“But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:8-10 (NKJV)
I was on Facebook recently and one of my Christian connections posted a meme which featured a burning Qu’ran with the following text—“Let’s see who has the guts to share this!”
Apparently, my Christian friend did indeed have the guts to share it—proudly!
I’ve taken enough trips around the sun to expect this type of hatefulness and divisive rhetoric to come from the ignorant few who don’t know better. I am still disappointed when I read this cyber-flotsam from those who claim to be Christians.
It grieves me. I not only grieve for the person who posted it, but for the larger Christian community who will forever have its motivations questioned by those who will point to this “Christian” post and make scathing generalizations about how hateful and hypocritical Christians are.
The great irony here is that the one who had no difficulty posting the burning Qu’ran would be the first to protest a picture of a burning Bible. They would consider a Bible-burning meme as “hate speech” or worse, “persecution.” I think the Golden Rule applies here.
I am an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, which means I’m about as conservative as you can get. However, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among many of those who count themselves amongst the Christian faithful. It is as if their Christianity goes offline the moment they go online.
Offline, they minister to the poor and needy. Online, they spew hateful things about illegal immigrants, families on welfare, and others who “don’t belong here.”
Offline, they preach and teach values of morality and purity. Online, they stumble over themselves to minimize or excuse the multiple moral failings of the current White House occupant and crown him as “God’s man for the United States of America.”
Offline, they are concerned with being salt and light in the world. Online, they openly mock politicians that they disagree with and engage in fruitless debates with “the other side.”
When we preach politics instead of mercy and love, both we and our hearers are worse off for it. Our mission isn’t to weigh in on every debate du jour—our mission is to preach Christ and Him crucified, and to walk the highway of Holiness in the sight of all men, whether online or IRL.
There is a time and place to preach against false doctrine and against sin—even online. But hurling ignorant insults and incendiary memes at people certainly is not the way to promote discipleship and life change. We know better than this, and with God’s help we must do better than this.
Fellow Christians, I beg you—think before you post!