This is a repent- and rebuke-free zone.
Tonight, I banned these words from the Spiritual Sounding Board Facebook page after someone rebuked another commenter and also told the same commenter to repent. The repent word was used in the middle of a debate on homosexuality. While the person saying it may have been legitimately concerned with someone’s soul, it’s hard for me not to suspect the intention when seeing how it is used in a conversation.
The way it came across to me in the FB conversation was, “I’m right about my interpretation of homosexuality and you are off spiritually, and you better get your spiritual act together.” Either side could have told the other to “repent,” but I can usually tell who will say it. It’s someone who is demanding their interpretation is the only correct one, they are usually unkind, gets more and more angry as the conversation ensues.
So, here was the comment I posted (along with the red sign):
Tonight there was a “lively” discussion on the topic of how Christians respond to gays. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, this subject is a hot button.
The homosexual debate, just like complementarian/egalitarian, or Calvinism/Arminianism debates, can get very heated and these issues will not be resolved on this Facebook page, but I do enjoy and welcome a good healthy debate.
This site is unique. It must always remain a safe place for those who have been harmed by pastors, church leaders, church groups, etc. Many of us have had the Bible thrown at us like a weapon, or verses twisted so that church leaders could control us and interfere with our personal lives. Some of us were trampled spiritually by pastors who used their “authority” to condemn us, belittle us, and tell us that we need to constantly check our salvation. Some of our pastors did not preach the whole counsel of God because they forgot about Jesus and His saving grace.
While it may seem normal for you to tell someone to “repent” or to “rebuke” someone because you don’t agree with their understanding/interpretation of spiritual matters, that cannot happen here. Those words can be triggering words for survivors. Not only that, those words are not conducive to good debating.
Good debating should not get personal with ad hominems. When rebuking someone or telling someone to repent, you are essentially getting on your high horse and putting yourself in a position of spiritual authority over them, judging them to be sinners, not saved, etc. That’s what some of our abusing pastors did, too. There are far better ways to discuss these issues reasonably and respectfully.
Thank you for your participation here and for respecting the ground rules.
grace & peace,
I did get some private and public push back (and I’m absolutely fine with that):
- . . . My sense is that Jesus would still call people to repent, go and sin no more, etc. My further concern, to be very frank, is that Jesus would be in danger of getting his comments deleted because he was “triggering.” What do you think? Does the gospel itself kind of challenge or stretch you in this regard?
- I’ve benefited from SSB coverage of a variety of issues. There is real spiritual abuse, especially in IFB and various reformed circles. But don’t you think that there’s a point at which Jesus would rebuke sin or tell people to stop sinning? If he did that, on this forum for instance, how would you respond as a moderator? Also, isn’t there a sense in which spiritual abuse itself is wrong and is being rebuked here?
- Are we not to calls those in unbelief or error to repentance ?
So, help me out. Is there an appropriate place for rebuking people? Or telling them to repent? Are those words just triggering to me because of people who have acted like spiritual bullies to me? Do you feel safe here if those words are used?