Ken Silva's site, Apprising Ministries, has been shut down based on Richard Abanes' (Rick Warren's defender and Saddleback Church member) complaints to Silva's ISP.
From Slice of Laodicea:
*Lighthouse Trails Research has a post up now about this situation.*
Before I leave town, I am going to address the situation with Richard Abanes and what he did to Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries. Abanes contacted the legal department at the ISP for Apprising Ministries and claimed that Ken had posted slanderous/libelous material at his site in a 2005 article. Abanes wanted the article pulled. The ISP, which is IPower, has said that they will delete the entire site by this evening if Ken doesn’t comply.
Having read the article, many of us are at a loss as to what slander Richard is talking about. Further, it’s been up since 2005, and he only now decides to go after the author? Richard claims he never contacted Ken about it because he thinks Ken is arrogant and wouldn’t have changed any offending inaccuracies. This is the crux of the problem. The first step in any blog or website dispute over material is to contact the offender personally and ask for corrections or removal, based on what the issue is. That isn’t just Christianity 101, that’s common sense. Richard admits that Ken is a Christian brother. How much more important, then, that this step be followed. It was not, and now Ken’s site is in serious jeopardy because of Abanes’ bullying tactics.
I want to address something related here. There is a vast difference between someone giving a theological critique or opinion even in a hostile and unfair way, and someone posting personal attack material that makes moral slurs on your character. There are a number of websites that publish hostile and unfair articles on me on a nearly daily basis. One recently featured two specific lies about me and things I had said. This stuff happens. But when a harassing/stalker individual with a personal axe to grind, who makes no claims to Christianity erects a website with the specific purpose of publishing personal information, spreading innuendo or malicious gossip about one’s personal life, that is plainly another matter altogether. Writing that you strongly disagree with Rick Warren’s man-centered, unbiblical teachings is one thing. Saying that Ingrid is narrow-minded, bigoted and a judgmental hypocrite is one thing. Writing that someone is running a crime syndicate out of their basement or that you heard they had a drinking problem in the past is quite another. The first step, however, still isn’t to call a lawyer, it’s to request that the stuff come down. When you’re told, in obscene terms, to get lost, the next step is to have an advocate draft a letter to let them know that it isn’t a joke. Most of the time, these things never have to make it to a full legal action, and peaceful resolution of the problem should be the focus, not dragging someone to court.
Richard Abanes often mentions that he is an “established apologist” and a “best-selling author” of many books. How unbelievable that he would go after the small Internet ministry of a brother in Christ in this manner. I believe IPower will delete Apprising Ministries site this evening. In the mean time, those who love Ken and his heart for truth are doing all we can to get his material to a safe place. Ken’s choice was to either knuckle under to Abanes’ demands that he censor his own website of an opinion article, about which he has never been contacted, or be deleted. What a dangerous precedent this is if Abanes succeeds. Every blog that expresses an honest opinion, even a harsh opinion which happens to be protected by the 1st Amendment, is put at risk by behavior like this. I may not like what CRN.info or VerumSerum or the several other sites are saying about me, but they have a right to their opinions, and I’d fight for their right to have a blog.
In conclusion, I have read an article on Richard’s site where he called a wonderful brother in Christ, Warren Smith, “delusional” and referred to him as paranoid and “traumatized” by his New Age experiences. Abanes has publicly discredited the fine work Warren Smith has done. I have known and watched Warren’s life and work for 15 years and find him to be a man of the finest integrity, wisdom and one with a loving heart from the Lord. It is vicious and nasty slander to refer to a brother in Christ in this fashion. Warren Smith, however, would never think of responding by contacting his ISP. Abanes’ site has articles attacking a number of fellow Christians, and he concludes the attacks with the words, “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.” The issue with Apprising Ministries could have been resolved by a phone call. Ken Silva was never given a chance.