A Call to Godliness:
‘Facebook’, was originally designed for the purpose of interaction between friends through a networking format. However, as of late, I am a witness to the agony of others and have also personally experienced with great amazement that it can also be a terrible curse! Especially, when so called friends and even family, turn adversaries!
In particular, Christians that use a public forum such as Facebook, or any other form of social networking for the purpose of denigrating another openly, do so in direct violation of the method by which the word of GOD commands us to follow. Notice I did not say recommends or suggests but rather sets forth as doctrine. (Is scripture truly necessary here to prove my point, you need but to ask)!
Rest assured that there is indeed a theological method by which the early church operated. A theology wherein the leadership did not include either the rights of or the freedoms of democracy in their teachings of Christ with regard to the saints but rather of God’s Kingdom theocracy. In fact they spoke only of God’s rights and God’s liberties over ours! In other words, God makes the rules and we must obey them, not by force but instead by our love for Him and His church! You see in God’s eyes, the two are inseparable. In a democracy, the individuals’ rights and freedom is everything, while in a theocracy, everything is based on one’s willingness to please another…namely Christ and His church! To defame someone of the church because it serves a personal purpose, gratification or even justification, defames oneself. It is simply in scriptural error (victim or not), it is sin and shows immaturity on the part of that Christian who initially propagates it, even when they do so under the guise of “Satan’s attack” or someone’s unwillingness to be fair or someone’s attempt to hinder their personal calling. Such an attempt at defamation also sends a strong message to the secular world that Christianity is a joke, while to the Christian world, the one choosing to openly defame another, unwittingly becomes the brunt of the joke! At the end of the day, no one truly wants to be associated with such a person. In addition, to hurt another in defense of oneself by means of public slander or gossip, does not serve to demonstrate one’s obedience to God but rather his or her lawlessness towards the Lord and tells each recipient of such correspondence that he or she may very well be the next victim of that individuals venomous spewing! It is therefore a shame to call oneself a Christian and then publicly attempt to disenfranchise another person, saint or sinner alike, simply because it is an available means by which one may take advantage in airing their personal grievances. Pastor James refers to this kind of treatment towards, others in the book of James, as being “Bitter and Sweet water, coming out of the same fountain”. He continues by stating, “This ought not to be”. He declares that it is not the actions of a true believer, when with one side of the mouth they bless and with the other side they curse a brother. When so called Christian believers gossip, slander or attack the character of another, particularly in a public forum, they prove that scripture is correct when it states, “the tongue is the most unruly member of the body” and that an unbridled tongue is proof of an unbridled life. The word teaches us “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. Jesus said, “How can you say you love me and hate your brother”? This passage is roughly translated… “Love your brother less than me”? Trust me when I say…as a Theologian, I know of what I speak here! Instead Jesus tells us to “pray for those who spitefully use us”; not defame them! If we have a fault with a brother, we’re told to go to them privately and if they will not hear us then to the church leadership. Scripture never tells us to air our dirty laundry for public consumption and judgment. Such actions clearly fall into a category of one of the “Seven abominations”, scripture refers to as… “Those who love the destruction of others.”
In addition, too many Christians are quick to agree with, believe in and further propagate slanderous information about others, simply on the basis of ‘Hear Say’ that would not even hold up in a court of law, let alone God’s court! After all, He is the one we must ultimately answer to and no excuse for putting down another individual will be justified before Him! Why then do so many Christians love the unsubstantiated slander about others? Does it make them feel important, as if they hold the inside track of information that others do not possess? Perhaps it helps them feel less depressed about the short comings of their own personal lives? This is yet another abomination in God’s eyes referred to in scripture as “Feet that are swift to run to mischief.”Whatever the reason, too many of them long to get involved in matters that neither concern them personally, nor provide them proof of a reason to participate in the spread of such information in the first place. One should never listen to nor pass on such reports to the demise of others.
For these reasons, I am asking each one of my Facebook friends to join me in making a vow unto God. A vow that can only be kept through the process of adhering to God’s Holy word, through refusing to participate in, agree with or pass on any form of gossip, slander or unflattering information about anyone else, (with the exception of hackers, stockers and individuals attempting to steal the identity of others), especially, when such a form of communication is obviously designed for the purpose of putting someone down, simply because they wish to speak of some wrong, evil or unfair thing supposedly inflicted on them or someone they support. How can any one of us actually know the truth behind someone’s motives for writing such denigrating comments about others in the first place, or if the sources used to come to a conclusion about someone else, is even based on actual facts? I know personally that some recent comments made against my character, were based on fabrications and outright lies however, some of my so called FB friends were quick to believe and join in with the untruths, by continuing to pass the information along and to this day continue to report back to the source of the information with updates about my comments and actions. All the while questioning me to others, as to why I deleted them as FB friends!
It is time that we turn Facebook around and the purpose for which Christians use its networking resources! It’s time we put integrity back into our correspondence on FB and make this public forum a means for Christians to greet, keep informed about worthy news, necessities and interests of family and friends. And above all else, to speak of the scriptural methods by which believers should live as genuine Christians… always aiding in the means by which to assist others in serving our beloved Lord. Praying for and blessing one another with love and the compassion of our glorious savior Jesus Christ! Always encouraging and speaking of things by which God would be glorified upon His personal reading of our comments…after all, He is reading them!
Remember, when someone is running down another Christian, however, justified they may believe themselves to be in airing their dislikes and disputes…they’re also running down one of God’s children and He doesn’t like it! They may hurt the reputation of another for a short while however they will damage their own character for a long while! In the end, they will also reap what they’ve sown…those are God’s people, even if one doesn’t wish to believe so and He will defend and vindicate accordingly!
Dr. Larry Hinson