Monday, May 25, 2020

Why I do my best not to post political things on Facebook

Have you noticed over the past few years -- pretty much since the 2016 election, that we as a people and we as a church -- have become dichotomized.  It is more and more distressing when nearly every single issue becomes an either/or proposition and the opposites seem to be even more polarized.   Every issue becomes political and somehow within that there seems to be some guilt cast from one side or the other, particularly when it comes to the church.   The current seems to be masks vs. no masks and have church vs. don't have church.

I have a large variety of friends who are on opposite spectrums of every issue.  They are still my friends and I know they would NOT be friends with each other.  If I post anything even close to political I can see some of them jumping in and arguing with each other and that is not why I go to Facebook -- to start feuds.

In fact I read this great quote today but was afraid to share it on Facebook because I have friends on both sides who would somehow make the post about a dichotomizing issue.  For me it was about being brave during COVID-19 to serve others (practicing great care and social distancing) through CarePortal -- but I'm sure people would have found a way to make this about their own particular view -- or think I was trying to make a statement about one side or the other when I am clearly able to see both sides.   Check out the quote though:

God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if you were not living a life of faith; but if you are, you will joyfully waive your right and leave God to choose for you. This is the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.
With all my thoughts over the last four years about this "recent" polarization I almost laughed out loud when I was listening to Romans 14 yesterday.   Paul talks about meat offered to idols and observing the Sabbath.  He is able to talk about them both as though both sides have really good arguments.  But these here are his words in conclusion:

So why do you condemn another believer ? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  For the Scriptures say, 

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
    and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

So what's the takeaway from all of this?  The takeaway is that there has been polarization and dichotomization and criticism with us since soon after Jesus died.  His followers started to separate on issues right away.   So this is nothing new or recent.  The difference is that back then they had to do it face to face and have their arguments without hiding behind a screen and posting on Facebook.

But the conclusion was the same for them as it is for us.   Read above.  No condemnation.  No looking down on others who have a different opinion than you.  Be accountable to God.  Don't condemn each other.   Live in a way that helps others not to stumble.

It's not the polarization that is the issue.  It's the way we treat each other.   As a church we need to do better.

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