Saturday, September 6, 2014

Concerning Prophet Fatigue

There's been a video circulating in Christian circles that is funny and at the same time calls out someone's erroneous teaching. It has 1.8 million views, and picks on a popular teacher. You know what's coming... a lecture on humility.

Every time that something sweeps through the Reformed blogosphere, whether it be the video of Bill Cosby telling Victoria Osteen what he thinks of her senseless babbling, or whether it's respectfully reported news of Mark Driscoll stepping down for a short period of time at Mars Hill, the response is predictable. A few days after the social media life-cycle has run its course, the humility contests begin. Blog post after blog post, social media post after social media post from guys who want you to remember that even if you do have good theology you're still no better than Victoria Osteen or even arguing that Christians are keeping people from coming to Christ with our public mockery of error when it happens.

There is almost a cottage industry of guys whose seeming job is to give everyone a lecture soon after any stretch of time when error gets publicly called out. Calling out the guys who call others out is a predictable (and absolutely ironic) part of the life cycle of any controversy in modern theological discourse, and I must confess, I'm fatigued by it.

We should want to be balanced in how we respond to errors within the Christian community, and I don't want to be known as a nasty old grump any more than the person next to me does. I also understand the desire of some to create balance in the world. After all, there's nothing classy or winsome about a dog-pile. We also do know that there are people out there who are just downright mean and give the healthy well balanced folks a black-eye. At the same time, in the book of Acts, after Paul called out Peter for his destructive decision to give the Judaizers the time of day, Paul didn't sit down and go, "Now listen, everyone. I know that was some nasty business back there, but let's just remember that we're all Judaizers deep down, etc..."

We get it, we get it... you're very humble and you want us to be as humble as you are. And someday we'll hopefully get there. But in the meantime, remember that in our own day and age, it's hard to be one of the "Truth Guys." Not only is it tremendously counter-cultural to care about truth (at all!) or to call out error, but when you do so you often risk get sniped by your very own or accused of pride. Just remember, "Humble Guys," you're no better than the "Truth Guys" when you call them out for calling others out.