Four years ago, I posted a blog regarding the actions and words of various people on this site - myself included. And while I hate to sound like a broken record, it needs to be said again: We cannot afford to attack people.
Yes, people will be wrong sometimes, but that's no excuse. Yes, people will have a hard time admitting when they are wrong, but that's not an excuse, either. Now, while the Bible is clear that we are to call each other out on sin, open hostility towards a brother or sister in Christ is simply wrong. Yet our forums are being polluted by bitter sarcasm, character attacks, and the like.
Please understand, this is not some self-righteous, high-horse, I'm-better-than-you sermon; I often have to stop myself from posting inappropriate responses. I get angry, too. I get offended sometimes, too. We're all human and we're all sinners, but guess what? Still no excuse. "But, Charles, I'm just being honest!" Honesty is never an excuse for meanness.
And what about non-believers? Those who are avid evolutionists, coming into this forum to debate and attack Creationism? Certainly they deserve to be attacked, right?
Not at all. Atheists and non-believers are not our enemies (as I have seen them called here); non-believers are our mission. They are the POWs, many of whom have developed a Stockholm Syndrome, and don't want to be rescued. Nevertheless, it's not our job to shoot them down, but share the Gospel. Our job is not to attack, belittle, or fight, but to show them Jesus in our words and actions. Now, I wonder: how would Jesus respond to sinners?
Jesus came to seek and save the lost, not attack them. He did not come to destroy them. He did not come to put them in their places - that comes later, and it is only Jesus Who can do that, not us. In the meantime, however, how He responds to those outside the Church is interesting.
What was His response to Zacchaeus, who was both a traitor and a thief, and had, essentially, been excommunicated from the Jewish society? "Zacchaeus, let me be your friend." It was because of Jesus' love that Zacchaeus responded and changed.
What was Jesus' response to the woman caught in the act of adultery? "I don't condemn you." It was only after His love had been poured out onto her that He asked her to respond by changing.
What was His response to us, sinners who have shaken our fists at Him, defied Him with our thoughts and actions, and, in some cases, even denied His very presence? "Father, forgive them." It is only after His death that we can respond by changing.
Do you know who Jesus did attack? Those inside the Church who thought they are above sinners: the teachers of the law, the Sanhedrin, all of those who looked upon the common man and condemned him for being wrong. Those were the people Jesus attacked. He called them tombs, full of rotting, stinking corpses. He called them - not just snakes - but a pit of snakes, a cold, writhing, teeming mass of venom and evil. He called them hypocrites - literally, two-faced liars. They said one thing, but did another. They claimed to be loving, but were hateful. They claimed to follow God, but they followed their own sense of moral superiority. They said they needed God, but they acted as if He were lucky to have them on the team.
So the question we have to ask ourselves is this: which person are we? Are we the sinners who say, "God, I need you," or the Pharisees who say, "God, You need me"? Are we silent before God, in awe of His love and compassion, a love and compassion that flows through us with the saving work of the Holy Spirit? Or are we convinced that, if it weren't for our hard work, the whole world would go to Hell?