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Methodology

Punching Right While Slipping Left

If we care about conservative theology, then we will take care to hold our own ‘side’ accountable regarding orthodoxy and orthopraxy, as a bare minimum. But sometimes, holding our brothers and sisters accountable comes about through difficult words of rebuke. As Proverbs 27:6 reminds us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Other times, we merely provide some push back. And in some instances, a little humor might not be a bad idea.

Note that humor is softer than pushback, and that is as it should be. But biting humor often evidences hidden hatred within the heart of the one delivering rebuke. Enter, then, those who claim to be theologically conservative by holding their own side accountable. Some who do so spend much of their time punching right. One may also find them using humor of the more hateful variety. That is, they engage in mocking and scoffing more than they do in thinking, and they do so while punching right, which is in and of itself an evidence of sliding to the left.

By all means, have the integrity to question and correct your conservative co-belligerents. But be one, too. If we love the conservative cause, because we love the glory of Christ, and love people, then we will not constantly seek to demonize others through laughter, even when they become an embarrassment to us. All of us make mistakes and need correction, but it is also a mistake to be ashamed of our conservatism.

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