My wife and I stopped in Douglasville (about a half-hour west of Atlanta) on our way home from a delightful time at the grandies. We sat down in a fast-food dive at lunch to gulp our sandwich down before trekking on back to Carrollton. As Hun was standing in line to get a refill, I was on my way out the door when a nice young man approached me and said, "Your name is Peter, isn't it?" I responded that it was, and he said he'd like a word with me. So we went out on the sidewalk just outside the door.
When "Josh" began to question me about my alleged hateful tactics on my blog, I thought to myself, "Oh boy. Now how am I going to get away from this nut job?" I queried him, "Have we met before?" As soon as he said, "the plane" I recalled who he was.
Upon leaving the 2011 SBC in Phoenix, "Josh" and his family sat down beside me on the flight back. "Josh" serves a church as pastor about an hour or so from me. As I recall, the first thing "Josh" wanted to do was talk about convention politics, a subject I had no interest in pursuing since I had talked non-stop for three full days about convention politics. And, I knew where he stood since he had been vocal about supporting Al Mohler, etc. Nor did I want to have what could be an expressive exchange with his little kids sitting right there among us. So, I politely dismissed myself from the subject. To my recollect, we only spoke a few words total about other things.
Later, "Josh" came on my site and offered a fairly polite comment up until the last statement, cautioning me about making unfounded accusations against Al Mohler, a comment toward which I also was cordial but had nonetheless expressed strong disagreement with his sympathy toward Al Mohler's position all the while judging my motives to the core. I've not talked to nor seen "Josh" again (that I recall) until today.
While our conversation began both courteous and respectful, it quickly deteriorated into a provocative exchange due primarily, from my vantage point at least, to "Josh's" continued accusations about me being hateful and divisive on my site. I pressed him for specifics. At first, none were offered. Just the standard, generic stuff that reduces to something like "well, you do it all the time." "Josh" also implicated me as being incorrigible and beyond correction to which I replied in the strongest terms possible, that I had no intentions of being held accountable either to him or by him. Jesus made much of the local church of believers being the spiritual accountibility structure for believers (Matt 18) as did Paul, not self-appointed spiritual directors. And I'm certainly not going to be held spiritually accountable by strangers to me (I meant to tell him to stick that in his pipe and smoke it but I forgot).
Well "Josh" finally gave his example of my supposed hatefulness I have on my site---Jason Allen. According to "Josh", I've been hateful and unfair to Jason Allen. Upon his mentioning Jason Allen, I lost it...literally lost it. The truth is, I have been as careful as possible not to make the Allen appointment personal. Allen's family picture reminds me so much of my own daughter's family. My heart hurts for this young man.
Even so, I lost it. And, in losing it, I called "Josh" an ugly, unfitting, unchristian name I admit. He was highly offended and that's when it kinda dawned upon me I'd been had by his possible recording the entire conversation. He made a couple of remarks like, "maybe we need to put this up on the internet" or some such to which I replied something like "I don't care what you do with it. Put it up if you wish" (of course at that time I did not actually know for sure he had recorded it). As "Josh" walked away, I asked something like, "well, did you record our exchange?" He indicated with a smile, "Yes...sure did." 1
So, I've been caught on tape being the mean, nasty, and unfair rabble rouser the entire YRR in the Southern Baptist Convention knows me to be. They now apparently have audio (and perhaps even visual) evidence to go along with their supposed rhetorical evidence they repeatedly bloat about but seem to always be about two quarts low when they attempt to produce it.
Consequently, I'll probably have to shut this blog down when the recording goes viral. It's pretty bad I'm sorry to say, and I owe my loyal readers a genuine apology.
Please forgive me...
I called "Josh"...
a little twit
I'm caught on tape saying it.
1"Josh" repeatedly indicated how he only wanted to have a genuine conversation with me, "one brother to another" to talk things out. All the while he was assuring me of his sincere "brotherly" camaraderie, however, he apparently had the tape rolling. So much for genuine "brother to brother" talk. It was all a planned set up, a devious phishing mission to get something on me he could use against me. Even so, I'm confident his little trick will backfire in a number of ways: a) I will be much more cautious when a YRR says to me, "let's get together and talk some things out "brother to brother"; b) the incident with "Josh" shows some of us have been effective in matching their supposed theo-intellectual movement. If they are reduced to focusing on entrapping someone into saying something harmful rather than showing the inadequacy of their ideas, chances are, we're getting somewhere; c) "Josh" left a couple sitting alone in the restaurant while he played this little game with me. Sitting right beside them in the diner, I overheard much of their conversation (no, I wasn't trying to hear but it was much too close to avoid I assure)--a conversation about the "spiritual atmosphere" and dedication to "Scripture alone" he wanted to promote in his church. From the conversation they sounded like church prospects but I cannot be sure. Anyways, to leave a couple alone while playing private detective with me seems to be an odd way to fulfill one's role as a pastor. It perhaps does reveal the obsessive nature some of these guys have in doing anything--no matter how morally questionable like secretly recording a conversation all the while making it sound like you genuinely want to talk to this person as a "brother"--in order to win their point or position or make another look bad. I'm confident "Josh" did his kind nor cause much good with his little trick with me; d) it really shows just how thinned skinned so many of the YRR are. One would have thought I called him the most vicious, ungodly thing imaginable when I referred to him as one who taunts. Furthermore, if he does play the tape publicly, I'll be interested to know if he plays the entire exchange we had, including the first part where cordial words were exchanged between us, or just the parts that reflect poorly on me after he repeatedly taunted me about the so-called "hate-filled" content my blog...the litte twit