I read today on Dr. Thom Rainer’s website how that some pastors across the nation have been fired because of their posts on social media. You can read his article in its entirety at http://thomrainer.com/2017/03/five-reasons-pastors-getting-fired-social-media-posts/. I think Rainer wrote a wonderful piece on this topic. It is especially important for all Christians, not just leaders, to know that their posts are indicative of whom they are. If one claims to be a Christian and posts things of derogatory nature, then the person provides ammunition against oneself. The fact is, posts online are nearly impossible to remove completely as they leave traces on the world wide web.
While I concur with Rainer’s assessment, I am also troubled by some of the reasons that churches dismissed their pastors. Some churches dismissed their pastors because of the pastor’s stance on matters of theology and politics. If the theology and/or politics stands opposed to the Christian faith, then, yes, I could see why the pastor would lose his position. If, however, the pastor uses his PERSONAL platform (as opposed to the church platform) to air his opinions and those opinions are not against the Christian faith, then I think there is as major problem with the church that fired him.
Political correctness cannot be allowed to infiltrate the church. Otherwise, the church will become irrelevant to God in its attempt to become relevant to the society. On today’s podcast, I discuss five tactics the apologetic pastor can use as he posts and speaks about controversial theological issues. It is important that we stand for the truth, but we do not want to be personally offensive in doing so.
1. Choose your battles wisely. Focus on primary doctrines and the things that truly matter. Don’t waste your time on trivial controversies. Paul notes that one should “avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9, CSB). Make sure that if you are involved in a controversial matter that it is something worth your effort. Seek to avoid controversies, but always stand for the truth.
2. If offenses come, make sure it is the truth that offends and not you. Remember what Peter said that “in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15-16, CSB). The truth offends. Absolutely! But make sure that you don’t. Always tempter truth with gentleness and respect.
3. Proclaim the truth, but always seek peace. Stand uncompromisingly for the truth of God’s Word. However, always seek peace with those around you…even on social media.
4. Concentrate on winning souls and not arguments. Christians should set out to win souls to Christ, not show how intelligent they are. Don’t use apologetics as a means to offend unnecessarily.
5. Let God do his job and you do yours. There comes a time when one must realize that one has done all that he can do. If a conversation isn’t going anywhere, then stop the dialogue. Remember that even though Jesus truly loved the rich young ruler, he respected the young man’s decision to walk away from the plan of eternal life that Jesus offered him.
Be sure to listen to this week’s podcast. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Leave a reply.
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