A Tighter Review of Comments, by Pr. Rossow & Pr. Scheer

We are proud of our liberal comments policy here at BJS. We like to say “It’s the only liberal thing about us.” We do not censor people who disagree with our editorial views or even those who post foolish comments. We do censor inappropriate foul language and incessant personal attacks but for the most part we have allowed comments to stand.

We are now going to exercise more control on our comments. The thing we are really going to be looking for is the assigning of motivation to other commenters or to our writers. Unless a commenter has empirical proof of someone else’s motivation we simply will not allow the assigning of motive. There are acceptable ways to ask questions about motivation but to outright assert that someone said or did something for a particular motive will not be allowed.

We ask all our readers to help us police this matter.

It has never been a total free for all here at BJS. We have censored several comments and commenters through the years. We even have commenters who are banned because they could not moderate their personal attacks. We have erred on the side of generosity, typically giving them two to three probation periods. In some case the warnings have worked to change behavior but in other cases it has not and so we have banned certain commenters.

Do not misunderstand this move. We are not banning hard or negative talk in some sort of politically correct manner. We are passionate about the truth of the Gospel. There is a time and a place for righteous anger. Jesus himself and the other authors of Scripture do not hesitate to use harsh and strong language. Likewise Martin Luther was known for fierce attacks on those who twisted and distorted the Gospel. We will be keeping a tighter control on comments but we shall also not hesitate to continue in the spirit of Scripture and Luther.

Tim Rossow, Editor

Joshua Scheer, Associate Editor

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

A Tighter Review of Comments, by Pr. Rossow & Pr. Scheer — 115 Comments

  1. @Rev. McCall #50
    I, of course, recognize that false teaching can kill the soul. But his statement and the statement he agreed to were meant to cause pain. Their harmful nature coupled with the fact that they were commenting on things they did not fully understand make these comments unacceptable.

  2. I submit to you that if Rossow’s words are so true and correct maybe he should repost them. Why did he take them down in the first place if they were so correct and scriptural? Was he ashamed of his sinful post or ashamed of the truth? If the other Brothers of John the Steadfast are so confident in the words of their leader why don’t they share them? Share them with your congregation, on your facebook wall, with your circuit, with your district president. I think all of you can agree that these words are shameful and if you weren’t able to hide behind a computer, you would never say them or defend them.

  3. Reaper :
    …and if you weren’t able to hide behind a computer, you would never say them or defend them.

    That from someone hiding behind a pseudonym (and “Reaper” to boot!). Oh, the irony!

  4. You’re right. I feel the need hide behind a pseudonym; but not because I am ashamed of what I say. I do so because this band of brothers has proven themselves abusive and hurtful. There is nothing I have said here that I would not/have not shared with others face to face (including my district president). Call me a coward if you will but I will not present aggressive people with a target and I will not allow you all to add me to your list of pastors who should be belittled for their views. But if you are so keen on everything being out in the open I encourage you to lead on. Do as I suggested in my previous post and I will follow. I need no oath; my yes is yes and my no is no.

  5. @Reaper #4

    I encourage you to email or call Pr. Rossow and discuss this with him using your actual name. As far as “if you are so keen on everything being out in the open I encourage you to lead on” I suppose I already have “lead on.” My name really is Jim Pierce. 🙂

  6. Rev. McCall :@Reaper #49 I’m interested to hear your reply to Pastor Crandall. Which part of the statement was false? It may indeed be hurtful, but if it is the truth should we then compromise the truth for the sake of someones feelings? (Unless it is your wife asking you how she looks in a particular outfit. That is the only acceptable instance to sacrifice the truth for the sake of someones feelings. )

    🙂

  7. Reaper :
    But his statement and the statement he agreed to were meant to cause pain.

    Reaper :
    I think all of you can agree that these words are shameful and if you weren’t able to hide behind a computer, you would never say them or defend them.

    Reaper :
    Call me a coward if you will but I will not present aggressive people with a target and I will not allow you all to add me to your list of pastors who should be belittled for their views.

    How dare you pretend to know the heart of Pastor Rossow and your other brothers and sisters for whom Christ died! One thing you won’t find on this site is any claim that we know why Pastor Morris chose to join with false teachers who presented the hurting people with cruel, false hope in gods who cannot save them or anyone else. It was presumed that he was motivated by love, misguided as he may have been. I plead with you to explain the words of others in the kindest way, to put the best construction on everything.

    Jesus is not just another selection at the spiritual smorgasbord, but the only hope anyone has. Eternal souls are in jeopardy when we present them with an assortment of gods in which to hope, especially when one of the presenters is a reputable, kind, and loving Lutheran pastor.

  8. Reaper – and all, yes, a call directly to Pastor Rossow is good advice, of course, you may not get the answer you want or desire.

    In a blog, there is tons of underlying motivation and pent up feelings (just check out the CRM thread). I myself made a few calls, that is why I fall silent on CRM now, even thought I still have strong feelings, the discussion became a thread about many other things.

    As for Pastor Morris, sorry Pastor Crandall, in Steadfast, they were some that did join with him in defense of his actions, and we still call ourselves confessional.

  9. @ Pastor Crandall
    You’re missing the point. If the situation were reversed and one of you refused to participate in such a service and someone said that you were “worse than the shooter,” an evil, murderous shooter who took the lives of children, because you refused to share Christ with people who were hurting I would never let that remark stand and would absolutely never defend it. Differences in opinion and/or theological differences should not be met with harmful words directed at individuals. Rossow knew this and took his comments down (though he did not apologize for them) and some of you brothers still defend comments that should never have been said. Why? Because you agree? Because you would say them yourself? Or is it because of who said them? You know these comments are wrong and seek to tear down rather than build up and that is why you have not chosen to say them (though some of you defend them).

  10. @Reaper #9

    “Reaper” you post under a pseudonym, rebuking your brothers with law, but where is the gospel and how would your brothers contact you if they desired reconciliation?

    Please consider that how you are posting not only does look cowardly, but also looks like you are trolling for responses (both of which you may say is not true, but it is how it looks).

    Since you are seeking a resolution to a problem you have primarily with Pr. Rossow, then you should contact him and deliver your fraternal admonition as his brother in Christ and not as “Reaper” throwing a public tantrum on his blog.

    FWIW.

  11. Grim Reaper,

    You are the one missing the point.

    If the situation were reversed I would have no problem with you accusing me of actions worse than killing little children.

    If you truly beleive that syncretistic and unoionistic worship is delivering the Gospel in a Godly manner then you have every right to have the righteous anger of the prophets, St. Paul and even Jesus and say that I am treating those children worse than the gunman because if you are right, then it is a fitting accusation. I would be witholding the Gospel from people to their eternal damnation, a fate worse than temporal death.

    If you want to ban righteous anger then you have banned the words of the prophets, Paul and Jesus. Have at it.

    What we disagree on is unionism and syncretism. You apparently think that it is OK to muddle up the Gospel with false teachers and pagans. I, Jesus. Paul, and the prophets do not. Anyone who muddles up the Gospel, in this case in unionism and syncretism, deserves to be called a “white-washed tomb,” “foolish,” and a spiritual “prostitute.”

  12. @Reaper #9: “If the situation were reversed and one of you refused to participate in such a service and someone said that you were ‘worse than the shooter,’ an evil, murderous shooter who took the lives of children, because you refused to share Christ with people who were hurting…”

    Your premise is false for several reasons. First, your claim, “someone said that you were ‘worse than the shooter.’..,” does not correspond to what Rev. Rossow or anyone else said in Townsend’s article regarding the syncretic action of Rev. Morris. Your premise attempts (again) to imply accusations people did not make.

    Second, your premise falsely (and slanderously) implies that a Lutheran pastor on BJS would refuse to share Christ with people who are hurting.

    Third, your premise falsely (and blasphemously) equates “sharing Christ with people who were hurting” as equivalent to co-officiating in a syncretic worship service with heathen clerics. The former is Christ’s Great Commission; the latter is spiritual adultery.

    “Differences in opinion and/or theological differences should not be met with harmful words directed at individuals. Rossow knew this and took his comments down (though he did not apologize for them)”

    In the article’s quotes, Rev. Rossow did not direct harmful words at an individual. He directed his words at sinful actions, false teaching and practice (syncretism). Second, you make an unsubstantiated accusation about Rev. Rossow’s motive when you state “Rossow knew this [“Differences in opinion and/or theological differences should not be met with harmful words directed at individuals”] and took his comments down.”

    #1, p. 2: But his statement and the statement he agreed to were meant to cause pain.”

    Along with your other unsubstantiated accusation, this earlier unsubstantiated accusation about Rev. Rossow’s motive is also a violation of the BJS rule, “Unless a commenter has empirical proof of someone else’s motivation we simply will not allow the assigning of motive.”

    Reaper, your posts on this thread have taken quotes out of context, attempted to put words in a person’s mouth, used a deceptive premise, made false and slanderous statements, and hurled unsubstantiated accusations about a person’s motive, contrary to a BJS rule.

    Your posts, Reaper, no longer have any credibility and serve only as a demonstration of Proverbs 26:11.

  13. You have misread. I gave a hypothetical that was an attempted reverse of actual events. I did not say that I agreed with Morris’ position. This is something you have thrust upon me. I invite you to re-read. I agree that unionism and syncretism are anathema. I did say that Rossow’s comments were sinful because they harmed his neighbor. Carl, Pastor Rossow agreed with the statement made by the commenter in doing so he made the comment his own. You can try to hold me to the letter of what was said but anyone can read the spirit of what was said. Could you possibly imagine the harm caused if you were mourning the tragic loss of children, maybe made a mistake in your horrified sadness, and had someone say to you; “Hey that mistake you made…what you did was worse than what the killer did.” Feel free to defend that statement before our Creator. My conscience is clear as I call Rossow to repentance for what he said. I will say no more. I have no need to defend my position but I can see that it takes many of you to defend yours.
    Rossow, on the basis of Romans 13:8-10 I ask that you recant those words spoken about your brother because they were harmful.

  14. Grim Reaper,

    I am glad to see that you agree that what Pr. Morris did was anathama. I am glad that you have joined me in publicly calling out his behavior as anathama.

    I just wish I could get you to agree that unionism and syncretism harm the soul eternally.

  15. “You can try to hold me to the letter of what was said but anyone can read the spirit of what was said.”

    IOW, “fake but accurate.”

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