Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reactions are Not Free

One thing that has always amazed me is how reactionary people are. I just saw a headline where it said that Chavez is going to send oil to Syria. Of course he is -- the US is mad at Syria, and whoever the US is mad at, Chavez has to support...

... which means he's not free.

Seriously, the US has determined his course of action. It is no longer a question of whether or not it is good or beneficial for his country - rather, "if it annoys the US, I'll do it."

I remember in college in the late 90s - there was a big wave of being against anything popular (as often in in college)... and I liked the Spice Girls. I enjoyed them - fun, well produced Brit Pop. I had so many friends who just couldn't believe it -- do you see the sort of people who like the Spice Girls, all those fashion conscious people... how can you be like them?

Because I am free to like or dislike and who cares what someone else thinks.

We think opposition is freedom - it's like the teen who does something just to annoy his parents... that's not freedom, that's not you demonstrating your independence... you are still playing along to the tune they set, just going crossways against it.


So, what's the point?

Theological reactions are seldom free. And theologians can fall into the same traps as dictators or teenagers... if someone says something we can automatically oppose it simply because of who said it, or conversely, we can automatically follow the trends. Both of these are unthinking approaches, and neither is free.

I don't care who holds a position. I don't care who came up with it. I don't care if this idea is _______-ist or _______-ian... is it right? Is it proper? Is it in line with the Scriptures?

We see evil, we see problems... and instead of clinging to what is true, we react when perhaps what we should do is reevaluate.

This is important -- not because the gut reaction is wrong... but I will never convince my neighbor that they are wrong by simply reacting against them... I may though, if I have evaluated their position calmly, fairly, appropriately, and then know it's weaknesses, then can show how it doesn't in fact reach what they want it to reach.

Reasonable arguments never come from reaction. Just doesn't happen.

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