Garbage In, Then What?
The Apostle Paul had it right in Philippians 4:8-9 when he wrote: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
In light of Paul’s words, let me pose a question:
When it comes to issues related to gender roles, power and mixed gender relationships, who are you listening to?
Are you listening to Pat Robertson? You remember Pat?!? Well, as you might have noticed, Pat was back at it last week, once again essentially condoning adultery. The full clip is here, but the most damning quote is this:
“Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”
Because, evidently, it’s the woman’s fault when men cheat.
Or are you listening to Mark Driscoll? I haven’t done a whole lot of work with Mr. Driscoll, but I know that he is a polarizing figure. At the recent Catalyst conference, he was quoted as saying this:
“If you drive a mini-van, you’re a mini-man.”
Um, yeah, I drive a minivan…
In fact, you might appreciate this article that connects both of these two gentlemen.
Let me be clear, I’m not saying that these brothers are totally unworthy of your attention. In fact, my rule applies and without a doubt there is more that I agree with them on than not. But here’s what I am saying:
We need to be careful what media we choose to consume. Is it true? Or noble? Or right? Or pure? Is it lovely? Admirable? Excellent? Praiseworthy?
Next, we need to think critically. In Philippians 4, Paul uses the Greek word logizomai, which usually gets translated “think.” Perhaps a better translation would be “reckon” or “contemplate.” Indeed, the exhortation here is to give careful attention so as to understand what is factually accurate. I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I hear something and then just move on.
Lastly, when it comes to gender issues in particular, we must make sure that we are listening to a diverse selection of voices. Want some options to get you started? Try this TED talk. Or read this blog. Or join me in not being able to wait for this book. Heck, if you have other voices that you listen to, please share in the comments.
And, finally, since you’re reading this, let me say thank you for joining me in “thinking about these things” on this blog. I appreciate it.