How do I handle someone making rude remarks in a public forum?


Hi there,

I have a question, as much as I hate to even ask it. A sister has set up a church "group" in Facebook designed to encourage, update and remind each other of different things. Many members are a part of this group, male and female. The sister, who set this group up, posted a very offensive and derogatory paragraph about a younger sister who she felt was dressed immodestly for worship. It was seen by this person as well as myself and a few others. The poster removed the post when we commented how we felt that this was not the forum for dealing with brethern who offend.

I have asked this sister to meet with me or call me, but she says is not getting into it with me. There is a need for me to talk to her about this and clear the air so that I can continue to worship the Lord without this anger I am feeling toward her. She says it is only between her and the younger sister and I beg to differ. I said if you had went to her personally, then yes it would, but you posted offensive remarks and comments in a public forum and you offended me as well with what you said.

Am I wrong to want to deal with this directly? I am one of these people who don't like issues to sit and smolder and "hope it goes away." I don't think it is good for the church when we do that and I know it is terrible for me because it consumes my thoughts until I do, so I have learned to deal with things as expediently as I can, and I do believe that is what the Bible teaches us to do as well.


"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" (Matthew 18:15-17).

This sister violated Jesus' rule for settling problems. She didn't take an issue directly to the other person first. You were correct in that you brought the issue you saw directly to her. She tried to invoke Matthew 18 after the fact, but is unequal treatment. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Matthew 7:1-2). She doesn't like a taste of her own medicine, so to speak.

So, yes, you should insist on speaking with her about how she handled this issue. If she refuses, then pick a couple of other people who also know about the issue and all of you sit down to discuss this. In this way you are putting Jesus' teachings into practice.