Anyone who meddles in ideas will be misrepresented. There is no escaping it. I don't claim to be an expert on any issue. But I do enjoy immensely the exchange of ideas. And there are a couple issues on which I think if have a solid grasp. Whatever the issue was, I have yet to have a conversation that either I or the other person(s) did not misunderstand some detail about the issue under consideration. The reasons for this are multi-layered.
Two Kinds of Misrepresenters
Not all misrepresenters are created equal. I want to create a couple categories so as not to misrepresent them. It would be terrible if I misrepresented the misrepresenters.
The Innocent Misrepresenter
The innocent misrepresenter is so because he does not have the informational or intellectual capacity to grasp the nuances of the topic. Therefore, he attempts to convey the conversation but cannot do it accurately. What often happens is that the misrepresenter has a preconceived notion about what a particular position states or what certain terms mean. Therefore, they hear an issue discussed through the distortion of misinformation. Far too often people have walked away from my conversations or statements and repeat what they heard, but not what I said. This kind of misrepresenter is not malicious; they are just misinformed. And that is tolerable.
The Malicious Misrepresenter
The malicious misrepresenter is so because he has an unholy agenda. There may be many motivators for the misrepresentation. I am not so much concerned about the motivation as I am the action. When I encounter a malicious misrepresenter, I will mark and avoid them. When I and others have clarified our position on a topic, and one refuses to state it accurately, then they are a malicious misrepresenter.
My Response to the Malicious Misrepresenter
When I have confirmed that you are a misrepresenter of the malicious variety, then I will not engage you in conversation. If you are going to misrepresent me, then you are going to have to work hard to find my material so that you can traffic in your devious dealings.
However, if you maliciously misrepresent one of my friends—and likely anyone—then I will call your hand. I know all too well what it is like to be on the receiving end of malicious conduct. By the grace of God, I will not participate in it. In the interest of being transparent, I must admit that I have had to repent of this sin more than once. But I am asking the Holy Spirit to keep a check on my tongue and spirit in this regard.
NOTE: As will all my blogs, all comments will be posted. Please feel free to engage.