“And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5
How ridiculous would it be if someone wrote to Pizza Hut’s corporate office and accused the company of focusing too much on serving pizza and bread sticks? “I think your pizza is okay,” the complaint might read, “but you should also serve roast beef sandwiches and fried chicken.” An incredulous Pizza Hut marketing department might respond, “Thank you for your interest in Pizza Hut. Whenever you are in the mood for pizza, we invite you to join us for dinner. If you’d prefer roast beef or fried chicken, perhaps you should visit Arby’s or KFC.” I don’t know if Pizza Hut has ever received such a nonsensical complaint…but Pulpit & Pen has. The Pulpit & Pen publishes articles focused on “theology, polemics, and discernment.” By their very nature, its articles are often negative. Yet, invariably people react, not to the merit of the the articles Pulpit & Pen publishes, but to their negative tone. Pulpit & Pen is “too negative”. Pulpit & Pen should be “more devotional”. Pulpit & Pen never publishes anything “positive”.
May I suggest Arby’s?
In the vastness of the internet and the world’s theological libraries, there is no shortage of educational and positive, devotional material. If someone wants to write such material himself, there is nothing stopping him. If someone wants to read such material, it is easy to find. What’s not so easy to find is sound polemical material. The Evangelical Industrial Complex is full of back-slapping evangelical celebrities who fall all over themselves to recommend one another’s books and conferences and make sure that the whole world knows, via Twitter, every time they eat lunch together. It’s not very profitable to be polemical. The Pulpit & Pen contributors know this. They do polemics anyway. Why? Because it is needed and it helps people.
I am the longest tenured contributor at the Pulpit & Pen. I’ve seen other contributors come and go. I’ve kept on contributing. I’ve published much polemical material there. It’s a bit of a specialty for me but it’s not all I read and write. It shouldn’t be all you read and write either. It’s important to be balanced as a consumer of Christian media. However, a Christian media producer doesn’t have to be thus. Like Pizza Hut, Pulpit & Pen is a specialty service provider (by the way, don’t complain, it’s free). Pulpit & Pen is not a church. If all a church did was polemics then I imagine that church would be unhealthy. Pulpit & Pen is a website. It provides a valuable contribution to Christendom as a whole. Other sites provide teaching, apologetics, and devotions. Pulpit & Pen provides polemics.
Some people don’t like polemics material. Fine, don’t read it. (Furthermore, don’t go to the polemics site, read it, and then complain about it being polemical). See how that works out for you and your church when some “leader” walks in with Jesus Calling or the latest Beth Moore book. I invite those of you who don’t like how “negative” Pulpit & Pen is to ask yourself a question.
How much more would you appreciate Pizza Hut if there were no Domino’s, Papa John’s, or Little Caesar’s?
As I said already, there is no shortage of devotional and teaching material. Much of it is bad. Pulpit & Pen finds the bad stuff and warns people about it…and almost nobody else does it as well. Arguably, Pulpit & Pen is less like Pizza Hut and more like the health department. If Arby’s and KFC sell spoiled food then the Health Department warns consumers about it. When the Evangelical Industrial Complex foists false teaching upon Christendom, Pulpit & Pen writes an article about it.
How foolish is that diner who blames the Health Department for shutting down his favorite restaurant when it is selling spoiled food?
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.