I hope you're following the blog, it's meta, and the cross-blogging that has been going on, because I am 100% sure I could not recap the story thus far. I will only recap one statement I made, and the question it has raised.
Here's what I think: we should not allow emotionally unstable people to speak on behalf of Christianity in any respect. The flaw in your argument in favor of treating iMonk like a sick person who wants to get well is that he doesn't want to get well. He wants to be who he says he is right now because it gives him street cred. If iMonk gave up his "I'm a wounded pastor" riff, he'd have no basis for making any of his criticisms.The Greek chorus has responded with the refrain, "Who is 'we'?"
It seems to me that my use of the first-person plural pronoun was obvious. The first part of "we" is "me": I include myself in the "we" who should not allow emotionally unstable people (hereafter EUPs) to speak for Christianity. The next part of "we" is "Jared", who has a somewhat-popular (last I checked, it's top 50 TTLB) group blog. So "we" also means the other Thinklings. I think Jared and the Thinklings should not let EUPs speak for Christianity.
And Jared said himself:
We're all grownups here, right? Can't we be honest with each other without deflecting everything with sarcasm?So Jared seems to think that "we" (he and I) are discussing something here, thus "we" ought to be able to say what "we" ought to do or ought not to do. Jared, the Thinklings and I should not let EUPs speak for Christianity.
I think that's a fair "we" -- a handful of guys who are blogging for the sake of the Gospel. However, let me be clear that I don't just mean a handful guys. When I say "we" here, I mean myself, Jared, and anyone reading who considers himself a blogger for Christ. So when I say "we", I mean, "anyone reading this blog, and anyone who cares about how the Gospel is being communicated to all people, should not let EUPs speak for Christianity."
And it is possible that this is my private opinion, formed in the solipsistic void that has formed between my ears, and if that's the case, we shouldn't let EUPs like me speak for Christianity. But it turns out that I know another guy who said something like this once:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.Do we have to ask who this fellow is refering to when he says "my brothers"? The admonition here is that when we face trials -- and I think it turns out that this fellow here means trials as believers from both inside and outside the church (cf. James 2) -- we should not be claiming "woe is me! Christian service was the worst mistake of my life!", but instead we should count the trials as a joy toward our perfection in Christ.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I wonder why this fellow did not say, "My brothers, and sisters, and those who are church people, and you who are listening from inside the church, including your elders, whenever any of you find yourself in a trial in the Christian life, remember that that I have been persecuted by my own relatives -- those filthy Christ-killing Jews! Whatever you are going through, I have been through worse and I feel your pain. It's a good thing we have each other around to share our war-stories, because I am sure that the 'truly regenerate' over in Ephesus like that jerk Paul and his toady Timothy would never understand what we are going through. I don't blame Demas for getting out of the ministry -- I wish I had that kind of gumption."
For the record, those who didn't understand "we" might not understand that I am not actually "wondering": it's a rhetorical device that underscores irony and/or sarcasm. I don't wonder why James didn't say this, but it might be useful to think about if you have never thought about it yourself.