Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bully Pulpit

Clearly, Jesus doesn't mean very much to me. Clearly, His death and resurrection, I could take or leave. Clearly, I don't have a lot of space in my life for Christ.

Clearly. Because I didn't stop everything I was doing and share that picture of Him with those passive-aggressive words that told me that if I cared anything at all about Him, I would.

I'm not a fan of how aggressive - or passive-aggressive - the Christian movement has become in the age of social media. I don't think we're doing God any favors by the way we talk about Him on Facebook, on Twitter, on whatever platform we're talking about Him. To be quite honest, I kind of miss the days of fire and brimstone; at least there, you had something. 

With fire and brimstone, you had a clear-cut line. All this passive-aggressive nonsense erases the line. I feel like I'm left defending how much I love Jesus or how I understand the word "love" at all. Yes, I love Him. But I don't think He cares how many western conceptions of His image I share on social media. Yes, I love Him but I don't need to plaster the Cross everywhere to prove it. Yes, I love Him, but. 

It's that "but" that gets me. We're living in an age where we qualify our relationship with Jesus with a "but." All because of this pressure we've come to put on one another about what being a Christian really means. 

And I get it. We're all trying to figure out what faith means in a day like today. We're trying to figure out what faith looks like in the digital world. We're trying to figure out how we mark ourselves apart from the crowd, how we can demonstrate what matters most to us in a world that seems like it's always watching.

Simple. The same way we always have: by our love.

We love each other. We put love out into the world. If we want to put Jesus into the world, we do it through love. If we want to make a statement about who we are, we make a statement about who He is first. By loving. 

Because the world is watching. They are watching us bully each other. They are watching us equate our faith with this passive-aggressiveness. And by the way, Jesus was neither passive nor aggressive, and certainly not passive-aggressive. He was passionate. He was assertive. He was assured. He lived in the passionate assurance of His Father. He did what was right, spoke what was true, and loved like His life depended on it. Because it did. It still does. 

He never would have spoken to His disciples the way we speak to each other. He wouldn't have spoken to a sinner the way we speak to each other. Heck, He wouldn't even have spoken to the demons the way we speak to each other. All in the name of faith. The world is watching as we adopt its relationship strategies, as we adopt its words, and it's laughing. Because the more we sound like the world when we talk about our faith, the more we lose the voice of Jesus in our world.

Just look at one of the more recent "Christian" schemes going around - I challenge you to post a Scripture for seven days and challenge two other people to do the same. Why are we challenging each others' faith? We're supposed to be building each other up. Challenge...challenge is the word of the culture. Challenge is what people in this world do to one another. Christ...Christ never challenged people. He invited them. Why can't we soften our language and invite one another to share a Scripture for seven days? Or invite someone to share an image that's particularly meaningful or beautiful to us? It's the voice of our culture over the voice of our Christ.

The voice of our Christ, as we speak it into the world, isn't heard through tagging, snapping, sharing, favoriting, tweeting, liking, and the like; the voice of our Christ is heard as we do what is right, speak what is true, and love like our lives depend on it. Because they do.

Social media is a neat thing. It really is. But it shouldn't be a bully pulpit. Can we just stop all the passive-aggressive nonsense? Can we stop borrowing the language of our world for a minute and look at what we're doing to each other? At what we're doing to Christ? 

We have an incredible opportunity in the present world to speak Christ to a world that truly is watching like never before. Let's not waste it. 

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