Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pastor Matt's Olive Branch for Wolves, Part 3

Now let’s close this look at Pastor Matt’s commentary on harsh language.

Finally, are you saying that every 1st century custom used by Jesus and the Apostles shoud still be utilized today? Are the women in your church silent? Do they wear head coverings? I hope not. 

What I hope is that Matt is not so uneducated that he doesn’t realize that 1 Cor. 14:34 is actually Paul quoting his opponents and refuting them. I also hope he realizes the reason for head coverings. Of course, the latter devolves to the issue of whether harsh language has a reason to carry over into modern culture. We have already explained that it is, and despite Matt, showing it is indeed “giving in to bullies” to be what he calls “respectful” (that is, of course, when we are dealing with an actual bully). It is blasé attitudes like Matt’s that have led us to overwhelmingly ignore the perils of brothers and sisters in Christian in the Third World, when we should actually be protecting them.

Even if you somehow adopt a middle eastern style of debate as prescriptive, it is important to remember that they typically only treated the religious with ridicule not skeptics.

This is yet another typical straw man. Matt is certainly treading the ridiculous if he supposes the rules of interaction would have been different had Jesus had Sam Harris in front of him instead of Joe Pharisee. Of course, there were no Skeptics in first century Judaea, which makes such an idea conveniently non-disprovable; but in reality it is just as arbitrary as saying, “Jesus only treated Pharisees and Sadducees, not Essenes, like that” or “Jesus only treated people with funny hats like that”. It draws an arbitrary category line without any justification. In the real world of the first century, the real line was, those who deceived or worked contrary to the interests of the greater welfare.

Matt closes with what are in terms of evidential value, worthless personal anecdotes. His own ineffectiveness at harsh language is not much of an argument against anyone else using it. The one thing he misses, as always, is that the purpose of harsh language is not to open hearts, but to shut mouths. That in turn does make it easier to open the hearts of others. Even Jesus knew there were times when the dust ought to be shaken from our feet; but Matt has more wisdom than Jesus, and finds it much more appropriate to let the wolf wipe the dust off his feet and onto his chest.

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