Reading through Mr. Hill’s piece on Josh Duggar and the recent outing of the fact that he was charged for the molestation of his younger sisters when he was young himself, I knew the subject itself would be controversial. We are dealing with a member of the Duggar family, a family renowned in our culture for practicing purity and standing for strict biblical and moral ethics. While the details of said revelations are more than sure subject to great debate, that is not why I am writing this letter for. In fact, I would like for us to address another scandal that has been dividing us as a community as of late.
I would like for us to speak about respecting one another as believers in Christ.
Overnight I began to notice the outrage against the piece in discussion. While I don’t exactly know all of the details, I tend to peek my head in and out of our Geeks Under Grace Community page on Facebook. I was disappointed to read certain comments that were made to certain members in our community – and the equally destructive comments that were made back. The incident was so outrageous that it even caused many to leave our Facebook group, and possibly abandon the GUG brand altogether. I feel that this needs to be addressed by us as a community and as staff members of Geeks Under Grace.
One of our main goals in Geeks Under Grace is to maintain a safe and friendly environment for you as our loyal readers and friends. Disrespect or harrassment of other members or staff will not be tolerated – period. I know that this has been something that has been addressed in the past, but yet, there are certain people that persist in their inappropriate (and frankly, quite immature) behavior. The penalty for such actions will first be a warning and then a permanent ban from our Facebook community page. Providing a safe place to interact with friends and staff is the number one priority of our administrators. Are they perfect? No. Is anyone ever really perfect? No.
Please do understand that the GUG brand is still in its early stages of development and while we try the best we can to maintain a positive and uplifting environment we will still make mistakes. We are trying our very best to learn from our errors in order to best accommodate you. On behalf of our staff, if you’ve ever been in a situation where you have been wrongfully accused of wrongdoing in anyway, we sincerely apologize and we hope that you can forgive us. We truly try our best each and every day to bring to you the best content possible, all the while trying our best to maintain a safe environment to share that content with others.
Please also do be mindful of the fact that there are people in our community that come from different walks of life. Some are more spiritually mature than others, and others more may not even know the grace of God and are looking to us as a brand and as a community to bring this to them. It is also in this sense that if you are not a believer of Jesus Christ and the gospel that he so lovingly died to bring to you, we would also like to apologize for any wrongdoing that you may have witnessed or experienced yourself. I would like to assure to you that this is not the kind of Christianity that God wants for us – and ultimately – for you.
At last, I would like to address the response that was generated by our article, and while I am not one to judge an individual I have to say that I am highly disappointed in a lot of the comments that I read through. It was expected that there would be readers that would have disagreed with Mr. Hill’s view on the controversy – however – disagreement is no excuse for disrespect.
We need to be reminded about the purposes of Geeks Under Grace existence. While we are a website that deals with many aspects of our modern pop culture (video games, comic books, movies, music, books, etc.) we are firstly, and mainly, a Christian-based website. In fact, I would like to quote the very first sentence from our very own code of conduct handbook; I truly believe this is something that should apply to you and I if we ever publically profess our faith in Christ:
“At Geeks Under Grace we areChristians first, andgeeks second.”
We are Christians first, and geeks second.
Our main mission is to be a light in the world for Christ. Anything else comes second to that – including video games.
When we spend our time debating one another, be it theology, console or PC gaming, or even an article from us or some other website that you may or may not disagree with, I only wish to say one thing: Be careful with how you speak or write to one another.
The bible makes many references to individuals who use their tongue to destroy others:
Did you know that in Proverbs 18:21 it says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Or how about James 3:2-10 that states, “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. […]”
Our words have more power than we think. Our words have the power to build and bless, or to destroy and curse another’s soul. While we may walk around everyday not taking into account how our words can impact another person, I only ask if you would please begin to consider this thought and the ramifications of it.
I would hate to think of someone who comes to our website or to our community after a tough day seeking comfort, only to be met by hostility. Even worse, what kind of message do you think this will be sending to that same individual about Christ if they aren’t saved? It’s time to put down the stones and repent, firstly before the Lord God and, secondly, before your neighbor.
It needs to stop, plain and simple.
As a community member you are representing a brand to those who are in desperate need for a diverse and unique community like the one you are a part of. Most importantly, we should be striving to be as Christ was and still is.
Titus 3:2 says, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
I am not saying that one should agree or not agree with everything in life. In fact, having opinions is one of the traits that makes us all unique from one another. It is your God-given right to choose whether you would like to accept a certain idea or not, but it is as equally important that you do it as respectfully as you can as to not make your neighbor stumble.
Before working as an editor at Geeks Under Grace I happened to run into our community page on Facebook. I had recently gone through a tough break-up with a young lady I was seeing and I sought for a community where I could feel comfortable discussing my love of pop culture while also being able to share my faith in a safe place. At first, many in the community had reached out to me to greet me. I felt welcomed and relieved that this page could be a place where I would be able to connect with other like-minded believers who shared the same passions I have.
It wasn’t till after a few days where I saw a post that was made by a member, and in my boldness, I decided to join in on the discussion. I remember the postings leading up to the comment becoming a bit more defensive, when, finally, the offensive comment was made and I was absolutely shocked by the response given to me. While I do not want to go into too many details, I found the comment came off a bit racist towards my cultural background (I am a Puerto Rican, and very proud to be one). Having encountered this in a community that promised me a safe environment, I was nevertheless a bit let down. It was from this day on that I, admittedly, began to limit my interactions with the community page for fear of getting caught up in a scandal (if you haven’t already gotten the hint yet, I’m not much of a drama guy). I could have fired back, played the “race card”, quit the page, and not looked back. But I decided the best thing to do when I do not agree with someone is simply to keep quiet.
The temptation to want to get back at someone after you have been offended is a strong one (and often a justifiable excuse). But when it comes down to it, there are times when it is just not worth it. Let your pride go and take the higher ground. Realize that you have control over who you interact with and who you need to stay away from. Sometimes as Christians it is better to love on someone from a distance.
Be wise in your interactions, but also learn to be humble and forgive the other person if they offend you, whether intentionally or not. This is the internet after all, and sometimes when we communicate in text it is difficult to grab the full tone or context of what is actually being said.
We would like to thank Mr. Hill for his contribution to the Christian Living section. His hard work and dedication is most admired due to the fact that even in his busy schedule between work and family he still manages to pull in time to contribute to this wonderful website and ministry. He has our full support during this time.
Lastly, we would like to thank you, our loyal GUGers, for being a great support system for us and for one another. I love it when I read a posting about a prayer request or a theological discussion among the postings of headlines that read “Fallout 4 Officially Revealed” and cat memes. It truly brings a smile to my face and reminds me once again as to why I am so happy and blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. My desire is to continue to see more of this in the near future.
Thank you for putting the effort into reading this lengthy letter. We love what we do, but we do it all for a greater purpose.
Christian first, geek second.
Nestor Arce Christian Living Editor, Geeks Under Grace
Nestor Arce is the editor for the Christian Living section of Geeks Under Grace and periodically contributes to the Movies section. He is currently busy trying to watch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" 37 more times.
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