Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Life on Wings" hits Wikipedia!!

I have never pretended to be much of an I.T wizz and if you start mentioning words to me like "RSS" and "Syndicate" you can pretty much guarantee that my eyes will glaze over. So I was quite interested thanks to a few pointers from friends to note that "Life on Wings" has occurred a couple of times on Wikipedia - the "the free encyclopedia" on the internet. One of my passions has been the preservation of truth. I've seen twice now in my 30 years of church experience the attempt by church leaders to not only forget the past but pretend that the past didn't exist - so it's great that "Life on Wings" is becoming a resource for people who are as interested as I am in the past.

Here's what I spotted:

1. Sovereign Grace Ministries - the page devoted to SGM has gone through a number of face-lifts thanks to the ability to edit the Wikipedia page to one's own taste. But a regular commenter on "SGM Uncensored" has managed to secure a pretty accurate and objective page. The page details Larry Tomczak's key involvement in the establishing of the "Gathering of Believers" and then "Covenant Life Church" - something that official SGM history ignores. The page notes how the leadership became disenchanted with the name; "People of Destiny International" and ended up with it's present "SGM" (thanks to a quote from Terry Virgo).

The page ends by noting the incredible site (love it or hate it) that is "SGM Uncensored". It was set up by a former member and now in it's three months of running has attracted an incredible 87,308 hits.

The page then ends by noting "Life on Wings" as one of the three external links alongside the official SG webpage and "SGM Uncensored". The link to "Life on Wings" is thanks to three posts I put up - one of which was an article written by Larry Tomczak in "New Wine Magazine" and a few older pictures - one of which was Larry and C J Mahaney sitting together on the Stoneleigh Bible Week platform!

*Update* - "Life on Wings" has now been removed! Ah well! The perils of internet life! :-) A good job I printed out the original page before the editing!

2. Ern Baxter - this page is slightly smaller but draws together some key details about Ern Baxter's life and history. The link to "Life on Wings" is thanks to a biographical post I did last year called "Who is Ern Baxter?". This is alongside the list of resources of Ern Baxter's writing that I have tried to make available over the few years.

9 comments:

James B said...

V v interesting - bravo you! I think I like the fact taht you are not trying to create trouble, you simply are honouring the past - the true good that went on during the Charismatic Movement and not allowing it to be forgotten or worst, pretending that it never happened!

Dan Bowen said...

I've just gone and had a closer look in the "revision page" within Wikipedia and the "Sovereign Grace Ministry" page and it makes for some reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sovereign_Grace_Ministries&offset=20080221211146&action=history

There are over 500 edits suggesting to me that like Marmite - love it or hate it - everyone has an opinion about SGM! The edit removing "Life on Wings" made the removal apparantly becuase "sorry, but blogs are not considered reliable under WP:RS".

Ah well! So what is SGM Uncensored if it isn't a blog!?

sgm pastors wife said...

I find that absolutely incredible. Wikipedia is meant to be an objective source for information - it's not a Sovereign Grace publicity stunt. 500 edits?!!? Let it alone! If you are properly and real secure that SGm is as wonderful as it is, then who cares who feels different?!

Dan Bowen said...

Quite SGM P.W ... quite. But Scott and I have just sat having a quite enjoyable "undo" war with some ardent SGM-ers and my word, they are fast on the "undo" button. Surely what speaks volumes is the lengths they will go to get "SGM Uncensored" removed from the Wikepidia (how DO you spell it?!) site. Well ... I am off to the gym so I guess they win! For now ...

James B said...

Be warned - Wilkepidia or whatever they are called block you after 3 re-edits if you don't log on with an account. Some rule or other. Anyway I've had my 3 for the 31 hour ban or something! Who wants to take over?! ;)

Dan Bowen said...

Ha ha yere I got blocked too James, apparantly that can be prevented if you set up a Wikipedia account. But unlike those who are committed to keeping SGM Uncensored OFF the site, I have a busy life!

Anonymous said...

This is amazing! Thank you for making this information available. Now, so many things I had wondered about are becoming clearer. I had no idea of the history of how this all came out of the old "shepherding" movement. It is painful to discover - but it makes sense. You can understand, I hope, why I choose to remain anonymous.

Dan Bowen said...

Hi Anonymous, of course you are welcome to remain as such! I totally understand the sensitivity of some of these issues and have a number of friends who comment here and remain anonymous. I think what is chilling is that while the roots are so deeply in the Shepherding Movement, actually "heavy shepherding" is alive and well in some parts even today. It is indeed extremely painful - ironically while I love and appreciate Ern Baxter's ministry and teaching, I have experienced a touch of "heavy shepherding" myself!

Anyway - as I say, welcome again and I am glad that a few "dots were connected" for you.

Joe said...

Hi... do you have a photo of Mahaney and Tomczak together that you would be willing to let posted on the Wikipedia SGm entry page?