I first noticed brethren bashing on social media not so long ago. It was #eternalsalvation all over the place. Some people were for grace, others were for works. Obviously, one group was wrong as salvation cannot be grace and works at the same time. However what caught my attention was the manner in which people took their stand especially on social media.
Several people resorted to bashing – insults and using really harsh words to drive home their point. And even though, their stance on the matter was right and their doctrines sound, their manner of approach to correction and judging was not consistent with our calling as believers.
Recently, it was the #tithing matter and the same drama unfolded again; this time even worse and Christian leaders were dragged into it.
The very saddening part of this gist is the fact that this is a Christian vs Christian matter. If it were outsiders, maybe we could pass on it or just ignore… but among believers? No! Brethren bashing on and off the internet is not of God even when your side of the argument is the right side. In fact, it sounds like an item on Satan’s job description (the accuser of the brethren).
I’m going to try to put a definition to brethren bashing. Brethren bashing is using unwholesome words to ‘attack’ the personality of a brother/sister because of a wrongdoing(s) especially because it is not consistent with our faith. On brethren bashing on social media, I have these few things to say.
It is key for us to note that we are all human.
So even though we are born again, the flesh remains corrupt and needs to be kept underway. The fact that he/she is a man/woman of God doesn’t mean they are prone to error. There is need to understand that we are all on a journey unto perfection. The church is like a clinic – it is not for perfect people. If you understand that people (including yourself) are prone to falling from time to time, you’d find it easier to make allowance for one another.
Gal 6:1 (MSG) Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Click To Tweet
Obviously, not every believer around you would be on the same page with you concerning conduct and doctrine.
Overcome the urge to always be right. Winning a brother back is better than winning an argument. Sometimes, you need to let go. If you notice an erring believer, restore such a one in love. How you correct a brother is almost more about the manner than about the case at hand.
I see a lot of Christians use foul language and insult others, like practically abusing them because they do not believe the same thing especially on social media and I’m shook… I never understand why. It is uncalled for. You can gracefully correct an erring brother with no insults or foul language.
Say no to brethren bashing. Give allowance for each other's faults... for even a man of God is a first of all a man. Click To Tweet
Honour is part of our DNA.
I see younger people in the faith bash those who are fathers in the faith for so long simply because they think these elderly people are ‘out of line’
True, they may be out of line but they are God’s anointed, you have to be mindful of how you treat them. Honour is such an important concept in our faith. I am not saying accept their wrong teachings because they are old. Of course not, they also can miss it sometimes. I am saying even in your correction, be full of grace.
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For instance, a pastor in another country does wrong. You are bashing him on your social media page does not exactly have direct access to his changing, so why bother? Why join the pool of commenters on social media for the unwholesome talk that would not effect change?
A lot of believers are guilty of judging others in a worse way than they would have judged themselves. They forget that sin is a sin before God and that you shouldn’t judge another person simply because they sin differently. No one has made you assistant Holy Spirit or heaven’s registrar, so you really have no business deciding which Christian is heaven bound and which ones are not. Especially if you don’t have anything to bring to the table – like you can not help the individual get better, then keep your comments to yourself.
If you are a spiritual authority in a certain community and even if you are not, you may be saddled with the responsibility of establishing certain truths and correcting wrong trends. But even this one doesn’t warrant brethren bashing. Leave the person and face the matter at hand. Our job as believers is to uplift each other in love.
I hope this communicates what I intend for it to communicate. This post is not to say that correction within the household of faith is not allowed. This is saying that while we stand for sound doctrine, there is a manner of correction that is unwholesome and unbecoming of a Christian – that manner should be avoided. Brethren bashing on social media or any form of media can never be acceptable conduct befitting of a believer. Let love be your watchword. Above all, be guided by the Holy Spirit.