This was a powerful statement that I heard a preacher say many years ago. It made me stop and look at the people that I considered as friends. "Are they the kind of person that I want to be?" "Are they the kind of person that my Heavenly Father would want me to associate with?" Another good question that I asked myself was, "Am I a good friend?"
In those days a person had to have actual personal contact with someone for them to be considered a friend. With today's technology and social media web sites, friendships are growing rapidly. They are having daily contact with many more people.
A person should always be careful of whom their friends are, but even more in today's fast paced world.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
God tells us clearly to examine our friendships! This book will help you to take a close look at this new world of quick communication. It will show you Biblically how God will judge your friends list.
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Facing The TruthA Biblical look at today's social media
By Tom McMurtry
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Dr. Tom McMurtry
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWHAT GOD HATES MOST
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Each point in this list of things that God hates can easily be associated with the computer and communication world. Notice a phrase used in the verses just before these that talk about the things that God hates.
Proverbs 6:12-13 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
Notice the ways of communication. He uses his mouth, he uses facial expressions, he uses his travel and notice the last one, and he uses his fingers to teach. At the time Proverbs was written, this may have been referring to some kind of hand gestures, but looking at our world today, I see people using their fingers to text on their phones and type on their computers messages that God tells us He hates. It is even more than what we consider as hate. It is what God calls an abomination. The word abomination means "extreme hatred," God is telling us that He hates all these things with an extreme hatred.
A Proud Look: Facebook photos are often all about self. This is their chance to be the model they could never be in the world before. Now everyone can see how beautiful or handsome they are. The world can see my great accomplishments no matter how small it is the world can now see it! Look at me! God hates it!
Psalms 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Psalms 73:6-8 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
A Lying Tongue: People posting things that are not true or maybe just partially true. It could be they don't realize the lie they are spreading because they believe someone else who is lying yet it is posted, the lie is out and it cannot be brought back again. God hates it!
Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Hands That Shed Innocent Blood: This can go along with the lies that are told that hurt the reputation of an innocent person. But you found them guilty on your own so you can share it with others who will now think evil of that person. They may not physically be killed but their name and reputation have been killed by someone who can now share with the world what is in their heart against another. God hates it!
Isaiah 59:3-6 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
An Heart That Deviseth Wicked Imaginations: How often do we hear of marriages breaking up because old relationships are renewed on the computer. Young people lose their purity from finding someone with the same wicked thoughts in their mind on the computer. Plans are made by young people to go against the rules of their parents because of the imaginations shared on the computer. God hates it!
Zechariah 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
Micah 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.
Feet That Be Swift In Running To Mischief: Now with the computers and phones we carry with us, plans to do something wrong can be swiftly shared and before they have had time to think it over or get permission from their family they find themselves running into the mischief. God hates it!
Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
A False Witness That Speaketh Lies: The false witness can send out the lie much faster and much sooner and to many more people. They can tell a truth but it may not be the whole truth and it still does the damage of a total lie! God hates it!
Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Proverbs 25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
He That Soweth Discord Among The Brethren: This is anything that cause problems or disagreement among the brethren. That is the people of God. One of the main problems with these computer sites is the viruses that are spread. I am not talking about computer viruses but church viruses and family viruses. As a pastor, I have had to deal with many issues that have come up through these computer programs. I can truly see why God in His infinite wisdom made the statement calling it an abomination. How can people take part in things like these that God ranks with homosexuality and witchcraft?
Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
This may be more dangerous because people don't see this evil like the evil of the other abominations that stand out so clearly in their eyes. They cannot see that the gossip and the discord spreading is causing God to become as angry at them as He does at those who commit these other sins. Though people would not get involved with witchcraft or with sexual abominations they are easily led into the abomination that God list as the one He hates the most. Sowing discord among the brethren!
James 3:14-16 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Chapter TwoSOCIAL NETWORK ADDICTION
2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Sadly the social networking world is becoming an addiction to many people. Even when they see the pain and problems that come with it, they are still drawn to it is such a powerful way that they feel they cannot survive without contact with it. Much like the alcoholic or the drug addict who realizes that what they are doing is hurting them and their family, they cannot stop themselves from doing what makes them feel good for a moment even though it is destroying their future. Recently, I counseled a family with a mother who had recently been imprisoned because of her drug addiction. They told me how she could not stop herself from using the drugs. They were actually glad that she was sent to prison. They thought that this might give her a chance to overcome her addictions.
They also told me that her addiction was not only to the drug but to the needle that she used to inject the drug. There were times she would sit and poke herself with the needle. If she didn't have the drug she was at least going to feel the pain of the injection, some how this brought her comfort.
For those who are not addicted to drugs, this makes little sense. Why would someone sit and hurt themselves in order to bring themselves comfort? I do not know the answer to that question, nor do I understand why people would be so involved in social networking that they end up hurting themselves. They see the suffering and pain all around them, but they cannot stop themselves from doing what is likely to destroy them.
Proverbs 23:35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
The definition of the word addict in the Webster's 1828 dictionary is: "Devoted by customary practice." There are millions of people who feel they must be on their computer or phone every day. Many cannot go a few hours without seeing the post that is added by their friends or adding something to their own page. Lately in the news I have heard of people who are so caught up in social networking that they spend as many hours online as they do working their jobs. Marriages are breaking up, parents are losing their children. Why? "I have to be online!" "It is more important to have a lot of Facebook friends than it is to build a proper relationship with my mate, my children, or my God!"
It would be wonderful if people were as devoted to God, the Bible, and Church as they are to these.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
God warns us throughout the scripture of the dangers of bad communications. He tells us that it will corrupt the good that is in us. Words have so much more power than most realize.
Ephesians 5:6-7 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
It is not just the words we say but the words we hear and read.
God tells us that we should not be deceived by "vain words." The word vain is defined as: Empty, worthless, having no substance, value or importance.
Most can't seem to find the time to read the Word's of God, but will devotedly read the words of "friends" that have little or no substance. We have to know how their day is going, but we care very little about what the Holy Spirit of God want to give us from the Bible.
People can memorize all the e mail addresses and profile names yet they cannot take time to memorize the scripture. God tells us not to be partakers with them. He is telling us clearly that He doesn't want us to be caught up with those who focus on things that are empty or that are disobedient to His Word. Remember the definition of addiction: "Devoted by customary practice." Is it your custom to be involved in these communication programs every day? Would your friends be shocked not to see your daily post? Can you see yourself not on Facebook? Are you devoted to your computer and your phone?
Remember, God is all knowing and when He gave us the Scripture, He saw that the future would be what it is today. He knew the problems that would come in the world we are living in today. As you read the Bible, you should notice all that God teaches us about our communications. It should cause you to be very careful in what it is you are "addicted to."
Addictions come to lives because there is such a feeling in their mind and body that one is willing to sacrifice everything for that feeling. Paul gives us some good advice about our bodies.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
He tells us that our bodies must be brought into subjection. All of our bodies want to do things that are not good. So we must work on having a stronger spirit. When the great King David decided to stay home from a battle, his eyes saw something he shouldn't have. Then he made a decision to do something that he knew was wrong. He slept with Bathsheba. She got pregnant, so now he made a decision to try and cover his sin by sending for her husband to come home. This cover up didn't work so now he decides to have him killed. He now marries the woman and feels that everything is alright, till a prophet comes and point out what seems to be another man's sin. This angers David so much that he demands the man face judgment. The prophet points out to David that he is the man.
David sees his sin and he prays for God's forgiveness. He now sees where the problem started. He made the bad fleshly decisions because his spirit was not right.
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Many people today are now physically addicted to this new social communicative system. It is bringing pleasures to their mind and body that no matter what the consequences may be they cannot stop. Most cannot even bring themselves to stop for a day; many cannot stop for an hour.
I recently heard a news report of people who are texting in their sleep! They are so hooked on communicating that even when their eyes close in sleep their fingers keep pushing the texting buttons.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons Christ tells us to fast and pray. He knows that our bodies will always be at battle with our spirit. If we can keep our bodies from eating we can learn to control other temptations our bodies throw at us.
A good way to tell if you have an addiction to your phone and computer would be to take some time away from it. See if you can go a week without your computer or phone. Sadly most people cannot even go one day without going through withdrawals.
Another sad thing about addiction is that the addict cannot see the addiction themselves. If they are to be helped there has to be someone that will intervene and point out the problem. That is what I hope will happen as social network addicts read this. They will finally see where they are going and will seek the help that they need.
Chapter ThreeYOU ARE NOW OR SOON SHALL BE WHAT YOUR FRIENDS ARE
Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
James 4:4-5 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
Many years ago I heard a preacher make the statement, "You are now or soon shall be what your friends are." The message he gave that day helped me so much through out my life. I have seen that statement come true hundreds of times in my ministry. If you are with people that are doing wrong, soon you will be doing wrong. God tells us in the Bible that if we are friends with the world we are at enmity with Him. The word enmity is defined as: The opposite of friendship, ill will, hatred, unfriendly disposition.
These are very strong words that ought to make us very careful who it is we consider a friend. How can I have a close relationship with someone who has a bad relationship with my God? God says that the spirit in us lusteth to envy. God looks at all we do with these friends who want nothing to do with Him, and it causes Him great pain.
How would you feel if someone you considered a friend was close friends with someone who hated you and wanted to hurt you? You would wonder if that person was really your friend. That is what God is telling us. We should only be friends with those who are His friends!
1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
God tells us very plainly that we are not to love the world! If our love and attraction is toward this world, that shows us clearly that our love for God is not what it ought to be. Notice the three phrases God gives us.
Excerpted from Facing The Truth by Tom McMurtry Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Tom McMurtry. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What God Hates Most....................1
Chapter 2: Social Network Addiction....................7
Chapter 3: You Are Now Or Soon Shall Be What Your Friends Are....................13
Chapter 4: Write It, Regret It!....................18
Chapter 5: Facebook Accounting....................21
Chapter 6: The Fire Of Hell....................24
Chapter 7: Cyber Buddy & Cyber Bully....................29
Chapter 8: Using Words As A Weapon....................33
Chapter 9: Feeding On Foolishness....................38
Chapter 10: Meddlers....................45
Chapter 11: Creep Into Houses....................49
Chapter 12: Foreseeing The Evil....................53
Chapter 13: What We Take Part In Reveals Who We Are....................58
Chapter 14: Pouring Out Foolishness....................63
Chapter 15: Delivery From Danger....................68
Chapter 16: Filthy Communication....................73
Chapter 17: The Congregation Of Evil Doers....................77
Chapter 18: Our Lips Are Not Our Own....................80
Chapter 19: Acceptable Communications....................85
Chapter 20: Fixing The Problem....................93
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having the privilege of knowing Dr. Tom McMurtry, both as friend and family, I am honored to recommend his challenging and biblically based book concerning one of the most vital subjects we are dealing with today, Facebook and social networks. He has thoroughly challenged us to see how Satan is using this to be everything from a distraction in our walk with God, to many demonstrating a life of self centeredness, and sadly for some, the disgrace of delving into sin. You will be reminded as believers of the importance of biblical communication. In light of Matthew 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" therefore we should wisely consider what we say and what we send for others to read. As you read these pages you will feel the passionate heart of concern that flows from his pen. The warnings given here are not merely a rant against communication, but the wise counsel from a Pastor, who has watched the dangers and devastation that evil communications bring, and to serve as a challenge for all of us to be alert because the adversary is still seeking whom he may devour. This manuscript is very timely and the truths presented here will help all of us guard our conversations, weather publicly or by the Internet. May God help us to apply the principles to our lives that have been prayerfully and carefully set forth here.