Early in the AM, at least 6 days a week, I cycle 10 miles in an indoor exercise machine. I’m able to average 15 MPH with hills and at the same time catch up on news, email, Facebook and WordPress stuff.
This morning on Facebook I was greeted with one of those posts I have really grown to dislike. We’ve all received them. You know the ones that try and ‘guilt’ you into ‘sharing’ the post? I don’t much care for any of them, but some are more grievous to me than others. Those are the ones posted by Christians like the one I was this morning. It was a picture of a Jesus (a worthy of Hollywood handsome type) wearing a brown cloak with a hood. The text was “I bet you won’t share this because you’re embarrassed to have Jesus on your wall”.
At first I became angry, but then I tried to analyze my harsh feelings. A few things came to mind.
1. The picture wasn’t Jesus! It was nothing more than a picture of what someone wanted to pass as off as the Christ of Scripture. Enough said.
2. I would never try and ‘guilt’ people over their faith. Faith in serious business, a matter of life and death, you might say. At the same time, professing believers keeping their faith private for whatever reason is, I think very problematic.
3. I think the practice of ‘guilting’ people into sharing a picture of Jesus, Bible verse, etc. really cheapens the message of of the Gospel.
4. I wonder how many of those who use this tactic and think they are sharing Jesus actually share the gospel face to face instead of on Facebook. That we are constantly surrounded by the lost and dying comes to mind.
5. At the same time what I am NOT ashamed of is the Gospel. You know, the genuine Gospel that Christ died for our SIN!
Food for thought. . .
I agree totally Dan thanks for this
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You might find it interesting, Dan, but the bible is full of guilting people, “testing” people to do things. How often will you see God “testing” people on their faith? “Abraham, if you really believe, go kill your son”. Guilt is your conscience talking. Faith, without action is dead. As James states, you say that you have faith, but can faith alone save? If you have faith, you must show it, prove it…and share that post! Do not be ashamed to do so. And, as you state, there is a problem for those who keep their “faith (without works)” private. It’s not supposed to be private. If you believe, you will do, and not be angry about it. Hope your weekend is better than your morning was, Dan!
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Nor sure you got the point, Ed. Anyway, I’ve had a busy day, and a good one, so far.
I don’t think I missed your point at all. You got angry at someone for no apparent reason. For what? Somehow you think that sharing a picture of Jesus is a sin, that the action of doing that is shameful, ungodly, etc. Whoever began that very first “pass it on”, so to speak, was right. People are indeed ashamed to post it to their Facebook…they don’t want people to know that they are a Christian. How many so-called Christians tell people outside of their own Christian circles that they are a Christian? It’s like this: Tell people at work about Jesus. How many Christians has the guts to do that? How many Christians will tell co-workers about Jesus knowing full and well that it is against company policy to do so? Yes, Dan…it is a guilt issue for those who don’t have the guts to do so. So what’s the harm in guilting people into something? Apparently, those people have a guilty conscience for not sharing it, otherwise, they would. So, the question is…WHY are they feeling guilty in the first place? People can’t be “guilted” into something unless they are indeed guilty to begin with, and their conscience is already bothering them. Peter, at one time, was ashamed of Jesus, for he denied Jesus, that he didn’t even know him…three times. If you know Jesus, why not share and post a picture of what most everyone in the whole wide world thinks he looks like? I think you made an issue out of something where there isn’t one.
Ed My Friend,
I did not get mad at a person. I was upset about a Facebook trend. That you missed that saddens me. I think there was also a point in there contrasting Facebook ‘shares’ and face to face evangelism. I shared why the trend in question bothers me. You seemed to say that being upset means REALLY ‘guilty’. That might be true on occasion, but as a generalization, it’s absurd, in my opinion.
Ed, a couple of things – first, pictures of the Lord Jesus are idolatrous. We can’t know how the Lord looked and we are forbidden to make images of God. Why not send a Bible verse without a picture, one that presents the Gospel?
And second, people are not necessarily guilty when we feel guilt – guilt has to do with objective standards – that is, sinning against the Lord.
I feel a little guilty when I don’t pass on things that seem to be Christian, but that doesn’t make me guilty:
1 John 3:20
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
I would be guilty if I didn’t tell people about the Lord Jesus Christ and that they need to repent and believe in Him.
Hope this helps!
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Dan, please post this response to Maria…thanks…Ed
Oh it is not idolatrous. That’s nonsense. I remember a Jehovah’s witness friend of mine that used to say the same exact thing about people wearing crosses around their necks, too. In both cases, total nonsense.
Second, if people feel guilt, WHY? They are guilty if they feel guilt. It has nothing to do with someone else’s standards. Why do you feel guilty when you don’t pass on things concerning Jesus? Is it because it’s not the truth about Jesus? There is a reason, so yes, it does make you guilty. Guilty of what, tho…that’s the real question. Guilty because you are ashamed to do so? Yes, that’s it. You are ashamed to share, you are ashamed to “shove your religion down other people’s throats”, as your atheist friends might respond. Just keep your religion to yourself, as they believe in science. You don’t want to “rock the boat”, that they believe in what they believe and you believe in what you believe, and that way, you keep the peace. You see, there are tons of reasons why you are guilty, not just feel guilt without being guilty. No one feels guilt unless they are guilty. But you advocate that you can feel guilt without being guilty? I’ve never heard that one before.
WHO do you tell about Jesus? Are you selective, or do you tell unbelieving co-workers, knowing that you might get into trouble in doing so?
Think about the country of China, and the Christians there, underground. They put their lives in jeopardy every single day for sharing Jesus to other Chinese people that have never heard before. For Americans…it’s nothing more than a blip of a minor inconvenience, or embarrassment to talk about Jesus in a nation that laughs at our faces for doing so, calling us ignorant, and all sorts of childish names for our beliefs.
And we are getting angry at a freaking picture of Jesus on a Facebook, making an outlandish claim that it is idolatry? Again, that’s nonsense.
If a person is not ashamed of Jesus, they would share that post willingly, without a second thought, because like it or not, that is still preaching Jesus:
Philippians 1:15-18King James Version (KJV)
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
I think we have bigger fish to fry than to get angry at a Facebook Jesus pass it on picture.
Ed, I refuse to share any post in which I would be trying to ‘guilt’ people into passing it on. It dishonors the One who saved me from my SIN! That’s my issue. I’ll share scripture all day long, but not in a grossly and disrespectful manner. That’s my issue. Many who have come out of the false gospel of Roman Catholicism, with it’s reliance on and worship of all sorts of pictures and statues (although according to Rome a ‘lower’ form of worship), the matter of idolatry is a serious matter, as it should be with all Christians. I also don’t think sharing a ‘picture’ of Jesus is always sharing Jesus. To share Jesus is to proclaim the Gospel, NOT dare someone to share a picture.
My whole point is that there is no such thing as guilting anyone of anything at all. They own their own guilt regardless, and no one has control of their own guilt but the one who holds the guilt to begin with.
But, then again, that is what the Law of Moses is also all about. Paul states that he had not known lust had the law said, “Thou shalt not covet”.
For by the law is the “knowledge” of sin (Romans 3)
The law causes guilt, once you know what not to do.
But, since sharing a post is not against the law of Moses, there is no sin either way. So, if you feel guilt, WHY? It’s something more than sharing a post. It’s called “you are ashamed of Jesus”, and that is a sin.
You still don’t get it, Ed. Telling someone that if they don’t share your verse or whatever they are ashamed to is immature and cheapens the Gospel. Whether the person being ‘labeled’ ashamed for not taking the dare, or whatever you want to call it, is or feels ashamed is not the point.
I let your other comments sit.
What does Roman Catholicism have to do with sharing a post of a picture of Jesus? Protestants do not worship a picture. All the picture is, is a depiction of Jesus, whom we worship. Sometimes, Dan, I think you take this stuff a bit too far, walking on egg shells, tip toe thru the TULIP’s so to speak (Calvinism speak). That was a joke, Dan…laugh! LOL.
If you would have spent years old in a religious system that preaches a false gospel and is filled with the false worship of pictures and idols (statues and pictures), you might understand. If you believed that God did all the saving, and ‘free will’ decisions didn’t contribute to your salvation, you might understand. If your hatred of John Calvin, who really didn’t invent a flowery acronym, but was captured by the glory and sovereignty of God, you might understand.
Ed, what I’ve shared is from the Word of God. I hope and pray you will understand this some day.
There is no scripture, Maria, that states that a picture of God (Jesus) is idolatry. That would be like saying that the Apostle Thomas worshiping Jesus in the flesh 2000 years ago was idolatry. We know that Jesus is God, and we worship Jesus, not the picture, but it is a depiction of Jesus that we see and identify with. Idolatry deals with worshiping “OTHER” gods which is not God at all.
And, to add to that, no one that wears a cross on their necks worships the cross. It’s a symbol of a representation to remember the suffering that Jesus did to save us.
Seems to me that people are inventing sins left and right these days.
While I agree that ‘representations’ of the Savior are not in and of themselves idolatry, your comparison to Thomas represents seriously flawed logic, at the very least. I am convinced more than ever that you don’t really understand the total issue at hand.
In her book Gold Cord, missionary Amy Carmichael tells of Preena, a young Indian girl who became a Christian and lived in Miss Carmichael’s orphanage. Preena had never seen a picture of Jesus; instead, Miss Carmichael prayed for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to each of the girls, “for who but the Divine can show the Divine?” One day, Preena was sent a package from abroad. She opened it eagerly and pulled out a picture of Jesus. Preena innocently asked who it was, and when she was told that it was Jesus, she burst into tears. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Why are you crying?” Little Preena’s reply says it all: “I thought He was far more beautiful than that” (page 151).
No representation of Jesus could possibly do justice to the Savior of his people. And If need a cross around my neck or picture of Jesus as a ‘reminder’ I have serious spiritual problems. If His word is indeed hidden in my heart, and if I know what it means that God ‘saved’ me, mere ‘representations’ seem rather insignificant.
Ed, we won’t convince each other. I accept this.
Sometimes a rant can be more therapeutic than a bike ride. I was ranting to a Christian friend just the other day. The problem didn’t go away but the fact that someone listened (or maybe because I “released” to a brother) helped in some way.
I think all five of your points are good and I know point 5 is true because you’ve never held back here. Point 3 really sums it up for me. From that point, every other bad thing seems to follow.
Ranting on a topic like this is good use of blog space. Just my opinion.
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Insightful, Dan – good points!
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I feel you Dan!
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