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A Christian's Guide to Social Media - Facebook (Part 2)

A Christian's Guide to Social Media - Facebook (Part 2)

Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. (Source: The Social Skinny) How many of those come from people who claim to love Jesus and how many of those actually honor Him? From my research… Christians need some help.

In part one of A Christian’s Guide to Social Media I offered 10 general rules for the Christian who wishes to use Facebook to make much of Jesus.

Here, in part two, I’d like to deal with the two biggest Facebook faux pas Christians make that often damage their testimony and run the risk of grieving God.

Just before we jump in, allow me to restate from the previous post that if you use Facebook primarily for recipe swapping, keeping up with family, sharing silly videos, cheering on your favorite team and so on—more power to you! If you don’t have any intention of using Facebook as a platform for opinion, or for letting your voice be heard concerning Jesus or other topics, then feel free to ignore what follows and go have fun!

If, however, you are going to use your “wall” to address religion, politics, world events, business, social issues, etc., then please consider the following:

 

STATUS UPDATES & THE “ANTI” CHRISTIAN

Possibly one of the most heinous abuses of a professing Christian’s Facebook page is when there is a negative opinion or view that gets publicly posted. These posts tend to cover everything from a disdain for the weather, to complaints about a local business, to outrage at something from that day’s news.

Allow me to officially go on the record as being Anti-Anti-Christian Status.

Granted, I know there are a number of things that we, as Christians, would be against because of our convictions and our faith. The problem is, we are known more for what we are against than for Who we are for.

I know the argument will come where someone says, “But Matt, we should stand up for what we believe in. We shouldn’t be ashamed to be pro-_______ or anti-_______. We should represent the truth of God’s Word.”

Okay, I hear you! But ACT, don’t post! Do something about it that would honor God and build His reputation, instead of being just one more clanging symbol in the symphony of negative religious noise! Yes, stand up for what you believe in, but let your stance be on Jesus, His love, His grace, His hope, His forgiveness and His message.

Yes, represent the truth of God’s Word but let the truths that we represent be roadsigns that point to the One who saves instead of roadsigns that attempt to veer people away from the things He saves from.

 

STATUS UPDATES & THE POLITICAL CHRISTIAN

On equal footing, for me, are people who use Facebook to plug politics (the majority of which would fall into the “anti” Christian posts discussed above). Now I need to tread lightly here, especially with the election right around the corner (and believe me… I know there is a great deal of stuff for all of us to be concerned about when it comes to the upcoming presidential election… it’s a scary time), so let me preface this section by asking you, kindly, to read all the way to the bottom of it before you blast me for being anti-America or some such nonsense.

I know that this won’t be a popular opinion (and honestly that does concern me a little) but I’m more concerned that no one will speak to this subject.  So, one more ask before I jump in… as you read through this, please consider that I’m attempting to encourage people to spend their time on things that are eternally significant. Please know that I am simply sold out to the idea that we have a very short window of time on this earth (one might describe it as a passing mist) to spread the message of Jesus. Please know that I am of the conviction that there is already so much, in the world and in our own flesh, that is already competing for the attention, affection, devotion, worship and love that belongs to Him (and it breaks my heart).

With that said, let me briefly address the idea that it is somehow biblically our responsibility to inform and warn the masses of the great evil of [fill in name of candidate here]. It’s not!

“But wait,” you say, “it might not be in the Bible but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.”

Okay… but shouldn’t we at least make sure that we are doing those things that are in the Bible first before we start branching out? And, when we branch out, is there not a more God-honoring, Gospel-centered way to do it? Even then, shouldn’t we spend our time and give our attention to making Jesus famous? Shouldn’t we make it seem as if the hope for this world is a ruling, reigning King and not a flawed human candidate? Is it not a better use of our energy to build His Kingdom instead of tearing down what moth and rust will destroy?

I won’t tell you (flat out, although I hope you get the hint) not to put political posts on your Facebook page. What I’m suggesting is that a good majority of what we post about politics needs to be put through a Biblical filter and an eternal lens.

I get it, politics are corrupt and politicians aren’t the upright super citizens that we want them to be. I know, I know, people lie! You don’t have to convince me, there are absolutely some candidates that are going to damage America and steal our freedoms. Yes, I can see how the direction our country seems to be going should be something that stirs us… but it should stir us to prayer.

The Bible tells us to pray for our governing leaders (2 Timothy 2:1-4) and to respect those in authority (Romans 13:1-7). I might be young and naive but I translate that to mean that if you’re on Facebook mocking your governing leaders and/or those who are running for office the Holy Spirit is grieved.

Please know, I love America and I, personally, am really behind our troops and our veterans. I believe a Christian should be politically informed and globally conscious. I teach my family about politics and how to vote and why to vote. I love my country, but I love Jesus more and so I make Him my banner.

Every candidate is flawed and every candidate is going to lead us to ultimate destruction (or I would say rebirth, renewal and resurrection). I vote informed but my job isn’t to inform voters, it’s to spread the good news of Jesus. Those are two different things!

 

WRAP IT UP BUSTER

There’s so much more to say. I could talk about arguing, bad personal theology, hate speech, posting Scripture out of context, guilt-posting bloodied Jesus pictures, etc. I think, however, this is enough for one post.

As a final thought, please think before you post: What are you doing? What are you hoping to accomplish? Who are you making much of? What does your status update say about who your Savior is?

When you claim Christ, understand that you take His name and reputation with you in the public eye.

1 Corinthians 10:23,24, 31-33

“‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. . . So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

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A Christian's Guide to Social Media - Facebook (Pa...

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Saturday, 20 October 2018