Woe! It’s Wednesday: The Truth is the Best Defense? Or the Only Defense?

Because most all my friends are nice and considerate people, I don’t generally see too many trolls online. But I have noticed an increase in admonishing and finger-pointing posts and comments.

Typically, someone posts about a problem solved or crisis averted or even asks a simple question.

Yay! I learned to put on my socks!


Example: YAY! I finally figured out how to put on my socks. Those stripes and the ankle bendy parts were sooo confusing!

The replies vary from happy and encouraging:

  • Oh, good for you!
  • What’s the secret? So happy you figured it out.
  • So, share the knowledge!!?!

To … a bit less happy:

  • You’re such a dork. Glad you got it.
  • Yep, those “ankle bendy parts” are hard for blondes.

To downright rude:

  • Really? You think they’re hard?
  • Wow, I guess I never realized socks were so confusing. But I’m glad you persevered.

To completely inappropriate, not to mention irrelevant:

  • Don’t you know socks are ruining the planet? You should NEVER wear socks if you want to reduce carbon emissions and leave the earth a greener planet for future generations.
  • You’re posting about socks? That’s as irritating as someone’s picture of their dinner. You should only share news that’s worth sharing.

And worst of all, the BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion):

  • If socks give you trouble, check out my new website, just for the foot accessory challenged. I think you’ll like it! And pass it on.
  • I have a blog post about how to put on socks correctly for the post-modern parent. Here’s the link …

Maybe my posts are too bland to offend, but I’m blessed to say this is not a problem I have, just one I’ve observed.

I did have an interesting experience last week. A friend posted a list on a social media site, one of those, “I can’t believe stupid people out there exist who would say this” kinds of posts. It was a list of quotes, labeling all the speakers as uneducated bigots, chauvinists, and potential abusers and perverts. And all those quoted were identified by their political affiliation.

never respond to those kinds of posts. Never. Well, not since I got pilloried a couple of years ago for pointing out the inconsistencies in the poster’s own original statements.

Anyway, I rarely respond.

But this one irked me. I looked up a few of the people quoted and found what I’d guessed to be true: the quotes were either taken out of context, mis-quoted or otherwise erroneous.

I exhaled. I wrote a response. I deleted it. I walked around the room. I wrote it again. I edited it. Took a deep breath. And clicked Post comment.

My (edited to protect–well, me) comment:

There’s enough stupidity in the country to go around without labeling it by political party. After all, Joe B* said, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” If B* can be forgiven and voted for, I think the others should at least get a closer look at the circumstances and context. W*** was quoting B* K*. A* spoke without thinking. A friend and I were talking once about date rape and she mentioned “rape-rape vs. date rape.” I said, “But date rape is rape-rape.” She realized immediately what she’d said and felt horrible. I would never bring that up years later to humiliate her. I also wouldn’t bring up B*’s plagiarism all these years later. Oops, except I guess I did.

I expected to be mocked, derided, and condescended to.

In fact, I heard … nothing.

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.


That’s it. Mine is the final comment on that post.

And I had a little epiphany. When you respond with the truth, there is nothing else to be said.

Oh, how I pray for wisdom and discernment to be able to speak truth when appropriate. And when to shut up because it’s not the time.

Who’s with me?

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Who’s True?

Stud Muffin and I have been discussing truth and whose truth is more true and who gets to teach truth and when does enough untruth creep in that a teacher should be called a heretic, a bad shepherd, or a false teacher.

If we start with the premise that we live in a fallen world and the only thing/person that is perfect is the Trinity and their creation until Adam and Eve decided to snack on the forbidden fruit, then everything has an element of unperfection inherent in it.

No church is perfect.

No family is perfect.

No life is perfect.

No cupcake is perfect.

Maybe somethings are perfect … no. Never mind. Nothing (not even a cupcake) is perfect.

So if no church is perfect, it follows that no speaker/teacher/pastor/person/staff member/elder/deacon/mother/son/barista/candlestick maker/farmer/baker is perfect.

I’ve decided on a sliding scale. Not for truth. Truth is truth. Our perceptions of truth may differ, but they don’t change the trueness of the truth.

I may see God as loving and kind. You may see Him as having an impossible standard and being judgmental.

Both views are true. It depends on our perception as to which view we build our life around.

My sliding scale is for those who identify themselves as handlers of the Word of God.

Those who teach doctrine and theology have the highest threshold. I expect my theologians to handle God’s Word with integrity and to thoroughly research any stand they take, particularly if it is different from most (though not all) evangelical theologians.

Next would be Bible teachers. Bible study leaders, teachers, and writers fall into this category. These people have the gift of teaching and God has given them insight into His Word and they communicate what they’ve learned. I have to be wise enough in God’s Word to recognize if they teach something that’s not purely Scriptural, but if I do hear something a bit off, I don’t throw out everything they say because they do have lots of good teaching. It’s been said that you should read and listen to teachers like you eat a fish. You swallow the meat and spit out the bones. You must have a certain level of knowledge though to recognize the bones.

thIf you’re being fed more bones that meat, then there’s a problem. That’s where we get into false teaching, heresy, bad shepherds and so on. That’s when it’s appropriate to walk away, or point out the problems.

So that’s my sliding scale. Theologians are held to the highest standard. Teachers are next. Then it’s the rest of the voices clambering for attention.

What do you think? Do you give more credence to some teachers over others?