Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ponder Before You Post

By Jim Faughn
    It’s happened again. It happens all too frequently.
    I’ve been online, and I’m wondering if anybody “out there” cares anything at all about basic morality and decency. I’m questioning whether those who say they believe in God really do. I’m wondering if there really is any difference between those who wear the name of Christ and those who deny Him.
    No, I haven’t been spending my time checking out questionable websites. I haven’t been checking out the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I’ve not been investigating somebody widely known as a “religious huckster.” From time to time (maybe way too often), I check out what is being posted on Facebook and the latest “tweets” from some of the people I follow on Twitter. For those who may be unfamiliar with either of these, you need to know a couple of things. When something is posted on Facebook, it is there for the world (even preachers) to see and/or read. Those doing the posting have the choice of allowing people to be their “friends, ” so they should not expect their posts to be private. On Twitter, you know who is “following” you. So, once again, there should be no expectation of privacy.
    Many of my Facebook friends and people I follow on Twitter are my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I worship with some of them every week.
    So, what could they do online that would cause concern? Basically, just telling about their lives and expressing their opinions. I’ve learned that ---

  • Shopping trips are made, errands are run, and a lot of television is watched during times of worship and Bible study.
  • Language is used that is inappropriate anywhere and at any time.
  • Pictures of people in almost no clothing are posted. Years ago, only certain kinds of “celebrities” would have posed for those pictures --- and would have expected to get paid. Now, people I see every week at church have their own pictures taken and posted --- for free --- and for the world to see.
  • People can feel wonderful and have a great time on Saturday, but be apparently at the point of death on Sunday (and on a regular basis, too).
  • Vacations are not planned with worship in mind.
  • A preacher can preach or write about a particular sin and find it being practiced by one or more of the members where he preaches within days --- maybe hours.
  • Recreation is much more important than the Lord.
  • There is no clear understanding of God’s plan of salvation or the distinctiveness of the Lord’s church.
  • Material from every “brand” of religion is posted, tweeted, and lauded.
    There’s more, but that’s enough. At least, it’s all I care to handle right now. As some of you have heard me say before (with more than a touch of sarcasm), “I’ve had about all the fun I can stand.”
    I think you get the point. If I claim to be a Christian, I need to ponder before I post. Do I really want the world to know what I’ve been up to?
    Do I realize that God knows what I’ve been up to; whether I post it or not?

- Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: 

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