it play out that way, in fact it seemed opposite; just that they didn’t want AHA’s help.
    1) You did not inform yourself before writing this article, and so your criticism is actually much closer to an attack than what we do or intend to do. We don’t pull the trigger until we know whereof we speak. You could learn from us in this.
    I’m asking you to acknowledge that you spoke rashly without knowledge, and that you will pray for God’s grace to be slower to speak and quicker to listen in the future.

    Rho – I read the facebook posts on the picture and that is what the article was about. Ultimately, the article was about the simple analogy that the AHA has clearly determined the importance of fighting abortion to be higher than other evils by AHA’s own actions. The article, had you read it for understanding was about the fact that if some of the same arguments were applied to AHA as an organization in regard to other evils, it would be clear that those arguments were false. – Showing analogously that many of the arguments AHA seems to use against people who do not agree with them may fail as well. If you do not understand the logic, let me know and I will explain it more deeply.
    2)Protesting idolatry? Just what do you think abortion is. and what is its source, if not idolatry?
    Abortion is murder and I would assume you agree that all murder is rooted in a hatred for God and His Creation because of the idolatry of man.
    3) Here, read this, please.
    What you should have done is asked us about this before speaking.

    I don’t think I need to ask you questions before critiquing the specific arguments I critiqued which were publicly available on Facebook. Again, the entire RCC thing appears to be a misunderstanding.

    5) If by “protesting idolatry” you mean speaking out against the errors of Rome, we have done that many, many times.

    — Great.
    6) However, Romanism has not resulted in the deaths of 55 million innocent people in this country in the last 40 years.
    Historically speaking, for all of Rome’s evil activities and persecutions, I doubt one could plausibly lay 55 million deaths at her doorstep since the first uppity thought occurred to a bishop of Rome. 55 million is A LOT.
    And what’s more, Rome has put the evangelical church to shame with her pro-life work over 40 years.
    Yes, Rome is evil. Yes, Rome preaches a false Gospel. But there are worse things, such as a sin-addicted culture that rejects the Gospel outright and murders children left and right.

    I would argue that Romanism is a form of evil and sin which begets more sin and that the lack of gospel power to regenerate souls contributes in an undefinable way to the deaths of the babies. I don’t think it can be argued that they helped any more than they hurt from a spiritual standpoint. I am not sure that makes is less evil or less to be protested or not a “worse thing”
    “we’d believe AHA was really trying to be Christian”
    Oh, I get it. Our engaging in public criticism of a church about which you know basically nothing for reasons about which you know basically nothing is enough to cast doubt in your minds as to whether we’re Christians, despite all we’ve said and done, all the times we’ve preached the Gospel and refused to secularise our message.
    In that case, sir, we are not at all interested in what you think about us. You should repent, however, of this wicked way of thinking about brethren. It is entirely unbecoming.

    Again – I am sorry for the misunderstanding about RCC.

    What is it that you believe I no basically nothing about? I didn’t understand that sentence.

    Sorry to imply that maybe AHA wasn’t Christian if it really is; I think the perceived pattern of the lack of charity toward the brethren is the indicator that concerns me. Although in my online interactions with you I’ve never felt that you were not Christian.

    Grace, peace, and clearer thinking to you,
    Rhology

    Thanks for your help in clarifying some of the issues. I hope you are serious when you write grace and peace as it is impossible to perceive certain things in text.

    Now we’ve essentially interacted concerning one poorly written and regretful sentence in a comment of mine. If you’d like to interact with the meat of the post, I’d be happy to clarify and learn.

    • rhology says:

      I do not believe I have attacked brethren by writing an article criticizing the technique of your organization and showing why it is logically inconsistent

      Neat. THen you don’t have a problem when we do the same toward other brethren.
      Except that’s part of your professed problem with AHA.

      Double standard, Michael.

      I would submit that what seems to be the AHA’s proud protest of the Vineyard appears to be an attack

      Please define, then, the difference between what you’re doing and what an attack is. How do you know an attack when you see one, and know that it’s not a criticism?
      You’re playing word games. It reflects badly on you.

      that maybe I am wrong in that judgement.

      Then why didn’t you talk to the lady in the photo before writing your ignorant article?

      I think if I actually thought that it was proven that the Vineyard was pro-abortion

      Where’s the argument that being pro-abortion is the only thing in play here?
      See, you haven’t even begun to grasp the concept. That’s why you keep making errors.

      The article, had you read it for understanding was about the fact that if some of the same arguments were applied to AHA as an organization in regard to other evils, it would be clear that those arguments were false

      I did read your article. I’ll reply to it when I have time, like I said.
      If you’d happened to read some of OUR recent articles, you’d know part of our response already. But it doesn’t appear you’re big on reading the other side before speaking.

      Abortion is murder and I would assume you agree that all murder is rooted in a hatred for God and His Creation because of the idolatry of man.

      Yes, of course we agree. So this neuters your criticism about “protesting idolatry”. Thanks.

      I would argue that Romanism is a form of evil and sin which begets more sin

      So is abortion. You need a better argument here.

      What is it that you believe I no basically nothing about?

      For one, the abolitionist ideology.
      For another, the specific history of the abolitionists of Ohio and VCC.

      I think the perceived pattern of the lack of charity toward the brethren i

      Perceived? By whom? Pastor Jon Speed, the single least fair critic we have had outside of the foam-flecked pro-abortion crowd? Brother Miano, who apparently takes what Pastor Speed says without question? Marcus Pittman, the backstabber?
      How much consumption of our stuff have you yourself done?

      I hope you are serious when you write grace and peace as it is impossible to perceive certain things in text.

      I am very serious when I close with that salutation.

      If you’d like to interact with the meat of the post, I’d be happy to clarify and learn.

      Thanks, I plan to do so, as I mentioned.

      Grace and peace,
      Rhology

    • Michael says:

      Rho –

      1. I will be happy to continue to correspond with you but from now on can you please keep the topic of this post related to the post itself? Just email me. If you don’t know my email go to the Contact Me link above.

      2. The answer to your question is tricky, but allow me to explain. The elders at my church are aware of my blog(s) and read them as regularly as they see fit. They will correct me if they see a need to do so.

      That being said, they may or may not have access to all of my comments on other blogs like pyro (although my pastor reads the posts). Nevertheless, I don’t think criticizing the ideas that other men/churches/organization make public falls under the category of something I need a priori permission to do. I think my elders expect me to be defending the faith to an extent, and if that means offering my own criticism of a public doctrine, then I assume they support me.

      Now, the question is: Isn’t that what AHA is doing with the Vineyard?

      1. I am not opposed to groups speaking out against an apostate church. I’m just not sure that was proven regarding the Vineyard, and it certainly wasn’t proven based on their public proclamation of doctrine.

      2. The post isn’t about whether it is ok for you to speak out against churches and their elders. The post was about the logic which I see commonly employed in regard to portrayal of imagery which someone asks you to remove in certain contexts, and the statement made by AHA that “This “church” does not want to “expose evil” (Ephesians 5:11) it wants to “ignore” it (VineyardCulumbus) [sic].” concerning the Vineyard.

      I do not think it was shown that the second statement was true, so I have trouble with the action taken against them. Maybe if more information was provided to educate people that would help, but that doesn’t change that based on the information I have now, I don’t necessary see things your way.

      As far as gruesome imagery, I simply pointed out that the comment you made lacked a certain level of support logically. You made assumptions about a person’s motives who doesn’t want to see images of dead babies or have their kid see them at their church which I do not think you could support. You are possibly correct, at least in some cases. I just think that some people may have legitimate reasons to oppose that practice in that context and you didn’t fairly treat them.

      So, again, the post was about the logical inconsistencies employed in a single facebook thread with an unfortunate sidetrack into my misunderstanding and assumptions about AHA’s relationship to Catholics (which I have tried to correct).

      To characterize my pyro comment as critical of an elder at another church is one way to see it; but if read closely, you can see that I was strongly opposing a single false idea (which was the point of the post, and the meat of what this teacher is known for). But I will stand by it unless he changes his public tune on these topics. I will also avoid his property or easements thereon, and I will not imply what I believe to be all the logical conclusions to his errors as his intentions – which is a mistake I think you may occasionally make when judging a church’s activity in relation to abortion.

      • rhology says:

        I don’t think criticizing the ideas that other men/churches/organization make public falls under the category of something I need a priori permission to do.

        OK. I’m glad to see we agree on that count, over and against what men like Ed Dingess, Jon Speed, and Justin Edwards think.

        To characterize my pyro comment as critical of an elder at another church is one way to see it

        Just watch out; Jon Speed might make a video about how awful you are.

        I’m just not sure that was proven regarding the Vineyard, and it certainly wasn’t proven based on their public proclamation of doctrine.

        I’m not sure what “proven” means, when we didn’t really address it and you (to my knowledge) didn’t bother to contact Sarah Cleveland to ask her about it before you posted this article.
        But a full response will come this week.

        assumptions about AHA’s relationship to Catholics (which I have tried to correct).

        As far as that goes, I appreciate it. There’s more to that whole thing as well, and again, it will be addressed later this week.

        Grace and peace,
        Rhology

        • Michael says:

          Jon Speed will never do that because I am a Browns fan and he is a Bills fan so I am better than he is (at least in that sense).

          Proven means that based on the information I already know about the Vineyard and the text which was in the singular facebook thread I saw that I didn’t see sufficient evidence that this church was not against abortion. In fact, the general sense I got was that they actually did a lot and maintained a pro life stance. Now, feel free to shed more light on that situation, but I can’t judge them based on something I don’t know, something they haven’t said publicly, and hasn’t been shared with me either. Maybe they do free abortions in the building – I don’t know so I can’t judge them based on that as if it were fact.

          • rhology says:

            I can’t judge them based on something I don’t know, something they haven’t said publicly, and hasn’t been shared with me either. Maybe they do free abortions in the building

            With all due respect, you certainly felt liberty to judge US based on something you don’t know, something we haven’t said publicly, and hasn’t been shared with you either.
            I don’t know so I can’t judge them based on that as if it were fact.

            I don’t know so I can’t judge them based on that as if it were fact.

            We’re just trying to say that this sentiment would have borne better fruit if it had influenced your actions before you posted this article.

            Grace and peace,
            Rhology

            • Michael says:

              Rho – I think that is where we disagree. The post was written and commented directly on a couple of quotes made publicly by AHA (one of them was your own).

              That’s the point. I wrote a critique of the words used in the post to which I linked.

  7. NoAvail says:

    Here is another story. For the sake of hearing all sideshttp://blog.abolishhumanabortion.com/2013/05/sarah-cleveland-and-vineyard-columbus.html

    • Michael says:

      Excellent reply and explanation. Thanks for taking the time to clear things up a little for people. I hope Sarah will consider driving down the road to Ohio Fire where she will have a chance to meet people interested in evangelism. OhioFire.org is the website to sign up.

  8. Tony Harman says:

    Someone should’ve informed Mr. Coughlin that church exhortation is fightong against the idolatry of Western Churchianity, idolatry of comfort, ease, and entertainment addicted self-centered “followship” of Jesus Christ. So, we are indeed combating idolatry.

    • Michael says:

      Tony – If you can cogently and rationally present facts that will shed light on the situation, you are welcome to do so. In addition, I would appreciate you properly quoting the post and not misrepresenting what was written.

      And if your response is going to be to simply tell me I should have done the same, then re-read the post and read the words which were carefully chosen in order to make the logical points made in the article.

  9. Tony Harman says:

    Someone should’ve informed Coughlin that church exhortation is fightong against the idolatry of Western Churchianity, idolatry of comfort, ease, and entertainment addicted self-centered “followship” of Jesus Christ. We are indeed fighting idolatry among God’s people.

  10. Jim Riley says:

    There’s an unspoken, and an unconfessed reality in this disagreement: Abortion abolitionists would not feel the need to display the horror of abortion if the church had taken it’s Matthew 28 obligations seriously long ago. All of the many social disasters we now face — divorce, unwed motherhood, venereal disease, drug abuse, abortion — would be small hairline fractures in the body politic if pastors had taken their prophetic obligation seriously.

    1st Corinthians 5 is very clear about some sins being so gross that they warrant disfellowship. If the church had addressed those sins in the manner scripture demands, and if the church had the courage to name wicked leaders by name, from the pulpit, we would not need to be called to repentance by a few brave Christians bold enough to do on the sidewalk what many pastors are afraid to do at the pulpit.

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