In reading through some popular religious "myspace" Blogs I came across the following entry (all names have been excluded to avoid embarrassment and all spelling and grammar remains as printed):
Monday, November 27
Should our friends list please our Father?
Current mood: confused
Category: Religion and Philosophy
I get alot of request on a daily basis.I don't want to ome off as up-tight,but I have to deny alot of people because their pages and friends list don't reflect my Father.I mean nudity and profanity come on.I don't know if it's just me but my pastor is on my friends list and I would be embarrassed if he saw that kind of stuff on the pages of some of the people wanting to be my friends.Don't get me wrong,I wasn't always saved so I'm not looking down on anyone.Let me know if I'm taking this too serious.
Then somebody decided to post a few responses of what their friends apparently send out to deny people friendship when the requesters do not come up to their standards:
The only people I REQUEST TO BE MY FRIENDS ARE THOSE LIKE YOURSELF. ON FIRE FOR GOD, SERVING GOD IN THERE BUSINESS AND WHO I WOULD LIKE TO KEEP IN CONTACT WITH REGARDING MY NETWORKING FIELD.
I DENY ANY ONE WHO REQUEST TO BE MY FRIEND THAT HAS FOUL LANGUAGE,PICS,THINGS THAT SAY TOTAL OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY HAVE STATED AS THERE BELIEFS, UNLESS GOD DIRECTS ME OTHERWISE AND I AM TO SPEAK THE WORD TO THEM AND MINISTER TO THEM IN LOVE.
When I get a request I open up their profile in a seperate window first and I ask God to speak to me and tell me whether or not I should add that person. I believe the best of everybody. If it is a page that encourges fornication drugs and any other form of sin that people are facing day to day and need to be delivered from unless the Lord tells me so they are denyed. (not because of where they are in life ,but because of where I am)
I completely agree with you and have felt like I was being up-tight as you put it, but I came to the same conclusions, claiming the name of Christ you have to be careful since the bible does say we should avoid even the "appearence of evil" and those who are not christians, like it or not will judge those of us who are by the "friends" we have on our lists. So...no Nicole I do not think you are taking it too seriously.
Pardon me... but this is NOT how Jesus would do things…
…It sounds very little like Christ and more like a bunch of pious and self-righteous people who cannot handle the idea of actually being a witness and must have only “friends” who agree with them in order to be friends.
I would have maybe a dozen friends if I used such measures as those suggested. I doubt I would make the cut if I requested the friendship of these above Myspacers.
I assure you this methodology does NOT comply at all to what Jesus would do…
…How do I know?
Well for one thing Jesus was chastised because he choose to hang with the very people these folks are avoiding.. It’s in scripture and it was one of the things the priests (and even some of Jesus own disciples) had contention with .
For the record I DENY NO ONE and will ONLY block those who are persistently abusive. So far I have blocked only 5 individuals and I gave them all ample opportunity to simply agree to disagree, agreeably…Some people simply cannot get along no matter how hard one tries. Some people MUST be RIGHT even if they are WRONG. It takes a great deal of obnoxiousness to get cut from my list I assure you.
In the Bible we read the following:
Matt 9:9-13 (NIV) As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples.11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ’sinners’?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Do I really need to say more? Do I need to defend myself concerning why I don’t even bother to carefully review each profile and scutinize it? Should I be worried that people look at my profile and see “sinners” on my friends list? Should I worry about “LOOKING LIKE a good spiritual man” or “BEING a good spiritual man“?
I choose not to be such a judge.
I value ALL people and I should rather befriend an honest sinner than a self-righteous hypocrite. I can help over time to bring love and healing to the first group but the second refuses to acknowledge their illness.
Those who JUDGE shall surely be judged according to how they judge and those who want to “be Christ-like” do not judge as the world judges but rather they welcome freely the sinner.. Saying “COME ONE.. COME ALL and SEEK TOGETHER WHAT IS RIGHT AND TRUE AND GOOD. LET US SEEK GOD FOR HE CARES AND LOVES ALL MEN.. AND ALL MEN ARE SINNERS IN NEED OF GOD AND IF HE CAN LOVE THEM THEN SO CAN I!”
If anyone should want to be my friend I accept them for then I can minister to them but if I reject them then have I not pushed them further away from the LOVE OF GOD? Have I not denied them access to truth? Have I not abandoned them and taken any opportunity from them that it might be me who can help them through my witness. Have I not sinned against them grievously in doing this?
My answer to the original “Blogster” is this: “No, you are not taking this seriously ENOUGH. WWJD? He would take in all people and by way of BEING LOVE (not bible-thumping*) show them the way to God gently by, over whatever time it takes, continually being a beacon of light and a herald of wisdom.”
* Note: Historic Jesus would often quote scripture with the words “it is written” but never do you see him holding a scroll or book in front of a “sinner” and tapping it with his finger in accusation. In fact, the only time you see Jesus using a scroll (book) in any way is when he is in the Temple ministering to the “hypocrite priests”.
Again, the only thing I Judge are “the Pious Judges” and those who “live outside of Love“.
I call them the “Hypocrites” and I pray that they will learn how to walk the walk they can talk so well. Yes, even them do I love… but they are those whom will say “Lord, Lord.. Did we not do all sorts of great things in your Name?” yet they shall not see a reward for they may have done great works but they denied the power of “Love” which is the true cause of He who they claimed to serve.
I shall continue to take in the “tired, poor and hungry” and those who don’t?.. well, they are free to do as they will for in the end all shall give account to GOD.
BE LOVE & BE LOVED!