A friend from America once joked that, if you want to lose faith in humanity, just read some YouTube comments. A friend from Hong Kong also once joked that, if you want to lose faith in society, just read some Yahoo! news comments.
I perhaps can joke that, if you want to lose faith in “Christianity”, just read some Facebook or Twitter comments among Christians who value winning an argument over gaining a brother or a sister (Matthew 18:15). Even worse, they love to condescend others rather than to honor one another (Romans 12:10).
In my own observation, misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and mistakes among Christians online do teach us a few lessons.
First, misunderstanding often results from skim-reading or “reading into” one’s writing. Second, we can, and we should, still love despite disagreement.
“Unless I can leave off loving Jesus Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love Him.” – Spurgeon
This is from the very same Spurgeon who once spoke that, “There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.” Thus, no matter how sure we are about our doctrine, we cannot be unsure to love those who love the Lord yet may differ from us doctrinally.
Third, if we disagree with what someone has written, don’t immediately make assumptions about his or her motives or to the extreme, question his or her salvation. Fourth, no one will be correct about everything, and no one should be certain that they will be correct about everything! “Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.” (1 Cor 8:2) Fifth, there are many “false teachers exposed!” and “discernment ministries” out there trolling. They feed on attention.
What is done in love is done well (1 Cor 16:14). Let’s strive for peace (Hebrews 12:14) while honoring one another (Romans 12:10), even online!