The Irish Independent is the most prominent newspaper in Ireland, and yesterday, November 29, 2019, in that paper, Larissa Nolan writes about ghosting in an article entitled, "Into thin air: How 'ghosting' became the new normal":
We've all heard about ghosting: the spineless trend of severing a relationship by disappearing from contact. No calls, no texts, no emails - and no warning, explanation or chance to discuss. It's a particular kind of narcissism, a form of emotional cruelty, according to psychology. It's a mixture of cowardice, immaturity and modern technology.I think anyone with an ounce of common sense would recognize this as the truth about this odious, heinous practice, primarily by young people, who very often justify it as a means to "wellness." Dropping out, they justify, preserves themselves, keeps them well or improves them. In my last post, I spoke about how that psychiatry is notoriously untrustworthy and a pseudo-science. Nevertheless, a major mark psychiatrists give the narcissist is "the silent treatment":
The silent treatment is probably one of the most common forms of emotional abuse used by narcissists . . . . Narcissists use the silent treatment as a form of punishment for not acquiescing to their point of view or as the way to gain the upper hand and control in their relationships. It’s also a way to avoid discussing important issues in the relationship and avoid taking accountability for their wrong-doings. When a narcissist uses the silent treatment, they will do it in a way that is so out of proportion to the situation. Narcissists will also tend to demand a perfectly delivered apology. If the apology is not said correctly or in the right way, the narcissists will extend the length of the silent treatment. By demanding a perfectly delivered apology, narcissists confirm their dominance and support their exaggerated importance.If someone reads the entire above article from which this paragraph comes, to possess narcissistic personality disorder, one must check off several markers. Even if ghosting or the silent treatment are narcissistic, this isn't a biblical means of analysis of human problems. It's way too subjective and seems as though it is invented to weaponize against a chosen target. The truth about someone is not a matter of an arbitrary culling from studies or articles to conform to an already settled conclusion. This isn't how the Lord Jesus Christ or any of God's men in scripture function in service to God and men.
The Bible is sufficient as it speaks to behavior, and ghosting is in no way scriptural. It is a form of extreme separation, but not biblical separation. Separation in and of itself is fine, required even by God in His Word. However, certain forms of separation are evil.
Evangelicals do not practice biblical separation, but I have observed they still practice separation, and an unbiblical version more like ghosting. They are not attempting reconciliation, which is a requirement in biblical separation. Real reconciliation centers on the truth, the basis of reconciliation, bringing two entities back together. The point on which they come together is the truth, aligning with the historic, biblical teaching of the church.
Ghosting is not about reconciliation. It's many different variations of selfishness. At it's best, if even possible, someone who desires to avoid the pollution of sin separates in an extreme manner to preserve personal purity. Out of sheer desperation about sinning, a person turns monastic without any warning to those around him. I've never seen it. People truly concerned for sin want to help sinners. They know the truth and want others to know it too, because they care.
Someone really can judge belief and behavior based upon scripture. The goal is to get to the right position and practice for God. A person can know that. Some people don't want that. They want what they want and they don't want to be challenged -- at all. This is the new generation Z and millennials. They have picked upon this new standard of human relations, even with the encouragement of evangelical leaders.
A kind of ghosting behavior actually is not new. It is an extreme form of self-centeredness. I understand it, because I've done it. I can't imagine that any human being hasn't at least given the "silent treatment" to someone at some point. I remember two instances. It's a form of throwing a fit, a childish type of tantrum behavior. Instead of reconciling along the lines of Matthew 5:21-26, someone sulks, ignores those around him, and goes silent.
An antidote for ghosting or the silent treatment for a true believer is Ephesians 4:26, let not the sun go down upon thy wrath. It's a command. It's not, let not a week, a month, or a year go down upon thy wrath, but the sun. A dispute or division has got to be settled between believers out of love. It's not right to hold a grudge, hold onto resentment, none of that. It's self-destructive and dishonoring to God. Much of this goes on between children and their parents today, but also between siblings, and childhood friends. It's not acceptable, but it is still happening and at an alarmingly increasing rate.
Again, scripture requires initiation of reconciliation, including possible mediation. At the foundation is the love of the neighbor, the love of the brethren, according to the Word and will of God and as fruit of the Spirit. It is also endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit. Ghosting and the silent treatment don't please God and sin against God in their hateful treatment of others.