Maybe it’s just because the internet makes it easy to be a semi-anonymous jerk, but I’ve noticed a lot more casual dismissing of other people’s ideas, casual rejecting of other people’s beliefs, and casual belittling of other people based on what they say or think that someone else might not agree with. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot cases where false teaching needs to be corrected and false teachers need to be rebuked. There are also a lot of cases where we may have disagreement about the meaning of a verse, or about the proper way to apply a Bible text. It’s not always necessary to sharpen the pitchforks and light the torches whenever we hear something we don’t agree with.
So, before you jump down someone’s throat. Ask yourself: “Is this worth fighting over…?” Here are six things to think about, but you may have more to add. These are questions to ask ourselves before we respond to something we might disagree with, spiritually:
“Does it denigrate the character of any part of the Godhead?”
“Does it make the cross null and void?”
“Does it make trivial the terrible cost of sin?”
“Does it contradict the Gospel or make God a liar?
“Does it neuter a person’s reason or need to turn to God for salvation?”
“Does it change what the Bible says about salvation or about faithfulness after salvation?”
Again, I may have left something important out (unintentionally) but I think that summarizes it well enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re eighteen or eighty-one, common courtesy and respect are still good virtues to have with people, whether they’re eighty-one or eighteen. I pray we all think before we speak, and if what we hear isn’t worth arguing over, I pray we simply don’t.