For the last 3 years I’ve been writing about two distinct topics:
The weird thing is that I’ve found it’s a lot easier to write to a business audience. The ideas I share are received with more grace, acceptance and discussion in the business world than they are in the Christian world. That’s a strange thing to me. You would think that if someone had the corner on grace, it would be us Christians.
I think I figured out why it happens, particularly online.
When the business world disagrees with your idea, they critique your idea.
When Christians disagree with your idea, they critique your soul.
Case in point, I recently wrote a post that said I didn’t think tracts that were disguised as money were the best form of evangelism. A Christian band then went online and said, “@JonAcuff I’m sorry you think spreading God’s Word to those otherwise totally uninterested isn’t worth your time.” They tweeted a lot of other things, but that was the one that struck me.
For a faith called to live out the great commission, deeming that I have declared spreading God’s Word isn’t worth my time is a fairly weighty accusation. Had I said that in my post? No. If anything, dropping a fake money tract on the ground is an incredibly effective use of my time. That saves me all that hassle of actually having a relationship with someone and telling them about God in that context. Relationships take forever, ugh.
But when we as Christians attack each other’s souls we forever lose the ability to get better. When we can’t debate without it turning into a soul attack, we can’t grow.
I’m not saying I have the answer, and to be honest, there have been times when I’ve been the passive aggressive loser in a conversation. I’d love to say I’m great at focusing on the idea and not the individual. But I get it wrong too.
My fear is that we’re missing something pretty powerful in this type of situation. My fear is that no one in the history of mankind has ever said, “I saw two Christians on twitter attacking each other and that made me want a lifelong relationship with their Christ.”
And that should matter to us.
Have you ever been attacked by a Christian online?