We need to be careful how we phrase things and consider how our words will be heard. As I get older, I see more nuance than I have before in the Word of God and in human nature. People are looking for disingeniousness in us and we need to be ever vigilant.
I am not talking about sweetening our words so that we excuse or overlook sin. Instead, I am calling for us to take extra care to be precise. In other words, be very strong against sin and reverent of Scripture, but be cognizant of reaching the listener.
I recently read this quote in the latest issue of “Seek the Old Paths.” In the third paragraph, the article says, “Everything about dancing is against purity and righteousness. It is against God and the strait and narrow way.”
Everything? Dancing is inherently evil? It is what emanates from dancing [lust, etc] that makes dancing wrong. It is not inherently evil to move your body in a dancing motion. Otherwise, it would be a sin to dance in your own room, in your own house with no one else around. No one could buy exercise videos, etc. People are not going to listen when we make obvious blanket statements like this. They think that we don’t exist in the real world.
We need to be nuanced and be precise in our words. Say what you mean, so that your words can have a hearing.
[Stepping away from the "Seek the Old Paths article, to a general statement] One thing I have learned through the years is that radicals cannot do nuance, whether they are on the left or the right. Maybe that is one reason why so many don’t listen to them. Moreover, their lack of nuance and context has given us a bad reputation. If you look at websites that claim to refute what we teach in the church, most of the doctrines they address, aren’t taught in any of our pulpits. Instead, they are a result of people picking up on the sweeping statements of radicals.
Be assured that sweeping statements are rarely true. Human nature is not that neat. There is a reason why stereotypes and bigotry find comfortable homes there.
We need to step back and measure our words or we risk closing the ears of our listeners. That is one reason why I spent four articles answering the question, “Are Members of the Churches of Christ the Only Ones Going to Heaven?” It could not be answered properly without background and context because Satan has done such a good job redefining words. We must go back to the beginning and explain what Scripture says through God’s own words and definitions.
Let us be wise and hear our words before we say them. God’s Word needs to be taught and that can only be done if we can get through to the lost.