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Really tragic, but I know several kids who have actually done this and wound up with severe burns, so like literally, don’t throw potentially explosive things in the fire pit. Hairspray, spray paint, gasoline, cigarette lighters, even some rocks can get hot inside and explode.

I mean it in a more metaphorical sense however, as in don’t drop verbal bombs or potentially explosive rhetoric on people who are already smoldering. Don’t scream “fire” in a crowded theater. Don’t shriek, “it’s the end of the world, grab the spam and ammo.”

The bible is chock full of admonishments and reminders to watch your words. We will be held accountable. I am full of compassion for hot heads and for flaming rhetoric. Like, Dude, I don’t agree with a single thing you said, but your wordplay was just a thing of truth and beauty….

We all have our weaknesses, what can I say….

Also, the internet world is often insane. So is the world on the ground sometimes. So like, hysteria and hyperbole rule the day. The other day a man said, “I’m growing out my beard.” So I simply quipped, “Okay, but if you start wearing black socks with your sandals and sporting a man bun, I’ll shoot you myself.” It was simply some light-hearted humor which 98 percent of people will clearly understand. It’s that other 2 percent that always  gives you trouble, that insists on making the simple, crazy, and assigning malevolent intentions. Also, gun control, mental health, patriarchy, advocating violence, man bun shaming, virtue signaling galore……..like, enough, just shut up already.

So that much is quite true, too.

However, those of us hot heads who enjoy our inflammatory rhetoric, those of us in Jesus Christ, need to watch ourselves carefully.  I don’t know if we fail to realize the impact our words can have, fail to realize those who read us may have poor discernment or be loose canons? Or if we just don’t care? I don’t know if we people are stupid or evil?What I do know is that we are called to spread the good news, to pour His peace all over this country.

Blessed be the peacemakers, not those who try to throw paint cans in the fire.

I’ve blogged about this before, addressed this issue with the red pills, Dalrockians, some white supremacists, feminists, and other assorted extremists and cultians. Like unrestricted free speech, speaking your little “t” truth, I’m all for that kind of thing. However, with freedom comes responsibility. Just because you can say it, doesn’t mean you should say it.

Our mouths should probably come with some drivers ed training, a vision check, full insurance, and a license with our picture on it.

This is an issue that is so much bigger then our politics, it’s about our faith, how we represent Jesus Christ out in the world, the responsibility we have to recognize the ripple effect of our own words out in the pond of life. We can’t see everything and how it will all be received subjectively, but when you are throwing paint cans in the fire, it’s not the foolish bystanders the Lord is going to hold accountable, it is going to be you.

I’m speaking of some pretty egregious things, not man buns at all, but rather your words landing on the ears of some basement dwelling, depressed fellow who has been unemployed for six months and really needs encouragement, hope, calm, reassurance. He does not need to hear that the US is perched on the edge of civil war, Jews are ruling the world, and women are the manifestation of satan himself.

Yes, some people actually flat-out say those things directly. But most people, I’m talking conservatives here, and Christians, say things much softer, more of a dog whistle, a borderline explosive bit of rhetoric, that just fuels those kinds of extremists.

I have called out a couple of pastors frequently, Doug Wilson and Toby Sumpter, to mention two. I don’t “hate” those guys at all, I don’t wish any ill on them. But I do think their rhetoric is often very irresponsible. And I have called out some people just publically professing the name of Jesus Christ, Vox Day, Dalrock, Matt Walsh, who all engage in some form of inflammatory rhetoric.

So here’s the deal, we are called to spread the good news, to sow calm across the chaos, to restore order to despair. We are called to speak life and life abundant over individuals and over our country at large. Christians in general, but especially pastors, should “always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within you.” The world, in all its glorious chaos and disorder, should be able to look to you and go, Oh, so that’s where common sense resides. So that’s what hope looks like…..

If instead they are using your words, and the words of our Lord entwined with your own, as justification and validation for their own hatred, resentment, anger, confusion, fear, and panic, you’re going to be a heap of big trouble with our heavenly Father, because if I can see the truth there, you better believe He can.

So, please don’t throw paint cans in the fire, no matter how much fun you think it might be.

 

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