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Preaching On Social Media

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We've all been there at some point. You log onto your favorite social media website like Facebook, and as you scroll through the many status updates in your news feed with highlights about your Aunt Martha's cat, or your friend's son that lost a tooth, you see this:

 

 

Untitledy

 

 

 

 

If you are irreligious like myself, all you see is this:

 

 

index

 

Why do people do this? Where is this urge to shout from the digital rooftops about God's touching one's soul coming from? And even more importantly, do these folks even realize that their pious platitudes and preaching are nothing more than selfish cries for attention?

 

Everyone learns something differently in church when it comes to appropriate social protocols when witnessing to the masses, publicly declaring your faith, and celebrating the glory of a god. One thing has always been made clear to me though during my 20 years in a pew. I was always told in the 6 different churches I attended that one should unequivocally be only giving the glory to God. God's amazing invisible finger of knowledge will automatically follow and anoint those you addressed if they are willing with little to no effort on your part.

 

There was no telling someone how sad you were that they had no faith. It wasn't necessary to insist that you would pray for someone if they didn't want to hear your message. One certainly didn't have to debate for hours on end with atheists and other religious groups on Facebook in order to convert a few souls. No. My mere channeling of his divine presence would be enough to effect change in the person(s) I was engaged with. If I had to do more than just share a brief five minutes of His word, then I wasn't doing it right.

 

What on earth has changed? Anymore, I feel like whenever I see a long copied post on my news feed, I am dealing with a Jim Jones wannabe. I mean this most sincerely, and I know this is not the intention of the witnessing spokesperson of Yahweh. These people really come across like charismatic psychopaths who think they can draw few flies in for dinner before mass. Quite literally they are pulling a Jim Jones maneuver from the man's own playbook.

 

Let me explain.

 

It is never enough to just have attended church, accepted Christ, and have lived as righteously as possible. It's enough for God in Heaven, but not enough for the interpreted version of Him within the church walls. This is especially so with all the constant nonsense about a war on Christianity that has started permeating the news. Last I checked, Christians are not being purposely put to death in this country. Hardly a war, but it makes for interesting talk around the Communion trays. Couple that with declining church attendance? Well, it's time to get the word out! At least, that is the mindset I had always come across.

 

Proselytizing on Facebook isn't just about sharing faith, sharing joy, or sharing eternal life. It's a rallying cry to sign up. And like Jim Jones, while these social media soap boxers are full of scripture, they really don't want you to read it. As soon as you start asking about the scripture, you get rants about politics, disease, sexual abomination, and overall fear of Satan ruling the Earth. They literally pull a Jim Jones. They throw their Bibles down on the ground, insisting that you pay more attention to them than their original source of information.

 

This same thing happens on discussion boards, even here on Ex-C. Someone posts a long opener about the seamless genius of a preferred deity. "It's so simple and clearly laid out, even a grade schooler can understand," this person says. Lines of scripture follow, including poorly made flow charts of historical context. Your eyes glaze over, but you manage to point out a number of errors in the flow chart by using the Bible said chart is based off of.

 

What happens?

 

Slam! Bible is on the floor, the patronizing insults of "You are over intellectualizing what I am saying" or "Your lack of faith is disturbing, I will pray for you" begin to flow. The focus has left the shared data and compelling arguments, with all attention shifted to the proselytizer. God is back in the wispy realms of fantasy, only being brought up as a holy reference to add to the pious demeanor of your rabidly biblical preaching poster.

 

You will manage to somehow go in this discussion from lack of faith to the End Times, where all prophesies become interpretive dancing of fantastically hopeful outcomes. There might even be a bit of frothing as the witnessing individual's mind leaps from one potential sign of the times to another, as the influx of far fetched links begin to work this person's brain into an almost crack fueled frenzy.

 

So, next time you have the urge to engage a lengthy Jebus post, realize it is just a psychiatric need for strength in numbers playing out on your wall. To solve this problem, and if you are on Facebook, do the following:

unsubscribe facebook friends

 

If you are in a regular discussion forum, show restraint and leave the conversation. No matter how you engage, in the religious gladiator's mind, he's victorious. Either you didn't engage because of his awesome faith, or you didn't engage because Satan compels you to leave him alone.

 

Those who engage in this type of behavior are addicted to this type of attention. They are usually very charismatic and have some very lofty ideas of how convincing their faith is on its own merits. Religious preaching on social media is a clear sign of addiction to the holy crack they are sucking in. Holy crack being fantasy and escape from a world that one is finding too difficult to reason out alone.

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Messianics (the branch of the Christ-cult I was involved in) find such preaching to be, well, disgusting. It's a sign of someone not being properly "intellectual" or something like that. They believe that if a person is talked into faith, they can be talked of it. So they rarely evangelize or anything like that. Yeshua (Jesus) will draw people to His holy presence through you (or sometimes via the Spirit).

 

That's one of the things I liked about the church I attended. No preaching, no evangelism, no altar calls. Either you believe in the message due to its perceived merit or you don't. Case closed. We were encouraged to question everything, discuss, research, read, debate. Now, this openness was only to be used to validate one's beliefs. I took it too far and lost my faith. I know some others struggled but ended up staying because they were guilted by spouses, parents or group leaders who weren't afraid to preach at them. Basically, they were worn down by spiritual preaching attrition.

 

People can escape and liberate their minds from toxic spiritual teachings and mental prisons, but they have to want to do so. Every person must see and decide what it is true for themselves. That is why I believe that arguing someone into non-belief is just as counterproductive as arguing them into belief. If a person is unwilling to accept that faith is a fantasy, then they will become angry when someone shares the not-so-good news with them. And that leads to bullshit time-wasting arguments. My time is too fucking valuable to waste on arguing with righteous godly asshats.

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zomberina,

You've described very well. It took me several months after walking away from the church culture, to delete all the church people from my fb friends list. I do understand the addictive aspect of the religious experience. I wonder that I did what seven77 did, examining the faith all the way to its end and then coming out the other side, all in an effort to stay ahead of the addiction. Otherwise, I would still be in that former mindset and environment, smoking the holy crack.

Peace,

Human

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Glad you both identified with what I am getting at.

 

I agree, it seems excessive to argue with someone in order to convince, but further than that, this isn't about recruitment. It is recognition of piety. A "Hey look at me" boogaloo on social media, imo.

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