God doesn’t need you to follow other Christians in social media
In the days since the Supreme Court decision and really every day I have logged in, people professing to be Christian have clogged my news feed with shared memes and messages the number of which I never experienced with chain email messages.
While we are called to publicize our faith in God and to go and make disciples, the incessant sharing of these posts is, in my opinion, having the opposite effect.
In anything I do or have done, I like to look back and ask myself, what was the intent and what was the effect. We tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. Usually my intentions and the effect of my actions do not line up, so others see what I did and not what I intended to do.
When we share a meme about how sinful homosexuality is, or how bad sexual immorality is, but plug E.L. James’ newest novel, you kill your witness. When you profess your faith in God in one post, and post a photo of you doing things others deem immoral, you kill your witness.
Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
It is not sinful to share truth with others, but it is sinful to use truth to elevate yourself above others. Paul knew this all too well. If Facebook would have been available in his time before his conversion, he (then called Saul) would have likely have posted memes belittling Christians and calling them on their actions. He would likely have pointed out their sin and scoffed at them for sharing posts of their faith. After his conversion, however, I doubt he would have done any of these things. Judging by the books he wrote, he likely would have posted something that said do not post anything unless you do it in love. It would likely say that you should not post anything that will destroy the character of anyone, including your enemies. He would tell you that this medium is best used to build your brothers and sisters in Christ up. It is good to friend unbelivers and to ask them about their problems. In cases where people lament on Facebook, he would likely write up a prayer list and add people and their issues to his daily prayers.
In other words, he would likely post something like this:
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …
I love to look to Paul, because he is so much like all of us, but also so in love with God and so attuned to Christ that we could all benefit to follow his lead, as he often pointed to Christ as the one to follow.
So please, for the sake of Christ, don’t be so “Christian”. Don’t follow your “Christian” friends in posting memes which have no meaning beyond claiming your “Christian” glory, or hold no meaning to any unbeliever. Instead use social media as the wonderful tool it can be. Learn what your “Christian” and unbelieving friends and enemies are experiencing, and pray for them. Share your testimony and ask others how they came to Christ. Reveal the Christian Truth and Gospel to unbelievers and refrain from debating or arguing about God or Christianity with them. God can handle his own battles, he just needs you to deliver His words – in love.