I have noticed some comments within my circle of friends who have become upset. They have expressed their dismay and confusion with all the personal attacks and the inability to have a calm and civil conversation with friends during this past year’s events. There seems to be growing mental exhaustion and wounding of the soul that is leaving rational people despondent in their hearts because of the lack of commonsense discourse. Some have been left standing with jaw-dropping bewilderment at the scope of who and what is being said with hurtful acidness toward supposedly good friends.
The deception that many are becoming victims of and what people are falling for is called the ad hominem fallacy. The basic dictionary explanation is: An ad hominem argument is a personal attack against the source of an argument, rather than against the argument itself. Essentially, this means that ad hominem arguments are used to attack opposing views indirectly, by attacking the individuals or groups that support these views. In other words, “Off with their heads, because they do not think as I do!”
This is a common political practise, and some companies have adopted this negotiation method for controlling the agenda. The agenda gets hijacked through shouts of, “Off with their heads,” so to speak, and before you know it, we have normally nice citizens posting and reposting misleading information because they did not hear or listen to the whole discussion. Sad to say, that this is also happening within Christian circles. Prov. 18:13 The one who gives an answer before he listens — this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
Saints, this is not a new strategy that the enemy is using. If there were false witnesses brought forth to attack the character of Jesus who was and is a blameless man, then why would it not happen to you or your friends? Mark 14:56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, and the testimonies did not agree. They were attacking the messenger because they did not accept the message. There really is nothing new under the sun. Eccl. 1:9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Most of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians is a written account of Paul dealing with all the ad hominem attacks that were directed at Paul’s character, his work, and his revelatory beliefs. 2 Cor. 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. Again, if the enemy of our soul has always sown hostility within the church, then why would he not keep it up to this day within our assembly? Why would Satan change a tactic that works so well? In a lot of cases, Satan tricks the people into promoting the deception because they only hear a half-truth and respond out of their flesh rather than the spirit, causing disunity.
This type of aggressive behaviour comes from the fear within people’s hearts. They have no real peace and therefore, go forward in life with doubts and apprehensions. They live in their perceived dangerous world where no one or anything can be trusted. Therefore, they create their own belief system that they can live with and will defend vehemently. This is their way of self-preservation. 2Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear.
When a person’s argument or belief becomes their god and that belief is defeated, then in effect, their god has been defeated. A person with a weak god or is stuck with a god that can be defeated, has nothing to get strength from. Therefore, they become belligerent. Watch out if you are in the way of their poison pen. Their problem is twofold. What they believed in was never real in the first place, and had no substance to it, plus their belief system is fragmented because it is subject to the whims of multiple world views that are fickle, causing a major letdown. Rom. 1:21b Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.
There are approximately seven billion people on earth and it might be possible or even have the smallest of chances that there is another view on a subject other than yours. I’m just saying, it might be fractionally possible that there is another opinion on a subject besides yours. Now don’t get all ad hominem on me or start shouting, “Off with Norm’s head,” just because I’m using my imagination to think this way. I’m being a bit ridiculous to make a point.
Of course, there are many ways to look at different ideas because we are all unique and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14a I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. But, we have to recognize that fact. We were all created to participate in the diversity of life because as humans we are diverse. Rom.12:4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function. How would it even be possible for all people to think alike when we all have free will? No saints, let us be respectful of one another and not give the enemy room in our lives by demanding the head of another just because they do not see our point of view.
If God had taken that same viewpoint with humanity after the fall, He would never have saved us through Christ. Instead, the Lord had mercy and brought salvation, healing, and restoration to our lives. Let us use the same grace with one another. May peace and kindness be with us and in us all. Amen!