Brian’s comment got me thinking…what if we took these words from Paul (below) seriously…if all the hurtful, harmful and attacking things said by Christians to other Christians on the internet (even in person) were put aside and that time used for real, useful and biblical kingdom purposes? I cannot help that more lost people would be saved, the church would be healthier and the world would have a better opinion of Christians. So, why not?
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” – 1 Tim 1:3-7
“29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Eph 4:29-32
These aren’t suggestions. These are imperatives/commands. What is more, God tells us what happens if we don’t obey this. We grieve the Holy Spirit and wonder away from the truth. I cannot imagine anyone wanting those consequences…and yet the hurtful things continue to be said. How much love do we have for those we disagree with?