One of the realities of the Christian life is that all of us is a work in progress. We are all learning and growing as we experience sanctification through relationship with our Savior. This was abundantly clear to me yesterday when I learned that I offended some Asian Christians with a cartoon image of a ninja on our Easterninja.com and outreachninja.com websites.
I am saddened to have caused the offense and will work to overhaul these website with new images that still use the term “ninja” but not associate any race or ethnicity to them. I’m grateful for the Asian Christian leaders who have graciously given of their time to communicate with me in this matter.
I am of the conviction that dialogue and understanding are desperately needed if we are to understand one another. I am also of the belief that “calling people out” publicly does not help the issue of understanding or reconciliation. Instead, it builds up the very walls we are seeking to tear down. This, in my opinion, is the downfall of social media. It creates villains instantly before there is time for godly confrontation and repentance.
I am owning my error in this issue and will seek to rectify it. I also believe that we as Christians need to reconsider our use of social media to inform and build up, rather than to present a partial story and then tear down.
As Christians, it’s healthy when we disagree. For this is where we grow. It took a healthy discussion with another leader for me to see how an image can reinforce a false stereotype. My hope is that we can all raise the level of our conversations and follow a Matthew 18 model when we feel another brother has sinned.
Will we fail in this endeavor at times? Most likely. Yet the effort is necessary for a world who doesn’t know God as they look in and see brethren dwelling together in unity (Psalm 133).