Yesterday I noted some of the comments showing a high level of devotion to a personality (and a low level of concern for the facts of the case) from a particular Facebook page. When I pulled the text I decided to remove the names, as I was not responding to individuals, but making a general observation about a group of people, and I did not wish to appear to be “picking” on any one person (especially since many of them are obviously young folks without a lot of background).
Well, one of those so quoted was a man by the name of Craig Daliessio. Evidently, he did not like the fact that I quoted his publicly posted material, for he just sent me this e-mail (slightly edited):
Message: Listen jack*** if you are going to quote my facebook entry USE MY NAME and quote me in context! I’m nobody with nothing to lose. I don;t have to worry about what the SBC thinks like the gracious Dr. Caner does. My South Philly upbringing and my righteous indignation coupled with my detest for frauds like you would not hinder me in the LEAST from showing up at your next public appearance and sticking a boot in your a****. You sicken me, you harm the body, and you offend the Spirit of the God you claim to serve but are wholly unfamiliar with, except on dusty pages of endless technical theology that you have likely not ONCE seen in real, God-breathed action. Your veil is thin, my arrogant reformer friend. You should sign all your writings “Mrs. Turpin”
There is, of course, no reason to attempt to reason with Mr. Daliessio, given that e-mail, and given what he has written in defense of Dr. Caner on the Facebook page. Nor is it my intention to seek to paint all of Ergun Caner’s defenders with such an example of non-Christian thinking and behavior (though, when you join him with the likes of Diana Ruth Penn, Peter Lumpkins, and Tim Guthrie, you really do start seeing a very disturbing pattern of behavior and thinking). My reason for posting his words (aside from letting folks know just what you end up facing if you dare attempt to hold to a standard of godliness and truthfulness in the modern evangelical church) is to ask if anyone knows if Mr. Daliessio is a member of a church. If he is, which one? I would like to get in touch with his elders. As I am an elder in a church, Mr. Deliessio has engaged in sinful behavior with his words and threats, and this should be addressed by mature believers who have the duty of oversight over his soul. If he makes a profession of faith (as he seems to), then he needs serious spiritual correction. If he is not a member of a church, then he needs to hear the gospel and be called to repentance and faith.
I hope this kind of violent anger and hatred will not find a counterpart in all of those who have patiently sought to call Ergun Caner to a position of accountability. There is, of course, no place for such behavior in the Christian faith, period. As redeemed sinners in need of constant grace none of us can be puffed up with pride at the fall of another. That attitude of humility and recognition of redemption must always be present lest our proper zeal for truth and purity in the pulpit become a cover for self-righteousness and pride.
Oh, btw, if you want to understand Mr. Daliessio’s final insult, see here.