Some of the more astute folks (who actually bother to read this blog) may have noticed that as of this morning (7/25/16) I changed my Facebook banner and image to read differently.
My banner now reads, “Preserving and Promoting the good name of my neighbor and myself.” My image now says, “Left blank on purpose.”
There are some compelling reasons for this change. Frankly I’ve been more and more struck by the increasingly antagonistic attitudes on Facebook during this election cycle, and began to be convicted when a friend of mine (Arnie Grieves) posted a note about the same, encouraging people to say more about their own lives and less about the coming election.
But conviction, like drawing is a process. So Arnie’s words were the beginning the process. The next step of conviction was a few weeks ago when I encouraged my Sunday School class that we really shouldn’t be calling our political opponents “idiots”, “stupid”, or “morons”. It doesn’t apply, nor address any of the issues–it’s simply name-calling.
By Friday of last week I had more or less decided that what was needed was to blank out my FB page in a manner such as this, but as providence would have it, our Pastor (Larry Jones) just happened to be teaching on this very point during Sunday Worship Service. (And as I don’t do a lot of internet stuff on the weekends, the “final nail” in this conviction came from the pulpit.)
Specifically he reminded us that the Ninth Commandment, more than simply teaching us to “not lie”, should actually compel us to to look for the good in others–in spite of any differences we may hold. At the same time we’ll be preserving the good name of ourselves and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
So, I would like to apologize for my previous confrontational language during this or any other election cycle toward those I differ with. I will now endeavor to turn the matter over to God. Bear with me as this is (like all things) going to be a process.
Don’t get me wrong. I am still a Christian, a strict-construction Constitutional supporter, and social conservative. I am still registered as a Republican because I believe that political party (in spite of various faults) best represents my views; those that will protect the needs of family and friends, as well as work to stabilize the nation we grew up in.
In an effort to preserve the good name of those with similar beliefs I will still engage in appropriate correction of those with whom I differ. (That is I’ll try to convince people with loving reproof–not bludgeon them with sarcastic words).
Right now I’m trying to, “light a single candle rather than cursing the darkness.”
This is not apathy. It’s a hopeful step in the right direction.
Not trying to lay judgment on any of you out there that feel compelled to continue to politic on FaceBook or in other social media. (Though I do hope you will extend me the same courtesy and avoid casting epithets upon me and my family, contemporaries, etc.)
But I’m done with that. I’ve got another calling.
Oh, and this is not surrender to the world. It’s surrender to the commands of Christ. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”