I have wrestled with whether I should write this blog for a few days. I saw and read some stuff the other day that made me want to write it a few days ago, but I felt it important to “count to 10” and wait for some wisdom and clear reflection. What I am about to write is not going to make some happy and I am betting there are some that are going to call it judgmental and dumb. However, I just feel like this stuff has to be said. Let me also state that what I am writing is directed at Christians or those who profess to be so. If you are not a Christian, you can just sit back and laugh at me or just chuckle and think this is why I hate Christian people.
Let me say a few things about myself. I am not perfect. I have sin, lots of it. More than I am even aware of. But I hate my sin. When I see it and sense it, I really do not like it and I want it gone. That does not always mean I do what needs to be done to address my sin right away, but I really want to honor God with my life and my holiness. Secondly, I use facebook. I feel like I have been able to find a way to use it effectively as something for fun, but also as a tool for communicating to people I pastor and minister to. As a result of using it myself, I spend some time on there and I see things. Things I am not looking for, but that are just put in front of me.
The Bible tells me to hate what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). It also tells me that I should expect those who are not Christians to live like those who do not know Christ, but it also says I should expect Christians to be living like Christians. This does not mean Christians will be perfect or not make mistakes. It does not mean that we all mature in Christ at the same rate. It does not mean that we should not be real about what we love or like. But it does mean Christians should be maturing. Growing. Learning. Striving to hate sin and love goodness. Desiring to pursue the things of God and live for him. In fact 1 John 2:6 says that as Christians we should do everything we can to walk as Jesus did. 1 Corinthians 5 tells us how Paul did indeed judge those who were a part of the church. He says we are to hold those in the church accountable to the standard of God (1 Cor. 5:12) I know what you are thinking…don’t judge. God said don’t judge. That is not really what he said. Read Matthew 7 again and look at what he really said.
But here is the point. I put all this together. I hate sin, including my own. I use facebook. I am called to hold Christians, especially those in my church community to a Godly standard. I love what is good. And when you bake this at 350….the end product is that I am sad. I just am sad and heart broken. I am so bummed to keep seeing professing Christians…those in my church…those I love…those who claim the same name of God I do on their info sections of their facebook pages partying because it is a bachelor or bachelorette party (I am not saying if of age, you can’t drink, but it is clear what is going on), showing off their bodies in swimsuits, longing to watch and celebrating the likes of Jersey shore, acting like everyone else at the 21st birthday party, using language that even if you argue is alright, should not be publicly put out there, not conveying their excitement about ministry or God’s work in his or her life, etc. I love the opportunities facebook offers. I love the tool. But so often I go to use it and I am just sad. Sad because I want to hate evil and cling to good. Sad because I love these people and their actions do not match their profession. Sad because I know there are scars and casualties coming. Sad because the world never gets to truly see Christ when his represenatives are living for themselves and not him. Sad because this gives those who do not believe a case to say what difference.
I am asking all of us to be honest. If you are a Christ follower, this has to stop. In all areas, including facebook, God calls us to be holy. We must get this as right as we can. God’s reputation is at stake. If you can look at your life or read this and you do not care or there is no fruit or just get mad, maybe it is because you really do not know God and what breaks his heart. I am not God and I do not know where you are, but truth is in our fruit. If you write Christian on your info page or say it out loud, make sure your status updates, images, desires, actions, etc. reflect that claim. If not, stop making the claim.
I have people that “punch me in the face” when I need it. They love me and love God and love his church, and they want me to represent well the one who died for us all. Sorry to throw the punch, but it needs to be said.
The reason some will be mad is because the Lord will use this to convict their heart. Nobody likes to be convicted and know that it is time for a change. Change is hard and most avoid it at all costs. Kudos for being honest and true to your God.
Speaking solely for myself, as a ‘regular’ person, meaning someone not in a position of authority, when I try to advise or urge someone earnestly about this very issue I am treated like a pariah. You go Keith, throw that punch you are sure to get better results than me!
I know what you mean. The unfortunate thing about being able to see what people are about on facebook is you may be dissappointed. I’m glad they have a delete button. I’ve had to do that a few times with people who have “surprised” me. I am sure I have surprised people too when slipping into the “flesh”. I do try not to and try not to appear to agree with some of the crazy things that are put in front of me. But for the grace of God go I. I pray my daily trials lead me to be more like Christ inside and out. I must be patient and pray the same for others.