Fried by Facebook

facebook (2)I’ve never known our country so divided as it is now over this Brexit issue, One third voted to leave the EU, one third were undecided and didn’t bother to vote, one third voted to remain. What saddens me is how Christians are reacting to it. I felt the scriptures were very clear as to the heart of God in this issue; others came to a different conclusion using different scriptures. Still others didn’t use any scriptures but just said ‘I prayed about it’, and then started frying each other up on Facebook.

Because I feel deeply sad over the breakup of Europe and see it as a backward step for mission to the ‘Dark Continent’ and the millions of lost people of Europe, I found myself branded a ‘re-moaner’. And that put down doomed hurt me. I don’t feel we are doomed because of this step. That’s not why I thanked God for the EU.

Years ago another generation really cared for a closed, lost Europe so much that they smuggled Bibles in at great risk. Then a miracle happened and ‘Iron Curtains’ and Berlin walls and border posts came down and God made it possible for us to travel freely in Europe, and many of the ones we prayed for and used to smuggle Bibles too started to come to the UK. Its been an amazing turn around! What a window of opportunity! We have been thrilled to have eastern Europeans in our home, staying in our home and hearing how thrilled they are to have been brought in from the cold. Open borders have resulted in more people getting into heaven

But some Christians have seen ‘open borders’ not as an opportunity to get more people into heaven but as a threat to our ‘Bbordersritish way’ of life. People have always spoken out about things they dislike. But it’s no longer enough to just disagree. Something changed with the referendum. Today, the game is all about crushing one’s opponent. Every plan, every strategy, every comment, every social media post seems designed to discredit, humiliate, vilify and exterminate the other side.

Many believers also seem to have caught the fever. God’s people have always differed with one another about many things, and you may disagree with my view, but we used to be able to disagree agreeably. In my London church we had a Labour Councillor, several members of the Labour party and also a Lib Dem councillor. When he stood to become our MP everyone gathered round him and prayed and supported his campaign resulting in the most narrow of defeats to high flyer Chuka Umunna. We all felt the pain of the lost opportunity for a fine Christian man to be in Parliament, even though we couldn’t go along with all his party’s policies.  But, now it’s not sufficient to disagree. Many seem “led” to banish those with whom they disagree, to silence them, to marginalize them, to hurt them.

It’s not enough now it seems to engage in respectful debate about differences. Those with whom we disagree must be vanquished! Tell opposing members to leave and find another church! Fry them on Facebook!

This of course is what happened to Jesus. For the Pharisees and religious leaders, it wasn’t enough to disagree with Jesus. They sought to vanquish him. To fry him in a kangaroo court

church signBut notice how Jesus treated them. He did not attempt to silence them; he did not ‘un- friend’ them. Instead, he listened to them, and offered his differing views. And he encouraged his followers to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Even when discord arose within his own community, he modelled love and acceptance. He didn’t banish Peter when he denied him. And Jesus didn’t vanquish Judas when he betrayed him. He just felt sad for him.

If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.”

Lets not come down to the level of those who don’t know Jesus very well and don’t know any better.

Lets not live down in the basement.

2 thoughts on “Fried by Facebook

  1. Denis says:

    Dear Brother Les,

    After seeing your posting on “Eagle Believers”, Psalm 42:5 came to mind:

    My spirit, why are you so sad?
    Why are you so upset deep down inside me?
    Put your hope in God.
    Once again I will have reason to praise him.
    He is my Saviour and my God.

    I am so thankful that we can always put our hope in God and trust in Him for the future. He is never taken by surprise and knows everything before it happens.

    Democracy is not perfect. To put things in perpective 52% voted to leave (1.25 million people more voted to leave rather than remain). The turnout of voters was 72% whereas General Elections usually get 65-66% turnout. The result could be deemed fairer than General Elections – for example at the last general election the Conservatives gained power with less than 37% of the vote.
    But thank God that we have some say in our nation compared to dictatorships with no elections.

    I think we will still have mission opportunities as before with students & workers from overseas coming to our land. This nation was once very good at sending missionaries long before we joined the EU. Mission to countries outside the EU will not change. We will still be able to visit in the EU nations.

    There is still a long way to go before Brexit is finalised. There are two years of negotiations – lets pray for our Government negotiators. I notice also that the Labour opposition say that they will not give final approval to a Brexit deal if they are not satisfied with 6 certain conditions.

    I was so pleased that the Evangelical Alliance both before the referendum and since have very clearly called for unity in Jesus and respect for Christians no matter if they wanted to remain or leave the EU.

    After the Leave vote this was the Evangelical Alliance’s call for unity and reconciliation :
    “While the UK has voted to leave the EU, the vote has exposed deep disagreement across our nations, cities and regions. The UK is not united.
    “We have entered a time of enormous uncertainty, not only as we renegotiate our relationship with our European neighbours, but also as the governing Conservative party begin the process of selecting our next prime minister.
    “This has to be a time to pray.
    “As we look to the future the priority must be building unity and modelling reconciliation. We have taken a significant decision and in the coming years many more will need to be taken.
    “Although we have chosen to leave the EU we remain part of Europe and need to remember our responsibilities to support and care for our neighbours. In the months and years to come we have to model with generosity what a difference love and friendship can make.
    “As Christians we follow the Prince of Peace, and we are called to be peacemakers. This has been a bruising campaign and now is the time to take our political passions and channel them to practical action.
    “The vote was the demonstration of the political freedom we enjoy, but it also exposed the fragility of our democracy. We saw participation at levels not seen for decades, but we also saw cynical campaigning and honesty marginalised for political gain. Our energies must now be directed towards building bridges within and between communities across the UK.
    “We follow a redeemer who reconciles, and we are called to the ongoing work of reconciliation. In our churches and in our neighbourhoods we live and work alongside some who will be celebrating and others who will be disappointed. Reconciliation requires honesty and hard work, it requires that we show respect and openness to those who we disagree with. We cannot ignore the differences that this vote has exposed, but we cannot let the differences define us. Our hands of friendship must do the work that voting cannot.
    “We have confidence in God who holds the nations in His hands, who is the creator of all things. We have confidence that though the pundits and pollsters may be flummoxed, God is not fazed.
    “I am praying for the UK, praying for the European Union, and I am praying for Europe. I’m praying for wisdom for our leaders as they navigate the uncertain waters that lie ahead. I am praying for comfort for those disappointed in the outcome, and I pray that we renew our commitment to work together for the good of all.”

    So as Evangelicals we need to guard our unity and continue to lift up the name of Jesus.

    My spirit, why are you so sad?
    Why are you so upset deep down inside me?
    Put your hope in God.
    Once again I will have reason to praise him.
    He is my Saviour and my God.

    Lets go forward with our trust in Him who rules the nations.

    Lets keep flying like eagles obove all circumstances!

    from your brother Denis

  2. Barry Bullen says:

    As a former Brit now living in Canada, I applaud Brother Denis’ reply and will continue to pray for all in the land of my birth called Great Britain. Blessings
    Barry 🙂

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