Vitriol

If there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by ceasing and desisting all the vitriol on Facebook.

That’s not an exact quotation from Philippians 2:1-2, but it fits the context — at least, in the mind of one person who has seen one too many “Christians” on Facebook calling his brethren ridiculous, idiotic, hateful, and any number of other pejoratives.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are idiots out there.  Most of them, it seems, are on social media.  And plenty of them are Christians.  My point is, judging their standing before God based on a couple dozen words is chancy at best, fragging at worst.  And cluttering up my wall with your hate speech isn’t doing anything for my spirit.  I can’t believe it is bringing your “erring” brother to Christ (Galatians 6:1).  And I’m quite sure it is giving sinners another opportunity (like they needed one) to reject the gospel.  “See?  That’s why I’m not a Christian.  Buncha hypocrites.”  And who’s to say they are wrong?

If you have harsh words for your brother, take it behind closed doors.  Leave the rest of us out of it.  If he’s really the heretic you make him out to be, godly men and women will figure it out without your “help.”  If I wouldn’t have known about his existence without your dragging him out of the closet, exactly how much harm could he have been doing to me?

Victims of such rhetoric, please do us all a favor and unfriend those who insist on using their relationship as your brother to act unbrotherly.  If you return fire with fire, I’ll unfriend you both.  I’m too busy finding truth and beauty in Philippians 4:8-9 to put up with your ugliness.