I have a love/hate relationship with social networking. I love that I can keep in touch with friends, see what's up in people's lives, get interesting news and fact, and in general feel connected to the world even when I'm at home with Weslee.
On the flip side is my utter sadness over what I sometimes see from my brothers and sisters in Christ. Somehow we have decided that even though we are representatives of the Most High, nobody is entitled to EVER question something that we say in (let's face it) a public forum. We misuse scripture and speak of the freedoms we have in Christ, and throw out all of those that caution us to not abuse that freedom and cause others to fall.
"But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. " -- 2 Corinthians 4:2-6
I obviously do not expect the same standards from those who do not profess to be Christians, but I will definitely hold those professing Christianity to the Bible's standards, and not the world's. The sad thing is that the world's standards have invaded the Church, and we can see that reflected in how Christians perceive the world. No longer are we ready to search scriptures to determine right and wrong. If it feels good, it's ok. No longer are we offended at things that are questionable, or that hint at sins the Bible clearly speaks out against. It's all relative... you have your right, and I have mine, and we'll all just coexist.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world.And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. " -- 1 John 2:15-17
We have been beaten down and gagged by the secular world we live in, and we have let ourselves become part of it, instead of standing out within it. We've even adopted popular secular arguments, accusing those who dare to cite scripture and point to the Bible as being "intolerant" and "judgmental", claiming that what we do is nobody's business but our own. We fail to see the contradiction in our own words, that we proclaim our beliefs while telling others to keep their own to themselves. And this comes from those who claim to be CHRISTIANS!
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned itand how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,hat the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. " -- 2 Timothy 3:14-17
I would have a lot more respect for these people if they would venture to the scriptures themselves, and use God's Word to defend their positions, instead of just spouting off without any biblical backing whatsoever. I often post things that I have taken a lot of time finding scriptural support for, and find that the response (from Christians) is a blatant ad-hominem attack against my person or the topic, with no support for their position. The Bible does not tell us that our beliefs are based off of "feelings", but on the TRUTH. All truth is in the Bible, and we should be ready to defend our faith against those who would attack it, even if it's another professing believer.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." -- Colossians 3:1-3
If you follow Christ, and proclaim to be a Christian, your life is not your own. It belongs to God, and therefore you are His representative here on earth. EVERYTHING you say and do is a representation of Him, and you will be held accountable for it. Ignorance of scriptures will be no excuse when we stand in front of our Lord on judgment day.
"'You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.'" -- Matthew 5:13-16
We are to be salt and light in this world, we are to boldly proclaim the Gospel- Christ crucified for OUR sins, and we are to go against the tide of the secular world that people may know who and what we stand for. I'm sorry, but what we say and do IS the business of others, especially when in public, and to say that it's not is completely ignorant.
"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." -- Proverbs 12:1 "And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all." -- 1 Thessalonians 5:14
We are looking past scriptures that call us to accountability to our brothers and sisters in Christ, those that encourage us to be involved in each other's lives and to admonish others when we are concerned that they may stumble, and call them out on sins because we love them. We are to love discipline as Christ followers, but instead we reject it and stand on our "freedom", as if it will make us untouchable. I'm sorry, but separating ourselves from the discipline and admonishment of others in Christ is to shun the scriptures, to spit in the face of God. It's telling God, "hey, thanks for the salvation and all, but I don't really need you or those you put in my life to help me."
"The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death." -- Proverbs 14:27
Where is our fear of the Lord that drives us to passionately study His Word and desire to only do right? Where is the desire, the need to flee from sin and live more holy lives? It seems that we have forgotten the ultimate Truth in God's Word, and have instead turned to man for our standards. I pray that we return to our Savior, lest we be cast out.