Thursday, March 04, 2010

Snowballs about to fly...

In the last few months, I have seen a consistent theme on my facebook. Facebook is a social networking site on the internet. It began on University campuses and has spread worldwide. It has allowed those who knew each other "way back when," to reconnect. In the process of it's growth, it has annoyed many college students who weren't too excited about old guys like me showing up on their page.

So vast and powerful is this tool, that employers watch their employees with it, and prospective employers look at a potential hire's facebook to see what their life looks like. In some cases, this has prevented people from being hired, as what is important in their lives shows up on facebook. That is not always a good thing.

One of the features of facebook, is something called a status update. This allows you to express to others what is on your mind. It then comes up in their news feed, and they can comment on it. It keeps people in touch with each other. The comments go directly to the author and others who comment then show up on everyone elses page who also respond.

I like to use this feature to talk about Jesus. I will put up little bits of wisdom or thought provoking ideas that attempt to reflect Christ.

The reason I have brought all of this up, is that I tend to get responses from many... usually positive. The other side of it though, is that there are negative responses. They don't usually come in the form of comments.

On this networking site, you have to find and then request people to be your "friend." They in turn, must accept or decline your friend request. If they accept your request, you have full exposure to most things on their page. This includes their photo albums, status updates, and the things other "friends" write on their wall, among much more. There is also a feature that allows you to de-friend people, should you so choose.

Because of the nature of my job, being before students around the US, I have quite a few friends. Not as many as some, but more than others.

What has struck me over the last year or so, is that each time I put up a status update that calls the body of Christ to obedience in some form or fashion... my friend count drops by several.

I have seen this happen over and over, again.

The name of Jesus is controversial. It causes a stirring in most. For some it is a good thing, for others, it brings conviction. People often don't like conviction. It calls them to action. Action they may not want to take.

Jesus said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Mtw 10:34

That sword is often His Name. It divides rooms in an instant. It divides families. It divides hearts. It does so, because there is such power in Him and in relationship with Him. It also does so, because people do not like to be reminded of things present in their lives that need to be carved out... by that same sword.

Some students don't want their friends seeing "Jesus" showing up on their facebook page. Some adults see it similarly. Many believe that relationship with Christ is to be kept private. I don't see that in Scripture... anywhere!

If taking a stand for Jesus causes me to lose friends, I will take that stand!

His Word says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." Rom 1:16


It is time we take a stand and not care what the results are. I don't mean bashing people with heavy Bibles. I mean proclaiming Truth, regardless of whether or not it costs us friends.

Acceptance by the world does not bring peace. It brings further motivation to find and keep acceptance by even larger populations. It is a self-perpetuating endeavor.

Acceptance by our Savior includes fellowship with others, but we are also promised rejection. He said, "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm until the end will be saved." Mtw 10:22

I would rather speak Truth and lose friends, than gain popularity and die spiritually.

Even those who reject, are ground for sown seed.

I will speak Truth, and let the Spirit of the Lord minister. If my popularity decreases, then I must be doing something right.

"He must become greater; I must become less." Jo 3:30



At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this challenging truth. We are too often concerned about what others think without giving thought to what the eternal consequences are of the decisions we make or actions we take (or not).

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great message today, Brent. Thanks for continuing to share. Vicky Ward

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so right. Sometimes I get really lonely because even though I had lots of friends in church, some of them were turned off because I always talked about God. So I've lost some friends, some I considered being closer than a brother. But Jesus is worth any cost.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Linda T Shaw said...

I have to admit, I have "hidden" or de-friended people who continuously post things regarding religion on Facebook, for different reasons. Some, b/c I don't agree with their form of religion, and I find their views annoying after awhile... I have an ecumenical council amongst my family and friends, everything from paganism, Buddhism, Hindu, Muslim, you name it; and some b/c I have been disgusted that they post and profess to believe things they don't practice on a daily basis. Then I read the post you wrote just before this one. OK-feelin' guilty. We are all human, huh? Making and living mistakes! I needed a reminder that people who don't believe exactly the same way I do still need prayer and encouragement to walk the walk...after all, one path may lead to another...I'll unhide a few people tonight. Thanks, Brent. LTS


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