Facebook Pharisees

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What I am about to say is sure to offend someone; however, it needs to be said. There is a big difference between using Facebook to evangelize and using Facebook to show off your religiosity.

Sometimes, when I view my Facebook news feed, I am reminded of Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount concerning the hypocrites who prayed loudly on the street or made a big show of giving alms to the poor just to receive the praise of men (cf. Matthew 6).

In like manner, Facebook Pharisees desire to have their posts liked and their statuses or pictures shared. They love to have positive feedback expressing how godly they are as well as thanks for being such a positive role model as a Christian.

Moreover, Facebook Pharisees openly criticize others regarding their perceived lack of holiness. They take pot shots at other Christians, questioning them of the righteousness of their motives when they post something as innocent as vacation photos.

Facebook Pharisees do not send private messages to a fellow Christian needing to be admonished for something posted. Nor do they give said Christians the benefit of the doubt that a post may have resulted accidentally.

Facebook Pharisees use Facebook to promote their agenda, whatever it may be. They use it to draw circles of fellowship within the brotherhood. Ultimately, Facebook Pharisees do more harm to the cause of Christ than good.

God, forgive me when I have failed to let my light shine on Facebook, but help me not to succumb to the temptation of using that platform to express self-righteousness.

So Very Spoiled

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I am spoiled beyond belief. Truly, God has been so very good to me, despite my personal unworthiness of His beneficence. Often, things happen to remind of this. Usually, for my own growth and edification, such teachable moments come around for me when I most need them.

I typically chat via Yahoo Messenger to people throughout the day while I am working on various things on the computer. These conversations almost exclusively take place with people from other countries. Most notably, I talk with several young women from Romania.

I learned, while in the throes of chemotherapy, not to ask these young women about their employment, because, more often than not, it led to heartache. Rather, I’ve just always endeavored to be a good Christian example to them. I likewise try to be the most decent man that I can be, since they encounter so few good men in their own lives. I think it is for these reasons, that most of these young women consider me to be a good friend, even though we have never actually met.

On 15 May, 2012, my friend, Luminita, was looking at new apartments as we were chatting. She kept sending me the links so that I could look at the apartment that she was looking at as well. The going rate for a decent apartment in Romania seems to be $200 euros a month. Consequently, that is about the monthly salary of a Romanian woman not working in the adult industry.

(Satan’s control in these former Eastern Bloc countries is so great that he convinces these women that they cannot survive unless they take a job selling themselves in cyberspace. He soothes their conscience by telling them that it is not actual prostitution, only “virtual whoredom.” Their religion, Orthodoxy, on the other hand, becomes a strange satanic ally, offering them cheap grace and absolution from willful sin.)

As Luminita was showing me these apartments, I inevitably found one thing about each of them, which I did not like. “it’s nice,” I’d say, “except for the kitchen. It looks so small.” Finally, Luminita found an apartment that she absolutely adored. I liked it, too, wondering why it only rented for $200 euros. Even so, I noticed that the tub in the bathroom was very small. I told Luminita this, also. Her response quickly humbled me. “You’re spoiled,” she said. “There is nothing wrong with the tub. You can still use it to get clean.”

Luminita was absolutely right. Despite all of my complaints, despite feeling as if I’ve been cheated by the world, I am so very spoiled. I have absolutely no idea of what it is like to live in the rest of the world. Certainly, my faith has never been tested to the point that an immoral job would seem to me to be my only means of obtaining material salvation.

How about you? Have you taken a moment, recently, to evaluate what you truly have? If you are like me, then you are truly blessed beyond belief. Let us, then, stop complaining and give thanks to God for His lovingkindness and mercy.


 

When upon Life’s Billows (Count Your Blessings)

Edwin O Excell

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly
And you will keep singing as the days go by

When you look at others with their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high

So, amid the conflict whether great or small
Do not be disheartened, God is over all
Count your many blessings, angels will attend
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end

Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done