I am Christian. Specifically Catholic.
And, yes, Catholics are Christians.
No, seriously, we are.
Being a good Christian I go to church on Sunday, read the Bible every day, compare my actions and thoughts as well as other’s opinions to what the Bible teaches, listen to Christian themed music, try to watch wholesome TV, movies, and YouTube, and subscribe to or follow Christian quote, meme, and worship accounts on Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
What else is there to do?
Seriously, though, there’s so much more I could do. For example, instead of pretending like I lead a Christian life, I could actually, you know, go out and be Christian.
But that’s hard.
Why can’t I just like and share all those social media posts. That’s spreading the word, right?
And as for proclaiming the name of Jesus, I type “Amen” on Facebook posts.
That’s good, right?
I mean, think about this: if you’re scrolling through Facebook and see one of those posts – “If you love Jesus, type amen below.” – and you can’t take 1 minute out of your busy day of wasting time on Facebook to type “amen”, then do you think you’ll take a few minutes to explain to someone why you’re a Christian? You can’t give God 1 minute, but you expect him to give you eternity in paradise?
But I know what you’re thinking…
(Actually I don’t.)
“Typing ‘amen’ on a Facebook post because they say ‘if you love Jesus type amen’ isn’t preaching or proclaiming. It’s an ad tactic meant to coerce you into making the decision they want you to make by providing you with the choice between their decision and a totally and obviously deplorable decision which a decent human being would never make.”
(Do I get brownie points if you were actually thinking that?)
Now that I acted like a 10-year-old to make you think you have the intellectual upper hand, let me do some splain’in.
First off, I hate those posts. They are a marketing tactic meant to trick you. You can type “amen” or you can pass by the post, which means you worship evil incarnate.
It’s just like normal ads that claim you’re a bad mother if you don’t use a certain diaper, or you’re a horrible human being if you don’t give 15 cents a day to starving children, or you’re a worthless sack of crap and a waste of human genetic material because you won’t adopt that three-legged puppy.
(Darn you Sarah McLaughlin! Making me feel the feels. How rude!)
Some of these posts say things like “Jesus loves everyone. Type amen if you agree”.
That seems good. Jesus does love everyone (despite what some fanatical weirdos might claim). So I guess I’ll type Amen… because I agree… but if I don’t type amen does that mean I don’t agree? They don’t specify.
There are some posts that posit a conundrum: “Jesus is Lord. Like if you love Jesus. Ignore if you love the devil.”
That one is a little more damning, perhaps. It seems as if you must like that picture, because if you don’t, that means you love the devil. But does it?
I’m going to speak only to Christians since 1.) these posts are Christian in nature, and 2.) I don’t feel like debating multiple religions or lack thereof right now. But you may feel free to extrapolate my thoughts to your religion or beliefs and the posts you see on social media.
Does ignoring these types of posts mean you love the devil, or want Satan to win, or hate God, or whatever the alternative is? For that matter, though, does liking (or sharing, or commenting, or tagging, etc.) mean that you love God, love Jesus, want peace, believe in the resurrection, that you are saved, or even that you’re a good person? Can interacting with a Facebook post prove anything about the state of your soul?
Let’s break it down (wikka wikka screetch!).
Here’s the problem. You have two choices: be a good person or be a bad person. If you type “amen” or like or share you are a good person. If you ignore you’re a bad person. You could call out the post as the marketing trick it is, and that’d be good. However, by not promoting the post you are failing to promote God. You are, in a sense, denying God. That is also bad. So, not falling for the trick is good. But falling for the trick results in something good. But falling for the trick is bad. But not reacting is also bad. So if you react, that’s good, except it’s bad that you gave in, but good you acknowledged God, but bad you did it just so you don’t look stupid, but good you did it because you know you should, but bad you did it to please people instead of God, but good if you genuinely saw it as an opportunity to spread the word of God, but bad if you rely on others to remind you to talk about God.
Basically, the reason you’re reacting to the post will tell you whether or not you did it for the right reason.
If you see the post as an opportunity to spread the word of God and decide to put a positive spin on the appearance of God on a social media platform, then you’re probably reacting for the right reason. After all, almost everything can be spun in either a positive or negative manner.
However, I do think these people should stop. Seriously, if you posted something to the effect of “like if you’re a good person and ignore if you’re a crap sack” what do you expect people to do. They don’t want to take the chance that someone will find out they didn’t like the picture. Make that “someone” God Himself, and you can’t escape him. He just saw you scroll past the post. Go back and like it right now or you don’t love Him!
As far as I’m concerned, these people are taking advantage of the correctly working conscience of everyday people and tricking them into liking and sharing their post. This then serves to spread awareness of their own page or account. They get more followers, and in turn get more views, shares, likes, and even more followers. It’s just self promotion.
Sure, they’re spreading word (or pictures) of God. So that’s good. But you’re not supposed to test the faith of other people. You’re not supposed to trick people.
I can look past this, until you post one of these:
“God will answer all your prayers. Type Amen if you believe.”
This one looks fine at first. Even I believe that God will answer my prayers. But this comes with an asterisk. (That’s this thing * ) God will answer any prayer, as long as His words live in you and your life is lived for Him. If what you are praying for goes against God’s word (like, say, praying that someone crashes their flashy, expensive new car because they’ve been a jerk about having all this money to throw around and you can barely afford Ramen noodles… jerk… where was I?)
A prayer like that is a jealous prayer. That’s not a God-like thing to pray for. So… God probably won’t answer that prayer with anything more than an opportunity to be more thankful and grateful for the things you already have. That’s kind of how that works.
But then, someone doesn’t type “amen.” Are they bad? Do they not believe? Are they a fan of Star Wars?
Ya, see, we can’t tell and it’s none of our business. Plus, as one of the posts I actually will share points out, God is not a genie. Quit forwarding silly “share and God will answer all your prayers” posts. He’s not your fairy godmother. That’s not how this works.
P.S. – sometimes I just write until I feel like I’m done. Sometimes I write until I feel like I should have been done a while ago and wrap it up. Sometimes I write with a clear beginning and end, creating something I’m proud of. And sometimes my brain jumps topics so quickly I end up lost and have to stop. This feels like one of those times.