Jesus said that those who abide in him will bear good fruit. (John 15.) I sometimes consider that when I see how two people address the same point. It came up the other day with Beth Moore and Seth Dunn.
Beth Moore wrote an open letter to men in her circles about how some of them have treated women in ministry. She probably expected to get flack for it, but had the courage to write it anyway. Some men took it well and expressed their appreciation, even asking forgiveness for how they have mistreated women in ministry. The number who have not responded at all is unsurprising, as well, since this type of information can take a while to digest for those who need to rethink their thoughts and actions.
But the response from one “ministry” is astounding for its unbridled vitriol and hubris. Seth Dunn from Pulpit & Pen took Beth to task in a vitriolic polemic riddled with ad hominem attacks set against a glaring absence of evidence. There is a constant criticism of Beth’s teaching with no citation to specific teachings. It’s all accusation and no substance, with self-congratulatory references scattered here and there as filler.
A comparison of spiritual fruit indicates who bears the fruit of the Spirit and who doesn’t. As Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, the sinful
“… acts of the flesh are obvious: … hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy … .” (Galatians 5:19-21.)
But when it comes to the Spirit of Christ, the fruit is
“… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23.)
In reading Beth’s letter and Seth’s response, one person consistently exhibits the Holy Spirit’s fruit in her writing while the other person’s writing exhibits the other type of fruit. One is consistent with the New Covenant model for God’s people and the other isn’t.
I hope my writing is consistently more like Beth’s than Seth’s.