Censorship, Stewardship and the 9th commandment

posted by Pc3


We are quite vocal and unapologetic in our support of Vision Forum in our family. Kim has, at my direction, over the course of the last year posted on issues relevant to the patriarchy versus feminism debate and even links to relevant documents as Vision Forum and others have made them available.

After Kim’s recent post on patriarchy, and again on Doug Phillips article on gossip we attracted a little attention from patriarchy’s detractors that led to my having her turn on comment moderation. Over the last month or so Kim and I have had many discussions about our editorial policy, censoring comments and how to apply a biblical ethic to blog writing and to comment moderation. Yesterday I came across this short but brilliant explanation by Tim Bayly that puts the matter ever so much better than I could.

Here are some relevant quotes from the comment (I encourage everyone to read the article and the comments when you have time )

“… I’ve explained it often enough, but once more for the record: when men attack the word of God on this blog, directly contradicting the Holy Spirit , my choices are limited….
I can remove their attack and lies from our blog. …And that is not censorship, but faithful guarding of the good deposit which has been passed on to us.
This blog is not now, nor has it ever been, a forum for the free exchange of ideas. It’s an extension of the ministry of two pastors who are brothers and who have vowed to honor the Word of God. We have no obligation to provide a forum for heretics and rebels against God who seek to devour souls by feeding those souls lies. In fact, we have an obligation given us by the Holy Spirit to silence such men.
On the other hand, egalitarian feminists (Perry’s note: I would add to this list slanderers, and those who believe excommunicants over God’s people and elders) directly oppose God our Father, and His Word. Constantly, they twist Scripture making it say the very opposite of its plain meaning; and constantly they lead God’s little ones astray. Many think they should be allowed to do so because not allowing it will produce the fruit of women like you accusing them of censorship. Or because not allowing it will cause them to appear to be lacking in the collegiality deportment…Other times, we’ve removed comments–almost always for lying and almost never for disagreement with us. Sure, people may see removal for lying as removal for disagreement, but honest souls will know the truth.”

You see, if you own a blog or a website you will not only stand before God for the things you write, but you are also accountable for what you allow others to write and publish on your site. The Baylys understand this very well and as our family has come to understand it I have tightened our editorial control over our site. This is why, in part, we will be moving our blog to wordpress soon. -keep an eye out for the announcement- WordPress give us the ability to not only approve or reject comments like blogger but also to edit the content of them as we see fit. This way we might be able to interact with critics of our views, Vision Forum, Doug Phillips, the Botkin family or Patriarchy in context without letting them devour souls by feeding their lies to God’s children.

(parenthetical note: I owe the Baylys a giant hat tip for helping me to clarify my thinking and the terminology surrounding the blog trolls who are slandering my friends and the teachers of biblical family roles.)

This brings me to my final point, which is the reason we link to and promote those pieces of information, articles, and evidences as they become available. We have a duty to protect the good name of our neighbors. That extends a fair bit beyond not allowing slander but lay burdens upon us to promote and protect the good name of our neighbors insofar as we have the power to.

Question 144 of the Westminster Larger Catechism is helpful here:

Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

In light of the above we actively promote and spread the antidote to the lies, slander, and mischaracterization whenever we can. One of the apparent strategies of the blog trolls in question has been to create a series of links and websites that will rise in the search engine rankings so that whenever an innocent gets wind of the rumors and googles Vision Forum or someone attached to them they are fairly certain to see the lies. This is why they put up several sites each, this is why they link proficiently to one another, and this is why they delight in using the names of people or repetitiously in their writing. The ONLY way I know to combat these vicious attempts to destroy innocent names is to link to the truth.

It’s really that simple. Just link to God-honoring commentary, letters and proofs that help to protect the good name of the people I love and repect. The 9th commandment requires it of me and it requires it of you.

In closing I will leave you with a number of links I think are relevent to current issues surrounding accusations against Doug Phillips, Brian Abshire, Patriarchy and the Biblical family.

I hope you will take time to read them and link to them to help in “the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man” and “ standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully” while “discouraging talebearers” and defending the innocent.

Perry C

Links:

Vision Forum Responds to Don Veinot

Part one

Part two (NEW)

Brian Abshire’s gracious response to Don Veinot

Round 1

Round 2

Vision Forum Responds to the Epsteins and their coloaboraters

Doug Phillips teaches on high tech dishonor

Vision Forum article on Tale Bearing by Alexander Strauch

Vision Forum Ministries article on De-feminizing your family

Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham cook up some “sacred cows”

Doug Phillips and Geoff Botkin teach us about using the “C” word

Doug Phillips writes about tearing down strawmen

More links and commentary:

Comments

  1. Thanks for those links Kim. I hadn’t seen some of them.

  2. Luv2bhsmama says:

    I liked your post but I thought you should know that the links to some articles are off. For example, when I clicked on De-feminizing I got sacred cows. Just thought you might like to know.

  3. HomemakerAng says:

    The first green box is a GREAT explanation as I get so much HATE POSTS at mine, i may use this!
    Great thought out post!

  4. The Homeschool and Etc. Blog says:

    Kim and Perry:

    A blog is “your territory,” so to speak. Whether I cuss in my house is my own business, but surely I can’t expect to come into yours and say every expletive in the book. I’m a GUEST here.

    I think it’s only fair. I get to say whatever I want on my blog though, and if I don’t like your bad language I can moderate my comments too! LOL

    OK honestly, I don’t see where that’s controversial, but I do appreciate your explaining why you felt you needed to start moderating when it wasn’t that way before. I think you can disagree and still be polite and I’m sorry it sounds like some people were not using the freedom you gave on this blog properly.

    I understand sometimes disagreements can lead to fruitful discussions and salvations, but it doesn’t sound like that is the sort of thing you are editing. :[

    Mrs. C.

  5. Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years says:

    I agree, Kim, but I just didn’t want to come out and say it just that way. ;)

    I don’t know anything about WordPress, so I thought I’d ask.

  6. We would probably use the same method as Tim Bayly does in the post that my husband referenced. He uses bracketed text to note where he has edited a comment, and does so for the purpose of censoring (i.e. removing text) rather than editing (changing) what the author said.
    To make it look like the author said something else would be dishonest and therefore dishonoring to God.

  7. Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years says:

    Appreciate all you’ve said here, though the WordPress ability to change a comment concerns me. Will it be clear that you have removed some wording, or will it just look like the author said something else *entirely*–something more reasonable?

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