Recently a few of my friends* have been noticed by one of today's more active seekers of theological purity AKA a "Heresy Hunter."
Good grief Charlie Brown, do people not have better things to do with their time?
I am choosing not state the current instigator, but it really could be anyone who surfs the web looking for theology that they deem incorrect, poisonous or otherwise worthy of challenge. These hunters then call out those whom they think are poisonous, usually belittle their theological perspective, label them something like "apostate" and then begin to proliferate their particular theological assessment across the web. These chastisements also tend NOT to be very respectful and are often inflammatory and mean-spirited.
Now before I pose some questions, let me first say:
- I don't think there is anything wrong with healthy, passionate and spirited dialog about important issues of theology;
- I am under no delusions that while most of the "Heresy Hunters" are "conservatives" that go after "liberals" it can go both ways;
- and, I know that many of our responses have to do with our personalities and how we natural deal with these kinds of situations.
Still, how we should respond if and when we are the target of such attacks and challenges?
- Do we bother giving them any play and visibility?
- Do we take them on and try to model graciousness?
- Do we defend the honor/integrity of our friends?
- Do we try and counteract whatever false information that is being put out there?
- Or . . . do we take them on and bring on the thunder and wrath of friends, family and our collective relationships?
There are certainly many ways to respond – some easier than others, some would just feel really good – but in the larger picture, what do you think is the most effective response and what result would you be hoping for?
The new series, "Heresy Hunters: The Response" . . .
*Since there are many that are now apparently in the sights of he-who-shall-not-be-named, please know that there are many who value your presence and voice in the fullness of your ministry.