Looking for a Third Way – Saying Goodbye to Facebook

So I have to say goodbye to Facebook.

It culminated over the weekend, as yet another post from a good friend made my blood boil to the point I had to respond.  My better half (my wife) warned, “I’d leave it alone if I were you.”  But of course, I couldn’t.  Damage done.  Rant posted.  War of words continued over private message, and because of my anger, I probably lost a friend.

As I sit here and think about my anger and the aftermath, I realize there is something troubling about the rhetoric on Facebook these days.  It’s not just about sharing articles and information; it’s also accompanied by a suggestive narrative said in the name of “proclaiming justice” or “being prophetic” or “exposing the truth” or “calling out/naming sin.” The rhetoric, however, is a toxic one; it’s one without a whole lot of grace – especially for the other.  Apparently shaming is a justifiable way of enacting social, institutional change…..and a change of the heart.

And I just can’t buy into that.

For my friend, and others like him, there needs to be a higher sense of responsibility and accountability for what they say.  If you proclaim justice, for example – or at least the notion of Christian justice – it needs to be done with grace and a commitment to the other.  “Love your enemies” wasn’t just some cute thing that Jesus said.  He actually meant it, literally.

But, as I sit here and point the finger, I realize I have three others pointing back at me.  I realize that well, shit, I’m just as if not more guilty of saying things irresponsibly, not holding myself accountable.  So that’s why I’m saying goodbye to Facebook – because of my own sinfulness, I need to take a step back and figure out a better way.  I’d even say it’s vital – because it’s affecting me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  I have to find a way to change my own rhetoric, for my own sake.

And that brings me to the other reason I’m saying goodbye to Facebook: I need to quiet my mind from the endless cackle of toxic voices.  I need to distance myself from the constant stream of venom that is the “justice” narrative in our country.  I need to take the time to listen – to others, to myself, and above all, to God.  I need to do this because I need to find a Third Way beyond the polarizing either/or categories that define our society and life these days.  Maybe instead of being the thundering prophet who speaks from on high, I need to simply strive to be a better man.  Maybe instead of always voicing what God is speaking into our issues and realities, I need to actually listen to what God has to say.

I need to look for this Third Way – God’s Way of how Grace redefines the ways we talk about and deal with the issues and realities of our world.

So goodbye Facebook….for now.  I don’t know when I’ll be back.  Some of my friends say the social media world still needs a good Lutheran Honeybadger…..but while Jesus loves this ass, being an ass all the time isn’t what God wants either.  

In the meantime, you should probably call/email/text if you need a little Honeybadger humor in your life.  That, I can do.


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Filed under Culture & Social Issues/Ethics

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