To those abusing 1 Peter 3:15
Today, 1 Peter 3:15, was used by no less than three hostile people on twitter to demand answers from me. I find it absolutely incredible that they would use scripture, at all, and without – of course – fully understanding or appreciating it. The intention, of course, is to use the Bible itself to elicit or coerce a response out of a Christian. Everything else is utterly bypassed. The only part they are specifically interested in is “Always be prepared to give an answer” which translates as:
Sit there and take my hostile ranting at you because you are essentially commanded to do so.
Defend, in a way that suits me, EVERY statement I throw at you no matter how absurd.
You can’t walk away until I’m done.
… and yet, they have missed the point entirely. That specific part of the verse ultimately reads “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”. Those individuals who were chucking insults and words at me will not (and will) accept my reason. My reason is utterly simple. God saved my life, on the brink of suicide, and has turned around my life. Not only has he done that but he had made it something incredible and continues to do so.
I am compassionate and caring on the social media sites i frequent. I love to share the inspiration and joy I feel every day from the growing and strengthening of my faith. Then suddenly a tirade of insults, abuse and poor manners. The same arguments, questions and tactics come pouring in. Pointless circular debates with people who have no intention of an honest debate or who don’t seem to realise that at 140 characters – twitter is not the place for intense theological debate. It’s for tweets – short bursts of news, thoughts, inspirations and ideas.
The expanded version of the verse they are quoting, specifically verses 13 through to 17, is quite beautiful and highly representative of these silly conversations on twitter.
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
… and do you know what kicked all this recent abuse off? A short poem like tweet I wrote that really just came to me as I sat in car waiting to pick up my son from work. I was overflowing with love of Jesus and the way my life has been transformed. I doubt these people who were quick to throw abuse at me were “ashamed of their slander” but they should be. This is what I wrote.
Your presence, reassuring.
Your healing, essential.
Your hand, guiding.
Your love, unwavering.
Your grace, incredible.