Flashback: “Some Posting Motivation”

Flashback

Yes, Facebook can be redemptive! But only if our motivation is heaven-bent.

Please enjoy yet some more poeticality from AMBrewster as he redeems the social post in “Some Posting Motivation.”

Some Posting Motivation

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What Your Friend’s Snarky Facebook Post Says About You

Snarky Facebook

Pretend you’re scrolling down your newsfeed.

Don’t actually do it! I’ll lose you for the next three hours.

Just pretend.

So, you’re scrolling along and you see “that friend” has posted yet another snarky comment. You read the post (despite your better judgement), and you’re as annoyed as you knew you would be. They’re so arrogant/annoying/asinine/audacious!

Then comes the well-known internal debate as to whether or not you should take the time to respond. Oh, how you wish Facebook had a “Dislike” button.

However, what happens next is not the subject of this article.

Let’s rewind.

Continue reading “What Your Friend’s Snarky Facebook Post Says About You”

5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook Debates

5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook DebatesI recently posted something controversial on Facebook.

This is not surprising to my friends.

One such friend tentatively joined oh-you-got-in-an-argument-online-you-must-have-really-opened-thethe discussion with a remark about how he hates getting into “Facebook Debates.”

Thankfully, the exchange was peaceful and professional. No one’s mind was changed (as is frequently the case), but information was shared well.

The Debate

boromir-argument-internetYou’ve seen it, and unless you just like arguing, you’ve probably been annoyed, disgusted, or aggravated by one or more social-media-soap-box-back-and-forths. And you’ve likely asked yourself with the tone of a backstabbed Cesar,”Why?!”

I’m glad you asked.

Here are 5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook Debates and how to do it to the glory of God.

1. God Created Us to Communicate

When God created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1), He could have designed the human body without ears – demanding that all communication happen via sign. He could have even given them the power to read minds. But He didn’t. He chose verbal and written communication to be the medium by which His Truth was conveyed to man.

This dynamic observation requires a lifetime of study, but for now let it be sufficient to understand that communication is pregnant with spiritual purpose.

2. God Commands Us to Communicate

After equipping us with the content, ability, and desire to communicate Truth, the Godhead then went one step further by commanding us to engage everyone with said Truth.

We are constrained by the very writ of God to sharpen each other, pray with each other, encourage, remind, edify, rebuke, admonish, preach, teach, counsel, and even answer each other. Paul described it as an Gospel indebtedness to all men (I Corinthians 9:16-19). Guess what! We have the same indebtedness (Matthew 28:19-20).

J.Gresham Machen rightly noted that “A Christianity that avoids argument is not the Christianity of the New Testament.” because God wants us interacting with Truth.

3. The Gospel Is More than Justification

Okay, so you’re not going to argue that we owe all men the Good News of salvation. But if we merely introduce people to God, but refuse to help them grow in their relationship with Him, we have sorely misunderstood the gospel.

God’s grace doesn’t only save us, it transforms us in our everything. Salvation is the glorious beginning, but Sanctification is daily refining with which God purifies us as we fulfill our responsibility to share the Gospel with the world.

The necessary application is, then, that God’s Truth touches every area of life. Therefore, if we owe the Gospel to all men, we must apply God’s Truth to every facet of life – whereby helping them be sanctified by the Gospel.

4. Facebook Offers a Wonderful Venue for Corporate Sanctification

The world wide web is a clamoring Areopagus of ideas. Every book is bellowing its philosophies, every merchant is advertising his wares, and every desire is pleading her delights.

It’s a glut of lies yet a famine of Truth.

But where’s the salt?

Where’s the light?

Where’s that city set upon a hill (Matthew 5:14), those reapers for harvest (John 4:35), this Christian with a burning desire to use his God-given vocal folds to spread the glorious news of life more abundant?

Facebook is merely a patch of land in the online world. If we look on a map for Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth, you’ll find Facebook nestled in our own backyards – on our bedroom nightstands.

5. We Must Engage in Redemptive Relationships in Every Sphere

If we’re created to communicate, commanded by God to apply His Word to eating, drinking, and living (I Corinthians 10:31), and if Facebook is the perfect soil in which to plant that Truth, why don’t we use Facebook to cultivate redemptive relationships?

Probably because we’re not cultivating those relationships anywhere else either.

Sadly, American Christianity has decidedly given up on intentional, personal one-anothering. Our relationships are freckle-level. Our interactions are polite, pithy, professional . . . yet pathetic.

Don’t engage in Facebook debates merely to abuse, hurt, argue, or even win.

Duh.

Involve yourself for these 2 reasons:

  1. The one who posted has asked a question or posed an idea that they want you to know about. They’ve invited you to share your worldview the moment they pressed “post.”
  2. You have divine, relevant Truth to bring to bear on the subject.

And when you find yourself in the middle of a digital debate, keep these 2 goals ever before your eyes:

  1. God wants to be worshipped in your communication. Glorify Him.
  2. You cannot glorify God with your words unless they are Truth-filled and love-filled.

Please evermind that any time Truth comes to bear on a worldly disposition, it will either awaken life or loathing. You must choose carefully how and when to interact. We mustn’t cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6), but we must always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks (I Peter 3:15). We mustn’t answer a fool according to his folly, but we must also be ready to answer a fool according to his folly (Proverbs 26:4-5).

Knowing when and how to speak requires wisdom and discretion, but we must do it. Don’t lament the fact you have a sovereign chance to preach the glorious news of grace!

Embrace it.


If you’d like to learn more about using Facebook redemptively, please read “Can Facebook be Redemptive?

Weekend Update from AMBrewster: 5/23/14

Weekend Update

Friends,

Memorial Day weekend is busy for just about everyone.

But for the past six years, this weekend has been extra busy for me in a very different way.

This is the last year I will be Director at Schaumburg Christian Day Camp, and like every year before, I spend most of this weekend and all of next week scrambling to put the finishing details on the very robust and dynamic summer program we run.

With that said, I imagine that my posts here may be a little trim this coming week.

But once Day Camp is running like the summer-time-fun machine that it is, I will be back in full production here. In the meantime, please feel free to like our Evermind Ministries Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for daily encouragement, accountability, and introspection.

I would also love to hear from you about what God is doing in your life because of Taking Back the Bible or answer any questions you may have. You can email me at AMBrewster@EvermindMinistries.com.

Thank you for your loyal following, reading, and sharing as we attempt to fulfill Christ’s lofty mission to make disciples for the King!

Always,

AMBrewster

Memorial Day

Parents, Kids, and Tech-tation

Tech-tation

I am sooooooooo thankful we didn’t have smartphones when I was in high school!!!!!!!

I don’t want to imagine the tangible trail of turgid travesties I would have traipsed across the internet!

Thankfully, that wasn’t a temptation I had to avoid (I had enough trouble avoiding plenty of others).

Not the First

Listen, I know I’m not the first to sound a siren call about young people and the threat technology represents. But I hope you’ll be patient with me for just a few moments as I share some insights I’ve gleaned from counseling teenagers addicted to sexual sin.

  1. Lust doesn’t need technology to flourish. Job tells us that he had to make a promise with his eyes not to lust after girls. Job is a book written about a family that predates Abraham! Lust exists in the heart of man, and sexual lust in particular needs only two things – a mind and an object. Please do not think that your children are safe from the temptation we’re discussing here simply because they don’t have a device.
  2. Technology is to sexual sin what airplanes are to world travel. They don’t make it possible, they make it easier. While driving down the road traveling about 45 miles an hour, I’ve often marveled at the amazing speeds we travel compared to the transportation of the past. Horse and buggy have nothing on today’s worst cars. As we’ve already seen, lust doesn’t need technology, but technology sure makes it easier to access it. When before a young man would have to sneak a copy of a dirty magazine, today he can anonymously view whatever forms of vile filth he wants from the comforts of his own bedroom.
  3. Too many parents are ignorant to what temptation technology affords. Did you know that the most grotesque scenes of human sexuality were available to anyone with an internet connection? Did you know your child can send and receive texts you will never know about? Did you know someone could send your child a nude picture of themselves, and you’d never be billed for it?
  4. Too many parents trust their children with technology. We don’t trust toddlers around ovens, scissors, and pools because of the inherent risk each poses. In addition, the proportionate immaturity of the child to the enhanced danger of the object increases our prohibitions. Yet we hand pre-pubescent, hormone-ridden, spiritually-immature young people a device capable of beaming wicked images into their brains, and we somehow justify this decision because our culture condemns us for not trusting our kids!
  5. When sin is finally found out (generally after much disaster has been wrought), parents cut the wrong cords. I’ve seen plenty of parents remove the child’s devices and cut all digital communication with the outside world. But the cord of lust is too often left untouched.

These are the problems I encounter nearly every time I counsel a young person engaged in sexual sins. But let’s not stop with the observations.

I think it’s fair to say I disdain criticism that provides no viable solutions just as much as you do. So please humor me a moment more while I address the very simple ways we as parents can help our children battle tech-tation.

Some Spiritual Solutions

  1. Understand lust. Smell its presence on your children’s breath. See its shadow on their bedroom floor. Watch how they interact with their peers. Do they touch each other? Where are their eyes resting? Understand the biblical root of lust, the consequences of lust, and the cure for lust. Did you know that sexual sins scar a person in different ways than others sins? Did you realize that last statement was Bible-truth (Proverbs 6)?
  2. Come to grips with the fact that when you hand your child a mobile device, you’re not merely making it easier to contact them. Understand the inherent dangers of the device. You would baby-proof a home; teenage-proof the phone.
  3. Research! There are a plethora of up-to-date articles like this one that are written specifically for parents to know how to protect their children, and what to protect them from.
  4. Stop trusting babies around the oven! Nowhere in Scripture is it mandated that a parent trust their child simply because they’re a teenager. Trust is a facet of love, but trust is never unwise in its trusting. You teach your children to use a knife before letting them wield their own. You teach them to drive before handing them the keys. Teach them about the device, teach them about lust. Let them mature, and the bless them with trust equal to their worthiness.
  5. Children need accountability. They need to be taught to live a Christ-honoring life in the middle of this corrupt world. Joseph didn’t need to be taken out of Egypt, he needed to worship God in Egypt. The device isn’t the real issue; the heart is. It may be necessary to cut the cordless device, but don’t ignore the deeper, more significant issue. Get counseling. Root out the lust and help the child desire what is right and good.

And just for making it this far, here’re two bonus points!

Bonus Points

    1. Friend, follow, like, digg, and pin your kids. No, that wasn’t an admonishment to psycho-babble, espionage, digging graves, or voodoo dolls. You need to hang out where your kids hang out. Know who they know. Read what they read. Listen to what they listen to. How else do you hope to lead them through the mine field that is this life? Every single time I’ve encountered a young person feeding the flesh on social media, I’ve found a young person whose parents don’t know what Snap Chat or Instagram is. “I don’t use Facebook.” is not a legitimate excuse that somehow gets you off the hook! Is your child on Facebook? Then that’s reason enough for you to have an account . . . or at least to share a login with your child.

I know a set of parents who never would have known a boy in their daughter’s school was soliciting sexual favors from her had all of her incoming texts not also gone to their phones. Is that a scary proposition for you? Good.

  1. “Friend” your child in real-life too. Once again, no psycho-babble is intended here. What I mean is make these steps in their sanctification a you-and-them-together experience, not a you-against-them confrontation. Love them. Disciple them. Be on their side for God’s glory.

What’s at stake in this conversation is the spiritual life and Christ-honoring relationships of your children. Do not naively allow them to undergo the painful temptation technology brings to bear on their lust? Help them know what lust is and how to defeat it in their life with the truth of God’s Word. And then equip them with the spiritual weapons necessary to fight tech-tation.

For Your Consideration

"he txtd me"

He txtd me
and said that I was cut3!
Then he asked me for a pic;
I clicked a selfy.
Y not?

He txtd me
and said that I was "hott"
and told me how he feels
when he c's me at skool.
I told him he was weird.

He txtd me
and asked to see me in
my new swimsuit.
The bois at the pool will see.
Y not?

He txtd me
and said the picture "trnd me on."
He said my body was gr8.
He asked for another.
w.e.

He txtd me
and cmplimentd me a lot
and I felt btfl.
He said he wanted to kiss me.
Y not?

He txtd me
and wanted to see me nude.
o_o
lol
K

He txtd me
and said he thought it might be fun . . . .
I felt kinda weird.
But it might be fun.
Should I?

Daddy.
What happened?
How did I get here?
I never wanted this. I wish
he never txtd me.

-AMBrewster-

he txtd me

“Some Posting Motivation”

Some Posting Motivation

“Some Posting Motivation”

People type completely inane
And frivolous and biting and plain
Observations.
You would think that with the most
Amazing ways to communicate and post,
Some might favor reconciliation
To driving bitter wedges.
Others might lift us from the dredges
With timely edification.
Consider the benefit of quoting
A passage designed for removing
Trepidation!
If we simply decided in all things to glorify,
Perhaps our posts might start to amplify
Sanctification
In the hearts and minds of men and women
Whom God has given the redemptive mission
Of Christ-honoring inspiration.
-AMBrewster-

Written for “Can Facebook be Redemptive?”

 

Can Facebook be Redemptive?

facebook

My analytics tell me that if you’re reading this blog, you likely linked to it from Facebook. Thank you, by the way, for clicking!

Therefore, I’m going to begin with the a priori assumption that you have a Facebook account (or some other social media account). Therefore I can assume that you generally find value in the medium (minus the stupid videos “everyone else” posts). I’ve found that the degree to which people find value in Facebook is directly related to the quality of everyone else’s posts.

Still, you have one, and you probably don’t think it’s a tool of Satan. But have you considered whether or not it can (or should) be used for intentionally redemptive purposes?

What is Facebook?

Simply put, Facebook is a medium of communication.

Before social media, communication was limited to conversations, printed materials, letter writing, and smoke signals. But as technology has blossomed, we’ve created a hybrid form of communication that synthesizes real time talk with publishing.

What is Communication?

Merriam-Webster defines communication as,

“The act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.”

Thank you, Webster.

But for those of us interested in reclaiming biblical truth for everyday life, we must ask the next necessary question . . .

What is God’s Purpose for Communication?

All of the verses in the Bible that deal with our communication center around one glorious motive . . . to glorify God. But what brings Him glory in communication? I believe the answer is simpler than we realize.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

The greatest goal for any of our communication is to communicate God’s truth for the purpose of redemption. The unbeliever is “bought back” from sin and death in justification; the believer is “made better” through the power of the Holy Spirit in sanctification.

All of our communication needs to bring God glory, and though that doesn’t mean we always have to be quoting verses, it does mean we can’t glorify Him if we never acknowledge His truth in our communication. And I would argue that the more we reprove, rebuke, exhort, admonish, remind, encourage, bless, and edify using God’s truth . . . the more He will be glorified.

So, what about Facebook?

How Can my Facebook be Redemptive?

This linked article is a sad one indeed. A teacher chose to leave her substitute teaching job of 35 years because she refused to “unfriend” her students on Facebook. Being an educator, I’ve studied this trend a lot. As a counselor, I’m intimately aware of the pit-falls associated with “more-than-friending” students on Facebook. But what I want to point out in this article is what one of her former students said:

One of Thebarge’s former students told WMUR that if she didn’t have ‘Ms. T’ in her life, and as a friend on Facebook, she wouldn’t have graduated high school last year. ‘Facebook is a great way to communicate with people when you’re going through stuff at home.'”

I don’t know if Mrs. Thebarge is a Christian, but I know that she used Facebook in an encouraging way.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again with more than just my students. Facebook is digital meeting place where people interact in many of the same ways they would at the mall. And when Christians talk, redemption can happen. What’s interesting about social media is that some people actually feel freer to say and ask things online they wouldn’t normally say to your face. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it’s an insightful observation.

Our Facebook pages will become redemptive only when our daily communication becomes redemptive. We need to start there. When God’s glory becomes our chief goal, it will bleed over into every facet of our lives from physical to digital.

In the meantime, as we strive to become more like God in all we say and do, here’re some helpful tips for making Face-time, growth-time. We’ll be using the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 and Paul David Tripp’s 10 communication questions from War of Words for guidance.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

  1. Your Facebook should lead to biblical problem solving. Stop complaining and offer solutions. When someone else complains, offer them solutions.
  2. Your posts should have a “stand together” instead of a “me against him/her/them” posture. The world is to know that we’re followers of Christ because of our love. During the high priestly prayer, Jesus prays that His followers would be united as Jesus and the Father were one! It’s completely acceptable to stand against sin, but too often we drive a wedge where God has commanded us to be linked.
  3. Your online demeanor should encourage others to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings. Are you harsh and critical? Who would want to talk about their problems to someone like that?
  4. Your updates should show that you are approachable and teachable instead of defensive and self-protective. When your friend private messaged you and admonished you about that inappropriate movie quote or meme, how did you respond? Do you think they’re likely to keep you accountable in the future based off of the response you gave them?
  5. Your online relationships should all be as equally healthy: parents/children, husband/wife, extended family, siblings, employer/employee, friend/friend, body of Christ. Do you avoid posting things because you’re “friends” with your boss? Are your posts to peers nice, but your interactions with people younger than you are condescending?
  6. Your comments should encourage faith and personal spiritual growth. You don’t have to post a verse a day, but I cannot recount how many times a friend has shared a verse on Facebook, and God used it to meet a specific need in my life. God’s Word is the only Facebook post that carries the divine promise to never return void. Talk about a viral post!
  7. Your private messages should develop relationships, instead of only communicating with someone to cause or solve problems. So one of your students posted something inappropriate. Is this the first time you’re going to connect with them online? That just makes you come off like the Facebook police. But, if you build a relationship of love and understanding, they will accept your admonishment that much better.
  8. Your Facebook updates should be humble and honest. Stop exaggerating. Stop bragging. Period.
  9. Your posts should reflect a willingness to serve others, instead of demanding that everyone serve you. And all of a sudden the complaints about the weather, the government, and the news suddenly disappear!
  10. Your comments should show a recognition of the gospel in salvation and sanctification. Do you communicate biblical truth? You can use Facebook to disciple, encourage, evangelize, and rebuke just as easily as a phone call or a chat over hot chocolate.

Conclusion

You better believe Facebook (Twitter/Instagram/etc.) can be redemptive! But whether or not you “[Facebook] to the glory of God” is up to you.

Imagine a social network where just logging-in built up your relationship with God.

Start by sharing this post with your friends. Just click the Facebook icon below. The more of us who choose to use social media as a tool for good, the faster we’ll make an impact.

#EvermindRedemptivePosts

And while you’re browsing, check out these other Facebook-related articles by AMBrewster:

5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook Debates

What Your Friend’s Snarky Facebook Post Says About You


 

For Your Consideration:

“Some Posting Motivation”

People type completely inane
And frivolous and biting and plain
Observations.
You would think that with the most
Amazing ways to communicate and post,
Some might favor reconciliation
To driving bitter wedges.
Others might lift us from the dredges
With timely edification.
Consider the benefit of quoting
A passage designed for removing
Trepidation!
If we simply decided in all things to glorify,
Perhaps our posts might start to amplify
Sanctification
In the hearts and minds of men and women
Whom God has given the redemptive mission
Of Christ-honoring inspiration.
-AMBrewster-