This post is a request for Vox Day (or anybody) to explain how one can reliably discern the condition of another Christian’s heart. I can’t, and when I asked Vox how he can, Spacebunny returned to her customary pattern of deleting my comments for no good reason. Here’s the story: Vox wrote a post titled Another Pattern Observed in which he not-so-temperately attacked Christian leader John Piper as “an intemperate attacker of other Christian leaders,” accusing Piper of an “insincere apology” over his use of the phrase “kicks some ass” at a particular evangelical convention. I and other commenters felt Vox may have been too quick to grab the tar and feathers, so I asked Vox how he could possibly know that Piper’s apology was insincere. I mean I get that he’s a “superintelligence” and all, but can Vox Day really know the condition of Piper’s heart?
Vox quoted the following snippet of Piper’s statement,
I am sitting here trying to figure out why I say things like that every now and then. I think it is a mixture of (sinful) audience titillation and (holy) scorn against my own flesh and against the devil, along with the desire to make the battle with Satan and my flesh feel gutsy and real and not middle-class pious. (John Piper)
…and then responded,
Yes, that’s probably it. You’re just too damn holy for your own good. Perhaps, I suggest merely as a possibility, he behaves thusly because he is not Elect, but rather a vessel ordained for destruction.
I don’t know about you, but Vox’s response just gave me a “yuck” feeling. First off, who cares? Are they running out of stuff to write about over there? And second, as I asked, how can Vox reliably discern the condition of another man’s heart, from two paragraphs on the internet at that? Who is Vox to judge? It seemed to me that Vox might be filtering Piper’s words through his own distrust, e.g. hearing something that might not be there. There’s a reason the Bible cautions our use of judgment. Vox and I had a two-comment progression (which Spacebunny deleted), after which I left the following comments to Jamsco and Vox, which Spacebunny also promptly deleted):
It sure looks to me like you are judging a man’s heart here, Vox.
It sure does, and it’s sure funny to watch Vox wriggle and squirm trying to deny the undeniable. I agree: it seems to me that Vox is judging another Christian’s heart here.
Yes, it was insincere.
Oh please. Who made you God? You don’t know that. None of us do. Look, I see your point about “frustrated actors and musicians” in the church and whatnot, but that doesn’t give you the right to go around accusing other Christians of insincerity when you can’t possibly know whether Piper was sincere or not. Since I suspect you’ll fail to appreciate the irony of denouncing Piper as an “intemperate attacker of other Christian leaders” while you not-so-temperately attack Piper, a Christian leader, I guess this is where it ends—unless of course you can give us something besides “because Vox Day the superintelligence and award winning meanie says so” to justify your accusation of insincerity.
As for your own damage control attempts,
We’re all tempted. We all fail. We all sin. We all say things we later regret saying. But only an ass would ever think to declare that he does so because he’s too damn holy! I find it astonishing that you, or anyone else, for that matter, would fall for that.
So true, but, hearing what you want to hear at all, Vox? He didn’t say “I’m too damn holy,” he said he’s too full of holy scorn, and unless you’re already committed to the conclusion that Piper is insincere, why can’t those words be interpreted as tacit concession of a failure to check one’s religiosity?
Seriously. You don’t know whether Piper was sincere or not, and you should just admit it instead of rushing to the shelf to grab your tar and feathers.
As you might imagine, that comment prompted some irrelevant remarks from Spacebunny, which I addressed before bowing off the thread:
Yes, 5-year-olds are often able to detect sincerity and/or the lack thereof. Of course, that’s irrelevant unless you can show me a 5-year-old that can detect sincerity and/or the lack thereof from a mere two paragraphs on the internet.
As for your other question, I treat statements from politicians the same as any other: begin in the null position (unless there’s reason not to) and don’t deviate to belief or skepticism without good reason.
Haha, cl is back, and right where he left off. I don’t expect this state of affairs to last long, though.
Of course it won’t. That’s what anti-intellectualism is all about: censoring reasonable dissent for no good reason. I mean, c’mon: I left three comments calling into question Vox’s rush to condemn Piper as insincere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending Piper, I’m questioning Vox. And I’m not the only one. Oh, and by the way, I’ve been “back” for quite some time. I left about a comment a month, always supportive, and they were never deleted. Of course now that I’ve challenged Vox again, the pattern repeats: Spacebunny comes to his rescue.
Go ahead and delete this Spacebunny, It’s my last comment on this thread. If anybody wants my opinion they can come find me.
I’ve openly challenged you to make your case at my blog, where speech is truly free.
Why does Spacebunny need to come to Vox’s rescue like this? Why can’t she just let us talk out our differences in a productive manner?