It’s easy to fall into a rut in our Christianity. We choose the music we like and have our pick of worship artists to listen to. The market is flooded with books that encourage godly living and promote clean, Christian content. And, thanks to Netflix and other sources, we can easily tune-in to Christian shows or movies. Not a bad deal, right?
What about our online communications? Well, after surfing the Net a while, we often find our ‘niches’ and settle in to build virtual relationships with people we have things in common with.
People of similar values.
Similar ideas or world view.
Similar methods of worshipping.
In short, people we feel comfortable with.
A few weeks ago, I realized how set I was in my ways. I’d recently joined Instagram (find me there at: christian.creative.nexus) and have been posting images and links from this blog on that platform. Things were going alright. The number of followers increased at a reasonable rate. Until I posted the link to my Freaky Friday Music Jam post on Andy Mineo, a Christian rapper I really like. Apparently, a lot of other people like him, too!
My Instagram exploded with likes and follows. I was thrilled, thinking : ‘This is great! What an amazing response!’
Then l looked closer at who was responding. Mostly rappers and music producers and their threads featured images of a lifestyle that is…atypical of a ‘squeaky-clean Christian’. It’s true that just because Andy Mineo is a Christian, and surely he has a lot of Christian followers, it’s also true that he could have many followers who aren’t Christian. That seemed to be the case, because it wasn’t clear from the threads belonging to the new followers if they were Christian or not.
I struggled with how to respond and asked God for wisdom. My first concern was how Nexus followers might react if I followed back. As you probably have experienced, there’s an almost overwhelming urge to reciprocate when someone follows you. But, as a Christian, the last thing I want to do is be a stumbling block to a brother or sister.
New Living Translation : 1 Corinthians 8:9
But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.
Also, personally, I wasn’t keen on having my thread regularly filled with some of those images.
At church on Sunday, our pastor was preaching about the sovreignty of God. That sent my mind in various directions, and one of the thoughts that made me pause was this :
1- Christians come in all shapes and sizes and from different backgrounds.
2- In this case, my brothers and sisters in Christ are battling it out every day in the music and movie businesses, some of the most notoriously difficult missions around.
3- They have to overcome temptations, stresses, and spiritual attacks and traps at a level I know nothing about.
4- Not only all that, but the eyes of the world are constantly watching them.
I felt bad. Bad for not seeing it like that before, and bad for being more concerned about what people thought of me rather than looking beyond that to the needs of my brothers and sisters who need support.
Romans 14:13-23 English Standard Version (ESV)
Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
I wanted to write this post as a means of standing with those warriors, to shed light on a situation that I don’t hear many people talking about, and to express my committment to praying for them. I hope to encourage others to pray for them as well.
I don’t claim to understand everything about God and His ways. Sometimes, the Bible seems confusing and difficult to understand, and we struggle to know how to act in a godly manner. What I’ve written about today is something I’m still chewing on, but one thing I do know: God loves all His children and we are supposed to love one another, too. We might not understand each other’s calling, or how we enact it, but we are called to love and pray for one another, not to judge.
We are one Family. There is one Body of Christ. We must lift each other up!
New Living Translation John 13:35
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”