Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Timeline Christianity

Facebook is a baffling phenomenon to me.  It's a wonderful way to re-connect with old friends or even make new ones.  It can be a great asset in developing relationships for a cause or promoting anything under the sun.  But it many respects, it has created a mask for its users, a false sense of who they really are by granting them the ability to control what they post and what others can see about them.  Among the many things that appear on my newsfeed, I frequently see pictures from the group "Jesus Is My Savior."  The group has over 80,000 likes and over 2,000 people "Talking About This."  The last picture that I saw from them made me cringe when it claimed "Jesus died on a cross for us, yet only 3% of us care about his enough to help spread his word- even though its their Christian duty!  So join the 3% that actually cares.  All you have to do is hit 'share' to help spread this message."  

As much as I enjoy Facebook, I think it has done Christianity a disservice and I need to catch myself sometimes.  While it can be a tremendous avenue for generating awareness, news, and relationships for the sake of the Gospel, I fear that it has tainted the meaning of the phrase "love Jesus."  It seems as if we have been lulled into thinking that updating our status' with Bible verses or sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon or convicting pictures translates into social justice.  In a sense we have developed a "Timeline Christianity" that supposedly indicates our devotion to discipleship.  Even though it is commendable for us to wear our hearts on our Timelines, is this what Jesus has been calling His disciples to all along?  Recall his conversation with Peter in John 21: 15-17... 

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"  "Yes, Lord, " he said, "You know that I love you."  Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."  Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"  He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."  Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."  The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?"  He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."  Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

I am in no position to judge anyone's heart because I have no way of knowing where their conviction spurns to action.  That forever remains between them and the Lord.  But my own heart tells me that clicking the "Like" button is far easier than putting food in the orphan's mouth.  It is more convenient to "Share" a picture than get in the trenches and suffer spiritual warfare with brothers and sisters in Christ.  It is just plain harder to give time to serve the widow or re-route a lifestyle on behalf of the oppressed.  Why?  Because there is a great cost involved, a sacrifice that is counter-intuitive to our nature.  If we really love Jesus Christ, if we truly want to serve Him, then we must feed His sheep.  There are many out there whose lives' reflect their posts and the world is a better place because of it.  This is not about bashing anyone for surface-level Christianity, but rather a challenge for reflection.  I'm going to continue using  Facebook to advance the Gospel and I hope you do too.  

But shame on us if our Christianity is confined to the internet.

If you do too, then feed His sheep.

Striving for real discipleship,


Monday, March 12, 2012

An Exhausted Hallelujah

Oh Heavenly Father,

For months on end, I dreamt of the days when fatigue would no longer enslave me, when days full of dizziness and nausea would cease.  I longed to feel the Resilite of a wrestling mat underneath my feet again and stand in the trenches with my brothers as they prepared, day in and day out, to achieve their dreams.  I was locked in brutal struggle with one of the Enemy's most formidable agents, who wreaked more than just physical havoc.

Lord, Your temple was battered, but it is being rebuilt.  It is an experience unlike anything I have ever encountered.  It is excruciating and beautiful.  At times, it is discouraging, yet seeds of hope are beginning to sprout.  Every drop of sweat is an offering.  Each painful repetition is a "thank-you."  Every shot drilled is an act of gratitude and every sprint is an exhausted "hallelujah."

Your faithfulness is not forgotten.  Please accept these tokens of thankfulness.