12 Dec Dog-Fights and Discernment Regarding Social Media
A GCC pastor’s wife wrote a great blog entry with some Biblical and balanced wisdom about some of the conflict and fighting that happens on social media by Christians.
She talks about how she made a choice to get off of social media, to choose not to participate anymore, not even reading them – just a full stop because it was not stirring her up to love and good works, but causing division and disagreement.
One of the reasons I am referencing this and encouraging you to read her blog is that I think with our current culture in Ontario and in Canada, within the small evangelical circle of gospel churches, this has become a practice that does not glorify God. You can read the post on The Gospel Coalition Canada website HERE.
She points out that some people just love confrontation and controversy and she references one who was well known for this in the past, T. T., Shields. Shields, in his wayward (in my view) love of controversy, saw these conflicts as helpful to the kingdom and advancing the Lord’s work.
For sure we must stand for the truth, not be hesitant to call sin, sin and we must be a people of grace and truth, as our Saviour was and is. However, the love of a fight that some seem to have within the evangelical church in Canada, excusing and defending it by twisting Scripture (at times) to support name calling, attacking fellow family members, using demeaning and derogatory language, etc., can’t be allowed to be thought of as Biblically healthy nor helpful to the gospel.
This writer makes a great point about how so much of this is not only not honouring to the Lord, nor advancing the kingdom of God, but is actually being fed by sinful desires of the flesh. She writes of what is behind this online practice by Christians, “I call them my “anti-1-Corinthians-13 attributes”: I am impatient, I am unkind, I am envious and boastful; often arrogant and rude. I insist on my own way. I am irritable and resentful. I revel in destruction and crown myself the authority of truth.” This would describe so much of what I have read and/or heard from fellow Christians and churches, within Canada, over the past years. The sad part is that, like the struggle we all can have so often, those doing this are blind to it, self-declaring that what they are doing is the exact opposite of what is actually happening. This is a common pitfall which we all must guard against. I can so much more easily see sin in the life of others then when I look in the mirror. Somehow our mirrors, are like those at fairs and carnivals, as they twist and distort what we see of self, redefining impatience, unkindness, arrogance, rudeness, etc. as faithful, courageous defending of Christ and His gospel.
She includes a reference to a passage in James which constantly challenges my own heart. I know I continually have much to work on in living out this passage in my own heart, words, and actions. I have so much further to go, but we must not forsake it, even as we struggle to walk in obedience to it. This is what true gospel fidelity and real Biblical commitment looks like in the church and within the differences and disagreements we may have with one another. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17–18).
I encourage you to take a few minutes to read her article, prayerfully pondering both the encouragement in it, as well as the warning and gracious correction, which is much needed in evangelical social media landscape of Canada.