If you have Facebook, you have seen it. If you have Twitter, you have seen it. If you have Snapchat, you have seen it. If you have any social media platform to “stay engaged” and browse it regularly, you have seen it. What is the “it?” It is supposedly the wonderful Gospel. The Gospel according to these platforms. They look something like this: Like to ward off Satan, Love to show you choose Christ, type Amen to get blessings, share to receive money sometime in your life.
You can add whatever you want to the blessings, come with your own idea, or even try to figure out what blessings you will receive by your own actions. Something more sinister is behind these posts. Usually, those making these photos (Memes), posts, and or “encouragement” lures people to engage in posts to make their page rank higher with more engagement. In other words, liking, sharing, and commenting drive the Facebook page higher in ranks.
Regardless of the darkness behind these posts, there is yet something more sinister behind them. Engaging in such things can open the doors to spiritual attacks. They spread rumors, lies, and false theology. They can and will indeed drive despair and heartache. When this happens, there is an ironic situation that occurs. The more you want to engage in these posts, share, and react in hopes that it does what it claims. You hooked to the bad, like an alcoholic and gambler. A gambler can lose so much, but the next pull could be the big winner.
As Christians, you confess to keeping the laws, but you violate the first commandment. “Thou shalt have no other God.” When one engages in this behavior, they make a God out of their actions and the post. You also violate the Second Commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.” (Commandments) In short, you are calling on God to use His name in vain because it’s not the real God of scripture, and you are trying to control God. Take a look in the Large Catechism to know more what it means to take His name in vain.
I also find something more disturbing when we complete the thoughts above; we also turn Jesus into a Facebook Jesus. We try to gain more likes from God because of our works, what we do in the world, and even pray, “I have done everything right according to the law!” Now, if Jesus would just take note and just ‘like’ ‘love’ and/or ‘comment’, I would have an assurance of my acceptance and faith. But alas, we look where we should not look. Just as the rich young ruler wanted a ‘like’ from Christ. We no longer look to scripture, we don’t look to our baptism, we don’t look to the sacraments, and we don’t look to our confession of sins. Instead, we bury the sins and ask for a ‘like’ or a ‘love.’
God is not one to manipulate. But we do it all the time. Our egos would like nothing more than to get a pat on the back from Christ because of what we do. Everybody is looking to boast in their work before Christ walks away with their head hung low and ashamed…full of guilt. They can’t get it. Christ calls such work evil and filth because it always involves manipulation.
In short, the so-called ‘Gospel’ posts – ‘like’ ‘share’ ‘say amen’ – all lead inward to the heart to gain acceptance, build a reputation on pages, and false hope. These posts are not Gospel because Gospel does not require and act by you; Gospel is something God has done for you ad completed it. Including your salvation by his blood.
Jesus’ blood saved those that pierced his side, beat Him, and spit on Him. What men meant for evil, God meant for good.
--Rev. Cody Mills