| 03.18.2018

Rebuking reformed thought — Avoid manipulative, works-oriented forms of Christianity


You’re scrolling through your Facebook news feed and you come across a status from one of your friends, a page you’ve liked or an ad. The status tells you to like or share if you love Jesus and to ignore if you don’t.

Andrew Jenson Argonaut

Andrew Jenson

Or perhaps it is a meme saying God will bless you with something if you share it.

Such is today’s reformed Christian theology in a nutshell — misleading, manipulative, shallow and works-oriented.

Being so manipulative in form, it’s no wonder this same form of theology is present in politics as well.

Make no mistake. Politicians are not the only ones who use this reformed theology to guilt-trip the American people into supporting their bills — i.e. Obamacare. Even those on a grassroots level do this consistently.

One example came from the “Liberal America” Facebook page. On Nov. 24, they posted a meme that said you could call yourself a Christian if you help the hungry, the poor and the sick and stop judging others, preaching hatred and using religion as a weapon.

This meme not only presents the classic liberal argument of half-truths, but lies in concordance with Americans’ all-too common use, misuse and manipulation of Christianity.

But, the liberals are not alone. Even people who share my own political point of view post such things, although not usually to the extent that “Liberal America” has in the past. Conservatives tend to post the statuses or memes I referenced at the beginning of this article, and it’s most unfortunate.

True Christians — generally Americans — need to be mindful of these Christian manipulations, especially because they represent a false Christianity. This is especially pertinent if the country wants to have a serious dialogue about Christianity and the implications of being a Christian society. How can there be serious dialogue if there is no proper representation between two opposing sides?

Essentially, what these manipulations represent is a horrid misunderstanding of Christianity amongst Americans. And thanks to the power of social

media and the Internet, these misunderstandings can be spread around the globe with a click of a button. Such theology can even be used against Christians in the political world.

I do not blame social media or the Internet for these problems. But I do encourage Christians to use these same means to deter the notoriously misleading and reformed messages found on Facebook, YouTube and the like.

For example, there is a great effort on the part of Worldview Everlasting, an Internet based Lutheran ministry, to deter false notions of what it means to be a Christian and preach the unadulterated Word of God. The people at Worldview Everlasting are Christians who need to be supported and promoted. Social media has begun to remove Christians from the proper message of God, and no matter how large social media becomes, Christians should not be afraid to stand up against these manipulations.

Andrew Jenson can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

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