When you step out in ministry, haters will find you. That’s how satan works.
Satan has limited resources. I don’t know that he’s overly concerned with complacent Christians. But when you begin to step out and take risks for the Lord, satan will show up.
One of my personal haters took exception to a Charles Spurgeon quote that our ministry shared on social media, and she let me know about it. Her problem was that she likes Charles Spurgeon, but she doesn’t like us. She accused us of misrepresenting ourselves by using his quote.
She’s partially right. I really like a lot of what Charles Spurgeon said and did, but there are parts of his theology I can take or leave.
She wasn’t objecting to our use of the specific quote, but rather that, in her view, we may not use a Charles Spurgeon quote unless we totally represent his values. Someone else might see a Charles Spurgeon quote on our page, assume that we totally 100% endorse him, and then fall into our trap.
Of course, this woman was being absurd and looking for a reason to justify her animosity. But I see this attitude a lot in smaller ways.
As Christians, we have a love/hate relationship with cancel culture. We hate “leftist cancel culture” and will point out the absurdity of politically correct culture. But nearly every day I see a call to cancel some person or another within the Christian community.
It sounds like this:
“Don’t listen to songs from that musical group, one of their pastors said something that sounded a little universalist and did a concert in a Catholic church.” (gasp)
“Don’t listen to this pastor/podcast/prophet, they believe X and are a false teacher.”
“Don’t like that church, one of their leaders committed X sin.”
And so on, and so forth…
Aside from the absurdity, hypocrisy, and theological implications of this Christian cancel culture, from a practical sense, these are untenable positions in the social media culture we live in, if we want to have impact.
We need more Jesus in social media. Period.
When you share content, you are endorsing the content that you’ve shared. You are responsible to fully read and/or listen to whatever you’re specifically sharing, you are personally validating the value of that content. But you are not fully endorsing the originator of the content—the church, the speaker, the musician, the movement.
If we’re only allowed to use materials from people that we 100% endorse, any of us will have a very short list.
The value of social media is that content can spread virally and saturate conversations.
Satan loves Christian cancel culture, because it will quickly and easily stifle any viral potential of good content. How many times is good content left unshared, not because we even have a grievance about the content creator, but simply because we just don’t know them, don’t have time to research, and don’t want to take the risk of being labeled?
When you share things, you’re endorsing the specific quote, the specific talk, the specific song. That’s it.
And, before you object, of course there really are false teachers in the world. If you know you have a fundamental concern with a given content creator, don’t share their stuff.
Adolf Hitler once said, “Words build bridges into unexplored regions.” That’s a lovely quote, but I wouldn’t possibly share it.
But on this side of absurdity, and without a specific grievance, let’s extend the benefit of the doubt. Let’s not carry the burden to fully endorse every speaker we share. Such a burden isn’t fair to the sharer, and it’s not fair to the content creator.
This works both ways. When we see other people sharing things, let’s consider the content that they’ve shared, and not stand in judgment, as if they’ve provided a wholesale endorsement of the content creator. We do not need to comment, “Yes, but did you know…”
And I’m only speaking from a practical perspective. There’s a lot more argument to be made about humility and unity on this subject. Our job as Christians is not to be the most right and to stand in judgment of all who are less right than us. That mindset is not represented anywhere in the gospel. But that’s an argument for another day.
To see real saturation on social media, we need the freedom to share things. You need to be able to share a quote or a song with your audience, without spending a half day evaluating every grievance ever lodged against the quoted speaker or content creator.
Certainly, there is a limit to this idea, but these exceptions are obvious.
Let’s extend the benefit of the doubt, and egregiously share content that brings the light, love, and values of the gospel into the world.
I help Christians work together and use the media for the glory of God.
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