Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Twitter

Remaining Above the Fray

The expression above the fray refers to abstaining from getting involved in a heated argument, confrontation or debate.  While individuals may participate by adding their opinion, temperance is demonstrated by going the right distance and no further.  One of the reasons I have not activated my twitter account is to avoid being dragged into a no win situation of endless mudslinging back and forth.

But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him], 11 well aware that such a person is twisted and is sinning; he is convicted and self-condemned [and is gratified by causing confusion among believers], Titus 3:9-11.

Controversy is nothing new.  During the first century, philosophers meet in the marketplace to exchange their ideas.  When these new teachings conflicted with biblical principles, dissensions and quarrels about the God’s law triggered heresy, a departure from biblical beliefs.  In the passage above, the apostle Paul warns a servant of Christ to avoid getting sucked into these futile discussions.  In the centuries following biblical times, God raised up Christian historians who wrote apologetic books defending and justifying biblical truth.

Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ], Philippians 2:1-2.

The best solution to remain above the fray is by developing a Christ-like mind.  Arguments tend to bring out raw emotions that influences human nature to attack, lash out and seek revenge.  Yet, Jesus shares a contrary message, to let God judge the living and the dead.  Jesus had the power to call down fire from heaven as the Son of God, but he choose to live a humble life as a blue collar carpenter.  By taking time every day to meet quietly with God, this spiritual discipline empowered Jesus to carry out God’s will on earth.  When individuals begin to practice Philippians 2:2-5, attitudes will transform toward a heavenly mindset to remain above the fray.

by Jay Mankus

Advertisements

Another Axis of Evil

On January 29th, 2002, President George W. Bush introduced the phrase “axis of evil.”  The first State of the Union speech following the events of September 11th, 2001, was used to pinpoint the common enemies of the United States.  In an attempt to rally Americans to support the War on Terror, the president elaborated on his theory.  The imminent threat of this axis focused on Iran, Iraq and North Korea.  Bush’s secondary concern involved the countries of Cuba, Libya and Syria.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world, 1 John 4:1.

Over the weekend, another axis of evil emerged on social media.  In a rush to judge a group of male Catholic high school students wearing Make America Great Again caps, a series of posts on Twitter went viral,  According to eyewitnesses, several people taking videos on their phones said, “we got what we need.”  Instead of doing their do diligence, cable news anchors, journalists and social media members piled on by accusing these teenagers of hatred, racism and violence.

But test everything; hold fast what is good, 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

In the days that have followed, full videos have come out showing the context of what actually happened.  Students were waiting for their bus after attending the Right for Life March, a pro-life event.  When a group of protesters saw some students wearing MAGA hats, these men began to bully. criticize and verbally assault these teenagers.  At this point Nathan Phillips, a Native American got between the black Hebrews Israelites and Covington Catholic members.  As this native American beat his drum, the students got permission from a chaperone to chant one of their school songs to drown out the insults.  When the press interviewed Phillips afterwards, he gave false and misleading statements blaming this confrontation on these white boys that the media ran with this side of the story, igniting a tsunami of hatred.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so, Acts 17:11.

When students returned to Kentucky, school had to be cancelled on Tuesday due to death threats.  Parents of these students might lose their jobs due to outrage and protests from leftist groups.  Why is that media mistakes only happen to conservatives and Christians?  I guess the initial story fit the narrative what the media believes about Trump supporters.  Instead of taking incorrect and misleading posts down, few apologies and retractions have been made by members of the mainstream media.  Meanwhile, terrorist threats have been made at this Catholic institution including fears of a potential school shooting.  What happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty?  Why are members of Hollywood doxing students for supporting president Trump?  If people don’t study the facts before posting news stories, then “fake news” will become another axis of evil.

by Jay Mankus

$Free Speech?

Twitter made it official today: banning the phrase “illegal aliens.”  Twitter officials believe this expression is a form of hate speech.  This social media giant announced on Thursday, September 13th before noon that anyone who tries to use this language in a tweet will be blocked, shadowed banned or have their account deleted.  After hearing this news update, one has to wonder who is deciding what is acceptable and unacceptable?  What criteria, measuring stick or standard is being applied to determine free speech?

And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, Acts 4:29.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution may have something to say against Twitter’s decision.  This document prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances.  While Twitter is a private company, future lawsuits by anyone discriminated against could open the door for government regulation of social media sites like a public utility.  Perhaps, this reality caused Twitter to reconsider, reversing their decision Thursday night.

Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance, Acts 28:31.

During the first century, the Roman Emperor Nero began to attack, imprison and persecute Christians.  In the beginning of the book of Acts, a Jewish zealot named Saul oversaw the execution of the apostle Stephen.  Despite the fear of death, the Holy Spirit emboldened these followers of Christ to fulfill the great commission, Matthew 28:16-20.  These saints didn’t have the luxury of freedom of speech.  Rather, early Christians boldly proclaimed the kingdom of heaven, trusting God to protect them from their enemies.  May modern believers learn from their example, having the conviction to share what is on your heart.

by Jay Mankus

The Dawn of a Social Media Blackout

Beginning in the 1970’s, the Plato System was developed at the University of Illinois.  Plato’s message application forum Talkomatic introduced the first on-line chat room.  The concept of Usenet was conceived in 1979 and established by 1980 as a joint venture between Duke and North Carolina University.  As operating systems such as Mac OS and Windows emerged in the 1980’s, online Bulletin Board Systems and Internet Relay Chats grew in popularity.  This technology conceived social media platforms like My Space and Facebook in the 1990’s.  AOL launched instant messaging inspiring the film You’ve Got Mail in 1998.  Meanwhile, Windows Live Messenger set the stage for blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter.  When you consider modern search engines like Google, social media has become a powerful form of communication.

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, 2 Timothy 4:3.

Unfortunately, the last decade has revealed the ugly side of this new domain.  Since the 2016 presidential election, cyber bullying, fake news and verbal assaults are a daily occurrence.  Meanwhile, Christians, conservatives and historians are being silenced by several social media moguls.  Sites are being demonetized, posts have been removed and videos have been banned without any logical explanation.  Every week stories continue to spread about cyber police silencing content that offends atheists, liberals and progressives.  Diamond and Silk recently accused Facebook of blocking 1.3 million followers from receiving their newsletter.  Meanwhile, Twitter has been exposed for using algorithms to prop up liberal viewership while taking away followers from accounts deemed too conservative.  How long will this censorship be allowed to continue as a social media blackout?

And will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable], 2 Timothy 4:4.

As I look to the Bible for answers to my concerns, there are one of two possible explanations.  First, this is merely a sign of end times, that Jesus’ second coming in the form of the rapture is drawing near.  The book of 2 Timothy, chapter 3 provides a detailed list of what to expect prior to Jesus’ return.  The apostle Paul eludes to a time when arrogance, disobedience and narcissism influences the culture.  The more I read 2 Timothy 3, the more plausible this theory become.  Yet, current social media conditions can be directly tied to post-modernism.  This worldview is highlighted by a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies.  When post-modernism is embraced, the concept of moral absolutes disappear.  Thus, as social media sites appoint monitors to examine the content of individual domains, judgments are made based upon worldviews held.  As Theism is being replaced by secular humanism and post-modernism, Christians need to do a better job of explaining their beliefs.  Unless conservatives start engaging other worldviews with biblical principles, this targeted social media blackout will continue until hearts and minds are persuaded by love.

by Jay Mankus

Trying to Survive in a World Void of Love

If you have your own twitter handle or follow daily tweets, hatred is regularly spewed.  Feelings, opinions and thoughts once keep inside human minds are now given a venue to be unleashed without any filter.  This sets the stage for a cruel environment as critics pick apart individuals that they disagree with, dislike or simply pile on.  This is the atmosphere children and adults are forced to deal with, trying to survive in a world void of love.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him,” Leviticus 19:17.

While technology wasn’t an issue, evil affected civilizations in the days of the Old Testament.  Moses addresses hatred that spread throughout the twelve tribes of Israel.  According to the passage above, bitter hearts were influencing relationships with neighbors.  Anyone who allows jealousy, hurt feelings or past encounters to prevent you from giving others the benefit of doubt incurs sin.  In many cases, lack of reason hampers love from being displayed.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen, 1 John 4:20.

The disciple whom Jesus loved gives his own take on why love is fading away, rarely displayed by anyone.  John believes people are afraid to be honest, caring more about being politically correct than being truthful.  Thus, a growing number of people offer lip service void of any signs of love.  This pattern must cease, replaced by humble hearts hoping to change.  While public education continues to focus on self esteem, love is derived from a spiritual transformation, Galatians 5:22-23.  When hearts are reborn, Romans 10:9-10, love is possible.  Unfortunately, love can’t be forced upon people, it occurs naturally as the Holy Spirit touches souls.  The only way to survive a world void of love unscathed is by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit through which love comes forth.

by Jay Mankus

So Lame… By Hiding His Name

We live in a polarized world where any type of comment, statement or words can ignite explosive comments on Twitter.  Sometimes things can be taken out of context, but once you hit send you can’t take this back.  Subsequently, political correctness is the new bully on the block, causing conservatives and liberals to retract earlier posts.  This public pressure is deterring many from bolding expressing what people believe.  The byproduct of this atmosphere produces lame Christians that often hide Jesus’ name.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house,” Matthew 5:14-15.

This fear inspired the words to the children’s classic song This Little Light of Mine.  Harry Dixon Loes, a former student at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago composed this song.  The founder of this school, D.L. Moody, wanted to serve God but wasn’t given a classroom to teach in his church.  An elder encouraged him to start a Sunday School outside of church and when his class got big enough a space would be provided.  Thus, D.L, Moody went to the beaches of Lake Michigan and began to introduce strangers to the good news about Jesus Christ.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven, Matthew 5:16.

Eventually, Moody’s following became so large, he started his own church in the 1800’s.  On the day of the great Chicago fire of 1871, Moody felt rushed at the end of his sermon.  Thus, he decided to skip his call to action, a time to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Later that night, several members of his congregation were killed by the flames.  This error in judgment burned within Moody’s heart, inspiring weekly altar calls in case another unexpected disaster followed.  Like the words of Jesus above, lamps are meant to shine light every where.  Therefore, don’t allow peer pressure to limit the light of Christ within you.  Rather, let your light shine.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Viral Anger

As I was waiting to see my eye doctor today, I came across an interesting page in Time Magazine.  The article was entitled Viral Anger, addressing the growing dangers of social media in America.  The author compared this condition to an illness, spreading like a contagious disease which is making those who engage sick.

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way, Proverbs 19:2.

Although I agree with the premise of this piece, there is a fatal flaw not addressed.  Currently, mainstream media bases the majority of cable news programing on political talking points.  These slogans and sound bytes are passed on to elite members of the press and communicated via cable, magazines and news papers.  This is the fuel which ignites daily dumpster fires on Twitter.  Until major networks begins reporting the facts, opinion based journalism will continue to spawn viral anger.

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends, Proverbs 16:28.

Social media has opened a modern day Pandora’s Box, giving any self seeking individual the opportunity to instantly share what’s on their mind.  Without any filters, thoughts freely flow with the click of a button.  There was a time in this country when parents taught their children, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!”  These days are gone, replaced by people seeking fifteen minutes of fame through blogs, tweets or you tube channels.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly, 2 Timothy 2:16.

The byproduct of social media is like a fulfillment of the passage above.  However, instead of spreading first century heresy, viral anger is poisoning souls like an outbreak of gangrene.  The only practical solution that I see is to replace negative news with a Positive News Network.  If modern cable providers carry 24 hour television channels for any thinkable topic, it’s time for entrepreneurs to create an outlet which tells the whole story of an issue.  Since I don’t see anyone putting social media back into Pandora’s Box, perhaps a source of encouragement like a PNN will be the cure to defeat viral anger.

by Jay Mankus

 

%d bloggers like this: