An early post I wrote raised concerns. I provocatively titled it: My Evolution Towards Theistic Evolution.* When a couple friends read this, I was accused of being an atheist. Someone then forwarded that article to my senior pastor at the time, attempting to get me fired from my youth pastor position. Luckily, my leader had an open mind on this particular issue. Yet, this incident drove me into theological hiding, with a determination to prevent this from happening again.
So, here we have the tone of the entry--this person has beliefs that are contrary to the church or churches he is working for, working for even as a youth pastor, and fear that discovery of his real beliefs will result in his losing his job. Would I be wrong in think that, in his role as youth pastor, he may have been trying to get those youths to share his beliefs? Were the people of the church not right to be concerned about what this person as youth pastor was teaching their kids?
Eventually, he leaves that church and goes somewhere else, still trying to keep his blog and online activities separate from his ministry, to a degree.
Then, it happened. I received the following comment on the Groans From Within contact page:
Wow, you actually believe this stuff? Well, it [the blog] is titled correctly, however, you might consider this groan to be the gas pains from deep within your own bowels. I hope the church isn’t paying for your time to produce such…wow.
After checking the name, email, and IP address, I knew exactly who left the comment. The following week, this person sent a five-page email to the pastoral staff and church board about why his family was no longer attending the church. And guess what, half-a-page was devoted to my “liberal” blog with the final sentence quoting a passage about false teachers being in danger of destruction. My guess is that they found my site through a Google search, in hopes to find dirt on leaders in the church. That week, I made the painful decision to set the blog to private and announced that I would be fasting from blogging indefinitely. This was a spiritually rewarding time, but in all honesty, the blog shutdown was mostly driven by an impulse to hide
But this doesn't end his 'trials and tribblations'.
After a few months of fasting, I reinvented my site and moved to a new domain. This time I determined to keep church and social media separate. Google search engines couldn’t find my new site, The Pangea Blog, and I chose to only use my first name. These steps certainly would hide my identity enough so that I wouldn’t get outed. But no such luck. Someone on my email update list was a spy and sent word to all the people who were angry at the church I worked at. Tensions rose among the more conservative crowd, but luckily at the close of the fiscal year, my “church planter residency” came to an end. The timing of this prevented greater dissension in the church. My attempts to hide didn’t work. Instead, hiding held back a part of who God designed me to be.
So, this guy, a covert emergent, is working in churches, pretending to be one thing while being something else, and when he's outed, he blames those who found out about him and his real beliefs, and who contact the churches he works for and takes money from to minister for them.
Read the entire post. This whiny emergent wants to paint himself as a hero and martyr, and be praised for being so brave about coming out of his theological closet. But this man is no hero.
On one level, the heroes of this story are the people who found out about him, and notified the churches he worked for on his double life. They are the people whom this whiny emergent blames for his hard times, calling them "spies" and attributing to them what he considers bad motives. I am grateful for people who still try to keep the wolves from entering, especially under the guise of 'youth pastors'. These emergents always seem to try to target the young, the ignorant, the unlearned, the vulnerable.
On another level, the hero of this story is Christ, the Good Shepherd still protecting His sheep. I'm glad this emergent charlatan is out of his theological closet, so that any church worth its salt will know to avoid him.