Social Media is exhausting! Most of the time I scroll on by. Every now and then I stop and interject. It’s probably pointless, but I’ll never know. The other day I wasn’t feeling well, so curled up in my recliner with a blanket and that 2nd cup of coffee, I lingered on Facebook a little longer than usual. (Honestly, I should have gotten up and cleaned the toilets. It probably would have been more edifying.) A controversial topic was posted and what followed was rather disheartening. Seriously, do we really think that name-calling and bashing one another is appropriate as professing Christians? Does the bickering back and forth help the cause of Christ? Or, does standing for truth on Facebook make a difference. I’m not being condescending. I seriously want to know. We are called as Christians to speak truth. And even when done in love it sometimes inflames others, hence the “you’re arrogant” remarks. Other times, Christians are truly being arrogant.
Let’s talk about that for a moment.
Have you ever met one of those Christians? A better question…Have you ever been one?
Toward the end of His ministry, Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem and wanted to pass through the village of the Samaritans (Luke 9:52-56). However, the Samaritans would not receive Christ. Burned with anger, The Sons of Thunder asked, “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did?” In other words, just destroy them! How dare they spurn the Living Son of God! How dare they reject Him! They don’t deserve mercy. James and John should have checked their motive behind their “zeal” for God. Knowing their hearts, Jesus rebuked them. “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Too many times I’ve seen professing Christians with that same arrogant, prideful, puffed-up “zeal”. If I were to be honest, I’d have to admit that I’ve had this same attitude at times.
It hurts the church.
It harms the cause of Christ.
But, this isn’t the only type of arrogant, prideful, puffed-up attitude that Christian’s sometimes carry. One particular church struggled with it. The Corinthian church was a mess. They were rather worldly and known in the community for their divisions. Another known issue that had to be dealt with was the sexual immortality of one member. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.” (1Co 5:1-2)
Church, you are puffed-up! You’re prideful. You’re arrogant.
I didn’t use to understand that. How could a church of professing Christians be arrogant about such a grievous sin? What’s there to be prideful about? Were they seriously puffed-up about this situation?
However, I’m starting to understand. The worldlier the churches are becoming along with faster access to information via the internet, it’s becoming clear. It looks like this.
Who are we to speak out against their sin?
Everyone sins. At least we’re not hypocritical like some Christians!
And, in their pride and arrogance they proclaim to be tolerant and loving. The truth is that they are so puffed-up that they don’t even mourn over the sin in their brother’s life. The harder truth is that they don’t love him enough to speak hard truth to him. If they truly cared for his soul they would remind him of what God’s word says about adulterers. (And yes, Christians are commanded to make judgments, but that’s another post.)
Christians can be puffed-up with a holy, self-righteous indignation, or they can be puffed-up with a non-judgmental, too-tolerant attitude. Regardless of what end you stand on, extremes are usually dangerous.
By the way, do you think that social media has hindered or enhanced our ability to communicate with one another? Here’s my take.
Leave a comment. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
One thought on “Puffed-Up Christians”
So true in too many cases. I was reflecting recently on people who are proud to declare they are proud to be Christians.
On one hand, we are called not to be ashamed of our faith and our Lord. But “not being ashamed” is NOT the same thing as “acting all proud.” From start to finish, our Lord advocated humility – from the situation he chose to be born in to the situation he chose to die in, and every situation in between. Touching lepers, embracing prostitutes, welcoming children, serving his own disciples. If we want to slap a “proud to be Christian” bumper sticker on our car, we might want to re-assess what being Christ-like looks like!