“You need to go back to Born Again 101” – reads a Facebook posting in response to a Christian article.
Have you ever signed on to Facebook to see your friends arguing over something silly? These (very public) disagreements rarely end well, embarrassing every person involved. I understand that Facebook has made sharing our opinions and memories with each other easier than ever. However, as Christians, we need to be extra careful that we don’t bring shame on the name of Christ when we argue about trivial or political matters that don’t advance the gospel.
Unrestrained gut reactions can change others’ perceptions of Christ, painting Him and His amazing sacrifice in a negative light. You are a representative of Christ online and your voice has more power than you can imagine. Converse with others with the aim of building the Kingdom of God; it is what He has called us to do! Take care to avoid petty arguments that everyone can see. This is especially true of sharing political views, which are often divisive to many people. Romans 12:18 says “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Sometimes disagreeing Christians publicly argue with each other on Facebook. The Bible says we must always prove our point and try to convince people of our viewpoints…oh wait, that’s not right. God commands that we are to be known by our love for one another (John 13:35), but when believers publicly rip each other, Jesus’ instruction to us is clearly violated. If a brother/sister posts something that is biblically wrong or misrepresentative of Christ, call them and have a conversation with them, privately. Encourage them, in love, to delete their post as it is controversial (don’t even address whether it is correct or not). If this does not work, prayerfully consider a peaceful way to correct that misinformation publicly or seek wise counsel. However, keep in mind that the apostle Paul said “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” If you must correct it, be very cautious on how you approach it and avoid further knee jerk reactions. For more advice on disagreements, Jesus provides some solid action steps in Matthew 18: 15-22.
To conclude, ask God to guide all of your Facebook posts before posting. Never post based off your emotions at the moment, always carefully and prayerfully consider what you say online. While you may not care what others think of you, if you’re a Christian you have a bigger responsibility to the faith to consider. Preview your posts in the most critical of lenses, especially if you plan on making a statement about Christianity or are known as a Christian. While these suggestions are only meant to serve as general guidelines, please take it to heart and remember to do all things for the glory of God!