Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thin Skin

One of the blogs I frequent created some satirical posters a while back, pointed specifically at the "emerging church" movement. I thought they were funny, clever, and showed a lot of creativity. At the same time, the posters pointed out some of the silly arguments and activities of a group that believes THEY have "discovered" how church is to be done. I can only assume that many of them have not heard of the Regulative Principle nor taken the time to read and understand the Scriptures from which the Principle is derived. Our pastor is currently taking us through a study on this very topic. Very interesting and informative.

A commentor on another blog (just to be fair, here's the blog link) had this to say about the posters:

I think the photos chosen are telling. First, there is a strong prevalence of dreadlocks in the photos. While the individuals sporting them are white, the implication is clear: dreadlocks are “weird” and definitely not normative. (I think of the justification for mocking “weird” people: we aren’t to give an appearance of evil. So maybe dreadlocks are evil.) Unfortunately, dreadlocks are a big part of the black culture in this country. It’s in poor taste to mock a style of hair that is so closely linked to the black community.

Second, the posters, ironically perhaps, are more diverse, presumably, than the churches these men attend. There is at least one man of Asian descent and several that appear to be Latino.

Tackling the simpler--and maybe sillier comment re: the "diversity" of the posters: I have personally attended the church where Phil Johnson ministers and actually **gasp** sat by person "of Asian decent." I also not only SAW several Latinos in the congregation, the gentleman sitting on my other side was Latino! We had ourselves an ETHNIC people sandwich going on there!

As far as the "dreadlocks" comments, below are three posters (out of my count of 54) that feature individuals sporting dreadlocks.

First of all, 3 out of 54 doesn't add up to a "strong prevalence" (5 percent of the total ain't gonna win an election, fella!).

Second, the charge of "racism" isn't going to fly either. I don't think the point of the posters is dreadlocks are “weird” and definitely not normative. (I think of the justification for mocking “weird” people. I don't believe the creators of the posters were making any statement about any particular race of people...other than WHITE people that THINK they look good in dreadlocks! I made the following comments to the blog re: this bogus accusation:

...it’s not the dreadlocks that look/are weird–it’s the WHITE folks sporting them, trying to look like something/someone they are not that looks weird! It’s almost as painful as listening to an all-white choir trying to sing backup for Larnelle Harris (showing my age) or Kirk Franklin!

My sister-in-law is a “person of color;” My wife and I are not. My sister-in-law can and does wear clothes/hair styles that look great on her, that would never work for my wife (or me). Her skin color and features are such that she can wear those things and bring a beauty to them that whites/caucasians cannot.

We can’t jump and we shouldn’t wear dreadlocks!

Some people just look for something to complain about. And when they can't find it--they make it up. Grow some thicker skin, people!

I noticed there there are SIX posters featuring bald people. Maybe we should get our BVD's in a wad over that! Bald people of the world UNITE! Maybe they are saying bald people are weird and evil! I say: BUFFALO BAGELS!!! (aka bovine excrement).

See all of the emergent posters here.


Rick Beckman said...

And just look at all those people wearing clothes in those posters! How dare they demonize clothing like that!!!


Rick Frueh said...

It isn't racism or even cultural issues that make the posters offensive, it is that they use "civilians" to make theological points in an obvious humorous mocking. If it is Kimball and his teaching you wish to expose and even mock, put up a picture of him with the wording that illuminates your objection.

Some of the people he pictures strips them of the compassion we should have and makes them objects of derision not prayer. And Christians roll their eyes in malls when they see these kind of people who are in desperated need of Christ. Some of those girls have been abused and the same with some boys that look like that, I have not found where Jesus ever mocked a sinner, which these posters either inadvertantly or volitionally do.

People want to mock, so be it, but leave sinners out of it. They need prayer not used as posters.

Keith said...

How do you know so much about the people in the posters? How do you know whether they are saved or not? I didn't notice any of them with the letter "S" stamped on their foreheads.

Rick Frueh said...

Come on, Keith, no one knows about anyone. The inference was obvious. And even if assuming they were baby Christians, the same principle applies. Show the emergent leaders, not regular people, unless your mocking is more important.

That is my point about the posters here.

Keith said...

Oh my gosh! Go back and read the post. My "mocking" as you refer to it, was directed at the commenter that was all bent out of shape about people wearing dreadlocks (in the posters) and how that--according to him--is mocking black people. Give me a break.

He also tried to imply that Phil Johnson was ridiculing people of other ethnic backgrounds of whom he has no association. The commenter had probably never been to Grace Community Church to even have a clue as to its ethnic makeup.

My point STILL IS, some people just look for something to gripe about. They guy also needs to take a statistics class. Three out of 54 is NOT a "prevelant" number.

I believe I read the photos for the Pyro posters were stock photos from a website that specializes in that sort of thing. The same photos could be used to sell hair gel (for Dan Kimball, maybe), perfume, etc. or to illustrate deviant behavior, or whatever. The people in the posters are professional models that were more than likely compensated for their one-hour photo shoot; they probably don't have a clue as to where or how many different places their image has been used. And they probably don't care.

You stated: "If it is Kimball and his teaching you wish to expose and even mock, put up a picture of him with the wording that illuminates your objection...Show the emergent leaders, not regular people," Yeah, right! I tried that here, and they (the CRN.Info boys) jumped all over that too. I know you comment on CRN.Info, but I am a firm believer that those guys will not be happy or rest until they have shouted down any and everybody they disagree with.

I'm going to go out on a limb here (it is my blog) but I think CRN.Info commenters (present company excepted) are arrogant, rude and quite pompus at times. Granted, "my side" (people who think like myself) can be just as guilty, but don't kid yourself: ain't nobody I've seen lately got a monopoly on "nice."

Rick Frueh said...

"It isn't racism or even cultural issues that make the posters offensive,"

Keith, that was my first sentence. My issue is with the posters not you.I think using photgraphs of people as objects of scorn about other men's teachings is insensitive and teaches the sheep a carnal thought process. We car little enough about the lost without subconsciouly attaching them to the emergent church.

Those people should be attached by us to the cross, not some false dovtrine. I did not have an issue with you and I listened to that opera guy, wow!

Keith said...

No problem, Rick. We just happen to see this one differently. I promise not to close comments, though. 8^)>

I did notice that Gary Lamb has no problem closing comments. I think his comment: "We’ll laugh about it in Heaven" is pretty arrogant. Reading through Isaiah 6, I see a much more reverant posture in God's prescence than laughing at a biting response to a few bloggers.

Rick Frueh said...

Yea, I don't even know who that is. I'm pretty new at the emergent menu, not a bad thing sometimes. I consider you very balanced and enjoy your input. May God use you on the Lord's day!

Unknown said...


It is not that my skin is thin, it is that these poster are the equivalent to the old racist cartoons depicting all blacks with big lips and saying things like "mammy. how I love you" or Japanese as all wearing glasses and having big buck teeth...

Worse it is like saying all Arabs are terrorists and all Jews are Jesus haters... or that all bald people are skin heads... and so on.

Then lets get into the part where they misrepresent what we do believe and show the ignorance in THAT department! LOL!

All I see is a sick form of elitism and a new form of hate speak..

Sorry but I AM on the receiving end and that is how they come across to us.

I would recommend emerging graces posters to your readers to get a better understanding what we to teach and how we do think.

Be Blessed,
iggy (Your apostate friend!)

Rick Frueh said...

"iggy (Your apostate friend!)"

No, Iggy, I'm not your friend.



Keith said...

I looked at the "emerging grace posters"...**gasp!** that one girl is wearing...DREADLOCKS and SHE'S WHITE!!!! AND she has piercings in her nose. Those mean emergents are making fun of black people by implying they have nose piercings!

(I'm working on my emerging logic.)

Rick Frueh said...

Keith, the core difference is that the emerging posters are about the emergent views, the Pyro posters mock emergent views.

Both use people, one to illuminate compassion, the other to elicit mocking.


Keith said...

Actually, Rick, I think the difference is the emergents THINK they have a monopoly on those attributes and that they have figured out how to do something that's been done for centuries. If you have to slap a label on it, I guess the Good Samaritan was the first "emergent." I personally see him as just living out Christ's command to "love his neighbor." Amazingly, he did it without cursing or five-card stud.

Jim W said...

The thing I see with these posters should hit the emergers(ents)between the eyes. The point is, and you should ask yourselves this: why do people see us this way? What is it that we are/n't doing that makes these posters necessary? Why don't the Pyro guys see us the way our posters show us?
I hesitate to address iggy's points here, he'll just start another blog riff on how many ways I hate him, but oh well...
Imagine you're a snake. Snakes are pretty much the most reviled species on earth. Some people may hate spiders more, but you get the idea. Now, here' s this pretty little Coral snake. as snakes go, Corals are quite attractive. there are others that are certainly pretty also, but the Coral is bright and kind of sassy. Poisonous as the day is long, but pretty. Now this little snake has a pretty good opinion of himself. He knows he looks good, he's attractive to the little she-snakes and he even has never bitten anything that he didn't plan to eat. All-in-all, this is a good snake. he can't figure out why humans are always trying to kill him. He's never hurt one, doesn't plan to. Like I say, he's a nice snake, so why all the hatred? Because there is no such thing as a "nice" snake. No such thing as a tame snake. A snake will bite anyone. This is one of the reasons snakes are universally hated.
Do you get it, Henry/Rick and iggy? You see yourselves as nice, harmless people. Wouldn't hurt a fly. You even claim to be Christ-followers. You seem to be trying. The problem is that many see you as the Coral snake. You both have posted cutting, painful, hurtful things about people. Henry/Rick, you have acted as a friend to several, then turned on them and now you are as bad as the emergents you used to rail against. Just like a snake.
iggy, you bite the hand that feeds you, period. You are a spite-filled, word twisting monster. You hide your bile and hate with your "LOL" and your "Blessings, iggy".
Get it?
Keith, if I have stepped over the line on your blog, I apologize and feel free to delete this if I have. This is all I have to say on this.
Henry/Rick, I could probably dialogue with you. I used to respect and agree with you. There is probably still much we could agree on, but I think any chance of fellowship that may have existed is long gone.
iggy, if you want to start a rant on your own blog about those evil "macarthurizers" go right ahead. I have nothing else to say to you.

reasoning said...

regardless of what idiocy you are responding to, keith, you advertise your ignorance on your own culture and your own religion, as well as painfully stereotyping blacks. the fact of the matter is this: IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM ARE DREADLOCKS (strictly) "AFRICAN". if the average christian had the bravery to educate himself enough to actually back up his selling point, you'd know that both samson and john the baptist wore massive locks, as they were nazarines, and they were both hebrew and jewish. the tribes of the british isles wore locks, primarily the northern (gaelic) tribes. even the makers of "braveheart" knew that. what's your excuse? for all intents and purposes, the association of dreadlocks with africans, mainly rastafarians from jamaica, is a completely new phenomenon, and the wearing of locks by jamaicans and africans in response to rastafarian styles is a literal co-opting of the styles of non-african cultures that came before. this is not to say, however, you don't have a point in the absurdity of those posters, kieth. just don't make the exact same mistake dressed up in another fashion, which is exactly what it looks like from where im standing. to an "outsider", this whole debate is fundamentally misinformed, much like most to all debates in christianity, where the members elaborate for years on a point that was never even close to correct to begin with. so: white people wore locks before charlemagne, as did ancient hebrews. whats that got to do with black people? perhaps christianity could become legitimately attractive to intelligent people if it could for one moment acknowledge the obvious and relevant truths surrounding it, rather than clearly and obviously distorting everything it can at every turn, to fit some preconceived collective preference. that doesn't look like "discovering the truth" to anyone but the most stupid. it looks, in fact, like superstition.

Keith said...

reasoning: I must not have explained myself well or you failed to catch the point of the post. I agree with you.

Dreadlocks are [not] (strictly) "AFRICAN".

The "African" statement was made by the ORIGINAL commentor on the blog I referred to. HE took offense at the dreadlocks, implying they were making fun of black people. HIS exact statement was: "It’s in poor taste to mock a style of hair that is so closely linked to the black community." He said that; not me.

My post was more about the "Emergent" posters and how silly it was to get all up in arms about the hairstyles, clothes, etc. of the people portrayed in them.

Are you aware of the "Emerging Church" movement? If not, that may have helped you understand the post.

I still say that dreadlocks look better (sometimes worse) on some people. Just my opinion--not based on any ethnicity.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jah's Children said...

all you guys are ignorant dreadlocks are not worn by a certain race thats what it shows but back in history we all had dreadlocks even priests of your church it states in your bible in numbers 6 chapter 6 verse 5 " All the days of the vow of his seperation there shall no rasor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he seperateth himself unto the lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow."

Keith said...

Jah's Children stated: "...dreadlocks are not worn by a certain race."

I have pointed this out multiple times. That was the point of the post.

Thanks for stopping by.