Posts Tagged ‘Face Book’

“Our country is in trouble, and I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the political parties,” Franklin Graham said in a video posted on his Facebook page this week. He also referenced the tragic events of the past week: “Shootings, riots and protests now claim the headlines about America, and that’s heartbreaking,” he said. “We are in desperate need of Divine intervention. We need healing. Prayer is what can make a difference in America.”

As Christians, we are to be set apart from the world:

”But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

But lately I have been disappointed to hear such hateful speech and crude joking coming (mostly) from those who profess to be Christians! I have also read similar posts on Face Book and other social media sites.

Sadly, I have heard (and read) more compassionate speech from self proclaimed atheists than I have from confessing Christians. And if the world can see no difference in us and those who don’t believe, what use are we? I pray that Christians everywhere will live and speak as those who represent our Lord.

Not that we should become humorless, straight-faced legalistic people of God or that we should not speak out against injustice when we see it—but we are to do all things in love. Consider what the Bible teaches:

With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! (James 3: 9-10)

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8)

But among you, as is proper among the saints, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or impurity or greed. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or crude joking, which are out of character… (Ephesians 5:3-4)

“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 don’t care whether you’re Catholic, Evangelical, Reformed Christian, Methodist, Mormon, Pentecostal, or Baptist. If you say that you believe in the Bible and profess that you’re a follower of Jesus, then start living like one!

How much sadness God must  feel when he sees his children, who are called by his name, treating each other as if they were mortal enemies—talking trash behind each others’ backs, slandering them on Face Book and silently wishing for their failure. It’s unreal to me.

How do you think you’ll ever be able to convince someone that they should become a Christian if the Christianity they see is judgmental, condemning and negativity towards others? Have you ever considered that you’re actually hurting Christ more than helping him with how you treat other people? Do you think that just showing up on Sunday morning or singing in the choir is going to impress God?

Christ said that you should “let your light so shine” so that others will want come to Him. (Matthew 5: 15-16) Instead…you’re like the basket, extinguishing any light that might be burning faintly within others.

So if you call yourself a Christian, then just start loving others and overlooking their faults. Become ambassadors of mercy instead heavenly bounty hunters and you’ll never have to beg someone to listen to your message about Christ again…They’re already listening.

“Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.” ―Rich Mullins

What do people know about you?

From your Face Book page they probably know your approximate age, city of residence, marital status, hobbies and interests, but do they know the most important thing about you? Do they know that you’re a Christian? Do they know that you’re a disciple of Christ? More importantly, does what you post on social media reflect accurately your hope and peace in Jesus?

John 13:35 states, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Occasionally we sing a song in church that proclaims, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” We love that sentiment as we sit in church. I am not disputing the truth of these lyrics. Some Christians sincerely want to show and share the light they have received with others because they truly walk in the confidence, peace and love of the Lord.

Unfortunately, if you were to ask most of the unsaved world how they would describe Christians from what they post on Face Book and other social media sites, love is seldom a word that would come up. More often the word hypocritical is used.

That should not surprise anyone familiar with Face Book. Too often I have scrolled down a page of someone who professes to be a Christian who posts a serene picture with a Scripture verse superimposed over it. But then they post an inappropriate or vulgar image right below the first one. What message does that send to the unsaved world?

What is even more disturbing to me though is the negative language that is used in posts from Christians to other Christians that they happen to disagree with. I recently read a post from an unsaved person that read, “Christians are against more things than they are for. It just seems to me that Christians are mad at the world and mad at each other. They are so negative that they seem unhappy. I have no desire to be like them and stay upset all the time.”

Today’s Christians have an image problem that is not pleasing to God. We don’t always do a good job of loving others as we should. But if we intend to bring the gospel of Jesus to an unsaved world we first need to wash our minds with the God’s truth and walk in a way that reflects His love inside of us.

The Apostle John says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

James chapter 3 reminds us that the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. He warns that the tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body and is full of deadly poison. James goes on to say that out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be!

To those who would say that I am being too judgmental I would remind you that Jesus said, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.” (Matt. 12:36)

Jesus also said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

We are to be salt and light to this dark and tasteless world. But if we hide our light—if the darkened world can see no difference between us and them, then what are we here for?

Then let us be lights that shine brightly not only with our actions and our deeds, but also with our words.

There seems to be a growing trend of people who claim to love Jesus but don’t want to call themselves Christians.

The way Christians are portrayed in the media may be part of the problem. Why do the loonies at the Westboro Baptist Church get more attention in the media than Christian organizations who go to help communities after every natural disaster? I can’t remember the mainstream media ever reporting on the good work being done by groups like Operation Blessing.

I have talked with many people who say they like the idea of Jesus but can’t stand the Church. When they tell me they can’t stand Christianity, they are usually describing a church group that bears very little resemblance to the true Church that God intended. They describe judgmental hypocrites who hate people of other faiths and are only after your money.

It’s hard to read hateful statements made in the name of my faith. And if this is what Christianity is, I don’t want to be associated with it either. But that is NOT what true Christianity is. And unless someone steps up and shows people that there is a real difference between true Christianity and the loonies, the lunatics will have the last word.

Very few people would tolerate a similar discussion about another group of people and yet they listen to such meanderings about Christianity as if they are hearing something wise. When in reality, they are hearing something that is not only foreign to true Christianity but is insulting to God.

In our modern culture of narcissism, you may think that the easiest way to follow Jesus is from a distance on a solo march to the beat of your own drum — your own personal preferences and already held beliefs. From a distance, you are safe from the assault of the Christian community. But do those around you know that you follow Jesus by what comes out of your mouth or what you post on your Face Book and Twitter page? Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

I don’t believe Christianity is the problem as much as those who claim to be followers of Jesus but refuse to live according to his teachings. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

You see in spite of all of its shortcomings, it’s the people within the Christian community who might actually be some of the best road companions there are. Because you might actually bump into humanity there. Sure, you might meet someone you disagree with. And you might have to listen to music you don’t like. You might even be asked to share your resources with someone less fortunate than you. But you might also learn truths far more important than your preconceived ideas and beliefs and realize just how small you are as you stand among others and worship something other than yourself.

Mike Huckabee posted on his Face Book page to join him on “A Day to Pray”, where we will ask God to grant our leaders, from the local school houses to the White House, the wisdom they need for the road ahead.

I thought this would be a good time to share a modern version of Daniel’s prayer found in the book of Daniel chapter nine, when he was in Babylon:

O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to your prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land. Lord, you always seek to do what is right for us; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us; including your Church, the world leaders, the people of Israel, and those scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. Oh LORD, we and our kings, our leaders, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. But you Lord, are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against you. We have not obeyed you God, nor have we followed the instructions you gave us through your servants the prophets.  All of us have disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice. So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin. You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned. Never has there been such a disastrous time as is happening now. Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from you by turning from our sins and recognizing your truth. Therefore, we have brought upon ourselves the results of our sin. Oh LORD our God, you were right to do all of these things, because we did not obey you. O Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have forgotten you and sinned and are full of wickedness. In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from us and help us to open our eyes and see our despair. Help us to repent and return to you. All the unbelieving nations mock your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors. Oh Lord our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own namesake Lord, smile again on your desolate people. Oh my God, lean down and listen to my prayer! I make this plea, not because we deserve your help, but because of your mercy. Oh Lord, hear and forgive. Oh Lord, listen and act! For your own namesake do not delay! Oh my God, have mercy on us and send true spiritual revival and renewal! Amen!

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Mat 5:14-16 (NIV)

Recently at a men’s get-together I was discussing with some friends the state of America today. Some stated that they feared that America was becoming more and more like something that resembled a dictatorship than a democracy. Others were worried that many American Christians will soon experience even more persecution for their faith.

Persecution? What persecution? Requiring that you’re insurance company provide coverage for birth control is NOT religious persecution. Even requiring that you not share your faith with others at work during business hours is NOT religious persecution. Religious persecution is getting arrested and placed in prison and being tortured and/or killed for simply living out your faith! The biggest problem in America is not big government trying to control our lives. Our biggest problem is Christians who refuse to let their light shine before men.

For proof of this all one has to do is look at someone’s Face Book page. It’s as if they believe that God can’t read their posts since He’s not on their “friends” list. Many times I’ve read posts by those who claim to be Christians that include Scripture verses with words of encouragement on one post, and then soon after, they will post an obscene picture with a clever caption! I can’t tell you how many of these type of posts I’ve had to hide from my page!

Maybe it’s time for believers in America to experience real persecution. That may be the one thing that will bring about true spiritual revival. Here in America we use the term “Christian” so flippantly that in many cases it doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure that would change if we knew that acknowledging our faith in God would be a possible death sentence.

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20

Charles Finney is credited with being one of the most forceful American evangelists and was greatly responsible for the rise of religious fervor in western New York from the 1820s to the 1850s. At the close of the eighteenth century the prospects of Christianity in the United States were unfavorable. A low standard of religion and morals prevailed. Family worship was neglected, and little attention was paid to the training of youth in the fear of God. The 49ers Gold Rush added an abundance of prosperity to the economy. Manufacturing and farm production doubled and the railroad more than tripled. While the railroad company was trying to tie the nation together east and west, the slavery issue was threatening to split it apart North and South. Some felt so strongly against slavery that they felt it was their duty to kill some of the slave-owners.

In October of 1857 the boom period ended with a banking panic that shocked the public and converged on the New York City financial institutions. The nation’s banking system collapsed.  Many believed that the panic was the Divine Hand of retribution because of the idolatry of money.

On the day of the crash about 100 people joined together in prayer. There was a great many added to those prayer meetings during the next two months and by January, 1858 revival spread across the nation!

There is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

During the 1980s Silicon Valley and Wall Street added an abundance of prosperity to our economy. Manufacturing and farm production increased and profits of companies like Apple and Microsoft more than tripled. Today family worship has been neglected, and little attention is paid to the training of youth in the fear of God. At the same time the abortion issue has threatened to split our nation apart. Some feel so strongly against abortion that they felt it was their duty to kill some of the abortion providers.

Sound familiar? There has been much talk in recent years about whether America is ready for another “Great Awakening”, but I don’t believe that will happen until more of us decide to get serious and shine our light before men that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven.