A Word of Caution from the Facebook Status Killjoy

Much like the “bra color” forward that swept Facebook over the winter, a new forward has begun circulating:

Ok ladies here’s another game, like the bra color game was a total success and we had men wondering for days what was with the colors and it made it to the News. Well this game has to do with your handbag, where we put our handbag the moment we get home for example “on the couch”, “the kitchen counter”, “the dresser” well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your Status with nothing more than that and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let’s see how powerful we women really are!”

When I post blogs like this, I tend to get accused of needing to lighten up and not be so serious because stuff like this is “just for fun”, but take a moment and ask yourself, “What kind of power does this show we have?” The power to make people’s minds end up in the gutter? Is that the sort of power we want to exert over people? What is the intention of posting a status like this?

We can claim it’s all innocent fun, but in the sex-saturated world in which we live, anything can be turned into a sexual innuendo; why would you want to post something that will only encourage such saturation?

I take very seriously my responsibility to do everything within my power to not be a stumbling block for my brothers and sisters in Christ. While I cannot hold myself personally responsible for the thought life of others, I can be held responsible for doing things that do not encourage pure and holy thoughts.

Scripture tells us that, as believers, we have access to unimaginable power– the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within us and gives us victory over sin (Romans 8:11)! If we have the power to overcome sin, why would we want to show our power by leading others into strongholds of sin?

Imagine for a moment that your son or daughter or husband or cousin or best friend struggles with sexual sin. He or she signs on to Facebook and is overwhelmed with lists of random surfaces found in the common home. What do you think their first thought is going to be? I can assure you that they aren’t thinking, “I bet this is a list of places the women in my life put their purses.” No, they are going to think exactly what this type of status intends for them to think. And they’re going to think about that woman doing it. Then your son or daughter or husband or cousin or best friend gets to go to church tomorrow and see that woman and be bombarded with that image again. And then that woman may be confused when your loved one can no longer look her in the eye or speak to her comfortably. She may wonder, “What’s his problem?” without ever considering that she may be the problem.

Doesn’t it just make sense that we should do everything we can to protect each other’s minds from such stumbling blocks instead of being the stumbling block? We cannot set ourselves up to be sexual objects and then be angry when we are treated as such.

Erin Davis blogged about the Bra Color game on the True Woman blog in January, and I believe her wise words apply here as well. You can read her edifying post here.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we do, we should do it to the glory of God, and yes, sister, this even includes what you post as your Facebook status. There is no part of the life of the Christian that is exempt from the “whatever” clause.

Just think about it…

UPDATE: As Douglas B. Brill stated in his secular article concerning the cheapening of the fight against cancer with the use of sex, clicking here will “help you become even more constructive in the fight against breast cancer.”

21 thoughts on “A Word of Caution from the Facebook Status Killjoy

  1. You make a very good point. I know I never thought about it that way. many others have not I’m sure. I know others like to play with the guys this way. they think it’s funny.
    Your right, it could cause a brother or sister in christ to fall, b/c our minds are more likely to go in the gutter than any where else. It’s sad to think we all do stuff like this and not think of what it could be doing to hender others walk with the Lord!!!!!!

  2. Newsflash – sex isn’t a sin! The Facebook status thing is childish, but there’s no need for religious guilt trippery about a natural human pleasure.

    • Oh, we definitely believe that sex is not a sin; in fact, we know that God created sex to be pleasurable and enjoyed by people! But, like anything that is fun and enjoyable, it is most fun when everyone is playing by the same rules– that’s why we call it cheating when people have sex outside of the agreed upon arrangement. Since God created sex, He knows how to enjoy it to its maximum potential. Personally, I would not want any loved one tempted to settle for less than the best that the Creator has for us.

      You are absolutely right that the Facebook thing is childish, but the first steps of immaturity can lead to disappointing and even devastating results. As believers, we believe we are called to live above reproach, and that includes doing everything possible to protect the minds and hearts of people with whom we come into contact each day.

    • Hey Rob! I just wanted to add that you are completely correct: Sex isn’t a sin. It’s an AWESOME gift actually and one for a specific type of relationship. BUT what in the world sex has to do with Breast Cancer is beyond me!! My mom is a 2 time Survivor of this awful disease (for more than 20 years). She would also argue your point about Sex being GREAT and agree with you on that but would question the connection between veiled suggestive information about a purse and how it encourages our thoughts, prayers and support for Breast Cancer Awareness/Research. I think that’s the point here. That and the questionable nature of the comments. I mean, isn’t the point of this to get people’s minds thinking of sex in a perverse way? Sex IS a phenomenal thing but it’s also private. Do I need to know where you “like it” (a purse or sex?!)? Not really. And I think that’s where Bekah is coming from. I don’t think this author is giving a guilt trip but a gut check (and a heart check)! There is no need to veil seduction and perversity in the guise of Cancer Support.

  3. Thank you for stepping forward to share the truth of the Word. We must always be careful to guard the hearts of our brothers in Christ (and the ones that are not as well). What kind of a witness are we if we throw our sexuality around and make what is holy before the Lord such a casual thing? Again, thank you for your boldness- continue on my friend! 🙂

  4. ‘When I post blogs like this, I tend to get accused of needing to lighten up and not be so serious because stuff like this is “just for fun”.’

    Funny that………………… Stuff like this tends to put people off church not bring them in to it and that’s coming from a Christian. God made sex and we are designed to be of a sexual nature. If there was something wrong with that then God wouldn’t have made us that way.

    You are going way over the top.

  5. Yes, Mark we are designed by God as sexual beings. We are also commanded to consider the weakness of those around us and to consider others as better than ourselves.

    This post is not a condemnation of neither sex nor breast cancer awareness. It is a “better v. best” reminder. Wanting to end cancer is a good thing. Raising awareness of the work to find a cure is better. Doing so in a direct and constructive way is best.

    If there is anyone on the planet for whom this activity makes them aware of the fight against breast cancer, I would be amazed.

    For better ways to raise awareness, just watch a sporting event, from middle school volleyball to the NFL. Or go to the store and buy a product, any product from toilet paper to yogurt. Or speak to a person impacted by breast cancer. Wear pink every day for the month of October. Or donate money to Komen for the cure.

    If raising awareness of breast cancer is really the ONLY intent behind this game, it’s an epic fail and we should reorganize our efforts and try again.

  6. I agree. It is inappropriate.

    Do I really wanting my husband to be reading these? No. Do I want to read them myself? Nope.

    You only have to be 13 to have a fb page.

    Would I want my 13 year-old son or daughter reading these? Not at all.

    It is something that awareness needs to be raised for, but I think there are a million other more effective ways to do it that would also be more appropriate.

    Even from a non-believer perspective it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I thought this article addressed that well: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/entertainment-general/index.ssf/2010/10/i_like_it_on_facebook_campaign.html

    Thanks for speaking truth Bekah; even when it is unpopular.

  7. First of all, I think it is insulting to connect this stupid, junior high schoolish game with breast cancer. This is a serious disease that kills a lot of women, it is not a joke!
    Secondly, I think the heart of the issue is really, how far can Christians go in joking about sex. Is it alright for a follwer of Jesus to post this type of humor on FB?
    “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
    As a follower of Jesus Christ, we have freedom to make decisions about our lives, given to us by God. I cannot find in scripture where it saya women cannot joke this way, but after reading scripture I cannot say in good conscience that this glorifies our Father in heaven.
    Maybe the real problem is that too many Christians are willingly to lay their convictions down every time they turn on the t.v. or every time they turn on their computers. We have been given the Spirit of God for the purpose of making us holy like God.

  8. I really appreciate this. I was swamped with “I like it” posts when I logged in. I’m very conservative and generally object to stuff like this, but you make some excellent points. I know firsthand many people who struggle with sexual sin that don’t needed the added images or temptation provided by these status updates.

    What begins as childish can often end up in disaster. As a mother of three children, I have learned that children can do great harm to themselves if they are left undisciplined. That’s why parents have to intervene — to protect their safety. Unfortunately, there are no “parents” on Facebook (although there are plenty of kids as young as 13 being swamped with and posting these inappropriate statuses). Someone has to speak a warning cry, even if it is unpopular.

    Kudos to you on being brave enough to say what needed to be said. I have shared the link to this in my status update (maybe I should have said, “I like it on http://boundlesstreasures.org/2010/03/21/a-word-of-caution-from-the-facebook-status-killjoy/?). I also posted it as a comment to anyone who posted a “I like it” status.

    As a side note —

    @Mark: “Stuff like this tends to put people off church not bring them in to it and that’s coming from a Christian”

    What’s more important? Being popular with the world, or being pure in the eyes of Christ? Sometimes you have to choose, and going to Church doesn’t do much good if you are failing in what Christ commanded. At that point, it becomes little more than a charade.

  9. It appears that the church has once again had to say it’s mind.

    You cannot protect one from one’s own mind or from anyone else’s. To do so you must be put into a dark room with no contact to the outside world. Sure, you can try to “contain” these “harmful” sayings, but you cannot dictate what millions of people are saying. How can you expect a majority to heed to the minority? The only person you need to worry about is yourself.

    And if this status game is a way to get people to pay attention to breast cancer, so be it. Until you are personally impacted, can anyone honestly speak out the need for research? The people who are not directly impacted are the reason why we have pink ribbons and status games. We need THEM to pay attention too.

  10. Clearly you’re unaware that this is not about making it to the news….just to make it. It’s about breast cancer awareness. So you should consider thoroughly researching a topic before you act as if you are “more righteous than thou”. Also, there are PLENTY of parents on facebook. Most of my friends’ grandmothers have a facebook page.

  11. I am not calling your faith a charade. I am simply saying that it is more important to be true to the faith than to make it popular with everyone. We should be bringing other people into the faith–that’s very important. But if we cheapen our faith to accomodate people who may not agree, we are not doing anything to promote the original faith. Truth does not change with the tides of what is popular. It is constant. If it were not constant, it would not be truth.

  12. Sara, when this juvenile game started last March, it had nothing to do with breast cancer awareness. As you can see in the forward that was copied at the beginning of the post, its sole purpose was to show how much power women wield with their words.

    I am sorry you seem to think I have written without first thoroughly researching and considering my subject matter. In fact, I sat on my concern for several days before I finally posted, and it was only after hearing several remarks and seeing responding facebook statuses commenting about the overwhelming amount of sexual innuendo in the statement. “It” is a universally accepted euphemism in our culture for sex; therefore, people’s minds are instantly taken there as a reaction before they think about anything else. “I like it on the couch” has NOTHING to do with breast cancer. While I am sure there are survivors who don’t have a problem with this game being attached to breast cancer awareness, I have yet to speak to one.

  13. Hi Bekah,
    Thanks for your post and your stand. I posted Ephesians 5:4 on my status, about leaving behind vulgar, silly, and obscene talk, but then deleted it. I figured those who don’t get it, won’t get it, and those who do get it, should have gotten it. It’s hard enough to keep our minds clean in this world with making it tougher for everyone.

  14. A friend linked to your post on Facebook… hope you don’t mind that I do the same. I agree with you completely, and am glad someone finally said this!

    • Gary, I can assure you that I can handle the truth as well as whatever it is that you may believe. I read your comment and was regretfully that I could not post it do to your use of foul language that simply has no place in an intelligent and civilized conversation. I have people from all walks of life who follow my blog and I choose to shield them from the otherwise incessant barrage of such language we all other forms of media.

      Unfortunately, it was the thoughtless use of vulgarity and not the thoughtful rhetoric that followed that prevented your post from being approved.

  15. Honestly I didn’t think much about the post until I saw one of my neice’s 16 yr old friend’s post. “I like it in the back seat of the car.” At that point, I thought Whoaa, wait a minute. She is an awesome Christian girl and I’m afraid what her teen guy friends or anyone else thought when they saw it. I’m sure they weren’t thinking her purse. After see her post I saw yours. Thanks for the reminder that it might seem harmless but we need to consider what we are typing and how others are perceiving it and how it may affect others. This young lady is beautiful inside and out and I would hate to see others looking at her differently because of a “harmless” post.

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