Amid this lung-ripping escapade, the language of warfare has replaced the language of debate. We cannot merely have opponents these days; we must treat them as enemies. Reasoned, passionate debate is a thing of the past. It is not sufficient to win arguments; we must assassinate characters. We must do more than defeat; we must also destroy.
But, the real tragedy is the spread of this "total war" mentality into our churches. There is little room for vigorous yet charitable discussion of important issues. Increasing numbers seem content to wage war against theological "enemies," rather than develop thoughtful critique. Says Sandlin, "these sorts of people will never reclaim culture. They must, like Israel of old, die in the cultural wildness, so a newer, more charitable generation can supplant them."