1 Peter 3:15 ~"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
The internet can be both a welcoming aid to discovery and also a discouraging and depressing tool of engagement. Recently, there has been much conversation regarding how Christians engage one another in the blogosphere...
What we want to examine however is that there are skirmishes that often happen where individuals "claim" that their relationship in Christ was damaged as a result of internet chatter and dialogue between Christians. It stands to reason that if individuals can feel that they have been bullied and go on to commit suicide because of what is said on the internet, it is possible that some could have their faith, both in God and other Christians, severely challenged if they are not careful.
What I am afraid of however is that there are two messages and actions that recent discussion over this issue seems to lump together as one.
1- Disrespectful dialogue and debate over Christian truth or doctrine
2- Dialogue that exposes heresy, apostasy and failure among the church, church leaders and "gospel" personalities.
To my understanding, both of these topics are uniquely different and must be differentiated.
First, we can readily admit that Christians can sometimes show and face disrespect over doctrine, church, or theological belief. I have experienced that much early on in my blog/commentary career and have probably been both the cause and recipient of such treatment and interaction. For my part I certainly apologize to any of those who have been the recipient of such interaction. I soon learned however, that different persons are at different stages in life dealing with certain truths that challenge certain understandings or perceptions and it takes God ultimately to speak to the heart. One should keep in mind that not every issue is a matter of salvation or Christian fellowship. Some issues should not divide, although some inevitably do.
The second part that to this puzzle is the confusing part however. Should we as Christians be so "gentle" and "meek" as not to indicate, clearly, strongly and in an uncompromising manner, those teachings, doctrines and practices that subvert minds and cause damage to the body of Christ and to the church in general? This part of the question has led many to believe that it simply just isn't "Christian" to argue or debate church matters or expose matters involving religious leaders and leadership.