2. Speak well of other church leaders.
The anonymity of the Internet breeds trolls who use Twitter and Facebook to throw rocks. This does not honor God. Slander never advances the gospel (and no, you are not the Holy Spirit, so you can be relieved right now of being the “Truth Police”)!
I’ve never met Tullian, but I have attended a conference he spoke at. My wife and I were blown away by his message on law and grace: The law serves to crush while grace serves to lift. Today his family is being crushed in the public spotlight. My wife and I choose to be people saved by grace who extend grace and lift up the fallen.
Yesterday as I was shaking hands with first-time guests after the service, I met a new couple who had strong opinions about pastors in the public spotlight. I listened politely, but after a while, my conscience stirred and I spoke up:
“That’s not true.”
“What’s not true?”
“What you just said about Steven Furtick. It’s not true. I met Steven while on staff at NewSpring and I can tell you that he’s a good guy, following the Lord, and frankly if 40,000 people knew my face and I couldn’t take my family anywhere in public, I’d build a fortress to protect them too!”
The conversation pivoted toward another evangelical punching bag: Mark Driscoll.
Again, I had to speak up:
“Sorry, but I’m a former member of Acts 29. I’ve spent time with Mark, and the legalism of Internet trolls is clouding your view. The God we serve is a God of second chances. If the Apostle Paul were in ministry today, he’d be hammered for murdering Christians, yet the Bible reveals a broken, changed man who advances the gospel to the ends of the earth.”
I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. Throwing rocks is easy. Any fool can criticize. It’s the sport of Pharisees.
I’d rather live out of gospel-centeredness and extend radical forgiveness to the broken. I will not beat up someone when Jesus already took the beating they deserved for them on the Cross!
Let us choose to reject condemnation. Let’s be a generation that leverages our platforms to speak life over people and lift up the life-giving message of Jesus. This includes the realm of personal conversations and the Internet.