Over the past fortnight we’ve seen (at least) two major debates blow up on social media , one about doctrine and the other about practice resulting from public statements made by prominent Christians.
The general structure of those debates tends to follow the following lines:
- There is an initial emotive reaction – this might be positive, negative or both at the same time.
- This is followed by some people attempting a thoughtful critique of the issues involved
- More debate and discussion follows. Those who critique and disagree with the original statement are sometimes accused of being churlish, pedantic, unloving. In turn, the supporters are told they are naïve (sometimes both of those charges have a level of truth – but not always).
- Somewhere along the line the message goes out that we are meant to shut up and move on. This particularly comes from those who wanted to be generous.