Accusations amongst Christians towards each other are prevalent in social media circles. I suppose that lack of immediate context, the absence of eye to eye accountability, and the tendency to read between lines on status’ and comments makes it easy to overstep wise and humble counsel. It can be argued that social media is a community regardless of the depth of the relationship. People gather together according to their “likes,” interests, world views, and even spiritual memes.
Of the numerous accusations that are exchanged on places like Facebook, I’d like to address one particular subset. That being the subjective. Words like “arrogant,” “prideful,” and “condescending,” while generally understood by definition are often clay words that are thrown about with the widest range of application. Christians cry out that others are “not speaking in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)
The question I always have in my mind when someone accuses me of one of these attitudes is this; “It may appear to you that I’m arrogant, prideful, or condescending, but where’s my sin? Can you point to it?” Now, It may sound like i’m being exactly those things and more when I write that question out, but I rarely speak it out loud. But, if the one accusing genuinely loves the one they are accusing, then they should be able to point out with pin point accuracy where that sin is. Otherwise it’s just opinion, conjecture, and ultimately, a straw man argument.
By the way, for those of you who tend toward being arrogant, prideful, or condescending, this is not an excuse for you to continue being an ass. Nor should you say that “because you can not point out where the sin is in my attitude, you must be wrong.” But, these attitudes or any others found in the dimension of vast subjectivity should be clearly defined and described by believers or at least understood before being hurled at one another. As in face to face conversations where certain facial expressions, such as rolled eyes, certain sounds like sighs, huffs, and puffs, and certain hand gestures can push your buttons, there are internet gestures that can do the same. A discerning believer will not equate any of these gestures with the sin they accuse others of, because most all gestures are simply not the sin itself.
So, to the accused and the accuser, if you claim to be a child of God, then you owe it to yourself and others to bring clarity to this chaotic pattern of behavior. If you don’t, you may be guilty of slander. This should not be so among you. “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …” (1 Peter 2:1-3) A few questions:
1. What are some other accusations that are highly subjective in nature?
2. What is the proper response from a believer who is being accused regardless if it is true or not?
3. It’s possible to be angry without sin, but what about those attitudes like that of arrogance, pride, and condescension?