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Opinions–Who Needs Them?

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Everybody has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Well, for me, not a whole lot gets under my skin. Of course, there’s topics upon which I get passionate about but ultimately, another person’s opinion I disagree with doesn’t exactly get me angry. However, there is one response from Christians that does just make the hair on the back of my neck just stand up. It really does get under my skin. The response I’m talking about can come in a variety of phrases from Christians, but they all mean one thing: “Who cares?”

So, I’ve been told by people that they wished people didn’t use social media to spout off their opinions. Well, I hate to tell you all this, but social media has been around long before Facebook and Twitter and what have you long before computers, and peoples’ opinions have always been in them. The way they’ve been shared is the only thing that’s changed.

Back in the days leading up to Johann Gutenberg’s printing press invention, those who were learned (meaning being able to read and write–nobles basically) would usually go to one area where news, new laws, and OPINIONS were posted, and they spent some time there discussing all of it, what it meant, and disagreeing with each other, but walking away still with respect for each other. Then the printing press happened, now the way they were spread didn’t really change–just the speed with which they were written. Most of the time, these things were nailed to a door that was extremely popular or well traveled for the community–namely the church. Martin Luther did this with his 95 theses–he nailed them to the church door. He didn’t want to start a revolution–that was never his intention. Instead, these were his thoughts and opinions and he wanted people to discuss them! Well, that certainly happened and look at the CHANGE he wrought with those OPINIONS!

Then America happened! By this time, newspapers had been created! People put everything in it–news, political cartoons, the new sermon of your local preacher from the Sunday Service, and people spent time at areas discussing what was in these newspapers! People did the same thing with these things that people do on Facebook and Twitter–they read something and they comment on it with one another giving their OPINIONS. And the culture of the day also had community message boards where the government would post laws, warnings, wanted posters, etc for the community to read and be aware of–remember the movie, The Patriot? They had these things in it! Read history! Fast forward another two centuries and we have radio and television! These allowed for the dispersal of news and other things like no other! And people still commented on them and shared their thoughts about it.

Then, the internet happened and allowed for the creation for online forums, community message boards, and yes Facebook and Twitter. And all these things moved into the electronic world.

For my friends who reside in my city, take a look at the Omaha World Herald, and how the newspaper is set up and compare it to online social media–see the similarities, and notice in the Midlands section how there is an opinion section? You can choose to skip over or not, just like you can do with anything on Facebook or Twitter.

This posting may seem nasty and eviscerating to those who say these things in my presence, but I’m just trying to say something here in response to you. Those things you say are worse than what I’m saying here. When you say things such as:

  1. If I see one more post about……
  2. These opinions have no real eternal value….
  3. Facebook and Twitter isn’t meant for this….
  4. I hate it when people use social media for sharing current events

You know what you do to those people? You are really saying that what they’re doing is stupid and pointless, and that they should just stop. And by saying what they’re doing is stupid and pointless, you really are calling them stupid and pointless because these are things that they get passionate about and care about–and is that really Christlike? Is it? I would never say those things about someone’s thoughts and opinions about something–even with something like Pumpkin Spice Lattes appearing all over my Facebook news feed–I don’t really care about PSL’s (not because it’s stupid, but because it ruins coffee! But that’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it!), but I’m not going to say it’s stupid because it devalues what that person is talking about, and by extension, devalues that person. God gave us minds to reason with and share that reasoning mind with others! Plato did this in Greece–men would gather to share their thoughts about with life and they sometimes became passionate discussions.

So, please, before you post something about saying that all these opinions being on social media is stupid, remember what you are doing to those people who are sharing them–you are making them feel stupid for sharing them. If you really want to stop seeing all these things, disconnect yourself from the world, become a hermit, and go live under a rock.

Remember this–“Do unto others, what you would want done unto yourself.” 

Would you like someone to make you feel stupid?

 

Blessings to you all!

Thomas

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