Monday, September 22, 2014

Autopsy of your words

It happens with Mark Driscoll.
It happens with John Piper.
It happens with Rick Warren.
It happens with Joel Osteen.
It happens with everything we have written form the early church fathers, right up to Whitefield, Wesley, Spurgeon, Tozer, Martin Luther King, Bonhoeffer, (insert popular preacher/author here)...

I couldn't imagine it happening to me.
I don't think I'll ever be that important, popular or influential for it to happen.
And I wouldn't want it to.

If someone took what I wrote (or preached) and dissected it, line by line, then I'm scared about what they would find and conclude.

Sure, I'm no raging heretic (or at least I hope not!), but if you put my every word under the microscope, like some of the "discernment" websites do or theology lectures can, then I wonder how I'd be viewed.

I wonder, not because I think it'll ever happen to me, but even if I became "successful" enough to be placed under the glare of such "discernment," the "me" of a decade ago might not hold up so well.

I look back at some of my early sermons and wonder about the points I was trying to make. Diitto for some of ways I worded my early blog posts.

And here's the catch.

Are those whose words we dissect acutely aware that this will be the case?
If not, is this fair?

Admittedly, whatever you put in the public eye and ear is open to criticism and fair game if you've done something inappropriate, but surely it can be taken too far.

Should anyone, legitimately, be able to go back unto your past and hold EVERYTHING you've ever said publicly against you?
Every misspoken word?
Every off-the-cuff line?
Every interpretation/opinion which you may later clarify or change?

For some, they desire the high-profiled platform.
They want the top rated blog in their niche.
They want the the book deal.
They want to be in charge of the well-known ministry.
They want to write high selling resources.
They want to be speaking on the big stages.
They want to be remembered on a Wikipedia page like this.

But, as I wrote here earlier this year, the spotlight of the big stage will open you up for increased scrutiny.

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