Now, if you will, turn with me in your Bible to 3Peter 2 where we will look at what the Bible has to say about our Internet interactions.
Okay, not there. The Bible doesn't talk about the Internet. But that's not entirely correct. It does say some things that might be pertinent.
I'm thinking right now about "social media", about Twitter and Facebook, about blogs and vlogs and people commenting on stories. We who care about the truth (and most people claim to care about the truth) will see an offensive statement, position, argument, belief, idea -- whatever -- and it's time. You've been reviled. You've been slandered. You've been -- dare I say it? -- persecuted. So what do we do? We go on the assault. We tell those rotten so-and-so's how wrong they are and how insane their position is and how they're assaulting not you but God Himself. We fight back. It's safe to do so, right? I mean, we're pretty insulated on the Internet. Or maybe we go the other way. Maybe we cave and compromise. We give in and back off and neglect to stand our ground at all. Isn't that what the Bible says to do? No, no it is not.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)
I'm trying to envision what it would look like if we used that perspective in our online exchanges. When the atheist insults and falsely accuses us and we bless them. When the government prosecutes us for standing our ground on the Word of God and we endure. When so-called Christians bad-mouth us, even on our own blogs and websites, and we gently ask them to look at the truth and to be kind.
There is a perception that we're supposed to stand our ground and fight. Spiritually, yes. Verbally? There is a perception that we're supposed to be meek, even cowardly. We're supposed to cower in the corner and let them run roughshod all over us. Neither fits Scripture.
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:15)
How would our online interactions look if we mingled "always prepared to make a defense" with "gentleness and respect"? They wouldn't be wishy-washy, but they wouldn't be nearly as offensive, either. Perhaps we'd put to shame those who revile us. Just a thought.
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