Diocesan’s response to matters that should not be printed on social media:
Life on earth is a gift from our God; the one who created all things with His word. Everything that God created with intellect had the unique ability to choose and not simply operate by instinct. Unfortunately, since one act of disobedience by our fore-parents (Adam and Eve) in the” Garden Eden” everyone procreated after them has been born in sin. Which means that we are all born with a nature that has innate (inborn) hostilities against the way, the word and will of God. Prenatal proclivities and propensities that lend themselves to character flaws and/or postnatal dispositions that blossom in time and environment, and are not pleasing to God and may not be to our neighbors as well.
However, there is good news! We do not have to remain hostages to the inborn fallen nature. Jesus has come that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. We have been called out of the darkness into His marvelous light. Because of the provision made through his life, death, burial and resurrection we have the opportunity to opt out of allowing the inborn nature to rule our daily life. We have the privilege of being progressively transformed by the gospel of Jesus the Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.
It takes empowerment from God (Holy Ghost) to progressively transform our thinking and our vocabulary. It takes vertical relationship to extract us out of the old ways of being and doing in the world to live a godly life on the horizontal. Jesus calls this empowerment process being born again (John 3). It is a paradigm shift and spiritual birth into a faith community (Church) based upon grace, truth, faith, hope and love. A community that has a new covenant with guidelines regarding how God says we should treat each other, the world and how we handle disputes (perceived or real) within the faith community (Mt. 18:15-35).
For example: how do we respond to believers who may have poor anger regulation and make decisions to act in the public domain in a manner that may have broad and harmful impact and implications beyond their intended target? And may in fact harm their own integrity in the long run. How should born again believers respond to allegations that have been launched into the public domain via social media by a fellow believer that may or may not have any basis in truth? And may in fact hurt the accused influence among people they have never met. We can’t un-ring a bell or recall perceptions formed based on disseminated accusations. But as beings with intellect and the empowerment of the Holy Ghost we can choose to move forward differently because we have been empowered by God to do so.
The Holy Scriptures are clear for us as believers; we are in the world but not of the world. Thanks be to God we are no longer in the darkness! We are light walkers! This means that we should go to the word of God (our new covenant and constitution) for clear instructions regarding disputes among the saints. Let us not assist our adversary the devil (who is prowling like a roaring lion) in his intent to bring harm to the body of Christ. We can’t allow him to tap into the old nature and deceive us into usability against each other in any form, inclusive of social media (James 4:17).
Brothers and Sisters we have been empowered to think, act and live better than this. When we get angry there is a way to be angry and sin not. And James 1:20 tells us “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” When we feel that injustices have been done (real or perceived) there is a godly way to handle disputes as light walkers. I would encourage us to reread the book of James chapter 3 and 1 John and with fresh eyes. Why? Because we are better than this, we are light walkers.
Light walkers are internally empowered to make choices from an elevated place (where love lives). Our conduct and language should be reflective of this empowerment. We have been quickened, raised and made to sit together in heavenly place in Jesus (Eph. 2). We are in this life together and we are blessed to have the privilege and opportunity to emulate the life of Jesus and impact the world for the good.
Let us stop hurting us and work for the good. This means that sometimes repentance and forgiveness is required. However, let us never forget that our God and Father is perfectly capable of handling His business in regards to disciplining His children (when we act inappropriately) without confusion. He is not swayed by accusations but he is moved by truth and love. Our God is not the author of confusion, nor does he appreciate when his children initiate, facilitate, or participate in activities that lend themselves to such, no matter the implied justification. He expects better from us. We are light walkers.