(I have also posted this for the members of Bible Fellowship)

Recently, I made a few comments in our chat room, that for some bizarre reason, were either innocently misunderstood, or intentionally taken out of context - and that are now being used to slander myself personally, and/or slander the room itself.

The context of the conversation, was the frustration that so many experience when trying to discuss particular verses or passages, and someone (in chat) inevitably brings up the name of John Calvin, and/or Calvinism - shifting the entire focus of the topic, from the final authority of Scripture, to the false allegation of being a follower of a man.

I dont have a problem talking about Calvin, I think he was raised up by God for a pivotal role in church history, and was led by God to do exactly what he did. I respect what he did, and often wish we had men like him in our midst today.

What I DO have a problem with, is the subversive attempts, by those who despise the doctrines of grace, to bait and switch, and cause the entire focus to be lost. Suddenly the Scriptures are no longer the focus at all, the whole room chimes in on their opinion of Calvin, and what he taught, and the Bible is left in the dust.

THIS, is what I have an issue with. It got to the point yesterday in our room, that I finally came to the mic and told folks that Calvin wasn't the topic, the BIBLE was, and if folks couldn't stay focused on the BIBLE, but wanted to play the bait and switch game, and consistantly bring up Calvin, that they could easily leave and find another place to chat. I fairly warned those present, if they continued to do it, they would be bounced, with no apologies.

Apparently, some folks present, didn't like what I had to say, and/or only caught part of it, and/or knew exactly what I meant, and decided to spread some slander & rumor, about myself and the room. In part, some of the accusations have been:
  • the name Calvin has been banned from the room
  • the admins are using thought police tactics
  • folks are afraid, so they remain silent
  • 5Solas Bible Fellowship is a laughingstock
All of these accusations are untrue (and at best, ludicrous). The people who have made these statements, and the ones who agreed with them, have not made any effort to come to me personally, privately, and ask me what I meant, when I made that statement. They have jumped to conclusions, and based on their own faulty understanding, began to spread rumors. I do not know if it has been intentional, with malice in their hearts, just to cause division, or if it has all been an innocent misunderstanding - either way, none of them have come to me privately to discuss it, so it has been impossible for me to explain, any other way than this way.

I have been told that our room is different, than what alot of folks on PalTalk are used to, in a "Calvinistic" room. I have been told that this also upsets some folks, and has caused some contenscious attitudes. Honestly, there isn't much I can do about any of that. We have the same set of guidelines in place we've had for the last 3 years, and all the admins do their level best, to do a good job of keeping the peace. It's not an easy task, either.

When I first began to hear about all this, this morning, it hurt me deeply. The more details that surfaced, the more it hurt me personally - which is generally what lies and rumors do to a person. The fact that none of the accusers had the grace to come to me to discuss it, didn't help. I'm not nearly as thick skinned as some folks think I am, and when my best efforts to provide a relaxed, Christ-centered chat room, where folks can find a welcoming place to discuss the doctrines of grace and other Biblical topics, is mocked, laughed at, and made the butt of jokes, it does hurt, no matter how I try to ignore it.

I'm sure there is a great lesson in this for me, somewhere. Maybe it's to be ALOT more mindful of the way I speak to people. Maybe it's to remind me that jumping to conclusions is never a smart thing to do. I'm not really sure yet, it's still pretty fresh - but I know He'll reveal it to me, when it's time for me to get a grasp on it.

For those who have been involved in the slander, I would hope that when you read this, you see my heart, and understand what you've done. Not just to me, but to the many who enjoy chatting in our room. Not just to them, but to the body of believers who use PalTalk, and now have this little bug planted in their ear that our room is guilty of these accusations you've put out. You have intentionally, or unintentionally, created a division, without cause.

For those of you who have heard the accusations, and have seen that they are without merit, and have been supportive, my heart rejoices to have you as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Yes, it's JUST a chat room, but the funny thing about chat rooms is, they have real people who use them, and are either edified, or torn down, in them. Despite this latest attempt to bring division, our goal in 5Solas Bible Fellowship remains as it always has been, from the first day we opened it:

We believe the web to be a powerful tool, to be used for the glory of the Lord. Billions of people around the world, wake up each day, go about their business, and go to bed at night, either lost, confused, hurt, scared, or lonely.
Others who DO know the Lord, have been disillusioned with the behaviors, treatment, and teachings within the church, and don't feel at home there anymore.
We believe the church to be the body of believers, and we believe the church plays a VITAL role, in the growth and development of every believer. We do not seek to replace face to face fellowship, but we do desire to suppliment, for those who wish to fellowship in a more relaxed atmosphere, where the Holy Bible, is the final authority for any question we might have about our lives.
Further, we will make every effort TO help anyone, seeking a local church, where the Bible is preached, and sound Biblical doctrine is taught.
We hope you are richly blessed by what you find here.
to God be the glory...

Carla Rolfe (aka Christ_Alone)