Monday, April 16, 2012

Look Twice: Red Flags

In the previous Look Twice, you'll see the back-story of how some people can swear to an objective statement on one hand, while living, practicing, and enforcing the exact opposite.

Of course, none of us are qualified to discern the heart motives of others, so it would be unfair to assign intent. But that doesn't change the reality that mixed signals can be hazardous to our spiritual, emotional, and mental health.

Like the cross-walk sign at left, if both the "Walk" and "Don't Walk" signs are simultaneously lit, which one do we believe? Will we just step into traffic and hope for the best?

Or do we look twice before leaving the curb?

Sometimes, people deny teaching/endorsing error. But their lifestyle and their leadership proves otherwise. If you look twice.

Others will say they affirm historical creeds and statements of faith. But then they teach things that are diametrically opposed to those creeds. No-one will notice, unless you look twice.
The real trick, however, is learning to be someone who isn't naive and gullible -- someone who looks twice -- and yet not becoming suspicious, nitpicky, and fearful.
Here's a tip, from the trenches of experience:

Whenever you hear a speaker/teacher/leader mocking or deriding anyone who has or values theological training and doctrine, consider it a huge red flag of warning. Because 99.99% of the time, it's because they want to get you to accept an unbiblical line of thinking. Typically, the only people who will look twice and sound the alarm are -- you guessed it -- people with theological training.

Probably the most concise description we have of people who embody a lifestyle of looking twice would be the people of Berea:
"And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth." (Acts 17:11 NLT)
  1. They listened eagerly -- they were not suspicious, nitpicky, or fearful
  2. They searched the scriptures -- they were not gullible and naive.
If I were to choose a logo to represent these Bereans -- patron saints of those who look twice -- what image do you suppose comes to my (admittedly facetious) mind?

1 comment:

  1. Most excellent. Glad you are blogging again. Now. I just need to follow your lead (as I have in the past, eh!)