Witness reflection program: 11 questions for Christians to ask themselves

Outrage expressed through social mediums has become the virtue du jour. Many justify their belligerent expressions as righteous anger, but righteous anger is rooted in a love for what God loves, primarily His holiness and righteousness.

We are eight months from the U.S. presidential election, and some Christians are already torching their gospel witness.

The embers of contempt have smoldered for years but following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address March 7, virtual wildfires fueled by the combustible mix of politics, social media and religion are spreading. Sadly, many Christians are guilty of self-inflicted, reputational arson sparked by their social media postings, and their credibility as disciples of Christ is being reduced to ashes.

Outrage expressed through social mediums has become the virtue du jour. Many incorrectly justify their belligerent expressions as righteous anger, but righteous anger is rooted in a love for what God loves, primarily His holiness and righteousness.

Our bloviations are an unrighteous anger rooted in, as Eric Geiger (senior pastor of Mariners Church in Southern California) states, what frustrates us. One cannot justify comments as righteous anger when there is a comprehensive absence of the Fruits of the Spirit in what we say or write.

I wrote a column for the Baptist and Reflector four years ago titled, “Will Social Media Kill Your Christian Witness?” The commentary was inspired by the number of Christians, many of whom were pastors, I saw damaging their Christian witness with godless, crude, condescending and mean-spirited social media posts. For instance, the number of “Christians” I still see who enthusiastically post “Let’s Go Brandon” comments is shocking. Surely people know the meaning of “Let’s Go Brandon.” (If not, Google it.)

Seriously? Is that really the image of a disciple of Christ you want to project to a spiritually lost world?

At some point we individually need to ask if our publicly expressed outrage is spiritually productive to ourselves, the Body of Christ and to a spiritually lost world drawing its perception of Christians from what they read on social media and what they see on the news.

Here are 11 questions related to themes I see emerging on social media through the content of many confessing Christians. As Christians, we should consider each with prayerful introspection and with the hope that the Holy Spirit will correct and direct us to a more spiritually healthy place, and to a more effective Great Commission witness through social media and beyond.

1. Does the culture inform my view of the Bible or does the Bible inform my view of the culture?

2. Is Christianity for me becoming a political movement by which to save the United States or is it a movement of humility and service that seeks first His Kingdom through His gospel?

3. Is my passion, commitment and obsession with earthly leaders greater than my passion, commitment and obsession with the King of kings?

4. Am I more committed to being American or to being a committed citizen of God’s Kingdom?

5. Is my contempt for people who are members of an opposing political party or ideology greater than my commitment to God’s commandment to love my neighbor made in the image of God?

6. Am I more determined to belligerently oppose the perspectives of others on social media or more determined to pursue personal relationships that lead to constructive discourse guided by mutual respect?

7. Is my obsession with being anti-abortion greater than my commitment to being pro-life (unborn children, adoption, refugees, mental health, addiction, etc.)?

8. Am I more committed to theological legalism than I am the common ground of the gospel and the Great Commission?

9. Is the aroma I am emitting to the world repulsive to the name of Christ or does it attract people to the gospel of Christ?

10. Am I more concerned about transforming others through political ideas or seeing them transformed by the truth of the gospel?

11. Is my fear of you being “woke” greater than my love for you as a brother or sister in Christ?

We who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ desperately need to pursue a vision of Christ at the cost of everything else culturally that we have sanctified with some perverse form of “theology” to justify our actions and our idolatry.

As we move toward the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting and the November presidential election, may the Holy Spirit open our eyes to that which distracts us, convict us of our sin, grant us repentance, send us revival, and ignite in us a passion for loving and serving other people.

Rather than torch our witness, may the fires we ignite brightly burn from a passion to make the gospel of Christ known among all peoples.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Chris Turner and originally published by Baptist and Reflector.


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