Monday, November 28, 2005


I received a forward today from a good friend. It was a forward that he had received. In order to shorten my post I will tell you that this was the forward basically word for word. The bemusing thing is that the e-mail I received had something like 776 names on it. I don't like forwards and this is one of the reasons.

But this e-mail triggered a though process in my brain. Why is it that people are so gullible? Evangelicals and charismatics in particular are in general pretty quick to believe every story they hear about some assault on our religious liberties. (Note: Yes, I do believe that are freedom of religion is in danger in many ways. I just think we should do some checking before we believe everything we are told.) We always assume the worst about our "opponents" and thus are quick to believe anything that would paint them in a negative light. There's no real need to check the facts is there?

On the other side of the political spectrum our fellow citizens who are liberal in their politics tend to hate this President with a white hot fury. So they are quick to believe anything that would confirm their beliefs about Bush, Cheney, Rove, Haliburton, Condy Rice, etc. Why bother to check the facts? Case in point? The Rather memo fiasco from 2004. No follow my thought process if you can.

Going back to evangelicals and charismatics in particular. Many of our fellow Christians are quick to believe every teaching, every wind that is blowing. We aren't very critical of the doctrines that are taught by folks on TV or in the book store as long as they tend toward what we want to hear. Paul mentions itching ears to Timothy. I think you know what I am referring to. As long as it is written or said by a teacher or preacher we have heard of then it must be true. Especially if it makes me want to say Amen! Or if we haven't heard of them but they have endorsements on the book jacket from someone we like then we are more likely to turn of our critical thinking.

On the other hand if it is written or said by someone who we would tend to disagree with, say a United Methodist or someone who identifies with the emerging church conversation or someone who went to the wrong school etc., the tendency is to be hypercritical of them. Why, their syntax is incorrect here they must be a false teacher. In that case we won't even listen to what they have to say. All I want is some common sense and some critical thinking.

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