Thursday, April 16, 2015

Comment on a comment policy about mocking

Anyone who has run an online forum, been a blog comment moderator, or edited a newspaper, knows the difficulties with some comments. What sometimes happens, especially on a Christian site, is that some people ask a question disingenuously, with malintent or a sneer of mocking Jesus. I know you're shocked that this happens.

"How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?" (Proverbs 1:22b)

"knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires." (2 Peter 3:3)

Sometimes when someone asks a question it's obvious they are not a believer and they're just trolling for a reaction. Other times, though, it's not obvious. It's these I have a hard time with. I never know quite how to respond. I'm not talking about my own comfort for ease of moderation. I just do not want Jesus to be mocked.

Last night a pastor friend of mine was asked a question on Facebook. I don't know where the original question is, but by my pastor friend's response, it seems that he might have been wondering of the question was legitimate, or if the person was mocking. So he prefaced his response with a well-stated preamble. I received permission from him to publish it as my go-to reference in a comment policy.

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Thank you for posting your thoughts and question.

Before I address your post, there are two issues I wish to present before you. First, the issue of honestly seeking answers to legitimate questions of faith; if there is a lack of inner peace in your soul with God and feel compelled to search for and know God, then I believe the LORD is drawing you unto Himself and His Son, Jesus Christ (John 6:44, 65-66).

That said, take comfort from God’s promise through His servant Jeremiah to the people of Israel living in captivity in 586 B.C.; “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

The second issue I wish to address is the publicly disrespecting Almighty God with mockery. If you are attempting to mock the LORD and humiliate Christians, your efforts will backfire on you. Should I ever discern this type of attitude from your inquiries, I will not entertain you or others with a response, as it would be “casting pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). In other words, I will not provide the opportunity for mockers of God to trample upon the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dear commenter, now that those two issues are out of the way, I am assuming that you are honestly seeking answers to legitimate questions of faith, and so, here is my response...

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I think that says it very well. For the most part, people on this site are polite and the tone seems to be maintaining at a level respect. However for the few comments that come across with a less-than-honest approach, the above will be my response.


7 comments :

  1. Our flesh get's in the way everyday. Living by faith in accordance to the truth as the Holy Spirit leads is goal for me. And you are right about comments they can be misunderstood as the enemy is always seeking opportunity as he did with Peter.
    Right after warning about the leaven of the pharisees, Christ say's this.
    Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

    14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

    15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

    16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

    21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

    22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

    23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

    Peter is commended for responding to the Spirits revelation to him. He is then told of the authority that will be handed to him and then we see Peter with his flesh showing in verse 22.
    Well intentioned "believers" can cause great damage to the work of Christ if they are deceived. Many are today, steeped in tradition.
    We would do well as this pastor did to not engage with the enemy.

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  2. Great response from that pastor. Jesus did not answer His detractors, either. He stymied them and left their presence.

    -Carolyn

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  3. Elizabeth, what a smart way of answering. He answered the man like on both sides of the coin, he didn't judge or assume .He did it in such a way that if he wasn't guilty there is your answer and if you are guilty then here is your answer and here is where I stand.

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  4. How applicable to everyday life interactions! I come from an argumentative family and I found great peace in the passages above when considering that a reply is not necessary for every question, certainly if the questions are not genuine.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Melissa

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  5. Hello Elizabeth and Hello Everyone :--)


    I read your posting last night Elizabeth, and have been thinking and praying as to some other considerations that I think my be relevant too.

    First, as you may recall Elizabeth, I shared with you by way of personal e-mail in the past, that I wrote an article and posted it online back a couple of years ago. The article is now in gospel tract format, but is rather large - so I call it a gospel bulletin. The article was posted on a very popular site with locations in just about every nook and cranny in our nation. The posting host was not a Christian site, and I likewise took full advantage of all their many locations and posted a “Divine Indictment”, which included a few of the charges against our nation and the individual people that make up our nation . Last night after reading your posting, I went and read many of the old e-mails that I had received as a result of my posting. Thank the Lord for all the wonderful agreeing folks that wrote me, they were so kind and encouraging! I also received a fair number of hate mail as well. It was labor intensive in sensing how to respond to each. Some were so repulsive I had to hit delete. The attacks were from many different angles, one in particular, attacked my sorry writing skills LOL… he did not tell me anything new on this :--) !


    The seasoned saint knows that it is the Lord God that the world hates, and we too know that they would attack him IF they could! So, in a sense, we too become the object of attack as ambassadors for Jesus Christ. These blows are not fun and can be draining at times! Thank God that He renews us and because we are redeemed we march on! We do share in the fellowship of His sufferings when we do what is right in this context. I felt a little weary just reading through the e-mails last night.

    Maybe we do need a strategy similar to your pastor’s, my intent here is not to dispute it, but rather to remind us all of another side of it. When any of us preach and share the gospel, Biblical Truth, write, post, distribute on any type of public platform we are thus open to the questions, assaults, etc., from the world - it comes with the turf.

    In closing. I knew an old friend from Florida that I lead to the Lord Jesus Christ in Georgia back in the late 90’s. In showing up at my front door on a Friday night, when normally he would be out trying to score his weekly stash of weed, appeared to be in a panic state, yet with full composure he said that he had been driving on the Atlanta interstate system all week and was worried that he could die at any moment out their with all those idiots on the road. He was serious too! He told me that he came over to my house to get saved! 15 plus years later he is a leader in the Church, teaches Sunday school, married, and is involved with other ministry as well. This same guy told me that in his younger years down in Florida that he physically escorted either a Christian or Christians that were witnessing to him from his property! Point is, God can save the very hostile at some point down the road. We must be very sensitive.

    Just another angle to the saints from me - the guy who can’t write LOL
    Rick :--)
    Metro Atlanta

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    1. Hi Rick,

      I agree we must be sensitive...the entire situation is sensitive, that's why we need standards. I dont' think any of us are worried about the flak we take for sharing. Th sensitive parts are:

      --we don't want to be harsh with a sincere seeker who phrases a question to us that sounds like it could be mocking Jesus
      --but on the other hand we don't want to give a platform for people who are insincere because they won't listen to the answer anyway
      --We don't want to be drawn in to a discussion where someone uses us or our platform to mock Jesus, because we are not only sensitive to their issues but we are highly sensitive regarding the Name of the Holy One.

      And that sometimes it's hard to tell if we are being used to promote someone's unbiblical doctrines, or are being used as a wall to bounce scoffing and mocking off of, or if a person is really wondering and just rough around the edges. This post is about the spiritual repercussions happening at the beginning of a discussion, not the flak we take at the end :)

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  6. Elizabeth,

    You and I have conversed enough to have a very good sense of where we each stand. Therefore I agree with what you have written, as well as your response. I was just hoping to share with your audience that is, our fellow saints, which may be in greater need for Biblical balance.

    Moreover I would say that the average authentic Christian probably has little idea of how difficult that it can be in conducting the type of God given ministry that you do. I too am deeply troubled by the mockery of our precious Lord Jesus Christ! That said, it too can be difficult, at least at times , the ridicule, hostility, and the spiritual blindness of people and the blows that we can sustain as partakers in the sufferings of Christ. This too includes all area of service for our Lord.. Like I said, it can be draining at times- but He always renews us and we stand our ground!

    It is my conviction AND understanding that people can reach a point of no return, where God no longer knocks and woes, but rather gives them over to their wickedness, and sadly inevitable judgment, death and hell!
    That said, in my evangelism I sometimes realize that I have done all that I can do in this critical rescue mission. I trust as I continue to endeavor daily sharing and preaching the gospel that the Lord will lead me, and other ambassadors for Him - to know when to blow the dust off of our feet and move on.

    Brother Rick :--)
    Metro Atlanta

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