Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Social Media is a Buzz

img_0063-2As I began my day – after my morning devotions – I began to check the news and my social media feeds. There is no shortage of things people are excited about these days – or that people disagree on as well. Let’s review a few.

The President was impeached by the House of Representatives recently and the case will soon be dropped by the Senate because they will not reach the vote necessary to remove him. People on all sides of the discussion – basically along party lines – continue to debate the facts as they see them in this situation (and as usual – they see the facts differently). Some will continue their fight to take this President down (for some this effort started the moment he declared for President). Some will continue to support this President – even some calling him the best President ever. This impeachment process has been the most partisan act ever – at least regarding something as serious as removing a sitting President of the United States. Wherever you are in the discussion – I would think most would agree this has been a very partisan process. Social media is a buzz.

The Super Bowl was last night – and the Chiefs beat the 49ers. I watched the game and thought it was a pretty good game. This morning – of course – social media was a buzz with those from the 49er’s fan base blaming the officials for calls that turned the tide toward the Chiefs (the TD that wasn’t and the offensive PI that wasn’t as examples). I didn’t agree with all the calls by the officials – but have come to realize that they don’t get it right all the time. On a side note – as a Ravens fan – I wanted the Chiefs to win and for Patrick Mahomes to win the MVP. Next I want him to demand a record contract so the team will not be able to surround him with other players (salary cap issues). See how my mind works? Again – social media is a buzz.

Speaking of the Super Bowl – did you see the halftime show last night? This morning on social media – people were a buzz about it. Some were excited about two Latin women being the headliners. Some marveled at their athletic skills and singing voices. Some marveled at them being able to do such things at 43 (Shakira) and 50 (J.Lo.) years of age. Some were appalled by the sexual tone of their performance – even surprised that some were defending the sexual overtones of the performance. Some said it was very suggestive and other said it was outright pornographic. Some defended this by saying it was a cultural statement. Some said others were being prudish. Some allowed their young children to watch – some did not – some were appalled that others allowed their minor children to watch. Some talked about sex trafficking at the Super Bowl and how this halftime show contributed to sexual abuse of women. Some said the choreographing and the costumes worn (or lack thereof) were very suggestive and demeaning to women. Social media is a buzz.

The United Methodist Church is facing a divorce – a split – this year – and depending on what side of the aisle you are on – your issues or theology will be very different. Bishops – pastors and even whole conferences refusing to adhere to the Discipline of the Church is part of why there is going to be a split. There is a covenant we all agreed to uphold – and some are deciding on their own that this covenant is void and meaningless. When society determines our theology – things are backwards. Social media is a buzz with discussions about this split.

You may have noticed I didn’t begin today with a passage of Scripture. I was more ranting than talking about a particular scripture. Yet – as I write – there are some passages that come to mind and seem appropriate. 2 Timothy 4:1-5 – 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Instructions given by Paul to a young pastor – Timothy – to stand for truth – Godly truth – always and at every turn. We will differ in many ways – no two people are alike. We have lost the ability to agree to disagree – in peace. But – we have also lost the call to be a transforming presence in the world where we live. We are called to let our light so shine before others that they see Jesus in us. Matthew 5:14–16 – 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I agree that we should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Yet – we should never give into Caesar. We are called to transform the society we live in – not be transformed by it. Who we support for public office and the policies they espouse should still reflect our witness as a Christian. What we watch on TV – even during the Super Bowl – should be things we would watch with Jesus sitting next to us (and our young impressionable children).

We need to examine all aspects of our lives and how our lives reflect Jesus to a society that is running away from God as fast as possible. Colossians 2:6-8 – 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

February 3, 2020 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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