The Murky Waters of Sharing Your Beliefs on Social Media

This has been the first year that I've really found myself staying interested in all of the details of politics and wanting to dig deeper into issues that I gave no thought to in the past. It's been a great time of connection between Ryan and me. He has been actively involved in researching issues since I've always known him and so I've really appreciated his insight and being able to constantly rack his brain. This presidential election made it extremely hard to really differentiate between facts and fables (all media is biased anymore, you have to do your own digging) and it was a murky trudge separating the facts from the emotions and propaganda.

While contemplating politics, I really got to thinking about faith, as a whole. Specifically- "always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." (1 Peter 3:15)
Just like in politics, in faith, there is a natural tendency to tip toe around topics that are uncomfortable so as not to offend anyone, or because "anything outside of peacemaking is heresy"(hello, Jesus flipping tables in the temple...anyone?). Although I don't believe arguing or attacking anyone with different beliefs is really effective, I think the real reason that we tend to shy away from talking faith or politics is because we aren't quite sure of why we believe what we believe. And that's scary. To honestly think about that, might mean that your faith isn't real, or at least not your own. If you can't defend your faith, then more than likely you are just repeating something you heard from your parents or your preacher speak from a pulpit. Not only are we all ignorant about the Bible, constitution, or the overall historical narrative of our faith and country, but we love to buy into the telephone game phrases that have lost all of their context along the way. We love to search out facts solely defending what our eager ears are willing to hear. The devil is the King of Deception and he deals best in half truths and we are just gobbling it all up. Meanwhile, souls are being damned and innocent lives are crying from their graves. Simply because we don't like the sacrifice that results from the seeking and convicting of truth.

I'm learning as I become more vocal about my faith or beliefs a sort of groundwork when it comes to social media. I think it's important to post things that say the complete and total truth (even if it might offend someone) because we all need a voice again. We need to know that we aren't alone. That we don't have to feel ashamed and stay silent. That political correctness(of politics or faith) is an illusion, irrelevant, and therefore unattainable. I realize that is a tough balancing act-When you are trying to share/encourage/embolden your fellow like minded friends, there will almost always be someone there to challenge what you have to say. Acknowledge that ahead of time in preparation for when persecution does come, because it will (John 15:20-A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.) I think it's good to have an open conversation with people of different experiences and beliefs, that's how we all learn. But also realize when you need to humbly bow out. Is your response that of needing the last word/defending your pride? A quick (or however long you need) heart check is always better than responding and regretting later. No number of persuasive arguing points will ever "win that other person to your side", only God has the ability to sway hearts. But do not be discouraged from sharing your faith, defending it, and expounding upon the whole truth.

One quote that has some of the best relevancy to this topic has been from Tim Keller. I can't find the original quote so it may not be exactly word for word but the sentiment has stuck with me all the same. -"Grace without truth is not grace. Truth without grace is not truth."

Although my interactions and relationships with people will never be perfect, I pray that I can find that balance between truth and grace.

....................................................................................................................................................

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. 
"Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened."
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.
but do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
-1 Peter 3:13-16

....................................................................................................................................................


2 comments: