Today’s guest blogger, Brian Fraaza, is the Worship and Administrative Pastor at The River.
I believe that Facebook makes the world a worse place. Unequivocally. Sometimes when I believe something, I’m aware that I might be wrong. This is not one of those times. I’m right. Absolutely, positively right. And yet, I can’t make myself look away. As much as I hate the constant posturing and posing and comparing that it inspires, I keep coming back for the memes. Or the funny animal videos. Or to find out what Jimmy Fallon did last night. Or because I want to impress people with pictures of my incredibly good looking children (seriously…have you seen them!?). I’ve been sucked into the vortex and I can’t get out. But I think I may finally have the motivation that I need thanks to the impending political season.
Facebook has taken over the territory once occupied by bumper stickers and buttons. Quick, one-shot, combative statements of political stance meant to belittle and diminish those who feel differently and certain to avoid any chance of healthy discourse. It is the worst possible type of proselytization. It’s cowardly and divisive and if you are a follower of Jesus, it’s exactly the opposite of how you should be interacting with the world around you. In fact…wait for it…many of you are doing a substantial disservice to Christ and his followers with your petty, cynical ranting.
Jesus was apolitical. He was never dragged into meaningless discussions about who was right and who was wrong on the political spectrum. Jesus understood that it wasn’t the point and that, in many ways, the rhetoric and polarization that is inherent in virtually all political discussion is meaningless. He acknowledged the political authorities of the day (“pay to Ceasar…” Matt. 22:21) and quickly moved beyond it to the business of expanding the Kingdom on earth. I am amazed at how many Christians believe that it is part of their calling to criticize and even demonize the politics and politicians that they don’t happen to agree with. I’m not saying you’re not entitled to your opinion. By all means. Believe in something. Study it. Become informed. Participate in stimulating, healthy discourse. Campaign. Vote. Run for office. But don’t make it the point. Because it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t. And there are a lot of people who endeavor to pursue Christ who have too many of their eggs in this basket. Not only are you wasting your time and a considerable amount of passion and energy, but you are also diminishing your voice in a world that desperately needs to hear what you have to say. The screaming doesn’t help.
So stop the Facebook politics. Limit the bumper stickers to the honor roll announcements and those adorable silhouettes of your whole family (including pets). And make sure you don’t lose sight of your mission.