Not Really Sure What to Title this as

Hi, many times I see things on Facebook or forwarded email messages that basically tell you to do something otherwise it says you’re denying Christ. Is it a sin to not do what they say? I don’t think it would be because you can’t just use God as a way to get people to do what you want. here is an example of what I am talking about. Someone posted this on Facebook.

“I believe in Jesus Christ. One facebooker has challenged all believers to put this on their wall…In the Bible it says, if you deny me in front of your peers, I will deny you in front of my Father, at The Gates of Heaven. This is a simple test. If you love God and you are not afraid to show it: repost”

would it be sinful for me to see this and not repost it?

thank you,

Not putting something on your facebook wall is not denying Christ. Denying Christ requires you to reject Him by living or doing un-Christian things.

I for one, don’t ‘like’ every Christian group that I can. I don’t use FB as a social billboard. I use it to stay in touch with friends and share what I am doing when I feel it is appropriate.

It’s not a sin and I wouldn’t recommend doing it. It seems that in my life the people who point at themselves and say, “LOOK AT ME! I’m soooooooo Christian.” are the people who live lives that are the least Christian. You don’t have to show people you are Christian through your status updates and “likes.” Show it through your loving actions and words. Don’t be intimidated by friends who say, “You have to do ______ or else.” Those people are the ones who will lead you astray.

No. Of course not.

No it’s not a sin to not do what someone on Facebook or e-mail tells you.

Seriously? Please.

Yes, I was serious. I wouldn’t have asked the question if I knew the answer. Sorry if the answer was so obvious. I was only wondering because they try to make you feel bad or guilty if you don’t do it.

I have my religions listed as Catholic on my facebook page and that is as far as I feel I need to go. Of course I pretty much never post any status updates on facebook anyway.

And you succumb that easily?

Please.

If you ask me, people should ignore these things and then report the abuser. I think there are actually rules against this sort of thing on Facebook! :thumbsup:

Just be yourself on your facebook page, if you don’t want to post those things because they seem like obnoxious chain letters then don’t. If you really want to represent Christ then it is far better that you do so by acting like him. This means encouraging, loving, and praying for your friends, not constantly reminding your friends that you go to church every Sunday and that you read your Bible a whole lot.

Brandon, people using that verse to clobber you with are basically practicing a form of spiritual blackmail. It stinks.

Look at the most glaring example of denying Christ (Peter right before the LORD was crucified) to see what it really looks like. Also, consider that Jesus told us NOT to be religious exhibitionists (which the Pharisees were), flaunting our supposed spirituality.

No, it is not sinful of you not to repost it. But it is sinful of the person who sent it to post it and it would be sinful of you to continue this by reposting. As mentioned, it amounts to blackmail. I think the person who sent it probably means well or feels intimidated, so just forget it. But it is akin to taking the Lord’s name in vain, in my opinion. After all, it seems mostly for the sake of vanity.

Furthermore, I don’t think it is right for someone here to question your seriousness or sound as if you are naive. Because by asking the question you asked you show that you are not naive and not just a follower, but someone who thinks things through and takes these things serious. I bet many people who end up getting this chain sent to them will just automatically repost and not think a thing about it. Which is pretty sad.

I thought that was a good question, Brandon! Those little stinging comments about “Forward this or your denying Christ” usually follows a inspirational story or beautiful picture. They make you smile, brighten your day than you get to this "Forward to 7 people in 3 days or your denying our Lord.

I know better, but it it still makes me feel a little quilty about deleting it. And no, It shouldn’t. No, your friends should not do that to you. And no, I never forward them for that reason.

I think, if it’s a beautiful picture or inspirational story I’ll delete the "You must this send to 7654098 people in the next 3 seconds or else your going to hell… " part and just send the story or picture and hope it makes someone else feel good like it made me feel when I read it.

Brandon, don’t feel stupid for asking the question!

There’s actually a FaceBook group called “I’m still a Christian, even if I don’t forward all those stupid chain messages…” or something to that effect. Look it up and join it!:smiley:

Chain letters are annoying, whatever the topic. :mad:

I don’t forward anything without checking the facts via snopes.com or some other sources. So many chain letters I receive are NOT true and originated 3-6 years ago, false then and false now.

Further, most folks don’t delete the forwarding history. I just won’t read through 2 pages of “forwards” to get to the subject of the email.

So, back to your original subject … you are not obliged to forward, you are not affected by the chain “threat” or “promise”.

The only question unworthy of asking is the question not asked. :slight_smile:

Listen, the truth is that all of us are at different stages of spiritual maturity. I can see how many people would have the initial reaction that this is a silly question or concern. The truth is that it only seems inconsequential to those of us who are more mature in our faith OR do not suffer from scruples. There is no reason, however, to respond in a dismissive manner or otherwise treat the questioner in an uncharitable way. One could just as easily chosen not to respond. Appollos please. Show some maturity even if you think the question or questioner is petty. Otherwise it only indicates an apparent flaw in your spiritual maturity and character.

By the way I had no problem with the question even though it seemed rather mundane to me.

Peace

Hi.

This reminds me of the time that my daughter received a “horror” chain email. She was so worried about not following the instructions posted in it. So I wrote her this note. I apologize for it’s length but I believe it is also applicable with any social network system. I hope this helps some of you . . . :o

"NEVER BELIEVE THESE THINGS! Even the “good ones”.

The people who make these chain letters want to feel that they can control what people do by FEAR. They try to make you believe in what they write. They take advantage of people who easily believe in things, people are very superstitious, people with weak faith in themselves and with God.

For the people who write the scary ones, they want to make a story that people can believe it can really happen. Then they add requirements in the end (“send this to X number of people or else . . .”). So, because we do not want the scary thing to happen to us, we do what the email requires us to do. Then we spread the email (with the fear attached to it) to others (many times our close friends [because we have their email addresses], our family members and our acquantances).

For those people who make the “good ones” (these are the ones which ask you to pray for good luck, pray to Mother Mary, pray to a saint, etc), the purpose (although many times has a good result in getting people to pray more often), also have the intent of spreading something but use force by scaring people at the end of message. If they were really trying to inspire people, the email author would not attach a scary story at the end saying how if a person did not send out the email something bad would happen or that they should feel guilty if they do not. The email author would allow the reader to decide whether or not to send it by themselves without a threat of something bad happening to the reader. If the email is truly inspiring, the reader would send it to their friends ON THEIR OWN.

Also, to send out the good ones “for good luck” is superstition. God does not want us to believe that our lives are controlled by “good” or “bad luck”. WE choose (either by actively doing something or actively neglecting to do something) what happens to us. If something bad happens to us, maybe we neglected to do something. If we trip and fall after a black cat crosses our path, it was probably because we were so worried about the “bad luck” that we NEGLECTED to watch where we were going.

There are also others which talk about friendship that when we send it out to others and receive it back, it proves that we have many friends.*

If you have TRUE friends, you do not need an email to show that. What they do to you (help you, are there when you cry or need to be defended against others, eat with you, etc) is proof enough. You can use the emails to show your friendship if you want to. But never get forced to sending it to prove to yourself that you have friends. True friends do not need to be forced to do something for you. They will do it anyway BY THEMSELVES.

For me, when I receive a chain email that is inspiring or talks about friendship, I DO send it to other people and probably to more than what is asked for in the email. BUT I REMOVE THE SCARY PART forcing the reader to send the email to others. I let the readers decide whether to keep it to themselves (probably it did not touch their hearts enough or the message was not meant for them) or to send it to others (because possibly God touched their hearts while they read the email and He inspired them to send it) but WITHOUT the need to meet a specific number of friends to send it to.

For the scary and threatening kind of chain email, I immediately delete it, say a prayer to God for protection (asking the Holy Spirit to send angels to protect me), pray again asking our Lord to forgive the email author and everyone who got scared into sending the email to others, and pray again for others readers to stop spreading the fear. Our Lord ALWAYS hears our prayers to Him. He especially listens to prayers from children.

We should always try to stop these emails from spreading. We should try to stop spreading the fear and guilt from going to our friends, our family and those people we know. God knows that there is more than enough things that everyone is afraid of as we all go through our daily lives. And everyone carries his or her own guilt in their lives that some of us fall into despair and stop believing in ourselves because of the weight of that guilt on us. Adding to the fear and guilt is both uncharitable and wrong. We don’t like it if our family and friends play with our fears and guilt. Why should we do that to others?

Always remember, our Father the Almighty God, His Son our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit love you. God LOVES YOU. HE LOVES ALL OF US.

He does not want you to live in fear. Nor does He want you to spread fear to everyone you know. Whatever happens in your life, good or “bad”, is in His control. And no matter what happens or what we do, WE CANNOT CHANGE HIS LOVE FOR US. Always remember that.

Our Lord will always protect you. He loves you so much more than I or anyone else can ever do. And remember – He can do anything and will be everywhere. So you do not have to be afraid.

In His Service,
Francis Paul

Personally, I’m not really a “forwarder”, but I think that’s a good way of handling it.

gosh, that sounds so mean! I was sorta wondering the same thing so I would just pass those type emails on.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.