I Care What Some of You Think, but Not All of You by Jared Moore

Guest blogger Jared Moore writes at Exalt Christ, where this article was originally posted.  You can connect with him on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)

I care what you think if. . .

1. I know you love me. If I know you love me, you can say whatever you want to me. But, if you love me, you won’t say “whatever you want to me.” Your statements about me and to me will be tempered based on your love for God and your neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39).

2. You represent my ideas and words accurately. If you love God and me, you’ll try to represent my words accurately. I’ll interact with people who have tried to represent my ideas and words accurately.

3. You assume the best about me. If you come to my ideas, words, etc. assuming the worst, then you’ll interpret all that is written in the worst possible way. Absolute objectivity is impossible, but we need to do our best to approach ideas, words, etc. based on what’s being argued, not based on our own negative presuppositions or “what wasn’t said.” “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

4. You use logic. If you interact with my ideas and words using logical arguments, then you have a reason for disagreement, a reason worth considering.

I don’t care what you think if. . . 

1. You don’t love me. If you do a Google search for my name, or read the comment sections of some of my articles at various sites, you’ll see some unloving assumptions, statements, etc. from those who disagree. (Some have even written blatant lies). I know I’ve been guilty of a lack of love in the past as well. Our past sins, however, do not justify the unloving attitudes of others. When we stand before Christ, we will not justify our lack of love by saying, “Well, so and so was unloving first.” We have no excuse for a lack of love. Righteous anger cannot be exercised without love. I fear some bad discernment bloggers want revenge, but they cloak it in their own “the end justifies the means” form of justice. They’re unwilling to trust that God will avenge His people (Rom. 12:19). Instead, they want vengeance now; and they’re willing to sin to get it. If the person they’re writing against eventually is proven guilty, they justify all the potentially true or false things they’ve previously said or inferred, which at the time, they did not know were true or false. The end does not justify the means.

2. You misrepresent my words, ideas, etc. Once again, if you do a Google search for my name or read the comment sections of some of my articles, you’ll see my words, statements, etc. clearly misrepresented. There’s another word for this, it’s called “deception” or “lying.” If you ascribe words, ideas, etc. to an author that he or she has not said or does not believe, then you are lying about this person. Even if you “imply” such things are true when they’re actually false, you are deceiving your readers and encouraging them to believe lies about who you’re writing against. If you don’t know something is true or false, don’t infer or make arguments from silence. Christ will hold us accountable for every key stroke we made in deception. Furthermore, you cannot ask open-ended questions, and cloak it in, “I’m just asking a question.” For example, if a pastor/evangelist preaches in Louisville, KY, and we all know that there are prostitutes in Louisville, that does not mean you have the right to make this inference: “Did this pastor/evangelist visit a prostitute while in Louisville? I’m not saying he did; I’m just asking a question.” We have no right to “ask questions” that infer possible lies. I could ask of anyone, “Is so and so addicted to Crystal Meth? I’m not saying he or she is; I’m just asking a question.”

3. You assume the worst about me. If I haven’t written an article about a Reformed or Southern Baptist or Evangelical Christian, etc. who has been caught in a scandal, it may be for a whole host of reasons: 1) I’m unaware. 2) I want to write on other subjects because my time is limited. 3) I’m waiting for the trial and verdict, etc. If you assume or infer a “reason” that is not the real reason, then you’re either a liar or you’re being deceptive. You’re spreading gossip, and you’re participating in the opposite of discernment. An argument based on silence, based on “what wasn’t said,” is an argument based on a logical fallacy.

4. You use logical fallacies. If you must use logical fallacies to make your case, then you don’t have a case; you have an agenda. Your agenda drives you; not truth. Logic is not the enemy of truth, but is the enemy of lies.

In conclusion, let me be clear. I’m not trying to silent discernment bloggers. I’m just trying to get bad discernment bloggers to repent and be good discernment bloggers. I’m against bad discernment bloggers, but I’m in favor of good discernment bloggers. If you’re willing to sin to protect the innocent, then you’re not innocent, and you’re just as guilty as the “guilty” you write against. Christ never misrepresented anyone when He sought to protect the innocent. He never inferred something that was not true. If you really want to be discerning like Christ, to protect the innocent like Christ, then you’ll love your enemies, represent them accurately, and you’ll use logical arguments, while assuming the best of those you’re writing against.

What are your thoughts?

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tagged as in Christianity,Church Issues,theology

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rhology April 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

If you don’t love me.

As long as he properly understands what true love is, that part of the definition in his mind is not “don’t say anything challenging or difficult toward me”, this is OK.
Too often “you don’t love me” is used when what the person should have said was “you’re not coddling me.”

2 Mark April 15, 2013 at 11:07 am

I feel the love, Rho. 🙂

3 rhology April 15, 2013 at 11:08 am

I never said I love you.

4 Mark April 15, 2013 at 11:12 am

You didn’t have to.

5 rhology April 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

LOL nice


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