Thursday, December 6, 2007
I've had the "privilege" of reading several articles by disciples of Rick Warren around the internet where they refer to people who speak out against wrong doing by means of blogs and such as "blogging wusses" or "blogging cowards". The Bible tells us that, "He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him." (Pro 18:13) so I am writing this post to present both sides of the issue with a bias towards truth of which I strive to always be biased to.
The definition of a coward is as follows:
Cowardice is a vice that is conventionally viewed as the corruption of prudence, to thwart all courage or bravery. (wiki)
I'm sure that most will agree on this definition so I continue. Is a coward one who stands up for the truth or one who thwarts it in exchange for self-interest? I'm sure most will agree that it's the latter. With that said, is a coward one who places the truth in written form in a medium that is accessible to every person in existence or is a coward one who succumbs to liars who say Jesus is not God by trying to make peace with them with shakes and smiles in actual person? Is a coward one who loves their neighbor as themselves and loves God by telling their neighbor the truth no matter what even if it will hurt their feelings or is a coward one that caters to public opinion and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness in order to do so? One of the main issues which has plagued the Church from the beginning is there being the notion that there can be various definitions that actually contradict each other of a certain word. Take Christian for example. The true definition of the word Christian means, someone who has the Spirit of Christ without which that person is none of His. (Rom. 8:9) That same Spirit leads into all truth so how can someone who brings a definition that contradicts the Holy Spirit be a Christian regardless of what they call themselves? I have heard of one emergent saying that it is not necessary to believe that Christ's body rose from the dead in order to be a Christian. The definition of her "sincerely held personal belief" is heresy. That's the true definition of a quote like that regardless if public opinion agrees with it. Recently, I also had the privilege (I'm not being sarcastic here) of hearing a radio show with two brothers who were critiquing an aspect of the Purpose Driven Movement. I agreed with what they said, but the only thing (aside from the subject) that bothered me about the interview is that they kept saying "so and so has redefined what being a so and so is." As believers, we really have to watch what we say because and believe we can get caught in the trap of being ambiguous and using words without meaning in our efforts to deal with "relevant" folk. I've made the mistake myself numerous times and continue to catch myself doing so. The fallacy is, redefine means to give a new or different definition to a certain word. What we should say in dealing with these people is not that they redefined a certain word, but rather that they are lying about the true definition of it. It may seem like just a subtle misnomer at first glance, but how can we take down the enemy's weapons by using the same means we are trying to diffuse? It is vitally important to expose these "little things" that we may happen to regard as subtle because the Serpent, himself, is a subtle creature.
With all this said, the reason I wrote this was to address the issue of cowardice. Many people are saying that writing from a certain area against something detrimental as to where the intention is that people will read it apart from the author's physical presence is a form of cowardice. But...
...isn't that exactly what the unrighteous people said about Paul regarding his writings of correction and discipline, as well?
Do you look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trusts to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord has given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such a one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things beyond our measure, but according to the measure of the field which God has distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things beyond our measure, that is, of other men's labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be strengthened by you according to our field abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's field of things made ready to our hand. But he that glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
- Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle employed the same means of using writing to communicate what he needed to convey when he was not in bodily presence, and he was a martyr, not a coward. If strength is really judged and measured by numbers, how many did Paul have in prison with him when he was writing those epistles?
Therefore, let those who are not ashamed of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us and preach the Gospel whether it be in season or out of season so that "as we are in word by blogging when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present."