If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
In today’s world of social media, it is not uncommon to have “friends” or those in your “circles” that are more truly acquaintances, or possibly even complete strangers. I know I certainly have a handful of people on my lists that I have never actually met in person; some of whom I have only ever interacted with through various online games.
If there is one thing that social media has reinforced, it is my belief that people truly thrive on drama and where none exists, they will seek it out or create it from nothing. What I mean is that people have a tendency to assume the worst; to think that things someone posts are targeted at them, (Course, this goes hand in hand with our tendency to also fixate on self as well,) and then often respond accordingly whether on their own wall or by commenting directly back to their perceived “accuser.”
It would seem as though I encountered just this situation earlier tonight, though I am fully aware that I cannot see the full picture and know that two events which appear as though they could be related could in fact, be just two completely random events that fell into close proximity with one another.
What did I do? I posted a verse to my wall. What did I post?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
So yeah, it just so happened to be one of those many verses that can easily convict a person, and yet one that reassures to the believer.
So mere moments later, someone that I have never actually met in person posted an image from their favorite atheist page presumably trying to paint Christians as whiners. I cannot say for certain what the pie graph was attempting to depict as there was no title on it, but it showed a full Pac-man portion of the graph as Christians and distributed the remaining between non-religious, other, and Jews in decreasing order of the size of their slices. The only thing to indicate what the graphic was attempting to show was a speech bubble coming off of the Christian portion stating, “Help! We’re being oppressed!”
To be honest, I think this is the first post he has shared from this atheist page that I actually agree with.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’
As the pie graph did not have a title on it, it can be interpreted two very different ways. While I am fairly sure that they intended it to show that Christians are the largest group of complainers, it could also just as easily signify that Christianity is actually the most persecuted religious group.
Unsure if that’s a valid statement? Just run a Google search for “most persecuted religion,” and check out the results. We all know that Christianity is punishable by, (at the very least,) prison time in numerous Arab nations and more commonly, punishable by death. I don’t think I could actually think of another religion that I know to actually be punishable by death in any other nation aside from Christianity.
So as soon as it popped up, I figured it was a result of my earlier post of Scripture. Knowing that the poster frequents atheist groups and has posted items that have targeted Christianity specifically in the past, I understood the intention of the image, but also soon saw the truth in the image as well, whether intended or not. It wasn’t long before I wanted to either post a reply to the image stating that I agreed and the image was not far from the truth, or to post a new verse, namely either Matthew 10:34, or John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In the end though, I didn’t post anything else tonight. The fact that Christians will be persecuted isn’t something that needs to be debated. It’s seen in the news, and experienced even in small amounts in day to day activity, not to mention that we’ve been warned it will happen in the black, white, and red of the Bible. But the truth behind that persecution that we don’t often remember is that we’re to take pleasure in them.
Therefore I take pleasures in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distress, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10