Today we will consider excerpted portions of the BJU position statement. From these excerpts we will demonstrate a pattern of disconcerting actions of Sharper Iron (SI) site publisher Aaron Blumer, SI administrator Jim Peet and the SI team for what has been to date their allowing for and participating in an Internet lynching of a Christian brother. My commentary will follow the excerpts.
This week I confirmed that no one from SI has ever called Dr. Phelps to ask for his take on the issues. Instead, Aaron Blumer and Jim Peet have repeatedly provided the venue, allowed for, encouraged and participated in what has often been a high tech lynching of Dr. Phelps. While certain SI site managers may have come to Dr. Phelps’ defense on occasion, they continue to manage a medium that is far from edifying.
•A teenage girl was raped—this is a tragedy.
•A rapist is in jail—this is justice.
•A faithful pastor is being pummeled in social media and his family maligned—this is unjust.
•Our God is being grieved.
(The Position of Bob Jones University Regarding the Membership of Dr. Chuck Phelps on Its Cooperating Board of Trustees)
Yesterday, SI opened a Filing on the BJU statement. There is no wrong in reporting a significant and newsworthy statement. The problem, however, is that the thread has been opened for what predictably would be a rehash of the same sort of innuendo and hurtful gossip SI has been allowing for many months. At the outset of the thread Aaron posted this statement.
“This thread would be a really weird place to post all the old accusations again. Every possible accusation has already been made many, many times. All the reasons for and reasons against have been aired innumerable times. So whatever there might be to discuss (if anything) repeating accusations again would certainly be pointless.”Aaron Blumer is not so naïve to think that because of his statement there would be no repeat of “every possible accusation,” is he? At the time of this writing there are 30 comments in the thread and of course some are a rehash of the same accusations that have been “aired innumerable times.” BJU also came under critical attack. If Aaron were serious about holding back accusations and that repeating accusations would be pointless he would have kept the thread closed to comments or remove any that repeat accusations.
Aaron Blumer has been derelict as a Christian publisher and sinful in his approach to addressing the entire tragic situation. There has been no “attitude of forbearance” whatsoever. Aaron has shown no inclination of forebearance. Aaron (and Jim Peet) have repeatedly allowed for the publication of “reckless accusations of crime or cover up,” which as SI site publisher and owner makes him complicit in the doing of it.
Numerous times Aaron Blumer has acted in disingenuous ways suggesting that there should be no more discussion of the matter, that threads should be closed. Yet, he and Jim Peet repeatedly would not close a thread and/or would simply open a new article/thread to allow for a continuation of calling into question the motives, intent, honesty and integrity of Dr. Phelps. SI is a primary Internet conduit for, “a faithful pastor…being pummeled in social media and his family maligned—this is unjust.”Aaron Blumer and Jim Peet have been enablers of sinful gossip, hurtful innuendo and rumor mongering.
What SI has been a party to is wholly unjust. I am hopeful Aaron will have his senses awakened to what he has done again. I am hopeful that he will, this one time, set aside personal bias of his site, forget about trying to keep a struggling site afloat and instead do the right thing, which would be to pull the many instances at SI where Dr. Phelps’s reputation and his family has been maligned. I am hopeful, but in reality, SI under Aaron Blumer (and Jason Janz before him) has never shown any attitude of forbearance toward or correction of injustice that SI has committed against persons, sites or institutions. Instead, SI is a culture of bias, censorship by omission and playing favorites, which is well documented.
God’s Word (1 Cor. 6:1-8) challenges us that we are not to go to court before the gentiles and lets us know that we will one day “judge angels.” Why is that important to our discussion? Because the open-court communication that SI allows on sensitive matters will only give way for the name of Christ to be sullied. Honestly, SI becomes another 20/20 and the participants share rumor, innuendo and gossip without consideration of the need to confront, restore or edify. How much different would the current situation facing Dr. Phelps have been had the people involved done the right thing and contacted him before contacting the press and/or going on line?
A Personal Appeal
Have you ever wondered whether or not you should be participating at SI? If ever there was ample reason to quit participating in comments threads and/or contributing to it through advertising funds this is it. This incident is just another in SI’s history of its leadership’s bias, playing favorites, besmirching non-favored persons, fellowships and doctrines as well as badgering dissenting SI members. Beginning with its first site publisher, Jason Janz, and continuing through today with Aaron Blumer, SI has been a platform for castigating Fundamentalism with the broad-brush and propping up a compromising, non-separatist evangelicalism. I urge you to consider ceasing from participating at or supporting the pseudo- fundamentalist Sharper Iron.