If you deny Him on Facebook…

“I believe in Jesus Christ. One Facebooker has challenged all believers to put this on their wall. The Bible says, if you deny Me in front of your peers, I will deny you in front of my Father. If you love God and you are not afraid to show it, re-post this. I proudly did, will you?”

“Can anyone tell me why it is so hard for people to pray, but easy to swear? Why it is so hard to re-post a Christian status, but easy to post gossip? Why we can worship a celebrity, but not Jesus? Gonna ignore this? Most of you won’t re-post this. The Lord said, “If you deny me in front of your friends, I will deny you…in front of my father.” I posted. Will you?”

Alright, I promise this is not going to turn into a “bash Facebook” week or anything, but it just so happens that another pet-peeve of mine popped up on my feed again today.  This post has been a long time coming, and I’ve actually begun writing it several times.  I’ve hit around this issue before (see: Keeping the Christ in X-mas and Tithe If You Love Jesus), and the pet-peeve is that we as Christians sometimes think that by simply copying and pasting something into our Facebook status or forwarding on an email we are somehow proving our allegiance to Jesus.

This is completely absurd, and totally wrong.

I suppose if we can have Christian music, Christian fiction, Christian mints, and Christian phone books, why not Christian slacktivism?  (By the way, don’t get me started on all the other categories I just mentioned!  Hmmm… mental note about future posts…)  You see, here’s the problem: we’ve somehow gotten the mistaken idea that just because someone gives the digital equivalent of a triple-dog-dare to re-post a Christian status update that we are now somehow denying Jesus if we don’t!  So, feeling guilty, we go ahead and re-post and mentally claim a victory for the Lord.  We think that this somehow counts as serving Jesus.

Let me put it in another light – If you didn’t re-post the status, would your friends have no idea that you’re a Christian?  If you have to re-post a cliche, trite Christian status update in order to prove to your friends that you are a Christian, you need to re-evaluate your words and conduct on the days you don’t copy and paste.  More importantly, if your friends would be surprised to see such a claim to be a follower of Jesus in your status based on your usual updates and pics, it’s time to repent.

You know what might speak louder to our Facebook friends about our relationship with Jesus Christ?  If our everyday updates, pics, notes, and links declared our faith.  And I’m not talking about inserting a Bible verse or a pro-Jesus statement just to show off our faith.  I’m talking about a relationship with Jesus that is so vital and vibrant that it simply gushes out of us.

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  Matthew 12:34

Let’s not try to make up for a lukewarm life with a few strokes of the keys and clicks of the mouse.  Let’s live lives that declare our Christian faith so boldly that we don’t have to worry about defending it.

 

Update:

A commenter asked about the “if you deny me in front of your friends” passage quoted above. It is found in Matthew 10:26-33. It’s actually slightly misquoted (perhaps to make it fit Facebook all the better) in that it is about denying Jesus in front of “men” not “friends.”  As I mentioned in my response to that comment,  the issue Jesus is discussing is that following Him is a public act. It may cost me my reputation, my standing in society, or even my life to follow Jesus, but I cannot deny that He is my Lord no matter what the cost. To do so, would be to prove that He is, in fact, not my Lord, and therefore He would deny me as I have denied Him.

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15 Responses to “If you deny Him on Facebook…”

  1. ZimSen Yeow Says:

    Thank you for writing this, you and me share the same pet peeves.

  2. Well said! A peeve of mine, also. Even more irritating is when it’s an incorrect bible quote that people are giving thumbs up to!

  3. Neil McInnis Says:

    Jesus also said be not proud and you seem boastful. Have a greta day and posting on facebook is nonsense people who know and love me and all my friends know that I believe in God and jesus.

    • thanks for the feedback neil. i hope that i didn’t come off as a know-it-all. my intent was not to boast in MY good works, but to urge fellow believers to drop a behavior i myself used to get drawn into.

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks there’s something terribly wrong with stuff like this. Thank you. ^_^

  5. Thank you to Words of Reason and to Eli (the man I love) for sharing this on FB. From the preview, I was afraid that this post was going to be the very thing this post challenges: simplistic “show your faith or die” arguments. I will also link to this, with a summary of the meat of your statement. Thanks for the reminder.

    • thanks kagitsune! i’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on this article. it seems to strike a chord with folks. thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. it’s always nice to hear back from folks.

  6. Hey , I am a christian and stuff but to be fair the opening verse of that chapter is ‘Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.’ and basically told then to only help jews NOT gentile or samaritons, which is totally contradictor to the whole nature of the jeudo-christian perception of good ( and yes i mean good not God). so you could of done more reason to find jesus in a better light. As christians are believed by some to be going against the word of God, as modern christianity is based on pauline christianity as apposed to petrine. So bible quotes are alright and all, but it is a threatening quote /more an ultimatum. A more relatable quote like “Give, and it shall be given to you. For whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return.”. A nice life lesson for all of God’s children, not just the ones that YOU deem ‘worthy’

  7. hello,im a muslim and i wish no harm to u.if u dont mind,could you please tell me the source of this quote “deny Me in front of your peers, I will deny you in front of my Father”. name of chapter in bible- perhaps? :)

    • thanks for pointing out this missing piece of this post! i didn’t realize that i hadn’t referenced the Bible passage that gets quoted in these forwards, etc. The passage is Matthew 10:26-33 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2010:26-33&version=ESV). The issue Jesus is discussing is that following Him is a public act. It may cost me my reputation, my standing in society, or even my life to follow Jesus, but I cannot deny that He is my Lord no matter what the cost. To do so, would be to prove that He is, in fact, not my Lord, and therefore He would deny me as I have denied Him.

      i would love to hear what you think of this, or any other questions you might have! thanks for commenting!

  8. Exactly! There is another, more intense version among my friends

    “A MAN COMES HOME DRUNK AND MAD HE PULLS OUT A GUN AND SHOOTS HIS WIFE, THEN TURNS THE GUN TO HIMSELF. HIS LITTLE GIRL SITS BEHIND THE COUCH CRYING. THE POLICE CAME AND TOOK THE LITTLE GIRL. SHE IS NOW WITH A NEW FAMILY. ON HER FIRST DAY OF SUNDAY SCHOOL, SHE WALKS PAST THE BUILDING AND SEES A PICTURE OF JESUS ON THE CROSS.THE LITTLE GIRL ASKS THE TEACHER HOW DID THAT MAN GET OFF THE CROSS?THE TEACHER REPLIED HE NEVER DID !! THE LITTLE GIRL ARGUED .. YES HE DID .. THE NIGHT MOMMY AND DADDY DIED HE SAT NEXT TO ME BEHIND THE COUCH TELLING ME EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT. 66% OF YOU WON’T RE-POST THIS .. BUT REMEMBER WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, DENY ME INFRONT OF YOUR FRIENDS AND I WOULD DENY YOU INFRONT OF MY FATHER. SO REPOST THIS IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A PART OF THE 33% that will”

    I have actually found myself commenting on a few of these posts explaining that this is all wrong!

    Ugh!

    • thanks for the feedback, joe! i’m with ya on that one. one of the things i always have to chuckle about with these posts is the percentages. “66% won’t repost” “only 1% will take a stand” etc. maybe i should contact Ed Stetzer over at LifeWay Research and see if he can find a good study on these statistics! ;)

  9. I am not surprised that assalam asked for the bible reference as I have seen a version of this post incorrectly attributed by my brothers and sisters in islam..in fact it was seeing such a post today that prompted me to google the verse and therefore to come across this blog….

    • what do you mean when you say “a version of this post incorrectly attributed by my brothers and sisters in islam”? are they incorrectly attributing this blog post? the verse in Matthew 10? does this have any bearing on your beliefs? i’m curious what you mean here.

      thanks for commenting!

  10. Thankyou, it is refreshing to hear this….as these posts have been circulating my fb page on a continual basis. I never post these because I feel it is a form of manipulation. God isn’t about manipulation, his message is about love and grace. People don’t come to know Him through condemnation, but through truth spoken in love. Anyway… I appreciate your message…it was a good challenge to revaluate my life in terms of how I live for Christ, from day to day, not in legalism, but because I Love Him!

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