The other day, I shared in an article I wrote about something I am deeply concerned about in the Charismatic movement, to which I once belonged. Most folks got the point, it was a short note, and it linked to a bigger article with a site where I also work. I know not everyone likes Pulpit and Pen, but we really do try hard to bring you news from a Christian worldview and perspective. Generally, you clicked through and saw the larger article, and the read the reasonings for our discernment about Todd White not having really repented.
Apparently I forgot the meaning of the Greek word moros. It means “stupid,” and Paul uses it extensively to describe false teachers, people who won’t repent of their sins, the Gnostics, worldly-wise intellectuals of all stripes, and even himself on occasion. He used it pretty much like we do today, with the small proviso that when we use it today, we are not usually making moral judgements. We’re just calling someone stupid. I’m trying very hard at the moment not to make the connection here.
An individual who will remain in this article nameless saw fit to “call me out” on my “selective editing” of some videos, comparing me with how CNN must treat The Donald. I guess he didn’t know I’m not a US citizen. According to this individual, *I* should have posted the unedited video in its entirety alongside each edited clip and let people make up their own mind. I will say this – I absolutely agree that people need to make up their own minds. It is a constitutional, inalienable right in both our countries (I’m in Canada). And I had nothing to do with the videos, those were selected by the author of the other articles, though I had seen them as well. All they were were selected highlights from the original video sermon, which I am now having difficulty finding.
What the fellow seems to forget that this is an internet article, published on the world wide web, which includes things like YouTube, Vimeo, and a ton of other video storage outlets. Some of them that have rules that forbid sharing, some have a fair-use policy, and generally, all one needs to do is share a link to the thing of interest. It is about 10 seconds of effort to type in “YouTube.com”, about 5 seconds of waiting, and then another 15 seconds or so of deciding what you type as a search word, usually hitting the trending stuff first, and with news like the potential repentance of Todd White, you can take my word for it, it’s trending. But this fellow didn’t DO that. No, he told me *I* should have provided the story FOR him. Why? Is he that lazy? But since he asked, and I’m criticizing him for not looking it up himself, here it is. I should note that this is just a clip, because the full video is more difficult to find, and I am not a full time journalist anymore (I was in the 1990s for several years, and I wrote a number of published and vetted articles and editorials – I won’t link to them because NONE of them were published online – I was a journalist in the days where the newspaper and radio were the common news outlets for reporters – only the best-looking people got to be on TV, and I have a face for radio). So that’s all you get, unfortunately.
Now my friend can use his own discernment powers to decide whether or not Mr. White has genuinely repented. However, I am not the only one that thinks he has not, and for a number of reasons. Justin Peters, for example, another individual with some experience in these matters, made some comments about Mr. White using his own discernment. I’ll allow Mr. Peters to explain himself, as he is very eloquent, and I believe non-condemning about it. Dustin Germain, who I know personally, wrote an article about it as the Managing Editor of PNP News. He tells the story using edited clips taken directly from the sermon itself, with no nefarious tricks in editing, which you may examine here for yourself. For the record that’s about Todd White taking back his “I repent” statements, not the original article, and that is the article that I linked to in my post.
I think the thing that bothered me most about the interaction was that he questioned several things about me. First, he questioned my discernment, and that hurts. I mean, it certainly miffed me enough to have to write an article about it to calm down. However, I’m big enough to admit that I don’t know everything, but I like to think that with the Holy Spirit guiding me into all truth, I have sufficient resources to find the truth of the matter in a way that honours Christ. The thing that was the worst however, was that he questioned my facts – and I am an excellent fact-finder – but even worse, he questioned my motives by comparing my work to a frame job. In Christian circles, that’s tantamount to calling me a false teacher. I take exception to that. But maybe the fellow was using those words unintentionally. I’ll drop that line of reasoning here, hopefully never to have to pick it up again. Hey, call me an optimist.
You know, this younger gentleman probably is a decent Christian that has a sincere desire that we not appear like CNN framing President Trump. If that’s true, I have to tell what will be for him a disturbing fact – that’s how news is done. CNN and other organizations like it that wish to control the narrative for reasons other than simply bringing you the news have biased the opinions of people like this, and it is really difficult to undo that damage to the reputation to all media as a whole. Maybe some of that criticism toward him is unfair. Nope, he’s just accused me of being an ignoramus, but with slightly different words. Good thing I can hide those posts in that group. I wonder if he knows I could boot his butt too? Probably not. Well, maybe he does now.
Look, sir, we don’t know each other. Maybe that can change for the better in the future. You’re from my wife’s neck of the woods, she grew up in that area. Most folks from that area are honest, and want fair play. I agree with and practice those values myself. All I did was write an article of something that concerns me, and share it in a place where several of my personal friends are so they could see it. I wasn’t really thinking about “journalistic integrity” (which I admit is a joke today, like it was in the 1920s and 1930s). But I’m not the guy that believes we should never let the facts get in the way of a good story, and I resent being addressed in the accusative tone by someone that is at least 20 years younger than me about a field that I actually excelled in. I can and have forgiven that. Can you forgive me for my sins against you? I certainly hope so.
Because not even duct tape can fix stupid. It can sure muffle the sounds, though…