We've all read them.
Some of us have even posted them - smug, condescending, even vile and angry blog comments. The comment section of a blog is often a cesspool of sinful speech.
And now begin the justifications.
"It's not sinful speech! They're wrong. Their doctrine wasn't just right. They don't think like I do. I don't like their opinion. I don't like their preaching, music, philosophy of ministry..."
I get it.
Nobody's doctrine is perfect. Nobody thinks just like you do. There are lots of different styles of preaching and music, and even more strategies for making disciples...some better than others. None of these things, however, are a justifiable reason for sinful speech...even in the comment section of a blog. The point you're trying to make may even be the right point. The problem is, you can be right the wrong way.
So, how can we have a robust difference of opinion, but still honor one another? How can we confront error passionately, but do so with respect? Ultimately, how can we comment on social media like Christians?
1. Read carefully
I don't receive an enormous number of comments on my blog. Of the comments I do receive, I can't believe how many simply don't pay attention to what I've actually said. People who communicate are trying to make a point. Before we confront, disagree, or dispute what they've said, we need to read carefully in order to insure we have actually comprehended what they've said.
2. Reflect biblically
Prior to pointing out problems with what's been written, we need to ask better questions? "Is there truly a problem with what's written, or does this merely conflict with my personal preference? What does it look like for me to reflect the fruit of the Spirit in this comment? Will my words please the Lord? Should I even post this? Is this true? How can I say this gently?" Less haste. More reflection.
3. Respond clearly
Writing in a way that is clear, concise, and coherent is not easy. I've read many comments wondering, "What in the world is this person even trying to say?" I'm fine having people disagree with me. One of the reasons I write is that I want to learn. But we can't learn from one another if we're not clear.
As Christians we need to have more fierce conversations - they simply must be saturated in the full measure of grace and truth. We should hold our convictions passionately, but humbly. We should enter in to the number of amazing conversations that are happening on line. We simply need to read carefully, reflect Biblically, and respond clearly as we do.
Feel free to comment below:-)