A failure or a refusal to listen.
When we reject their accusations out-of-hand without an honest conversation about if we got our viewpoints wrong.
Granted, I have heard much of Rachel Held Evans with which I vehemently disagree. That said, it is damned near impossible to utilize the death of someone to tastefully show where you think they were off or heretical. I think we might want to rethink how we approach our theological adversaries.
Many times, we tear at other Christians, and at the worst times. We refer to them as heretics, monsters, abusers, and all other sorts of things.
We did it with Matthew Warren’s family.
And others. And Father gives us the opportunity to redeem our time and days, so that we can walk well in the “days [that] are evil.”
So, evangelical church that I have left, who often speaks as though your reputation will be marred if you are not quick to share where you disagree with a major theological figure who dies, I would exhort you to demonstrate a quickness to listen, and a slowness to speak.
You do not need to demonstrate a tasteless knee-jerk response to justify your theological position in the MIDST OF AN OBITUARY.
Indeed, when we use our authority in Christ to speak insensitively about others and parts of our tributes breathe the air of criticism so close to the death of someone for whom Christ died and with whom we so greatly disagree, it can land as though we are rejoicing over their death, or potentially taking pleasure in their death, which is not the example of our L-rd, who “takes no pleasure in the death of the ungodly.” Regardless of your evaluation of a person’s life, it comes across as opportunistic to use the occasion of a person’s death in order to get mileage for your position.
A few years back, a relative of mine died who walked with a considerable double lifestyle, and I did not use the occasion of their death to bring that iniquity to light.
In light of Evans’ untimely death, evangelical leaders should not use the funeral meats to coldly furnish the dispute tables.
The body is not even in the ground and we are rushing to protect our reputation, as if it is not clear where we stand theologically.
I had a relative who was sexually molested by a pastor, and instead of protecting the victim, they fired my relative. Their argument? They wanted to protect their reputation.
Our stewardship of words would be better placed in articulating that someone is dead, and then at a later date, say where we disagreed with them.
Never pass up an opportunity to walk in discretion towards another with whom you disagree.
When we use our sound to repeatedly trumpet our disagreements with someone and the context is not appropriate, we may not be practicing the best stewardship, and may open up the door for the further devouring of our sound.
Fifth head of Leviathan, gang.