In part one of our discussion on graceful internet speech, we looked at God’s biblical expectations of Christians in their communication with one another and examined a few faulty excuses sometimes used for stooping to the world’s level when dealing with disagreements with other brothers or sisters in Christ. We noted, among other things, the hypocrisy of burning bridges with brothers in the name of the Lord’s work and the support from James for taking a stance against this double-minded manner of conversation. We’ll continue with a look at the harm of such speech and possible alternatives to handling disagreements.
I’ll be direct. Why do we Christians tolerate hateful diatribes, vindictive one-upmanship, and snide sarcasm between brothers and sisters in the faith on the web? John wrote, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother” (1 John 3:10-12a, KJV). Wicked speech, full of calculated hurt, plagues the web among Christians. Perhaps, for the sake of argument, it does not occur too often–only in a few places. But if we say that it happens only on this particular site or in that particular forum, we ought also to say that such is one site or one forum too many.
NOTE:This article appears in the July/August 2006 issue of Frontline Magazine. It appears here with permission of the publisher.