Friday, August 12, 2011

“SI May Fit the Description of Being ‘PSEUDO- FUNDAMENTALIST’”

Since mid-2009 I have been identifying Sharper Iron (SI) as a “pseudo- fundamentalist1 site. This week at SI the opinion that it is a “pseudo- fundamentalist” site has been reiterated and reinforced by a current and long time participant there. I refer to Bob Topartzer who directed his shared opinion and reasons to SI site publisher Aaron Blumer in the August 5 article Church Planting Thirty Years Later, a worthwhile subject that the article had almost nothing to do with. That article was subject of my previous article, “SI is a Fundamentalist Place?” The Façade & Veneer is Stripped Away!

In the thread (Tuesday, 8/9)2 BobT (Bob Topartzer) submitted the following comment to site publisher, Aaron Blumer. It is worth a careful read for it reveals much of the wide spread complaints about the methods of SI and its leadership.

Aaron, I just reread your post and noticed the ending.
Fundamentalism needs a warm and winsome apologetic, not a ‘How dare you differ?!’ and ‘Don’t let the door hit you on your way out’ apologetic (the latter is not an apologetic at all... and we wonder why the quantity of fundamentalists is shrinking).
With this statement you have given evidence that you yourself and SI may fit the description of being “PSEUDO- FUNDAMENTALIST” as some former posters have labeled the site. 

Because you have failed to properly recognize the errors, misjudgments, and harmful attitude and dangers of Steve Davis and his opinions, as expressed on published articles at SI. As I said before, I have no objection to the publication of these articles. However, your attitude and the attitude of the moderators appears to be that those who sought to challenge, expose, and rebuke the opinions were overly harsh and lacking the apologetic of Christian love. In so doing you have gone against every admonition and warning of scripture regarding confronting dangerous error.

Steve himself has repeatedly demeaned the fundamentalist and IBF movements as a whole. He has shown disdain for those who have and do hold to a different doctrinal viewpoint on doctrinal issues he has raised. In typical NEW EVANGELICAL fashion and method he has alluded to the lack of love and proper ecumenical spirit of others he is leaving while he himself demeaned them in an unloving manner. He often met posters who disagreed with him with demeaning remarks and sharp words. All this has been accepted by you [Aaron] without admonishment or appropriate response.

Now you come and seek to admonish those who differed with Steve. NO ONE said or gave an attitude of “How dare you differ?” It was rather how could you differ? We argued against his reasons and rightly labeled his transition and change of doctrinal positions and view as the same as that expressed in history as New Evangelical and therefore labeled Steve with the same label they did give themselves. I expressed righteous indignation at Steve’s continued effort to make his leaving the general Fundamentalist and IFB movement an issue of the conduct and narrow doctrinal of others. He did so

Also, I received an Email yesterday from a longtime SI poster stating that he has posted his last post on SI with his last post on the Steve Davis thread.3

Keep up the good work and you and the moderators will be able to post one another without any other posters interfering. Then you can admonish one another for your wording and get them all just the way you want.

This is said in Christian love. Love for Christ and His Word and concern and distress for those who will not adequately protect his flock and discern the truth.

An apologetic of love includes 1Cor. 13:6.

Bob wrote, “Keep up the good work and you and the moderators will be able to post one another without any other posters interfering.”

I have been telling Aaron Blumer for years that unless he got his moderators under control and behaving in unbiased ways he’d be left with almost no one but moderators to comment. Actually, in recent years if it weren’t for the moderators actively participating in the threads, most of SI would grind to a halt.

In the Steve Davis thread Aaron has furthermore shown the capacity to be just as biased and hostile as any SI moderators have ever been. Most notable in hostility have been Jim Peet, Larry Rogier and SusanR. Aaron has taken sides with his moderators against those whom they do not agree.

Later in the SI thread Bob notified Aaron,
As far as posts go this is my last on this subject. Perhaps my last on SI. Too much time has been given to this. SI is no better than the sum of its parts and is not really ministry but just information and discussion of a specialty type.
Yet another has been driven away by SI bias and its moderator’s actions.Isn’t it time for SI to finally get honest about its primary purpose, which irrefutably is NOT for, or on behalf of Fundamentalism? The only kind of Fundamentalism SI promotes and defends is one that its leadership and certain key contributors redefine into a mushy, unity at the expense of fidelity to the whole counsel of God, non-separatist evangelicalism.

I will close with a challenge to Aaron Blumer. An opportunity I have given him in private and public for over two years. In the About SI section of the site we read, “SI is a fundamentalist place…SI is about how fundamentalists see the world
Can you (Aaron) produce any front page article from SI that is thoroughly positive toward Fundamentalism and edifying for Fundamentalists?
Aaron’s failure to produce such an article is due to the fact that there are none. Even if SI began posting positive articles no one would take it seriously. It would IMO be a disingenuous portrayal of an attitude for Fundamentalism that does not exist among SI’s leadership. IMO it would be nothing more than an attempt to portray SI as if it embraces fundamentalism, which SI never has. It would be a way-to-late attempt to salvage what is left of the site at it continues to alienate and drive off men who do take historic, balanced Fundamentalism seriously and have done what they could at SI to share those views.
The claim that SI is a fundamentalist place and for how fundamentalists see the world cannot be taken seriously.


For Related Reading See: SI, “You LIE!”

1) “Pseudo”- 1. not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham. 2. almost, approaching, or trying to be. (

2) Thread Comment

3) Alienating members/participants is quite common place at SI. See-
I Had to Ask: How Does This Sharpen Me?

SI’s Deplorable Moderator Actions Run Of Another

SI Gang-Tackles "Doc" Clearwaters

4) SI Site Admin Jim Peet, who was offensive in the thread to begin with, couldn't resist giving Bob a parting shot. Of course, Jim excuses his behavior as trying to be humorous. of course similar attempts at humor if it comes from non-favored persons at SI, spring the SI moderators into action and they immediately pounce upon the offender, especially if the humor is directed at a favored and protected position or personality at SI.

Site Publisher’s Addendum:
For those who identify with or simply appreciate the best of fundamentalism and still participate at SI I would encourage you to consider ending your active participation there. Your participation is somewhat of a lifeline for SI to continue its crusade on behalf the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism (ce), promoting a convergence with the star personalities and fellowships of the ce camp, and positioning against what we find to be the best of fundamentalism’s history, legacy, leaders and practices today. Your participation feeds the SI threads and fuels SI moderators and certain other participants to promote pro-evangelical personalities, doctrines and agendas at the expense of fundamentalism.

I would also encourage the few current or potential advertisers who feel strongly about fundamentalism to consider this: Is Sharper Iron the best place to invest the resources God has entrusted to you? Do you want to reach and/or attract the kind of persons to your college or ministry who frequent and support SI? SI is a site that frequently allows for, promotes, and its leadership happily joins in on, the redefining, castigation and besmirching of fundamentalism. SI, furthermore, heaps lavish praise on the so-called “conservative” evangelicals.  SI does not tolerate legitimate criticism of it’s star personalities, preferred doctrinal positions or fellowships. Should those kind of messages from SI be sustained by financial support from fundamentalist institutions?

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