A friend posted a meme this morning on Facebook: “Let’s be honest. If Jesus had been born 30 years ago, Fox news and the Republican Party would label him a dangerous middle eastern man who wants to impose socialism on the world and enable the poor.”
In the first comment following the post, someone made sure to lump in “all those who call themselves Christians…”
Unfortunately, the meme itself might ring a little true. But, then again, after building his ministry from scratch, Jesus was put to death at 33 – at the hands of the “most religious” in society. It was also not a surprise to Him.
But, when I see a few folks who speak out for social justice bash ALL Christians in the same breath, I can’t help but notice the hypocrisy and feel a little personally offended. (Don’t misunderstand me: our hurt feelings are a far cry from true persecution…)
And I can’t help but wonder how many “Christian-haters” are in the “social justice” crowd….
As a Christian, I abhor getting involved in political, divisive posts on social media which serve only to propagate more hate and division.
(I’ve posted about this before, that social media has never been a good place for true, open conversation – especially about hot-button issues. Real conversation begins with relationship.)
As Christians, we’re called to “give to Caesar what’s his,” “to give and pray without “showing-off,” and to even expect persecution (Matthew 22:21; Matthew 6; 2 Timothy 3:12 ).
My point is that many true Christians are doing good works, and they’re working for social justice, for the right reasons. They always have and always will. It’s where countless schools, orphanages, and charities find their origin.
Christian says, Christian does.
Many Christians give and work behind the scenes, in ways that we don’t see. They do it within the Church, within the community, across our country, and even beyond our borders.
They open their homes to “the least of these.” They give generously of time and money. They are compassionate and loving. They work tirelessly for the good of others.
Just because we don’t see it or hear about it doesn’t mean they “only call themselves Christians.” It means we’re perhaps only seeing and hearing “horn-blowers.”
Being Christian doesn’t mean announcing and advertising one’s deeds & beliefs. Christians act in love and compassion, as a byproduct of their beliefs – without fanfare.
True, not all those who say, “Lord, Lord…,” (Matthew 7:21), who call themselves Christians, truly know Jesus. And not all are speaking for Christ when they shout their opinions on Facebook.
But many Christians are living, working, and speaking on His behalf…just not on social media. (By the way, He’s not just our Jesus; He’s yours, too.)
Social-media silence doesn’t mean condoning that which doesn’t agree with our beliefs.
And just because some Christians aren’t speaking about things on social media doesn’t mean they’re silent or inactive. Perhaps it means they recognize that conversations are better initiated face-to-face, one-on-one – where true relationships are formed. (Jesus modeled that for us throughout Scripture, when He met people where they were – to feed, teach, and heal…)
Why is it that if we’re not speaking loudly and publicly against something, then we must be in support of it?
In the American South, silent soldiers ran the Underground Railroad. Brave, yet silent, citizens, also smuggled Jews out of Nazi-occupied Europe.
Just like our silence doesn’t mean we condone something, we also can’t mistake silence for cowardice.
So, let’s set some guidelines?
Maybe, let’s try not to lump everyone together when we speak or post? Lets remember that labels impede our vision; they’re like putting blinders on.
And, Christian warriors, let’s keep loving and serving, not for recognition or because it’s advancing a political cause, but out of love and compassion – because God calls us to it, to affect real change in the world.
In the meantime, we won’t infer that the most vocal of social justice fighters are Christian-haters, because…
- This idea is a little scary, don’t you think?
- I’d really like to believe that these two groups are not mutually exclusive.