Today an ugly, vicious tone of public discourse has entered our world. Though each person is ultimately accountable to his or her Lord, I humbly believe from my study of scripture that there is no excuse for people who call themselves followers of Jesus to blast every foe or perceived political offense with slanderous, true or untrue, angry tirades. I do not see anywhere in the Bible were there are exceptions to these verses:
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay, ' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.' "(Romans 12: 17-21).
"Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king" (1 Peter 2:16-17).
We were taught as children that we could disagree without being disagreeable. We would do well to remember that advice as adults.
When I tried, gently I hoped, to challenge someone who was making some rather strong, nasty statements about a church situation and those in authority, he responded angrily that Moses talked like that to people, so he had every right to do that.
"Maybe so," was my reply, "but you aren't Moses."
If we haven't been commissioned by God out of burning bush to deliver a message, we need to be careful that our tone does not exceed our authority. [Read more...]