Subtweeting is a reality of our social media world. If you are unfamiliar with the term, subtweeting occurs when a person posts a social media update about another person without their knowledge. Essentially, it is talking about someone publically behind their back. Sometimes, the subtweet is a passive-aggressive approach to making a point, hoping the called-out person will see the post and realize it is meant for them.
Many of these kinds of posts are obvious, but others are more nuanced. It can be difficult to respond to a subtweet if you feel it is directed at you because the original poster can simply accuse you of being overly-sensitive and deny their post had anything to do with your actions, writing, etc. This, in turn, leads to resentment, damaged relationships, and endless online feuding.
It goes without saying that subtweeting is unChristian. It speaks of a great darkness in our hearts when we find contentment in criticizing another person in the presence of others without involving or naming the concerned party. To be certain, the priority of such a social media post is clearly not to help the other person in some capacity, but rather to stir up feelings of superiority in the one doing the posting. It will be hard to reconcile that kind of approach with this verse.
Adding to this concern, I have noticed a growing subtweeting tendency among Christians. It seems that subtweeting with the Bible is becoming a more common approach to criticizing others. By that I mean a Christian will simply quote a Bible verse with no additional commentary to be used as their subtweeting venom. Let me provide a made-up example:
Christian “A” writes a tweet about a new co-ed Sunday School class beginning at their church that is facilitated by Jane Doe.
Christian “B” writes a tweet 1 hour later that says: “The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission. 1 Corinthians 14:34”
Christian “B” has just subtweeted Christian “A” in the most holy and pious manner possible, right? A nice behind-the-back, passive-aggressive Bible verse.
This is the absolute worst. Not only is subtweeting contrary to the reconciling, unifying power of the cross, but using the Bible as the tool of prideful contempt is both tacky and sinful.
So, how should Christian “B” approach the above example? Here are two simple options:
First, he could simply tag Christian “A” in the post and say, “Hey, Christian “A”, I’m curious what you think about 1 Corinthians 14:34 in relationship to your new class. Any thoughts?”
Second, and even better, if the concern is a biblical one, then Christian “B” should reach out in private to Christian “A” and ask about his position.
Christian, stop using the Bible as your subtweeting tool. You are contradicting its message as soon as you use it in that way.