Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh Social Media!

I've been a Facebook member for a little over a year now, and I've debated with an acquaintance over the following question: As a Christian, is it acceptable to 'un-friend' someone on FB due to their distasteful posts? Or, should we become accepting of all of our FB friends and their unruly behavior because they are the ones who are in the most need of reading our scripture posts? 

I have 'un-friended' people who have consistently used profanity or have posted descriptive details of private situations. I don't want to read, see, or hear about such trash. Am I wrong to get rid of them?

This is a great question.   We all have those people that we find ourselves around that challenge us.  If we are honest with ourselves, the things that bother us concerning the actions of others (especially considering their mannerisms, language usage, etc) can often be because they make us feel uncomfortable in our faith.  Not to say we are doubting or losing it, but more like it can be like a bleeding wound.  It forces us to struggle with being patient with people who don't seem to care if we are patient ... it is almost like a personal attack from someone who doesn't care what our response is ... they are only concerned with what they want to say.  We don't (typically) want that stuff around us because it affects our mood.  So to the question we go!

First, I think, the question needs to be answered as to what your relationship is with this person ... why they are in your life.  Why did you friend them in the first place?  If it is a family member, a friend, or someone you are trying to reach out to then I would caution against that.  If that person claims to be a Christian, I would consider having a chat with them.  Ask them what part of Christ they are trying to portray in their posts ... but be loving ... don't come across as critical.  Many times Christians forget that they are the hands, feet, and communication vessels of Jesus to the earth.  A gentle reminder can be a great act of love since we will be judged accordingly.

If they are not a believer but you feel that the relationship is important, consider unsubscribing (or hiding) their posts.  This will allow you to continue to post positive info without having to see on your wall what they are posting.  Unfriending or blocking someone may cause damage to your relationship.  On the right side of every post on your wall is an arrow ... click it.  It will open up a window that gives options.

If you click "hide" it will give more options ... including unsubscribing ... choose that route and keep the relationship.  Now I would never click that here since Corey Hicks is a very close friend of mine.  But this works as a great alternative.  Consider this passage of scripture:

1Co 5:9-13  I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10  Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. 12  For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13  But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "PUT AWAY FROM YOURSELVES THE EVIL PERSON."

We have to be careful when we are put off by the actions and mannerisms of those who do not believe ... we should not be surprised by them ... they don't believe ... and therefore will act like it.  If it is showing up on your wall ... if others are seeing it and questioning your stance or if you are just struggling with keeping your patience ... as I do as well ... unsubscribe, don't block or unfriend.

Now, if the person is of no relationship ... a casual acquaintance ... and there is no burden to reach ... or if the person claims to be a believer but is posting stuff that goes directly against the nature of God ... or is spying or stalking you posts to bring accusations against you ... or crashes your posts ... then I believe another scripture speaks well:

Mat 7:6  "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. 

Keep your posts and the ensuing conversations about them safe and secure from people who are intentionally going about to cause harm ... I would strongly suggesting "blocking" them.  It is important for all believers to understand that we individually are not called and cannot by nature reach everyone.  There are people in our lives that are under divine judgment or have no desire for the truth of God within themselves ... something that exists in every person who eventually confesses Christ.  I know the burden of wanting to reach those around you ... God knows it too. 

In then end, however, I think you should do what you can sleep with.  That is a rule of thumb for my life and I believe the Bible supports that (1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 8, 1 Cor 10:23).

That was a great question ... and that's my take!

I hope that you keep them coming!!!  I know that we are on a journey that is including new and exciting stuff ... but this will always be a center of what we do.  If you are willing to ask, we are willing to anwer!


  1. I agree with you 100% but when it comes to a family member, being trashy to one of my dear Christian friends, with their smutty mouth/pics...that's just too much for me to swallow!

  2. I completely understand ... that is why I hopefully clarified the "whatever you can sleep with" clause. My family doesn't have it all worked out, but what we do well is bringing things out and approaching each other with issues ... it's why we are so close I believe. If I offend my brother, regardless of how painful, he tells me and I hear him ... whether I meant to or not I did ... and I adjust and react.

    Not all families can do that ... that's too bad.

    Thanks for the comments Marcella ... it's good to see you around again!

  3. Thank you for your answer. It has really helped me understand how to handle people who insist on posting 'unsavory' comments on FB. I seldom 'friend' someone and I am extremely cautious when making the decision to accept a friend request. However, in this case it was a relative by marriage, and although I was hesitant, I accepted the request. Well not long after 'liking' my Bible verse posts as well as motivational quotes, and making positive comments on many of these posts, this 'friend' posted personal details that I would rather forget. Needless to say, there were previous questionable posts, yet this one took the cake!

    I completely agree with your response but I did unfriend this person after the last straw. However, I see a better way of dealing with any future FB friend issues.

    I cannot say that I was once in their shoes b/c I would have NEVER posted that stuff. But I was once lost, as they are, and yes those are the ones who desperately need to become exposed to God's Word via a few good Christian FB friends.

  4. Like I said though, in the end, it's what you can sleep with. Lines must be drawn within the even the closest and most personal relationships ... and if those lines are crossed, then consequence follows.

    I also unfriend people ...

    Great topic