Up until recently, commenting and interaction on Building Old School Churches (hereafter BOSC) has been fairly good. Obviously not everyone has agreed with the theology or individual stands taken by this blog and the various writers, but even that has led to some edifying discussion and good interaction.
Recently however, I published a piece talking about the historic Old School Presbyterian position regarding the validity of Roman Catholic baptism. This post was found and criticized by a Roman Catholic blogger who goes by the name “Oso Famoso” on his blog You are Cephas. This resulted in a good deal of negative comments, including a number from Roman Catholics who wanted to enter into Protestant vs. Roman Catholic apologetics or who simply wished to inform me in the strongest possible terms of how intellectually and spiritually deficient I am. I responded to some of the posts but most of the comments weren’t published for reasons which I gave at length in my replies. Mr. Famoso was not happy about this and indirectly accused me of Bloviating and then running away from an argument
Then something odd happened, we started getting over-the-top and frankly dopey anti-Roman Catholic comments from “Protestants” with oddly rednecky names who hadn’t been published on the net before and who weren’t generally the kind of protestant who would be at all interested in this blog. I published one of the less offensive ones and over on his blog Mr. Famoso followed up his blog with this comment:
Oso Famoso said…
To add insult to injury check out the kind of responses he is allowing in his comments…
meanwhile back at BOSC, the “redneck” comments (which I was ignoring and not publishing) continued, until I noticed the IP of some of these commenters was the same. A check on that ISP indicated that (surprise, surprise, surprise) the originating IP was Oso Famoso’s.
Here was Oso’s first post as it appeared in the WordPress comments section:
One of the qualifiers you cite in order to be part of the visible Church is “…if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein…”
What wouuld that be? Specifically speaking?
From Are Roman Catholic Baptisms Valid?, 2008/07/03 at 5:12 PM
…and here are some of the alter ego comments. Interestingly, he chose to play both sides of the argument, presumably to show that enlightened “Old School Presbyterians” are pro-Rome, and stupid old schoolers are anti-Rome:
I hope you do not mind an alternate perspective from another Old School Presbyterian…(Love the site by the way…lots of good stuff.)
I think that we must keep the definition of baptism conformed to how scripture defines baptism. Namely that we baptize with water and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As long as that is done and as long as the intent is to baptize give a Christian baptism than the baptism is valid.
We would get into trouble if we tied the efficacy of the sacrament to the perfection of doctrine of the celebrant.
From Are Roman Catholic Baptisms Valid?, 2008/07/08 at 1:50 PM
As a former Catholic and now born again Christian in the PCA I can attest that my Catholic baptism was invalid.
My parents, who have since passed away and are no doubt suffering in hell for eternity because of their Catholicism, baptized me as an infant in a Catholic Church.
I was 45 when I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and was truly baptized for the first time at my PCA Church in Houston.
From Are Roman Catholic Baptisms Valid?, 2008/07/07 at 3:55 PM
Unfortunately, I now suspect that some of the other comments may also be Oso using another IP.
Now this kind of action, as entertaining as it may be for the poster gradually destroys the kind of intelligent and above the board exchange Mr. Famoso (Sean) claims to be in favor of. Which leads me to the main point of all this, namely to regretfully set down some simple rules for commenting:
1) Comments should be in keeping with the purpose of the Blog: “We are committed to providing information about how to plant new Old School Presbyterian Churches and Reform existing Churches along Old School lines. The Contributors to this blog are pastors who have had practical experience planting Old School Presbyterian churches. Theologically we are Reformed, Evangelical, Conservative, and Presbyterian.”
2) Comments should be directly related to the issue being discussed.
3) Assuming a false identity in order to make comments will result in being banned from commenting. Please keep in mind that your IP is logged and suspicious “first time posters anywhere” in controversial topics will be scrutinized.
4) Argument, discussion and debate is encouraged but comments should be temperate. No comments containing foul language will be posted.