That brings me to my post today. Internet and social media has opened up so many avenues for the believer to share his faith. I am thankful for this opportunity. I have embraced it and can say that over 60% of the visitors that have visited our church the last year first "checked us out" on the internet. The days of the Yellow Pages are gone, people are going to check you out by your webpage and Facebook account. Welcome to 2014.
Years ago I had a Facebook account, but I became inactive for a few reasons. One of which, I was out of control. I was addicted to seeing what everyone else was doing and then when I saw what many were doing, it made me upset and hurt that they would ignore God's Word and do such things. I then would start preparing sermons to "let them have it" for all the things I saw they were doing. For me and my immaturity, it was good that I stepped away.
A while back, embracing the world we live in, I sought to establish our church on Facebook and social media and I would need to have a personal account to administer a page for our church. So, I find myself back, but this time, I like to think I am a little more mature. I set some boundaries as to who I would have as "friends" and have blocked any who would put me "in the flesh." It's gone well thus far and I enjoy staying up with pastors, missionaries, family, and friends.
Still, there are those times when you read something or see something that makes your jaw drop or your blood pressure rise. I will think, "I can't believe they would say such a thing," "how could you post a picture like that?", "why are you mouthing off like that?", etc. I find myself in amazement how bold the carnal can be. I then get upset in my heart, hurt in my heart, revengeful thinking, but usually by walking away can get over it and go on.
My mind then at times goes back to that little child in me that says, "It isn't fair!" Why can the carnal all express their beliefs and carnality, but I have to be quiet because it may offend them. You can point fingers at me and call me spineless, but when your church member or another well known pastor puts pictures of themselves dressed carnally, you don't say anything either-at least to them, or I would read it. We will take strong stands against the people we never speak to or come in contact with, but those "in our circle", well...we just take it and deal with it.
But, I've been thinking lately about this. Consider these verses:
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience, the aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine, shewing incorruptness, gravity, sincerity, should speech, that cannot be condemned: that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you... For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;... these things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Titus 2
"This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" Titus 1:13
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2
"Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." 1 Timothy 5:20
"And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15There are many more verses, but you get the picture.
Now, I know we should do these things with long-suffering and treating others not as an enemy, so I am letting everyone know that I am not your enemy, and I love you, and will always love you not matter what; but, when you see the #notyourenemy, you will understand.
So, if you know better, but decide to be carnal and put a half naked picture of yourself for the world to look at, be ready for the #notyourenemy. When you say, "If I see that preacher I will punch him in the face," expect to get a reply #notyourenemy. When I put a Scripture verse that deals with your carnality, remember #notyourenemy. When you start mouthing off about doctrine, holiness, or a church doing right, don't be surprised to see the #notyourenemy. When you put up your worldly music and you know better, the #notyourenemy is coming.
I encourage other believers to get a spine with me, and without being hateful, in love, simply add a #notyourenemy. Soon, just the #notyourenemy will speak enough.
In our family devotions last night, we were reading 2 Thessalonians 3 and I was speaking to my children about these verses and I paused at vs. 14 and the "that he may be ashamed." I told my children that the reason people who claim to be saved are so bold in their sin many times, is that no one ever makes them feel ashamed. We should be doing this. We can still speak the truth in love. We can still be long-suffering and kind. We can live in a 21st century and still take a stand because we want to see others do right. We need others to tell us when we are wrong that they are #notyourenemy. We need to bring back some holiness by standing with the Word of God and may others know we love them, desire God's best for them, and we are #notyourenemy, but will stand with God!