For several weeks I've been thinking of writing a post on people in the Christian community that feel the need to, or as they would express "bring to light" errors in Biblical teaching from certain teacher's and pastor's (I'll refrain from using names). These people probably feel they are being "led" to let us know about these misled Bible teacher's and pastor's. They probably feel it is their Christian duty, often quoting chapter and verse in order to back up their words. Read 1 Timothy.
With some websites and blogs it seems to be their focus to write posts, that will then be spread about throughout blog land, hashing and rehashing the same subjects on these "misled" teachers and pastors.
In America we have freedom of speech, being the author of a blog or website makes us instant publisher's. But, being a Christian sets us apart in how we should speak and live!
Sometimes it is necessary to council with someone who is not understanding the Bible. Sometimes it is necessary to gently rebuke someone who is teaching incorrectly. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-3 and Proverbs 15:1.
But, it is never okay to tear someone apart, nor to cut and paste quotes from various places in order to have "evidence" on that teacher or pastor that is in error. It is never okay to defame them, nor to spread gossip. It is never okay to use nasty or snide remarks. It is never okay to lower ourselves in our own character to the point that we are no different than the carnal world.
Sometimes I am ashamed of the Christian community that I am apart of because of their prejudice and hatefulness, more than that it grieves me.
And on the other side.
I am reading more and more from the secular community about those dogmatic, flagrant, prejudice, holier than thou, don't drink and don't dance, close-minded, Calvinistic Evangelist Christian's.
I have a sample of a book on my Kindle about the Civil War. The author used the word Evangelist so often it became redundant and twangy.
Interesting how each side accuses the other and yet neither realizes each of them are being dogmatic and prejudice.
I read on another blog that maybe Christian's need to toughen up their skin. Maybe. Or maybe we need to follow Jesus' example.
I studied the Gospel of Mark last week and made notes of every time Jesus was angry, rebuked someone, was bold and direct, passionate, and when He was silent.
Jesus never called anyone derogatory names, He was the perfect listener, when He reproached or rebuked someone He was direct and to the point, He did not belittle anyone, no long speeches.
He associated with everyone, He gave everyone a chance to come to Him.
And a lesson for me and for us, when someone turned their back on Him, He let their decision lay with them.
He did not take it personally by attacking them back.
Everyone has an opinion it's our human nature. But there is a time to speak and a time to remain silent. Choose your words carefully, choose your battles even more carefully. When we do speak, make sure we do it out of love, not out of proving we are correct in order to elevate our ego. Because if we allow ourselves time to think about it, pray about it, it just might be we were wrong, or that we need to rephrase what we were going to say.
The world is watching, paying closer attention to us than probably we are to them. Take it seriously.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 and Hebrews 4:12-13.
For another article on this same subject by Tim Keller, Scoffers, Scorners, and Snark.