To what degree does a Christian have a responsibility to be courteous?
When, if ever, is it all right for a Christian to be discourteous? What scriptures do you use to support that position?
It is never right for a Christian to treat others discourteously.
1 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV) Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
I think that covers it completely. Even when we are mistreated, even when we are provoked by bad treatment or poisonous words (evil and reviling), we never respond in kind. Instead we bless.
That certainly doesn't mean we cannot disagree with or even rebuke others when necessary. Many times that is our duty. But when we do, we must do it without neglecting courtesy. We speak the truth, but always in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Not easy! But that's God's standard.
Jesus said that the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40) are to love God and to love your neighbor.
So, as a general rule, every Christian is commanded to treat everyone else in a courteous manner (see also Colossians 3:17). No where in the New Testament is it ever commanded to act in an discourteous manner just for the sake of being uncivil.
It is "all right" for a Christian to act in a way that calls it like it is *if* that behavior in done out of love for God and neighbor. As proof, consider Matthew 21:12 and John 2:15. There are descriptions of Jesus acting in a way (overturning tables of money changers in the Temple) that the money changers likely perceived as uncivil. But Jesus was acting out of love for God (to maintain the integrity of the Temple) and love of neighbor to tell them that in fact, what they were doing was not ok. Had he turned a blind eye to the practice, others would of also thought the Temple could be used for economic transactions.
Love doesn't mean passive acceptance of everything someone else does (that actually encourages abuse). Love means acting in a way that works for someone else's long-term best interest even if that is presently interpreted as "discourteous."
When someone is beating their child or raping someone, stopping the crime is more important than being polite about it.
When someone is doing something immoral, you have an obligation to both judge it as immoral and stop it when it harms others or themselves.
Don't let the cry "don't judge me!" stop you, because the rest of the verse says "lest you be judged": It is not saying never say anything is wrong, simply realize you will be held to the same standard. So don't say adultery is wrong when you are cheating on your spouse, and when it is egregious or happening in front of you, there is NO obligation to be polite - after all, they aren't when they are sinning in front of you, regardless of your opinion.
(I'll leave out the irony of many on the left saying don't judge my behavior, then condemn people simply for being white, male, Christian, heterosexual or blast them for their casual word choice).
Norine and KingdomCome:. Acting condescending and aggressive toward me and others for disagreeing with your interpretation of scripture is not welcome in my corner of HubPages. Period. Turning an honest question into an argument is also not welcome. If you continue to be rude and disdainful, your responses will continue to be deleted.
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