I really should be napping but I can’t settle my mind for sleep…
This past week a conservative blog written by a woman and her daughters that I read every day or so got into a fight with a liberal blog written by a woman that I read occasionally. In some ways not a big deal since people argue about all kinds of things on the Internet all day long. It’s one of the things the web is good for and I do think that discussion, discourse and yes, even argument can help us all to think more clearly about what is important and how we apply what we think to our lives.
This argument was not an argument about facts, or even an argument about what various people had said and how it had been understood, misunderstood or needed to be clarified.
This argument was basically a bunch of women (on both sides of the argument) calling names, defaming one another and trying to be the Holy Spirit to one another by yelling at each other. There was no humility (“this is what I think so-and-so was saying” “this could be hurtful to people who’ve had certain experiences, perhaps you should use different wording” etc). There was no gentleness. There was no application of Matthew 18 (as far as I know – neither party stated that they had gone privately to the other before airing their differences in public). There was no kindness- just offense and offensiveness.
It’s sad and I find myself dwelling on it over and over. Both groups have a great deal of influence, both have done a great deal of good and both had an opportunity here to exemplify the love of God in action even with sharp differences in how they understand the role of male and female in the Church. Questions could have been asked in humility and love and answered in humility and love without either side having to change what they believe. Instead the Church of God is yet again divided into “us” and “them”.
One of the women from the conservative blog wrote a post in which she admitted that the argument and the manner in which it was being conducted was probably causing tension in people who weren’t involved and were aware of it. It’s causing more than tension for me. It’s causing me to stop reading a blog that I found helpful and to consider leaving a book group I was part of discussing a book written by one of the blog writers because I have a very hard time respecting the conclusions of someone who shows so public a lack of charity. I’ll stop reading the liberal blog too for the same reasons (and particularly because that writer has spoken out about being respectful of other Christians beliefs when disagreeing with them).
I just keep thinking of the song the children and I have been singing lately:
Ephesians 4:32 “Be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another even as God in Christ has forgiven you.”
If the people we look to for teaching and example don’t show us how to disagree in a godly manner, who will?