Hello everybody, hope you are doing fine?
It’s been the longest time i posted an article and I’m terribly sorry it took me so long to do so. I was busy with exams, work and fellowship and I didn’t know how to manage them all together. But I am back and trusting God for wisdom to continue. PRAY FOR ME!
Since I have been away certain things have happened in the Christian space, especially on social media and I would like to address some through this article.
With the advent of social media it has become common place for anyone who has a smartphone and access to the internet to write and speak against personalities and about things they are in variance with, whether it concerns them or direct affects them or not.
However, as Christians and members of the Body of Christ, it is paramount that we check our actions in line with the scriptures and set guidelines of behavior for us as Christians and as an example for unbelievers.
Let’s consider some scriptures…
“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector”…Matthew 18:15-17
“If any of you has a grievance against another, how dare he go to law before the unrighteous instead of before the saints! Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! So if you need to settle everyday matters, do you appoint as judges those of no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Is there really no one among you wise enough to arbitrate between his brothers? Instead, one brother goes to law against another, and this in front of unbelievers!”……..1 Corinthians 6:1- 3
Recently a well known preacher spoke about his intentions to purchase a jet and how he has been instructed to “bleed” the church for it. In response, a well known gospel artiste took to his Instagram page to ‘correct’ him and speak against his practice. I read the proclamation of the preacher’s intentions and had my opinions about it but when i saw the IG post made by this artiste and the resultant comments under his post; i was very dissapointed with the way it was handled.
While ‘correcting (more like shaming)’ someone publicly on social media goes along with popular attitude and outcry, I dare to say that this is not the Christian way to handle this situation.
Hear me! I am not saying we can’t correct someone who is doing something that appears wrong to us; as we were clearly told to judge ourselves so we are not judged. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged”..1 Corinthians 11:31
However, in correcting a member of the body of Christ the stated procedure is as highlighted above in Matthew 18.
- You are first to go to the brother personally to show him his fault.
- If he doesn’t answer you, then take another brother to discuss the issue again with him.
- If he still doesn’t budge, then report him to the church for counselling and directions
- If he still decides not to repent then treat him as a gentile.
This clearly shows us that our first course of action in correcting a fellow Christian (whether he be lowly or in the limelight) is to go to him personally! In 1 Corinthians 6, we see Paul clearly condemns washing our dirty linen in public. If we claim that we would judge angels according to the word of God, why cant we resolve earthly issues within ourselves.
Another fact that I believe is being corroded is The Sense of Family. If we are 1 body and all a part of the family of Christ, we protect each other. An ideal family doesn’t look for ways to bring a member down or shame them. Faults are highlighted and dealt with privately to protect the value of that family in the eyes of outsiders. How can we effectively evangelize to nonbelievers when the tabloids and social media are full of our dirty linen and bashing each other?
Even in the earthly family, its quite abnormal to see a son ‘shade’ his father on social media or national TV etc. and no sane and responsible husband would take to public avenues to correct his wife…why then do we apply this abominationist method in ‘correcting’ fellow members of Christ?
My standpoint when asked if what he did was right or wrong is this….“He was called by God and is subject to God and God would judge him as is fit when the time comes.” Let’s leave the condemning and punishing to God, revenge is for God and he will repay him as he sees fit.
The commandment to “Honor your father and mother’ has nothing to do with the person’s character! Christians who have been subject to abusive parents or abandoned etc. and have dealt with forgiving them would understand this fact very well.
The decision to honor someone has nothing to do with the person in question but is simply a decision from you to ask as directed by God! Do your bit and leave the rest to God
Irrespective of whether a minister is doing something that you perceive as wrong, everyone is deserving of your honor. If you don’t agree with what someone is doing and your attempts to correct the person in love have failed, simply cut ties with the person but don’t risk dishonoring or speaking against that person because it is simply wrong.
Lastly, the bible is clear on how ministers should be treated by everyone… “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”…Psalm 105:15 They are God’s servants; called and sent by him thus you don’t have jurisdiction to correct someone else’s servant. In Yoruba Land, there is a saying that goes ‘You don’t beat someone’s child for him’ and i believe it applies here also.
I strongly believe that in this century, this is one of the ways the devil is using to leak power in the Christian Faith. In how many religions do you see them publicly shaming and bashing their religious leaders? The Moslems would go to any length to protect the sacredness of their religion but we spend our time abusing and publicly shaming ours!