Know Your Bible

VOL. 9                           August 29, 2010                           NO. 35

By Your FaceBook You Shall Be Known


            More and more folks are using Facebook to communicate to others. It’s a powerful useful tool that allows mass communication. Usually it’s shared by friends and friends of friends near and far. The downside is that it is often used to communicate what we don’t want to read, see, or know about others. Want to find out about a fellow brother or sister in Christ? Check out their Facebook page. One can learn all sorts of things. You can get some idea of who they are away from worship services. Regardless of how they dress, talk, and act at services, they may have a different life away from the individual you think you know. You may be surprised and shocked.


            Some post photos of immodest attire demonstrating their different standards of modesty away from worship services while others post pictures of others wearing immodest attire. Some seem to wear sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15-16). Their outside clothing (or lack of) speaks loudly of their weak profession of godliness and good works (1Timothy 2:8-10). Our fruits should profess holiness (Romans 6:21-23). We need not be hypocritical like those spoken of in Matthew 23:24-26.


            Some use suggestive language and even use the Lord’s name in vain. Ephesians 5:3-5 tells us not to let “coarse jestingbe named among Christians. We are not to take the Lord’s name in vain (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11). Christians must bridle their tongues (James 1:26).


            Others write of their interest in sexually suggestive movies, television programs, website links, music with vile lyrics, school dances, and other activities. Some are “fans” of other things (i.e. companies, celebrities, slogans, etc.) that are inconsistent with God’s Word. First Corinthians 15:33-34 tells us that evil companionship corrupts good habits. The Bible teaches us not only to turn from such behavior (Ephesians 5:3-5) but to flee (2 Timothy 2:21-23). Christians are not to participate in activities that promote lewdness and lust (Roman 13:13; I Peter 4:3). Christians are to think on things that are pure, lovely, virtuous, and of good report (Philippians 4:7-9). We are to walk in the spirit and not after the flesh (Galatians 5:16-26). Participation in sinful activities will choke us of our spirituality (Luke 8:13-15). We are to bear fruit for God not to death (Romans 7:4-6).


            It seems that some find Facebook a convenient place to come out of their shell or to expose things about themselves. The posting of interests and/or participation in sinful matters comes across as boasting. The Corinthians were reprimanded by the Apostle Paul for their approval of sin and an almost gloating of its existence (1 Corinthians 5:1-8). The contributing comments from other Christians who seem to approve of other’s worldly behavior is disturbing. Romans 1:18-32, tells us the importance of not showing approval to sin.


            Paul writes to the Philippians to be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11). In Colossians 1:9-11, Paul writes that they should be fully pleasing to God, being fruitful in every good work. There is great danger in turning back to the ways of the world (1 Peter 2:21-22). Could it be that we are in danger of having the axe laid to our roots and being cast in the fire due to our lack of good fruit (Luke 3:7-9)? Could it be that our branch is being taken away due to lack of fruit (John 15:1-2)?                  


            James 1:12-18 tells us that sin comes from the heart. Using Facebook improperly isn’t the real problem. It’s a sign of much deeper issue problem with the heart. We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We must put off the way of the world and put on Christ. God knows every sparrow that falls and the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:28-31). He knows our Facebook too. By our fruits (Facebook) we will be known (Matthew 7:15-20; 12:32-34).


---Carroll Duckworth

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"OMG" Doesn't Mean "O Majectic God"!


            I need to share a concern with my fellow Christian Facebookers. MySpacers, Pleonasters, Twitterers, Texters and other social media types. "OMG!" doesn't mean "O Majestic God" or O Magnificent God." It is not a means by which God is honored. It doesn't mean "Oh My Goodness." When people read that, they see and hear in their minds the phrase, "Oh My God."


            Please recall that under the Old Covenant one of God's ten commandments was "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7). God's name was to be held in honor or God would curse His people (Mal. 2:2).


            The New Covenant demonstrates the same principle of honor for God. 2 Tim. 1:17 says: "To the King of ages, immortal invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." Rev. 4:11 says: "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created." In Rev. 7:12  we read: "The angels, elders, and living creatures cried out, 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.'"


            I'm seeing a trend that concerns me among Christians online. More frequently I see them using texting short-hand for taking God's name in vain -- "OMG." I just want to ask you to think before you type that short-hand on your computer and send it out into the world of all types of people, believers and unbelievers alike. If you typed the long-hand phrase, "Oh My God," would it be appropriate? Would you think this use of God's name was intended to honor Him, to give Him glory and praise?


            Certainly there are times when saying "Oh My God" is appropriate. We have songs that use that phrase. As we pray, we may praise God by calling out to Him, "Oh My God." We are recognizing that He is our God; are we not? We are recognizing that He is our God; idols are not.


            However, when someone has said something surprising or said something that really resonates with us and we want to accentuate it simply by typing, "OMG! That's amazing," are we really calling on God and honoring Him when we make such a statement under such circumstances? I doubt, that we were even addressing Him in an honorable way, don't you? Or, on such occasion, were we not taking His name in vain just to put an exclamation point on the amazing thing we have just heard or read?


            God's name is not meant to register our surprise, or shock, or our amazement. God's name is meant to be held in honor, to bring glory to Him, to address Him in awe of His greatness and awesomeness.  


            Please think about this before you type your next status update. Let’s honor God in our speech and our online posts. He deserves it.


                                                                                                                                                                            ---Edwin Crozer

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