“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, TELL IT UNTO FACEBOOK, and let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17, NKJV - Social Media Edition).
Yes. I have added to the text above. No. There is not a "social media edition" of the NKJV of the Bible. Yes. There is a growing epidemic of disciples taking their problems and grievances with one another to Facebook (or some other social media outlet) for social media judgment and a social media stoning. I wonder just how Christ-like this relatively new phenomena is?
I have watched a growing trend among Christians who have decided that airing their grievances with churches, elderships, preachers, spouses, children, neighbors, parents, etc. on Facebook is a good idea. It is usually in the form of a one-sided rant, explaining how one has been mistreated by the object of his or her ire. These rants typically serve to rally the support of the mutually miserable and the equally embittered, but rarely accomplish much by way of repentance, reconciliation, and resolution. They are the modern-day equivalent of a first century stoning.
Once the first social-media rock has been thrown, the number of Christians who are emboldened to throw their own rocks in the form of a comment sharing their similarly miserable experiences or a "Like" affirming the aggrieved soul's mistreatment never ceases to amaze me. Whether or not the aired mistreatment is true or not, the jury of public opinion is out and the lambasting for said perceived injury rolls in. Little, if any, time is taken to ascertain the truth of said woe. Rarely are all the facts ascertained and actual justice and righteous judgment attained. While such a course of public sharing may salve a hurt in the form of some quasi idea of social justice, it does nothing to magnify the glory and gracious of God others should see in our every word and deed.
Rarely are the now publicly tarred and feathered adversaries of the aggrieved present to defend themselves or give their side of the story. Instead, they are judged, castigated and marked without representation by those who have heard only half of the tale. The lack of wisdom in such conduct, commenting and criticism is astounding (Prov. 18:13,17).
Disciples, while a good Facebook rant is incredibly tempting when we are feeling mistreated or abused by another human being or some group of human beings, let us not lose sight of the teachings of our Savior. If our enemy strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also (cf. Matt. 5:39). We need to let God deal with the evil, and we need to strive to overcome evil with good.
Social media can be a powerful tool to teach and share the gospel, but it is a terrible place to air, share and handle brotherly conflict. Facebook is not the church and it is incredibly easy to cross the line of being vengeful, sharing gossip, and manifesting unforgiveness or just plain being unkind and unloving. Like our Lord, let us learn to do good to those who mistreat us.