Remember chain letters?  You’d get a letter telling you that if you did not forward it on to however many people that you’d be cursed, have bad luck, get pregnant, or die.  (Note: Out of all of those consequences, I am scared the most by the thought of getting pregnant.  Seriously, has Arnold made a good movie since Junior?)  Then when you talked to your friends, you heard about all of their distant relatives that had all of these bad things happen to them because they refused to forward the letter.  So then you had to skip lunch for the next week just to save up the money to buy stamps for your chain letters.  You did that too, right?

Nowadays social media and online communication have essentially eliminated what was once known as the chain letter.  Sure, you’ll get the occasional chain email.  But, at least in my inbox, they are much more rare than they used to be.  The new fad is to post something on Twitter or Facebook that says “Retweet if you love Jesus” or “Share if you are a Christian.”  Some of them even go on to tell you that God is watching and this is a test to see if you really love Him. 

You may be one of those people that chooses to retweet or share, and that is your prerogative.  You may choose to ignore them and pretend you never read them.  But each time I see one of those posts, I have to fight the urge to reply and tell the individual that posted it why I think their request is ridiculous.  Here are a few things I would like to say to them.

1.  Seriously?!  You really believe that a chain social media post is the way God would choose to test me?  Is a casual click of a button really going to display my character and reveal the depths of my soul?  Come on, man.

2.  On what authority are posting this?  Did you feel lead by the Holy Spirit to share this post or are you succumbing to social pressure?  Are you doing this because you love God or are you simply afraid not to post it?  If you write that this is a test from God, and God did not lead you to write it, I dare call that blasphemous.  Be careful when you are speaking on behalf of the almighty.  He don’t play games.

3.  I appreciate the fact that you are trying to spread the word about Jesus.  I really do.  But please take a moment and think about how this may come across to non-believers.  Sure, you will get a few shares and retweets from friends and others that feel obligated to do so.  However, do you think people see the love of Christ in what you are describing as a test?  Or do they see a religious obligation that has nothing to do with a personal relationship with Jesus?  Is there another way you can get your point across without seeming like you are trying to guilt people into following your lead?

4.  I believe that God cares about every aspect of our lives because He loves us so much.  The Bible says that He knows the number of hairs on our heads (zero here).  However, I would be more than surprised if Facebook is a primary area of His concern.  With all of the poor, hungry, imprisoned, widowed, orphaned, and non-Christian people in the world that could use our time and resources, I tend to question the importance of clicking “Like” if I love Jesus.  If I love Jesus like I say I do, I would spend less time on Facebook and Twitter and more time loving my neighbor as I love much as I love myself.  Retweet that, holmes.

Alright, venting session over.  Honestly, I believe the people that post these things have good intentions.  I think that, in their minds, they are spreading the gospel.  However, I have a hard time believing it is an effective way to show people how much God loves them.  To me, it seems like it probably does more harm than good by giving people a ritualistic view of Christianity and taking up time that could be used for ministry (or relationship building).

What do you think?  Are you a Christian chain-post sharer?

Bryan Colegrove
4/10/2012 07:13:55 am

Thanks for putting my thoughts in print. I don't like being "guilted" into anything.

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Leanne Clark
4/10/2012 10:11:05 am

thank you for verbalizing my thoughts about this type of thing
It's like. If u don't share you dont love Jesus.

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Lisa Bates
4/10/2012 10:45:10 am

Love that you spoke to this. I will be sharing this one with a few people.

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Kevin Slemp
4/10/2012 10:45:44 am

Amen and amen! Hey, everybody, if you truly like Jamie's blog post then you'll forward it to AT LEAST 10 people. If you don't then you're a two-faced hypocrite. -- signed, Two-faced Hypocrite

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Jamie Boggs
4/10/2012 10:55:18 am

Kevin, that's hilarious. I am actually mad at myself for not thinking of it first.

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Kevin Mitchell
3/18/2013 07:20:31 am

Great post about 'click like if'. Great reply by Kevin Slemp.

Colleen
4/11/2012 05:58:27 am

Every time I see a "like this if..." or "share this with..." post on Facebook, I just keep scrolling through my News Feed. Like you said - kudos to those who feel that's how they can share their testimony, their passion, their whatever. For me, though, it just feels like a bandwagon. =)

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Jerren Solomon
4/29/2012 06:29:20 am

My exact thoughts
especially your first point

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Steve Johnson
6/15/2014 07:54:37 am

I just got my facebook back in November, and since then I've probably seen 30 of these, and until now I was always afraid to not like it (I'm only 13 btw) but I thanks to this blog I've realized you don't need to like a post on social media to express your love for Jesus. These people for all we care could be atheists, and just do it to get likes.

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