Would Jesus Tweet?

Are you a Christian?
Is your relationship with Christ, your faith, your religion, relevant (pertinent, fitting, apropos) to the world in which you live?

If you aren’t a Christian, is it because Christianity seems irrelevant based on the lives of the Christians you know?

I read an interesting blog post today from a fellow believer who is ready to pull the plug on his social networking connections and get back to real fellowship and assembly with others, because all these electronic relationships aren’t what God had in mind. A comment on a friend’s Facebook page shouted to the world at large that he–a devout Christian–is ready to kick the A**** of those promoting the homosexual agenda. A note on a critique I received gently reminded me that CBA guidelines discourage my fictional characters from participating in certain questionable activities, or from using words like “heck” and “darn” and “shucks.”

Darn it.

Unfortunately, these kinds of behaviors, ideas, and conventions have made much of Christianity irrelevant — not applicable, inconsistent, unrelated — to the lost souls we encounter (and ignore) every day.

When Christian pioneers began to interact with the Native Americans, it was natural for them to want to share their belief in the Savior. But instead of hearing the good news, most of the Native Americans heard a lot about the white man’s religion. They heard about how they were supposed to dress, how they were supposed to eat, what to do with their free time, what kind of music and art they could create, and so forth. Needless to say, the religious message wasn’t very well received.

There was a small religious sect called the Shakers who lived in the United States several hundred years ago. One of the tenets of their doctrine was that all sexual relations were base and somehow evil. Their sect died out pretty quickly. For some strange reason, no one wanted to join up! Their faith in God was genuine, but their application of faith was irrelevant to the people around them.

Our culture today is changing dramatically, some think for the better, others think it’s all going to hell in a hand basket. Atheism and agnosticism are reportedly increasing faster than ever before. While Christian leaders take public nosedives, Christian activists and lobbyists battle liberals for the return of conservative family values. Political lines are drawn between pro-life and pro-choice, left-wing and right-wing, Christian and non-Christian.

Christians demonize other Christians for infractions of the “rules” as they interpret them. And then they demonize whole groups of sinners for doing what comes naturally to sinners: sinning. Oh, oops, did we forget John 3:16? For God so LOVED the world? Whom did He love?

Meanwhile, believers “witness” to their unsaved friends and family members and churches plan community “outreaches.” And no one understands why so many would rather wander lost and alone in this miserable world than come to the arms of a loving Savior.

Well, duh. We’ve made Him irrelevant to a dying generation, like taking an aspirin for a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

I want my faith in Christ to be relevant–practical, applicable, effective–in my own life, and in the lives of those I love. I want to represent my Jesus to others in such a way they can see His love and goodness and want to welcome Him into their lives as well. I think I’m going to have to push the “offering envelope” to accomplish that. I’m going to have to stretch my faith out of its cozy, safe Christian corner and apply it out there in the big nasty world where people use cuss words and flaunt their sexuality and refuse to make time (or get dressed up for) Sunday morning worship service and Wednesday evening prayer.

Would Jesus have a Facebook page? Probably. Do you think he would text message his disciples? Can you imagine what His “tweets” on Twitter might say?

I know, this is probably going to make folks cranky. And I know we walk a fine line between being in the world and yet not of the world. But if we don’t figure out how to balance on that tightrope–being relevant without being irreverent–we risk losing the most precious commodity on the planet for all eternity: souls.

7 thoughts on “Would Jesus Tweet?

  1. Jan Parrish says:

    Amen sister, preach it. I don’t think the question is would he tweet but what would he tweet. :)Now I’m going to RT.

  2. Jody Hedlund says:

    Very interesting perspective, Niki. I tend to think Christians have the opposite issue of going with the flow of the world. It’s easy to get swept up in the current and do what everybody else is doing. It’s much hard to go against the current and stick to our principles. But I can understand your perspective–as we go against the current, we can shame and belittle those around us with our holy attitudes and legalistic rules. But I think that genuine love and humility in the end will trump. We don’t live by the same standards as the world, but hopefully the love of Jesus in us can bridge that gap.

    BTW, congrats on your TBL final!! How exciting!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Excellent article Niki. Just yesterday I was listing to a free podcast from Dan Allender. He was saying Christians move from church to church when they hear of a better youth group, lady’s group, praise team. He said the church is dying and Christians are just re-arranging chairs on the Titanic. We aren’t relevant or enticing anymore. We are legalistic and dogmatic. Preachy. We need to be relational, warm, interactive and social media is an avenue for that.
    Lucille Zimmerman

  4. Krista Phillips says:

    I agree… mostly. *grin*

    Jody made a great point. I think there are two very opposing extremes today and they are both equally as dangerous.

    You have the religion loving, rules abiding, mywayorthehighway kind of people who are more concerned with following man made rules than God (although… I’ll point out that they think their manmade rules ARE God’s rules so believe they are following God in them)

    Then you have the opposite who shuck any type of rules in the name of disgarding religion and focusing on God, but I gotta tell you. Many times I see very little fruit in their lives either, because they use their ‘no-rules’ motto to justify sin.

    Me? I got to church every Sunday because God wants me to. Not because my church tells me I’ll be a sinner if I don’t. I choose to obstain from drinking because I feel that God has impressed that upon MY heart, but don’t judge anyone who doesn’t feel the same. Many of my good Christian friends drink and I still respect them and know I”ll see them in heaven with me.

    Okay, so I’ve gone on and on, but it’s a subject I’m passionate about because, both of these things are a burr in today’s church. It’s heartbreaking to see the decline, the hypocrisy, the “war” with each other.

    Oh, and for the record… I got my hand slapped in Genesis for non-CBA friendly stuff too. Some of it was understandable (I used the word whore once…) but other’s were just ludicrous and kinda sad. I move on though, and make sure I’m glorifying God in my writing and obeying HIM.

  5. Niki Turner says:

    Great comments, everybody! I think we’re all on the same page. Someone said we should “live our convictions and preach the Word.” That goes nicely with Paul’s instructions to the church in 1 Cor 6-8 and Romans 14-15.
    There IS a ditch on either side of the road, and our human tendency is to fall off one side or the other. As a pastor’s wife I’ve run into both extremes, and both are harmful to the body and to the lost we’re trying to reach.
    So what is the answer? Personal obedience, as Krista said. Love and humility, as Jody said. And being warm, relational, and interactive, even with people we disagree with, as Lucille said. Romans 14-15 says to “accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters.” Wow. Wouldn’t that make a difference in the atmosphere?
    Thanks for reading.

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