WAS NOT I IN SPORT?
T. PIERCE BROWN
In the April, 1997 issue of First Century Christian I had an article, The Internet in which I intended to suggest with some degree of humor that some of us might be getting addicted to the computer and spend more time doing little things we enjoy doing than really doing the job of winning souls and edifying the church as we should be. I facetiously referred to my “affair with the computer” as if it were similar to an affair with another woman, and because some brethren had made what I considered a silly remark about “spiritual adultery” being the ground for divorce, thought I was indicating that it would be about as ridiculous for my wife to divorce me for my “affair” with the computer.
A beloved brother who is properly concerned with a person even implying or suggesting something that would lead to false doctrine made some critical remarks about the article, which I deeply appreciated. It helped me to see again what I really knew all along. Those of us who write have a heavy responsibility to try to make sure that we say things that are so clear and concise that they can scarcely be misunderstood by honest sincere souls. We have been made aware over the past years that some brethren apparently deliberately phrase their thoughts in such a fashion that they can plead that they were merely misunderstood. In that connection I thought of an expression in Proverbs 26:18-20, ” As a madman who casteth firebrands, Arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, And saith, Am not I in sport? For lack of wood the fire goeth out; And where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth.” This does not bear directly on the case in hand, but relates to it.
That is, there are those who say things that are not so, and then say, in effect, “I was just joking,” or “I did not mean that.” This is reprehensible and unworthy of any Christian. Of course in my article I did not mean to imply that “spiritual adultery” or unfaithfulness to Christ, or having an “affair” with a computer could be grounds for divorce. I was certainly not trying to deceive anyone. I was simply trying to show how ridiculous some persons are who make fun of “traditional” ways of doing things, and try to come up with some new ideas in exegesis to show how brilliant they are.
The kind and proper way the brother responded instead of writing a letter all over the brotherhood deserves comment also. Solomon said, “For lack of wood the fire goeth out, and where there is no whisperer contention ceaseth.” Some brethren would have found what they considered false doctrine in my article, would have written articles or bulletins all over the brotherhood condemning my intentions and continued stoking the fire of contention with whisperings and surmisings about a matter that apparently could be resolved by one letter or a phone call. If I have not learned anything else, perhaps I have learned from this not to try to be humorous when I write of serious matters, and to let my wife review everything I write before I send it (except this one).
T. Pierce Brown
1068 Mitchell Ave.
Cookeville, TN. 38501
Phone: (615) 528-3600