Check any comment section of a controversial topic in Christiandom, and you’ll see Christians ripping into other Christians. Someone told me, “We don’t know how to disagree anymore.” Disagreement constitutes as hate speech or unchristian. Accusations of being unchristian often are based on someone’s political opinion rather than theology, or a lack of compassion because the person claiming they are Christian are lost.
In an argument, defensiveness and caustic tones are often signs of insecurity or too much passion.
- Pride: We don’t know the answer or don’t want to be wrong. It takes humility to actually admit fault.
- Anger: We are angry at what is going on in the world and lack mercy for those who are uninformed. Our responses therefore come out as angry.
- Festering Wounds: We are unpleasant people who are dealing with something in our past and take it out on the person online. It’s easier to be rude to someone online because we see them as a number or a cold profile, rather than a human being struggling with sin like us. Plus, we know we probably won’t see them at church.
Your challenge today is to audit your responses online. Rein in your passion and anger. We need to forgive those who have passed laws we disagree vehemently with in order to help them see what Christ stood for in the Bible. You can’t build bridges if the other side won’t talk to you.
Here are some key things to do when faced with a situation where you or the other person becomes enraged:
- Step away from the internet. The positive of internet conversations is how you do not need to respond right now. You can return to that conversation later when you are better armed and have a nicer frame of mind.
- Understand that there will always be disagreement. Learn how to disagree and still be friends.
- Don’t use words, like unchristian, stupid, swear words, or other words that put down that person whom Jesus loves.
- A journey doesn’t happen in a day. Someone who is just starting their Christian journey won’t have all the facts or totally understand yet. The older Christians must mentor the younger ones (and we’re not talking age here!).
- Democrats can be Christian, too. Christianity isn’t a political party. Jesus wasn’t a Republican. It’s all about the heart and if that person’s life bears fruit according to what the Bible says. You can rebuke, but you must rebuke only if you have prayed about it and allowed the Holy Spirit to pave the way for correction.
Lastly, no soul was ever won through a debate. They were won over through relationships.