Marla made her blog debut here with this gem:
Humor is always a cover up.Why is this comment so precious? Because it can mean anything! What does she mean by a "cover up"? Who can tell?
It appears, however, that whatever humor is "covering up", Marla thinks iMonk has actually done the right thing and "disrobed":
It takes courage to bare your soul and it grieves me that one believer would mock another believer's contrite spirit...to the point that the post has been removed and is no longer available as a warning/wake-up call for those who might stumble into the same pitfalls.She means the George Clooney joke. See: I think that the only way the joke makes sense is if what George Clooney said in that short report has some obvious relationship to what iMonk has said in the past.
If iMonk were being "confessional" in his posts, then they would have no relationship to what George Clooney said in this article! Now why is that? A "confession" is a statement of guilt paired with a statement of repentence. There's no repentence in what iMonk has written -- because look at how vigorous his defense is for saying those things.
My mom attends a Baptist seminary and daily witnesses young men taking the very same road as Michael--she wanted to pass out his testimony to all of them. What he wrote is not self-loathing but a part of his journey of dying to self and allowing Jesus to transform him, as all of us are called to do. It's not say a magic prayer, read your Bible and then never look another sin in the face for the rest of your life!Now how does anyone expect me to keep the blog clean when such self-refuting nonsense is foisted as justification for saying something like (or words to this effect) "entering the ministry was the worst mistake of my life" in spite of that person's unwillingness to leave the ministry?
Here's what you just said, Marla: iMonk's testimony ought to be an encouragement to young men who are entering the ministry. In what other way are we supposed to see the statement "What he wrote is not self-loathing but a part of his journey of dying to self and allowing Jesus to transform him" but as the basis for saying iMonk is a hero of the faith, and his "confessions" edify rather than excoriate church life and the ministry?
Because he still sticks with it, even after he claims to hate it and to think of his life as, essentially, ruined?
If I wrote tomorrow, "I think starting this blog was the worst mistake of my life: it punished my family, ruined my professional life, exposed me to hypocrites, and has worn me down emotionally and physically," yet I continued blogging, would you see that as an encouragement to blog, or as a warning to others not to blog.
How about if I wrote, "I think taking crystal meth was the worst mistake of my life: it punished my family, ruined my professional life, exposed me to hypocrites, and has worn me down emotionally and physically"? Is that an encouragement, or does it sound like a warning to others?
Sorry to make your acquaintance this way, but I am really distressed about "the jokes" of this past week (not just on this blog). They are definitely in the "coarse" department and go even beyond that to tearing down fellow believers. At least you could remove the words taken out of context and the hurtful generalizations. You don't, after all, even know the man.No way. No way -- not for real money and a new iBook. The accusation that I snatched some words out of context is completely baseless -- given the sheer girth of text I copied from iMonk's blog, and the supplemental post he made linking to his other such "confessions" which I missed.
Over the last two days I have been thinking about this exchange. The first question I asked myself was this: if the tables were turned, and someone was making accusations of me that I thought had no basis, how would I respond? For example, if iMonk set up his own café press shop with a t-shirt that said, "centuri0n is a booger nose -- internetmonk.com", would I break out the violin and start playing "woe is me"?
The answer is "probably no". I'd design some more t-shirts. I'd make some more jokes. And I'd probably make some more posts like this one -- which is almost entirely empty of genuine comedy. Now why is that? Is it because I am "covering up" something? Or is it because the jokes expose more about my point than any humorless "truly reformed" (ugh! I am smote!) monologue on the inadequacies of stereotypes and informal banter ever could? As for not knowing the man, I have read enough to know that I have read enough.
One of my centerpiece posts of the last year was a beaut called "Free Blog Advice". I wrote is almost 2 months before the iMonk controversy broke out, and I think it is completely applicable to this situation.