Why I’m done being a Facebook Christian

Feb
13th
2014

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There’s something that’s been stirring in my heart lately, something that is so hard to explain… but you know I have to try.

I call her The Facebook Christian. “Her”, because I see a lot of myself in her words and actions. Well-intentioned. Heart for God. Convictions firmly planted. Loved by many. Lover of many. Defender of many. Offender of many. Something’s just a little, teensy bit off. Don’t get me wrong… right off the bat I can say I’ve brought my Facebook/blog to hell and back, so no one’s condemning here. There’s just a little something off.

We all have morals, values, beliefs, and Facebook is undoubtedly the platform of choice for many of us to voice these openly. As a place to feel — if only for the brief second it takes to click ‘enter’ — Free. Bold. Entitled. It’s OUR page, after all.

But what if we’re not using it in the way that paints the best picture of Christians as a whole? I’ve been guilty, so to speak, of using Facebook as my spiritual checklist of sorts. I say ‘spiritual’, but it’s really more religious… works and striving and doing doing doing and pressure to be better and having checklists and feeling guilty for not being perfect or saying the right thing… that’s just plain miserable. That’s not what I want for my life, online or off.

I’ll give a few examples of some very basic Facebook Christian behavior:

  • Post a Bible verse today. Check.
  • Share/like a political/inspirational/Jesus-y quote, article or story. Check.

Ahh, feels good to be a Facebook Christian. So fulfilling to stand up for what I believe! Sort of. Let’s try it some more! (And this is where the lines start getting blurry… naturally. We’re human.)

  • Leave a comment on a charged post about homosexuals, Duck Dynasty, The Election, rear-facing car seats, vaccines, breastfeeding until age 5, Chik-fil-A, etc. Check.
  • BONUS POINTS for use of a Bible verse to prove your point. Check.
  • Passive-aggressively ‘like’ a photo of the friend who you’re in a fight with, juuust to let her know you’re still keeping tabs and that of course you don’t mind that she’s having fun without you! (But you totally do mind.) Check.
  • Stalk an ex. Only a quick peek… Check.
  • Message an ex. BUT! just to see how life is treating them. Check.
  • Post a borderline cleavagey girl’s night picture where you hid the margarita out of the camera’s view. Check.
  • Intentionally hide a post from your parents, boss, church friends, etc. because they’d “judge” your behavior. Check.

Again, I’ve done all of these at some point and I’m not pointing fingers at any one person (SERIOUSLY. I love you all and am trying to look inward here.), but are you sort of getting what I’m trying to say? We do these things that aren’t necessarily fabulous one day, and still expect the world to listen when we have something to say that is actually meaningful, with purpose, with true LOVE as a motivator. Because we all know that DOES happen sometimes! We do have good intentions and a heart for God! No one is arguing that here. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with things. I’m sad to say though, the world probably doesn’t always listen to/read those pure, good things we have to say. They may roll their eyes. They may think, Bigot. Hypocrite. Preachy. And when we think we’re being neutral by posting photos of our kids, all they can think is, “Oh there’s Bigot’s kids! Too bad. They’re cute.”

I’m not meaning to sound harsh, again. And yes, I know ‘persecution’ is all part of the job, but if I’m going to be persecuted, I want to have my side of the street clean so it’s ACTUALLY persecution and not just something I had coming because of my big mouth or because I flew off the handle about abortion in a moment of sleep deprived rage.

Personally, I’m just done doing the Susie Christian Facebook thing. I love the Lord and people know it already. I’ll talk/share when He leads me to do so without regret, but never again out of anger. That’s not God. Never again if it’s going to hurt those I’m called to love, regardless of their lifestyle. That’s not God behavior either because God is love. And never again because I feel the need to fulfill an imaginary religious checklist. God doesn’t have a check list for me! Or you. We are in right standing WHERE WE ARE. That’s the beauty of loving Jesus. The “work” has been done. It’s not about what we say anyway, it’s about what’s behind it. What’s motivating it. Who is motivating it.

It’s been a tough thing to put into practice, this ‘walk the walk’ thing, I’m telling you. I don’t have it down yet, but if it means not being seen as just another Facebook Christian and instead as a woman who really WALKS it, LIVES it, BREATHES it… then count me in.

And now I’m off to post this on my Facebook page… ;)

16 Comments Thus Far

  1. Amen, sister.

  2. AMEN! :)

  3. You’ve managed to articulate something I too, and probably many of us, have been wrestling with. Great job and thank you for sharing your heart ❤ I will likely share!

    Jennifer Ingersoll
    on February 13th, 2014 at 10:17 am
  4. Oh lady, it’s like you are in my mind! This has been on heart a lot recently.

  5. I Love this!! :) xo

  6. It’s so hard, this day in age, to not fall into this “trap” as it were. The one upmanship and all that jazz. Good for you, though. It can be SO difficult.

  7. Well said.

  8. I see SO MANY bible-themed or preachy posts/likes/shares from people I know in real life. People who wouldn’t think twice about doing the exact opposite of what they just posted. It’s disheartening.

    I made a decision a long time ago to only post things that personally resonated with me. Whether its an irrevrant someecard, a verse or quote, or an update from my church. Am I going to offend someone? More than likely. Someone from church – you bet. Its inevitable.

    But my FB is MINE. It’s what I’m thinking or feeling or needing to share at that particular moment. I’m the same way face-to-face (just ask my husband!), so if you don’t like my FB, you probably wouldn’t like the “real” me either.

    You just keep being your awesome self! This is a journey for all of us – we are learning each and every day.

  9. This is refreshing to hear. I’m not a Christian, or religious at all for that matter and have been very personally hurt by a religious family member posting the exact types of things you mentioned.

  10. This. I’ve been done for a while.

  11. Preach it, sister. This is a fantastic post—thank you for always being honest with a touch of humor…I can always relate to your writing. I’m pretty sure you are I are in similar places (with Christian-y things) lately!

    Hugs, my friend.

  12. This is great! I am no longer on Facebook, (I’ve been off since December, and it is so freeing!) but I was SO guilty of many of those points. AND it’s a great reminder for ANY social media outlet…or any time we speak in general (online or offline). Thanks for sharing with us!

  13. This is similar to the reason I gave up facebook a year ago. I would oftentimes post or like Christian-y or encouraging-to-me things, in hopes I would bless others with my words. Well, people were real quick to remind me of my faults. I’ve been so convicted lately, and my walk with God is not where I would like it to be. It is hard to walk the walk. And the sadness that comes, because I fail Him daily. Thanks for always being so real, honest, and open. I love your sincerity and humour. :) Can’t wait to see belly pics! Lol =)

  14. We have the same thoughts on this, though not bad, but facebook isn’t really the right place. But I still believe inshowing your christianity in every opportunity

  15. This is such a struggle. To be real. To be honest. To share my hopes for who i want to be while dealing with my mistakes and sin. To try to uplift and inspire without being preachy. Ugh. Lots to think about. I did read something Jen Hatmaker wrote recently where she talked about keeping things within real relationships. Talk about sin with people you know and love- don’t yell out judgements at unknown people…well she said it a lot more coherently than that, but I need more caffeine if I am going to make any more sense than that. -thanks for writing this. Good thoughts!!

  16. Yes. I’m so glad you put this all into words…I feel the same way! Thanks…I’ll be bookmarking this one for myself