The facade of Christianity is killing the witness of Christian people today.
An exterior saturation of Christianity acts like a mask and a wall, preventing anyone from getting through our religion and into our lives. We need to stop being so Christian that we are no longer humans but concepts and beliefs. It’s ridiculous, the pollution of scripture that is clogging the pipeline to our real selves. People can’t get to the real you past your faith.
Let me back up 101 steps and give you a 101 of what it all means.
- God gives every Christian an identity in Christ.
- The world needs to get to know you for who you are before they trust what you say.
- No matter what it’s clogged with, a clogged drain will stop up a clean pipe.
We’ll start with #1:
People, especially younger kids and teens, have difficulty establishing their identity. They don’t know who they are. It is vital to a good witness, to know exactly who you are in Christ. If you don’t know who you are, how will anyone else? We are to shine the light of Christ to a dark world, but we don’t need to blind them.
That brings me to #2 on the list:
When you first get to know a person, they tell you a little bit about themselves to acclimate you to their life and history. With Christians, and especially on social media, there is such a flippant overuse of scripture and inspirational quotes, and theologies, and doctrines that it’s disgusting. So many different versions of the Bible it’s disorienting, so many theological stumbling blocks it’s discouraging.
We’re packaging Christianity in Christian paper. The box screams of its contents. Everyone knows what we have in the package, making it no longer a surprise and therefore less intruiging, less compelling, and less special. On the other hand, we are wrapping ourselves in Christian paper. If someone simply wanted to get to know you, they couldn’t without wadding through scripture and bungles of your beliefs.
Now it comes to part #3. This section will quantify why the first two sections are damaging your witness and effectiveness.
The pollution of the gospel is killing our witness. Have you ever heard the saying, “too much of a good thing”? It’s true. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Silk is nice to see and touch, but enough of it smashed into a sink drain will block the flow of water through the pipes and pollute the sink as soap and dirt get pooled in it.
Even too much of a really good thing can become a bad thing. On social media and–tag teaming yesterday’s post a little– even in the way we act around other people, we’re plastic and fake, even creepy. When every single post on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts is scripture, about God or theology, or something spiritual, we push people away.
I know several people who I love dearly in real life, (you may know these kinds of people as well), but I don’t follow them on social media because their accounts contain nothing about them. It’s counterproductive, as odd as it may seem, to be constant promoting your, “witness”, and never sharing about yourself.
The easiest way in today’s culture to preach the gospel to someone is in sincerity and without fancy words or elegant speech: just be you.
Like anything in life, you won’t accept something, or commit to something offered to you someone you don’t know. Let people know you. Stop hiding behind your religion, that’s not its purpose. Our faith in Christ will flow out of us in everything we do, but if that part of you is all anyone ever sees, they’ll never really know you and trust what you say.
Last thing: God doesn’t need a social media account. You aren’t His personal PR to the social network; stop trying to be. If all you ever post is religious and inspirational, you are hurting your witness and making yourself plastic and untouchable to the lost and searching. People want a friend. Let people know you, then, as a friend, tell them of God’s love. Let them into your life, don’t hide behind your faith, let it flow through you as the Spirit leads, but don’t just put it up as a wall to keep people out.
As always, thanks for reading, and just be real.
—the anonymous novelist