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.
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.