Friday, November 15, 2013

A Brief Thought on Criticism and Discussion

Since I and fellow bloggers Steven and Kofi did our collaborative podcast regarding Michael Brown's support of Mike Bickle and other false teachers, there has been some response to the episode. Most of it was fairly positive, but some was not. This, of course, is not bad in and of itself.

What I could not help but notice, however, was that the criticism tended to follow the same format:
  1. The person makes a statement of criticism.
  2. A request is made to substantiate the statement.
  3. Either the person employs a burden of proof fallacy, or the statement is simply repeated.
  4. Another request is made to substantiate the statement.
  5. The person either backs down immediately, or simply refuses to offer any substantiation.
For example, I received an email from someone accusing me, Steven and Kofi of being ungracious and unnecessarily mocking of men like Brown or Bickle. When I asked him to tell me where, in the podcast, any of us had been ungracious or mocking. He told me to listen to the podcast again. I told him I had, and wasn't aware of anywhere that I had been ungracious or mocking towards people. He said that it was probably fine then, and then later admitted that a friend of his listened to the podcast and couldn't find anything ungracious or mocking.

I was then accused of having, in essence, a personal vendetta against IHOP-KC, and that my criticism of them was really minor and not worth denying that Mike Bickle and his peers are true believers. I asked the person to interact with what I had written and said on the subject, and show me where I was overstepping my bounds and to demonstrate that I simply had a personal vendetta against them. After much prodding to do this, the person replied, and I quote: "I don't have the time or the interest."

Immediately, I had deja vu regarding my interaction with Michael Brown (see here and here). Namely, a refusal to read criticism of a certain false teacher, a refusal to interact with what a person has said about the false teacher...and yet, a strong condemnation of what the person has said regarding the false teacher. The mindset of some people seems to be, "I don't know what you believe or why you believe it...but it's wrong." Such a mindset is neither gracious nor rational.

This mindset, indeed, is one that has already made it's mind up. It doesn't matter what Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, and countless other false teachers could teach, or what they might teach, the fact is they fit the standard for a biblical teacher in the individual's mind, and that's that. Anyone who opposes this false teacher is automatically in the wrong, even if they may have valid reasons for it. In fact, said valid reasons aren't even considered. They are instead automatically deemed irrelevant without being examined, or at best are dismissed in straw man renditions. Sadly, this kind of thinking is all too common in Hyper-Charismatic circles, where the cult-like mentality of "Don't touch God's anointed" and "Don't pass any form of judgment on anyone ever" becomes a repeated mantra that ignores all teachings from scripture regarding biblical discernment. It becomes a veil for someone to hide behind, so that they can ignore the plain truth and love a lie. Brothers, this is not how it should be.

If we are to enter discussion on the topic, we must do so with a desire to examine and see, from scripture and plain reason, if what is taught is indeed truth and honesty. If we truly worship He who is Truth, then let us show that we are Truth's disciples.