Monday, January 05, 2015
It’s mostly online. You write something they don’t agree with, and instead of a healthy disagreement, they blast you. Right there on your Facebook wall or with a hurting comment on a blog post. Where everyone can read it. In fact, some people read it even before the one who wrote the post reads it. I’ve even had guest bloggers tell me they don’t want to post anymore because of the comments.And then, in a different post, he offers some scripture about how to not be mean. Example:
Why just last week — I saw a Bible study group meeting at a local coffee shop. I didn’t know any of them. I was minding my own business, but it was obvious what they were doing discussing the Bible. They had Bibles. :)
I loved it.
Then one of them became a real jerk to the girl that messed up his order.
Mean. Right there in front of his Bible study friends, me, and all the other coffee shop patrons — many who may not have been Christians. And, probably aren’t anymore motivated to be one now.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (James 1:19)Fair enough, but I think Edmondson is treating very lightly what is a very serious issue. Perhaps what I am about to say is "mean," but sometimes hard truth is mean in its substance and there is little we can do in its delivery to change its inherent "meanness."
Treat others as you would want to be treated (Luke 6:31)
WE have become very egalitarian in who we allow to bear the name "Christian." This has aided church growth, but I wonder if it has aided spiritual maturity. One of Edmonson's pet peeves in this department is the internet. The internet is the ultimate in egalitarianism. Anyone can set themselves up as a Christian expert. IS it any wonder that idiots sometimes run rampant over the asylum there?
In our efforts to evangelize, we have neglected spiritual development. There is such a thing as Christian maturity. It is impossible to attain, but it is a journey we all should take and a journey that some have gotten farther on with than others. It is rare to see this journey encouraged anymore and when it is progress is generally measured in hours spent reading, not changes in character that might reduce something like meanness. We offer palliatives like quick scripture quotes when what is needed is in depth mentoring and hard, hard work.
Edmondson has here put his finger on a big problem, but I think he is looking for solutions in the wrong places. The problem is not mean Christians, the problem is a church that breeds mean Christians.
church mean Christians proximate and ultimate causes