I’m observing an unhealthy pattern of behavior in the church on social media. It unfolds in this manner (see if this sounds familiar):
- President Trump says something offensive.
- Christians become incensed.
- Christians share their incensed-ness on social media.
- Incensed Christians then accuse everyone who doesn’t share their incensed-ness of racism, hatred, agreeing with every wrong thing President Trump has ever said or done, not being a good person, and generally not being a (good) Christian.
Church? We’re cool right up until step 4, where we become very uncool. And by “uncool,” I mean we sin.
That’s a great question. Check out Christ’s words found in Matthew 5:22:
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Jesus delivered these statements as part of what we now call the Sermon on the Mount. You can tell Jesus is serious because He says, “…will be liable to the hell of fire” right there at the end.
“Shouldn’t I correct my brother/sister?”
If they need correcting, and if you are mature-enough in the faith to deliver correcting, absolutely. But you should realize there are even thoughts suggestions rules commands about correcting your brother / sister, as well. I share some in this post titled Don’t Read This Post.
Let’s also keep James 3:1 in mind:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
That’s one reason I admonish all Christians (and remind myself) to Tread With Care.
When we level such an accusation at anyone, it’s akin to throwing a tantrum – stomping feet and waving fists included. We’ve abandoned discourse of any kind at this point, much less civil discourse. We want our way and we want it now (whine whine whine stomp stomp stomp wave wave wave)!
Does that sound child-ish (aka immature) to you? It should because it is.
And it’s a sin.
“What About What My Brother / Sister Believes, Then?”
- “What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” – Jesus It’s None of Your Business
- “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” – the Holy Spirit inspiring Paul in Romans 14:4
- Bonus: “The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.” ibid, Romans 14:22
If you believe it’s your job to correct your wayward brothers and sisters, you may be correct. One symptom of being correct will be your fruit in correcting your brother / sister. Hint: Castigating your brothers and sisters publicly – on social media, for instance – is a deal-breaker.
Cut this out, church. How we treat each other is important, especially when we disagree. Jesus told us:
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:35