ATLANTA, Tex. (BNC) — Public discourse descends into the gutter. Even the US president no longer acts presidential. Guests on news programs shout over each other to get in their point. Crass is the new presidential candidate. Social media’s distance allows people to feel free to spew their invective.

Jacob Rutledge
Jacob Rutledge with wife

At such a time as this, gospel preacher Jacob Rutledge reminds saints on his Start2Finish.org blog, that “love isn’t rude.” Citing 1 Corinthians 13 and a host of other texts, besides Hoffer and Orwell, Jacob walks the fine line between love and truth.

He wisely reminds Christians of the objective of their communication — transformation.

Leaving rudeness and allowing love to win calls for us to look toward the purpose of love: to transform people into the image of Christ. Rudeness might nicely end a heated argument; it might even make you look intellectually superior in comparison to your antagonist; but if we leave the conversation and no one saw Jesus then we have lost the war.

Jacob recognizes the challenge that Christians face in a culture that classifies truth as rudeness.

Our culture has so twisted reality that … telling someone the truth is inherently rude. If that is the case [then] the very existence of Christ was the greatest insult God gave to humanity (John 14:6). Telling someone the truth is, in fact, the kindest act that we perform for another.

In this article, part of a series on the characteristics of love, Jacob noted that the apostle Paul dealt with both sides of love as promoting kindness and prohibiting rudeness, “because we have a tendency to justify rudeness on the grounds of love and now Paul leaves us without a leg to stand on.”

He recognizes that some use truth “as a meat cleaver instead of a sword; instead of piercing with love they prefer to pulverize with rudeness. They assume that telling the truth, regardless of intentions and tone, is all that matters.”

Christians may be influenced by present media tactics that use rudeness, insults, and crassness to overpower others. The temptation is strong, perhaps more now than ever.

Jacob Rutledge provides a timely reminder that the loving tone is not an option.

His entire post, “Love Isn’t Rude,” can be read at this link.

A graduate of the Southwest School of Biblical Studies, Jacob works with the Atlanta, Tex., congregation.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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