Social media dark … a cautionary tale

So I was going back through my posts. This is normally what happens … I’m gone for a year and I forgot what I had written. My post about mega churches made me laugh … It started:

So I saw this post on Facebook today that got me heated, but I chose not to respond because I’m not about losing my temper on social media … Been there. Done that. Felt like an idiot.

I fell into this trap a few weeks ago and have been dwelling on it ever since. Let’s go back … to just after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston … *insert Wayne’s World-esc sound effects and a wavy screen – cut to me looking at Facebook –

Scrolling down my news feed I see all these posts about how Harvey is affecting folks in Houston. My heart is really breaking. The rest of the day I check in on it. Throughout the course I start seeing things about that silly Mega Church everybody loves to hate not opening its doors (coincidentally I think that meme I talked about in the Mega Church post was an image of this church).

I was getting increasingly agitated with all the posts I was seeing. I just didn’t understand what business it was of anyone’s whether or not someone or some entity was or wasn’t doing what we think they’re “supposed” to do … why are we passing judgment when we should be helping. There are bigger fish to fry. Sowing hate and discord doesn’t help. I was fuming by the end of the day.

Then I saw another stupid meme. This one about the number of churches in the Houston area – somewhere in the 2000 area – and how many we listed as open and accepting refugees/donations etc. – somewhere less than 100 – and I lost it. I lost my temper, my composure, my filter, my ability to keep my mouth shut – and I let loose my typing fingers.

I posted without proofing, without censor, without breathing, the most cringeworthy response to that meme in particular, paying no attention to who posted it, or what my post might do to my relationships.

When I say it was awful, I mean I used words I’ve never used out loud, even as a sailor. This post damaged my ability to hold my head up high and say, I’m a Christian and I choose to live my life by Christian principles. To this moment, months later, I am embarrassed by this post – even after apologizing for it and deleting it. I have relationships that may never recover from this post.

How ridiculous does that sound? A Facebook post may make it so that people I have known for quite some time may never speak to me again or look at me in the same light. A stupid Facebook post.

So … I disabled my Facebook account. I figured a) I may be too embarrassed to ever post anything again, b) this wasn’t the first time I had wanted to post something like this – I was sure it wouldn’t be the last, and c) what’s the point anyway?

Seriously. Facebook has been an ongoing distraction and irritation for me for way too long. I could be reading books, writing blog posts, or being a productive parent and spouse. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people with active Facebook accounts that do all of these things without issue … I’m just not one of them.

So … other than Pinterest, I don’t social media anymore and I’m more than ok with this.

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Venting and Mega Churches

So I saw this post on Facebook today that got me heated, but I chose not to respond because I’m not about losing my temper on social media … Been there. Done that. Felt like an idiot. So I thought I’d vent/rant here instead…
This post I saw was politically driven… as most social media posts are generally speaking these days, even in non-election years. The post – I refuse to post it here – showed a picture of the inside of a “mega church” and was captioned “instead of building mega churches, how about we build mega homeless shelters” … … … 😒. 

The person that posted this is a vocal atheist that more than likely doesn’t realize how shortsighted and hypocritical some of their anti-religion (most specifically anti-Christian) posts are since while they are preaching inclusion they are tearing down an entire group of people that want the same thing … apparently they haven’t read the Bible … or if they have, they cherry picked what fit into their already cynical view of the faith they clearly know nothing about. 

Here are my issues with this post …

1. Mega churches make up a FRACTION of churches in the world but this post assumes mega churches are popping up like weeds. Many churches around the world are small groups of people meeting in secret in someone’s living room or dirty basement. The vast majority of churches cater to small communities and congregations where everybody knows everybody. (Mega churches offer anonymity while searching for faith which many people need in this world of anti-Christians – personally I prefer a church that feels like home. Mega churches don’t do it for me.)

2. This post vilifies the amount of money it takes to build a “mega church” in that it showcases a tv evangelist’s church. This flashy church with its many cameras, bright lights, and thousands of seats probably did cost a pretty penny to build … So instead of building this church with all that money, why wasn’t it just given away? … well because tv evangelist mega churches like this one put faith in reaching people and inspiring them to seek God and while doing so giving to those in need in their community as God calls us to do. It costs money to get the message to people that don’t even know they need it until they hear it. 

3. Finally, and mostly, this post suggests that building homeless shelters actually solves the problem of homelessness … 😳. While a homeless shelter helps a short term problem for an individual in that it keeps them off the street during inclement weather, provides them with a couple meals, and gives them resources to get back on their feet, it is by no means a solution to their problem. So instead of building homeless shelters, we ought to focus on things that actually help them in the long run -i.e. Job placement, hygiene assistance, mental health assistance (considering a great deal of our homeless population suffer from a mental illness this one is a big deal), and how about destigmatization of their predicament … a homeless person is still a person, not a lesser animal, criminal, lazy, deadbeat or any other monicker we greater humans with roofs over our heads throw at them as we pass them on the street – Empathy goes a long way to fixing this people problem. 

What this post does is draw attention to a small population within the Christian community that doesn’t represent the whole but condemns the whole just the same. As if the majority of Christians, or generally people of faith, don’t actually practice what they preach and instead they go to these mega churches and bathe in success while doing nothing for their fellow human as they are called to do … this is a huge stereotype that just needs to stop. 

Oh and by the way most homeless shelters are established and staffed by churches … what some consider to be “mega churches” since they are denominational and part of a great whole of churches…. i.e. the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church, etc. AND most homeless shelters would cease to exist if not for donations from those no good people of faith that don’t give two rips about those in need. 

😤 end rant –