No, they probably can't.
I'm one of those.
A perpetual party pooper.
I don't know if it stems partially from my literal interpretation and my critical eye for inconsistency or if it is just a trait God intended me to have, but I hold people accountable. More than they want me to. More than I want to sometimes.
There are definitely times that it would be easier and more comfortable for me to turn a blind eye (or deaf ear) to some morally questionable content that protrudes from fellow believer's mouths (or facebook feeds).
Since I am very aware that many people have us accountability partner / party poopers pinned as legalistic, judgmental fuddy-duddy's who can't take a joke, let me just tell you one small story about my tendencies to hold people accountable that warmed my heart and may hopefully let you see things from the other side of the coin for a moment. (BTW: us party poopers have a huge heart for others and that's why it concerns us so deeply to see people compromising their integrity)
I was hesitant, but I held someone accountable and it was unlike any of my previous experiences...
Hmmm, it was an acquaintaince by facebook only (not someone I have personally met, but someone I felt safe adding as a facebook friend because they had previously attended my current church and had several ties and connections still to our church via friendships). The first thing my brain asks when I see less than tasteful content on my facebook feed is- was this a believer or an unbeliever? The Bible is very clear that we are to hold believers accountable but that we are to make the most of our time when we are with unbelievers. It is not my job to hold unbelievers to the same level of accountability because it is more important that my relationship with them points them toward Jesus Christ than that I point out their error to live in a Christlike manner. Makes sense, right?
So, a believer, but not someone I know personally, posted a questionable comic. So what? Who gives? Move on! (right?) Nope. The thing is, I have seen this same guy post many evangelistic messages and speak many words of Scriptural truth through this very same facebook account. Why should he defile his accountability as a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ by posting crude humor? He shouldn't.
I commented on the picture that I found it distasteful and didn't think he should defile his testimony for the gospel of Jesus Christ by sharing immoral/worldly entertainment posts. It stung for me to write that. I didn't want to hurt his feelings; I DID feel like it was none of my business, but I did it anyway because my conscience hurt to think that he could be ruining his credibility to share the truth. He could be losing respect from other friends, relatives, or potential business associates who may be reading along his facebook and frown upon the poor decision he made to post something less than tasteful. Rather than frowning upon it and moving on, I made the choice to point out his error so he could correct it. I wasn't judging him and thinking to myself, "Oh my goodness, he's not really a good Christian if he posts things like that!" I am painfully aware of how many choices I make that reflect poorly on my Christianity. I fail daily. Many times daily. I don't always like it when people let me know I've messed up, and past experiences have taught me most people don't respond well to this type of accountability. But God tells us to hold one another accountable. So I have to. It's my job to try do it respectfully, gently, and with my heart in the right place (humbly).
After commenting, I anticipated one of two things:
1. He would ignore or brush off my comment.
2. He would get angry and accuse me because I pointed out his error.
Both of these responses are so common, I considered it a 50/50 chance as to which course this interaction would take.
Oh, me of little faith!
Wow. I was face to face (well, face to screen) with humility. On FACEBOOK! That doesn't happen every day, and certainly not every time I hold someone accountable for their actions! On top of that, he initiated a conversation with me in private messages. As I don't offer any identifying information on my blog (and sharing this exchange is in no way derogatory to him!), I feel comfortable sharing our conversation with you, my reader(s):