Hashtags and Hypocrites

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You see it all the time. You’re on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Then you stumble across it. Somebody posts a generic image macro that mentions God or Jesus. A bit of nausea swells up inside of you as one word surfaces to the top of your mind. “Hypocrite.”

Or maybe I’m just describing my sense of disgust. But it isn’t just myself. Allow me to copy the “pitch” that suggester Myra Boulware gave me to write about. 

“I was basically talking about how easy it is these days to make everyone think you’re a Christian. Because it’s so easy to put a religious hashtag at the end of a Facebook status or a tweet. People who portray themselves as Christians without actually living Christian lives.”

The words spoken here are so huge that I don’t even need to type this blog, but then it wouldn’t be much of a post. 

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is that this is so prevalent in social media society today. Don’t people understand that sharing an image that’s been shared by a thousand other hypocrites doesn’t mean that they’re living a Christian lifestyle? 

And I’m not even directly downing those images, although they are both frustrating and a waste of time. What’s wrong is when I see a religious picture, followed by a provocative picture or a picture of that person hardcore partying. I don’t care if you can find a way to justify these actions, they are not conducive of a relationship with Christ. 

When your social media life is a duality between worldly and religious, it wounds the minds of people who don’t know Christ. That automatically makes nonbelievers question the validity of the Christians who actually are shining examples for Christ. It fractures the respect of people who don’t know God.

The most important thing we as Christians have is our consistency. We are expected to live a life free of the fluctuations than sin ushers.

This is not unrealistic, because living a life of consistency is something I try to do every day. The issue comes with people see a direct conflict in one person that claims to share my faith. I don’t like that. It’s embarrassing. I not perfect, but I try to be at least spiritually consistent in the things I do and the ways I act. 

I hate to say this, but people are hypocrites on Facebook because it’s a shallow way to achieve short-term fulfillment. People ride the highs of these short public experiences thinking it makes them a better person. But it doesn’t. Sharing those images that make little sense and Bible verses that simply turn into out-of-context words is ultimately never fulfilling. And those “spiritual” Twitter hashtags that are nothing but high-powered social weapons. They just make you more fake.

I just want to see a world where people respect one another for their beliefs. Ultimately, I want to see that respect and love lead to people finding the one true God. Destroying those ideas in people over social media is nothing but devastating for people searching for the truth.

I’m sorry to report this, but social media is an arena for hypocrites. Hashtags and hypocrites.

[Thanks Myra Boulware for the suggestion!]

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Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.

2 thoughts on “Hashtags and Hypocrites

  1. While I agree that social media can be a danger zone, all it does in this situation is highlight our sins. We cannot hide our sins from God. It is important to remember that we are ALL hypocrites and sinners in need of repentance, Matt. We ALL have fallen short of the glory of God. You will never reach nonbelievers by exposing them or calling them out on their personal sin, but rather showing them their need for Christ. You do not…I repeat, DO NOT…want to come across Pharisaical or legalistic. This will turn non-Christians away quicker than the blink of an eye. Remember that your “life of consistency” should be focused on bringing glory to Him. Another thing to remember is showing everyone common grace. We are called to be imitators of God, loving the lost. It’s also important to remember that we are all being sanctified differently. These people you see “hashtagging” or posting religious pictures may have been struck in the heart by God and felt the need to spread His word, yet they need direction. Like you said, a lot of verses they use are completely out of context. Maybe send them a message and share with them what God’s word actually says and means. Share simple theology with them – don’t go too deep, as it would probably initially go over their heads. I hope this encourages you.

    Best,
    Meagan (Mims) Felix

    1. I appreciate your well-thought-out response. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you’re doing well.

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