2 min read

Slow to speak

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1:19

Some people have a knack for words. Some people have a knack for quick, accurate analysis. I am not sure that most people have both of those traits. I know I don't. For most of human civilization, that wasn't too much of a problem. The ill-formed, premature ruminations of most people would only spread to just a few close associates. Then given time, those thoughts would either become mature, ill-formed thoughts (lots of people have been wrong for a long time) or they would be corrected and become well-formed, mature thoughts.

Then the printing press came along. This lowered the bar a bit, ended up revolutionizing society, but honestly in the days of typesetting by hand, it only did so much at the time.Fast forward past the mimeograph, telegraph, and all sorts of other technology to the year 2000. My wife and I realized yesterday what a foreign world we grew up in. We attended high school and didn't have cell phones! There was no (commonplace) texting!

Now though, we have all sorts of methods to disseminate our thoughts. Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Self-publishing and e-pub has become quicker, cheaper, and more accessible. Much of this is great. It can be used for a thousand different Christ-honoring purposes. But we can also use it to make a fool of ourselves. Just because you can post your thoughts to Twitter or Facebook in less than fifteen seconds doesn't mean you should. Your thoughts (and mine) may make no sense. Worse though, we may just be flat wrong.

Yesterday was a big day. Historically, it is quite likely that June 26, 2013 will mark the day that opened the door to legal gay "marriage". As Christians, we ought have something to say about it, but let's make sure we are saying the right thing. There are a few people who have written, tweeted, or facebooked helpful, accurate, biblical comments. Some were posted minutes after the decision; some just hours. Those thoughtful people have proven themselves capable of analyzing a difficult and dire situation and responding with Christ's heart, mind, and book.

Unfortunately, I have seen more responses that have been lacking. Some have made factually inaccurate claims. Some have ranged from theologically sloppy to theologically wrong. Some have been offensive in a way that I have no doubt Christ would (and will someday) rebuke. Some have been short-sighted. Just because we can make our initial thoughts know to the world doesn't mean we should.

To be clear, I am not advocating sitting on our hands and keeping our peace for days and months. We must speak to the relevant situations occurring in our world. Let us do it thoughtfully. Retweet, share, quote someone who is gifted at being thoughtful and quick, while we--normal people--take it all in and formulate our thoughts biblically and accurately. In the coming days, I plan to put my thoughts to paper. I want to look at how we are to function as a minority in a society, which is especially relevant to me as we plan a move a country where we will be an extreme minority. But I am not ready to make those public. Yet.