We’ve all seen them… those dreaded Facebook posts that declare we can show our true love of Jesus by sharing an image on our wall. But beware! Should you opt to forgo the share option and scroll past, then you clearly hate Jesus. And if you hate Jesus, you clearly love the devil…
I can’t even begin to express how much I despise these posts. But they ultimately reflect a sad element of our religious culture (I’m speaking about American Christianity, here).
In an age of instant gratification and convenience, we have managed to reduce our commission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:16-20), down to this:
Somehow, we’ve convinced ourselves that bumper sticker clichés, and internet memes are an appropriate and satisfactory form of faith sharing. That, if we click “like” on enough Jesus pics, we have somehow introduced the world (or at least our social network) to the Gospel.
I’m not even going to get into some of the things that people post before and after they click like and share on that cool Jesus meme. I won’t mention the profanity-laced videos, the self portraits with the besties flipping the bird at each other, the racist and homophobic rants, etc…
How did we get from being a small band of believers with faith strong enough that they were willing to confront a hostile world, risk death and torture just to share the story of Jesus… to this? To a people who think their duty to Jesus is completed with a mouse click?
Alright, alright… I’m not really sure Jesus is going to send these meme creators to hell. After all, I highly suspect many of them are being hastily made by thirteen year old kids playing with photoshop.
But, I do think Jesus’ facepalm is right on.
We were never called to be a people who take the easy way out. Look at the apostles. They met terrible fates. They were beaten, stoned, nailed to crosses, tossed into pits and impaled with spears… but right up until the end they were sharing the Gospel with everyone they met. Even their persecutors. Even their murderers.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t post those religious pics to your wall*, but I am saying that you should take a look at what else is there. Are the fruits of your life reflecting a healthy vine, or one corrupted with unhealthy offshoots? Are you simply responding to guilt, or to a legitimate faith? Is the thing you are about to post really going to introduce your friends to Jesus, or just guilt them into sharing it as well? What does that picture say about Jesus? About what Jesus has done for you? And more importantly, when one of your friends asks what’s up with the Jesus pics, what are you going to say?
Because if the only thing you can answer is along the lines of, “Because I believe in Jesus, you know?”, then you might want to step away from the computer and dive headfirst into scripture and prayer… because people don’t want to know that you believe in Jesus, they want to see that you believe in him, and they want to know why they should as well.
*Please allow me to clarify: You should not be posting those “scroll past if you hate Jesus” memes. And while we’re at it, you probably shouldn’t post those “ignore if you hate your grandma” or “ignore if you want your mom to die” posts either. While I’m glad you love your grandma and your mom… do you really want to be responsible if your best friend’s mom dies because she didn’t like and share?