Friday, September 08, 2006

How to Silence a Barking Dog. Invite him inside? Heaven’s NOT!

This month marks the one year anniversary of this blog, His Barking Dog. During that time I have endeavored to offer informed commentary on issues relating to evangelical practice, particularly in the American Baptist Churches. Definitely an acquired taste, not everyone has been happy with my yipping, yapping, and chasing ecclesiastical automobiles.

In all of my writings, however, I have endeavored to maintain a strict independence from the “establishment” in Covina. It was known to me that Dr. Medley and certain members of the General Executive Council (GEC) of the ABCUSA had blamed Dr. Salico for some of my writings and even accused him from time to time of being my “source” for supposedly insider information. My frequent disclaimers, therefore, were intended to draw a line of separation between my own personal ruminations and the Covina leadership or even my role as president of an ABC affiliated institution. Indeed, during much of this past year I have avoided speaking or writing to Dr. Salico for months at a time in order for him to be believed when he told the truth that he was NOT my source (not even once).

Yesterday I received a congratulatory e-mail from an executive minister from a far away region thanking me for my efforts over the past year with His Barking Dog. It is gratifying to know that some in the ABC, particularly those outside of Transformation Ministries, have appreciated my blog, simple as it has been.

Ironically, on that same day a person relayed to me that some time ago a nearby EM called the offices of Transformation Ministries to complain about me, to express his anger, and to direct the regional staff to inform me that he was upset with me. The staffer informed the EM that the executive was always treated positively in His Barking Dog and spoken well of. Unwilling to be party to such triangulation, the staffer wisely directed the EM to call me himself. The denominational executive refused, admitting that he would not call me and does not even read this blog “on principle.” Nor does he know what it contains except what he hears from rumors and other people. Since he does not read my stuff, at least he will not be upset to be referenced in this way. Obviously different people have contradictory reactions to my words.

Now my role changes. The nominating committee of Transformational Ministries has put forth my name for the board of directors of the new organization. Becoming effective later this fall, it will necessarily involve me in conversations and deliberations that should be privileged and others where my voice would not be the one authorized to speak for the organization. Will this silence the barking of the dog? Who knows! So far my barking has been safely outside the walls of the relevant structures. It may be a little more difficult to maintain that kind of distance while sitting on the board.

Does this mean that someone has found a way to silence the barking by inviting the dog inside the house? Time will tell.

1 comment:

Italian-Swamp-Yankee said...

You are a dangerous, multitalented guy. The left daily laments you are not a lib; Righties are thankful you are a traditionalist. Though there are a sundry of reasons why you are on that team, I am thankful you are there simply for the historical aspects alone. PSW/TM is a historical movement in the ABCUSA and among modern-day mainline churches. The entire world is watching and you can record for future generations what really went down. I appreciate you’re not afraid to tell the truth even when it hurts evangelicals.

A barking dog in the yard can get noisome. Now Covina has to deal with the noise and take care of your mess. They have a nice newspaper to smack you on the nose when you get too hyper. Good luck w/D TM!!!!
Keep the faith and Keep us informed.