I struggled on whether or not I should write this post, seeing how the act of writing seems to negate the point I'm trying to make. Indulge me for a moment. I think you may see my point. I am a facebook guy. I spend a lot of time on there. I see the value of social media as a means for putting forth ideas, connecting with friends, fostering relationships. Its a great tool for interaction. At the same time, I think there are some very detrimental things that can happen from it. One I notice a lot is people who claim to be Christ followers throwing stones at other Christ followers. Let me explain- often times a post will include such things as attacking other churches, or pastors or schools of theological thought. I assume that these posters are well meaning in that they probably take to heart the call to "contend for the faith" and proclaim "sound doctrine" to those who are following their posts. More than likely they see it as a time to make sure that someone isn't being led astray by some whack job. Here's the issue- everyone who is my friend does not share my beliefs. Because they are my friends, I am aware that even before getting into the Calvin-Arminius debate or the Gifts-cessastionist debate that they don't even believe the beginning of the story- Adam or Jesus. That being said, any time I spend proclaiming doctrine or theology 'clouds the waters' so to speak and portrays our faith as divisive and contentious not unified and loving. Brothers and sisters this should not be so. Here's what I propose- if you have a theological difference that you would like to discuss- start a private group or send a private message. Don't put a post that attempts to put some doctrine down or prove some theological point. No one is being influenced or brought to your way of thinking by doing this. You are confusing those who do not believe and making following Christ more about getting the doctrine right and not the heart right. There is a scripture that changed my heart a few years ago- it comes from Philippians chapter one- the Apostle Paul was setting straight some people who were concerned about some other people who were preaching a Gospel they thought was false- this is what he said to them- " It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." He follows up by saying- "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ".
What is my point? Spreading the Gospel is not hurling stones at someone else's persuasion. Obviously they are fully persuaded in what they believe or they wouldn't be believing it. Spend more time spreading the love of God and His truth in a way that directs people towards the Cross and not towards the way that you think or the theology you believe.
There. I said it.