Tag Archives: civility

A Call For Civility

It is with a burdened heart that I write this post. I am concerned about something that is occurring among Christian blogs even as I sit at my keyboard.

Over the past month or so I have observed and even participated in an ongoing discussion among evangelical bloggers. This conversation has primarily been among those who would identify themselves in alignment with Free Grace theology or a more centrist soteriological position. These are people that I believe are sincere in what they believe and I look at them as my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Debates among bloggers are certainly not unusual occurrences. Having often engaged in them myself, I find that they can be stimulating, challenging and generally enriching when conducted in a gracious spirit.

What concerns me in this particular situation, however, is the devolvement of the dialogue into a playground brawl. I have observed name-calling, childish attempts at deceit, intimidation tactics, taunting, false accusations and even people questioning one another’s salvation. Instead of getting better, the problems are escalating, even spilling over onto blogs that are not even a part of the discussion. Not everyone involved in the debate has stooped to such tactics, but many have.

I have watched as pastors, teachers, theologians, students, authors and lay-persons alike have sullied themselves in this fray and are doing so head-long with little regard to possible consequences.

Brothers and sisters, I implore you in the name of our Lord, let us put an end to this maliciousness. I am not asking anyone to compromise their beliefs, or even end the discussion. The truth of the gospel is always worth proclaiming, but let us do so in a Christ-like spirit.

Let us keep in mind that while we may consider this to be an intramural debate, this forum is visible before the whole world. We must remember that this is being observed by those who do not know our Lord. Do we honestly think that this will have the effect of drawing them to Him?

I am sure that each person involved is convinced of the rightness of their particular theological position. That is between them and the Lord. But nowhere does God ever give us license to treat each other with such acidic behavior, even if the other person is a “heretic”.

I do not write this to sound arrogant or judgemental. This is merely a plea from my heart to those who will hear it. Let us treat one another with the same grace that God has extended to us.