you are who/what you retweet.

Twitter is an atmosphere in which one can enter the minds of people & celebrities (or actually their PR manager, but I can’t prove that) on a tweet by tweet basis. But, I see a growing trend in retweeting any vague reference to God that they submit.  That’s an interesting concept worth exploring.

The good.

Sometimes I see a celebrity tweet something about prayer & immediately people send encouraging replies. It’s encouraging to see people humble themselves & ask for help. Imagine people from all over the world praying to God petitioning, not manipulating, on the behalf of a humbled heart.

Also, social justice causes will have more publicity with a celebrity name attached #truth. If someone gets to have a meal on their table because @whoever pubbed for it, then so be it.

The honorable.

It’s honorable to see the transparency in some celebrities. Some people will come out & be real about how they feel about something, proclaiming truisms. Christian or not, you can have an opinion. We all push our thoughts on others, even when we tell others not to push their truth on us … we are inevitably pushing our truth on someone. The irony, think about it.

For instance, if someone says that we should not talk about religion & politics they are talking about religion & politics. What they are actually saying is, I have the truth & your truth is not welcome here. I can make exclusive claims to my philosophy on religion but yours are wrong & should be converted to my way of thought.

The bad.

The bad, in this subject of retweeting, is that people seem to retweet any vague reference to God that any celebrity tweets. This is reflective of ones own heart & their definition of justification. I call it the “celebrity-award-show-complex,” & it is very much extended to twitter. You know, when a celebrity raps/sings/acts about everything that breaks God’s heart & blasphemes his name by saying that he commissioned their work to do that. Self-justifying themselves by rap-praying on the last track, saying God (or at least Him) on a gospel-ish track, or doing a Christian-ish movie. They tweet about booty, butts, cheeks, & then a non-biblical God.  A non-biblical God tweet isn’t a God tweet but a god tweet; the god of themselves & their desire for justification.

Stop judging die_dd!

I am judging, & if you think I am judging you are judging me. Oh the irony, think about it. Or as Keller would say, “Those who condemn the self-righteous for the sake of self-discovery do so with ironic self-righteousness.”

The sad truth is that we all stand judged & condemned. We all have gone our own way & blaspheme God by self-justifying ourselves as if God backs our tweets. We tweet about every trending topic that captures our fleshly desires. Out of the abundance of the heart our fingers tweet. We are broken people in need to be made whole. That’s the bad news.

The honorable news is that your tweets are proof that you need help. Critically analyze your tweets & you will discover your idols. Another word for celebrity is idol.

God the Father follows no one but has two followers, the Holy Spirit & Jesus, and on twitter, the Spirit doesn’t accept follow requests unless you already follow Jesus. But, to follow Christ you must unfollow your other idols (repent & believe). Upon following Christ the Spirit immediately follows you & allows you to see the retweets of the Father God.

That’s the good news. The glorious news that Jesus entered the hypocrisy of the world & cut through it with love in the shape of a cross. Caring for us when we were ungodly, tweeting evil.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 #absolutetruth

how should we respond to osama bin laden’s death?

I decided to tackle this because i know it’s a tough and popular topic that will warrant discussion and edify the body, all while illuminating God’s justice, Christ’s death, & His grace.

Photo by Getty Images.

how should we respond to the death of osama bin laden? honestly, i can’t answer that question with a definite action, but i feel comfortable in answering the question, “before i react, what should i think of in response to the death of osama bin laden?

@2live4him tweets, “Osama got what he deserved, but before you start shouting, what if you got what you deserved?”

@pngwolo tweets, “According to God, I and Bin Laden deserve to be bunk buddies in Hell’s Oven. Rom. 3:10-19.”

proverb 28:5 reads “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.”

proverb 24:17 reads “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad … ”

proverb 11:10 reads “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.”

@2live4him prompts us to, before shouting over osama bin laden’s death, think of how it would be if we got what we deserved. Nat, knowingly or unknowingly, is addressing someone already in the wrong, for they are rejoicing at the sole fact that osama is dead, and from a vengeful view. the only person’s death we should rejoice over is Jesus (because He died for us), and that doesn’t break proverbs 24:17, because Jesus (who we were once enemies of) is not in a position of failure anymore; He is at the right hand of God (hebrews 1).

@pngwolo prompts us to look at the sinful state of osama bin laden and ourselves – which are the same. in God’s eyes, the only true eyes, eric michael ward and osama bin laden deserve to be bunk buddies in hell. sidenote: hell is such a lonely place (since we’ll be without God forever) that osama bin laden and i can be bunk buddies and not even know it because there is no community outside of God. PT’s tweets prompt me and others to see that we are no better than osama bin laden, and that we have sinned against God and deserve to be sniped by a bullet of eternal proportion from God’s golden gun (2 Thess 1). God’s righteous judgment is only right because His justice is just.

now, i don’t think we should be mad at someone not responding like us. the issue is deeper than celebration, but of the heart. some believe they are rejoicing in justice, but could be rejoicing in vengeance, which i agree is “contrary to the gospel.” see, most of us (christian or not), rejoice in the fact that bin laden has been killed, but not at the fact that it points to justice – which should ultimately point back to God, the justifier (it sounds like we can’t separate the two, but we can and do), being just and sniping Jesus instead of us. it sounds small when first read but that’s a ginormous [sic] problem. why? see, death & justice are conjoined twins, but some of us want to focus on just 1 head and ignore the other, which leads to either hyper-_____________ (insert view) or a mind controlled by vengeance.

i believe the gospel of Jesus Christ demands we focus on both death & justice, in addition to grace, not either or. those in Christ understand justice, we understand death (we’ll continue to grow in that understanding), and we view the two through a lens of grace. Christ’s death on the cross is something we rejoice over. why? because it should have been us on the cross! and because He rose! that’s grace! now, we rejoice in this because God’s plate of justice which was specifically prepared for you and i … Christ ate it … while He was on the cross! that’s grace by justice!

how should we respond? we should think of Jesus in all things before we react in anything, and that hopefully results in worshipping God. i rejoice at the fact that justice was served once and for all for me because Jesus became my due justice for me on the cross (2 cor 5:21). i can’t rejoice in Osama bin laden’s death, well, because he isn’t Christ and his death wasn’t for my atonement. i can’t rejoice in any man dying and not knowing Christ – because it seems by his lifestyle and devout belief that osama bin laden is away from God’s goodness: hell. that is no reason to rejoice. ever. bin laden’s death actually reminds me of the urgency to exalt Christ’s finished work since there are people dying without Christ as you read this blog. @2live4him & @pngwolo’s tweets prompt me to rejoice in the grace poured on my sinful self, as well as the death and the justice demanded by God, that I escaped because of Jesus. God the Son’s gracious death saved me (all grace). it’s weird i know, but i simultaneously rejoice in the picture of God’s justice, Christ’s death, and the subsequent grace – simultaneously. honestly, i can’t think of 1 and not the other.

what matters more? how someone responds to the death of osama bin laden, or how someone responds to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? let’s not eliminate either side because they both matter, but which really matters more – if one indeed matters more? can we view them apart from each other? i think the latter will effect the former. you? let’s talk.

here is how Francis Chan responds.

Death to Your Darkside

It was kind of fascinating but scary at the same time. It was a FOX26 special on spouses who cheat using internet networking sites. Divorce lawyers have begun to utilize facebook and twitter as sources of evidence for infidelity. They can tell of countless stories of spouses discovering horrifying facebook inbox messages, and heart wrenching direct messages sent and received from their spouse’s FB or Twitter account. That was the scary part, the fascinating part was how people had created completely alternate personalities and lived secret lives through these sites. We saw the same thing with the whole Tiger Woods situation. Tiger had maintained such a professional, upright and clean cut image, yet we would later find out that Tiger led a very different private life.

And although we’ve never had to own up to our secret lives on national television, we all have to admit that at some point on some level, we allow ourselves to have a private life apart from our ‘Christian’ life. The experts on the FOX26 special said network sites are the perfect tool for doing and becoming whatever we want without shame due to the high level of secrecy that is provided. Think about the secrecy that we are provided in life. She’s your Christian girl by day sending explicit text messages by night. He’s your usher on Sunday, but a porn addict in his bedroom on every other day. And without access to her phone or his computer, no one will ever know. That’s the power of technology’s secrecy. On the outside we are presentable but it’s the sinful desires on the inside that we express in secrecy that are so damaging.

In Mark, Jesus explains to the disciples that it is the “vile things from within that defile us” (Mark 5:23). Our sin problems reach deeper than the surface. In the 23rd chapter of Matthew Jesus drives home the issue of sin on the inside when he says,” Hypocrites! For you are careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy-full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).

Jesus hit the nail on the head. How often do we do the things we do in the dark out of greed and self-indulgence? I think we all could point out a sin that we do on the low and say yes, I do this and I would be ashamed to admit it in public, it isn’t necessary, it doesn’t enhance my life in any way, but I do it because it’s just a lil sumthin sumthin that pleases me and makes me feel good.

Man, when we sign to team Jesus, never in our contract does it say that this life is about bringing ourselves pleasure, fulfilling our desires. Matter of fact, our contract says that we just might have to suffer for His name’s sake, that this life is about bringing Him glory; our aim is to please Him, not us. That’s why in Romans 12:1, Paul calls us to present ourselves as living sacrifices. It sounds like an oxymoron because sacrifices usually involve death, but Paul says we are living sacrifices. When you allow Christ to be the ruler of your life, offering up your inner desires, your secret indulgences, and sacrificing your secret pleasures, you will actually gain life, you will be given the opportunity to experience a better more fulfilling life. Watching friends go to a place you know you don’t belong at, refraining from certain behaviors, and denying yourself of certain worldly pleasures may feel like it’s gonna kill you, but isn’t that what a life in Christ is all about? Killing you, your flesh so that you may live an enriched, enhanced life through Christ.

Lay it all on the altar, every part, so that you can experience the power of life through Jesus Christ in every area of your life. In the next verse in Matthew 23, Jesus says,” First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean too.”  Acknowledge that there is an internal sin problem. God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still creeping in the dark doing our dirt, He sent His perfect son to die on the cross and bear the filth of our greed and self-indulgence, giving us His white robe of righteousness to wear instead. The work He did on the cross can wash you clean, it has the power to make all things new if you trust and believe in Jesus Christ. Let Him come in and clean things up and the evidence of how He has cleansed you on the inside will become evident on the outside, in your public and private life!

Why You’re Screwed (?)

“Nobody’s Perfect”

We say this…a lot. And we should, as it’s true (mostly, but we’ll get to that later). We all know that each of us fall short of a standard we know we should be reaching. We mess/goof/[insert word] up everyday. But we reconcile our shortcomings with the statement “nobody’s perfect” and we somehow work ourselves to sleep for the night and repeat this imperfect process over and over….and (you guessed it) over again. We know we aren’t perfect, and consider that if we were to die, God will accept us because, well… “nobody’s perfect” right?

This is the Problem

The problem with this is that…God is Holy. Consider a white wedding dress ladies, or for the fellas a pair of those all white air forces. Would you still wear that dress or those forces if there was a small red spot on them? I’m going to guess not. Well in God’s economy, we’re those spots, but we aren’t small, we’re huge blots on God’s all whites of righteousness , so God really wants nothing to do with us. Let me park under the Christmas tree, sit down, and “unpack” it like this:

The fact that you are not perfect does not excuse the fact that God demands perfection to be in relationship with Him.

Do you see the problem? You’re not perfect, but the One true God demands perfection to be in relationship with Him. On your best day, God considers your good (avoiding “big sins” , praying, church attendance, helping at the old folks home) to be blackened bloody maxi-pads (Isaiah 64:6). You disgust a Holy God. So, it would seem as if…well…

You’re Screwed.

What is the answer? Well…it’s almost true that nobody’s perfect. There’s an exception to that  statement though-Jesus Christ.

He literally breathed perfection, not a stain on Him…ever, anywhere. And honestly, what does that have to do with you? He lived this perfect life, not you. But wait- He lived this perfect life on Earth…. for you, then died for…well you, if you believe in Him. Upon turning away from your old life and belief in Jesus, God takes the perfect life that His Son Jesus lived and gives it to you. Jesus takes your sin, and you take His perfection [2 Corinthians 5:21] so now in the eyes of a God that demands perfection, your are perfect.

Your life is now a lifestyle of being perfected and walking in that perfection, while being positionally perfect in God’s judicial system. It’s an amazing thing. All you have to do is repent and believe in Jesus.

Will you repent and believe in Jesus?