Lucia's Blog: POLITICS AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Saturday, January 9, 2021

POLITICS AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA

 

"For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some."  
1 Corinthians 9:19-22


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about social media, its pros, and cons. It is an excellent way to connect with people, get news, and share information wider and faster with others.  On the other hand, it is a place where common sense and decency often die.  Why?  Because many foolish people spew hatred, lunacy, and folly without a second thought.  They do not follow God's wisdom in their social media.  

Thanks to platforms like Facebook, some take pride in sowing strife and stirring the pot when it would be better to show gentleness, kindness (2 Tim. 2:24), and love (Eph. 4:15).  The venom is sometimes stronger when someone is sharing and defending the Truth.  Many users forget that we can tell and defend the Truth without devastating and vehement vituperation.  Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are weapons to instigate and spread division instead of promoting love and unity among brethren.  It grieves me greatly when I see my brethren starting brawls and outrage over politics, race, law enforcement, “guilt by association,” and nitpicking the church.  Surely we can express our faith and convictions without divisive diversions.  Do you think the Lord is pleased with that kind of entertainment and ungodly behavior?  What do you think?

The question is:  Do you use Facebook and other social media as a tool for the glory of God or as a distraction from spiritual priorities?  Is Facebook helping or hindering you from walking in righteousness and holiness?  

In Proverbs 29:11, we have a wise reminder.
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” 

Just because we can post anything, it doesn’t mean we must.  Be wise and ask “why?” then be sure you have a really good answer before you post.  Wisdom is to hold back speech.  There is a time to hold back speech to yourself.  Likewise, there is a time to talk and say it all. Wise and righteous people know what to say before speaking and when to speak, but fools spill everything without preparation, examination, and thought.  Indeed, fools talk a lot! They cannot keep their mouths shut.  They give in to their desires to let everything rush out of their mouths (any little thought, no matter how frivolous, no matter how unstudied, no matter how inappropriate).   A wise person speaks with caution.  He does not speak hastily, without examination, or offers his opinions as truth.  He rules his mouth to choose wise words; thus, he waits for the right timing.  A talker is a fool, for he talks arrogantly, hastily, and loudly.  He confirms his folly.  A fool loves the sound of his own voice, and he thinks others should love it also. He thinks he has wisdom to share, and he believes others are blessed to hear him. So he gets angry when he is eventually isolated due to his ignorant and obnoxious speech and thinking.

There is "a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:7). But knowing when to speak and when to keep silent requires discretion and prudence, two branches of wisdom the fool has never considered.

Our social interactions must encourage others to come to God's kingdom. We must be salt and light.  It requires a great understanding of culture and its effects on us. Facebook is a dangerous social tool if one does not use wisdom and discernment. The way I conduct myself on such a particular platform may glorify God or hurt Christ and His church.  We must follow the example of the tribe of Issachar, who had “men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do”  (1 Chron. 12:32).


FRUITLESS AND UNGODLY DISCUSSIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • Trolling And Lying:
Some use Facebook as a means to troll others. This is seen in many political posts. Some create memes and images to troll with something completely false.  As a result, many believe these lies and share them with others, causing controversy, endless arguments, and divisive issues. How sad!  Memes are used to distort the truth, especially in the political arena.  We must be careful since many news sources can not be trusted.  Many political websites twist reality and distort facts, so people will click on the links and generate ad revenue. Take heed!

  • Using Wisdom And Sound Judgment on Social Media:
As Christians, we must be careful not to be drawn into fruitless and ungodly discussions, especially over politics.  Social media can be a powerful tool, either for good or for evil. Today political debate is dominating much of Facebook. The children of God are tempted to forget their godliness when they enter these discussions, and sound judgment flies out the window. It grieves me greatly to see brethren against each other over trivial matters, and all about what?  It is like some of our useless and foolish discussions about college football.  Whose soul is lost or won? Whose faith is strengthened or weakened?  Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,  has taught principles of kindness and courtesy.  Sadly, that knowledge is suspended when we behave like carnal-minded men and women.  I don't deny that our faith must touch every compartment of our life and that politics must not be unimportant.  However, it is critical for us Christians to stress that politics must never be our primary focus, but rather God and His principles of righteousness.  God is ultimately in control (Daniel 2:21; 4:17; 34-35).  

On the Day of Judgment, when we're standing before the judgment seat of Christ, the only thing that will matter is not the position we held in the political arena, security issues, health care, and many other political issues that are thrown our way to make us stumble, but our godly and righteous living.  It grieves me when I see my brethren divided over political issues, knowing that the Lord is not pleased.  He hates those who sow seeds of discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16-19).  There is so much danger when one speaks or writes without using wisdom and sound judgment in his political statements or views on another brother or sister's post. You can rest assured it will influence the way people think about us, the Lord's church, and view us.  

Do you not know that when we proclaim our faith, but at the same time mix it up with our political views, it hurts our influence as godly Christians and faithful believers of our Lord Jesus and His Gospel Message?  When we attach our faith to our political leanings, we hinder many from hearing the good news, the Gospel message, that Jesus is offering for their salvation.

It would be better to remind ourselves that this world is not our home and that our citizenship is in heaven, in the kingdom of Christ, before we post on politics and stir the pot over unnecessary and damaging disagreements.  Remember that our conversations on social media must reflect Christ and His kingdom of righteousness.  May it never be that our efforts of evangelizing the lost be hindered because of our Facebook posts!  But if you must post on politics, I suggest that you be reserved and cautious. Much of what we hear turns out later to be false, and we are left looking ridiculous.  Keep in mind the wisdom that Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

"For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.


Jesus once said, 

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  (Matthew 10:16


Thus, before you post on any political issue, let your wisdom and sound judgment lead you to ask yourself.

“Do I have all the facts?  Do I really need to comment on this?”  


In Ephesians 4:20, the Lord instructs us saying, 
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."    

Here are a few wise reminders to consider.
  1. Are your words and posts pointing others to Christ?  
  2. Are your posts revealing the Light or darkness?  
  3. Are your posts glorifying our Lord and His cause?  
  4. Are your posts speaking in a way that shows grace to others?  

It is easy for us to post whatever comes to mind about any issue without thinking twice and thus end up bringing shame upon Christ and His church through careless and foolish speech.  It is pure foolishness to vent our opinions and end up insulting others who need to be edified and not torn down.  Such godless behavior demonstrates a lack of love for God and our neighbor.  It does not honor our Lord Jesus Christ. 

So before you post on a political issue, stop, pause and ponder about what you're about to write.  

Ask yourself, 

  • Am I posting for the best interests of others?  
  • Am I hurting how others think of Jesus, His church, and His principles of righteousness?  

If you insist on your political view, why not use your messenger and privately share your views with a trusted friend who is not afraid to tell you "no"?  It is very dangerous to rebuke or humiliate others publicly over political issues.  It is one thing to discuss an issue of doctrinal error or a political matter privately, but it is altogether different when we drag the issues into the public eye on platforms s such as Facebook, bringing shame and dishonor to the cause of Christ.  

Our godless culture does enough of this foolishness already without our help.  Brethren, we must pause and think before posting, especially about politics!  Ask yourself with an honest heart:   

  • Am I honestly posting for the glory of God?  
  • Are my motives pure when I respond to those who disagree with me?  
  • Are we, you and I, posting, reacting, and responding graciously, kindly and thoughtfully, and patiently to those whom we disagree with? 


CONCLUSION:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, if you feel that you must post on political issues on social media like Facebook or other platforms, do it cautiously, with wisdom and sound judgment.  Don't ever forget, you are a Christian first and that you represent our King and Lord Jesus as well as His church, His kingdom of righteousness!  Post reflecting the priorities and character of our King and His kingdom.  Consider the words you speak both in person and online.  Choose to remain silent over trivial matters that will possibly hurt our Lord, His church, and our influence.  Remember, we must not cause others to stumble and hinder the Gospel Message because of our social media posts.  

Let us reaffirm our heavenly citizenship, and most importantly, let us refocus on our primary goal.  Let us resolve to give leaders their due.  Let us keep praying for godly rulers.  Let us keep living righteously and not defile ourselves, and finally, let us all resume our role as peacemakers.  Our God and His kingdom are unshakable, and we are on our way Home.  Remember that righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).

May the Lord help us to adjust and correct our online behavior for His glory and His Gospel Message.

Luci


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