I find the Social Media world can be a contradictory one at times.

One of the virtues that is extolled in this social world that we talk about is valuing people for who they are, being relevant to them, and celebrating uniqueness. Yet I find that whenever I talk about how I am a follower of Jesus Christ and a pastor at my church, the conversation goes cold.

Part of this, I think, is that the Social Media talkers have this idea that Faith is a dividing line that separates people and causes exclusion. But here’s the thing:

  • Is not my faith who I uniquely am?
  • Are not many people dividing and exclusive about their Social Media opinions?
  • Are their not bigger fights on Twitter than those about faith?
  • Don’t some people religiously believe in non-religious things?
  • Isn’t faith all encompassing – as in, people have faith in Social Media?
  • Shouldn’t driving forces for good be celebrated?

My Christian belief is the biggest driving force in not only my desire but my actions that are about helping people.

I spend most of my week helping people – whether co-ordinating the homeless and displaced in our city, helping people in trouble, guiding people to be all they can be, nurturing the Like Minds community, forging connections, running International Nite to celebrate ethnicity in our city, spending time on the phone with many of you, and providing content on this blog daily that is helping people.

One of the most disturbing things out of all of this is how many people, when I’m on the phone with them, secretly admit that “I’m a Christian too.” I have no problem in putting my faith and my role as a pastor on my blog and on my Twitter profile – yet so many do.

So today I implore you – don’t hide your faith – celebrate it.

Because Social Means Celebration.

And on that note, here’s a poem I wrote on Good Friday many years ago. I think the message of doing whatever it takes, no matter what, stands for whoever and wherever you are:

Could you be seized without a cause,
Then to give no reply, but pause.
To be stripped of your only possession,
And be paraded naked in precession.
To be battered, beaten, bleeding and broken,
And to have your back whipped wide open.
Could you endure
To receive yet more,
And be silent by,
To only later cry:

Could you bear thorns in mocked-fame
Of the right honour due to your name.
And be then taken to the tree, and tied to it,
Fastened, knowing that you were to die by it.
To drag it to Golgotha, where iron nails
Should pierce the saving hands of Israel.
Could you resist
The angel’s assist,
And stay in place
And seek yet His face:

Could you watch those around
Bet your nothing by the ground.
And, past your blood-blurred view,
See your Mother screaming after you.
And watch your very own, your trusted friends,
Deny and leave you to the bitterest end.
Could you still die
To be denied,
And finish this task
Never to ask:

Would you live this life and mission:
To be slain by your own creation?
And, after all, having done all this,
Pray then for their forgiveness?
And taking the sin of the world upon you
Holdfast as your father leaves you:
Would you hang in loss
Cursed on cross,
And, Fatherless
Die, answerless;

Love you all. Scott

Archived Comments

  • http://benjaminellis.org/ Benjamin

    A good call Scott,

    The modern undercurrent seems to be: “believe whatever you want to believe, as long as you don’t want someone to believe what you believe”. Which is a strange kind of freedom.

    To be fair, ‘religious’ folks on all sides (theistic and non-theistic) have out-talked their welcome at times. If I am buying a cup of coffee, I probably don’t want a lesson in eschatology or the philosophical underpinnings of ‘the new atheism’. But that’s a different issue. People should feel free to talk about what they believe, and society has no place telling them not to. Whether we agree or disagree, open debate is better than a choking suppression that allows untruths to live on.

    The mass media relentlessly steers us away from the most fundamental questions of life: Where did I come from? Where am I going to? Why is the world like it is? What is my purpose in it? And what do I do about it?

    We can’t fix the problems in business, society or government if people won’t look at questions of purpose, and purpose is rooted in belief. It should be discussed. When you know what someone believes, you know how they will behave, which is much more revealing than someone telling you what they might, or might not, do.

    And so to action… Talk is often accused of being cheap. Actions are not. Actions reveal deep truths about what someone believes, more so than their words.

    If someone was prepared to suffer and die for what they believed, and others followed them, that belief is worth investigating, at the very least. On today, of all days.

    Thank you for sharing your poem.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Ben

    I find the undercurrent actually says “believe what you want, be yourself and pressure those who don’t conform to the norm”, and then only add the ” as long as you don’t want someone to believe what you believe” if you’re a Christian.

    I have people all the time telling me to party, drink, smoke, dope, use TweetDeck, not use Tweetie, use this, do that, etc etc. But say “Christ” or “Church” and the same old comes as per above.

    And totally I agree – “and so to action.” The kind of action that, like you says, lays its life down for others.

    Have a good one Ben :-)

  • http://jeffhurtblog.com JeffHurt

    Maybe it’s a difference in the way the European and US churches approach things. Here in the states, people are disappointed with the church institution and organized religion. It’s about the authority of power versus the authority of love.

    Many Americans equate Christianity with a one-size-fits-all damnation. That’s why I think Americans turn off discussion about Christianity. It’s seen as a polarizing issue. We have little experience with a church that embraces a faith based on the authority of God’s love. Instead, we see and hear a lot of hate, disrespect and greed as we watch the poor being neglected, the hungry not fed, the broken hearted condemned. It’s a faith based on power and rightness. Who wants to talk with someone that condemns or disrespects them?

    IMO, this sort of stark contrast is what Jesus presented. Among the powerful, he was weak. Among bullies, he was humble. Among the self-absorbed, he sensed the need of others. Among the established rulers, he was fresh and surprising. People were astounded by him. He seemed to have real authority. His authority was based in God’s love.

    I suspect more Americans would engage in open conversations with Christians, if they felt loved and respected. Just my two cents…

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Jeff

    Thanks for your very open comments. I completely agree with you – people are turned off about Church – may of whom who actually believe in God!

    The picture of paint of Jesus is a great one – he was that person that met the needs and fitted with whoever he was with – which I was I think we who believe must also be doing.

    For me, I don’t want to have a “Christian blog”, but be a Christian who does blog – for that belief to weave through everything I do (as it does!). The idea of separation has created a duality that just doesn’t work for me.

    What I do find is how people do love to talk, as you say, when they feel loved and respected. I certainly hope I don’t convey the opposite feelings here and have created a place where anyone can talk and engage.

    Thanks Jeff for the two cents ;-)