Polemics Terms: Position Blindness

DEFINITION

Position Blindness is when an altogether otherwise doctrinally-sound individual, because of entangling allegiances or personal prejudices (good or bad), cause someone to be “blind” regarding a particular sin, false teaching, false teacher or problem in general. Position Blindness does not reflect on the individual’s over-all soundness or teaching, because it is relegated to that one particular issue.

HOW IT WORKS

When someone has great feelings about a particular topic or subject, or great affection for an individual, it can affect our ability to think rationally, think clearly, and think consistently about a specific situation that makes them come to the wrong “position” on the situation.
It is helpful to recognize Position Blindness and point it out to an individual suffering from this phenomenon so they can evaluate whether or not they are thinking clearly. It is also helpful to recognize Position Blindness and point it out to others who may be tempted to fall into “Dissection of a Downgrade” when their favorite teacher or leader is wrong on a particular issue.

EXAMPLES

Polemicist, JD Hall, sided with Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) for several years. He has since had to reflect and acknowledge that the signs of AHA being a sub-christian sect were present, but until their protest of Heritage Grace Community Church, suffered from Position Blindness due to a similar detestation of abortion and entangling friendships with members of AHA.
Apologist, James White, spent much time in the summer of 2016 defending a Young, Restless and Reformed (YRR) or New Calvinism church when journalists began publishing details of fundraisers centered on tattoos and alcohol, and released details of the gross Scripture-twisting taking place at one of their conferences in regards to one speaker saying that if you don’t drink alcohol, “you’re gay.” This had many people wondering why a solid Bible teacher would be so astoundingly wrong on this particular issue, but entanglements with close family members in the church led to “Position Blindness.”
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president, Albert Mohler, signed the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration. While Mohler is entrenched heavily in the culture wars and is (rightly) concerned about our religious liberty, signing a statement that also assumes Catholics to be fellow Christians is problematic for those who love the Gospel. This would be a case of “Position Blindness” in which a single issue in which one seems blind doesn’t necessarily reflect upon one’s full body of work or contribution.

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