“If you are the praying type, please pray…”
Scrolling through my newsfeed this morning, this post stood out to me for a few reasons.
It assumes that not everyone reading their post is a Christian. Most of the christian statuses I see don’t allow for any explanation to non-christian friends. Is that because the writers just don’t have any? Or is it because they are targeting their christian friends? In which case, is it really worth encouraging existing christians, if it alienates everyone else?
It also prompted me to think about my life outside social media. I am moving to a new country soon. I have a chance to choose the people that I surround myself with. In America I have tended to integrate into christian circles. at least 80% of the people I interact with regularly call themselves followers of Jesus. I call that a failure. I have failed to fulfill the Great Commission in my circle of influence.
In American Christendom, we are so easily swallowed into the Christian subculture. Even those who are converted while in circumstances most removed from Christian influence, are soon enveloped into this “Christian world”. Before we know it, all of our friends are Christian, all of our activities have a Christian flavour to them, and we find we can no longer relate to those that aren’t Christian, either because being around them makes our old ways look tempting, or because they are suddenly too different from us. (And I know everyone is different, but I feel that this is a big enough occurrence that to make these generalizations is not dangerous.)
As we open up our circles of influence, my husband and I will be changing our tone on social media. We will no longer be assuming that the majority of people reading our posts are christian. We will be interacting with social media just as we will be interacting with people in the world around us. We know what we believe. And it informs our choices and our thoughts. But it will not be a “this is who we are so accept or reject us” attitude. We will be working hard to be all things to all people (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). We encourage you to join us in this new journey!
I’m not going to make any prescriptive “you-shoulds,” or “you-shouldn’ts” , but I do want to pose some challenging questions:
1. Why do we post requests for prayer, bible verses, and theological prose on our facebook statuses without a second thought?
Is it because we know that 90% of our facebook friends already know Jesus? If so, what does that say about our progress toward Jesus’ command to make disciples of every nation? If everyone we already know, knows Jesus, then how are we reaching anyone that hasn’t heard? The majority of this world is NOT Christian. So if our corner of the world is filled with Christians, maybe its time we stepped into another corner…
2. How do we come across to people that don’t subscribe to our faith when we post things in Christianese? And I don’t mean this from a self-conscious perspective. But rather, if someone that doesn’t agree with my beliefs were to read that, does it sound as though I’m assuming everyone thinks like me? How pretentious is that? And further, doesn’t that just highlight the differences between us? I mean, I want my non-christian friends to feel just as a part of my community as my Christian friends do. Both in my life and on facebook.
3. Does your social media presence reflect your life? Is everything you see and participate in “Christian”? Are you interacting with people that don’t share your beliefs regularly? Or are you submerged in the Christian bubble?
Let us know your thoughts! And remember always, we are praying for you. Even if we don’t post it on facebook all the time! 😉