In response to the Umpqua Community College shooting, a new movement has begun. #IAmAChristian is a new trend going about various social media sites, and while I believe there are good intentions behind the movement, I find issues with it. As many already know, a cowardly man shot and killed nine people and injured more. Why kill those few? Because they said they were Christians. Powerful. Humbling. Martyrs. It takes a tragedy for people to come together and decide to stand together and stand with God. Why?
#IAmAChristian is trending on the internet. It has sparked among celebrities and “normal” people alike. I am a Christian. I was a Christian before this tragedy occurred, the day it occurred and I am still one today. Why today though do many begin professing their faith? Why a month from now will many be back in the swing of scrolling through social media, sharing and liking things they may not should be looking at, but still consider themselves Christians? We CANNOT do this. I said we because at times, we are all guilty of some sin a lot of the time.
People LOVE attention. I am a basic college girl. I post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and secretly hope for likes and comments from my friends and family. It feels good to feel liked by even people that we do not know very well. I could post #IAmAChristian right now on any account I have and without a doubt reach a high number of likes or favorites. Just saying that I am a Christian does not make me a Christian. We have to CONSISTENTLY act like Christians every day. We have to show God through our actions and words in our everyday lives. A simple hashtag does not make one a Christian. It can give people a false representation of yourself. We want to make people think we are Christians. When a vast majority of people are putting on a false, perfect front. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. DAILY. Christopher Harper-Mercer was a sinner. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. Which sinner is talked about the most? The one who most recently committed a very tragic, and very public sin. He gets all the blame. You are a Christian, so you are perfect and you have never done anything wrong. Right? Wrong. While Mercer committed something so tragic and killed many others along with himself. He was lost. Just like many of us once were or still are. Yet he gets all the blame and we put ourselves up on a falsified pedestal of a hashtag created by man for proclaiming ourselves as Christians on social media.
We are daily supposed to be living our lives for God. Tragedy or not, we should not be proclaiming our faith with a hashtag and doing nothing else about it. Talk to someone today. Make a conversation with Christians and the lost alike. You could be the only Bible someone ever reads. Live like that daily. Live outside of your hashtag and make it a reality.
“so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10 ESV)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)
I love you but God loves you more.
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Rachel Garrison is a sophomore at Freed Hardeman University majoring in Special Education. She attends Atwood church of Christ. Rachel volunteers with the Special Olympics organizations in West Tennessee, and is an active member in her social club, Phi Kappa Alpha! She loves to blog about things that relate to teenagers and adults alike!