Correcting an Imbalance

The reality is that the church (I hasten to add "in America") has clearly been way out of balance in several ways for the past few centuries. There are two perspectives, then, from which this contrasting perspective can come:

1) We can present the correct truth in the proper balance. Or

2) We can present the correct truth in a similar over-emphasis, opposed to the previous, erroneous over-emphasis.

Since most people who will hear a new or corrective word will hear it from their own history of imbalance, their history will impact how they hear the new word. I'm guessing that it will be strongly flavored in favor of their history: that’s what they know.

So the net result of the two options are:

1) If we present the balanced truth, it's heard and received in the context of their historical error and serves only to bump the listener's understanding a tiny bit closer toward center: they've had 40 years of error, and ONE statement that's properly balanced won't fix their understanding. Or

2) We over emphasize the correct truth, in hopes that when it's heard in the context of 40 years of error, it will bring people to a balanced perspective after the dust settles. The drawbacks of this perspective include:

a) It requires people to think for themselves, which is a sketchy proposition at best, and

b) Taken by itself, the truth thusly presented is as unbalanced as the preceding error has been, and therefore it is open to legitimate criticism, which may cause the truth to be altogether discarded and therefore become completely non-influential.

Note that pastors and teachers will typically only see the first option ("present everything in balance"), while prophets and apostles typically tend to see only the second option ("emphasize the truth"). I think evangelists just ignore the conversation while they preach to the lost. . .

I wrestle with the same thing on my blog (which you are reading now). I keep having friends correct my over-emphasis of current revelation to the point where I think my writing comes out pretty wimpy. I'm trying to learn a healthy balance, and I haven't found it: somewhere between balanced and unbalanced is the right balance…. I think. . .

It seems to me that when the OT prophets spoke, they spoke the truth bluntly and forcefully, with no attempt to balance it. But then, they're motivated as prophets, not pastors, aren’t they.


In reality, I suspect that God is more interested in the truth being presented, rather than the details of how it's presented. He's going to take our words - whatever words we use - and shape them with the Holy Spirit anyway.

In other words, it’s probably more important that we “speak the truth in love” than that we speak in exactly the right way, particularly if we bathe the thing in prayer.

So let’s speak up when we hear heresy, when we see the church going awry, when there are wolves among the sheep.

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