Last week Pat Robertson said some really dumb things. (I responded. But if you only read one article in response to Robertson, read Dr. Moore’s). Robertson has sense (as I predicted) clarified his position and let us know what he really mean to say.
Aaron Armstrong has also made an excellent point in response to Robertson’s clarification. As he notes, “Robertson should never have had to clarify his position in the first place”. Had he heeded the numerous biblical warnings about the tongue then he would have not “given an off-the-cuff response to anything”.
As I was reading through Proverbs this morning and thinking about how it relates to blogging I began thinking about Aaron’s article and the whole Robertson fiasco. This Proverb especially struck me:
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
(Proverbs 15:28 ESV)
Think with me for a second about the “Ask Pat” segment of the 700 Club. According to his retraction he, “on live television” simply “misstated” and “misspoke”. What he was trying to say was that “adoption is not for everyone”. Fair enough. But here is the problem. Those questions don’t just come in on the fly. (And even if they did that would only prove my point more). He has a chance to look over those questions before broadcast. He either did and thoughtfully butchered his intentions or he decided that there was virtue in saying things off-the-cuff.
I would put my money on the latter option. It is common for those in the more charismatic and prosperity gospel leaning circles to put a great amount of stock in “on the fly” type of answers. Apparently it’s better evidence that the Spirit is working and that the flesh isn’t present. Something about preparation and thought always interferes with the Holy Spirit.
Problem is that’s not what Scripture says. According to numerous Proverbs we ought to give thought before we respond. Fools and wicked people just let things fly off-the-cuff. The wise and the righteous ponder how to answer questions.
Lessons for Bloggers
In the world of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and comments it can be very easy to type out quick responses to either sincere questions or asinine comments and articles. The wise blogger refuses to respond too quickly.
It would be far better to tell an inquisitor that you want to think on his/her question for a few days than to just simply respond off-the-cuff. Of course there are times when we can respond quickly. You ask me a question about Royals baseball and I probably don’t need to think on it for days. But I want to be careful not to be so prideful as to think that I’m wise enough to host my own "Ask Pastor Mike” session where I don’t have time to give thought to my responses.
Slow down in your responses. I’d rather “ponder how to answer” than be the wicked fool that just pours out error.