Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scripture Shaming Nonsense

Christians. we've all been there. We've somehow found ourselves on the wrong side of Sister Bertha Better Than You or Brother Buster Better Sinner. Sometimes it's because you have offended one of them and sometimes because they don't like you. But rest assured, if you have not yet been a victim of this phenomenon, it's coming. "What is it," you ask?


This is the act of tossing out a scripture as though it were a grenade and hoping for some damage, or aiming it at the heart of one shameful sinner as though you were a sharp shooter. This newly connected world we live in makes it so much easier. In ye olden days, the shamer would have to come to you house and yell it at your door from the yard or go to the trouble to write it down and waste a stamp.

The best scripture shamers I've encountered are preachers. They can be the best and most skilled but certainly they are not the only scripture shamers. I had one whose sermon every week was personalized to some shameful sinner in the congregation. I had to march out in anger more times than I can count. I was always tempted to grab my Moses robe and beard and march down the aisle singing "let my people go..." But it's HARD to come back from a Masterful Moses Shaming, so I have not yet done it. Plus, I'm pretty sure that sort of behavior makes Jesus cry. Or at least consider it. Because Scripture doesn't say don't be angry. It says "in your anger, do not sin." (Ephesians 4:26) Pretty sure that would be sin. Almost positive.

So that leads me to social media. When you toss a scripture out generally, that YOU KNOW that SOMEONE ELSE WILL KNOW is aimed at their specific thing that is going on in their life, it is wrong. It's wrong enough when you do it face to face. But these days we like to go on our social media sites and throw them there. All of our friends will know we are very holy and love the Word, but the three or four we just hit with a grenade will be hurt. God doesn't want us to use His word to purposefully hurt one another. To convict, yes. But if you want to convict someone, that's not your job. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict. (John 16:8.) 

Rightfully used, the Word of God is a weapon all right, and many times (if not most) the Holy Spirit will use it to convict us of our sin. But it's not a grenade to be carelessly tossed to leave shrapnel and destruction everywhere. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12. It is all you need and a sword is not a weapon of mass destruction  it is a weapon for close up work. 

I am a believer. If you are my brother or sister and you see me in sin, it is your job to help me see my error. "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." Galatians 6:1. Just remember, I am much less likely to listen to you if you shoot me in a drive-by or blow me up.

For the record, this post is not written to shame any scripture shamer, thereby making for a double shaming. That would be shameful. It's just a thing I've noticed on Twitter, Facebook and the like and today, I just had a chance to sit down and address it. To shame a shamer by shaming would be utter nonsense and I don't participate. I'm the Queen after all. I know better. If you feel led to post scripture on your personal page because it spoke to you and you think it would do so to others, please post it! Every time. But be sure your intentions are right.


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