Sunday, April 30, 2017
Little Piggy's House Of Straw
Proverbs 18:2 – Fools find no pleasure in understanding but
delight in airing their own opinions. (NIV 2011)
Corinthians 8:2 – Those who think they know something do not yet
know as they ought to know. (NIV 2011)
The above texts remind me
of The Three Little Pigs story, specifically the foolish piggy who
built his house with straw. The big, bad wolf easily toppled his house
— all because of faulty building material. That's essentially the
outcome of building our viewpoints with faulty reasoning: We construct
"houses of straw" in our minds. None of us is immune to the
propensity, and so, this topic deserves our notice.
with the imagery of straw, let's consider the "straw man"
argument. In constructing such an argument, we distort the words of another
person and then argue against it. We put forth this "straw man"
because it's easy to knock down or discredit. We use it to justify our
own position. Here's one example:
Mom to her teen son: "We
need to do yard work today."
Teen: "You just want me to work
all the time. You never want me to have fun."
This teen has
misrepresented his mother's position to justify his reluctance. Of
course, she could react with a straw man fallacy of her own:
"You're just lazy!" Later, she tells her friends how
rebellious her son is, and how terrible teenagers are these days. …
and on it goes. Truth becomes lost under a heap of straw.
doubt, you have been misunderstood through the use of straw-man fallacies.
I have. But I'm also guilty of constructing them — as I did even
yesterday. So, I can't condemn others for it, including media folk and
political leaders who are relentlessly tempted to use straw-man fallacies
to put forth a slant or a faulty viewpoint and to discredit an
Straw-man fallacies lurk everywhere. They
are divisive; they polarize people into opposing positions. They are so
pervasive that our entire society risks becoming a humongous "house of
straw". This will not withstand destructive forces. No political
leader, no law, and no army can save such a "house", because it
is built on falsehoods.
In 2 Corinthians 3:14, we read that
"their minds were made dull". This refers to the people of
ancient Israel who, in rejecting God, lost the ability to think
effectively. Paul says the same thing about other civilizations:
Romans 1:21 – For although they knew God, they neither
glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became
futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (NIV 2011)
this spiritual diagnosis applies today. Simply put: We cannot thrive
without God. We cannot ever be fully honest without God.
Corinthians 14:20 – Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like
children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
Prayer: Lord of all truthfulness, sensitize us
to the distortions of truth in and around us. Equip us to think clearly and
truthfully about ourselves, others, our world, and You, with the
"mind of Christ" — that we may effectively serve You
in building Your enduring, eternal "House" — even as we
witness the man-made "houses of straw" toppling around us.
Diane Eaton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada
for Today: People who do things that count never stop to count them.
for Today: Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
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