Criticism, Repetence, and Movements
Kevin DeYoung wrote 9 thoughts regarding New Calvinism, Controversy, and Celebrity pastors, but what jumped out at me was what can be applied to the sociopolitical realm.
4. The reach of our repentance should match the reach of our sin. Private sins demand private repentance. Sins that can be seen by many necessitate a repentance that can be seen by many. And while we ought to forgive each other seven times, and seventy times, and even seven times seventy times, looking for the fruit of repentance is not the same as being unforgiving. Ronald Reagan was right: trust, but verify.5. When we criticize others for their faults (real or perceived) let us broadcast the news just as widely when they repent of their faults and correct them. The same is even more true when it turns out we were wrong in our information or accusations. Of all people, Christians should not put the bad news in bold face and the good news in a footnote.6. Discernment is hard work. On the one hand, journalists or bloggers have every right to dig into the facts of some brewing controversy. When the smoke leads you to a fire, let’s not be afraid to sound the alarm. Done in the right spirit, public accountability for public figures is good and right. On the other hand, let’s not fall foul of 1 Corinthians 13 by believing nothing, overlooking nothing, bearing nothing, and hoping for nothing except to find more dirt. How sad it is when a love for the truth becomes a love for exposing thy neighbor.7. Associations are tricky. It does matter with whom you share a platform. Convictions and courage are often compromised by a casual approach to movement building. If you were big buddies with Arius in the fourth century and blurbed all his books, people would be right to ask a few questions. And yet, to throw a movement under the bus for a couple bad bus drivers is not right. The logic which says “John Piper is the father of the New Calvinism, and John Piper did conferences with Mark Driscoll several years ago, and Mark Driscoll is friends with Steven Furtick, therefore the New Calvinism and everyone and everything associated with it is complicit in the worst of evangelical megachurchdom” is reasoning equal parts fallacious and lazy.