We’ve heard it all, folks. As polemicists, deflections avoiding substantive discussion typically come from either (1) misdirecting accolades of the good qualities of the person or institution questioned or (2) firing accusatory bullets toward the messenger. Examples of these common deflections…
NewSpring plays Highway to Hell on Easter, but did you hear about their young singles outreach? Saddleback is a Purpose Driven pseudo-church, but did you hear about how they’re eradicating AIDS in Africa? Elevation Church’s Grand Poobah has a kids’ coloring book instructing the little minions-in-training to “follow their visionary,” but did you hear about all their record-breaking baptism numbers? Or for the latter category of deflection…
Hillsong leadership said they had no idea a tv-famous gay couple was leading their choir , but Michael Brown wrote that it was a bunch of “internet rumor” from a bunch of gossips (even though it wasn’t). Steven Furtick is tired of being criticized for, well, everything, and so he does his famous “Hey, Haters” video minimizing the discerners as mere “haters.” Perry Noble gets tired of people pointing out his doctrinal shallowness, and so he calls them “asses” and if they complain about the music they “suck as a human being.”
Sadly, what I saw from some toward the just-the-facts news reporting of Michael Marcavage at Christian News Network was that they pulled from one or both of those deflection categories. Even sadder, it came from some people who actually have substantive and scholarly blessings to bestow upon the church who could have spent their time, rather than raging against the reporter, addressing issues like:
- What happens when Christian Liberty issues (alcohol consumption, for example) conflict with Christian maturity? Are there limits to Christian Liberty?
- Should we associate our private or personal Christian Liberties with functions of the church, given the complications that necessarily arise?
- How do you know when Christian Liberty vices (if a vice can be a matter of liberty) becomes a sin? Is it when it’s in excess? Or if it becomes a non-negotiable? Or if it transcends matters in excitement and commitment that are to be higher valued?
- Should we use what is a vice that leads so many to carnality (even if it does not lead you to carnality) in order to attract people to our ministries?
- Do you think an explicit focus on “coolness” is good or bad for the modern Reformed movement in the long term?
Boy, that would have been a helpful discussion I think we all would be eager to hear. But we didn’t get that.
From Marcavage’s answers on the P&P questionnaire, it seems he attempted to get Dr. White and Jeff Durbin to have discussions on the above, but they weren’t having it. Apparently, Dr. White perceived it as “fishy” and Durbin responded downright aggressively.
Here’s the article at P&P. After reading the responses from Marcavage, which I was eager to see, it seems the journalist did everything by the book. I’m sorry he was treated so poorly.
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