Update: The article’s author has responded in the comments here. We encourage our readers to look over his post and decide for themselves.
Aaron Blumer of Sharper Iron today published a lengthy article asking readers to “walk (or maybe run) away” from reports of scandal within the IFB community. Although Blumer acknowledges that “there’s a time to expose wrong-doing and confront it”, the thrust of the article is a warning to Christians of the spiritual “danger” of learning about, reporting on, or discussing scandal in the church.
“Christians should regard scandal as a kind of femme fatale, as dangerous as it is attractive…We ought to approach every scandal suspiciously, expecting that some kind of trap is hidden there waiting to ensnare us.”
The article comes at an interesting time, as First Baptist of Hammond pastor Jack Schaap yesterday accepted a plea bargain after his arrest on charges of transporting a minor across state lines for sex. Bob Jones III briefly mentioned the Schaap scandal last week. But the last few years have brought a number of similar stories to the national consciousness, whether it’s the now-infamous actions of BJU-endorsed pastor Chuck Phelps or a recent BJU graduate assistant guilty of pedophelia.
“When a ‘somebody has stumbled’ story breaks, a mysterious sense of urgency seems to possess most of those involved in discussing it. Some of us find it extremely puzzling.”
Given that the previous scandals (and many more) were mostly reported and spread on the internet, including at this site, it seems likely that Blumer’s warnings are directed toward the Facebook groups and blogs that did so. What Blumer might be forgetting is that without some of these outlets the criminals in question might never have been caught.