Social Discourse 101 – June 5, 2020

sheep arguingGrowing up we lived near enough to my dad’s parents to regularly have Sunday dinner with them until we moved away after my 9th grade year.   When I was in 6th grade my mom (I’m being totally transparent here) started dressing me a little more stylishly.  To my grandpa’s eye, those styles looked like what the Hippies wore, but he skipped right over the Hippies and called me a Communist.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but I knew what a Communist was; so my response was, “Grandpa, I have two paper routes!” –  which, of course, didn’t change his opinion about my plaid pants.

The moral of the story is that he never did change my opinion about the clothing (I still wore plaid for a couple more years); he changed my opinion about his opinion – about him.* I knew for a fact that plaid pants did not make me a Communist.

Sniping causes the one attacked to protect himself.  Some protect themselves by hiding, some by running away, some by creating a shell.  And some snipe back.  In my case I tend to disregard the opinion of those who snipe.  I don’t think many are changed or persuaded by sniping.  

On social media the urge to snipe (argue with someone’s post)** is likely to assure that others aren’t persuaded by something we see as untrue or misleading.  And I get that!!  BUT when I comment under someone’s post, I am commenting to them.  It’s both unkind and ineffective.   If my concern is for them, I should handle the concern privately.  If my concern is getting the truth out “big picture,” then I should write about the truth on my own page.  I need to be as, if not MORE, polite on social media than I am in person, because on social media my audience is bigger and the record is permanent.

Walking worthy (Ephesians 4:1ff) isn’t just about what happens in church. We are the church!

Because of Grace,

Pastor Scott

*Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate my grandpa.  I just shut him out when he opined about my hair and clothing in the early 70’s!

**While I think this has always been an issue, it seems as the political/social/covid19/racial/grief rhetoric in our country has increased so has the arguing/sniping.  And it’s not how Christ would have us behave –   “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”  James 1:19-20

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