Home Christian News Andy Stanley: Criticizing Strangers by Name on Social Media Shows ‘Extraordinary Immaturity’

Andy Stanley: Criticizing Strangers by Name on Social Media Shows ‘Extraordinary Immaturity’

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Screenshot from YouTube / @Supreme Lending Southeast

To criticize a stranger by name online is hypocritical and shows “extraordinary immaturity,” said Andy Stanley in a July 21 interview with Pat Flood on the Personal & Professional BEST podcast.

“Who would you go on social media—Twitter, Instagram, Facebook—who would you go on any of those three platforms and criticize publicly by name that you’ve never met or had a conversation with?” Stanley asked Flood.

“No one,” Flood responded.

“No one,” Stanley repeated. “Any time I ask a thoughtful, mature person that question, they just pause and say, ‘No one.’ Well, social media is full of people who don’t know the people they’re criticizing.”

Andy Stanley: Avoid the Extremes

Pat Flood is regional operating partner with the mortgage banker, Supreme Lending. He explained at the end of the podcast that the sharp disunity in the U.S. over the past several years has led Supreme Lending to develop a new company policy that does not permit any of their associates to contribute to the “dumpster fire of political discourse on social media.”

Andy Stanley is an author and pastor who founded the Atlanta-based North Point Ministries. He joined Flood to discuss his new book, “Not in It to Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church.” Stanley wrote the book, which was released in May, out of concern that he was seeing Christians more focused on winning politically than they were about loving their neighbors. 

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​​“When you follow Jesus through the gospels, he was not here to win anything the way that we define win,” Stanley said when discussing his book on the Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. “He refused it. When people considered him an enemy, he refused to return the favor…And if I’m a Jesus follower, then my mission in life is to replicate the character and the nature and the tone of Jesus and to live to the best of my abilities.”

One difficulty is that some spheres of American society thrive on extremes. These include politics, social media and the press. Stanley told Flood he was thankful for journalism in the U.S., but observed that because people are more interested in bad news than good news, the media makes its money by focusing on extremes. The same is true for social media. Focusing on extremes is how people get followers, said Stanley, “so unfortunately, the conversations are more extreme than the reality.”

This situation is problematic because “problems are solved in the middle. You do not solve problems in the extremes ever.”