Put Down the Kool-Aid

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. – Galatians 5:14-15

 I am about to take a break from social media. A brief visit to Facebook used to be a pleasurable time of looking at what friends have been up to, seeing pictures of their cute kids and life milestones, and sending birthday wishes.

But lately what used to be friendly interaction has been sinking into the muck of angry nit-picking, unfounded claims, conspiracy theories, convoluted logic, and rabbit trails leading to unrelated issues, and explosions of unchecked rage. (What’d I say?)

I don’t know about you, but I am getting sick to death of all the attacks, accusations, lies, and threats.

(Wait … that sounds like a list of stuff the devil does …Hmmm … )

What’s really disturbing is the extent to which those identifying as Christians are engaging in this behavior. I’m not sure if they feel they are wielding the Sword of the Spirit in some sort of virtual Crusade, or if they have temporarily forgotten their mission – or taken leave of their senses altogether.

Christians – or as some are calling themselves today, “Christ-followers” have been given a task to do, known as the Great Commission. Jesus’ last words to His disciples before ascending into heaven were:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Matthew 28: 19-20

What does it mean to “make disciples”?

I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean recruiting more people to the political party I deem the most “biblical.” It doesn’t mean winning a battle of words convincing as many people as possible to wear a face mask – or take off the face mask. It doesn’t mean calling out people for inadvertently using words or phrases I consider racist. It isn’t public shaming or virtue signaling.

I’ve never seen effective evangelism achieved with a sword. I have yet to see someone’s mind changed on social media, especially through someone else’s tirade. I’ve never seen someone respond to a well-worded diatribe by crying, “What must I do to be saved?!” I’ve only seen the venom get deadlier as people dig their heels in and the rage escalates.

As I scroll through the communication that fills endless cyberspace, I see most of the Church is NOT going about the business of the Great Commission – the pure mission, not to be watered down or polluted by the politics, he-said-she-said, who’s lying, etc.

How did we get so far off course?

Of course, we have our principles and convictions, and as people with the rare privilege of choosing our own leaders, we have a duty to prayerfully vote on candidates and issues. Just know that any candidate is going to be less than perfect, and that we humans have a way of magnifying the flaws of those we don’t like while getting enraged when others magnify the faults of our candidate. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: if this nation doesn’t return to God, and soon, it won’t matter which sinner is in the White House, we are finished. Someone said years ago that if God didn’t judge America He should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. That statement seems truer now than ever. So yes, if a truth needs to be spoken, an injustice pointed out, an honorable act recognized, by all means speak up. But do so prayerfully, and resist the urge to pontificate or get sucked into the combat zone. (And remember to be humble; you could be wrong!)

Know that there are groups and subgroups that want to dictate the opinions of their followers, but don’t drink the Kool-Aid! Our convictions should flow from our relationship with the only One whose opinion matters.

Know that anyone who takes a stand for Christ will be hated by some. I for one just want to make sure when I’m despised it isn’t for being a despicable person, saying and doing despicable things. 

If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  I Peter 4:15-16

I’ve noticed a lot of messages these days can be found on yard signs, bumper stickers, T-shirts (a.k.a. “bumper stickers for people”), and even masks. They can be nasty, corny, snarky, or stupid. I have a T-shirt that says, simply, “America needs Jesus.” Period.

God help us.

Prayer: Loving Father, we do not deserve Your favor, and yet You have been so gracious to us, forgiving our sins and adopting us into Your family. We have not always born the family resemblance that would identify us to the world as children of God. Forgive us for the times we have allowed ourselves to be sucked into the world’s strife and hostility and have let our emotions rule us, instead of Your Spirit. Let us not wait for our emotions to confirm the Truth. We know that Your Truth stands on its own and needs no confirmation from anyone. Let us not wait for our emotions motivate us to do right; let us do right, whether we feel like it or not. Help us to live with You as our Sovereign, not our emotions. In the name of Your precious Son Jesus, amen.

49 thoughts on “Put Down the Kool-Aid

  1. Absolutely! I concur with everything you said, and shout a hearty Amen! I’ve said for a while that what’s the good of converting someone to your political view if they are still unsaved? “Yea, I’ve turned a liberal into a conservative — perhaps someone else will tell them how to have eternal life.”

    Christians are to be preaching a saving Gospel to a lost and dying world.

    Great post!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks, David. Good point. As always, we need to keep our priorities straight. I figure if I can lead someone to the God of Truth, HE can lead them into other things. And if those other things include politics contrary to mine, maybe I’M the one who needs correction. 🙄

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very sound advice Annie and I can really appreciate the desire to take leave of social media for a while. I see exactly what you see. Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to bail out the bottom of my canoe with a teaspoon and then I have to remind myself that it’s Jesus that keeps me and us afloat, not the canoe. Problem being is that I have a tendency to keep looking at the water in and around the canoe. As of late, the word “focus” has taken on a much more urgent meaning and I am coming to increasingly realize how much I desperately need God’s help to keep focused on Him throughout the day. One day at a time, leaning heavily on Jesus. God’s grace, peace, joy and blessings on you and yours. – Bruce

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Yes! We as Christians have strayed so far from the Great Commission. I know it must surely grieve our Lord’s heart. And again I am reminded why exiting social media was to the benefit of my spiritual health! So well said, Annie! Thank you and blessings!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. You’re welcome! Extra time? Hmm…trying to recall what that is exactly… 😁 No, in all seriousness, I have an awful lot to keep me busy and joints that are hollering at me to rest more all the while. So, I have learned well that I must reserve my limited energies for when and where they are most needed. I do strive to devote a good portion of that time to Bible study, prayer, and, when inspiration strikes, writing and art. So much, though, honestly depends on what else pulls at me that day-be it the kids, the husband, the dogs, the house, the need to bake a bunch of cookies for youth group…But, yes, indeed, enjoyment is there! And the peace that comes from choosing to plug into the important things. 😊

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m amazed that people keep something so hateful that they don’t enjoy… I haven’t had Facebook in many years (once it stopped being fun) and now friends and family contact me via call or text. And I love how much more personal those calls and texts are! Ironically, we are closer now than we were via Facebook.

    I will always recommend people to get rid of it, and I have not once heard a good excuse for keeping it. Facebook (and other social media) brings the worst out of people.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Social media? Hmm… I used to have FB back in the day when it first came out. It seemed to be a fun way to stay connected with people you didn’t see on a daily basis. Then, it became a great tool to connect/reconnect with people you have not talked to for ages. Other than during the initial phase, I was never one to spend too much time here. I would just check on things and leave. When my FB was “hacked” and I was asked to jump through hoops, I decided to let it go. It means that I will not talk to most ever again, but those that matter are still in touch.

    Twitter was the platform that I really got engaged in. Like on my blog, I just tried to converse with people. Yes, if I hear something that doesn’t sit well with me, I voice that. I always welcome a discussion. How will I know I’m wrong if I won’t speak up and they won’t respond? Unfortunately, I found out that no matter how hard I tried, people weren’t changing their minds. I was just getting more and more frustrated. So, I deleted that account and don’t involve myself in such heated debates anymore.

    I always try to stay cool, calm, and collected but people will take and use ANYTHING against you, as you seem to have experienced yourself.

    I don’t shy away from an argument (a coherent one) because otherwise, aren’t we allowing the devil to win? It seems to me that the other side is always louder and pushier. Aren’t we just “giving up” by taking the high road? So I try but also step away when I know it’s not going to be conducive.

    There is a new saying in town. Instead of “do onto others as you would want done onto you,” they say: “do onto others what they wish done onto them.” I’m not sure what I think about that. Do you care to take a crack at it?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That saying may be based on the idea of “love languages.” Some people express and interpret love through physical touch (making this time of social distancing pretty rough …) For some it’s words of affirmation, or gifts, or quality time together, or acts of service. I think that new saying is good for expressing affection for loved ones. But if someone is going full speed in the wrong direction, the most loving thing to do is correct and warn them, even if that’s not what they want to hear at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it was actually used in a context of raise and background differences. That we shouldn’t treat them only “equally” as our culture would suggest, but as theirs would. I’m not sure if I understand that black magic fully.

        But I do agree with what you said.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. This is so spot on and timely…what a mess this world is, I continue to pray Jesus’ return would come soon but in the meantime we must be a healthy example of Him, we must work to encourage and not tear down!!! What a great post, so important!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have done both on Facebook, share the gospel and many Bible verses, AND engage in political commentary. 😬 lately I’ve tried to just point out specific facts but I doubt it’s making a difference . I should stick to the gospel ! Are we Facebook friends? My name is Paula Adams. I don’t think I’m accepting friend requests but if you message me I can send you one . My profile pic is a statute of an angel with a Vote frame . 😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think we’ve connected on Facebook. I am under “Ann Hardy Aschauer” for my personal page. (Without the middle name, it’s my author page, which doesn’t get much traffic these days.) Yes, send me a friend request. I may not get to it soon, depending on whether the Lord leads me to keep dropping seeds or take a break from the chaos. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So much truth in your words and a much needed reminder of who we are and our true mission and purpose on this earth. The enemy is launching a massive attack therefore we should extinguish all his flaming arrows with prayer and our faith in God Almighty. Thank you for being a sound mind amidst such chaos. Praying for our country!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m kind of slow with reading blog this week; just read this. I think with the quarantine and COVID people on social media is getting a bit more nasty. Just prayed for you, I feel something similar. But last night I saw the South Dakota governor gave a lecture about her decision and she said something profound about how in all this we as Christians should speak truth don’t let people rob our joy in Christ; we have a duty to rejoice and we don’t need to be only express anger in this time but also joy. I think hearing that really spoke to me for some reason.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I am very blessed to be Friends on FB with those who do mostly keep to family photos, encouragement, and humor. If the muck starts to appear more than every now and then, I’ll no doubt follow your example, Annie!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s