I am shocked and horrified at what I’m seeing in the news and social media. I don’t have a Facebook right now (deactivated about a year ago) and I don’t have twitter or that other big social media site I can’t remember the name. I recently signed up for instagram but I still don’t really know how to use it. However, sometimes I cheat and sign into my hubbies Facebook or look at the account I managed for work. I see people boldly saying things they have never said before and probably never would to a crowd of actual people. I see name calling, rude and crude meme posting, I see bandwagon jumping on the latest media sensationalizing garbage of a report. I see people yelling, people arguing, people angry, people saying things that are so hurtful and unkind my head is spinning. Aren’t we Christians? Doesn’t relationship, love, and belonging to the body of Christ come first? I understand some scary things are happening and happening very quickly…but like Eric said a few weeks ago we aren’t from here. Our first allegiance isn’t to this country or to this world, it’s to the kingdom of heaven. It’s to Christ and his first commandment to love each other….not just the refugee but the actual people in this country too no matter their party choice. This is hard for some of you. Some if you are so outraged, so worked up by the media and your own prejudices, so inspired by all the other angry and outraged people that you have lost sight of what God’s plan is in all of this. Because he does have a plan. I don’t know exactly what it is and sometimes I’m afraid of things I have no power over but I can’t use that as an excuse to rage against the people who don’t think the same way I do. Sometimes sick things need to get worse before they get better. Our immigration policies have failed to keep dangerous people out of our country. How many attacks have we had in the last few years? So the executive order that I read word for word is trying to put a stop to that. It’s stopping a sick policy and trying to make a new one. Obviously, amputations aren’t a first choice but sometimes we need to cut the deadness out to make something new. This is true in our relationship with Christ, right? Am I sad for all the people it’s hurting and making life harder for? Yes, I am. But isn’t Christ bigger than those peoples wounds? This is a question I feel like God keeps asking me about my kids. My kids, like the refugee, who are vulnerable, who need protection, who need shelter, who need to be fed and clothed, who need me to do it. So when I fail to protect them, when I fail to make sure they have what they need, when I fail to keep them safe. When another child molests my child more or less right under my nose, I am devastated. I am outraged. I can’t reconcile. So I rage at my Father and He says don’t you trust me with your child’s wounds? Aren’t I the one who redeems all things for my glory? Isn’t this my story, not the Danielle version you have expectations for in your head? So when the refugee is heartbreakingly turn away for 90 days and perhaps made to provide other credentials, yes I am sad for what pain this is causing in their life but I hear God asking those same questions. Do we trust him with other peoples woundings? Do we trust that he is in control of each individual person’s life and can make whoever needs to be in America, actually get in? Do we trust that this is all His plan ultimately, and ultimately, nothing happens that he isn’t able to redeem for his glory and each person’s benefit?
Seriously, we can’t even have these kinds of conversations on social media….even now I’m imagining all the horrible, twisted, nasty replies I would get for posting something like this. Every vulnerability criticized, every flaw or potential flaw in my perspective or opinion exploited, every single implication picked apart and trounced on. Social media has become our own version of the two minutes of hate ritual. If you aren’t familiar, it’s George Orwell’s 1984 daily ritual where people collectively scream at their screens in rage towards whatever the media is telling them to hate that day. Oh my gosh, that is exactly what we are doing. I’m furious at the media. The constant twisting of facts to support an agenda, the taking of anything and everything possible that could be taken out of context to exploit and hurt people they don’t like, the actuality of false information being purported, or inconclusive information being made into something nasty against their enemies. This isn’t news, this is biased BS. Who is taking the time to seek out primary sources to get the ACTUAL information before making a judgement? Right, we are relying on the news reporters to do that, but with all the hate and fear they are attempting to generated we can’t trust them anymore. We need to be shrewd. We need to stop reading the news until their reporting is balanced again. Until they care about getting to the heart of the truth again. Or we need to seek out new sources who care about those ends.
We need to unplug from social media. If not forever, at least for a time so we can relearn to speak kindly and respectfully to each other about our differences and rage against our Father in prayer about the things we don’t understand or want to change or can’t believe are happening. Social media is a hate ritual for some of us and Satan is loving it. Also, social media is an addiction. It’s a distraction from pursing God and other people in love and fellowship. It used to be a cute place to share pictures and thoughts and connect with those we love but it’s become polluted and we need to put it aside before it becomes the thing that so easily entangles us. The fire that consumes us.
I implore you think of Christ first. If you must participate in social media don’t fuel the hate fire or let others fuel the outrage inside of you. It isn’t worth it. If you think your Christian values justify your hate talk, your hate of someone else, or your evil/anrgy thoughts you are wrong and need go to God with that.