“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”- Isaiah 53:6
I have made quite a few bad decision in my life. I’m guessing you have, too. I am endeavoring to do better. Perhaps you are, too. A number of these mistakes are all too evident in the social media posting decisions I’ve made over recent years. Yikes! (Learn from my failings!)
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
A few years ago a woman whom I know through social media wrote: “Matthew 7:1 ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ Judge me when you are perfect. Seriously! And you are not perfect!” I reached out to her, writing, “I am always encouraged when someone turns to the Word of God for truth and wisdom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You might appreciate this link which helps to deepen ones understanding of this verse even more fully. https://www.relevantmagazine.com/faith/what-does-it-mean-judge-not/.”
My attempt was to share the truth with her in a gentle, unassuming, non-confrontational way. I don’t think that strategy worked too well. Her response was to write in reply to me, “I especially liked the final verse referenced in the article. It is amazing how quick people are to judge without knowing/learning the entire truth of a situation.” To this day I am unsure if her biblical understanding was corrected by our online back-and-forth. As a result, I learned three things from this brief exchange. One, when CONFRONTING someone with their bad theology, one’s aim should not be to avoid CONFRONTATION. In view of this, my tactics of the past erred. Two, when pointing someone to a resource for proper biblical understanding, make use of platforms that maintain a consistently biblical understanding in their worldview. Relevant Magazine is a horrible resource that’s rooted in too many non-biblical views, so my linking to it was a horrendous lapse in judgement. Three, when having reason to doubt whether an intellectual argument has been rightly understood, take the extra time needed to confirm that the comprehension level is high. I did not follow up with this lady (someone with whom I’ve now lost contact), and so to this day I can’t be sure if she still misapplies Matthew 7. Shame on me.
Here’s another example:
In light of what I said above, I wonder what I should think of this article that I posted on social media once upon a time. https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/first-person-the-shack-the-missing-art-of-evangelical-discernment/ It comes from the Baptist Press, and the Southern Baptists are a mess right now. Further, the article is written by Al Mohler, and he’s turned out to be kind of a mess himself in recent years (with regard to his leadership decisions and a number of his theological conclusions). Should I have posted that link? Maybe; but perhaps should have added the disclaimer that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn from time to time.
As a brief aside, some try to defend “The Shack” arguing that, “It’s just a novel.” Indeed,” The Shack” is a a novel, to be sure. And in it its author is using the genre of novel to advance his theological point of view. (Which is absolutely what all authors do, so there in no fault with that.) I believe Dr. Mohler’s article is suggesting that not enough Christians understand the Gospel of John and so they are too prone to accepting the theological message intended by the writer (and in the case of the movie, the message intended by the producer/director/screenwriter).
Sadly, here’s yet another example:
It wasn’t too long ago (a mere four years have since passed) when I shared an article link on social media, and I did so without comment. In other words, I left open the possibility that I agreed with what the article had to say. What a dope I was. Not only does the article contain curse words, but (despite some interesting observations) it advances a leftist non-biblical worldview. With some hesitancy I provide the link here, so that inquiring minds can read for themselves what I’m talking about (if they care to). https://gen.medium.com/how-a-tv-sitcom-triggered-the-downfall-of-western-civilization-336e8ccf7dd0#.bvkneptac
And, yes, one final example:
I also posted this link without comment; again giving the video an implicit endorsement. Boy, what an error! The video gives lip service to the biblical role of government, but spends 95% of its time confusing the role of the state with the role of the church. It also assumes a completely one-sided view of how to help the poor, as if there are only poor people around the world with no attention needed for the poor already living as citizens of these United States. I blew it with this post, but in fairness to myself, I allowed myself to exercise less critical thinking than I should have because the speaker in this video was president of the seminary I attended Oops, on my part. https://vimeo.com/207125257?fbclid=IwAR02h2haz2XpfxSwc2Lk88L3B5R5-E1c7nukw3iosAX3SuXSY_L64WuGzis
Allow me to save some face today:
Not everything I posted in the past has been terrible. So, let me end with a couple of good quotes I’ve posted in the past, as well as a link to a heart warming story that helps us all realize the precious value of life in the womb.
“We ought to read the Scriptures with the express design of finding Christ in them.” – John Calvin
“After the rain, look to the sky and see that God is merciful and keeps His promises.” – Unknown
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill
Pastor Troy Skinner