My personality type tends to avoid conflict, it stresses me out. Besides I actually like most people and see no point in getting bent out of shape because of words on a screen.
My personal adage has always been the only way to win an argument online is to not engage.
About a month ago I tweeted something I thought was innocuous. Something that basically said "We should stop calling people that are different from us "Sinners". Instead we should reach out with love." Something to that effect and I included a Link to a blog I like.
I had pressed send and actually completely forgot that I tweeted anything, when suddenly my phone started buzzing incessantly. People were calling me a heretic, others were defending me by calling that person a moron.
The hatred and name calling escalated and I tried to cool people off by extending grace, Tweeting things like "Calling people a moron doesn't help, show him grace, I was once angry too." or "I'm sorry you disagree with me, I still like you though." but these soft spoken words were lost in the anger and indignation. I turned off my phone remembering the only way to win an online argument is to not engage.
When I read the bible I notice that the devil is called "the accuser of the brethren." Most everyone will agree with me on this. What upsets me most is that he seems to be having allot of help with his job by people who call themselves Christians.
When we accuse each other we are doing Satan's job for him.
When I read someone say Mark Driscoll is a bully and an uncultured moron, that person is accusing one of the brethren.
When I hear someone denounce Rob Bell as a heretic, that person is accusing one of the brethren.
Christians are doing the devil's job for him and it breaks my heart. On Social media sites people get so angry, so quick to denounce a human being. One of God's own children. The name calling grows far toovicious for me. Especially when politics are involved.
It reinforces an "Us versus them" mentality.
I honestly believe we were never meant to live this "Us vs. Them" lifestyle. But people feel so justified in their own righteous indignation.
There is nothing righteous about indignation.
The worst person in the world can say things are terrible. It takes a prophetic people to look at the bad in society and see the good. It takes a prophetic person to see the gold in another human being.
It takes faith to find hope in a hopeless situation.
Instead we fall back to accusing, hiding behind our own labels: republican, democrat, liberal, libertarian, gay, straight, black, white, us, them.
The bible calls Jesus our advocate.
Satan accuses. Jesus advocates. When we stand up for someone we are being like Jesus. When we accuse each other we are being like Satan.
It really is that simple.
Look to build instead of destroy. Please. In that way we are most like Christ.