“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi
“You say it best when you say nothing at all” – Ronan Keating.
In this day and age it seems that it it far too easy to get Christians all fired up… and all it does is add to the media baiting.
The media puts out to the public a story that it knows will get people who have strong morals upset… and they just wait for someone to bite… they can’t help themselves.
I did a social experiment at work one time when I pinned a whole lot of pictures of meat on the ceiling… people couldn’t help but ask “why have you a whole lot of pictures of meat on the ceiling” to which I replied “They’re high steaks” … and when asked to have them taken down I replied “I can’t the steaks are too high”…
People can’t help but being part of the conversation…
So what happens is this…
The media puts a ‘shocking’ story in front of us -> we jump on it -> and we’re part of the conversation ->Or are we?
It seems more like we’re only adding to the noise and we’re only adding to keeping the story in the media longer… but WE feel good about it because we have made a stand… and we feel good about it because we’re about to chuck a couple of scriptures into the mix.
But here’s the problem (and I’ll use the lyrics of an old Petra song lyric)
“They’ve heard the stories, they’ve heard the lines
But talk is too cheap to change their minds
They want to see some vital signs.
You see we’re happy to make a stand and we’re happy to prove a point… however if we’re not doing it ALL the time, then people only see it as cheap talk.
My brother Jay is currently reading through the book of Romans in the Bible and he reminded me of this verse.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
And it’s correct… we should be making a stand in society…
However we need to be careful in doing this because if we are doing this through social media… all we are OFTEN doing is fueling the fire of the debate and conforming to how the world is doing it, the sad part of this is the media then portraits Christians as people who are against everything.
A comment made on a recent debate online from someone who may be on the fringes of faith was this:
“I take it as an affront for zealots to suggest that my and everyone else’s moral compass is somehow broken if we don’t conform to the Christian ideal. Amazing how they always believe everyone else needs saved in some form. Its this attitude that drives people away from religion.”
And to a point he’s right… we as Christians seem to play the “everyone else’s moral compass” too well… and it’s far easier to make a comment or critique than it is to make a change.
So my question is… if we have this amazing story that can save people for ALL eternity… why are we so keen to be the moral police?
It seems to be that we have become the pharisee rather than the salt and light that the world is yearning for.
Lets get into our communities and get our hands dirty… so when we make comments about these things we can actually say “I’m among it changing it… what are you doing?”
Or “that’s not ok… I’m going to push forward and help change that…”
and most importantly in this media focused society… DON’T FOLLOW THE MEDIA BREADCRUMBS…
Christians don’t conform by following the media… THINK about it….
To BE part of the CHANGE… you actually need to CHANGE… the way we do things.
We need to have a voice and there is times when we will need to… but we need to be seen doing these things FIRST.
In closing: I guess the heart of it all is that Christians need to choose their battles… there are things to fight against - poverty, pornography, human rights, community etc… however when we’re just commenting on every ad campaign or dig at the church we’re only gonna look like bigots.
I’ll leave you with these question… what is a BETTER way for Christians to use the social media?
What can we do different in a world that is built around media?