I have thought of writing along these lines in several comment sections of some blogs I've read the past few months but decided it is too long and should be said on my own blog. So I will say it. Whether anyone reads it or not I will have gotten it off my chest.
When I'm personally offended by a comment or post on a blog I write a personal E-mail which I've done on a few, very few occasions. But what I wish to say now is not an offense as much as a deep burden for us all as Christians.
We are to never forget, I would think, that we are going to face in some fashion some day--our words. The "give account for every idle word" is of enough significance that perhaps a guard is needed for us all in our present day more than anytime I can remember. Words are to be used to speak the truth and are always to be spoken in love. That is a given. And-- we have problems that do need to be corrected--we have people who need to be confronted--that is a given also. The Scriptures themselves give us guidance and even illustrations that these things are sometimes needed.
It goes without saying that when correcting a problem the personal views that contradict those of another are necessary and will be spoken--or written--if a blog is used. That's using language properly. It may not be pleasant but it is certainly biblical to do so.
When confronting a person facts are essential and will only be said publicly after a private word has been given if it's a personal offense with which one is dealing. If not, at the very least--keeping it to public things said or done that are on record--is necessary. That too may not be pleasant but is also biblical as Paul and Peter illustrate.
But what I'm concerned about is the use of language/words to asperse one another. To use our words in such a way is a serious matter it would seem to me. A word shows expressive value in what it refers to but can take on deeper meanings if we're not careful. It can show our emotion, judgment, or a predisposition toward putting a person down with ridicule or shame. It is the put down remarks that I believe are clogging the Internet--especially on blogs--and will cause us to reap a whirlwind of coarseness that could spill over into our pulpits and churches and may already be doing so. I may be refering to a tone as much as words--but the end result is we can become Calumniators--which is an oxymoron when used with the word Christian--or even minister.
May God deliver us from this devastating atmosphere and restore us to being people of the Spirit who is Himself confrontive--even corrective-- but always gentle and gracious. Just my thoughts on what I perceive to be a very present danger.
"Asperse" is used as a verb and means to slander or defame one's character.
"Calumniator" is used as a noun and refers to the person who makes false and malicious statements.