Sunday, April 29, 2012


I’m going to comment on this:

i) Hank’s response is odd. He’s in his sixties. He’s been around the track several times. He has his ear to the ground of evangelicalism. So why could he not anticipate the entirely predictable reaction to his trip?

ii) If you’re a leading countercult figure, you set the bar very high for yourself. If you make your living by attacking the defective theology of other groups or individuals, then you can’t afford to be too sloppy, to make too many off-the-cuff remarks. You have to do your homework. You have to choose your words with care. You have to think about what you say and do before you say and do it. A discernment ministry must show discernment.

iii) You also need to be selective about what controversies you wade into, especially if your operation depends on donors. Hank has a Constitutional right to say whatever he wants about Wall Street or foreign policy, but that’s a two-way street. If you blow your capital on needless controversies, you won’t have anything in reserve when it counts.

iv) Hank casts himself in the role of the courageous truth-bearer. But what’s the truth he’s bearing witness to? Is it OWS?

This is the closest I can find to official OWS statements:

How much of that does he support? All of it? Most of it? Some of it?

From what I’ve seen on TV, many of the OWS protesters remind me of the career anarchists who jet around the developed world rioting against get-togethers of the World Trade Organization. It’s not the bad guys like Jon Corzine who are harmed by agitators, but shop-owners whose small businesses are vandalized.

However, I’m not going to spend time evaluating OWS. There are some good articles that weigh the pros and cons of this movement:

v) If Hank was simply expressing his sympathy for OWS, that would be less controversial. But that was combined with his trip to Tehran and his statements about Israel and the so-called Palestinians.

vi) First of all, there’s the venue. When he travels to an enemy state, and uses that as a platform to badmouth his own country, he’s reprising the role of Hanoi Jane and Tokyo Rose. Even if he has grievances against corporate America, Tehran is not the place to air his grievances.

That’s colluding with the enemy. You become a willing propaganda tool of a virulently anti-American, Jew-hating, Christian-hating regime.

vii) He also denies the charge that he’s a “Jew-hater.” He doesn’t actually quote anyone who leveled that charge.

However, since that’s how he frames the issue, let’s consider that for a moment. When Scripture says a father who spares the rod hates his son (Prov 13:24), what does that mean? Does it mean permissive fathers harbor personal animosity towards their sons? No. In one sense, it’s because a permissive father loves his son that he can’t bring himself to use corporal punishment. He’s too emotionally involved.

The Bible isn’t talking about how a permissive father feels about his son, but the consequences of his permissiveness. It’s the kindness that kills. That’s a hateful way to raise your son, because you’re priming him for destruction.

Even if Hank doesn’t personally hate the Jews (which isn’t the accusation), it’s quite possible for him to say things and do things that are detrimental to the welfare of Jews.

viii) There is also the moral blindness of attacking Israel and America in one of the very worst regimes on earth. Hank is like a man standing on the sidewalk, wagging his finger at pedestrians who litter, with his back turned to the gas chambers. Right behind him is a genuine atrocity.

Even if he thinks Israel abuses “Palestinians,” that’s nothing compared to how Muslims treat each other.

ix) Also, it’s not confined to Jew-haters. Iran is fanatically and murderously hostile to Christians. So why is Hank legitimating that regime by going there to use that as a soapbox to attack Israel and America?

x) If he’s going to attack “Zionism,” he needs to critique the most astute spokesmen for “Zionism.” If you cast yourself in the role of a “truth-bearer,” then it’s incumbent on you to take scholarship seriously. If you’re a leading figure in countercult ministry, then it’s incumbent on you to hit the books and do real research. That includes reading both sides of the argument–not simply regurgitating a contributor to Sojourners like Gary Burge.

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