As a 35 year old man, I have the distinction of being apart of the social media generation. My generation has sparked the revolution to generate more information-true or false-in split second, real time precision than any other generation. In 2017, we can truly say that the nature of being connected has reached epic proportions. Through my interactions in social media, I have come to one major conclusion. It is difficult to take many people seriously.
Why in the world would you say something like that?!?
I am compelled to say that many people have been given the gift of a public platform. With this gift, they have taken it and turn it into a stage to parade their bias, hatred, and self-loathing. A medium that has demonstrated the great potential to bring people together for the sake of causes that address the core, moral values that most individuals share has become the marketplace for people to expose their ignorance.
Through fake news, misinformed people, declining social graces, I find it almost impossible for people to engage in real dialogue about solutions to the constant problems of this society. What I have read on Facebook over the past week has made me sick to my stomach.
I have watched as the transition of power has played out in our nation. Barack H. Obama has become the former President of our republic. Donald J. Trump has assumed the office of President of the United States. In the midst of this change, people have demonstrated three major issues that have never gone away.
- Hypocrisy is alive and well
- Politics have become a god of this country
- People can not see the massive agenda of God
Many people have taken the liberty to forget many experiences that have occurred throughout history in our nation. After the election, many people called for the unwavering support of an individual who has been documented to reject, criticize, and demean people of all corners of life. Many of the same people call for this unilateral wave of support did not offer the same commitment to our previous president. This example is what would be called textbook hypocrisy.
However, I submit to you that I am not surprised by the response. I am not surprised by the manner that people act out their hypocrisy. Social media has become the breeding ground for fostering that level of ignorance. I am also not surprised by the way that people cannot see the hypocrisy.
Think about it. Social media allows me to express my world view, see other world views, reject world views, and maintain my stance without having to engage in real conversations about the possibility that I might be incomplete in my thinking. Some people would say that is your right in real life any way. It is different when you have to look someone in the eye and tell them that his or her world view is wrong. It is a different story when the evidence confronts you, and you must produce “alternative facts”.
A Political God?
Many people who claim a relationship with God have demonstrated also how much they really hate God. It might be a strong claim, but go with me for a moment. When you love somebody, you do everything yo can to know who they are; what they are all about; how they function in the world; and what matters most to them. The strange thing that I have discovered is how many people have decided that God is most concerned about the political process of broken, sinful country.
Let’s get this stuff out of the way. One, the United States is not a Christian country. It is a nation that espouses the freedom for anyone to practice their faith tradition based on the premise of religious freedom. Two, quoting Biblical Scriptures does not make something acceptable to God. It just proves your ability to cognitively retain information. Three, politics will not save us. God is not small enough to limit to personal ideological platforms.
The audacity of many people to suggest that a person who has insulted individuals who are created in the Imago Dei is the representative of Jesus Christ is as despicable as me suggesting that Michael Jordan was worse than Christian Lattener. Think people. Jesus represented not only the way to salvation for all who would believe on Him, but He was the embodiment of God’s love toward the spiritually, economically, socially, and emotionally disenfranchised.
Jesus challenged the spirit of politics in the social and spiritual realm. Consider how he cleared the temple of money changers and critiqued the theological stance of the lackluster priests. Jesus looked at those who needed to experience God in the only way they know how, but they were being exiled from His presence because they did not meet economic or social requirements set by the religious right.
Jesus’ anger was justified because the purpose of the temple was being reduced to human benefit alone. God was not being honored. Engagement with God was not being pushed. What a sad state of affairs that people were being intentionally blocked from the presence of God because of personal preferences. Go figure.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that decided to adopt the same principles of the past and justify them as holy unto God when they are totally in opposition of His Will. By performing this action, we tell God that He is not necessary in the process of human affairs. We tell God that His ways are subject strictly to our whims. This thinking will not allow us to reach the promise that in store for all who love and truly follow the principles of the Word.
The Mission Is Larger Thank Our Perspective
I have watched as people have narrowed the mission of God to very narrow perspective. When people bring any form of injustice to the forefront, other individuals attempt to silence the deep concern of that group voicing their experience. I find it amazing that the same people who are concern about abortion do not care about the quality of lives for individuals who yet live. I am dumbfounded by people who believe that all is well in the world, but consider those who are the least of these as whining and complaining.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus explicitly said this in Matthew 25:31-41:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
God is going to separate the sheep from the goats based on their ability to address the issues that God cares about most. Hmmmm….Check this out. The scripture does not give us the room to be sheep with goat tendencies. My relationship (key being relationship) with God dictates how I should conduct myself in the world. It governs how I embrace people from all corners of life. My encounter with God should soften my heart to see the challenges in the environment and provide relief and answers that reflect the love, grace, and mercy of God.
In order for that objective to be achieved, I must embody the totality of the mission of the Creator of all. As the created, I have no right to tell God how to do His job. I have no right to alter the mandates that Christ has brought forth. My only responsibility is to carry out the job that He has granted.
Ultimately, we must give an account for the work that we have performed to the purpose of God’s Kingdom. If we decide that the mission is based on our whims alone, we may have to answer for our inability to grow in relationship with God and learn the importance of compassion and love. We will be subject to the penalty of sin of denying our true allegiance to God because we believed our agenda was greater. My prayer is that people will take a step back and consider for a moment the implications for pumping out so much negativity into the atmosphere.
Recognize that people can only bear so much trouble without an answer for hope. People do not need to be abused any longer with an incomplete approach to life. It is time for compassion, love, and revolutionary change. Do not subject yourself to the trends of the day-division, strife, generational bigotry, etc. Be compelled by the genuine power of your relationship with God to be a catalyst of change. I even challenge you to engage people, including me, to begin the conversation about sustainable change, growth, and empowerment.
Power to all…..Strengthening all to struggle no more!