When Christians attack each other, both lose.
It hurts the cause of Christ when Christians attack each other. It shows we have lost focus on our mission, which is to make disciples. Verbal discourse in the church is a good thing. But in Luke 6:37 when Jesus says; Do not judge. Jesus gives us a warning about judging others.
So why do it? Why use words to judge other Christ-followers? Good question. Why do we justify attacking one another?
James 4, we are commanded not to slander each other. It’s that simple. Nothing in the Bible or Christiandom gives us a right to slander other followers of Christ.
So what should we do when Christians attack other Christians?
- First, pray. Ask God what we should do.
- If possible, we should go to that person privately, if that’s not possible, then we should leave our concern with God and let it go.
- We shouldn’t take sides in public.
Christians attacking other Christians is the worst possible witness to a lost world. When we judge other Christians, especially in public or on social media, we take the place of God. We actually create the justification for it and believe we have a throne to do so. But we don’t.
The Apostle Paul wrote letters to other Christians because of division in the church. Christians attacking other Christians is a poison. It shows that we as Christians lack a single focus, we don’t practice what we preach.
Colossians 4:5-6 “5Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
If we are to speak with grace to non-believers, then how much more should be to fellow believers?
In Matthew 10, Jesus tells us that we as sheep will be in the midst of wolves. When Christians attack other Christians, we are no longer sheep, but wolves. We have crossed over to the ‘other-side’ condemning one another.
So what should we do? We should treat each other with kindness and not judge. It really is that clear. When we as Christ-followers attack each other, we damage our witness. Because a lost world is watching, they look for any reason to go ‘Ah HA!’ They look for any reason to say, there’s no difference between the followers of Christ and any other group.
So we have to resist the temptation to judge other Christians. We instead should be in one accord, one focus, and that is showing the love of Christ. We are called to make disciples, not judge one another.
A good self-question to ask is: ” is what I’m about to say lift that person up?”
But another question to ask is: is what I’m about to say, hurt that person, does it hurt their witness? If it doesn’t, then why say it? Why condemn?
We are all guilty of judging one another. I’ve had to pray for flying off at the mouth about others. Increasingly, God has put on my heart a burden to be part of the body in a way that lifts up, exhorts, and doesn’t condemn. We should all ask forgiveness for our behavior.
It’s not a stretch to believe that our negative words towards one another could cause someone to resist following Christ. And that should be a sobering thought that we as Christ-followers should pay attention to each and every time we open our mouths.
Remember, when Christians judge each other, both lose. But moreover, the loss is our witness. We have something now in common with non-believers, we have become wolves.
About the author: Steven Davis is a musician, Bible school dropout, media producer, well-done preachers kid, and recovering social worker.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
You therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on another. For on whatever grounds you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the Law and judges it. And if you judge the Law, you are not a practitioner of the Law, but a judge of it.
1 Corinthians 12:26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.