No True Christian: Part One

No True Christian: Part One

Nearly all of the New Testament was written to expose false teachers, and false teaching, correct bad behavior, and teach sound doctrine to the believers. Christians are forgiven and cleansed from their sins but still may make sinful choices. This can be true of the church corporately as well. We need to turn to Scripture to determine what a Christian is. This may be a Vince Lombardi “this is a football” moment. But from time to time, we need to go back to the basics of the gospel.

The days of debating national issues and proposing solutions in a civil debate seem to be a thing of the past. The rancor between the small groups of very vocal activists among both Progressives and Conservatives1 alike have increasingly been turning to the No True Scotsman Fallacy in an effort to cancel or silence the “other side” of the debate. What is the No True Scotsman Fallacy you ask? The Logical Fallacies website describes the intent and how it is executed:

The No True Scotsman fallacy appeals to the “purity” of an ideal or standard as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws in your argument. 

Example of No True Scotsman

  • John doesn’t drink alcohol. No real man avoids alcohol. John isn’t a real man.

The argument creates an ideal man and uses his supposed perfection to prove a point.

  • Sarah always wears slacks. No real woman would wear slacks. Sarah is not a real woman.

‘Establishing’ that no real woman would wear slacks creates the fallacy.

A popular current example of this is ”No true Christian would vote for…” Once started, you can fill in the blank with a Republican, a Democrat, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, etc. The group or individual used to fill in the blank matters little. The fallacy confuses what a Christian is with how a Christian may behave, in this case, using voting choices to identify the person who cannot possibly be a Christian. Even though either choice involves choosing a person who is far from perfect, the faults of our guy are overlooked while the other is thoroughly demonized. Even though its use is manipulative, it may be that the person making the case lacks a historical-grammatical understanding of Scripture and doesn’t realize they have created a false dilemma. Of course, we’re not saying that it makes no difference who one votes for. There are better and worse choices based on the policies they promote. That is the whole point of voting in a democratic republic – making the best choice, if you can, between two far-from-perfect human beings. And the truth is people often selfishly vote for who or what they believe is in their best interest. No human endeavor is going to be untainted by mankind’s sinful nature. Sad but true.

Thankfully, Christian belief tells us that believing in Jesus and His sacrifice makes one a Christian, not one’s voting record.

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