It’s the fourth week of When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore, and we spent time this week looking at they types of seduction used for evil. Our discussion examined relational seductions and how the enemy breaks or creates unhealthy ties. Beth gave a wonderful example of always keeping the cross between ourselves and anyone we engage with. Use the cross as a boundary for relationships; it is an extension and reflection of God’s heart. When the relationship does not align with the cross…FLEE… in Jesus name.
In our lesson, Beth writes “we have been sent into this world. To disconnect would be in direct disobedience of that purpose.” I lived out this week’s lesson as I confronted a Christian leader about a decision he was making. I am not mentioning his name so I will not fall into gossip, though he did mention me on his blog. He made a public statement that he intended to disconnect with his followers on Twitter because 1) they lowered his Klout score and 2) he was getting too much junk in his mail box and missing valuable relationships. My intent was to confront him in love, so I posted a comment suggesting he pray before making the decision to “mass unfollow” people he had connected with. He was disconnecting from Christians and it touched my heart. I gave him an example of how God uses me in social media: often I say something that touches the heart of another believer and they tell me those words or that scripture verse ministered to them. By “cutting out” a following of Believers, this leader was cutting out the opportunity for God to use him this way. It was taken out of context when I suggested he look at this from God’s view: what would happen if Jesus unfollowed his flock and then told us to earn our way back in? The leader lashed at me and said I was elevating Twitter to the status of Jesus, and I offended him. My words were mis-read and he missed my heart. Soon a group of other Christian leaders joined him and started mocking anyone who disagreed with their decision to mass-unfollow Christians.
I walked away from the confrontation and let it go, until a week later when a friend said she was inclined to follow his lead. She said many Christians were now “mass unfollowing” one another just like this leader did, in order to have more quality relationships and better Klout scores. My heart jumped into the conversation again, as I saw the Christian leader was driving the flock to disconnect and again I confronted him. He was (and still is) getting a lot of attention for his actions. I asked for prayer from others before confronting him again, confided in close friends, and went where God led my heart. I explained to this leader that mass unfollowing is not based on scripture and again encouraged him to pray before encouraging Christians to disconnect. I saw the enemy working in this situation, convincing leaders that fewer followers would make for better quality. Twice last week I was approached by my followers telling me they were giving up on God and walking away from Him. In each case, I was able to engage with her and redirect her back to Jesus. Often people send me prayer requests and say they have no Christian friends and do not know where to turn. God placed me in a position to do this and if I had “mass unfollowed” people to raise my Klout score or make my life more convenient, I would have been serving myself and not Him. My heart is with Jesus and I would never mass unfollow people He leads my way. “In terms of ministry, people are everything to us because they are everything to Christ,” writes Beth. It breaks my heart when Christian leaders encourage the flock to separate.
While I do not like conflict in relational situations, I have a deeper need to be led by Christ. I would not have peace in my heart if I ignored the discernment He placed on my heart. Would I want to look back at a mass unfollowing by Christians and say “I did nothing and I was in agreement to break up the flock” or do I want to look back and say “I listened to Christ and followed His heart?” Discernment showed me Christ would never encourage mass unfollowing for the sake of higher Klout scores or convenience, because this is pride. “If we are not motivated by the Spirit through love, God is not the one calling us to get involved,” writes Beth. I pray God will continue to place people before me so I can love on them, pray with them and lead them to Christ.
By the way…my discernment and confrontation happened prior to reading this week’s bible study. The study conformed what I had already experienced.
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Beth Moore Quotes
- Disconnection is not an option for followers of Christ.
- Christ didn’t give his life for church doctrine. He gave His life for people.
- Neither spirituality nor being deeply spiritual about Christian things equals godliness.
- The world is going to get increasingly wicked, yet we’ve been sent smack into the middle of it.
- Those who isolate themselves from the involvement of the body of Christ will be at great risk for potential disaster.
- Discernment sees trouble, senses a warning, and cites the need for caution.
- We can’t practice godly discernment if we don’t walk in the Spirit.
- Believers have never needed one another more than they will in the latter days.
For Next Week
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- What evidence do you see of hearts growing cold in this world? (page 80 )
- What happens when Christ stands between relationships? (page 93 )
- Have you ever been in a situation such as mine, where your discernment sees trouble and you feel the need to speak up, even if it leads to conflict? (page 97 )
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.