Summary: Viruses infect PCs (Personal Computers), and sins infect PLs (our Personal Lives). Facebook has become one place where we can see certain viruses/sins infect the language and attitudes of those who use that site.
OPEN: A few yrs ago, a computer specialist by the name of Didier Stevens came up with a humorous ad campaign he placed on Google (a popular internet site). The Ad read in this way:
"Is your PC (Personal Computer) virus-free? Get it infected here!"
Now for those of you not familiar with computers… a virus is NOT your friend. Computer viruses hurt your computers, and you don’t want to be “infected” by them.
Steven’s ad wasn’t serious. It was something of a joke. And clicking the ad did not result in a virus infecting your computer.
But some people actually clicked on the ad!
Over 400 people signed up to have a virus infect/ damage Computer.
(Patrick D. Odum, Heartlight.org 07/26/07)
Now – why would anybody do that???
Why would anybody “INFECT’ their PC’s (our Personal Computers) with a virus?
It makes no sense.
A virus would HURT their computer.
Now the Bible tells us that there’s a different kind of virus.
A virus that doesn’t infect our PC’s (our personal computers).
This kind of virus infects our PL’s (our Personal Lives).
The Bible calls this kind of virus - sin
Ephesians 5:3-5 tells us
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a man is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Ephesians 5 talks about several viruses (SINS) in this text… but what I want to focus on this morning are three of them:
2. Foolish talk
3. And Course Joking
Earlier in Ephesians God tells us “Do not let any UNWHOLESOME TALK come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
Colossians 3:8 says it this way: “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and FILTHY LANGUAGE from your lips.”
And Jesus condemned the Pharisees with these words:
Mt 12:34-36 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
On Facebook… there’s a lot of this “overflowing of the heart” going on.
Folks there may not be “speaking”… but they are writing what is in their hearts.
And a lot of that writing is filled with obscenity, foolish talk and course joking, and there’s a whole lot of “unwholesome” stuff going on there.
ILLUS: One preacher told me of a friend he’d had on Facebook (she wasn’t part of his church).
She had posted something that was filled with several curse words. When this got back to the Elders of her church… they called her in for a little meeting.
She was not pleased with that meeting.
So when she got home, she reposted her statement (the one filled with obscenities) and rattled on about how hypocritical it was for her Elders to call her on carpet. Many of her “Facebook Friends” rallied to her cause… filling their postings with obscenities. And then these “Friends” went on to tell how much they HATED the church and how hypocritical and worthless Christians were.
My preacher friend then sent her a “private” message pointing out:
1. She was wrong. If she’d been at his church, he’d have called her on the carpet too.
2. BUT WORSE – her reposting and attacking her Elders encouraged people who hated Christ to pile on… and spew their hatred on Facebook page
Fortunately, she backpedaled and apologized - on Facebook – for what she had done.
Some Christians don’t understand how damaging cursing can be to Jesus.
ILLUS: I had the opportunity to talk to a local politician recently. He didn’t realize I was a preacher… and he jokingly cursed in my presence. And I remembered thinking: well the guy’s probably not a Christian BUT doesn’t he realize that he could offend someone by that cursing. He could lose a vote - for himself and maybe for his party - by that single curse.
THEN I found out, he was a regular church goer in a very Biblical church, and suddenly I was very sad. I wondered if he realized that in his one curse he damaged his witness and he had insulted his savior.