April 30, 2012
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Facebook has 800 million active users. It will likely be 1 billion by August. (Look it up here.) And it seems that most of the 800 million people feel the need to post their political views. Here are my thoughts on using Facebook to promote your political beliefs.
1. You’re not changing anyone’s mind. It is rare that someone will change their political beliefs when you are having a face-to-face conversation with them. I contend that posting something persuasive online is even less effective at changing someone’s mind. What’s the purpose then? If it’s not persuasive, is it for entertainment or information or something else entirely? Is it possible that sometimes we post political views online because we know they will invoke passion from people and they will “like” our status or post?
2. Politics are complex. Posting comments, videos, or (the worst of all) those “pictures” that are just catch phrases doesn’t give the whole picture. Actually, those pictures (sayings like, “There’s no WE in INCOME”) just rile people up. Some people will love it and some will hate it. But they don’t do anything to address the issues at hand. [By the way, I realize there is no WE in INCOME. There's also no GOD in CHURCH. Okay, that was sarcastic. Let's move on.]
3. Stop being hateful. As I come from a very conservative background and fundamentalist denomination, many of my Facebook friends have two things in common: 1) they’re Republicans and 2) they claim to be Christians. Yet over and over again, I see posts about our President that are downright hateful. Dear Christians, please know that unbelievers know we are Christians by our love. Seriously check yourself: Do you hate President Obama? If so, a heart change is needed.
Confession: I am so passionate about this because I used to struggle with it so much. It was before Facebook, but I used to think that Republican = Christian. It doesn’t. God was gracious enough to allow me to serve and become friends with many non-Republicans who are serving Christ better than I ever have. They are just a piece of the puzzle in my journey that has taught me to focus on building God’s kingdom, not a political party.