Pulpit & Pen is gaining notoriety in Orthodox circles. The website’s criticism of Hank Hanegraaff – and of Orthodoxy in general – are nothing short of shocking. These mocking attacks on Orthodox Christians are an embarrassment to Protestantism.
The reception of Hank Hanegraaff into the Orthodox Church is cause for celebration. The host of The Bible Answer Man is bringing mainstream attention to Orthodoxy. Hanegraaff’s reception into the Church is among the most publicized since Peter Gillquist led hundreds to the faith in the 1980s.
But with greater attention comes greater scrutiny by critics of Orthodoxy.
Even so, the attack by Pulpit & Pen is beyond the pale. It’s not a gentle correction by fellow Christians. Nor is it a convincing argument for their position. It’s spiteful rhetoric that Christians everywhere should denounce.
I’ve intentionally not linked to their work here, and have avoided commenting on this controversy until now. I believe that ignoring smug, ignorant trolling is the best policy. But the number of Orthodox Christians engaging the Pulpit & Pen writers on social media is alarming. And I think it’s time to say something about it.
Pray for Your Enemies
To my Baptist relatives, and all my Protestant friends; I don’t lump you in with this misguided group. Their vitriol doesn’t reflect on you, at least in my mind.
I ask my Orthodox brethren to pray for the writers of Pulpit & Pen. Pray also for their supporters. But don’t give them pageviews. Don’t link to them on Facebook. Do not engage with them in any way. We are not their audience.
They have made a god of the Bible instead of God Himself. They have set themselves up as the lone judges of “true” Christianity. That is their concern, not ours. The best thing to do with attention-seeking hatred is to ignore it, and pray for God’s mercy.
I’m reminded of the Westboro Baptist Church when I see the writings of this ministry. This is not the apologetic preaching of St. Paul, who reasoned with pagans and Jews alike. Condemning the Orthodox Church with charges of witchcraft and necromancy is not love. It is pride.
Pulpit & Pen reads like a modern-day Jack Chick tract. The writers believe they alone stand as a bulwark against Catholicism, freemasonry, and every other mid-century American boogeyman. There’s not enough time in the day to preach Christ risen, what with all these strawmen they have to knock down.
Pulpit & Pen should repent of their pride and vanity. But they will not, because of the belief that they alone have the truth. It is the kind of gnosticism the Church condemned millennia ago.
Ignore Pulpit & Pen
Orthodox brothers and sisters, I ask that you keep your powder dry. Don’t bother arguing with these people. Don’t comment on their website or Facebook page, or forward their articles to get others to share in your outrage.
Our job is to live our Orthodox faith in a way that will show the love of Christ. The best way for us to take advantage of the attention Orthodoxy is getting is to live it. People will know us by our fruit. They will know Pulpit & Pen by theirs.
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