Having cautiously delved into the chookwatchers’ sites for a gander, it is quite obvious they have moved along somewhat since they were last shown to have lost the plot. In fact, these days, it seems, there is no real plot at all.
Their articles are completely fabricated from beginning to end, adopting regurgitated pirate-radio plunder, anti-everything Reformed theologists’ mean-spirited meanderings, contrived critiques of tweets, antichristian analyses of cover notes and promos from books, conventions and album sleeves, the misguided opinions of godless atheists, the negative pontificating of unsaved, unchurched, ungodly gossip columnists and the tangled web populist psychology of current unfairs programs who headline sensationalist stories to attract advertising revenue to their commercial interests (isn’t that called Mammon? – Ed).
Whilst challenging spokespersons for Hillsong, C3 and associates to produce reams of evidence to support a case against chookwatcher criticism, they themselves ignore the very first necessity of a prosecution case – the burden of proof.
This, they constantly say, when challenged for proof of their own, belongs to the defendant. Since when, we wonder? In any democratic legal system the burden of proof is on the prosecution – every time, without exception. The defendant is to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty every time – without exception.
They the accusers, are obliged to produce the evidence, not the defendant.
Asking the defence to produce evidence that removes the slurs placed on people by agents provocateurs like the chookwatchers is about as unjust as you can get in just about every legal juristiction there is.
Journalism is work
Most of what they have put up as a case in recent weeks has been hair-splitting. It is also very lazy journalism, for journalists is what the chookwatchers aspire to be. What they haven’t got into their logic-challenged skulls is that to be a decent journalist you have to do the work.
You can’t just make things up or misrepresent what a person says, or believes, or does and expect the neutral onlooker, the jury, the magistrate, or the defence to believe you.
What is the difference between a contrived or fabricated line of a sentence about another person and a lie, a deceit, or a sin?
And why, when the concoction is exposed by some brave soul who ventures into the chookpen, do the chookwatchers and their supporters disregard the obvious and exposed falsehood and change the subject, or plead some kind of unrelated equivalence?
This, someone should tell the chookwatchers, is called denial. Denial of a deceit. Sleight of hand that masks the original fabricated evidence, which may contain half-truths, but are nevertheless strung together with untruths. A reasonable person would see this straight away, and many have tried to let the chookwatchers know but been discarded like the truth they attempted to reveal.
You need actual facts. Opinion is not journalism. Op-Ed is an opinion piece, but like all Opinion Pieces it can be taken with a pinch of salt if it isn’t based on real live facts. Journalism by its very definition requires factual evidence to support its premise or it is utterly worthless.
Tweet logic accusations
So they take a tweet – 128 letters in a short message – and dissect it as if it is the sermon on the mount.
Having erroneously represented the core message in the tweet, they garnish it with some controversial thoughts from another unrelated source, and add a provocative header to the piece and conclude to themselves and their fan club that they have actually produced a truthful assessment of something or other.
In reality, the original tweet was an encouragement for followers, a pointer to follow Christ, a wisdom, or an exhortation in a few well chosen words, but the chookwatchers bend and twist the meaning until they have satisfied themselves that they have a really, really condemning piece that cannot be refuted.
The truth is that almost everything they write is in some way tainted by their bias, malice, drive to divide the Body, attempt to pull new believers out of their churches, and pronounced by their poor journalistic ability.
Some of the writing is so poor that it confuses its own message, which, in fact, is a heartening thing from the perspective of those of us who think their cause is ungodly and unscriptural, because they tend to deflate their own bubble by their poor reasoning and grammar.
Anti-success, life and joy
Their sources, too, are biased against anything Christian that is successful, growing, thriving, reaching young people, energetic, encouraging, exciting, bright, alive, productive or advancing in a positive fashion.
All those youth, they haggle to claim, are in danger because they are enjoying worship, praise, a positive message of hope, fellowship, friendship, sound, consistent leadership, the security of the flock, the grace of God in the presence of His greatness amongst the gathered saints.
This, they hint, could not be God. After all, is God the God of increase? Erm, well, yes, He is.
This must be NAR, they suggest. Everything negative has to be NAR, and by negative we mean, in fact, positive, because the results we see in these obviously NAR influenced churches are very clearly making people joyful, peaceful, loving and filled with the Holy Spirit.
So everything that seems, to the authentically real, logical, faithful, Christian viewpoint, to be good, alive and hopeful must be, according to the detractor chookwatchers, the product of NAR theology, even when it very obviously isn’t, but, in their misguided minds, one has to produce some kind of negative narrative to beat off the notion that, yes, God is amongst these people and churches and leaders of successful, growing, thriving churches.
Seek and ye shall find
So, regardless of what is happening in the Body, the chookwatchers hunt the google broadway for negative commentary about Hillsong, C3 and any associated ministries. They delve deeply and lingeringly into the depths of search engines for anything that supports their numbing theory that these churches and leaders are not actually of God, but of some kind of cultish clans.
“What else do they find negative?” they ask themselves. “Ah yes, NAR,” they say, “Let’s associate these churches with NAR, now that we’ve convinced ourselves and our dedicated, mesmerised followers that NAR is off the wall. Let’s find some imaginary glue to bind them together.”
“Let’s write a few articles that make things up about them and present them as fact to our beloved followers. Let’s find a tweet to misrepresent, or a negative article, or an offended atheist’s opinion, or anything that agrees with our theory, and make it into a headlining event on our sites. Let’s keep out all dissenting voices. No, better still, let’s use a few dissenting voices as foils for a while, moderated and selected for rebuke, to allow our followers to perpetuate the myths we are devising.”
And they dig into every tweet, line by line, letter by letter, to find some way to misrepresent the actual content.
I’ve never seen so many contrived articles on a blog as I have seen recently on the chookwatcher sites. And they take themselves seriously.
But you have to admit that theirs is a unique salon. They don’t cut hair or trim it, like normal parlours, they split hairs more voraciously than anyone.