Why the Facebook “like” has contributed to a society in social & moral decline
If you find yourself posting material or sharing what’s on your mind, be very careful of your motive for doing so. Keeping family members and close friends abreast of things: great. Fueling the engine of “self”: very dangerous. The “like,” very unfortunately, has become a measuring stick for Facebook users. The more “likes”, shares and comments, the better they are doing. Do you see the reason for concern? We were all fashioned to have a measuring stick but it was never intended to be social media, it was supposed to be Jesus. Jesus and nothing shy or beyond Jesus, anything else that we give our time and devotion to would qualify as an idol. The “like” is symbolic, in a sense, of a broader cultural phenomenon; the phenomenon of social media, reality TV, sensationalized and agenda-driven, divisive news media, etc. These things have been both distracting and way too influential in defining who we are and what we believe. Let this serve as an urgent call for a spirit of discernment for the church in this age.
1. It has redefined the meaning of the word ‘like’
Similar to that of ‘love,’ which is a word that’s been greatly weakened by American cultural syntax, the word ‘like’ has suffered the same fate. So much so that if it’s used in conversation it many times might need to be clarified; are you talking about actually liking something or are you talking about “liking” something, as in that thing you posted? Here is another example: if we knew that the word ‘Diva’ essentially means ‘female goddess,’ would we be so quick to label talented young singers as such? If you don’t believe God’s sovereignty is agreeable, than you’re probably more inclined to use this language, but to those of us who want to please God in word and deed, we should probably avoid considering entertainers as divine. The word ‘Diva’ is commonplace today in our culture, and we’re quick to dish it out to the independent and sassy girls out there like we’re paying them a compliment. But what are we really doing when we say that?
I, for one, love physical exercise, athletics and pushing my body to reach new goals. Every year I set out to do so as I write my New Year’s Resolutions and it has landed me around the world on ski trips, adventure races and other events. While all of these things can be very fun, challenging and rewarding, I have realized there is something greater to receive beyond the pleasures of the adventures themselves. The Apostle Paul reminds me in (1 Timothy 4:8) that physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
Recently, I have given much thought towards what deepening intimacy with God actually looks like. How can we better cultivate a two-way relationship with God as we grow closer to Him? As a business and life coach, I am all about helping people take action on their dreams while pursuing them through God’s eyes. As a point of encouragement today, I figured I would share a few revelations I have received related to that theme. I believe they are very practical and easy to apply to one’s life. Though this is not an exhaustive list, I’d like to share three specific examples.
I find it in my best interests (and sense it in my conscience) to lock horns with the severely misled adage originally coined by the famous “Dear Abby,” but often repeated by many a mainstream Christian:
“The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints” – Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)
If Abby is talking about the Body of Christ with her “Church” reference, then there are a few gaps we’ll need to discuss, between truth and distortion. This semi-popular saying is more than cringe-worthy to me for three particular reasons:
- Having come to the knowledge of Christ, we aren’t supposed to be “sinners” anymore
- The church was not established to provide Christians a haven to lick their wounds
- Memorializing past saints while not equipping new ones is a symptom of a Church with unhealthy beliefs
1. The sin issue in short
Sin was condemned by Jesus, who while coming in the likeness of sinful flesh, fulfilled the law so that it might now be confirmed in us, the righteous, who live not in accordance with the flesh but the spirit. (Romans 8:3-4 in a nutshell). The truth is, those that are righteous and believe that they are so are not naturally sinful and because of their belief will more suitably manifest righteousness. The best way I know how to translate ‘freedom from sin’ in plain language is ‘freedom from sin!’ Allow me to put it this way: If Paul, at the time of writing 1st Corinthians, was characterized by sin, than why would he tell his disciples to imitate him? There are countless new testament texts that speak to this point and a past blog of ours examines the details.
“They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.” -Thomas Jefferson – The Declaration of Independence.
In perhaps the most famous document in American history, our third president lays the foundation for an emerging free people defiant of repeated tyranny and injustice from Great Britain. All pleas having fallen on ‘deaf ears’ resulted in separation from England and the sanctification of a new nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
What is Justice?
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”- ISAIAH 1:17
According to Isaiah 1, justice has to do with defending the oppressed, advocating for the fatherless and appealing for the widow. But taken in context, these characteristics of justice are very conditional, in fact in verse 16 Isaiah calls on Judah [and the reader] to make themselves clean and to stop doing wrong. And in verses 19-20, the land and its people are called upon to be obedient and not rebellious, because their very fate revolves around their choice.
In the King James Version of the Bible there are:
Right smack dab in the middle of the entire Holy Bible lies this gem of a verse:
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” -Psalm 118:8.
I don’t think that’s coincidence. You can substitute almost any earthly thing for the word “man” and this would still apply (enter worldly idol here __________). Ponder that as you go about your weekend. Trust God in all things. Put your confidence in Him and Him alone.
-Steve Adams – Business & Life Coach
“In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day” – Mark Batterson
How to Survive and Thrive when Opportunity Roars
Mark Batterson recalls and revives the oftentimes buried little story of Benaiah, risk taker and lion slayer. The canvas with which Batterson paints this rousing and edifying wake-up call for dreamers, entrepreneurs and opportunists is both original and essential for the Church in light of the fears and challenges that look to block her destiny.
Nestled in 2nd Samuel 23 is the very short story of Benaiah, a decorated warrior from David’s camp. But a few lines tell of his exploits: Destroyer of Moab’s two finest soldiers. Outmatched and out-manned yet victorious over a “huge” Egyptian. And then there is the lion, in a pit, on a snowy day. Batterson leverages this epic line in guiding readers to trounce their fears, embrace risk, reevaluate their faith and “lock eyes with their lion.”