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Spinning

Political spin  –  phrase  –  “a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure.” (1)

There always seems to be an up-tick of this activity during election years. Candidates from all political persuasions jockey for votes by framing the opposing side in ways that are less than positive…and sometimes, downright inflammatory. Wherever there is an opportunity for people to vote, there will be political spin. To expect otherwise, would be a rather naïve’ position to take. It’s how the political “game” is played and honestly, it makes me weary.

Biblical doctrine spin –  phrase –  “a form of debate, argument, or propaganda that promulgates a biased interpretation of the scriptures as the only viewpoint with any merit.”

I just created that phrase and definition. Perhaps one could accuse me of “spinning” something to suit my own personal biases. Maybe, but throughout my life I’ve witnessed more of this than I care to recall, and it concerns me.

I’m especially sensitive to this because I’ve been guilty of participating in it. It’s one thing to point out doctrinal tenets that anchor me in the Word of God. It’s quite another to recognize that I’ve often found myself down in the “debate pit” swinging and slinging at everyone else because they don’t hold my personal understanding of what the bible espouses.

While I see nothing wrong with discussing dissenting viewpoints, there have been times when I’ve displayed some pretty un-Christian-like behavior towards those who disagree with me. It’s shameful and embarrassing. I can’t think of one time when I’ve walked away feeling good about what I thought I was trying to accomplish…and yet, often I’ve rationalized that my stance is the correct view and that people need to hear about it.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:34-40, ESV).

Oddly, there’s nothing in Matthew 25 about doctrinal positioning. Correct doctrine is something to strive for, but if I feel the need to belittle, slander, or malign the characters of those who disagree with my biblical viewpoints, I haven’t accomplished Christ’s goal for bringing the Good News to my sphere of influence.

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About Michael Temple

Michael Temple

writes from Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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