I’ve learned a very big lesson after having to make two public apologies for misrepresenting people on twitter. I did not purposefully set out to do that but it happened because I became very emotional and defensive over what I believed was true. If we are not careful we all are prone to do this. It’s not always because we are selfish (although there are some people who have that motive) but because we truly care about the truth and about other people.
We are all Christians and we need to support each other in spreading the name and love of Christ. When we fight amongst ourselves and act in an unChristlike manner, we show the world that we are no different. We are to build eachother up with our words. We are to comfort the brokenhearted. May we strive to be a united Church. People from different cultures, races, and nations. Men and women, adults and children. All united by this common gospel message that Christ came in the world to save sinners. That he preached a gospel of love and repentance. A gospel of turning from sin to living a life of love based on the grace and love that Christ showed us when he took our sins upon the cross and was resurrected 3 days later.
I am a calvinist and there are people who aren’t so fond of calvinists. There are people who believe that calvinist/reformed Christianity is a dangerous belief system and a cult. However there are many misrepresentations of what calvinists actually believe that people bring into these debates. Before I became a calvinist I was taught to watch out for those cold hearted calvinists. “Calvinist” just has a negative stigma in the church and I used to believe that calvinism was dangerous. We don’t believe God chose you to go to hell if you reject Christ. We don’t believe God is a puppet master who chose exactly how everything would happen or that we are robots. This is just another example of an area where we can disagree on something but still be united on the gospel message of Christ coming into the world to save us from our sins.
Whether or not an inter faith dialogue between a Christian and a Muslim in a church building violated Scripture is a serious matter. The debate between Dr. White and Dr. Zachariades over free will matters. The recent racism discussion in America and kneeling American football players matters. These things matter because we believe we are being faithful to Scripture and because we care about truth and that people may be led astray by false teachings and/or error. However we can sometimes forget that the church is made up of every tribe, tongue, and nation. We can focus so much on the issues surrounding us in our country, state, local community, political affiliation and neglect to remember that if we believe the gospel we are united as a people. We are the body of Christ. Imagine if someone’s body parts started fighting the other parts. The fist punches the stomach or the hand pokes the eyes. We only hurt ourselves when we fight with eachother. It is not easy for us (especially for us Americans) to admit when we have acted wrongly, but especially on twitter where you have so many eyes that will see your apology.
Twitter can sometimes give you a feeling of power that you don’t get in most settings and that you don’t usually feel when you are talking to someone on the phone or face to face. We don’t think to privately contact the person we are waging a war against on social media. We dont always first try to genuinely ask them to explain their positions. We don’t want to hear their perspective or attempt to understand their point of view. We want to win the fight. We want to show them that we are right and they are wrong. It hurts our pride.
We need to speak the truth in love. We can hold to our convictions and use Scripture as our basis for those truths. However we need to remember to speak the truth in LOVE. Love as displayed by Christ in his willingness to die on the cross for people who sinned against Him. He knew the sins that we would commit but he humbled himself and died on the cross for us. May we strive to have the same love for those around us and share the gospel with those close to us and those around the world. The gospel is the hope the world needs to hear. The gospel takes broken, sinful people and turns them into redeemed, holy saints.