Yes, I can at times get myself into trouble with things that I say. I probably can even do that enough to keep myself busy and, without trying, actually authenticate what James wrote in 3:2 of his epistle: "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man." I'm not a perfect man. That's not an excuse; it's just true. We cannot always bridle that bucking bronco called the tongue. If you get it accomplished, write a book and share it with all. I've had my mouth fitted for my foot size before without the help of anyone. On the other hand, sometimes I say something fine and get verbally cuffed for it. I boggle at these conversations. My head bobbles with boggle. These dialogues qualify as unbridled hearing. Ears that buck out-of-control and then thoughts that go out of their proper orbit.
Usually these incidents come in a chex party mix of emotion, controversy, and prejudice. I'm not paranoid about it; I just think everyone's out to get me. I got more than a beep in traffic yesterday. And I don't think every siren has my name on it. This is essentially how the email exchange of private messages went:
Other Person: I think it is true that people who take a TR or KJV position are lemmings.
Me: I don't think what you are saying is true. People who take a TR and KJV position are not necessarily lemmings. You just can't conclude that just because they don't take the same position as you. (for my readers explanation: Lemmings are rodents and their reputation is one of following each other mindlessly off a cliff.)
Other Person: I don't get what you are saying.
Me: I am calmly saying that saying that people who take a TR and KJV position are lemmings is garbage.
Other Person: I don't like your rhetoric (speaking generally), and if you think that what I believe is garbage, then goodbye forever.
I hope you notice that I didn't say that he was garbage. I also did not say that what he believed was garbage. I was saying only that this idea that he stated---that these certain people were lemmings---was garbage. How could he have missed that? The above is not all the words, just the essence of how the conversation went. A key to his judgment of me can be seen when he generalized, coming to his conclusion of disassociating himself with me, "I don't like your rhetoric." First, that was the first time I had heard that he didn't like my rhetoric. Second, he didn't say that my rhetoric was sin, just that he didn't like it. His previous judgment of me, already having determined what he thought about me before ever confronting me one time, seems to be the cause of his distorted understanding of what I said was garbage.
Since then, he won't communicate with me. Signed, sealed, and delivered. Accused, indicted, guilty, condemned. This would all fit into the true meaning of judgmentalism. I like to think of it as condemnatory. No due process. No attempt to understand. No mediation. No forgiveness.
Are you familiar with these types of proceedings? Do they boggle you too? I am sincerely hopeful that I don't do this, and if I do, that I immediately get settled upon finding out that I've done it. I don't know of anyone right now that I have treated this way that I have not apologized and gotten it right.
Why does this happen? Sometimes it is hard to explain, but the trying of your faith worketh patience (James 1:2). Count it all joy. I can't say I like being misunderstood and judged like this, but I am content, which counts for joy. So what I'm saying is that God trys us so that we learn patience and contentment in whatsoever state we are. We are supposed to learn from it. I'm learning.
They do happen because gossip gone wild. Unfortunately, even in Christian circles lots of talk goes on about other people. That is not a reason to give up on God or to flush Christianity down the toilet. I refer you to the tongue verse above. It can occur in a church, but even more happens outside of a church situation where no kind of accountability exists. No church discipline will be had. People will verbally tar-and-feather someone. It's just what they do and how they are, especially toward people with whom they disagree theologically or politically or even personally. They are not willing to do the more difficult thing of hashing out the issue, listening to another side, and sharpening iron.
Pride is a major reason. Some people just think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. They think they are elite and won't condescend to fly with turkeys when they soar like eagles.
You've seen the bobble-head doll. That's me just this moment.