<aside> 🖨️ Click for a printable PDF version.


Some of my ministry work—and only *some—*involves polemics (refuting error). When I engage in polemics, I do my best to imitate how God himself models this for us in his Word:

By our culturally accepted standards of discourse, this is all totally unacceptable. It is "hurtful." It is not "winsome." It raises concerns about "tone." In fact, it is "not Christlike!" Yet these examples model Christian virtue and piety for us. I do not fear losing the approval of man. That my speech is problematic to the latest approved gatekeepers of political correctness is the wisdom of the world. I fear the Lord, and his approval. That is the beginning of true wisdom (Prov. 9:10).

Scripture is our guide. As you examine the examples of so-called slander below, ask yourself: what commandment does this break? There is no Eleventh Commandment, "Thou shalt be nice." The Bible has no such law. Our Reformed forefathers knew of no such law. Such a standard would condemn them, the apostles, the prophets, and Jesus himself. Hurt feelings are not a biblical measurement for testing error. On the contrary, "faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy" (Proverbs 27:6). Do not judge by appearances. Judge with right judgment.

Show me that I have sinned, and I will repent. But to repent of a sin I have not committed would itself be a sin. To apologize in the hope of placating my accuser would be to bear false witness about what I have done.

On this page

1a. Personal website

"Frozen-chosen baptists"

A text without a context is a pretext for a prooftext. Many of the quotes the elders use are "prooftexts" for some wickedness on my part—but if you examine their context, they turn out to show quite the opposite of what they are supposed to.

The "frozen-chosen" quote is from my article, "Why a woman bearing the sword is an abomination to the Lord," linked below, which starts as follows (the quote is bolded):

Being raised on a diet of superheroes, Power Rangers, Starfleet officers and—my shameful confession—Planeteers, this conclusion does not come naturally to me. Thanks to cultural conditioning, drawing on generations of feminism, my intuitions about women’s roles are way off what Scripture and nature say they should be. And because of my affinity with certain geek subcultures, I have strong affective reasons to turn a blind eye on the matter; who wants to be that guy who says Wonder Woman and Buffy and Peggy Carter and Supergirl are detestable to God?

Well, maybe Supergirl.

I like many of these shows and movies and characters, and I don’t want to give them up. And I am not the only one; all the conservative, complementarian Christians I know see nothing wrong with kick-ass, bad-ass, and whatever-other-kinds-of-ass female characters in popular media. When even small-town, frozen-chosen baptists who recently voted against deaconesses think you’re an extreme fundamentalist nutjob when it comes to gender roles…

Nonetheless, an extreme fundamentalist nutjob I appear destined to be, because the evidence of both nature and Scripture looks pretty clear if you care to examine it.

Why a woman bearing the sword is an abomination to the Lord ⋆ Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

This entire introduction is obviously written in a slightly wry and humorous tone—not a sneering and abusive one. I learned the term "frozen chosen" from the Marshalls. They use it as an affectionate, tongue-in-cheek label for Reformed churches like ours, in contrast to the "happy-clappy" worship of more Charismatic churches. That is how I am using it too. There is nothing malicious about it, any more than there is about me referring to myself as an extreme fundamentalist nutjob in the very same sentence. Am I supposed to be slandering myself?

<aside> ⁉️ Did the elders deliberately quote only one sentence to make me look like I was speaking with a sneer, instead of with my tongue in my cheek?


Ryan’s teaching labelled as “dangerous to people’s souls”

The full context of this quote is here: