Social Media Blackmail for Jesus

Read this article if you love Jesus.
If you don’t, you obviously must be a devil worshipper.

Almost weekly, I see someone post something similar to the above sentence on his or her Facebook Wall. We get it. You love Jesus and you want everyone to know. But how one expresses their love for God matters. So I am writing this post as a little guide as to what NOT to post on your Facebook wall when professing such love. Now, every time one of your self-proclaimed Christian friends posts a well-intentioned but poorly worded Jesus FB post, you can simply comment with a link to this page without throwing down on them. You love them and it is important that you tell them that fact. That being said, we need to love one another enough not to perpetuate poor theology.

Status Coercion

So let’s give some easy examples shall we so that everyone can see the problem with these types off messages. Months ago I, saw this post (below) posted on a friends wall: #1

Put this on ——-██—––
your Wall——–
if you’re not 
to tell others–—–██—––
that you–
believe in God—-██—–-

To most this won’t seem that offensive. We are supposed to actively share the Gospel message right? Yes, but the inherent problem with the above statement is that it is a conditional statement. It implies that if one doesn’t post this on their FB wall that they ARE embarrassed to tell others that they believe in God. I am a pastor. I tell people about God everyday. I personally though don’t want bad ASCI art junking up my FB wall.

Let’s try another. I saw this one going around on people’s Statuses during Advent: #2

Jesus: Santa. 
Santa: Yes? 
Jesus: I’m sad. 
Santa: Why are you sad? It’s Christmas right? It’s your birthday! 
Jesus: Yeah. That’s the point … 
… Santa: Why? 
Jesus: because whenever it’s Christmas the kids only wait for you and not me! They only celebrate Christmas because of you! Why Santa, why not Jesus? 
-Dec. 25 is for Jesus not for Santa. 
( LMS ♥ ] & Repost if You Believe in Jesus ! 
P.S He Knows You Looked ♥
- Deny me in front your friends and I will deny you in front of my father

This one obviously has all sorts of conditional statement problems. If I don’t like this person’ status and repost I apparently no longer believe in Jesus. But, the Bible doesn’t mention Mark Zuckerburg or Facebook by name? I had no idea that they were so pivotal to the success of the Gospel! Worse yet “He knows you looked!” – No not Zuckerburg, (although he probably knows too!) – this post implies that Jesus knows that you are confronted with this post and that if you don’t approve and repost then you deny Him and essentially won’t get into heaven. That last line really tugs on your sense of loyalty doesn’t it? But think about this for minute: This post is blatantly making up a conversation between Jesus and SANTA. It is essentially putting words into Jesus’ mouth, not to mention Santa’s! Not to mention that this post is making Santa, aka St. Nicholas out to be the bad guy? As far as we know historically, St. Nicholas loved Jesus and only wanted to glorify him. Good thing Santa is dead or you might get accused be getting sued for Facebook libel. I also bet this will be the only post ever that you read the phrase: “Good thing Santa is Dead”!

Identity Traps

So on to the next beauty… #3

Obviously, this statement is ridiculous. You are not what you post on your Facebook Page. I posted a video of Nannerpuss on my Facebook page and I am obviously not a Nannerpuss (although I am sure someone somewhere would adamantly disagree). This post doesn’t glorify Christ because it tells us that we are defined by what is on our Facebook page instead of who we are in Christ.

Or what about the next one: #4

This is terrible theology! Jesus nowhere says that he will give you ANYTHING that you want. God gives you what you ask for according to God’s will. If you ask to have your best friends girlfriend, a pound of crack cocaine and a license to kill you are going to be sorely disappointed. Fact: If this photo were true I’d be riding my own baby triceratops around town right now. I do appreciate the fact though that this photo recognizes that Jesus certainly digs Niagara Falls.

SHARE Graphics

Most Social Media Jesus Blackmail is usually some thing like the following set of conditional statement SHARE photos. Sure it might be evangelism in the loosest definition of the term, but it is certainly not evangelism for the right reasons. Actually, most of the time it is simply a way for the original poster to feel good about themself as they get several thousand “likes” and “shares”.

Check these out:

#5 The cartoon is O.K. but the line on the bottom is conditional. It implies that if I don’t share the picture then I don’t believe in God.

#6 implies that if I don’t share the picture then I don’t love Jesus.

#7 implies that if I don’t share and like it the picture then I believe that Jesus will let me down.

#8 implies that if I don’t share the picture then Jesus isn’t welcome in my home.
Jesus knows that he doesn’t need to knock at my house!

#9 implies that if I don’t share the picture then I don’t love Jesus, or if I do then I am ashamed to show my love for him. Are you starting to get the idea the SHARE versions?

#10 This photo implies that if I don’t share the picture then I don’t believe that God can help me out of any situation.

#11 This one is a bit more complicated. It plays off of the notion that Christians are part of the family of Christ. It implies that if I don’t share the picture then Jesus isn’t part of my family (or I his) and consequently then somehow I don’t love him. On a side note: I have also met numerous Hispanic families that have an immediate relation named Jesus in their family – so if they don’t share are they kicking their loved one out of the family?

#12 This is one of my favorites! You obviously have to take Jesus’ head with a cartoon bubble coming from it as authoritative! This one implies that if you don’t share it then you aren’t thankful to Jesus and you don’t love him either.

LIKE Graphics

Like pictures are similar to Share pictures insofar as they are conditional statements: – i.e. “if you aren’t a really bad person press like”.

#13 – Apparently if I don’t like this one then I don’t Love Jesus with all of my heart.

#14 If I don’t like one this then it is implied that Jesus is not all that I need.

#15 This is the post that I see everywhere! Of course if you are in the 3% “who cares” and don’t repost and like this then you don’t Love God and God knows it! Maybe 97% of Facebook users won’t repost this simply because they don’t like coercion. Good for them.

Scroll Graphics

Like the Share and Like photos, Scroll Graphics are conditional statements as well. This time though if you don’t do as they say and instead keep scrolling you are a hater. Check them out.

#16 Careful! Don’t accidently scroll! Your eternity is on the line!

#17 This one isn’t complete sentence! <-- 🙂 maybe it is a good thing that you kept scrolling because you wouldn’t want to love a little “g” god (AKA an idol) anyway. Maybe the devil is a Duke Blue Devil or deviled eggs? The Devil Worshiper/Go Directly to Hell Graphic

Like all the others this type of graphic is also conditional as well but this time you will become a lover of Satan if you don’t comply. Worse yet you may even go directly to Hell, do not pass go, do NOT collect $200! I didn’t realize that Facebook was so DANGEROUS. Get Zuckerberg on the phone! See below:

#18 The only way I can win on this one is to close my eyes because I keep seeing Satan (Hey wait a minute weren’t you in Stephen King’s The Stand?) But as soon as I close my eyes I can’t find the Share and Like Buttons! NOOOOOOOOO!!!

#19 Whew, this one is far easier. This must be a younger Satan because his horns are smaller. Anyhow, but now you get the point how ridiculous this sort of thing really is.

And for the grand finally…

#20 This photo implies that you get to vote via Facebook where you spend eternity but really all it is a rhetorical device used to get a lot of Facebook shares. Of course no-one wants to go to Hell so then they Share. But this photo implies that if you don’t Share you don’t want to go to heaven. What if you don’t do either? Congratulations you just became a socially responsible Social Media user.

So PLEASE do your friends a favor. While they may have the best of intentions when sharing these kind of photos – kindly help them to consider their actions. Maybe in the process we can find better ways to show our love and enthusiasm for the Lord.


10 thoughts on “Social Media Blackmail for Jesus

  1. awesome article, every time I see these pictures on facebook, I tihnk to myself how narrow minded people are, its saddening. Although i’m a non-believer, I can see how this could offend a LOT of people.

  2. I am going to state my opinion, in hope with out offending anyone and having drama started because ive faced so much in my life that i dont need a fight. I agree some of thee pictures are a little idiotic, and the ending parts are stupid but most people dont see that part, they do have a love for God and want to share it. It’s called outreaching, and being a one in a million person to actually stand up for it. By saying share this on one of those pictures your discouraging that person to share there love for God, which goes against freedom of speech and religion and discouraging them to tell others about there faith, a lot of people do it out of respect, and we dont expect others to repost. If anyone has a problem with it they can tell that person or just plain delete them. Everyone has a right to what they believe in and has a freedom to share that. So the whole downgrading to me isnt very appropriate im not saying your completely wrong or have i even said at all that your wrong, im just saying that i do agree with some of your opinions and i disagree with the discouraging others. Like the last several pictures i agree, are quite idiotic, but there are some i post because i do like them. I am a believer, and I do everything I can to stay close to God. and you never know some of those pictures might have touched somebody seeing that others believe give those in pain and in need of help a hope. To see there is someone to talk to. Now please i’m not looking for a fight just stating my concern, and i didnt put my name because i dont want drama. sorry if i have offended anybody. that is all.

    1. First know that this is a safe place to discuss issues. You can disagree here and you will still be loved.

      Now to your statement: There is “outreach” and then there is coercion. If most people don’t see the “ending parts” then why include them? People could still share their love for God without the implication that they are bad if they do not share the image. The reality is that many people are just using these images to increase the hits/likes/share that they get on their web/facebook pages. That has nothing to do with sharing the love of Jesus. That is actually idolatry. Share that Jesus Loves you all you want – just please don’t require others to do so with the implication being that if they don’t then they don’t love Jesus as much as the next person.

  3. Chris, I’m sure there’s a rule about riding one or multiple baby triceratops around the island. You’ll have to take your rough housing over to Bluffton.

    That’s why I got a pterodactyl.

  4. Great article! I have always disliked the coercion tactics on those posts. Usually I will cut and paste so that I can repost without the guilt trip and this proves to be effective as my other FB friends and family will usually repost it to their pages as well.

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