Patheos – Hosting the Propaganda?Posted: November 2, 2014
Patheos is a website that features a variety of authors who write on religious themes. They market themselves as “Patheos – Hosting the Conversation on Faith”.
However, sometimes it’s a very one-way conversation. A writer might write a post, allow feedback, and then delete the feedback which disagrees with viewpoints that the original writer prefers. That’s not much of a conversation, if you ask me.
Here are examples of this –
On this page, one Susan Cottrell wrote a reasonably lengthy post, which included content such as a quote from someone else about abominations, and then Susan’s thoughts on this, and other content such as –
If you are worried about ‘being party’ to abominations, then let me ask you this: Do you eat any type of pork? Do you eat shellfish? Do you wear any polyblend or other mixed-fabric shirt? All of those are abominations. Do you have any contact with your wife or daughters during or two weeks after their period? That is an abomination. Do you watch football, which is men handling a pigskin, which is an abomination. I could go on.
Objecting to misrepresentation of Scripture and misinterpretation of others, I took advantage of the feedback section to write –
There is so much to talk about on this page. But Ill try to keep this to only a few points.
Firstly, the quote “You Are Endorsing What God Calls an Abomination” sounds like it’s a reference to a behaviour. But Susan, you have responded “What kind of love is it to call a fellow human being, maybe even your own child, an abomination?” That is not reflective of the original statement. The original statement seems to be a reference to a behaviour, but your framing of it makes it a reference to a person themselves.
And you claim that eating pork or shellfish are abominations. These are the sorts of claims that non-Christians make. You dont realise that Jesus said that Christians can eat anything? See Mark 7. The Bible says “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Christians need to know their Bibles.
My feedback went through an approvals process, and eventually displayed on the site. Someone else even replied to what I wrote. But within 24 hours, an administrator had removed my feedback. It no longer displays.
During the same period, I also wrote feedback in regards to a post by Susan about whether Churches should be welcoming to sinners. I wrote –
Yes! The church should absolutely welcome everyone initially. Hospitality and welcome are Christian essentials. And the welcomed people should be discipled and taught Christian ways. However, what if the welcomed party refuses to turn from their sin? And what if there are so many people welcomed in, who refuse to conform to Christian teaching, that they then become the majority of a congregation? By that point the church is no longer a real church. To avoid this, there is a line that must be drawn. IE those who refuse to comply must be separated from the true Christians. 1 Corinthians chapter 5 indicates that sincere Christians should not associate with those who call themselves Christians but who are seriously corrupted by sin, specifically those in sexual sin. Christians are supposed to encourage other Christians to be holy (Gal 6:1-5, James 5:19-20, Titus 1:13) while not judging non-christians though (1 Cor 5:12). I suppose some Christians try to draw the line too early though, before giving others a fair opportunity to learn and repent.
The next day, one of the above one-sided articles was featured on the facebook page of the group Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented. So over 70,000 fans of that group were linked to the biased information, with my feedback missing. And so the misinformation spreads unchecked. That’s not “hosting the conversation…” It’s propaganda. There are some who are not troubled by this though – the following week, she sat (pictured 4th from right) on a panel of advisors at the Reformation Project conference in Washington.