7 Questions to Ask Before Posting about Politics on Social Media

7 Questions to Ask Before Posting about Politics on Social Media January 30, 2017

Political discussions have dominated social media for several years now and only seem to be getting more heated. With every executive order issued by President Trump or protest aimed at changing a current practice, social media will generate a plethora of links and opinions. These opinions often lead to debates in comment sections that generate way more heat than light.

For the Christian, how we engage in political discussions on social media can be especially tricky. On the one hand, our faith touches every arena of life, so politics is important. On the other hand, we know that every person in the world must stand before Jesus one day and the ultimate issue will not be whether they had the correct position on national security issues.

When you consider how divisive politics can be and how often we say things in the heat of a moment that can influence the way people view Jesus and the Gospel, Christians must spend time in careful thought before they post about politics on social media.

In fact, I would suggest that there are seven questions you should ask yourself before you post about politics or share a link to an article about a political issue.

Do I have the correct facts?

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” While King Solomon couldn’t foresee the advent of social media, he knew the human heart. Proverbs 18:2 reminds us of the importance of hearing and understanding a matter before we start talking about it. The more divisive the issue, the more time we need to spend understanding it.

Does the Bible speak to this issue? If I think it does, am I sure that I understand the biblical passage in its proper context and that I am applying it correctly to the situation? Are there other texts that speak to this that I have not considered?

I would suggest that you read a wide range of resources on an issue before opining about it on social media. Read the most fact-based article that you can find on it. For example, Joe Carter posted a roundup of frequently asked questions about President Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees.Reading this type of article can help you get a grasp of the basic facts. Then, read several articles from more liberal publications and several that come from more conservative publications. Read The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Review. Look at the points each side makes and see how the other side answers them. Through this type of careful reading, you can gain a better grasp of the issue before you speak about it.

Does this need to be said?

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Most of the times that I heard Ephesians 4:29 when I was growing up, it was the verse that was used to tell us not to cuss. While it may speak to that, it also has something to say about our interactions on social media.

“That it may give grace to those who hear.” Is what you have to say going to bring grace to those who hear it? Will they increase in understanding and gain a greater insight into the Bible’s perspective on this issue? Will your words point them to Christ? Or, is what you are going to say be mere venting? Are you going to bring light, or are you going to bring heat only?

What you have to say may be correct, but it may not need to be said.

Why do I need to be the person to say this?

Let’s pretend that what you want to say about politics on social media should be said. Now you need to consider if you are the right person to say it. Do you have an insight into this issue that you haven’t seen somewhere else, or are you merely repeating an argument you read in another place? Do you have a role or responsibility where people are looking to you for guidance? Why should you be the person to say what you are about to say?

Am I saying this in a way that represents Christ?

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” People who have experienced grace should speak in a way that exhibits grace. Often, we post the first thing that comes to our minds about an issue, don’t read it to see how it sounds, and end up bringing shame upon Christ and his church through our hasty speech. Venting opinions that are not thought out and that insult others is a sign of tremendous foolishness, demonstrates a lack of love for our neighbors, and does not bring honor to Jesus.

Before you post something, read it three or four times. Take a screenshot of it and send it to a friend. Is it kind? Is it accurate? Is it designed for the good of others? Will it negatively impact how other people think of Jesus?

On a closely related side note, if you need to think twice before posting about American politics, then you need to think ten times before posting about denominational politics. In fact, I can think of no good reason for denominational squabbles to be shared before the watching world on our social media feeds. Discuss them in groups or the comment sections of blogs, but do not drag them out into public and bring dishonor to the cause of Christ.

How could I be misunderstood?

I learned my lesson this past August on Facebook. I posted about what I believed to be Donald Trump’s lack of commitment to pro-life issues and said that it was a terrible mistake to nominate him. Almost immediately, my friends and family perceived that my concerns about Trump were an endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

The lesson I learned from this was that there was nothing to be gained by questioning the decision to nominate Trump, which at this point was in the past. The Presidential contest was primarily between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I failed to think through how people would interpret my concerns about one candidate as an endorsement of the other. My post brought no light or grace to the situation and only brought confusion.

Stop and think before you post. Are you communicating clearly and is there a possible way for a significant number of people to misunderstand you?

What are my motives for saying this?

“Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all to the glory of God.
Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God.” While the question of our motives has been underlying several other questions, we should ask it on its own. Can you honestly say that you are saying what you are saying for the glory of God and the good of others?

We must be aware of our motives because they will determine what we say, how we say it, when we say it, and how we will respond to people who disagree with us. If our motive is to vent because we are angry, we will speak harshly, rashly, immediately, and eviscerate those who disagree with us. On the other hand, if our motives mirror Paul’s in 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, then we will speak graciously, kindly, thoughtfully, and respond patiently to those who disagree.

Can I wait until tomorrow to say this?

When Abraham Lincoln got angry with someone, he would fire off what he called a “hot letter.” He would set aside the letter until his emotions cooled off. Then, he would read the letter with a cool head. He left many letters unsigned and unsent.

While Abraham Lincoln wrote letters instead of posts on social media, his practice provides a worthy example for us today. If your post deals with a particularly sensitive topic, can it wait until tomorrow? If it can wait a day, save it as a draft and revisit it tomorrow. You may find that you read it with fresh eyes and see that you shouldn’t post it. Or you may see that it would be helpful to people and click “post.” Either way, the longer you can wait before inserting yourself into a conversation, the better.

Christians, we need to remember that we are Christians first. We represent King Jesus and his church. When we speak, it should reflect the priorities and character of our King and his kingdom. This concern means that we need to take extra care to consider the words we speak online.

Related Posts:
Choosing Courage over Outrage

Putting Out the Fires of Conflict

For Further Reading:
Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore

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  • Nancy boothe

    This was very helpful. I have family members who think I should take a public stand and if I don’t, well.. that’s not important. Thanks for the wise thoughts.

  • George Snider

    I have been a watchman for many years. I have been trying to obey the admonition given in Ezekiel 33:6, “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand”, mostly to no avail. I have been attacked, called vile names, unfriended, blocked to the point where I am on the verge of giving up. I don’t know whether I can give up or not. Ezekiel 33:9 says,”Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” I have no way of knowing how many of the wicked I have reached, so continue to warn. This article gives me some ground rules. Thank you very much, Scott.

  • Great article! I would also add, where possible, go directly to the source document in question, then read the opinion pieces. We might’ve avoided the #muslimban hashtag altogether had people read the actual EO.

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  • Claudia Williams

    This edifying article is very convicting to me and I will take it to heart. I have been very upset about all the “Fake News” and disturbing comments that have been divisive, to include mine. I’ve always had a hard time with controlling my loud expression of my opinions whether positive or negative. I call it my “Latina Passion!” God is my strength and is still making my path straight cause I am far from perfect. I have to remember He is in control and He put the government in place and I have to trust that the truth will be revealed.

  • I appreciate your Biblical counsel on this matter. Thank you. I’ve found myself fearful of saying anything positive about Trump. Thankfully, I”m not ashamed to proclaim the Gospel online. And that’s more important than politics.

  • Mary Wasley

    Very useful and insightful article

  • Thanks, there was some good food for thought here.

  • Brenda

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve never been involved in politics in my entire adult life until I heard DT demeans women, minorities and the disabled. I react every time he speaks and acts disrespectful to minority women like me. Now that he is the POTUS it is getting worst and I am concerned of my children, grand and great children’s future. The day before the election God spoke to me and told me that DT will be the POTUS but there will be chaos. I see this happening now and I believe God knows what he is doing. I have been praying for peace, love, unity and harmony. May God bless America.

  • Carole Terrell

    Thank you for this article. I wish all people who post on social media were required to read this and wait 3 days before posting something that can hurt and destroy relationships.
    My philosophy is to NOT post anything political on Facebook as I know everyone has their own opinions. I do not feel my reach is so great that my thoughts on something in a social media post will truly change someone’s opinion. I would prefer to have an honest and open dialogue with people that think differently, believe differently than I do. Listening to the “why” they feel the way they feel and being able to empathize with them is what is important for me. Having a lively conversation regarding my thoughts, beliefs, etc. is a great way for me to express myself as I listen to the other person’s thoughts, beliefs, etc.
    I have not posted anything, nor have I shared who I voted for or what I think of how our President is doing in his first few days at the office. For the very reasons stated above and in your article. Suddenly, yesterday out of the blue my brother sent a very hurtful, personal attack that literally came out of nowhere via private message. There was no prelude to his ranting. He had not had any conversations with me or posts going back and forth, etc. I have not commented nor posted anything touting one side or the other in this highly charged political season we are in. He does not know my politics as I have not published them. He even suggested I move back to CA (we moved 2 years ago) when they leave the nation. Up until this point, I would not have predicted he could be so cruel and hateful to me. We had a loving relationship as far as I was aware.
    I am blessed to have 4 wonderfully supportive and loving sisters that I can turn to in this very difficult hurting time. We may not agree on politics and religion but I know they love me and I do not think they would be so hateful. One sister sent our brother your article. I will pray that he reads it and really lets it sink in.
    Thank you,

  • Joseph Mckinley

    Your questions are food for thought. However, I am also an American with a right to voice my opinion – even politically based. The ONLY question that you posed that had a Real impact is: Am I saying this in a way that represents Christ? I do believe that even the best of Christians can say items when angry that may not reflect kindly on Christians. A real problem is that there needs to be a separation between Church and State (Religion and Politics) which never EVER can mix properly. We CANNOT stand for Evil, and We CANNOT remain silent (as affirming such evil), so this becomes a “Sticky Thicket” of a problem for ALL Christians. Also remember, Jesus turned over tables in the Temple because they did NOT listen to him and were acting out evil right in a place that was supposed to be a house of God. I can point out reasons on both sides of voicing an opinion and Not voicing an opinion. All anyone (Pastors like you) can do is to remind your congregation to ALWAYS stay as Christian as they can in ALL SITUATIONS regardless of the topics or emotions that come with those topics. We ALL (Christians) are responsible for our own actions (As was Stated in Revelation) and as a side-effect also represent our religion(s) when we act unlike the Christians we profess to be. The Rest, well that is a very simple answer: Ask God to do What you CANNOT do ALWAYS! Think about what I said, and above all ask Jesus about it as well. FOR, it is NOT what I say that is right, it IS when Jesus Christ CONFIRMS that I am Right – That I am Right. 😀

  • Excellent article! I’ve broken some of those rules, but these guidelines will help me and others in the future. I enjoyed it so much I wrote a “quiz” people could take:



  • Kevin Whitehead

    Scott thanks for the post. There is only one part I think is not essential for the majority of American believers and the is the Why do I need to be the person who says this? If you are a citizen and you teach the “We the People” line regarding who is the government then every time there is an injustice then you are responsible for speaking out against it. Of course, if you don´t believe the “We the People” teaching or understanding then, you wouldn´t need to speak against the stealing killing and destroying done with your sweat and treasure. If you have a say in the process and you do not speak out against it then you are like the watchman on the wall who does not report what he sees.

  • FRED

    Only major disagreement I have is your selection of news sources. Three of them are extremely liberal. National Review is ok for the conservative side, but it’s 3 against 1. On balance a good article.

  • Dean Gray

    Very good food for thought. I now have very strained relations with some of my family members directly related to politics and the fires were fanned by things said on social media. I am going to keep this in mind before I post anything or respond to hurtful things directed at me. Maybe broken relations can be fixed!

  • This is an amazing article. It speaks to the position of the believer. The article gives wisdom not human reasoning. It will certainly help people refrain from political debates on social media.

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  • This is a great post. Mind if I share it on our church blog?

  • michelle

    the Wall Street Journal is liberal?

  • Christine

    Every source except the extremely conservative is considered liberal for these kinds of people. When Breitbart became a legitimate source for Christians I gave up on them.

  • marcos alnas calvez

    responsible, responsibility and responsive….

  • Diane Zandstra

    Couldn’t agree more!!

  • Angela

    Not that I necessarily disagree with this. But this is pretty much a roundabout way of telling Christians not to be politically active. “Can this be misunderstood?” Of course it can. Jesus’s messages were often misunderstood — did that stop Him from saying things that needed to disrupt the status quo? I agree with the overall rationale not too be rash when you feel the need to be vocal. But don’t let that devolve into political passiveness, erring on the side of being silent because it’s a far easier option.

  • Deb

    Thank you Scott, I hope this speaks to alot of hearts.

  • Vivian

    Silence is consent

  • Ada Noseworthy

    I know exactly what you mean. It seems like people do not want to know facts or truth these days. They only want what makes them feel good. And being criticized verbally abused and even threatened does not make you feel good and if you go against the Liberals and society today that is what you get. You get savagely attacked. So let’s both of us hang in there. We have many who feel like us but they are simply too afraid of the consequences to openly say so.

  • Abraham Bonilla

    I agree with the steps to take as long as we do not remain silent. The truth needs to be said and lies exposed, social media was a huge help in turning the tide on the evils that have taken place in the last eight years. That is the truth and it that is offensive to someone who doesn’t agree because they think the last eight years were not evil, then we have a much bigger problem than venting on social media. I believe as Christians we can and should engage in politics, our influence is what makes our country great and champions the freedoms we enjoy. I would disagree with a separation of Church and State. That is what has propelled us to the state we are currently in. We have seen just in the last week a President proclaiming the name of God and implementing those values throughout our government. That was the grave of God and people connecting and spreading truth through social media. It wasn’t attractive and even now the battle continues when talking politics. The truth must be said, the last thing we want to do is have political correctness influencing the one group of people that can speak out in wisdom, love and truth.

  • Joan

    So sorry , Carole! May the Lord heal your hurts, help you to forgive your brother for his harshness. I’ve had similar things happen with family and it is so hard. Blessings, Joan

  • Ana

    “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

    Not that I’m advocating open rants on Facebook, but there’s nothing wrong with sharing what we read with our online community in a respectful way. So much of our “news” these days is tailored to only give us what we want to see or read, that it’s important to read what people with other points of view are sharing in order to get a full picture. And to the extent that it enables you to organize and fight for/against on the issues that matter most to you, the better. Our country cannot afford for us to sit on the sidelines.

  • Nancy

    The way I understand this is that we have a choice, everyday, many times in a day. The world or the way of Truth and Light. So how do I proceed? I stay as close to the light as I am able, until the world starts to suck me into that outrageous, subtle way of Satan and when that gets to be enough, it puts me on my knees and I repent and move on, staying as close to the light as I am able until……..and on it goes. For years many of us have sat back and respectfully given credence to a way of life that totally disrespects our Lord Jesus, that does not stand for Truth, Law and Order or what is expected of us in a civil world. Then we realize there is no civil world, that there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to Trust and Obey. We voted, we trust and now we obey. Trust the process, folks, everything is in God’s control. and the more we walk close to him the less pain and hurtful the ways of the world are to us. Enjoy your day!

  • Riley Anderson

    This is such wisdom. I feel corrected, encouraged, and enlightened. Thank you for writing this. Timely and needed.

  • James Wattler

    All 7 points offer good advice. But, as with advice rooted in presumed good intentions, we need to apply context AND the Big Picture. To the point: We–the Christian community–are being warred against by enemies foreign and domestic, i.e., radical Islam and radical Progressivism/Marxism. I am forced to add also that much of the success of these religious and political radicals is due in part to Christians’ passive behavior and attitude, especially at the ballot box. Too often Christians don’t bother to vote, which leads to the ascendency of too many political figures who do not like them, are in fact hostile to Judeo-Christian tenets. We are at war. And I am reminded of the W.W.II cry: “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.” So, Christians, stay home, cover in the faux safety there. Don’t engage the enemy who has declared that their ultimate goal is the demise of you, and your family. But I’ll not join you; in fact, I’ll be doing just the opposite: “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.”

  • Sue

    Thank you for posting these encouragements for Christians to lift up the Lord through their social media outlets of texts, and Facebook, for His glory. These are timely guidelines, especially in light of President Trump’s stated intent to eliminate the Johnson ammendment which has been interpreted since the 50’s to in effect, muzzle the voice of God’s children.
    Excellent post!

  • Elizabeth Clewett

    Read this with interest, and disagree in a single regard: I take seriously Jesus’ admonition that, in his absence, believers follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. In ALL things, I respond and obey each time the Holy Spirit pricks my heart to take action. Not once have I felt that I misunderstood the Holy Spirit’s leading or acted in a way contrary to it.

    Your counsel substitutes our judgment and “self-control” for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Frankly, following my own inclination, or another person’s fallible advice, has rarely served me well. I believe that only the Holy Spirit puts the proper words in my mouth and compassion in my heart to navigate all aspects of life, especially in matters of faith, freedom and justice. It’s ok if you disagree.

  • Grannie Vee

    Perhaps it might not of happened if your President did not use those words. I watched him say it. Many tines!

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  • Michael Roberson

    I am running the risk of not taking my own advice here, but, did you read the article? Did any of the points of the article lead you to say what you just said? I say this as a brother in Christ and as a person who did vote for Trump. Did what you say and how you said it HAVE to be said right now? In this manner? For this article? I am not picking on you, you’ll see this same response to others. Be at peace and go with God.

  • Michael Roberson

    I am running the risk of not taking my own advice here, but, did you read the article? Did any of the points of the article lead you to say what you just said? I say this as a brother in Christ and as a person who did vote for Trump. Did what you say and how you said it HAVE to be said right now? In this manner? For this article? I am not picking on you, you’ll see this same response to others. Be at peace and go with God.

  • Michael Roberson

    I am running the risk of not taking my own advice here, but, did you read the article? Did any of the points of the article lead you to say what you just said? I say this as a brother in Christ and as a person who did vote for Trump. Did what you say and how you said it HAVE to be said right now? In this manner? For this article? I am not picking on you, you’ll see this same response to others. Be at peace and go with God.

  • Michael Roberson

    So, I have posted a few times the same response. I am SO encouraged mostly by this posting. Yes, we can all pick some nits about some of them, but what I see is this; Scott has compiled some wisdom for us to think about, meditate on, and ultimately, to form our lives. There are probably time when, yes, it is appropriate to speak out and to speak out forcefully. BUT, taking these to mind helps ALL believers in Christ to do so from a Christ-centered way.
    To be clear and exercise full disclosure, I am conservative in my faith, economics, social views, and politics. BUT at heart I am a redeemed sinner, saved by and sustained by the grace of God. I am called to be a peacemaker to the best of my ability. That doesn’t mean I’m a wimp, or that I would not defend myself either verbally or physically, just that I need to be interested in another’s heart and NOT winning the argument. Again, Thanks Scott for putting into words things I have been mulling for several months now. Blessings to you.

  • Scott,

    Thanks for the thoughtful post, I greatly appreciate it!

    Jim Canady

  • Stacy

    I really wish you had written this article more than 8 years ago. So many hateful posts and disgusting Memes about President Obama and Secretary Clinton have been posted by my Christian friends. No wonder people didn’t want to follow Christ if that’s how His followers acted!

  • Blake

    Very helpful, very timely. You’ve stated my own feelings on the topic much better than I could. Glad I found your blog.

  • Rocky

    As Christians we were trusting and tolerant for 8 years. We took a “for our sins” approach to the first black president. Unfortunately our ship has veered off course and now we are have been called to general quarters to find our location and steer away from obstacles that could take us down. May God give us wisdom to make clear our way to recovery and get back on dead reckoning.

  • Kim

    Great article although I do not agree with everything. I think we all have the duty to lovingly with grace speak out against the actions we feel are destroying our country that are not in alignment with God. I believe one of the main reasons our country has fallen so far from God is because His people have remained silent on issues that affect our society and thereby our country. We have now come to the point where our right to freely practice our faith is being attacked on a daily basis. WHY? Because Christians for too long have shied away from controversy instead of standing firm. I am not a pastor or even very well-versed with my Bible, but I know there are many instances where God has told His people to stand firm or even to attack. We must not forget that we are only sheep who belong to Jesus. We are not sheep to allow the secular world to take away our God-given inalienable rights.

  • Penny

    Not trying to create a disagreement, but in light of this article I would encourage you to dig a little deeper into the assertions you are making about DT based on what you’ve heard people say. I believe you will find them to all be 100% untrue. You may also want to consider where the chaos is being generated from. It seems to me that our new President is focused on doing the job he was elected to do. Trump has absolutely proven that he stands with Christians by his nominee to the Supreme Court.

  • TZ

    Love Love the article. I’m a Christian with a more liberal leaning (gasp) and pray every day for the wisdom to not engage. There was one issue that was close to heart and before posting i did read up on more conservative views, and the facts before posting. I made the mistake of NOT doing this a couple months back and the ‘conversation’ that ensued wasn’t very productive. I am now more careful. For the most part when my conservative friends and I stick to the facts we have lively conversations and often times are closer in thought than one would think. Thank you for your observations and reference to examples and Biblical versus.

  • Scott I found this article on the Gospel Coalition website and it is excellent. This last election cycle has divided the Christian community like none of the other elections I have seen in almost 40yrs of being a registered voter. All of us, starting with myself, need to apply these principals in all forms of communication. Non-believers are always listening or reading to see if Christians can disagree without demeaning one another. When we as Christians disagree with elected officials or candidates we owe them grace because it is the kindness of God that will lead them to repentance. I so appreciate what Paul says after giving a long list of behaviors that disqualify people from God’s Kingdom–when we says to the church—AND SO WHERE SOME OF YOU—The Church has the power of the gospel may we use it wisely!!

  • Carol

    Wow. I was about to respond to your comment but realized a note I just wrote had been copied, thus, I decided to share my questions with you, by pasting it below.

    But let me provide a reality with you since you are responding to a person who admitted to having fear, and you decided to reply by proclaiming Trumps goodness to the person, while not even mentioning the very Christ our new President is supposedly now like: Christian means Christ-like.

    Due to the fact that this nation, and many there in, condone the message that we are a Christian, Christ-like, nation. Why then is a lack of compassion, or love, is not expressed, and a desire to hear how the actions towards the Indians and Black slaves, who were chained, sold, and beaten to serve their Christlike “masters,” have affected those members of our society who are their descendants.

    Therefore, many people, many people with a darker pigment in our land, are internally sufferering, but as we attempt to share this pain, and seek to dialogue about this, the only response extended is a loyal declaration telling us how Christlike President Trump is, now that he is our leader. But the problem with the response is the fact that Mr. Trump has made comments about the darker members of society, which reflect the same Christlike characteristics that chained and beat the forefathers of our race.

    You know, there is something I have pondered for a few months, and I would like to express it with you all. If Ben Carson is a Believer, and Trump became a converted Believer, then why did he not ask his brother-in-Christ to join him in leading our nation? Why did Trump not ask Carson on become his Vice President so that they could lead this nation with two Christian leaders seeking the highest for our nation? As a matter of fact, what role has Ben Carson been given now that the President is such a prayerful leader?

    See, questions like these tend to reinforce a lack of trust in how people see other people, especially people of color.

    Therefore, can someone shed some light on this issue, as I try to combat my inward thoughts that lead me to believe prejudice tends to govern many aspects of our society, but somehow it fails to inform its owner that they are dwelling in its grip.

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  • Caleb kytonen

    Wow, good thing Jesus, Paul, and MLK ignored this advice otherwise nothing worth saying would have ever been said. What a cautious pile of garbage.

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  • Anoj

    Such a sad comment. Giving up on followers of Christ is exactly what Satan wants to be done. The Bible/Jesus does not teach this.

  • Crystal Giffin

    Brother Snider…I too feel the same as you and have been treated in such a manner…especially when trying to point out the myriad of false teachers today. I have found myself wanting to give up…but three things come to mind…1. God never gives up on me. 2. Christ and the HS are always with me. 3. From Jeremiah 20..when Jeremiah felt God had abandoned him and he wanted to quit…7 You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived ; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.