Friday, September 28, 2012

Can we just drop the F-bomb?

Why do some Christians choose to be so easily offended when they know they live in a fallen world full of sin and are part of a family made up of believers who are all sinful people?  I re-shared something on Facebook the other day.  It was pretty funny for the video game-knowledgeable, general nerd crowd.  Apparently, the group that posted it had the F-word in its name.  Someone I am "Friends" with on Facebook freaked out about that and sent me a text at 5 in the morning and also sent an email freaking out about it and telling how offensive it was that this word existed on my Timeline.  I took a couple of days to respond because I couldn't trust myself not to be a jerk about it. 

It brought back to mind this pre-occupation with appearances many Christians have.  Don't smoke, don't drink at all, don't swear, don't show how you really feel, don't hang out with folks who do these things because that makes you guilty by association.  I guess they wouldn't approve of Jesus since he was referred to as a friend of sinners because he had a reputation for hanging out with people the religious elite considered bad.

Keep up appearances; stay in these lines, and you are one of us.  That is not the law of Christ/the law of love.  It's kind of the opposite, really.  Then there's the whole Don't Cause a Brother to Stumble and the way we really blow that one out of context . . .  Can we really just drop this preoccupation with being offended by real life happening around us?  Or is that a dangerous line of apathy to cross?

To be honest, I was irked mostly because these are tough issues, and I don't really want to deal with them right now.  Again.  Especially when I'm not really at my best.  (See next paragraph.)

I'm in increasing pain and in a corresponding increasingly bad mood.  I'm glad I took the time to respond in a way that didn't dump my general frustrations on this person, but I'm also disappointed at this reminder that sometimes we're so busy judging others about useless things that we can seem really tedious and not the loving, thoughtful people we're commanded to be.  I can't possibly have this conversation with this person right now because I'm too easily riled up when I've had so little sleep and so much pain.

When I'm this hurt and likely to lash out, maybe I should just avoid all social media altogether.  My poor judgment seems likely to be less exhausting and less offensive to people's delicate sensibilities.  Like I said, I'm not a nice person to be around right now.

The whole situation made me more tired.  I forget sometimes that some Christians: 
  • live in enclaves of evangelical Christians and only have social contact with other believers. (Some statistics indicate that most new Christians have no more non-Christian friends within 2 years of getting saved.)
  • don't hear this word every day through the walls of their old, cheap apartment building. 
  • are bothered enough by this word that they will take action on behalf of the other people it might possibly offend.
  • are not mostly numb to it after spending time abroad. 
  • have no friends who say it. (This can mean all sorts of things.)
  • are sheltered and safe enough that they care more about a bad word forwarded peripherally on Facebook than a million other things they could and should be more concerned about as Christians.
On another note, Facebook says, "[TMIA] likes To Cause a Brother to Stumble" because I liked Addie's excellent post on this phrase.  Oh, Facebook, you little troublemaker.  What did I ever do to you?


  1. I agree with your frustration. Moral absolutes are all well and good, but social mores are just awkward, and Christians seem to be particularly graceless when it comes to telling the two apart.

    The last bit made me laugh :-)

  2. "Graceless" seems like a truly apt word to use here. Well put.

    I'm glad you laughed at the last bit. I laughed pretty hard when I saw it on my timeline . . . : )