WILL THE REAL STRAW MAN PLEASE STEP FORWARD?
As I understand it, a "Straw Man" is an erroneous opposing position we state ... that we blame on others ... to which we respond in our argument defending our own position. Personally, I think there are a lot more "Straw Men" around than we realize.
Do you realize how many ... how few ... people you really know? I had a friend who was subpoenaed to testify for an employee of his, who was charged with murder. He gave his statement about his good friend, but the prosecutor asked some pretty pointed questions. Like .... How many times has he been in your home ... Or you in his .... How many times have you had a meal with him, not at work .... Name his children .... What is his birthday? My friend couldn't answer them.
I think the root of a lot of problems that are going on now .... At least all the salvos being lobbed over the horizon at Ft. Worth, Arlington, Enid, etc .... may be the fact that we're happy to look at a little bit of what someone writes and then form a lot of opinions about them.
We create that person in our mind. I dare say, normally, the person we create in our mind doesn't exist anywhere else. Perhaps that person is a real Straw man!
Do we really think we're that good? I think we do. I've had some controversial folks "amen" some comments I've made and I get this warm fuzzy feeling about my new friend. But let them, then, disagree with something else, or attack someone I respect, and suddenly they're a whole new person. I realize I've based my construction of this person, in my mind, on wholly inadequate information.
Ah, but we say things like "We're supposed to be fruit inspectors" when we're accused of being judgmental. After all, Paul did tell the Corinthians:
"What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside." (NIV)
Sure. That's an instruction to the church. He didn't tell me as a Committee of One.
Do I have any support for that? Indeed. Check this:
Romans 14:44: Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.(NIV)
The only way I can possibly interpret that is that the church has an overall responsibility to police its ranks, so to speak, but I'm personally not supposed to do that.
I also need to state that I'm a part of the SBC, and that obligates me to voice my concerns. Not to affect the course of history, but so that my hands will be clean if things go all wrong. I may not think I am smart enough to solve the problems of the world, but I serve a God Who is prone to tell someone something that He didn't tell anyone else. After all, He didn't send an army to warn Nineveh. He sent one guy, and He apparently didn't tell anybody else.
If I really believe God is running the show down here, I have to believe that He's going to have the folks that He wants, running things . I hasten to add that He's free to either honor an organization if it serves Him faithfully, or to bring it down like a house of cards if it won't. And who am I to figure which He's doing?
But .... one thing I must not do is to think for a moment that the high-profile players in all this are the same guys that exist in my mind and that I've created by what I've seen in Blogville. With a few exceptions of folks I've gotten to know reasonably well via other means, those "Straw Men" simply aren't there.
Let alone running things.