Diversion: “Why are you criticizing what [insert big name pastor here] said in his sermon last week or wrote in his book or did with that stripper in Vegas? Have you gone to him and talked to him personally about what he said/wrote/snorted?”
Usage: Whenever someone is pointing out really horrible logic or unbiblical thinking coming from a person that I admire.
Strength: Sounds really spiritual.
Translation: “Since I know you’ll never be able to talk to the guy personally, I’ll use this as a clever way to shut you down and make you look bad in the process.”
Biblical Support: Allegedly Matthew 18:15-17
Fallacy: Misreading of the passage. The context is talking about a brother or sister within ones own congregation to which one has access and over whom the local elders have authority. The public statements of the president of a fundamentalist college or a pastor who lives 1000 miles away and who does not attend your church or even belong to your denomination hardly fit into this passage.
Biblical Counter: Luke 13:32. Did Jesus have a face-to-face sit-down with Herod before calling him a fox?