Sunday, May 06, 2007

An Open Letter to Ken Silva

There is no joy, or at least there shouldn’t be, in correction of another believer and especially a pastor and elder. That Pastor Ken Silva is a pastor and an elder is self evident and he serves the Connecticut River Baptist Church as pastor. Let me also say that he was the person whose writings first illuminated me to the movement known as “emergent” so I am grateful that he was used in my own personal life. I do not know him personally, but I have communicated with him via e-mail a number of times.

I am an ordained Baptist preacher not presently in a paying position who has written a blog now for several years and I generally see the doctrinal and presentation dangers exhibited by the seeker/purpose/emergent movements that are rapidly changing the way the church addresses truth itself. When I began my blog I did not even know what a blog was but was encouraged to adjust my e-mail articles into blog form by a brother in Christ. He paid for the set up himself and I am grateful.

I do not remember how I came across Slice of Laodecia but when I read some of the articles I became aware that there were others who were disenchanted with the direction of much of evangelicalism. I am sure to their present dismay two of my articles were posted on that site. So I began the process of being a “blog watchman” which varies in intensity and tone depending on the person. After a few months I noticed that Ingrid, the former manager of Slice, was posting personal and harsh articles about almost everything and anybody, some with so little to do with the general theme of doctrinal falling away that I made my concerns known to her. I was reproved by Ingrid herself which then led me to re-evaluate a woman’s role as a blog manager that corrects ordained men. I still believe that a Christian woman can teach and post doctrinal issues but not personally attack or correct an ordained elder. That is unbiblical.

Well Slice disappeared and then came CRN. Pastor Ken had been a regular contributor to Slice and he now became the editor of the Christian Research Network blog. When Ken became the main writer the tone and communicative style became even more aggressive and disrespectful and sometimes outright immature. I have seen unbelievable things said in Ken’s posts and comments around the blog nation. I have contacted him several times concerning this issue and he continues to claim that I am obsessed with the issue of humility. He is absolutely right, I am very concerned with all of us remaining expressively humble in the midst of the ongoing battle over Biblical interpretation and authority.

And so after much prayer and concern about how we represent the Lord Jesus even when speaking His truth I am writing this open and public letter.

Ken, you have been given a forum to address issues of great importance to the body of Christ and many people need to hear some of the facts about many of these issues, but you have let yourself and your demeaning and name calling style obscure what you are saying. I have also been guilty of some of that (I.e. Spiritual Pedophiles) but God has shown me that I cannot sacrifice Christlikeness on the altar of doctrinal truth and correction and as a matter of fact Christlikeness is doctrinal truth. You cannot use certain statements and events in the life of Christ to justify your words while you ignore the overwhelming number of verses that call us to be “clothed with humility”.

There must be a balance which is a journey that continues to lead all of us to the very heart of humility, the cross. You did not discover truth yourself, God showed it to you and you cannot creatively wrap that truth in demeaning, condescending, and self promoting words and expect people to listen, especially those who need to hear it. And being an ordained pastor does not give you or anyone else license to ignore common courtesies when expounding doctrinal errors even to the offender himself. There is a dramatic difference in being a voice of strong conviction and a dialogue bully.

You are prolific in your research and writing, but you continue to turn a deaf ear to what those who love you as a brother and even agree with your general direction are attempting to share with you. I ask you not to respond but take these and other words before the Lord and listen to Him. I have no unique access to God’s throne but I know He has brought me down to see that I am nothing while still allowing me the privilege to speak forth the Word of Life even in correction. This Spiritual struggle is no competitive game, the stakes are high and the people on all sides are precious to God even if some have been deceived. In fact, demeaning a deceived person is akin to making fun of a blind person who trips over a rock. Even in rebuke we must remain humble and careful in our words and tone, and we must always have the person‘s interest in heart because that is what glorifies our Lord. Winning an argument and a “come and get me” attitude is all flesh and of no Spiritual use. To see what we truly believe we see and then to speak to it is a gut wrenching experience and should never descend into a flippant “tit for tat” conversation.

Our hearts should be broken not only about the falling away, but our own powerlessness. And if indeed there is no change in your tone and haughty hyperbole I will continue to encourage blogs to remove CRN from their blog links. We serve Christ alone and He must increase and we must decrease.

This post is prayerfully for your good and the glory of God from one who is nothing but on a very slow journey to be like Him.
In Christ,
Rick Frueh


Baptist Girl said...

Mat 11:29 (NRSV) Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
We are presenting Christ in all we say and do.


Anonymous said...

Colossians 3:8-14

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Anonymous said...

This is what comes to mind...

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Cor. 13:1


Anonymous said...

Uh, Henry, er, Rick....Baptist girl shouldn't be rebuking an ordained pastor like Ken Silva...and she's doing it on her site. Further she shouldn't be commenting on doctrinal issues.....You're about to get exposed for your silliness, just a head's up....

Rick Frueh said...

For the record I have openly expressed my views on women's roles in the church. This post has nothing to do with that issue and to give me a heads up for my silliness is...well...silly. And I suspect that the expose will have the same tone that I was attempting to address in this post.

By the way, is "val" Ingrid in disguise? I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

I don't read CRN and hadn't on a regualr basis really for some time before it became CRN because of my own increased time at that place which was taking away my time with the Lord (my own problem). I know that I myself would get mouthy and haughty which is easy to do being human. Pride is a root sin that is in all of us and it does take God to give us the balance of correcting others in a humble way knowing that the knowledge we have is God's and not our own. We should all pray for each other as Satan would like to use everything and anything to divide us. We must all be on God's side, standing in truth, and in humility.

Anonymous said...

You’ve been tagged by me because I have very few blogs that I read and you’re one of them…sorry!…it’s a girl thing but I don’t have very many girlfriends! :o(

Baptist Girl said...

For the record I was not rebuking Ken Silva when I posted here, I was commenting on humility. As for my site, I am sharing my thoughts and I have never said anything about Ken on my site??

And a woman can talk about the the word of God and that is all I am doing on my site. I am sorry you see it differently.


Anonymous said...

Or how about this--you can have your blog and he can have his. You can even name your church "the can't we all just get along church." No, we can't all just get along. Do we still live on planet earth? Get real. Jesus Christ will present unto Himself a church without spot or wrinkle. You will have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Why don't you post what you want and let Silva post what he wants? Let people decide for themselves what they want to read. This nonsense that you are more Christlike is absurd. If I were blogging, I'd call Warren, Hybels and the emergent clowns apostates! Paul called them out by name. But he was mean! Didn't eat his own cooking now did he? What a conundrum! Not only was Paul un-Christlike according to your standards and mommy's standards, so were all the prophets.

Two words--get real. And by the way, you are ordained? I'm not. I'm just a priest in a Kingdom. So is Ingrid. Save your high horse for your own flock.


Get Real, okay?

Anonymous said...

I was reproved by Ingrid herself which then led me to re-evaluate a woman’s role as a blog manager that corrects ordained men. I still believe that a Christian woman can teach and post doctrinal issues but not personally attack or correct an ordained elder. That is unbiblical.
You are kidding, right? Please retract this absolute nonsense. Women cannot be blog mangers? Are you Amish? An Islamofacist? Your ego is way, way, way out of control. Would you have preferred if her husband had rebuked you? Frankly, I'm surprised that her husband hasn't had a heart to heart with you by now. This is complete and utter nonsense. Please tell the world that you have never read a Bible and that no Baptist Church would ever take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Henry.

I am merely making a statement here, in no way am I standing up and "correcting" Pastor Ken, for I have absolutely no authority to
do such.

I am a regular reader of CRN, however, have become very selective in my
choice of reading. I am grateful for Apprising Ministries and CRN, for these sites have caused a light bulb to come on,
however, another light bulb is coming on....where is the humility? I think at times we become so obsessed with a "cause" that we become the problem. I agree with Ken on the issues of the church, but to trade one sin for another is no cure. We can firmly not agree with the Emergent, Seeker-Sensitive movement, and many other issues that are among us without watering down God's truth of humility... and I am not promoting passivity, I am merely speaking on behalf of humility. I firmly believe in standing up for Christ, however, not at the expense of Christ! If we lose Christ, though we are saying it is for really is just the flesh in disguise...
and like the Warren's, Osteen's, and Jake's, we become blind to ourselves...and like them, justify our sin. We become what we are against.
I feel we are all guilty of such. This flesh of ours seeks it. We need to ask Christ daily to keep us humble! For when it comes down to it...we are all nothing without Christ!

In Christ,

Alex S. Leung said...

I am reminded of the "humble orthodoxy" talk by Joshua Harris at the last New Attitude & Resurgence conferences on the following passage.

A Worker Approved by God

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

2 Timothy 2:14-19, ESV

"Humble orthodoxy is a commitment to believing, living, and representing the truth with humility. We believe that God's truth in Scripture should not be redefined or reinvented to suit our own preferences or culture. Our role is not to change truth but to let truth change us."

Rick Frueh said...

Again I reiterate, this post is about "seasoned with grace" communication and pride, not women's roles.

Anonymous said...

Take a close look at Paul's letter to the Galatians, ch. 5:11,12.

Ken Silva sometimes like that rascal, Paul of Tarsus.. "Let them cut themselves off..." He's telling them to castrate themselves!

Ken sometimes is a bit direct, but, hey, cut him some slack. Why should those who discern the "emerging" error start to turn on each other?

Semper fi,

Jim Christian

Anonymous said...

Well said Jim. Your threat to the enemy increases as you advance on the his territory. An army divided is an army easily conquered. Fire is a good indication you are where the devil doesn't want you and if you're not under fire, maybe you're of no threat to the enemy? But then if you're no threat to plans of the Devil, what good are you to the plans of God?

But it is always good to examine our own motives!

Ben Davis

Rick Frueh said...

Jim and Ben, your comments were legitimate. But let us never forget that our journey is not just about battling false doctrine, the New Testament is replete with admonitions to each believer in his own personal walk. God is no respecter of persons, and if we allow each other unchristian behavior because we agree doctrinally, then Jesus said are we not just like the publicans?

Where is the iron that sharpensd iron if we do not have enough love for each other to perhaps speak to things that we sometimes forget? We all have blind spots that should be ministered to by the faithful wounds of a friend.

Could there not have been a "maybe some things you observe are correct, I will seek the Lord because I am sometimes given to over zealousness in the battle. I know you mean it for my good, thank you". Do we always have to secure the fort when even our friends try and correct in the Spirit of Christ?

I guess not.

PRCalDude said...


Thank you for this letter. I noticed his shrillness increasing quite a bit as well, especially with the tone he took towards Al Mohler and other orthodox men who didn't respond to his various letters. This is the reason I hardly ever visit CRN. I definitely think you did the right thing here. Ken should see if he needs to recover his first love.

Phil Perkins said...

To Baptist Girl and Val,
It is the job of the ordinary folks in the pew to hold preachers accountable. Read Deut 18:18 ff, Deut. 12 and 13, and remember that the apostle of love wrote in his first epistle to test the spirits.

So, Val, if you find doctrinal problems or bad behavior in anyone, ordained or not, it is your duty to do as you have done and call them to account. Don't be intimidated.

In Christ,
Phil Perkins.

Rick Frueh said...

Phil, so the congregation overrides the elders. That is American democracy. The reason people feel that way is as Jules has shared, the church is so one man totalitarian these days that we have lost the true function of the elder body which "has the rule" (Hebrews) over the sheep.

If there is a problem, anyone can go to the elder body and address it. But this post was about how we speak to each other, not the role of women in the church. Do you support women elders? If not, how can they "hold the elders accountable"? That would make the ordinary folk, as you put it, the ultimate leaders and overseers in the local body.

The straw man in this whole discussion is that following God's Word for church leadership demeans women. And it is sometimes amazing that some who qoute Calvin, Luther, Tozer, and others are in stark disagreement with their views on church leadership. What changed, the culture of the Word?

And if you suggest that men have fallen short, oh my, you could write volumes on us. That doesn't change the Word. And Deuteronomy is irrelevant in the structure of the New Testament church.

I appreciate your input, difficult issues can be discussed and flushed out without rancor.

Phil Perkins said...

Pastor Frueh,
No, I don't mean that the laiety overrides the leadership. A good case in point is the Deut. 18 passage. The congregation is to thoroughly test the prophet, killing him if he is a liar. BUT they are also to obey every word of the prophet if he proves to be a true prophet of the Only God. Obedience without exception--to every word.

Yes, that puts us on a weird kind of knife's edge, but there it is. In other passages, as well, we are told to respect the leadership and submit, yet we are also told to hold them to account if they are unbiblical.

These two ideas are not exclusive. Think about it. When was the last time your church did a pastoral search? The congregation had to find and examine candidates. Then it had to submit to authority. Both roles are commanded explicitly in Scripture. No one is above accountability. And all are expected to submit. If my pastor is godly and faithful a measure of my love for God is my cooperation with him. But if he is unfaithful and will not repent, it is my duty to expose him and see him removed. And that is a test of my loyalty to God, according to Deut. 13 and Judges 2.

I see your comment on Biblicity. Thanks for the compliment. I just read Barbarian through once and then started over from the beginning writing the article. It only took the first 30 or so pages to get enough for a short article full of heresy and foolishness.

Thanks, too, for the invite. I, too, believe Scripture is clear from Genesis through Paul in saying women are under the authority of men in the home and in the assembly. So I'm not a fellow you're likely to lock horns with on that issue. So, no. I don't believe in female eldership.

I recently finished Judges again. Reading the account of Deborah is an interesting study on wicked men being punished by Yahweh putting women over them. In fact, one of the judgments God promises to His people if they are wicked is to have young folks and women leading them. Female leadership is always a compromise, and at times a punishment on wayward men. I sometimes wonder if this country and the American church is not currently experiencing this sort of judgment--but that's speculation.

Interesting, too, is Hosea. In it God tells the folks that the women were acting wickedly and whoring sexually. However, they would not be punished because the men whored spiritually and sexually, leading the women into sin. So the men were going to be held responsible, not the women. The responsibility of men for the spiritual affairs of their families, religious communities, and nations is a theme in Scripture. Isn't it odd that the feminists are upset about missing out on the leadership roles? Yet never once have I heard of a feminist complaining that only the men are punished at times and at other times they are punished more severely than the women and children. Hummm...

The responsibility of men to obey God and lead others in the same path is, I believe, the reason for much of the masculine language in Scripture. Paul often began a serious discussion by addressing the "brethren." I don't think that was a cultural accident. While the discussion was binding on all the assembly, he was making sure the men (especially those in leadership) knew they needed to listen up. Hence, I unwaveringly despise gender-altered Bible versions. (I notice Baptist Girl is using one, but it may be an oversight, so I will not address that at this point.)

Anyway, good to speak with you. You seem a sincere Christian.

In Christ,
Phil Perkins. PS--Hope to speak again soon, but I am under a HEAVY schedule. In fact, you might pray for me in that regard as I want desperately to move on to a more active ministry life and that can only happen after I wind down my business.

Rick Frueh said...

Brother Phil, we will talk again. You are very scholarly and Berean-like. I sens your spirit and would like to communicate further at your convenience.

Thank you for stopping by, may Jesus be praised!

terriergal said...

2 Cor 7:8Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

The joy in serving the Lord by fending off wolves and protecting his flock does sometimes supercede the pain of having to correct brethren or the pain of having to deal with the wolves in the sheepfold. But often it does not. It is thankless and only attracts arrows from the enemy and abuse from those who would rather slumber, as we read here in this open letter.

Also, wondering why you assume Ken Silva is enjoying having to do this kind of thing? THose of us who see what is going on really honestly wish there was no cause to do what Ken is doing. But thank the Lord he is willing to defend the sheep and offer cool drinks of water to these little ones who have been so long oppressed by false teaching.

Anonymous said...


I am regular visitor of this website[url=].[/url]Plenty of useful information on Frankly speaking we really do not pay attention towards our health. Let me present you with one fact here. Recent Scientific Research indicates that about 90% of all U.S. grownups are either chubby or overweight[url=].[/url] Therefore if you're one of these citizens, you're not alone. Infact many among us need to lose 10 to 20 lbs once in a while to get sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now the question is how you are planning to have quick weight loss? Quick weight loss can be achived with little effort. Some improvement in of daily activity can help us in losing weight quickly.

About me: I am blogger of [url=]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also mentor who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under hard training program than you may also try [url=]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=]Colon Cleansing[/url] for effortless weight loss.

John said...

The Holy Spirit cautioned me sometime ago about CRN and Apprising. These websites are not a good source to get information. I have problems with the majority of comments Ken Silva makes. Gossip and slander of other Christians is not from the Holy Spirit. Christians who read and believe the stuff this man post on his website have absolutely NO discernment from the Holy Spirit. Those who are truly born again and have the Holy Spirit Baptism will know the ones who speak the Truth. I suggest to all Christians who are serious about their relationship with the Lord to start reading their BIBLES and let the Holy Spirit guide them into all truth. I would caution you to not beleive anything you read on CRN or Apprising.