A common complaint against responding to so-called ‘discernment’ sites like P&P is that it’s simply feeding the trolls. “You’re giving them what they want. Just ignore them, and they’ll go away.” Unfortunately, that’s not true.
Those in positions of leadership in evangelicalism are starting to take note of a growing number of conspiracy theorist websites. Prominent figures are beginning to address the lies. Slander doesn’t always go away when one ignores it. But it does still do untold damage to the individuals and institutions it’s pointed toward. That’s why discouraging the people who stand up to bullies – especially if they were also victims of this nonsense – however well-intentioned, seems rather wrongheaded.
The head honchos of these half-baked conspiracy theorist websites probably won’t be persuaded to stop publishing the pieces from which they profit. True enough. Yes, some supporters are simply simpletons. But it’s still not too late for others who can be convinced that it’s time to stop contributing to the con games of the ‘discernment ministry’ industrial complex.
Of course, it’s difficult to know who’s able to eventually see things rightly. Some are deceivers, and others are deceived. Take Bill Kent, for example, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in Sylvania, Georgia. Kent recently slandered Chris Bolt by calling him a “Progressive Baptist,” and then claimed he’s gone, “to hide.”
So what’s going on? Does Kent concur with Cody Libolt’s contention that opposition to abuse is indicative of theological liberalism? Or is he just playing along with the other “Pulpiteers,” parroting their perfidy about progressivism?
Or consider Sam Jones, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Hudson, Iowa. After reading the aforementioned article demonstrating Libolt’s interest in defending abuse cover up, Jones complained to others that the post was a “waste” of his life.
Rather than taking abuse claims seriously, he joined Libolt in defending those who covered them up. What would possess a pastor to do such a thing?
And then there’s Gerry Brinkman, who teaches at Bethany Baptist Church in Ottawa, Ontario. Did he correct Libolt for advocating against the abused? No. Did he clarify why Libolt’s claims weren’t actually defending those who cover for abusers? No. What did he do? Brinkman came in congratulating and encouraging Cody Libolt for doubling down in his defense of such persons.
Do these pastors, these teachers, really agree with Libolt’s assessment of abuse cover up? Perhaps they’re ignorant of P&P’s position on that topic? Or are they just trying to be cute, trying to sound tough, wanting to fit in? Whatever is going on, we can all agree that the optics are terrible.
And we can all agree as well that it’s about time to purge the P&P Bunker again. Greg Smith is a good guy, but might want to step up his Admin game? Might it be that one or more of the people mentioned in this post, two of whom the author of the post has interacted with in the past two weeks, are leaking information from inside the bunker…and not only that, but from inside the ‘bunker’ inside the bunker…yeah, there? That would be bad. Or, maybe the author of this post has been around the whole time, hidden in plain sight? That would be worse! In any event, this is quite the catch-22. P&P will have to purge or be purged.