In the late 20th century, the one-word retort – “whatever” – arrived on the scene. It was either used to affirm a previous statement along the lines of “whatever you say”, or to express indifferent acceptance of a particular circumstance in the spirit of “Que Sera Sera”, or as a passive-aggressive counter intended to block further conversation on a subject. In some circles, the retort is still used today. It has been so overused that some would consider it to be one of the most annoying words used in conversation. And i would agree!
We live in a day of ever declining courtesy, civility and collegiality within society – and even more disturbingly, within the body of Christ. We would be wrong to lay the blame on the ubiquitous influence of social media as being the root cause. i am a firm believer that “whatever comes up in the bucket was already down in the well.” Social media may be the most-used hoist to bring the bucket to the surface at an appalling rate, but the issue remains with what is “down in the well”. This issue becomes even more disconcerting as we witness the cacophony of uncivil – and more importantly, ungodly – expressions from men and women who hold positions of leadership within the bride of Christ, whether it be the local church, or any of its parachurch institutions or entities. The fact of the matter is that we, as followers of Jesus, are called to be His light in a dark world. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 ESV). The purpose is not that our works are seen, but rather that the Father is glorified. There is no glory ascribed to the Father through the mud-slinging we are witnessing on social media. We must again learn how to converse – and even debate – without being unholy and profane – as brothers and sisters in Christ….