I saw a meme the other day that made me LOL, literally, laugh out loud. It was a picture of George Washington with a quote next to him that said something like “Don’t believe every inspirational quote next to the picture of a famous person that you see on the internet.” I. Lost. It. Laughing.
While this is so true for George, it should be a giant caution sign to Christians as well. About a year ago, my ladies Bible study group dove into 2 John and wow, John does not mince words! Towards the end of his life, John began to see the rise of the Gnostic church and the vulnerability of Christians to be so easily swayed away from the gospel. These were people who had either seen Jesus themselves or their parents had and yet they so quickly turned away. Seeing the threat, John offers this warning:
“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:9-11, NASB).
Who are we allowing into our homes? Probably no one scary looking, I’m sure, but what about through our screens? What are we watching on tv? Who are we following online? Who are we allowing our children to be exposed to? Are these people aligned with Christ? Are they preaching God’s unaltered word or are they leaving out all the convicting parts? This was a hard truth for me. It was a real “rubber meets the road” moment when a favorite tv show of mine finally went too far when it glamorized abortion (in fairness, the red blaring sirens had been firing since episode one, but I just made excuses because it was so good addictive). That was the last episode I watched; remove from queue! I will not receive that sinfulness into my house.
And what about what we read? So many celeb-bloggers out there like to slap the name “Jesus” somewhere on their “About Me” section and claim to be a follower of Christ. What they write about sounds nice and (sometimes) non-controversial so it’s likely a-okay, right? The Apostle Paul was certainly anything but non-controversial, and he warns us in his letter to Timothy that people will seek out false teachers to hear what sounds good to them, rather than the truth God is trying to tell them: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…” (2 Timothy 4:3, NASB). So, before we hit “follow” or “auto-play” shouldn’t we ask who we are allowing to tickle our ears?