Thursday, April 15, 2010

Immaturity Is the Reason People Personally Attack the Deliverer of Uncomfortable Messages

An individual who has been quite influential in exposing the descrepancies in Dr. Ergun Caner's biographical, theological and educational backgrounds has emailed me with a question that he would like for me to answer.

"Why are many Christians attacking me as if I have done something wrong?"

Great question. People will often attack the messenger because the message is uncomfortable or embarrassing. This response is both primitive and natural. When the mosquito stings, you slap it. When the food is bad, you spit it out. When someone reeks of body odor, you push them away. The child’s first response to something offending is to always push it away. At some point, though, adults are expected to think though their response to that which is offensive. Maturity entails reflecting on the future repurcussions of quickly and angrily dismissing that which is offensive. Real leaders entertain facts, no matter how uncomfortable they are, dialogue and discuss disagreements, and refuse to personally attack the messengers, no matter their message. But many never leave their intellectual childhood and continue to react to difficult messages by making the messenger the issue. Those who do this are not leaders of men. The Internet makes it quite easy to identify leadership material. Those who write hateful emails, angrily post their primitive reactions on message boards, and continually attack other people are revealing childishness and immaturity. But those who calmly address and/or respond to issues raised, who keep the dialogue civil and informative, and refuse to attack the messengers are the true leaders.
In His Grace,

Wade Burleson