***I believe we do the body of Christ damage when, rather than behaving in this way, we take the far more offensive road and call anyone who disagrees with us “compromisers” or “snakes in the grass.” This shuts off communication. It divides the church. It precludes useful discussion and the opportunity to learn. (Participants on neither side of a “conversation” in which we are being told we are either imbeciles (or such terms; I am thinking of less pretty comments probably more likely to come from the mouth of an old-earther, though I have heard young-earthers use similar verbiage with respect to those with whom they disagree!), or a “conversation” in which we are being told we are “compromisers” (etc.): Participants in those kinds of “conversations” don't usually wind up actually conversing! And we don't benefit one another.)
I want us to provide room for one another to hear each other out, to be challenged, and to grow in the grace and knowledge and wisdom and powerful work of Christ in the world.
Let us, as the founders of the United States once said, “hang together” . . . that we might not “hang separately.”
John Holzmann *****
John, I thank you for your post, your honesty, and your humbleness. As to the part I quoted, you stated it much better than I have the eloquence or patience for. : ) Bless you.
FTR, Alyeska, and Mr. Holzmann, I was not referring to EITHER of you when I mentioned the "snake in the grass". I do not refer to dissenting voices that way. You made some very large assumptions based on that comment. I had no idea you were lurking Mr. Holzmann, and Alyeska, I did notice that you got very defensive when I first mentioned it. I was NOT REFERRING TO YOU.
Alyeska, as a fellow homeschool mom, and as a longtime board member here, I'd think you would know better. We've had "snakes in the grass" (the term I used) that caused threads to spin out of control and cause division among us, and that were created intentionally for that purpose. they're always on controversial subjects because, as you KNOW, when things start getting quiet around here, somebody has to stir the pot. I was TRYING to be discreet about that fact. I was NOT subtly calling either you OR Mr. Holzmann any names. I tried to hint to you to pay attention to what *else* has been going on on this board recently.... it had NOTHING to do what you and Mr. Holzmann believe about Creation.
Mr. Holzmann, I don't appreciate your posting in this thread, and I know I speak for several other moms in saying that. We have a right to our own opinions and discussions, and we are NOT having this discussion on your website, so no, you do not get to swoop in to reprimand us. This is not YOUR website. Furthermore, I believe it may be against the rules for you to do so! You are out of line here, and you also made assumptions about something that *I* specifically said. You are WRONG.
We have a right to discuss any curriculum we want that carries philosophies that other moms might not want to teach their children. That is our RIGHT as parents.
Kayrenee, I have always appreciated what you have to say on these boards and yesterday I got my dander up and was instantly on the defensive because of the topic. I apologize and hope that you will forgive me. I've been here long enough to 'know' you and should not have made the assumptions I made.
Agreeing with Kayrenee.
I thought things were actually moving along nice and civilized. I actually expect that we will not agree on every little topic on this board, but it's all of your thoughts and input that helps to keep me sharp, and I appreciate hearing different POV's. Just for the record, I never ever think of any of you here as an imbecile just b/c you disagree with me. ;-)
JH's comments don't belong here on this board any more than A*t Reed's. However, at least his comments confirm a lot that's been speculated about SL on this forum throughout the years. Once again, it helps to clarify where a particular curriculum company stands on things. Yet, I suppose JH would still wish to disassociate himself with SL, but I think we know better by now. It is HIS letter/article that I found in the SL curriculum years ago that has kept me at bay since.
My question is as to whether or not JH apologized personally and publicly to KH for the name calling... I'd like to read that if he did...besides here at HSR, that is. It still sounds like the spirit of it still remains, though, IMO. Just from reading his post here, it sounds like if one holds a to the idea of absolutes and calling things truths or untruths, that's worthy of criticism since they won't comply to a spirit of syncretism. Great preachers like Edwards, Spurgeon, and even Finney and Wesley had their differences, yet never resorted to name calling and "pope" references. Nor were they offended by each other. I think they had respect for one another and their passions for ministry, even while "calling to the carpet" differences in their theology. They believed what they believed and preached it as TRUTH for the glory of God. Yes, even to the point of death if necessary. Beliefs always have consequences, even ones that don't adhere to any one position on things.
Anyways, Alyeska and Kayrenee, I appreciate your thoughts and spirit in this thread. :)
I thought I would respond to a few of your expressed concerns/comments.
* I have not lurked here. I was not lurking. Please re-read my original post. I signed up many years ago with Google (Google Alerts) for automatic notifications when certain terms appear anywhere on the internet . . . and as a result of one of those Google Alerts, I was made aware of this thread.
When I saw how the subject line itself conveyed an untruth, and I recognized that *I* was the sinner who SHOULD have been "called on the carpet" but, instead, an innocent party was being publicly vilified, I sensed a responsibility--as per Exodus 20:16 and Galatians 6:2--to do what I could to make things right. And so I came here to confess my sin and at least ATTEMPT to save the innocent third party from being accused of and/or punished for MY sin.
Beyond that, once I came and read some of the things people were saying, I thought I might provide a LITTLE counter-balance to the discussion.
* You said you don't appreciate my posting in this thread.
I don't know why that would be.
You're upset with me for confessing my sin? Or for attempting to correct false statements? (Such as the title of this thread?)
If it was not for those things, then what was it about my post that upset you and the other moms for whom you spoke?
* You suggested I attempted to reprimand the participants in this discussion. I certainly didn't intend to.
* You said that it may be against the rules for me to post here and that I am out of line.
I recognize the rule against owners of companies commenting on their products or companies.
I don't believe I commented on my company or any of its products. I attempted to point out that you-all were attributing to a certain company (and/or product) things that were not true of IT, but that were true of an INDIVIDUAL, specifically, ME. *I* am (or was) the guilty party. The company you-all seemed to be upset about had absolutely nothing to do with my comment. They knew nothing about me making the comment (before Mr. Ham wrote his blog post). They didn't authorize my comment. They didn't review it. Sarita (my wife, and the president of the company) is appalled that I ever said what I did. . . .
* You wrote, "We have a right to discuss any curriculum we want. . . . That is our RIGHT."
And, again, I agree absolutely.
Since I'm not here to talk about the company of which I am part owner, but, rather, about my comments regarding and concerns with respect to Ken Ham . . . and about divisions in the Christian homeschool community, I will say nothing other about your first paragraph than this: It is true: JH disassociated himself from SL over five years ago. I resigned. I am so sorry that a letter/article I wrote bothered you so much that you have never forgotten it in all the many years since you first read it. I am curious which article it was and what bothered you about it?
The primary reason I'm writing here, however, is to answer your question: about whether or not I apologized both personally and publicly to Ken Ham for my name calling. You said you would like to read my apology.
You can read my public apology on my blog: at http://johnscorner.blogspot.com/2013/07/mr-ham-responds-to-my-pope-comment-kind.html.
Privately, I wrote him an email:
"I want to apologize to you and ask your forgiveness for stooping to, as you correctly identified it, name-calling in my blog post of a week ago. I shouldn't have done that. It was unnecessary. I wouldn't want you to do that to me. (I haven't appreciated it when you have done it!) So on what grounds could I justify doing the same to you?
"I have none.
"And so I come to you to ask your forgiveness.
With respect to your last comments about truths and untruths: I think I addressed that a bit in my "Seeking Peace" email to Mr. Ham as well.
Here's what I wrote:
"It struck me . . . that you are almost exactly four years older than me. . . . We could be physical brothers. . . . And I got thinking what it would be like if we were born and raised in the same house by the same parents. How would we deal with differences in outlook, belief, etc. . . .
"I can tell you how we deal with these things in my growing-up family.
"We talk about issues. We provide each other evidence for our beliefs. We earnestly plead with one another to look at things the other may have missed, to alter our behavior (if we believe the other person’s behavior needs changing), etc. We implore each other to be Bereans and to study things out. . . .
"What we don't do is call each other names (again: I confess my guilt before you). Nor do we promptly charge each other with 'compromise,' 'error,' an unwillingness to bow to the authority of Scripture, 'biblioscepticism'/'biblioskepticism,' etc. We may suggest that the other may have 'compromised' at some point, or that he or she may have made an error, etc. But we don't charge each other with being (i.e., fundamentally) 'compromisers,' infidels, etc."
Can you hear and understand the differences, here, Nancy?
As I attempted to state in my original post, I cannot tell you how MUCH I *APPRECIATE* that Mr. Ham calls us--CONSISTENTLY, REGULARLY--to be faithful to the Scriptures. We CANNOT compromise on the fundamentals of our faith.
But there is a big difference between saying something like, "I'm afraid you are IGNORING _______." Or, "But what about _____?" (These are the kinds of questions, concerns and challenges that I see most brothers and sisters in Christ raise with one another on any other matters--even Gospel-CENTRAL matters--when dealing with those with whom they disagree.) . . . --There is a big difference between saying something like that and saying, as Mr. Ham and AiG regularly do: "____ is a compromiser!" Or, "____ is a biblioskeptic!"
The truth: Here I am talking about the very rule that I myself broke! I called Mr. Ham a name. I did damage, I'm sure. No question.
At this point, I have confessed my sin and I pray that my sin will not cause irreparable harm to the unity of the church.
I also pray that others in this "discussion" will tone down their name-calling as well. And, instead of relegating one another to the "outer darkness," that we will earnestly seek the truth TOGETHER.
An "extra" story. Nice metaphor, I think, for some of what we're talking about.
This is from Deborah and Loren Haarsma's "Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution," pp. 8-9:
What causes the rain? Most of us were taught how water evaporates from the ground level, rises to where the air is cooler, and condenses into water droplets that form clouds. We learned how cold fronts and warm fronts and low pressure systems bring rain. When we watch meteorologists on television, we hear that scientists now use sophisticated computer models to help them understand and predict the weather a few days in advance. Their ability to understand meteorology is especially important for farmers, airline pilots, military personnel, and coastal residents. Every year, scientists develop increasingly accurate computer models of the weather.
Now imagine that debates arise about what should be taught in schools about the weather. . . .
[Some] people insist that these scientific explanations of rain and wind must be wrong because the Bible clearly teaches that God governs the weather.[See Footnote 1] These people write books and give public speeches saying, "Atheists have invented their godless theories about evaporation and condensation. But we can prove that their so-called scientific theories are false and that the Bible is true." They go to churches and teach, "If you believe what these scientists are saying about the causes of wind and rain, then you've abandoned belief in the Bible." They petition school boards and courts to require that science classrooms also teach their "storehouses" theory of the weather as an alternative explanation to evaporation and condensation. . . .
Fortunately, we don't have such debates about what causes the weather. . . . [But when it comes to] creation, design, and evolution . . .
Footnote 1: Many Bible passages proclaim that God causes rain and drought (see Deut. 11:14-17; 1 Kings 8:35-36; Job 5:10; 37:6; Jer. 14:22). Writers of Deuteronomy, the Psalms, and Jeremiah refer specifically to storehouses of rain and snow (see Deut. 28:12, 24; Ps. 135:7; Jer. 10:13).
Why this disparity? Why are we (Christians) so ready to get up in arms over Genesis 1 but not over other passages like those referenced by the Haarsmas? Why are we willing to grant one another a bit of "space" when it comes to end-times prophecies, baptism . . . even head coverings and dresses-only . . . but NOT with respect to origins?
I'm all for truth. I'm not excited about a judgmentalism that announces--before anyone from "the other side" even has an opportunity to speak--that the opponents, clearly, BECAUSE OF THEIR BELIEFS--obviously refuse to bow to the Bible's authority (etc.).
Thanks for writing.
And blessings to you and your family, too!
I have not read all the comments in this thread yet, but I have read John Holzmans blog posts, and Ken Hams post. I think it is ridiculous the way Christians are like wolves attacking another (and I am talking about on JH’s blog, here, and on SL’s FB page). I have seen this in the last year regarding Veritas Press, an author at Apologia, and now John Holzman/Ken Ham. I personally do not see anything wrong with what John Holzman said in his personal blog. There are many Christians who believe we do not know 100% the exact age of the earth, and that this is not a critical issue regarding our salvation. The young earth/old earth issue is NOT going to keep any Christians out of heaven, but all this fighting IS going to keep people from wanting to be Christian and follow Jesus! We Christians are called to LOVE God, LOVE Jesus, and LOVE people. We are called to believe Jesus was the son of God, that only with him can we be saved, and for our lives to mirror his. The issue of YEC and OEC is causing division and strife, and is not and essential issue to our walk with God. There are so many things that God left unanswered in this universe to keep us thinking, interested, and exploring. He didn't want us to be bored here. He left some things unanswered for us to explore, but not for us to cause fighting and divide us. I think it is completely ridiculous the way everyone acting regarding this issue.
Just remember…….Jesus was perfect, and people still crucified him. We Christians cannot crucify one another.