ERLC's Director of Communications, Joe Carter couldn't leave well enough alone. Rather than move on, one of Southern Baptists' newest employees for an entity supported by the Cooperative Program apparently started a "twitter war" with former journalist and Christian Radio Talk Show host, Janet Mefferd, shortly after Mefferd posted a piece challenging Carter's moral indictment of Christians whom allegedly use inaccurate language to speak about issues in the church.
In addition, Carter also posted several responses on the comment thread to my piece--"Janet Mefferd on Joe Carter's 'stop slandering Christ's bride' corrective--'an unwarranted scolding discouraging Christians from speaking on issues of neglect.' Carter initially responded on the comment thread to my rhetorical remarks by answering some of my questions I asked in the main body of the post. I later offered my response to Carter which, as of the time of this posting, he has not responded. I do hope he does because I happen to think Joe Carter has embarrassed Southern Baptists and one of Southern Baptists' entities supported by the Cooperative Program by morally indicting Janet Mefferd as slandering God's church by allegedly embracing that's it's okay to slander one another if we are doing it under the cover of hyperbole. As I said in my response to Carter:
"What is more to deduce the conclusion that Mefferd’s words necessarily imply “it's okay to slander one another if we are doing it under the cover of hyperbole” is nonsense. I suggest you go back and re-read logic yourself, brother, because you’re making some asinine inferences which the language employed does not seem to require. Why would you think this of her? What evidence can you produce which necessarily implies such a hideous inference?"
Furthermore, I queried Joe Carter concerning his theory that apparently speaking inaccurately and generally about what the church does and does not do reduces to slandering God's church by offering him two public statements by two prominent evangelicals:
"More significantly, tell, me, Joe, do you think the following remarks slander Christ’s Bride?
- “We've lied about the nature of homosexuality” – Al Mohler
- “Most churches in the South aren’t churches, but grocery stores” – Tim Keller
"That’s just two of countless very well-publicized examples I could offer, Joe. Now please tell us: did Al Mohler and Tim Keller slander Christ’s Bride with the unimaginably, unproven assertions they made?"
Joe Carter needs to answer this question forthrightly. Given what he's argued about the impossibility of knowing what every church and every Christian has done or not done, and deducing from this that making general claims implies sinfully, willfully slandering God's church, did Al Mohler and Tim Keller slander Christ's Bride when they made the extremely generalized judgments above, judgments based upon knowledge they could not possibly have known given Carter's own criteria?
Perhaps Joe Carter will come back and answer the question for us. Interestingly, when I asked Al Mohler to clarify his moral indictment of evangelicals generally and Southern Baptists particularly as lying to the American public about an issue they apparently knew was a lie (i.e. "We've lied about the nature of homosexuality"), I was made out to be a buffoon--"Mohlerized"-- on the one hand and crazy cousin on the other. What is more, if I recall correctly, most critics who aimed at me for holding Mohler accountable for hurtfully generalizing evangelicals and Southern Baptists for being liars and deceivers came from Joe Carter's own theological community. Hence, it's very important Carter answer concerning Dr. Mohler's moral indictment about our lying and deceiving the public about the nature of homosexuality.
In addition, Joe Carter claims he himself has not only slandered Christ's Bride in the way he's written, but also has done so on a "regular" basis. Thus, I also think Joe Carter needs to answer these questions for all Southern Baptists since he is an employee of an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. Here's the way I phrased it in my response to one of Southern Baptists' newest employees:
'Next, you suggest you’re talking about yourself in the piece—‘As I wrote, "I confess to having used it myself, and on a regular basis."’ Well, if this is a confessional, Joe, it’s a pretty hollow one. If’ you’ve regularly slandered Christ’s Bride, what in the Sam Hill are you doing working for Southern Baptists? Why is my church helping to pay for your salary at the ERLC? Did Dr. Moore know you regularly slandered God’s church when he hired you? Was your habit of slandering God’s church discussed in meetings with him before he hired you? Did the trustees know you regularly slandered not only our churches but the church at large when they approved you? What particular articles can you point to for us where you slandered God’s church? Have you publicly repented of this literary crime? I’d like to know. And, I’m sure other Southern Baptists would like to know where you’ve slandered the church of Jesus Christ. Please inform.'
Again, if Joe Carter desires to work for Southern Baptists and draw a paycheck funded by the Southern Baptist Convention, then he needs to answer to Southern Baptists precisely how he got his job when, as he claims, he regularly slandered Christ's Bride through his writings. He needs also to point us to where he's publicly repented of this horrifying practice1 and if both Dr Moore and the trustees knew he habitually slandered the body of Christ when he was in the interview stages of being hired for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Aside from the above, please read Janet Mefferd's round two piece entitled "Why speaking the truth in love isn't slandering Christ's Bride (Part 2)."
The fact is, given what I've read on this issue from both persons, once again Janet Mefferd demonstrates why she qualifies more for being a Southern Baptist employee than Joe Carter, especially if the position is director of communications.
1calling others to publicly repent of sin is a well established practise in Carter's theological community