SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
How Christmas Destroys our Testimony
Have you ever thought about the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts you follow — and who might be behind them? Well, for GotQuestions.org, that person is me! [Although not for Blogos; Ed.] Along with other projects for the ministry, I write, design, schedule and curate most of our posts, and enjoy the opportunity to communicate directly with you all.
Another part of working social media is watching the comments we get, especially on Facebook, and trying to maintain the elusive balance between open discussion and appropriate conduct. The internet knows no bounds, so of course our pages receive inappropriate or downright harassing comments. These, though, I can explain with similar logic to understanding a school-age bully. The comments that I find inexplicable are the ones from Christians. And Christmas is when the worst of the comment wars are to be seen.
The way Christians talk about Christmas on social media makes me dread the whole season.
Christmas has become a point of contention that supersedes such theological pillars as faith-based salvation or the resurrection in apparent importance — at least on social media. The firestorms are so common they've become normative to those in the Got Questions offices. And by firestorms, I don't mean the people who calmly and respectfully declare that Christmas is pagan, Christmas is being attacked, Santa is Satan, or that Christmas trees worship Saturnalia. Regardless of whether I agree with these statements, it does not make me uncomfortable that they are being said.
What concerns me is that instead of sharing views out of care for fellow Christians, many people post — for all the world to see — that if you disagree with them you're not a true Christian, you're denying Jesus, or that you are allowing yourself to be Satan's plaything. Other accusations include not reading the Bible, not caring about your children's faith, "tainting" the church, and being wolves in sheep's clothing.
"But they're right!" or, "We should spread truth!" Well, you need to look at the "truth" being spread. A lot of new Christians and seekers use our network of sites.* When they see accusations and condemnations being thrown around — and about Christmas of all things — commenters are teaching these souls what Christians are "supposed" to be. There are atheists, agnostics, pagans, and "nones" who follow our social media pages out of curiosity or to get a sense of the pulse of American, conservative Christianity. They see commenting Christians treating each other with disdain. How must they think we would treat them if they ventured into a church?
Tearing each other apart online isn't just mean. It is a horrible testimony to the world. And when the argument is about Christmas, it comes at one of the few times a year non-Christians consider stepping foot inside a church.
Discuss. Think critically. Enjoy or avoid Christmas as you see fit. But stop making your personal convictions into a stumbling block.
* In case you're not familiar, Got Question Ministries runs www.GotQuestions.org, www.CompellingTruth.org, www.412Teens.org, www.GQKidz.org, www.SeekFind.org, and of course, Blogos.
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Controversial-Issues | Personal-Relationships | Witnessing-Evangelism
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