Oh, Social Media, you provide such wonderful opportunities and such awkward moments. Just like real life and real people provide. It’s interesting the advice one receives about how to approach Social Media; sometimes it’s “you should be very involved and interactive with your followers” and other times it’s, “the best way to handle that is not to respond at all.” And there may be some truth to both. I know Jesus occasionally was silent when asked questions, and sometimes he answered, told stories, asked more questions or…flipped tables. But there is, in fact, that time for silence.
Personally, I don’t feel called to debate. I don’t like it, the way it’s normally done at least, I don’t feel it’s very beneficial. I’m 40, I’ve been in a few debates in my day, they have yet to end up, in my memory, with one party saying, “Wow, my thinking has now changed”. People agree to disagree, are disappointed in each other, pray for each other to change his/her thinking to their own thinking, and then rarely speak again.
For some people, I do believe it is good for them to speak about theological idiosyncrasies: apologists like Ravi Zacharias astound me as I listen to them defend their faith. Some dabble in the political realm and my head begins to spin as I hear them declare who is right and who is the devil’s hand puppet and I say, “Come quickly, Jesus! Bring Your rule and reign!” But I have never felt those were my issues to debate. I resonate with passages in the Psalms that share my desire to sing of the love and the greatness of God. Wherever I am, however I feel and with whomever I stand. Whomever.
I was once invited to sing at a high profile church whose approach to worship, life and theology differed from mine. I had all intention of declining the invitation: how could I associate with an organization that might cause people to think I agreed with them?! Then, someone challenged me and I’ll never forget it. They said, “If you believe that is a dark place, and that you carry the Light, why would you not bring the Light into that darkness?” I sang at the church, and were it still meeting today, I would do it again, I will carry the Light (to the best of my ability and understanding) wherever life takes me.
I’ve also been on the other side of the coin, where people believe I am an instrument of darkness and the Light needs to expose my manipulation. Knowing that makes me want to be very careful whom I accuse of being “dark”. I check every action with Scripture, and yet I know God moves in crazy, new ways all the time! I’ve seen things happen that I attribute to God’s work, yet there is no story in Scripture that I can point to and say, “See, it happened here too!”
I am not skilled to understand God’s ways nor His plan. (Sounds familiar!) A former pastor of mine always says, “Major on the majors and minor on the minors.” Even then, we all have differing opinions on what is major and what is minor. I won’t, however, at this point in my life, spend time discussing whether or not certain churches are getting it right or wrong, I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. I’ll stand beside them as they choose to sprinkle or dunk, genuflect or jump around, speak in tongues or remain silent, slurp grape juice or employ wine intinction. Eventually I draw the line of course…and so must you. So must we all. And we must choose with care where that line in the sand is drawn.
Then let he who is without sin cast the first stone.