I’ve fallen prey. I cannot lie. I’ve used hashtags in my posts on Instagram and Facebook. It’s amazing how our culture influences us and changes us. I don’t think I could have told you what a #hashtag was in 2009, when I came back home after twenty years abroad; yet now they seem to move and motivate thousands on a daily basis.
There’s just one problem with that. #Everything!
What may be fine for the world is a trap for the follower of Christ Jesus. Paul said it best in his letter to a group of believers in Corinth:
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
And then again, to another group of people, listening to him in Athens:
God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (Acts 17:27-28)
Both of these cultures, Corinthian and Athenian, were overrun with idols, gods and philosophies. People were swayed by every charismatic speaker that came their way. There is truly nothing new under the sun, and though they didn’t have hashtags, mobs could still be easily moved by the fad of the day.
What moves the church today? Is it the latest hashtag movement? If it is not the love of Christ and the guidance of His Word, then it can easily be the next #JumpOffACliff just because others are doing it. Meeke Addison of Urban Family Talk recently said, “If we don’t let the Word guide us and exercise church discipline, then the #MeToo movement will do it for us.”
The follower of Christ doesn’t need hashtags, because we have our cause (go and make disciples) and our banner (His banner over me is love) and our guide (the Word of God by the Spirit of God). When we stay firmly rooted in Him alone, then the words of Paul to the church in another ungodly city come true:
[You] will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, [you] will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
That, my friend, needs no hashtag.
Grace and Peace