Christians Say the Darnedest Things on Facebook

I’ve had enough. Really. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic. I’m just done with Facebook. . . at least for the next 90 days, if not forever. Now, I’ll keep my Facebook page and I’ll continue to tweet, posting on Facebook. I just don’t want to read any more of the garbage being posted by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

It isn’t one thing that was said. No, it’s just a culmination of so many disturbing things I’ve read throughout the years. Don’t think I’m just talking about you. I am taking about you and many others. You’re in good company. And God is calling me to step away for a season.

Warning: Feel free to file this post under “rebuke.”

As a pastor, I’ve enjoyed Facebook many times. God has used it to reconcile broken relationships in my life and to reconnect me with friends I would never otherwise see. I love looking at pictures and seeing how God is at work in people’s lives. But increasingly, what I find on Facebook serves as a source of discouragement for me, not encouragement.

I am absolutely shocked and totally disheartened at what Christians, even people from my own flock, are willing to post. It’s embarrassing. Rants. Judgments. Gossip. Outright affirmation of sin. Political aspersions. Bigotry. Fear. Hatred. Even attacks on the Body of Christ herself. All things that repel people from following Christ, not lead people to him. We’re missing the point. It seems to me we’re more concerned with justice for ourselves and voicing our opinions than we are with justice for the world.

We’re forgetting our charge. Jesus said in Matthew, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Some of the best Christians I know posting on Facebook are lacking these qualities online. Severely lacking. I’ve always seen Facebook as a platform to advance the Gospel, not harm it. And yet, that’s exactly what many are doing.

Think before you write. Okay? Think! Think! Think! Ask yourself, “What will my Christian friends think of this post? How will my pastor react?” Most importantly, “What about those in my life who are far from God? Will my rant lead them to Jesus and the local church or will it drive them away?” People are watching. They’re reading. And too many of us (and I say this kindly) are coming off like crazy, overly emotional, hypocritical nut cases, even if we aren't.

So, I’m done for the next 90 days, and I’m not sure I’m coming back. Now, as a pastor in the 21st century, I probably need a Facebook presence of some kind. It’s a great way to communicate with people and a convenient way to do pastoral care. And, like I said, I love hearing your stories. But for right now, for me, the positives outweighs the negative.

I’m not burying my head in the sand. I’ll still get a front row seat watching people wreck their lives and hurt their loved ones. I’m just limiting my viewing online.

So, I’ll have someone else sign into my account periodically. They can confirm friend requests for me and keep me up to date. And in the meantime, like I said, I’ll continue to tweet anything earth shattering that comes to mind. And, I’ll be asking God for a serious change in his people.

I love you. Jesus loves you. He’s got more in store for us than this.

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

 

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