Sunday, July 19, 2015

Is Facebook Christianity Hypocrisy?

Leave Facebook if it is getting in the way of following Jesus
I have noticed that many people have been alive for the cause of Christ on Facebook, or so it would seem.  With the news about gay marriage being legalized in the United States, Christians were on fire against gay marriage.  While some people were posting images of rainbow flags for their profile pictures, others were stating that homosexuality is a sin.  Facebook was ignited with arguments on both sides - and both sides were largely wasting their time.

I am a Christian myself, and I have mentioned Christianity on a few of my other posts.  I have come to the conclusion that Facebook is actually detrimental to Christianity.  To be a Christian, one must walk with Christ.  One does not walk with Christ by spending their lives on (a)social media.  One, instead, walks with Christ by focusing on being more like Jesus and spreading the gospel.  Spreading the gospel could, in theory, be done on Facebook.  Yet, here is the truth about Facebook:  Nobody is listening.  People are generally only concerned about what others think of themselves on the internet.  This is especially true on a website that was developed to allow you to tell the rest of the world what you are doing in your life.  Facebook is, by design, a self-centered place.  One can not really expect people to convert easily to Christianity here.  While there are some success stories and while people can come to Christianity anywhere and accept Christ even on Facebook, I have found that Facebook is far from the ideal place to "win souls."  In fact, I have found that people who share images of Christ and proclaim to be Christians on Facebook, are, by large, more hypocritical than not.

Guard Your Tongue - Hard to do on Facebook

The Bible tells us that a wise person speaks little and guards his tongue.  Yet, people speak too much on Facebook.  Our words are many.  Let's look at what the Bible says about speech:

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29.

From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:20-21

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. James 1:26

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. Matthew 12:36

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. Ecclesiastes 5:2-4

Guarding your tongue is hard to do on a website that is made for people to tell the world all about them.  Guarding what you say and remaining silent is very hard to do when everyone else is being so noisy.

Preaching and Witnessing on Facebook

Many people spend time sharing quotes and texts on Facebook, only to find that they are "preaching to the choir."  Invariably, fights and arguments result when others do not agree with their points.  People become angry with others and unChristlike in character.  We hope to win souls by posting more pictures of Jesus and we think that this is religion.  We think that this is witnessing.  But is it?  I do not think it is really is.  I think when it gets to this point, we are just witnessing to ourselves.  I think more damage is being done.

Witnessing to others is largely done in how we live our lives.  It has been said that we are the only Bible that many will ever read.  Our actions tell a lot about who we are.  If we spend our time on Facebook trying to prove to the world that gay marriage is wrong and are not acting in a Christlike character otherwise, do our words do any good?  Christians all know how they feel about gay marriage, and while it is considered a sin under Christianity, so are many other things that Christians on Facebook are silent about.  When the Pharisees started claiming that the prostitute should be stoned, Jesus began to write the sins of the Pharisees in the sand.  They did not want the world to know about their own sins, just as many Facebook Christians do not want to speak about their own sins or tell the world that they have fallen short too.  Instead of spending time on Facebook claiming that everyone else is not worthy of Heaven, why not get off Facebook and open up the Bible instead?  Why not focus on living a life closer to Christ, who died for you?  Why not focus on spending time with family, friends, and others and showing them how Christ lived.  Facebook Christianity is largely a waste.  Preaching on Facebook is like preaching in front of a mirror.  The only people who will be convinced are those who already agree with you.  Those who do not will not be swayed because you posted a picture of a Bible quote or said that being gay is morally wrong.  You will only drive people away in this manner.  Like with most things, Facebook fails at being a conduit for witnessing.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  (Matthew 25: 31-40.)
These things can not be done via Facebook. You have to leave (a)social networking and go out, as Christ went out, and be with the people. Would have Jesus spent his time on (a)social networking? No, he would not have. He went out to cure the sick, raise the dead, preach the gospel to those who did not know about Him. He did not sit in comfort and post pictures of Bible verses in the vain hope that people would rush to be saved. You can not expect to have it any easier than Christ had it. Therefore, remove Facebook from your life - it is a snare - and instead realize what it means to "Walk with Christ."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Be Careful What You Like On (a)Social Media

There is a type of person that exists in (a)social media who will like just about everything that is written or posted.  You know the kind, they like every small comment, post, and agree with pretty much everything online.  You know that they do not agree with it all in their mind, but they are trying so hard to make a good impression on the internet.  They are crying out to be liked and loved and accepted in the internet world.  They are the kind of person that wants recognition and internet respect.  They think that the road to popularity is paved with liberal use of the like button.

They stand firm in their beliefs and getting in front of their convictions is like walking in front of a train.  You would never challenge them in person because they would try to chew you up and spit you out.  There is a machine behind that mouth and the off switch is nigh impossible to find.  Yet, on the internet, they have a different demeanor.  You are puzzled as you see something written on Facebook that has their name listed under those who like the post.  This is because you know that if you had said it in person you would have gotten shredded apart and ripped in three.

Sometimes these persons "like" something that makes you wince.  You start to wonder what they are thinking.  At times they like something that is an attack on you.  Perhaps they do not know it.  After all, they seem to pound that button whenever they see it.  They go for the "like" button as a fly goes to animal droppings.  Yet, you can not help but wonder: why did they like that?

With (a)social media, many oftentimes do not think before they put their seal of approval on something.  The like button is a seal of approval.  It says that you "like" something.  Many do not understand this.  Many use it as a way to be popular.  Yet, is it good to be popular while losing your own convictions?  I see many Christians who like things on Facebook that goes against what they probably believe.  Many will post a picture of the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus and in their next breath will like a scantly clad image of a woman that screams adultery.  Other times I see people who crave respect and like something that only takes away respect.  Others claim to be on fire for a cause, yet will like something that goes against that cause.  Whatever it is, many do not think before they push that button, and it gets them into trouble.

This is another problem with (a)social media.  Many do not really understand how to use it and are blinded by the idea of internet fame.  Many want to "go viral," whether it is to the world or just to family.  Facebook for many is just a means to become more popular and more seen.  It is a way to show off ourselves to the world.  Yet, if you are liking things that you otherwise always speak out against, it makes people wonder if they can take what you say seriously - both on and offline.  So, if you are still a slave to (a)social media, please consider what you are liking and what you are putting your "seal of approval" on.  Are you there to just become popular?  Do you have such a low self esteem that you have to be seen all over the internet and be everywhere?  Or, do you actually want to stand for something?  I believe that people will be more remembered and respected when they are willing to stand up for something rather than try every means necessary to be popular.