“LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.” Psalm 15
Psalm 15 is deeply layered with a lot to contemplate. That is why I come back to it again and again. Like right now because I have slander on my mind. And the reason is this: there’s this blogger who claims to expose modern-day heresies. She desires to protect the minds of naive college students and other Christians who purportedly cannot think for themselves. Some of the things she says are right on, other assertions are woefully misguided. The problem is, she slanders her way through blogging. She vitriolicly speaks what she believes to be the truth and heaps slurs upon her brothers and sisters in Christ. She has done much damage pigeon-holing those with whom she disagrees. She demonizes those she views as adversaries and creates one-dimensional characters out of human beings. She hopes her tirades will alert readers to heresies. Yet she alienates me and many others. Her methods defeat her purposes. If her tone were loving, if she would concede that she is probably wrong about some things as well, just like those she opposes, if she were humble, maybe she’d have better credibility.
I really do wonder if our angry blogging does anything to change the minds of those with whom we disagree. I think our lashing out and venting just further entrenches those who agree with us. And like I said, it only further alienates those who disagree with us. You know what gives me pause? A gracious and well-informed person who holds a view different from me. That’s the kind of person to whom I listen. These days, I have great respect for those who won’t mow me down (or worse) for daring not to hold to their views. Why is it that some of us can grant that those who disagree with us are followers of Jesus in good standing and may even dwell on his high and holy hill and yet there are others who cannot afford to grant us the same grace?
It seems like a person’s characteristically angry and rabid responses tell me more than the content of what they are saying. I do wonder if one can be right-doctrined straight to hell because there is no true love of God or neighbor. It seems like Matthew 22 alludes to that. But then again, only God knows the depths of a person’s soul. God is judge and I must step back from making any pronouncements on a person’s soul.
All this is a reminder to me and to whoever reads this: we will have to give an account for our words. James 1:26 says that if we don’t control our tongues, our religion is worthless.
reprised from 2008