Tuesday, January 24, 2006

When Is It Wrong to Discuss Public Error?

In the comments to a recent post, I was rebuked for, well, I'm not exactly sure what for. Maybe missing the point of the post on another blog to which I linked.

I really do think I got the point. I just didn't appreciate it because the post either didn't provide enough information to be justifiable, or else it was just plain harmful to the exclusivity of gospel and to the name of Jesus Christ.

Today, I'm minding my own business eating lunch and reading Adrian Warnock's interview of Justin Taylor when I stumble on some thought that seem relevant. Concerning proper responses to the emerging church, Taylor says:
[I]t is possible elevate “tone” and “manner” in such a way that any critique or concern must be couched in such nuance and qualification that it loses all of its prophetic edge. Compare how Paul wrote to the Galatians and the Philippians. To the churches at Galatia he was justifiably angry and condemnatory due to the introduction of a false gospel. But we don’t find that same attitude when he writes to the Philippians. There are people there who are preaching in order that Paul would be persecuted. (More gospel preaching meant more persecution.) But Paul rejoices! What’s the difference? In the one situation, the tone and attitude is ungodly, and yet Paul is overjoyed because the truth is nonetheless being proclaimed. In the other situation, the motives may have been sincere, but the content of the no-gospel led Paul to speak in the harshest of terms. I think this example should be instructive for us not to put “tone” out of its biblical perspective.
I'm not sure whether the criticism is of my tone or the fact that I explained the basis for my disagreement. I do know this: It is very easy for me to delve into an inappropriate tone. In light of the fact that I do not write under inspiration, when I write about what seems to be harm to the gospel, I will do my dead level best to have a more gracious tone than Paul.


Wendy said...

I didn't think you were ungracious to me.

Ben said...

Thanks, Wendy. I wasn't referring to anything you said. And as I said, I respect and appreciate your loyalty to your church and your pastor. I know that many criticisms have been levied that are not justifiable.

ScottyB said...

your a good bro