Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Friends, If I Unfriend You, Here’s Why

Friends, If I Unfriend You, Here’s Why


Hi friends,

This is a sincere request to all my friends, both online and IRL (in real life).

Especially as the U.S. election season gets hotter.

Feel free to have strong opinions and express them with passion. Feel free to point out the perceived flaws of other opinions.

But please (especially to my Christian friends, I beg of you) please stop

  • mocking
  • denigrating
  • demonizing
  • and dehumanizing

people who hold opposing positions.

They are image-bearers of God. And they are as deeply loved by their creator as you are.

Loving people is more important than winning an argument. Any argument. At any time.

If you persist in doing this, I will distance myself from you – at least for a while. So, if I unfriend or unfollow you, this is probably why. (On social media, that is. I will still love you IRL.)

For the sake of my soul and my sanity, I will be using the delete button, unfriend option and “snooze for 30 days” feature with greater frequency in the next few weeks.

This also applies to comments on this post.

Count Me Out

I know this nastiness and name-calling will continue to happen. But it will happen without my participation. Even as a spectator.

Not only is it not right for me to participate in such dehumanization, it’s not healthy for me to watch. It’s not healthy for any of us. But that’s a choice you have to make on your own, of course.

I will stay informed. And I will vote. But when it comes to the nastiness and name-calling, I’m opting out.

Yes, drawing that line will make it harder to simply stay informed, but I’m determined to do so for my own mental and emotional health.

My heart can’t take it any more.


Karl Vaters

P.S. If you have a hard time fighting for your side without mocking people on the other side, you need to reconsider your argument. It may not be as strong as you think. (Note that this is an example of how to criticize your argument without criticizing you as a person).

This article originally appeared here.

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Karl is the author of four books and has been in pastoral ministry for almost 40 years. He is the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California, where he has ministered for over 27 years with his wife, Shelley. Karl’s heart is to help pastors of small churches find the resources to lead well and to capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a small church. Karl produces resources for Helping Small Churches Thrive at KarlVaters.com, and has created S.P.A.R.K. Online (Small-Church Pastors Adapt & Recover Kit), which is updated regularly with new resources to help small churches deal with issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and aftermath.