Wearing the “I’m Into JESUS, But I’m Not Legalistic” Badge

image_computer_virus

COMPUTER Specialist (Didier Stevens) placed a humorous Ad campaign on Google+.  

The Ad read,  “Is your PC (Personal Computer) virus-free? Get it infected here!”

A VIRUS is NOT your friend for they hurt your computers, and you don’t want to be “infected” by them.

Steven’s Ad wasn’t serious, it was something of a joke.  Clicking the Ad didn’t result in a VIRUS infecting your computer.  But some people actually clicked on to this Ad!

Actually, 400 people signed up to have a VIRUS infect/damage their computer.

(Patrick D. Dolum, Heartright.org 07/26/07).

Why would people do that???  It makes no sense.  A VIRUS would hurt their Computer.

The Bible Mentions A Different Kind Of VIRUS–SIN

EPHESIANS 5:3-5 (The MESSAGE bible):

[3] Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed.

[4] Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, Christians have better uses for language that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. Thanksgiving is our dialect.

[5] You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them–the usual variations of idolatry–will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.

DO CHRISTIANS HAVE A UNIQUE CALL TO AVOID STRONG LANGUAGE?

Other than WORDS associated with deity, most PROFANITY involves…the God-related curses are right off the table, if one takes the third commandment seriously at all.

But what is a Christian to do with the remaining “strong language” written and shared on social media today?

Don’t misunderstand my reasons of concern with “strong language”–I personally use FACEBOOK for social contact and…publishing my weekly Blog with other groups and I witness others comments and the effect they might and will have on people.

Ephesians 5, talks about several VIRUSES (“sins”)…

My FOCUS for this post is on three of them:

  • OBSCENITY
  • FOOLISH TALK
  • AND COARSE JESTING

Colossians 3:8 says,

“But now rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and FILTHY LANGUAGE from your lips”  (NIV Bible).   [I capitalized “filthy language” for emphasis only]

AND, JESUS condemned the Pharisees with these words:

“You offspring of vipers!  How can you speak good things when you are evil–wicked? For out of the fullness–the overflow, the superabundance–of the HEART the mouth speaks.  

The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things”  (Matthew  12:34-35 Amp. bible).

The “OVERFLOW OF THE HEART” going on daily in Social Media…

There may not be “speaking”…but they ARE writing in their thought process of what’s in their hearts.

And a lot of that “writing” deals with…anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, curses and slander, and FILTHY LANGUAGE–“unwholesome” communication stuff going on there.

 SOCIAL MEDIA Can Be A Great Place To Talk With Your Friends…

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At the same time, social media can also be a terrible place filled with evil and bitterness and darkness.  A place where JESUS and His Church can be attacked and cursed.

Although FACEBOOK can be a fun place to chat, Christians need to be as careful there…as the world is watching.

So, how do we deal with this problem?

And perhaps, you don’t think there is a “problem” to deal with.

BUT besides myself, if you find there is a problem, how should we stop ourselves from being involved?

FIRST off–we need to realize that this isn’t an “internet” problem.

This problem existed long before Mark Zuckerberg’s idea became a reality, or even computers were ever thought of.

JAMES writes in his letter to Jewish Christians–

James 3:6-8 (AMP):

[6] And the tongue [is] a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depriving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of truth–the cycle of man’s nature–being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).

[7] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature).

[8] But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is (an undisciplined, irreconcilable) restless evil, full of death-bringing poison.

Our Church’s Responsibility…

tongue-on-fireFIRST, I believe the church needs to realize its part in dealing with the “human tongue”.

Not dealing with the content on social media only spreads the “fire” and because refusing to step up…a bad situation can only get worse.

ILLUS:  Recently, I heard one youth minister who found a novel way to confront immoral Facebook postings…he said “I’ve read some of my youth group members posts in front of my Youth Group. That put a stop to it!”

When the church does its part of confronting SIN…sin backs off.

Ephesians 5:11-14 (NIV):

[11]  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 

[12]  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

[13]  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,  [14] for it is light that makes everything visible.  

That is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

A good Godly leadership and good Godly friends will lovingly confront their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus who DON’T do what they should be doing.

POLICING OURSELVES FIRST!!!

Good Christian friends should be able to remind us now and then, when we step over the line with our words; spoken or written.

If necessary, the church leadership should do this, as the Bible commands.

Ideally, it should never get that far.  As Bible believing Christians, we really should police ourselves.

We should be so in LOVE with JESUS, we realize how badly we can hurt our Savior, when we say and write things that are obscene or hurtful.

How do we do that?

JESUS SAID  “The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things” ~ Matt. 12:35 AMP).

So, it’s very simple.  The EVIL THINGS that come out of us are from the EVIL THINGS stored up inside of us.  They didn’t just “slip out’–they were already “stored” in the heart.

Computer geeks have a very scientific phrase to describe this process:  “Garbage in…garbage out.”

If you don’t want bad words coming out of your mouth, then don’t surround yourself with that kind of language.

Don’t spend your time with influences that will fill your hearts and minds with mean-spirited and nasty language and attitudes.

The WORKPLACE…

My last place of employment before I retired, PONOGRAPHY, ‘Filty Mouths’, was a daily filled routine by male and female employees alike.

My boss knew that I was a Christian, and trying to irritate me, would call me into his office …and there on his computer screen…PONOGRAHY.  He never turned around when I entered, but intuitively, he knew I was standing in the doorway.

“Mel, come over here.  I need to show you something.”

I would stand outside the door in the hallway, and say, “John, if it’s that important…call me on the inner office speaker phone.”  He never would.

Areas of Influence…

There are certain TV programs, movies in the local theaters, I won’t watch.  And adding, magazines on display at the check-out stands in stores I intentionally turn my head from–although tempted to read the headlines anyway.

It takes steadfastness and discipline on my part to stay away from certain outside influences; I just don’t want anything planted in my thoughts that will affect my testimony as a Christian witness.

You can’t totally isolate yourself from all outside influences–

We are surrounded by lots of people who curse and speak nasty things.

The apostle Paul told the church in Corinth–they had to realize that they lived in a pagan world:

1 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NET Bible):

[9] “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.  [10] In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of this world.”

FINDING & USING THE “EMPTY BUCKET” THEOLOGY:

It is important to be careful what you allow to be stored up in your heart.  JESUS said, “the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things (Matt. 12:35b.).  

So we don’t want to go there.

The Old EMPTY Bucket Story

But too often–that’s all people think a HOLY LIFE is like.  They live by the “empty bucket” theology. They think that if they can empty out all the nasty influences of life and become pure and holy, and that all the words they say and write will be nice and kind.

But if that’s all they do…(if all they do is “EMPTY THE BUCKET”), they really miss the real purpose.  All they wind up with is an OLD EMPTY BUCKET.

And, as I have learned by experience, an empty bucket, eventually gets refilled with something.  Sometimes it gets filled with things that are even worse than what we emptied of before.

Look again at what JESUS said in Matt. 12:35a.:

“The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things”

It is not enough to just EMPTY the bucket of BAD STUFF.  You’ve got to FILL the bucket with good stuff.

JESUS said a GOOD MAN “flings forth” (AMP) good things in his heart.

THE “GOOD THINGS” TO STORE UP IN THE BUCKET –

“Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; BUT INSTEAD voice your THANKFULNESS [to God]”  (Ephesians 5:4).

“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him”  (Colossians 3:17).

We NEED to FILL OUR BUCKET with such an attitude of Gratitude to God…no room for anything else.  We might not be able to leave this world & all its influences upon us, but we can become so FILLED with our RELATIONSHIP with God that the world just can’t force its way in.

The Present Age of the Computer–

It is hard to go on the internet without encountering VIRUSES.

And all because of mean spiritual, hateful people who try to hurt others by damaging someone else’s computer.

Because of these ‘virus makers,’ you can’t get on the INTERNET without exposing your computer to these sources.

AVG, NORTON, MCAFEE, BARRACUDA NET-WORKS TO THE RESCUE!

Depending on how much protection you’ve stored up & purchased from these companies, their PROTECTION supposedly, prevents the VIRUSES on the internet.

WHAT GOD’S WORD IS TELLING US…

A Heart Filled With Thanks Is The VIRUS PROTECTOR We Need…

How to SHIELD ourselves from storing up evil thoughts and words in our hearts.  

The more filled our hearts are with the thoughts of God and His kindness to us, the lest prone we are to spout off with foul language and nasty things you share on whatever SOCIAL MEDIA you are currently participating in.

David Steindl-Rast once said,

“…in our English language there is no such thing as being half full of thanks or gratitude; we are either thankFUL or grateFUL.”

 VIRUSES INFECT…

Viruses infect our PCs (Personal Computers), while SIN infects our PLs (Personal Lives).

FACEBOOK and the like, have become one place where we can see certain VIRUSES/SINS that INFECT the language used and the attitudes we try to conceal.

You might not think you’re “cursing” — but in retrospect, you probably not aware of malware/viruses on your computer until… the screen goes black.  But then, it’s too late to do anything about it.

The “Mean-spiritedness” and “Cursing” Virus Exposed –

The way to cut down on cursing and mean-spiritedness starts with AWARENESS–focusing on Christ and His Kindness–where there isn’t room left for the thoughts of this world.

And, when we do that–people see something different in our life–a consistency–something that is so satisfying that this is what they want too.

So lets WATCH our words and what we SHARE with others on social media.

Our attitude and our language can be infectious–good or bad.


CREDITS:

PHOTOS USED:

Google Image & Photo Pin

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS:

Amplified Bible, except where noted in the text.

3 thoughts on “Wearing the “I’m Into JESUS, But I’m Not Legalistic” Badge

  1. Loved this Mel: David Steindl-Rast once said,
    “…in our English language there is no such thing as being half full of thanks or gratitude; we are either thankFUL or grateFUL.”
    Puts everything into proper perspective doesn`t it! If we are full of thanks and gratitude it spills over into every area of our lives, including our time on the computer using social media. Thanks for sharing a great word!

    Liked by 1 person

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