I’ve noticed something over the last few weeks. The comments on my blog are getting harsh, uncivil, and sometimes just plain crazy. For the last few weeks I’ve been constantly thinking, “Boy, people sure are coming out of the woodwork!” Other bloggers and pastors are saying the same. The level of anger is often hair-trigger and the name-calling is really unconscionable.
I understand that we all are having pressures now. There are heightened economic pressures, emotional, social, employment…but that is no reason to be uncivil. We expect that from the world but not from the brethren. We need to be a light. Unfortunately, it seems that civility among and between Christians is going out the window.
Here is an example of a conversation I had with a person the other night on Facebook who says she is “a Christian whose boss is a Jewish Carpenter”. I had made a comment on a Facebook prophecy page, a reaction to a posting by a person named Andrea E., regarding a report from a website called DEBKA.
DEBKA is not a reliable nor a credible source…sorry.
Hey, I didn’t like this comment. Debka file is reliable, and your comment is solely intended to harass. This is an end times prophecy forum/page and your comment is not needed.
I know this is an end time forum prophecy page. That is doubly why we should make sure not to be fringe but be sober in our thinking and right in our conversations. Debka is not a reliable source, sorry you don’t like that but it is not meant to harass but to let you know that the information passed on that site is unsourced and usually incorrect. Here are comments from journalists in the field regarding DEBKA: “Yediot Achronot investigative reporter Ronen Bergman states that the site relies on information from sources with an agenda, such as neo-conservative elements of the US Republican Party, “whose worldview is that the situation is bad and is only going to get worse,” and that Israeli intelligence officials do not consider even 10 percent of the site’s content to be reliable. Cornell Law professor Michael C. Dorf calls Debka his “favorite alarmist Israeli website trading in rumors.”‘…sorry…
I think the best thing for you to do is simply inquire as to why I make a statement about a news outlet, and then I can share why, and then you can decide if my claims have merit… rather than accuse to motivations and harassment…let’s be civil, shall we? My boss is Jewish Carpenter too, we are on the same team 🙂
So are you claiming that all content on Debka’s files are pathological lies? From my understanding, Debka does not have a particular agenda but rather relies on sources that connect with Arutz Shiva channel 7 Israel National News sources and Jerusalem Post sources as well. BOTH Jerusalem Post and Israel National News are reliable so that makes Debka reliable as well. Claiming that all or some of the content in their files/news updates are pathological lies is just ridiculous. I know the difference between Debka and lets say David Booth known as Sorcha Faal. Sorcha Faal reports are straight lies, but to say that Debka file is a pack of lies is ridiculous. Please give more information on Ronen Bergman. And if the information is proven accurate, I would be more than happy to remove the Debka file report from Aloha Bible Prophecies wall and NEVER post the files again, instead posting ONLY Israel National News and Jerusalem Post articles that NOBODY seems to be interested in as much…
I did not say DEBKA is a “pack of lies”. I said they were not credible, their content is incorrect most of the time, and it is unsourced. Please consider these things – but not in anger…there is plenty of credible news around regarding Israel.
I will not keep arguing with you, because you obviously do not seem to understand. Debka file’s sources are the same sources from Israel National News Arutz Shiva channel 7 and Jerusalem post who share almost the same information on jpost.com updates. The sources are the same. To say that a source is not credible, and to say the content in Debka files are incorrect means the content is not truthful or lies. Does it not?? You are a school teacher, you should know the difference between a lie and incorrect content. I am not angry, it is just that Christian jihadists like you are solely out to poke fun of people online and it needs to stop. I wipe the dust off my feet, and that is NOT out of anger – its actually biblical…
And then she blocked me. My first block! I’ll leave it up to you as to whether I earned it. I don’t think I did.
I know the end time is ramping up to accelerated levels not only because of the outward signs Jesus, Paul, Peter and others said we’d see (Matthew 24, 1 Timothy 3, 1 and 2 Peter) but because of what is inside people coming out- especially Christians.
Christians are having knock-down drag out fights online and in real life over the timing of the rapture, baptism, Calvinism (that last one is causing fights among Christians to grow to epidemic proportions) and just about any other item, including the timing of the potluck or the color of the paper used for this week’s bulletin. It is a shame, because we’re given so many guidelines about the importance of taming the tongue. For example, the entire James 3 chapter is about taming the tongue. Christian blogger Christian Ballenger wrote of the James verses:
“The tongue is such a powerful part of the human anatomy. It is so potent, in fact, that the Bible declares that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). When trying to make our tongues slaves to righteousness, it can sometimes seem like an uphill climb—something that I can more than attest. From the previous post, however, we know that we are called to display our covenant with Christ through our words, by the seasoning of our conversation with salt (Colossians 4:6). The words we utter are an offering to God, and not only do we want to please God by the things we say, but also to effectively testify our faith in Christ. In our efforts to conform the tongue into the likeness of Christ, we must first understand the “beast” that is the tongue. Its power is highlighted in James.”
The importance of peaceful language is rendered later on in James:
“The wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceful, courteous, not self-willed, full of compassion and kind actions, free from favouritism and from all insincerity. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17).
Courtesy is far from found these days though. We should be seeking peace with each other in love and second of all bearing fruits which either sharpen each other or encourage each other.
1 Corinthians 13:5 says of love, “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
|Illustrator of ‘St. Albans Psalter’,
England, first half of 12th century
Courtesy is going out the door and the speech between Christians is becoming more like the world’s. Many Christians are easily angered. I myself yelled at a kid on Friday. It was the first time ever, and was a shock to a colleague because I’m known for calmness and patience. She actually burst out laughing, it was so uncharacteristic of me. I felt so bad I went to the office and immediately confessed. Even our pastor said this Sunday that he and his wife found themselves yelling at each other, and were shocked into silence for a moment, because that is something they do NOT do. Satan would like nothing better than to besmirch our speech with harsh language, accusations of motivations, or name-calling to cause any lost person to say, “See? They’re just like us. Jesus made no difference in their life, so why would He make a difference in mine?”
Above, illustration of Psalm 12:3-4: “May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
Paul warned Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 about Godlessness in the last days. Paul said that perilous times would come, and Paul was referring to the dangerous time within the church.
“Godlessness in the Last Days”
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
In August 2011 USA Today reported that “Incivility is a growing problem at work, psychologists say“. As I said though, the secular world’s incivility is not just a secular problem, it has infiltrated the Christian world and conversations between brethren are increasingly uncivil. Even Saddleback Church Pastor Rick “Warren Cancels a Presidential Forum, Citing Incivility.” How’s that for irony.
Christianity and incivility don’t mix, Forum speaker tells BYU audience
“It is never an option to claim Jesus Christ as Savior and behave in an uncivil manner with anyone, under any circumstance,” Mark DeMoss said in Tuesday’s forum.”
I agree. The bible is clear about our language. Though speech is one of the most difficult parts of life to control, it is the most necessary, according to the bible. James 3 is all about taming the tongue. The tongue is a rudder, James says in verse 4. It is small, but it steers the whole ship. What comes out of a person is what is in a person. I need that reminder as much as anyone. I need to make sure I have a pleasant tone and use good language and speech when talking with people, and not to gossip.
I was struck, though, with how quickly the conversation between myself and that Andrea Facebook person went. Shocked, really. Is this what passes for Christian conversation these days? Yes, all too frequently, if my the number of blog comments I delete out of hand is any indication. Just ask Joanna and Mark Petry about the harsh and uncivil speech used against them when they were unjustly excommunicated from their jobs and ministries at Mars Hill Church by Mark Driscoll. Joanna’s story is heartbreaking and beautifully written, and unfortunately is a very common circumstance today. Fellow Christians are being dispensed with at an alarming rate, either “blocked”, “unfriended” or excommunicated from Protestant churches under a false covering of it being “church discipline.” This habit of disposal is all too common in the secular world. The attitude is “Hey, if you don’t like that person, slam them verbally, kick them out and forget about it.” People are not in relationships for the long haul anymore, and their language mirrors that attitude. Increasingly, this includes Christians.
The name-calling and accusations have to stop. Please let’s use gentle language. Let us love one another with a gentle love and not with name-calling and harsh speech.
The Psalmist asked, “O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;” (Psalm 15:1-5)