Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Facebook: The Gateway to Hell?


I imagine many of our readers went to Chick-Fil-A on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day a few weeks ago. My co-workers dragged me to lunch there and, honestly, as fun as it was, I ended the day with a heavy heart. I am sad because both the people on who supported Chick-Fil-A and those attacking it seemed to have abandoned their senses and engaged in hateful attacks on each other, forgetting that in America we can disagree without hating one another.

People on the left like to talk about “tolerance.” They want everyone to tolerate everything that they do. But, often, they are hypocritical because the one group they don’t seem to advocate tolerance for is Christians. Conservatives like to point out this hypocrisy and make it a centerpiece of discussion, but I don’t think many people on the left read this blog. Our audience is predominantly conservative Evangelicals, so let me talk with you.

Those on the left may have problems, but their hypocrisy is the speck in their eye. We Christians have a log in ours.

To demonstrate this, I need only point to Facebook. How many of you have ever noticed that people’s minds go out the window when they post on Facebook? I have seen sweet old ladies—people who are otherwise loving and kind towards everyone—post and share things on Facebook that are demeaning and harshly take jabs at real live humans.

Some want “tolerance” from Christians. But Christ called us to a higher standard than “tolerance.” In Matthew 5:43-47 Jesus says:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

In other words, if we only show love to those who agree with us, then we are as good as the “pagans.” But we are called to show genuine love—especially to those who we consider enemies.

What does this look like? Scripture tells us. One is from Proverbs 24:17. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”

But we find the best explanation of what loving our enemies looks like in the most authoritative definition of “love” that can be found: 1 Corinthians 13:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Several times this summer I have challenged people to apply this verse to their “enemies.” It is sometimes hard, but apply this to President Obama. Apply this to those boycotting Chick-Fil-A. It’s difficult to love those who don’t love back. In fact, I am convinced that we can only succeed in loving our enemies with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Life is hard. We all encounter people who we don’t like; we will all find folks we disagree with. We will all be hurt by someone else, but the fact is, we must still allow God to work in our lives. As a Christian, I believe that God gave us the Holy Spirit for a reason. He makes up the difference between what we can do ourselves and what we need to do. With His help, we can remember that we need to deal with the log in our own eye before we mouth off about the speck in our enemy’s eye.

Furthermore, people are not our enemy; we struggle against powers and ideas. And we will lose…if we focus on the wrong thing and harshly attack people who we should be showing love to.  If anything we should view the lost as just that: lost sheep with no shepherd, blinded even to their own blindness. Of course you and I know that Jesus is the perfect light, and that His is the light we need to shine.

We have been forgiven so much; shouldn’t we show mercy to others? Christ loved us so much that he died for us; can’t we be careful about posting hurtful stuff on Facebook?

Love your enemies: It is not a suggestion—it’s a command.


Post by Jeremiah Lorrig
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