This one is geared directly toward those who call themselves Christian. However, it is also something those who do not should be thinking about as well. And I’m sure it isn’t going to be received well by most.
Memes – a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
The thing about a meme is 95% of them are lies, and at the very best a half-truth. Sure, there are another 5 …. maybe even 10% that express a though or idea, but even some of those have a celebrity picture attached to them which typically doesn’t have anything to do with what is being said, thus making it a half truth.
I was thinking the other day, if I share those, it’s the same as saying it. If I were saying it, would it be appropriate? Would it be something I would want to be known for saying? I’m not talking about sitting around with family talking politics, I’m talking sitting at work, shouting it at a party, putting a billboard in my yard. When we share things to our feeds, that is exactly what we are doing. We are no longer having a private conversation at our kitchen table.
But if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would know it is wrong. Let’s review a few things we read in the Bible:
Believers can not do / must lay aside / must put off / turn away from /
- Abusive, Blasphemers (blasphēmos G989) = harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign against man, lacking reverence or respect for God (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
- Backbiting, Slander (katalalia G2636) = defamation – a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone’s words or actions (2 Corinthians 12:20-21, 1 Peter 2:1)
- Falsehood, Lying (G5579) = Untruth (Ephesians 4:25, 28-31)
- Gossip, Whispering (psithurismos G5587) = secret detraction (the act of discrediting or detracting from someone’s reputation) (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)
- Lying (G5574) = to utter an untruth or attempt to deceive by falsehood (Colossians 3:8-9)
- Slander, Blasphemies (blasphēmia G988) = evil speaking, railing, especially against God, harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign against man, lacking reverence or respect for God (Ephesians 4:25, 28-31; Colossians 3:8-9)
- Slanderous, False Accusers (diabolos G1228) = a traducer (one who attacks the reputation of another by slander or libel); specifically Satan (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
- Stealing (kleptō G2813) = take without the owner’s consent (Ephesians 4:25, 28-31)
- Strife, Debate, Bitter Conflict, Dissension, Discord (G2054) = quarrel, wrangling (haggle: an instance of intense argument as in bargaining), contention (controversy) (Romans 13:13-14; 2 Corinthians 12:20-21)
- Strife, Selfish Ambition (G2052) = provoke contention (controversy) (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)
As we scan down the Meme’s we’ve seen on our Newsfeed in the last day or so – most of them fit into one of these categories.
As Christians, we are to be set apart from the world, to be a light. Right now, we are just following along in the darkness. Can you tell who is a Christian and who is not when you scan down through your feeds?
So before you share that next post, find out if it’s true – ALL of it, including the person pictured in it. Did they actually have anything to do with what is being said? If not, then just simple post the text. If you want to refer to something someone said, then find them quoting it and use that instead of gossip spread from one person to the next person. If they have said it, then let them represent them self. And be careful using any kind of news sources as part of them quoting, many times it’s out of context. With today’s availability to video, facebbook, and twitter, if you can’t find them quoting it on one of them, then maybe it’s better left unsaid.
We have the right to have differing of opinions. We have the right to present evidence and then refuting or disagreeing with it. We have a duty to expose lies and those who lie. But we do not have the right to share untruth, half truth, and lies. Especially as Christians.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but we all need to check ourselves on this one. You and Meme and them.