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When the World Slanders, and Christians Follow

The past few months, including the past week, has been filled with slander from non-Christians and Christians alike.  I log onto my Facebook account the day after the elections and find Christians dragging our current leaders and leaders elect through the mud.  It drives me crazy!!

The past few months, including the past week, has been filled with slander from non-Christians and Christians alike.  I log onto my Facebook account the day after the elections and find Christians dragging our current leaders and leaders elect through the mud.  It drives me crazy!!

I do not understand what it is that makes verbally attack others, especially leaders.  It is as if we have not figured out a mature enough way to voice our opinions while still respecting a person.  Whether the person is a leader or not, there should be respect and value in our words even amongst disagreement.  In Colossians 3 (and other places in Scripture) God calls us to "put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature" – one of those being slander and filthy language.  In these last few months of raging politics I have watched, listened and heard many people indulge their earthly nature.

There are questions for us then if we choose to respond somehow.  First of all, who do/should we respond to?  Secondly, how should we respond?  As I was reading a highly offensive status update on a Christian friend's facebook wall I wanted to respond, but then I thought, "should I call this person out on a social networking site?"  I have not seen or talked to this person in about 10 years, so I wondered if it was my place.  (I ended up making a blanket response in my status line, but nothing direct – did not know what else to do).  What is my (our) responsibility or role in this especially when there is not face to face opportunity and when you have not seen this person in a while?  Social networking is great, but makes things blurry sometimes.
The "easier" situations should be those said face to face.  Even then if they are said in the context of a large group you have to wait for the appropriate time to talk to them one on one.  So how about co-workers, family members, those you have authority over in the workplace, your barista at Starbucks?  Who are we called to respond to and how?

It seems that nowadays anyone can say anything and no one will hold them accountable to their words.  It is Christians that I struggle with in this because the standard we have set before us is different than others.  Those who are not Christians do not have this standard and while it is good to ask questions our responsibility lies with those that believe like we do, have the same standards that we do.

I write all this not having the answers, but to admittedly say that I struggle with this.  I am a people pleaser.  Where is the place to say something, how to say something, do I say it to this person? 

Somewhere we have lost the voice of accountability so the world slanders and Christians follow.

One Comment

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    Sharifa Stevens

    Facebook Status Phenomena

    Yeah, Laura, I hear you.

    It’s been a disenchanting process reading facebook statuses lately. People throw out things that they can’t take back later. Including me (I wrote a rant – a tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic response to a friend’s status update. I’m wondering if there weren’t a better way to air out my frustrations).

    With the advent of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and other "instant" communication vehicles, I think it’s even easier to impulsively speak first…and maybe think later.

    The political "banter" is bigger than a statement; it’s people who are responding to a major shift in the future safety of their worldview. It is, in short, fear. Insecurity. Anger.

    I fear that instant communication of this sort will serve to polarize more than to unify in the short and long run.

    But hey, sometimes status updates can be the catalyst to conversations (especially now that you can comment on them). Maybe even rash comments can be used to begin thoughtful conversation?

    I think it’s all about how we respond. And I struggle with this, too, Laura. Hopefully, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can discern when to remain silent, and when to enter in to a conversation, with words that are seasoned with salt.