34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”John 13:34-35 (CSB)
A lot of my Facebook friends are Christians and I follow several Christian pages on social media. We’re from different places and denominational backgrounds, but we are all united in Christ. So, we should show love to one another. That said, I’ve noticed a sad trend recently: There’s a lot more arguing than love being shown to the world.
Social Media: believers fighting for the world to see
Believers are posting about politics, doctrinal beliefs, etc. and immediately being attacked in the comments by other CHRISTIANS. These are obviously controversial issues but there are healthy ways to discuss them. The norm, though, doesn’t seem to be a friendly disagreement but a fight meant to humiliate. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
A quick look at the angry comments shows that unbelievers realize the infighting and often call them out on their hypocrisy, bringing dishonor and shame to Jesus’ name. The body of Christ is frequently choosing to display criticism and even hatred on social media, the most public places in the entire world.
How can Spirit-filled believers blatantly ignore Christ just to prove their point? I honestly don’t know. I’m not judging hearts and we all deal with various sins, but this is the opposite of Christianity.
Let’s be the church
Maybe they’ve never been taught how to disagree cordially with someone. Maybe they argue like the world because they’re letting the culture impact them too much. Maybe it’s simply a lack of discipleship and they haven’t been taught that we should love people with whom we disagree. I don’t know. But, for the sake of the gospel, it must change.
If you know fellow Christians who take part in these arguments, humbly talk with them about this. Lovingly show them a better way. Patiently walk with them as they are sanctified in this area. That’s discipleship.
Assuming that they are true believers, we must treat them as such. Like all other sins, this has to be put to death by the Spirit daily. That requires prayer, Bible intake, and Christian fellowship. Help them grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus and fight this and other sins while inviting them to help you do the same.
The world won’t know that you follow Jesus because of your political affiliation, theological camp, or moral lifestyle. Things like this can be helpful, but they aren’t the mark of a disciple. According to our Lord, we will be known by our humble, self-sacrificing love for one another. Let’s be the church and bear one another’s burdens as we grow in holiness together.