By Wade Phillips
10 Questions to ask before you post
Social media has turned us into a nation of cable TV pundits. We have the ability to discuss and debate politics the same way they do it on TV. But should we? Ask yourself:
1. Am I right?
We need Christians who understand the issues and how the Bible speaks to them. There are moral issues where Christians should not be afraid to stand up for what is right. But before you decide that you are that person, you must ask yourself: Do I really understand this issue well enough? Do I really understand how the Word of God speaks to it well enough to speak about it? Am I considering the entire counsel of God, or am I just looking for a verse to prove what I already think?
2. Are my facts right?
You can be on the right side of an issue but wrong about the particular facts. You may have a biblical understanding about the evil of abortion, but that doesn’t mean every bad thing you read about abortion is true. Christians say we have the truth about God. If we are not speaking truth in other areas of our lives, then we risk losing credibility when we speak about God.
3. Is my tone right?
We need to say the right thing, the right way, at the right time. There is a time for speaking bluntly, and perhaps even a time to speak harshly. But if that is always our tone, we will turn more people away than we will win.
4. Are my motivations right?
It matters why you do what you do. If you want to say something on Facebook about a politician or an issue so you can vent, it’s best not to say it. If your motivation is to get “likes,” then think twice about posting. Our motivation in everything we do should be to glorify God.
5. Are my biases showing?
It’s easy to get so set in our political opinions that we believe our side is always right and the other side is always wrong. Christians must be willing to speak truth to those we support and those we don’t. We must be willing to speak hard truths, even to someone we agree with on many other issues.
6. Do I have something worthwhile to say?
Does what you are saying add to the conversation, or does it regurgitate what others are saying? There are lots of issues I don’t speak to because others are speaking to them better than I can.
7. Am I seeking to convince others?
This is one of the greatest dangers I have seen recently. We no longer want to convince people of anything; we just want to “own” them. If you are right about an issue, seek to convince those who disagree. You might be surprised.
8. Is it worth the risk?
If what you say means some people will never listen to you about Jesus, is it worth it? That risk may be worth taking sometimes. There are issues where Christians cannot remain silent. But before you say something, ask yourself if this is really one of those issues.
9. Am I speaking in love?
Are you motivated to speak out of love — for those who can’t help themselves, for neighbor, for your enemy? Too often we are motivated by love for ourselves. But the love that is found in the gospel is too radical to allow that.
10. Are politics my idol?
Anything that is not God can become an idol. This nation, like every nation, is going to come to an end. Jesus’ kingdom is the only one that will stand forever. Are you living like that is true?
Christians could win the war for the nation’s culture and lose the war for its soul. America could become more moral and less Christian if it is filled with moral but self-righteous people. Our only hope is the gospel. Don’t let politics stop you from joining Jesus in His radical, loving, self-sacrificing mission to bring people into right relationship with Him.
Wade Phillips is the associate pastor at Northcrest Baptist Church in Meridian. He worked for 20 years as a TV news anchor, most of it at WTOK-TV in Meridian.