Undoubtedly, secularists are increasingly hostile against The Gospel and Christians. There’s no shortage of politicians, commentators, personalities and other assorted talking heads employing vicious rhetoric, inclining many hearts to view believers with utter contempt. Much of this is due to the manner in which they’re presenting Christians, using loaded terms such as “bigoted”, “intolerant”, “hateful”, “deplorable”, “racist”, “homophobe” and the like.
These classifications are completely euphemistic – therein lies the whole purpose of such name calling. Christ’s disciples are supposed to be human waste in the eyes of anyone who isn’t a believer.
The question is how to minister to those who are increasingly turning against Christianity?
Historically speaking, such hostility against The Faith is not new. Anyone who reads the Gospels, Acts and some church history will note that disdain and outright persecution of Christ and his followers has been a reality since the beginning. Yet in the midst of such fiery antipathy the Good News continued and continues to spread. How so?
The answer lies in not reciprocating the world’s hatred.
Christ makes this explicitly clear when he teaches that Christians ought to love their enemies and pray for those that persecute them. (Matthew 5:43-48) This is an important personal reminder: consider that not a few non-secular persons will, intentionally or unintentionally, influence us to view sinners as abhorrent people, worthy of our scorn, instead of lost folk needing redemption. We mustn’t forget that we were once alienated from God because of our own sin. (Colossians 1:21-23) It took a loving Christian or Christians insisting we hear the Gospel regardless of our antipathy toward them. Imagine if they would have come to despise us instead – what then?
A last word: Not repaying the world’s disdain shouldn’t be conflated with a call to refrain from discerning and denouncing sinful, malicious activity. (John 7:24; Titus 2:15) Some have come to advance the erroneous idea that non-judgment is a virtue, a demonstration of not repaying evil with evil (in truth, refraining from judging at all is a virtual impossibility), when all it is is cowardice in disguise. Also, loving one’s enemies doesn’t give a sinner permission to abuse Christians.
James O’Keefe and Vice Media, ideologically right and left respectively, have reported for some time now that social media companies routinely suppress the content of certain users without their knowledge. It’s a practice known as shadowbanning and it has been used against Christians and social conservatives more frequently than any other group that participates in social media.
Fast forward to April of this year. Representatives of Facebook and Twitter were summoned to give testimony to a Senate committee. Texas senator Ted Cruz asked both if the companies employ the tactic. They lied and said they didn’t. The evidence for their prevarication comes from the US Patent and Trademark Office which just granted Facebook a patent for an automated system that would, “receive a list of proscribed content and block comments containing the proscribed content by reducing the distribution of those comments to other viewing users” while displaying “the blocked content to the commenting user such that the commenting user is not made aware that his or her comment was blocked.”
Facebook originally filed for the patent on February 18th, 2015.
Of course, social media’s apologists will attempt to spin this matter by claiming that there is no proof that these companies have used the technology to censor certain speech. They’ll declare that just because a patent was filed to make the practice exclusive to Facebook, doesn’t mean that the tactic has been carried out. The question is: Why spend money to file a patent for the practice if they have no intention of using it?
Also, there’s plenty of proof they have employed shadowbanning. Twitter‘s own employees have admitted as much.
Putting aside the flimsy defense of those that wilfully ignore the truth, we must recognize the ramifications of such a development. Social media companies have built a reputation of being altruistic vehicles of socialization for civilization. In truth, they traffic in what is known as the attention economy – they gather a mass heap of people within a digital walled garden, secretly take users information and sell that information to the highest bidders. Hence, users see ads within their accounts based on what they type, speak, record, upload, are interested in and send via geolocation algorithms to the company’s servers. In essence, social media companies subdivide people and sell them to companies and other interested parties as cattle they can target for marketing purposes.
Stated differently, the users are the product – except when segments of that product report on the predatory practices of the social media companies and/or are ideologically opposed to the political inclinations of the heads of those companies. Then, they will proceed to silence those voices through various means, including shadowbanning. Alex Jones, Project Veritas, The Gateway Pundit, PragerU and others ring a bell? With this, another question arises.
What is to prevent Facebook and co. from receiving advertising dollars from certain users, only to turn around and give those advertisers the false impression that those paid-for-ads reached the targeted audiences when, in fact, they never ran the ads to begin with? Let’s call this, profiteering off of shadowbanning.
It’s more important that ever for the public to decentralize the reach and influence of these companies. No one elected them to regulate speech and yet they are acting like government bureaucrats.
Description: There are those who read 1st Timothy 4:8 and conclude that any form of physical exercise is strictly prohibited by the Bible. Others use the text to place bodily exercise on par with godliness. Who’s right? Are both wrong? What does Paul himself have to say on the matter?
Via ZeroHedge.com and Reason.com
Despite losing in the United States Supreme Court, the state of Indiana is still arguing that there are virtually no eighth amendment limits on what it can seize using civil asset forfeiture, according to Reason.
In fact, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher argued in Indiana Supreme Court last week that it would be constitutional to seize any and every car that exceeded the speed limit. It was an argument that drew laughter from the U.S. Supreme Court last year.Continue reading
Description: We live in an age where most will take credit for doing good. However, when most fall short, they seek to blame others for their misdeeds. This is a hypocrisy that shouldn’t be a part of a Christian’s character. In this message, we visit Matthew 25 in order to learn from Christ how to assume responsibility with the things God has given us, being good stewards and reaping the benefits of being responsible people.
Description: We examine the multitude of ways modern society has exalted that which is fake. From carefully curated social media posts with flattering pictures which tell a false tale of happiness to the vanity that is glorified through Hollywood productions, modern culture is an expert on producing and consuming that which isn’t real. And the worst part of it is that many whom are a part of the religion of fakery cannot diagnose why they are constantly despondent. In this episode we discover why this is so and the Biblical remedy to one of the worst ills of contemporary society.