John A on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 08:59 AM said:
“The group on this site seems to have grown very critical, cynical , and even self righteous. Reading through these posts I am amazed at the confidence with which any of you reveal the motives and intentions of others. Only God knows the heart. I’m not saying don’t judge but I am saying many of you take it too far when you state as absolute fact things that nobody can know.”
April on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 12:49 PM said:
“log in your eye, speck in theirs–can you not see that you are presuming to judge people’s hearts and motives? Only God can do that. To many, you come off as ridiculously more evil than those you seek to vilify (and to many others, as a bunch of theologically illiterate [and grammatically challenged] whiners).”
dee on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:45 AM said:
John A wrote:
My point is that your criteria is subjective, unverifiable, exaggerated, and absurd.
I know some are tired of the argument but you cannot judge the hearts motives or intentions of these men with such a broad brush approach.
OK-now I am getting weary of your statements like this. Either put up or shut up. Tell me exactly where I have judged the motives of people. I have asked this of you already and I am not going to start off my week with you starting up with this again.
I have said it before, and I will say it again one more time, I don’t judge motives because it is impossible. Only God can do that. I look at words that people say and actions that they take. Frankly, none of us can fully judge our own motives, including you.”
Now, let me ask. Are you, like me, wondering just what they are talking about? Both are judging the motives of each other while they deny that anyone but God can judge motives. Huh? And this saying, right out of the Reformed Theology Indoctrination for the Purposes of Pure Control of the Masses primer: “Frankly, none of us can fully judge our own motives, including you”…honestly, I don’t even know what the fuck that means. If you act without knowing why you act, you belong in an institution, not moderating a “discernment” blog. This is like the cosmic spiritual insanity plea.
“Dear Lord, have mercy. After all, I cannot really know why I do the things I do, because by doctrinal definition truth is subservient to our pervasive depravity. So, doesn’t this make You ultimately to blame here? I mean, if we are being fair about it? If you want to be Creator, take some responsibility for a change, why don’t You? If I’m an evil ignoramus, isn’t both the “evil” and “ignoramus” part Your fault? At the very least can we drag that scumbag Adam in here?”
See…now we see the Calvinism inherent in the system. Notice how with this little phrase Dee undercuts her entire existence as a discernment blog operator: “We can’t fully understand our own motives.” Then how in the fuck does she get away with criticizing, well…anyone? If motives are never in question, then how can we consider an action evil? She concedes the “we are all just sinners saved by grace” and in the same breath condemns men for their actions!
Welcome, one and all, to the Wartburg Watch’s Dance of the Hypocrisy Two Step. May it serve to dazzle and delight your family this Christmas as you appeal to your own infinite acceptance by God and utterly condemn others with absolutely no rationale at all. Just because it’s that way. After all, if we cannot judge others motives and reasons, how much less can I explain why God loves me and hates you?
Once again the battle of wits rages over at Wartburg Watch, ending in a hopeless and sad little draw…as usual. But what is even sadder is that the opponents both approach the argument from the same philosophical assumption: The doctrine doesn’t matter. Wrong or right, rational or insane, since only “God can judge the heart/motives”, the assumptions which drive behavior cannot be something we can ever actually know. So, let’s make the fight about behavior, and not the doctrine which drives it. Let’s change the leaders out, and leave the ideas in place. Because…that always seems to work, doesn’t it?
Both opponents in this fight use the God’s Mystery get-out-of-jail-free card. They both deny that its possible to know the the doctrine which is in the heart of a person–that you can’t possibly know what they really believe–and this is why doctrine doesn’t matter. Action must be judged in a vacuum, fully divorced from the “heart”. This conveniently absolves the antagonist from any moral responsibility because they have simply decided that the human being–as a thinking, volitional agent–is removed from the equation. Thus, they aren’t on the moral hook for their criticisms because they divorce brain from body. After all, you cannot sin against an action or a word. So if we cut the person in two, we are always in the moral right, because we don’t target people, we target words and actions.
This is what that rascally and brilliant metaphysician, John Immel, would call a rational atrocity…a rational larceny (two of the best phrases ever). A pitiful attempt to take the moral high ground by using argumentative slight of hand and ad hominem.
In the right corner, Dee, wearing compassionate Calvinism trunks of many colors, given to her by her Father, who loves her bestest of all…just because. And in the left corner, John A and April who are wearing identical trunks because they say, no, their Father, who is the same Father, loves them bestest of all…just because. The fight will begin once we figure out just who the Father is cheering for. Because that? Will tell us who wins even before the first punch is thrown. You see, it’s all about who is loved more by daddy just because. Just because, for some reason, he says that they are just so damn special that no one else would understand.
“We don’t judge the heart motives, we only judge actions. Pfft…only God can judge the heart motives.”
Let me explain something…little “truisms” like this that never get examined is why there is tyranny run amok in the church and in the state, and why so few people are just too fucking tired to think anymore. Every time they get a good idea, some “absolute” like this gets plastered like a mental blindfold and they refuse to tear it off. But the “Bible says it” (and I don’t actually concede it does) goes the dancing monkey, spinning in circles. And since the Bible is the replacement Primary Consciousness for God in Christianity these days, there isn’t any REASON to think because clearly, other men have already done all the thinking the world will ever need FOR them. They’ve got their little bumper stickers on autoplay in their heads and there simply isn’t room for reason between the little cracks of ramshackle theology. Whatever holes are big enough to fill with logically defensible arguments have been jammed full of “God’s mystery”. Little insane ideas like “we don’t judge motives, just actions” allows people to get away with the most egregious, self-righteous and vile criticism all the while proclaiming their own innocence of any malice or evil intention. Why? Because if motives/assumptions are divorced from action then by what standard can their OWN hearts be judged? They can get away with any degree of evil speech and psychological violence and even rank murder (when you take the assumption to its logical conclusion) and NEVER have to defend their own behavior because saying you don’t judge “motives” is tantamount to saying that motives don’t matter. And if motives don’t matter, and are off the table as a topic of discussion because they are a “mystery” that only God can know, then the minute a critical eye is turned upon them…well, notice what Dee does.
“Ah, ah, ah…” she says, waggling her index finger before your nose like your fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Kranklefrauer, “I will sit here all day long and judge motives and the minute you look to judge mine, out comes my gigantic and universal trump card of “God’s Mystery”. Motives are mystery, the old saying goes, and so I will kindly thank you to take your criticism elsewhere, young man. You don’t judge me. Even I can’t judge me.”
In other words, Dee, trained to do so as she is by conceding the very doctrine that drives the evil behavior she “confronts” on her blog (and forms the motives…yes, I said it; see, Dee, it isn’t that hard to not be a hypocrite…just say it: I judge your motives), flips the script. She changes the rules on a whim and a sniff of the wind. It’s blowing against her…the critical eyes are condemning HER. The motherfucking nerve of them! Don’t they realize that MOTIVE is off limits! Only God knows my motive! she declares. How DARE they challenge the purity of my assumptions by pretending that MY actions can be linked to my assumptions! she cries in fury.
“Off to the Wartburg dungeon!” She screams…and off they go. Just like that. For no other reason than doing the exact same thing Dee does. Questioning the actions by looking at the assumptions. Yes, yes she does…because it is impossible to only judge actions. Im. Poss. I. Ble.
“Dee, why are you all such assholes?” John A innocently asks, daring to enter the shark tank of the “poor” and the “abused” where bloody teeth surely await him…he knows this all to well, and shudders. “You judge and judge and pretend to know the heart of all you despise when you cannot possibly know that; and further, according to your own words, your own “doctrine”, motives cannot even be known, they are God’s purview solely, and thus what is your appeal for savaging these people? If you insist on divorcing action from assumptions which drive it, then by what moral standard can you judge them? For it is obvious to those not gone insane by hubris and a massively self-serving blog apparatus that action in a vacuum cannot possibly be declared “evil fruit”…for if the fruit is found far from the trees, how can you declare it evil? You know not which tree it came from. And even if you knew, if you divorce fruit from the root entirely, on a metaphysical level, then even if the fruit is rotten it must be the tree’s fault. And you cannot criticize the tree, you say…for only God sees the tree. So…whats with all the rationally insane and self-serving platitudes?”
The question isn’t “are you judging motives”. The question (if you want to get all Biblical about is) is are you judging motives correctly? Are you able to see enough in order to draw a logical conclusions as to the morality of a person’s motive? The answer to this is sometimes yes, and sometimes no. But make no mistake, actions cannot exist in a vacuum when perpetrated by a self-aware, volitional agent. You MUST judge actions because JUDGE implies a rendering of a decision concerning moral innocence or moral guilt. If you judge a person’s actions you ARE judging their heart/motive/doctrine/assumption ipso facto. So, the Bible’s point is that you better have a pretty good idea of what you are observing so that when you do judge, you are doing it according to a defensible rational standard. Otherwise, you are a hypocrite and are denying the right of SELF to your fellow man. And that’s not cool at all.
So…what’s really going on here with this little tidbit of Wartburg Watch intellectual laziness (that they are so well known for)? Well, I submit it is this: Dee is free to judge motives all day long and savage the targets of her ire and when someone decides to turn a critical eye upon her she claims how dare they?…my motives are pure, and you can’t see them anyway. And when they say, “but you are judging motives so why so upset that we judge yours”, she says I am not judging motives at all, only God can do that. And when they look at her all confused and say “Then why judge at all since action without motive is by definition utterly meaningless and thus must be a-moral?” And Dee replies “How dare you advise me to do something rational in service to my ideas…especially when the assumptions for doing so puts me on the moral hook for my own actions. How dare you take away my safety net of epistemological purity, which is “Ignorance is bliss”. I intend to appeal to ignorance of motives should God ask me to defend my tirades. Just in case I’m out of line here and am violating other Christians and God calls me out on it, I need to be able to say “But I never judged motives; I never judged the “heart””.
Well…isn’t that just convenient, Dee? You don’t judge motives, so you can be just as horrible as you like and you can never be held to moral account because it is merely the “fruit” you are judging. The person is as innocent in your eyes as a baby’s powdered bottom, I suppose you are saying. So when CJ turns a blind eye to abuse in the Church, for all you know, his motives may have been of the heavenliest kind, hmm? There may be blood but as long as Ceej is seeing Twinkies and Buttercups in his mind’s eye, then how can he be judged, right, Dee?
THIS is what you argue when someone calls out your invective? Good luck with that. And by the looks of your blog’s popularity, you are having copious amounts of good luck with that. And that? Is really depressing.
Aaaaaaaand….this is when Dee gets backed into her epistemological corner–which is easy to do–and the fire flies from her eyeballs and in a flash all that is left of poor old John A is a smoldering little circle in the comments thread. Once again, the brute force of blog moderation saves the day. The Hypocritical Two Step can go on, spinning and spinning and spinning in the barn, with party favors and used napkins and styrofoam cups littering the happy floor, into epistemological oblivion, leaving a trail of tyranny and human destruction in its wake. And this force? Is otherwise known as shutting the opposition the hell up because physical oppression, not ideas, are the root of all philosophical victories, I suppose.
Now, somewhere in there (I’m too tired to even go look now) Dee challenges John A to point out where she has judged motives. I didn’t wait around for John to oblige, but went on my own search. This took me a whopping twenty seconds to find. Here is Dee…er, not judging motives:
“This post [by Mark Driscoll] is either divorced from the reality of his situation or he is throwing the blame onto others, especially Satan and women. They are the problem, not him. This is a case study for psychologists.”
“How could Driscoll write this without taking into consideration the growing scandal? Or did he? Is it an admission of sorts? Is he saying “the devil made him do it?”
7 thoughts on “Learn the Hypocrisy Two Step Over at Wartburg Watch: Action divorced from assumption (“motive”)”
One of your best.
Thanks, John. I actually debated for a couple of days whether to even bother. I ranked Wartburg’s ongoing doctrinal schizophrenia on the So What scale and it missed the curve. But then I figured if at least one person…blah blah. You get the idea. 🙂
ARGGGG! Don’t get me started on the whole “motives” thing. It is so cliche that if one wants to interact at all anywhere in Christendom, one must deal with it. My tactic is to point out that “motives” and “hearts” don’t matter. All we know is what we see or hear from someone. So the focus has to be words and behavior. That we can judge and look for patterns.
Referring to motives (and the ever present whiny, “only God can judge hearts”) is a cop out. An excuse. As if the arrogant jerk is really a nice guy and there is a good secret reason his behavior/words are wrong. Please!!!! I have taken to ask what sort of good secret reason for corrupt behavior. Guess what you find? They change the definition of sin on you. Or simply change definitions in general.
And this idea that we cannot know our own motives just blows me away. Of course we do if we have any self awareness at all. I expect those who are mentally challenged not to know their motives for words/behavior but not functioning adults. And what is it about our motives being mixed? Is no one resolute anymore?
This is the sort of thing that keeps Christendom so silly, ridiculous and untrustworthy. And this idea of playing to motives is a corner NOT to be painted into. One cannot get out.
“I expect those who are mentally challenged not to know their motives for words/behavior but not functioning adults.”
Exactly. Who are they who are not culpable for their actions because they have no grasp on their motives/assumptions? Small children, psychologically compromised people, traumatic brain injury patients, and animals.
Of this list, who is qualified to run a discernment blog? Who is qualified to give advice or counsel or speak on ideas of any sort?
The answer is obvious. And this means we are left scratching our heads at why people like Dee and Deb, who concede that they have little better grasp on their own reasons for their behavior, are speaking up about anything at all.
Anyone tells me they don’t fully understand why they act the way they act and yet expect you to engage their ideas is either crazy or a tyrant. In either case, I don’t have any use for them…except perhaps as a cautionary tale.
Which Wartburg really has become.
“I keep telling myself to calm down, to take less of an interest in things and not to get so excited, but I still care a lot about liberty, freedom of speech and expression, and fairness in journalism.” Kate Adie
Saw this & thought of you, Argo.
“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”
Thought of John Immel & P Diddy on that one.
You are so great you don’t even know:-)