Win or Winnow or Both?

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Introduction

Sometimes, after I have thrown a Molotov cocktail or two, meaning by this an incendiary adjective, or hot incandescent metaphor, a number of my friends who follow this blog have counted to twenty-five, muttering to themselves all the while that they know there is going to be a follow-up post, one that will seek to put out the fires that were just started, a follow-up post they will agree with completely—and another problem they have is the length of some of my sentences, but let’s not go into that right now—and they wonder to themselves why the deuce I didn’t write the calm, cool, and collected post first. Everybody’s happy, everybody learns something, nobody’s spitting red hot nails, and so why couldn’t you do it that way?

Two Answers

There are two answers, one earthly and one spiritual. I will start with the earthly one so that those who want to maintain their prejudices about me may continue to do so. “Such a carnal man.” I would rather write two or three provocative posts, and then a follow-up post read by 20,000 people, than to write the contents of that follow-up post in adjectiveless prose that your sainted Aunt Millie would never object to, and have it read by 200 people. The point of writing is to have people read it. Or so it would seem to me.

And whatever else you might want to say about it, conflict is interesting. It catches the eye. Do you recall how, in junior high, no crowd whatever would gather around a couple of girls in the hallway exchanging views on what they would wear to the dance tomorrow, and a huge crowd would gather around a couple of girls, standing in that very same spot, scratching each other and pulling hair?

And no, I am not defending conflict for conflict’s sake. Nor am I saying that it is good to whip up conflict for entertainment purposes. Picking a fight for the simple sake of traffic and clicks would be wicked and ungodly. As your sainted Aunt Millie would say, “Heaven forfend.” But I am saying that—when the challenges are great, the threats are dire, the cause is just, your civilization is disappearing up the kitchen hood, out into the night sky, on account of a wicked bad grease fire, and taking one thing with another the leadership of the good guys is feckless—conflict is a tool in the toolbox that needs to be used way more.

In a war, conflict is not an unfortunate by-product. Conflict is the point.

A More Spiritual Reason

This leads us to the spiritual defense of provocations. Jesus did it. This was one of His central teaching techniques.

But before getting to that, I rush immediately to acknowledge that I am not Jesus, and that flattering myself in such matters would be spiritually deadly. I am a long way off from being like Jesus in polemical exchanges. I don’t know how to hit nearly as hard as He did. But I can say this. I am not as far off in these matters as I would be if I thought I didn’t have the duty of attempted imitation at all.

For some reason, modern evangelicals are all about the imitation of Christ when it comes to feeding the poor—ready to walk the radical way—but are immediately suspicious of any attempts to cleanse the Temple. This is done in the name of humility—“you are not Jesus, pal”—but after a while one suspects that there is a hidden premise in it, which is that our modern temples need to be left pretty much alone. The money changers might get mad at you and boycott your state. Then where would our coalition be?

Why should we imitate Jesus only when it involves arranging pussy willows in a vase, and not when it involves taking a nine-pound sledge to the vase?

I am not Jesus when it comes to love and compassion either, and deficiencies in either are certainly capable of screwing up a lot of lives. So shouldn’t I play it safe, and not even try to love the poor? No—when we insist that certain attitudes and practices exhibited by Christ are worthy of high imitation, and we insist, just as strongly, that others are off-limits, this is not humility. What this actually should be called is ecclesiastical effrontery—an attempt to steer and stage manage the example of Christ. We tell Jesus where to stand on our public stage, and then we try to feed Him His lines.

A modern preacher is not going to be as good at illustrations and parables as the Lord was. Of course not. But shouldn’t he make the attempt? Instead of trying to preach like he was trying to unravel a microscopic strand of DNA from Brown, Driver & Briggs?

The Dominical MO

And all of this applies to polemical conflict. Let’s look at what Jesus does over and over. Other examples will no doubt occur to you.

One time Jesus escaped from a crowd that wanted to make Him king (John 6:15). He crossed the sea, but they figured it out and followed Him (John 6:24). Jesus saw that they were in it for the wrong reasons (John 6:26). So what He did was teach something provocative and hard to understand in order to thin the herd (John 6:35). When He was done, a number of Jews who had believed in Him threw up their hands in disgust and departed (John 6: 60, 66). The goal of biblical teaching is not simply to win, but also to winnow.

Another time Jesus just lit into the scribes and Pharisees. We should remember that before Jesus trashed their reputation for all time, they were the most highly respected religious group in Israel. When He went after the Pharisees, he was not going after the late night seedy denizens of the waterfront. He was going after the most sought after high gloss conference speakers.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:44–46).

Somebody helpful told Him that if you took those words of His at face value, they would apply also to lawyers. And that would be hurtful and unnecessary. And instead of taking the hint, Jesus said, “Whoa. I almost forgot the lawyers!”

And why did He use parables? They were not simply teaching helps, windows to admit light into an otherwise obscure discourse. No, the parables were also curtains, designed to withhold light from a certain kind of person. Parables were provocations.

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matt. 13:13).

Not only were they provocations, they were understood by the recipients to be such.

“And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way” (Mark 12:12).

As I said, examples of this can be easily multiplied.

A Basic Tool

Our problem is that what they found provocative is not thought to be provocative by us. And what we find provocative—our sins being quite different—would not have been thought provocative by them. This means that we read through the gospel accounts, noting all the Sunday Schooly things that Jesus says, quite mainstream, and then things end inexplicably with Him getting crucified. That result is quite mysterious to us because we do not recognize what a firebrand Jesus was. In short, whether or not we are actually imitating Jesus can be determined from the results.

The demand that Christians be universally winsome is actually a demand that we compromise. Of course, we should not be obnoxious just for grins, and we should know how to answer gently (2 Tim. 2:24-26). The point is to win people, not arguments. But remember, there are times when winning the people you want to win requires that you win the argument. And one of the basic biblical rhetorical tools we are given is the tool of provocation > winnowing > teaching. The pattern can be shown time and again.

A World Gone Mad

Now in our era, what kind of biblical provocation is necessary? This is a world gone mad, and in a world gone mad, the provocations should be sane. And Joe Sobran put his finger on it when he said, “To my mind, humor has always seemed inseparable from sanity” (Subtracting Christianity, p. 144).

Every society has always had folks out on the margins, people who have lost their grip. But we are in a different situation entirely. All the people in charge have lost their grip. To make up a random example, but one that fits right in with all the actual examples, we are now being treating to the spectacle of news stories trying to breathlessly persuade us that a dude named Bruno just gave birth to an 8 pound baby . . . actually, we are no longer sure of what we give birth to. Let us call it an 8 pound carbon-based gender-fluidity. And we live in a world where, if a nurse snorted and told a joke back at the nurse’s station about this howler, because she knew Bruno back when she was Suzie, the nurse is the person who would lose her job.

Not only do we live in this world, we live in a world where many professing Christians would have more of a problem with the nurse who told the joke than with Suzie’s incoherent spiritual condition. They would try to shush the nurse. Jokes like that are in bad taste. Oh—and mutilating God’s sweet norms isn’t?

In a world like this, it is absolutely mandatory, whenever we find ourselves up against some insane form of political correctness, that we put our foot through the side of it. And one of the best ways to put your foot through the side of this insanity, or that one, is through the use of deadly serious humor.

“But unlike most humorists, [Chesterton] never seems, to me at least, to be trying to be merely funny; he is trying to tell the truth as robustly and vividly as possible. In a way, his seriousness is what gives his humor its power” (SC, p. 144).

Someone is going to object that provocations are all very well, but that they shouldn’t be too . . . well, provocative. One thing that might help Christians work through this issue is the realization that the outrage that erupts in my direction is largely manufactured. Fake. Spurious. Phony. Concocted. Fraudulent. Bogus, Fabricated. Counterfeit.

Jonah Goldberg recently noted that we live in a time when a conservative speaking on campus can have his speech rejected as “violence,” and the rioters objecting to his speech can have their burning of cars defended as a form of “speech.” Goldberg confessed he had very little patience with this kind of thing, and I confess myself to be impatient in exactly the same kind of way. I also have little patience with Christians who give these inversions the time of day. Isaiah pronounced a curse on them (Is. 5:20), and we should not be scurrying after the spiritually demented, trying to show them how much we care. In this kind of instance, we need to be showing them how much we don’t care.

Yes, someone might say. But still. Why you have to use phrases like “lumberjack dykes”? It is provocative. Yes, it most certainly is. But the people pretending to be outraged are liars. I put certain things out there as bait, because I know they will take it, and when they take it I have yet another glorious opportunity to not care about their faux-outrage. Look. We just had one of the largest political demonstrations in American history, which consisted of tens of thousands of women in vagina hats. Christians who are concerned about the kind of provocative discourse you can read here—and their anxiety is not faux-anxiety because they have been conditioned too well—need to recognize that they are not living in the world that they think they are living in.

Why are some of these Christians upset? They are upset because they do not understand the world, the times, the culture, the drift, the stakes, or the battle. Important side note. As my meme above illustrates, I don’t believe that I hit the bullseye every time. So I do believe that there are Christians who understand the world, the times, etc. who can take a principled exception that time when I said something was gaytarded. When they do, they simply differ. But if they have to breathe into a paper bag for five minutes or so, then they are being conned.

A Kind Little Tribute From Voddie

What better way to end a post like this one than by putting up a short little Voddie Video?

 

Doug Joke from Roman Roads Media on Vimeo.

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Linda Mock
Member

It’s possibly my computer or me, but I can’t get the video to play ~

Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

Worked for me just now. That voice!

Linda Mock
Member

It worked for me just now too, and yes, what a voice!

Evan
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Evan

You should see him in person. If the s#$t goes down, I want that brother on my side; voice and all.

adad0
Member

……..all……my……friends…..ride low riders……
????

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

In a war, conflict is not an unfortunate by-product. Conflict is the point.

About time.

It really is sad that making this very obvious point is considered courageous. Yet, here we are. Thanks for reminding me why I come here, Reverend Wilson.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Nat
Guest
Nat

Yes but the real problem is that too many “Christians” REFUSE to acknowledge that there is a war and that it is a war to the death-“gasp, Nat is advocating physical violence!!!”. No but I do pray inprecatory Psalms and would gladly shoot anyone who threatened a member of my family (generally meant to include those of you to whom I am related by faith). Also why bow the knee even in a derogatory way to the culture by using the term “gaytard”. There is a perfectly good term available which is so much more offensive-“sodomite”. We have lost the… Read more »

Bdgrrll
Guest
Bdgrrll

So you call two women having sexual relations with each other “sodomites”? Not possible, by the definition of the word. Or maybe “lumberjack dykes”, even if both look like fashion models?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

That raises a point that puzzles me. Most of the lesbian women I know are not “lumberjack dykes”. They dress the way other lawyers, doctors, and business women dress. Does the fact that a lesbian is pretty and feminine lessen the sinfulness of what she is doing? She has rejected the use of her sexuality that is demanded by scripture, but can it really be said that she has rejected her femininity? I think that people who don’t have a lot of contact with gays tend to form their impressions from pride parades and not from how gays actually look… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I ran into my daughter’s lawyer last night, and she was leading an LGBT group outing. And I still don’t have a clue if she is “one of them” or just facilitates those activities as part of her “equal rights” work.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I know. It is simply not credible that lesbian surgeons, psychiatrists, and judges dress in plaid shirts and men’s work boots.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

No, not that, not in their professional lives anyway. However, while the majority of lesbians may not be outright “butch”, neither are they exactly girly-girls either. I’m not talking about the poseurs.

insanitybytes22
Member

I for one, am quite appreciative of Pastor Wilson’s willingness to be provocative and his beautiful wordsmithery. In fact, I had to go look up “winnow” because I thought it had something to do with fly fishing. It actually means, “to blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff.” Yes, amen! Good word. Let there be winnowing. Also, I am hardly in a position to complain too much about insensitivity, since I seem to possess those same qualities myself sometimes. Recently a woman quite kindly invited me to church, declared her pastor had never so… Read more »

Dan
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Dan

I’m 20+ years younger than Doug but he’s still more hip than me evidenced by his use of the word, “gaytarded.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t think it is so much hip as adolescent. If we’ve learned not to use “retard” as a general term of abuse (“tolerance as an ideal? That’s so retarded!”), we shouldn’t be all that comfortable with gaytard. What does the user mean by it? That a gay person is so stupid he might as well be retarded?

We know, because they have told us, that people with developmental disabilities and their loved ones cringe from being labeled as retards. I don’t think the etymology of gaytard would make them feel any better.

demosthenes1d
Member

Doug was using it as a taunt, so the pejorative meaning is necessary to his usage. But at some point you have to jump off of the euphemism slope on these things. Moron, imbecile, idiot, retard, slow…these were all acceptable words at one point. We switch to a euphemism, which quickly becomes derogatory, and on to the next euphemism.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

My problem with gaytard is that the taunt is directed as much to the person who suffers from mental retardation as to the person whose gay behavior Doug disapproves of. You are right that all these words have passed out of favor. People can use them with no insulting intention, and if someone said, “That lady has a mentally retarded son,” I would not jump on her for failing to use the more up to date terms. But it was never okay to call a developmentally disabled person a retard. That is my issue with it.

bethyada
Member

It is not an insult to call someone something that they are, it is an insult to call them something they are not.

A request for the “ladies to get back to work” is not an insult to a group of women. It is to a group of men.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

“You’re a retard!” is an insult whether the person has a developmental disability or not. Is there no societal consensus that we don’t taunt the disabled? Is the use of “retard” as a weapon so vital to the Christian’s artillery that he cannot give it up–even when he is told how much it pains the developmentally disabled and those who love them?

bethyada
Member

I don’t know. When I hear someone calling a retarded person “retard” as an insult I am more inclined to think there is a problem with the insulter than the insultee!

And close friends often use accurate terms to express endearment.

Like someone else said, normal terms become insults. Insults are all in the delivery. Insults can often be wrong intentioned and sinful, but I don’t believe in “bad words.”

Dan
Guest
Dan

Jilly,
I love reading your comments because you are always so kind. (I guess that’s Canada, eh?) But it seems as if you’ve missed the entire point of Doug’s post. He knows he’s in a fight, so his words pack a punch. If you want him to not be comfortable with a word like “gaytarded,” then you may be too nuturing to join in the battle.

John
Member

And if you were the parent of a “retarded “child you might feel differently. There is “packing a punch” and then there is alienating Christians who are in the fight and have children/relatives with disabilities.

adad0
Member

‘Tard does sound “off” to me. “Libtard”, “republitard” etc. I know people have no intention of linking my son to those terms.
It’s just that “Clintonista”, “Schumerista” or “Wienerista” are so much more appropriate as pejorative terms! ????

insanitybytes22
Member

I hear you, A-dad. Let the record show that some of my best theological wisdom has actually come from people with cognitive challenges. My favorite was a couple of guys, one an atheist and one a Christian. One guy says, “God is not real,” and the other guy says, “Are you real? If you’re real, God is real. If you’re not real, then don’t even worry about it.”

Do you know how many volumes I’ve read, how many great theologians I’ve had to decipher, just to finally arrive at that simple truth myself?

Sheesh.

adad0
Member

As my autistic son said once, at just the right time, to just the right person, loudly, in the Prophetic voice: “Trust in The Lord! Trust in The Lord! Trust in The Lord! Trust in The Lord!” My son said that to my wife, after I said she should not be trusting Lundy Bancroft or our local “Barbara Roberts”! My wife trusts The Lord more now, than she did before that! Psalm 8 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Matthew 21 15 But… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

We can differ about whether taunts are vitally essential in winning the world for Christ. We can differ about whether it is possible to speak the truth with such eloquence, zeal, and love that taunts might not always be necessary. I think that taunts such as dyke and gaytard are probably not very effective because all they convey to me is that Doug really, really finds gays disgusting and repulsive. I already knew that. His regular readers probably know that. And any new reader who is persuaded by these words to see gays as less than human probably didn’t need… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

My only issue therefore is with gaytard–because he may have used it without considering its roots…There are plenty of other opprobrious terms for gays if he feels it is essential to his Christian vocation to use them.

Jilly, it’s been said that if you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target. You do realize that only a mere 43 years ago, homosexuality was considered a mental illness?

Even if Doug were to use other opprobrious terms for “gays”, wouldn’t it be fair to say that you disapprove of many, if not most of those terms?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, that would be both fair and true. However, my issue is not with insult-to-gays in this instance; it is my intense dislike of adding to the distress of the disabled by calling them “retards” or by riffing off that word to suggest that a category of people (liberals, gays, republicans, anyone) is “stupid like a retard.” I do realize that. However, I don’t think Doug would agree that gays have a mental illness. If he did, he would not call them opprobrious names. I think the names he uses for gays suggest that he sees them as extremely vile… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

So what it boils down to is that you wish Doug wouldn’t pick on the homosexuals. Why? Do you really, honestly, think homosexuals are oppressed and disadvantaged? Homosexuals are a protected class (read: they have special rights), codified into law in many states; as a group, they enjoy a higher income (at least the males do) on average than the general population, they’re over-represented and overwhelmingly portrayed positively in Hollywood, and they wield enormous political power despite being only 1.6% of the population. Does that sound oppressed and disadvantaged to you? They are the ONLY identity group that managed to… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“They are the ONLY identity group that managed to redefine (or un-define) marriage for an entire culture.”

Marriage was already re- or un- defined by the time homosexuals became politicaly relevant.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, let’s start at points of agreement. I don’t see transgenderism as an integral part of the homosexual agenda, and many gays have been criticized for their lack of acceptance of transgendered people. I am inclined to see transgenderism as a delusion related to body dysmorphia in general–akin to anorexics who see fat when they look into the mirror, or to people who want to cut off perfectly healthy limbs in a delusional belief that they were meant to be disabled. Some research shows that most children with such a belief, when left alone, will naturally outgrow it. I think… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Jilly, you said: “I don’t see transgenderism as an integral part of the homosexual agenda…”

I never said “transgenderism” was an integral part of the homosexual agenda; I said it was an outgrowth of homosexuality, but having said that, it is kind of hard to separate “transgenderism” from homosexuality given that they share letters in the alphabet soup of sexual deviancy.

Also, it would seem that HuffPo disagrees with you:

The Next Civil Rights Frontier: How the Transgender Movement Is Taking Over

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

And I am sure that HuffPo knows more about it than I do! I worded my first statement poorly. I think I was trying to say that transgender people are not necessarily gay, and that a lot of gays in the past 15 years or so have resisted the addition of T to the alphabet soup. A Salon article from 2007 quoted a well known gay as saying: “Sure, many of the rest of us accepted de facto that transgendered people were members of the community, but only because our leaders kept telling us it was so. A lot of… Read more »

Bdgrrll
Guest
Bdgrrll

Well, maybe that’s like someone within your own ethnic group can throw a negative stereotype or derogatory word about that group at you and it’s OK, but if someone outside the group does it’s an insult. Note: I don’t mean that being gay is like being part of a distinct ethnic group.

demosthenes1d
Member

It is sad, I think, that the first recourse in most arguments (whatever side you are on, this seems universal) is to question the mental capacity of your opponent. I know I am prone to this.

I think the bite sized nature of internet comments makes it worse. It is difficult and tedious to construct a strong dialectic case for you position in a combox, and if you are thorough no-one is likely to read it.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Hi Jilly, I’m sorry I stirred up the pot with my original comment. My intent was simply to compliment Doug regarding his cultural relevancy, which, I obviously thought was significant and important. Your difference of opinion is noted…thanks. The body of Christ is diverse and robust so your opinion is welcomed. It does, however, bring to mind a question I’d like to ask you: In Matthew 15:21-28, Jesus first ignores the Canaanite woman, then refers to her as a dog. Clearly this term has the rhetorical punch of being insensitive and insulting. What do you conclude when you encounter a… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Such a good question and phrased so gently! I have noticed that passage, along with those in which he addresses Mary as Woman! rather than as some variation of Mother. If Jesus had merely a great human teacher, I might have wished He had expressed himself differently–although I would, in the first place, have tried to understand the role of context, different word associations across cultures, and so on. Such understandings may have relieved any discomfort I might have felt. But Jesus, being both sinless and divine, is not Someone about whom I may have questions, helpful comments, and criticisms.… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

Hi Jilly, Thanks for the reply to my question. For me, no contextualization helps soften the impact of Jesus’s word choice (and tone). Instead, the way I reconcile this passage is in viewing the overall purpose of his interaction with her. So my view is that Jesus is intentionally provoking (by ignoring her first and then comparing her to a dirty, undeserving “dog”) so that he can put an obstacle in her way as she seeks healing for her daughter. The obstacle creates an opportunity for the Canaanite woman to respond in faith (as she does) or in sadness and… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I got interested, so I read about 20 commentaries I found on the web, mostly from groups or people I thought sounded reasonably mainstream. I found several explanations which I thought weren’t totally accurate and a few that I thought were heretical. These were the different views: 1. The Jews called all Gentiles dogs because they thought Gentiles were unclean. When Jesus likens the woman to a dog (I don’t think He actually calls her one as in “Yo, you dog!”, he is affirming and validating the racial prejudices of His disciples before showing them that the woman, though Gentile,… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

Jilly,
It’s delightful to find so much agreement in these blog comments. I’ll try to refrain from using the term “gaytarded” in a haphazard manner as it is clearly a potent term. It’s been a pleasure!
Dan

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You too!

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

Perhaps in the story Jesus is simply doing what he often does. He starts down a familiar road and just about the time the usual suspects are getting comfortable, he takes a hard turn to the left, completely upsetting the apple cart.

The same can not be said for Mr. Wilson. He continues merrily bouncing on down the wide gaytard and lumberdyke road. We know where that leads, and many are those who follow it.

John
Member

There are times when I am reading the blog and the comments and I think someone pulled a Jefferson and cut out Colossians 4:6 from their Bible. Wonderful response Jilly!

ashv
Guest
ashv

when the challenges are great, the threats are dire, the cause is just,
your civilization is disappearing up the kitchen hood, out into the
night sky, on account of a wicked bad grease fire, and taking one thing
with another the leadership of the good guys is feckless—conflict is a
tool in the toolbox that needs to be used way more.

Yeah, that. As a character in a John C. Wright novel put it: “War is only the second-worst thing.” “What’s worse?” “Defeat.”

ashv
Guest
ashv

On the topic of feckless leadership, this contrast showed up in the headlines: https://twitter.com/False_Nobody/status/843651562052489221

Matt
Guest
Matt

This is like the 150th post written about why you troll. Listen people, Doug Wilson is a troll. He is never going to change. I mean, read the post, he thinks it is righteous and loves every minute of it. Therefore, you have two potentially useful courses of action:

a. accept this, glean what value you can, and stop getting mad about it

b. quit reading, and hence stop getting mad about it

Again, he will never change, so any course of action directed towards the outcome “Doug Wilson changes his behavior” is automatically worse than just doing nothing.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Trolling is an act of love because some people cannot be communicated with until they feel emotional pain.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

As long as we’re clear that pleasure in inflicting emotional pain has not become an end in itself.

Tyrone Taylor
Guest
Tyrone Taylor

I found this post very helpful in guiding how I interact with people. Literally yesterday I was thinking about how I should relate to a person when they are clearly wrong. I could (1) sharply defeat there argument, like Doug is talking about above or (2) thoroughly detail why they are wrong in a way that they might not understand (because they don’t get the issue) and thereby not elicit a reaction of anger from them. This post was very helpful in helping me understand my options.

demosthenes1d
Member

Rhetoric v. Dialectic

Tyrone Taylor
Guest
Tyrone Taylor
adad0
Member

Hey wait!

God never changes either!

His Word is like fire and a hammer!

God thinks Himself righteous too!

And to think we are supposed to be like Jesus! ????

Paul
Guest
Paul

‘and when they take it I have yet another glorious opportunity to not care …’

Disgusting… Splitting an infinitive like that.

adad0
Member

He used to be worse. His position was:

“Split atoms, not infinitives.”

????

Victoria West
Guest
Victoria West

Douglas Wilson – the most dangerous man in Christendom & wicked (in a good way) funny!

bethyada
Member

Well, at least one of Doug’s readers gets it. From Andrew Wilson

Doug Wilson: “Here’s a metaphor that’s bound to provoke the ire of the pomo feministas, and that’s kind of the point.”

jonmnoel
Member

That was pretty good thanks!

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Thus sayeth the deacon of disquietude. :)

adad0
Member

Not “dude of disquietude” ?

????

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Respect for position.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Followed, of course, by remarks from deacons of Disqus-itude.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

It is worth noting that this type of engagement is really the only effective means left of approaching those whose worldview makes nonsense of logical discourse. Give rational engagement a shot, of course, but once you realize that they are in full blown cognitive dissonance, and they still want to make bald face assertions without any corresponding facts in reality, sometimes a derisive chuckle, all Tucker Carlson like, is an effective way of handling it.

It is even better if you don’t bother explaining yourself, afterwards.

Prudence
Guest
Prudence

The gospel is foolishness to Greeks, a stumbling block to Jews. People have always suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. There is nothing new under the sun. Read Romans 3. We should still be obeying God’s Word and be repenting of our sins. It is God who laughs derisively at the wicked on the day of judgement. Our job is to pray without ceasing. Think if it your own child who is blinded to the truth, or mine. I wouldn’t laugh, I would be crying out in dust and ashes.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

You are missing my point. I never suggested we stop praying. Heck, that is more or less all we have left with some. But, when someone is attacking a Christian worldview as hateful while they are yelling at you to let them kill their baby, it is absurdity. Rational discourse is not their language. A sneering smirk and chuckle is much more effective than pointing out hypocrisies they refuse to acknowledge. This is why Jesus asked the Pharisees, who inquired about his authority, about John’s baptism, from God or men. They refused to acknowledge their hypocrisy. So, he trolled them.… Read more »

Prudence
Guest
Prudence

Jesus was a man of sorrows. He wept for Jerusalem, he wept for those suffering the loss of death. His face was set on the cross. I don’t every see a recording of him laughing or smiling. Of course, he did these things. They are just not deemed fit to be recorded on Holy Scriptures. That is why I hesitate and tread carefully with sneering and derision, which by definition is mocking and scoffing. Doing these things while claiming pure motive is dangerous. Look at Acts 19 and 20, and how that was handled. Those crazies were chanting and rioting… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

I never said it didn’t.

I appreciate your point of view, but I wonder how many discussions you have had with hard core secular leftists. The really committed ones simply are not effected by logic. They live in their own world of virulent social justice mania.

Prudence
Guest
Prudence

Thank you for saying that. Actually, we have ‘that’ Aunt in our family, and her even more extreme husband. Usually we just avoid conversation with them on issues unless they bring it up to us, which has happened on occasion. We can tell they are not truly interested in understanding us. Usually a kind response is enough to put an end to any attacks. (Pearls before swine you know, not to be rude, but they are scoffers for sure.) I also have a cousin who conducted a “marriage ceremony” for two lesbians. We aren’t close. But you would be surprised… Read more »

Jane
Member

Yes, there is a difference between thinking that your winning arguments will win the day, and simply being the person Jesus may choose to use in someone else’s life, maintaining a consistent and loving witness to the truth along the way. Just because you don’t believe you’re likely to accomplish the first, doesn’t mean there’s no value in doing the second. However, in another person’s calling, the hard words may be needed in a different context. The way a widely read pastor addresses issues in a public forum is properly different from the way an individual relates to other individuals… Read more »

Evan
Guest
Evan

Or in Pastor Wilson’s inimitable way, “I don’t drive 60 mph on the sidewalk.”

lndighost
Member

I suspect rational engagement with the world is going to become even rarer than it already is, given the state of secular education in the West. I passed a billboard just now advertising a prestigious private school, with the slogan:

Confidence
Enthusiasm
Happiness
Job done.

The world wants to produce citizens who are confident, enthusiastic and happy, and the more ignorant they are, the better.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Pitiful. I remember reading a study that showed our high school students, with their abysmal math performance on standardized tests, rank high in math confidence. Singaporean students, who rule the world in math, don’t think they are very good at it. Read it and weep.

ashv
Guest
ashv
Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

All is now made clear.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Is there a specific name for it when it happens across a culture? I get the individual misreading the difference, but we have whole generations doing this.

Ask any millennial if they think they will die as a millionaire, nearly all of them will say yes. Ask them how they plan on on making it there, blinkered looks.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I noticed this when I was teaching, and that was decades ago. A twelfth grader with failing grades in almost every course he ever took told me he planned to become a surgeon. Biting my tongue from the obvious retort “a tree surgeon?”, I explained exactly what he would need to do to attain that goal–beginning with repeating ninth through twelfth grades. He looked at me and said, “Well, that’s not fair.” When I was young, most kids had a fairly accurate idea of what they were capable of achieving. I knew, without being told, that my science and math… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

One of the reasons I decided to do homeschooling was to give my kids a sense of where they stood in relation to the world. We are not a rich family, never have been, likely never will be. I wanted them to see that planning and work make accomplishments happen, but I didn’t want them staring at the stars with no sense of how to get there. But in the community we saw so many kids who simply aspired to video games. I really feel bad for them, but all these parents did was tell them they could be whatever… Read more »

lndighost
Member

There’s a ditch on both sides of the road. Good, honest work is always respectable, and it’s a great blessing to be able to work at a job you enjoy. The ditch on one side is to aspire too far beyond your ability, and wind up dissatisfied and bitter and maybe not even useful. On the other side, there is the ditch of the buried talent. What do you say to an overachieving sixteen-year-old when she tells you she doesn’t really know what she wants but she might as well train to be a hairdresser?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think I would say finish high school and do a year of community college, and if there is still nothing that excites you, you can do hairdressing school. There are so many jobs out there that weren’t even in existence in my day. Often kids aren’t aware that they can be forensic technicians or paralegals or make-up artists. My daughter, who is learning make-up artistry to pay the bills between acting jobs, can create a horrifyingly accurate gaping throat wound with latex and fake blood. She left it on after class to show me which abruptly altered my plans… Read more »

lndighost
Member

There was a girl in high school who really wanted to learn make up artistry for special effects. Her parents said they would be prepared to pay her course fees in full if she wanted to do accounting or law, but if she chose make up, she was on her own. (I think she chose make up, in the end!)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The only problem with it is it means you have to live in a city with a lot of professional theatre or film. My nephew is directing a movie about aliens, and it takes five full hours for the make up artists to get them ready for camera. They start at 3 AM!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I noticed in a prior post that you spelled offense with a c. Are you Canadian or from the far-flung remains of Empire?

lndighost
Member

Haha! We don’t often think of ourselves that way but yes, I’m in New Zealand.

Katecho
Member

Durden wrote:

Ask any millennial if they think they will die as a millionaire, nearly all of them will say yes. Ask them how they plan on on making it there, blinkered looks.

At the rate that our government is abusing and debasing fiat currency, all millennials will become millionaires. The bad news for them is that all millennials will become millionaires.

It’s not a mark of success to have to cart a wheelbarrow full of cash just to buy a loaf of bread.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

One more example. A history teacher reported that she was telling a group of students that some U.S. presidents died in office. When asked for an example, she mentioned the assassination of JFK. A girl said, “Wait! You’re telling me they killed him in his office?”

valerieab
Member

Last week, a friend made an offhand comment about the Idea of March to a store clerk and got back “Who’s Julius Caesar? Do I know him?”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No! That really has to be the worst!

valerieab
Member

No, the worst was when my mom broke her hip in 1987. The gal who did her intake asked where she was born.

“New Hampshire.”

“No, I mean what state?”

“New Hampshire.”

“No, I mean like ‘New Hampshire, Maryland, or New Hampshire, Pennsylvania…?”

“New Hampshire. It’s a state in New England.”

Later the doc came in and Mom asked him what the girl had written on the chart. It said “other.” He rolled his eyes and, presumably, fixed it.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

to be fair to the poor child, NH is not a real state. It’s just Vermont’s reflection.

john k
Guest
john k

Ides of March

valerieab
Member

Evidently, my autocorrect went to the same school as that clerk did… ????

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Hi Kilgore, are you following the Gorsuch hearings and what do you think? I think that the long-awaited placement of a Protestant on the court to balance all those Catholics is not going to happen with Gorsuch!

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Not closely, but he is questionably Protestant. http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/18/politics/neil-gorsuch-religion/ He will get nominated and placed on the court, but I suspect he may turn liberal after a bit on the court. I may be wrong, and hope I am, but there are a few items in his life that concern me. First, he was raised Catholic and it seems like he is still a member of the church. He attends one of the most liberal, rainbow flag waiving, social justice warrior chanting churches one can find. The Rector (its Episcopal) is a woman who attended the Women’s March against Trump. It… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t think he is Protestant at all; I think he is a cradle Catholic who has decided to worship Catholic-lite in the interest of family harmony. Most Episcopalian people I know don’t call themselves Protestants to begin with. “Anglo-Catholics”is the preferred term. Because Anglican liturgy is almost identical with Catholic, it is easy for Catholics to feel at home. My local Episcopal church, which I attended for a while, believes in the Real Presence, has a clergy addressed as “Father”, and hears confessions. If you went there, you would see statues of the Virgin and saints with racks of… Read more »

Jane
Member

Actually, Anglicanism varies a lot. Some Anglicans consider themselves Anglo-Catholics, others Protestants. Some would even deem themselves evangelicals.

Bdgrrll
Guest
Bdgrrll

Some Anglican denominations, such as the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), consider themselves a “middle way” between Protestants and Roman Catholics. We (this is my denomination) see the denomination as one river with three streams: evangelical, anglo-Catholic, and charasmatic. Parishes can emphasize one stream, be a combination or two, or even all three. My own parish uses a liturgy that is similar to that used by Roman Catholic and Lutherans. All three are similar. All use a lectionary with readings from the Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospels, although I’m not sure all three use exactly the same… Read more »

Nathan Smith
Member

Lols at the vid.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Look. We just had one of the largest political demonstrations in American history, which consisted of tens of thousands of women in vagina hats.” This made me laugh. A while back I came to this same conclusion about the need to be provocative and speak up. I was sitting in a waiting room and this guy was lambasting the whole place with his rant about the evils of Christianity, we’re all insane, stupid, oppressive. I finally looked up and the guy was actually wearing a loin cloth with a bone through his nose. And God whispered, “You just sat there… Read more »

Reformed Brother
Guest
Reformed Brother

CORRECTION: …we are now being treatED to the spectacle of news stories trying to breathlessly persuade us that a dude named Bruno…

valerieab
Member

This would make a good addition to #8 in the Controversy Library.

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

“For those in the conservative movement to think that you’re going to change minds only by preaching to the choir, you don’t understand how media works. So that’s probably the most potent weapon out there is to go fight the fire, go towards the fire.”
Andrew Breitbart

scttsmmns
Guest
scttsmmns

“In a war, conflict is not an unfortunate by-product. Conflict is the point.” Now that is just stupid. In war the point is winning unless you are a wimp.

John Warren
Member

“Whoa. I almost forgot the lawyers!”

Classic!

Joey
Guest
Joey

Laughed out loud at the “gaytarded” sentence. That was cheeky!