Speaking the truth in love is a conversation, it isn’t a statement. To separate social media, politics and the Gospel is counter productive. Life isn’t a group of separate boxes. Life is a unified whole where one area does affect another. As Christians we often use the phrase ‘speaking the truth in love,’ but we often fail to realize that is a conversation, not just making an uncomfortable statement for the benefit of another.
The social media dance
There are three groups in relation to social media, politics and the Gospel. 1)The why can’t we get along group. 2)The politics (left, right or libertarian) over the Gospel group. 3)The drop politics and only focus on the Gospel group. The dance is about trying to figure out the right balance or being naive about things beyond our focus. The danger is we see the three things as separate things.
The first group is most vocal when there is an online ‘war.’ They’re the ones who say the online war turns people off from the church, social media isn’t the place for the discussion, etc. The problem is this group often says the same thing in private conversations too. Avoidance of conflict does not bring about peace. It sacrifices love and truth.
We the people in order to form a more perfect union have to talk. Again, speaking the truth in love is a conversation. Avoiding politics because we don’t like it hinders forming a more perfect union. How do we expect to act civil with something we don’t converse about and how are we to hold our leaders accountable if there is no conversation? We can blame our leaders, but they’re a reflection of us. Maybe many avoid politics because it forces us to look in the mirror and think. (Obnoxious political posts not withstanding.) Groups that often put politics over the Gospel forget love.
The Gospel should permeate ALL our life. It’s not just about getting into heaven and listening to Christian music. Truth AND love are essential. As Christians we should be prayerful, respectful and speak truth. Politics should not be about loyalty to a party, but bringing truth to bear. Justice, mercy and humility are three essentials often missing in our political discourse. To avoid politics to keep a focus on the Gospel removes influence towards peace. Love, truth and respect are needed in political discourse. After all, much of what Jesus taught should affect our political viewpoint.
The bottom line:
We need to get back to speaking the truth in love as a conversation. We shouldn’t hide from speaking to the larger issues our society is struggling with because the Bible has answers and speaks to the soul of each person. To the first group, choose courage. To the second group, tone it down and pursue truth over party. To the last group, show how the Gospel sheds light onto the challenging issues of our day.