We’ve referred to this before in posts, so it’s a well known fact that the chookwatchers hide behind a cloaked identity.
They maintain that there are at least five people using the chookwatcher pseudonym to mask their lack of moral fortitude.
Being hidden means, of course, that their claims against their target groups are completely without Biblical authority. Nowhere in the Scriptures is there a precedent for a Christian to secretly level accusations against their brothers and sisters, or even against the world, for that matter.
They hide their names, identities and credentials, yet presumptuously assume authority to level mischievous claims against Christians.
And the excuse they give? Well read it for yourself. These are their own words.
“The anonymity of the moderators is essential as some have family members still caught up in these movements. The viciousness of the attacks on those who have left these movements can be breathtaking. Think of it as rather like the Amish who shun those who leave or dissent biblically. And that’s just the tip of the “iceberg” (and just as cold).”
Essential anonymity? Have you ever heard such a thing from a person purporting to be a Bible-believing Christian?
Since when was it essential for a Christian to be anonymous about anything?
What are they afraid of exactly? Persecution? Offence? Have they made their very lives and livelihoods more important than their witness for Christ?
Are they facing lions, beasts, or gladiators in the Forum for their faith like martyrs of the first century? Are they being threatened with imprisonment or loss of all things like Paul and Silas?
Are they fearing man or God? Hiding their light under a bushel? I can find nothing in scripture which advocates ‘essential’ anonymity.
The cat is out of the bag
The first reason given for this ‘essential anonymity’ is that they have family members caught up in these movements. Why is that a problem?
Despite their attempts at being anonymous the chookwatchers are not as unknown as they think they are, so their anonymity is in fact a very thin veil. The cat is out of the bag, as they say. It was out of the bag long ago, and they know it.
But clearly no one is doing anything but according friendship towards their family members, who are considered really great people.
Their family members are, in fact, very happily involved and highly regarded in these movements, so there is absolutely no issue for them whatsoever.
That’s the main problem the chookwatchers have. They can’t stand it that their people are blessed, contented and highly valued in these movements and the chookwatchers are desperate to find ways to drag them out.
Ironically for them, one of the reasons the chookwatchers are not revealed is actually out of high regard for the family members, so it is quite the reverse to the false claims made by the chookwatchers. They are the ones who are the protected species, but not because they are hidden. LOL!
Keep family out of it
But when it comes to blogging and having an opinion about churches or ministries, the discussion should be between the people who are posting or commenting. And they should have the courage to let themselves be known if they want any credibility for their claims, especially when claiming to be authorities on the Word of God.
How would we know if they are not fakes, since they use fake names? Are they really Christians, or just anti-Hillsong/C3? Who would know by their inability to be upfront with their so-called ministry?
But family members should be off limits. They are nothing to do with the discussion.
Question: Do the chookwatchers always keep the family members of the ministries they oppose out of the discussion?
The downside of not exposing them, of course, is that the chookwatcher sites have become increasingly bold in their claims, thinking themselves impregnable because no one seems to be doing anything about their obsessive bad attitude towards their target groups.
They take advantage of the longsuffering and grace afforded them by these movements, who, thus far, have turned the other cheek, again, and again, and again – so often, in fact, that they the must have spun around a few hundred times from cheek to cheek resisting the crass claims anonymously made on chookwatcher sites.
It is very obvious that the chookwatcher sites have taken their antipathy towards their target groups so far that they have lost focus in a neurotic display of contempt coupled with a tragicly self-important posture.
In short, they have manufactured a false paranoia. So much so that they believe their anonymity is ‘essential’.
In reality, the uncredited vagueness of anonymity is a perfect representation of their lack of identity and insignificance.
Next, the nondescript chookwatchers make a dreadfully false claim. They have the front to say, “the viciousness of the attacks on those who have left these movements can be breathtaking”.
What? Breathtakingly vicious? Attacks? Evidence? Of course not. It’s merely discord being sown amongst the brethren.
The word ‘vicious’ means deliberately cruel or violent. Huh? Deliberately cruel and/or violent? Wow! I’ve been around these movements for over 25 years and never seen any of this anywhere.
I see Christians loving and worshiping their God. I see families praising God and growing together. I see children who have grown up in these churches and are now in ministry serving God.
The incidents of disharmony have been very few and far between. They do happen in families, of course, and no one is denying this, but cruel and violent? As a culture? No way. If you are not joking then you need help. Seriously.
This is a terrible thing to say about the people involved with these movements, who are not at all like this.
‘Attacks’ is a strong word. What kind of attacks? I do not see it, and not because I don’t see. I have watched these churches for years. I’ve seen many things in the Body that need to be changed, but is there an ‘attack’ culture in Hillsong or C3? No. Absolutely Not.
As far as the chookwatchers are concerned, for those who even know about them, there is an indifferent acceptance of their negativity and folly, and shaking of the head at their juvenile impertinence, but that is about it.
Ice cold or cool?
And, they claim, just to exaggerate their point, that this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
In other words, it is even worse than being breathtakingly vicious. Can you believe these people? Of course they give not a skerrick of proof of this. That is because there is none.
Anyone can put together a bad report about someone. It’s called pointing the finger in scripture and God hates it. Proverbs 6:13-14 puts it this way: “He winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers. Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord.” Ouch!
In life, and in every situation, there are at least two sides to every claim, but only one is presented on these sites.
With their excuse for ‘essential anonymity’, they have just made an unsubstantiated statement to add to their meme-ology. They are making it up to serve their purpose. Perversity. Discord.
And, apart from all this, and, as a real debunker of their claims, their family members have not left their churches precisely because they are happy there, blessed there, settled and thriving there, so the point is completely mute and incongruous.
Who shuns who?
Even if they can demonstrate that people are apparently shunned when they leave a congregation their claim is nullified by a simple fact disclosed by their own statement.
If a person leaves a congregation they have actually turned their back on the church, anyway.
It is not the church that is shunning the person who leaves, but the person leaving is invariably doing the shunning. Maybe they have a valid reason. Maybe they are just disenchanted with the church, or minister, or congregation. Perhaps the church and ministry don’t fit their expectations. It happens.
Whatever the reason, they have made it clear that they are disassociating with the church. Why, then, is the onus only on the congregation to reconnect with a person who has chosen to disconnect?
The chookwatchers are starting to look disingenuous with this argument.
In my experience, which is not insubstantial, churches, pastors and congregants do all they can to help retrieve a person who stops attending or hanging out with church members. They often go to extraordinary lengths to work with people who are showing signs of disconnecting.
They have programs set up in most of these churches in the movements in question to reach out to those who are absent for any length of time or showing signs of disenchantment.
They very much go after the one lost sheep, leaving the ninety-nine safely in the walled paddock, eating green, verdant grass and drinking still, fresh, pure waters.
Usually, a person has made up their mind to detach from a congregation long before they actually move on, and often leave pointers that members try to help them through, but it is invariably better to let the person go and find a place at which they can settle and where they can engage.
What the chookwatchers are claiming here is a baseless and petty excuse for their own refusal to declare themselves.
The Amish are what?
And what have the Amish to do with anything? Are they now taking issue with the Amish?
How can you compare the supposed shunning of a person who leaves the Amish with being breathtakingly vicious? Since when were the Amish breathtakingly vicious, anyway? I thought they were peace-loving and communal.
The chookwatchers‘ excuse for anonymity is a sham. They are anonymous because they fear being brought to account for the things they say or the manner in which they go about it.
They do not want to take responsibility for their continuous haranguing of good people. They are accountable to no one and a law onto themselves, even disregarding passages of the Bible they claim to defend.
As for shunning, well aren’t the chookwatchers guilty of shutting out anyone who stands up to their false claims, or challenges their judgmental attitude? I can list several commenters including myself who are prohibited from commenting on their site. That is why this site exists.
As for the way people are treated by the chookwatchers when they do not want them contributing, I can tell you from experience that they falsely accuse and slander those they reject.
“They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” It’s in Psalms 12.
Families are a safe
The truth is that their families are safe. Their families are respected in these movements. Their families are much loved. Nothing untoward has happened to them, nor will it, because they are members of great churches.
So when the chookwatchers say that their anonymity is essential, it is not because of their families. It is purely self-preservation because then they believe they can say what they like with impunity about their own family members’ movements.
In effect, if you think about it, it is the chookwatchers who are bringing their own family members under attack with their false claims because their family members attend the churches the chookwatchers oppose. That is some irony.
But, look, from a Biblical perspective, what if a group they make baseless claims against was to shun them? Why would that be a reason for anonymity? Are we not all set for persecution? If we suffer for the gospel’s sake, then we will receive a crown. If it is because of some mischief on our part, well then we get just deserts.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Is persecution a reason for anonymity? There is no scripture for this. In fact, facing trials is to be expected. Why would a Christian think it strange or worthy of ‘essential anonymity’ if they go through a trial? Compare scripture on this.
1 Peter 4:12-19 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
Did you get that? If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. Nothing there about hiding, or cowering, or protecting relatives by using a fake identity.
How is it that the chookwatchers ignore this admonition? Why have they made up an excuse for hiding behind a mask of secrecy and called it ‘essential anonymity’?
Remember the Prophets who were persecuted for the message of God in every generation. Were they anonymous? No. They were named, and their names will be in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
James 5:10-11 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.