Last night as I was heading to bed, I was watching a music video from one of my favorite artists. I personally enjoy this video, and the song it accompanies. The song is all about defending the Christian faith in the midst of a secular world. It's really resonated with me lately since I'm about to start working in a very secular environment at American Eagle Outfitters. After watching the music video, I scrolled down on the web page to see what other people thought of the video/song.
Half the comments that I saw on that page were from professing Christians ripping every aspect of the video to pieces, calling it "demonic" and "terrible" and other such things. The other half were trying to defend the video, often stooping to the same low-blow tactics of the critics. I was really taken aback by it all.
Of course, I shouldn't have been all that surprised; this is how our culture operates today. If we don't like something, then clearly we need to let everyone know what we don't like about it so that they won't like it either. Our personal opinion is the only one that matters, right?
Well, maybe to you.
I was just so discouraged that those who claim to be my brothers and sisters in Christ were arguing so vehemently against each other. What was really poignant to me about this whole ordeal was that the song is about reaching out with the Gospel and the love of Christ to those who don't know Him, and the people watching weren't even showing that love to those they ought to consider spiritual brethren. How can we spread the love of the Gospel into the world if we can't even share that love with fellow believers?
I wrote a blog post a while back about the wisdom of silence in everyday life. I think that same principle applies even more strongly in the digital realm. It can be very easy and very tempting to write something online to someone that you would never say to their face. For the sake of the Gospel and your testimony, please think twice before you post something. (Also, read it through again to see if you made any typos -- just a personal pet peeve :P) If you are posting any kind of criticism, make sure it is worded in a loving way. Also, take time to realize that just because you stated your view very articulately doesn't mean that the other person will actually end up agreeing with you. It's incredibly hard to change someone's mind through an online format.
I could continue, but I think I'll let my friends at Blimey Cow take it from here. They say it far better than I could:
(Side Note: I mainly used examples from YouTube comments, but the same principles apply to any online forum, such Facebook or blogs or anything else you might think of. Just, please use discretion.)
A simple servant of the Master.