Facebook Frustrations

Facebook is a marvelous tool to connect with people and minister to them. It’s also a source of occasional conflict. You run the risk of offending others no matter how you speak the truth in love. One time a woman “unfriended” me after I advised her not to sow discord amongst my other friends (Proverbs 6:19) regarding another minister we had differing opinions on.

I’ve also had ministers promote their ministries and make fundraising appeals on my Facebook pages despite my asking them to stop. That prompted me to change my account settings so people can only write comments in response to my articles and praise reports. Still people occasionally post stuff irrelevant to my writings. Usually I just remove these posts but have unfriended individuals who won’t respect my boundaries.

Another thing I don’t like is Facebook Groups. Since 2010, friends have been able to add me to these groups without my permission. This is comparable to receiving magazines in the mail I never subscribed to. It adds extra email to my inbox I don’t want to read. Not only that, my membership is automatically made public even if I have no interest in a particular group. Unless Facebook makes changes and allow people to be invited first, I will not be part of any groups. Instead I will “like” Fan pages if I’m familiar with and appreciate the person or organization involved.

Nevertheless, a few friends have taken offense when asked not to add me to Facebook groups. Last Sunday a minister from India who I originally met at a MorningStar conference added me to two groups despite my sending two previous emails asking him not to do that. This time I emailed him two reminder notices...first privately but then posted a comment directly on the group page since he wasn’t checking his inbox. This minister unfriended me.

A few days before that, a Canadian pastor who originally friended me (but I never met in person) added me to a Facebook group promoting him and his wife. After immediately leaving that group, I sent him an email asking not to be added to any groups. This minister responded by blocking me. That’s a bit extreme. All I did was make a simple request.

Years ago a “do not call” registry was created in response to persistent telemarketers. I would like to see a “do not add” list or app made for Facebook groups. Either way, I pray all my brothers and sisters in Christ grow up and pursue His purposes instead of their own agenda. We are all called to reach the world but not necessarily associate and work with everybody who calls themselves a believer. As Mike Murdock says, “Your Assignment is not to everybody, but to somebody.

"For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." - 1 Corinthians 2:2

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