Gary Manning, on his blog Eutychus, has gone through the effort to produce a very good line by line refutation of the argument found in the Alef-Tav video that I pointed out at the end of my post ( Etymology Studies Live ) the other day.
I am going to bump a comment into this post to hopefully get some discussion going.
I wondered if you would get any comments on this painful video. The poor fellow is looking for certainty and absolutes where there is a different kind of knowledge available but its absolutism is unspeakable. Still it may be that by the foolishness of such preaching, even the wrongly impressed will find themselves moving towards a refreshed image.
To which I replied:
Bob, I struggle with these kinds of videos (and whether or not I should draw attention to them) because I vacillate between wanting to point out the misuse of language and recognizing that he is (probably) not trying to be deceptive/manipulative. On the one hand, his air of authority is distressing because I know an entire congregation is hanging on his every word as truth (and its not). On the other hand, his methodology seems to be simply an overly creative type of midrash (perhaps on steroids) and as you point out, may lead to a refreshed image. I dont agree with what he is doing, but I dont want to mock it either. It actually saddens me. There are a lot of people like this who are part of the Church, and as such, are brethren. How to lovingly relate, correct, challenge, and encourage are the tasks I wrestle with.
I think it is important to point out things that are erroneous or untrue. But I also think we sometimes cross a line and forget that some of these people who err (in our opinion) are often brothers and sisters in Christ. Would I say the same things that I do in a post (or in jest to a friend) to the person in the video? Do I take too much delight in pointing out someone’s shortfall? I also care about the people listening to this kind of teaching and wonder about the misunderstandings being fed to them. But the last thing I want to come across as is a “know-it-all” (which I don’t) who is tearing down without building up.
What is the best way to handle these types of issues? We all know churches and individuals who are different than us. When do we step up and try to correct, when do we sit back and let things go, and how do we do all of this in a godly manner?