What are your Facebook privacy settings? Are your posts viewable to everyone or just your friends? If only your friends are able to see your personal posts, do you feel safe in what you post?
Felix Ngole, a 38-year-old student at the University of Sheffield, thought he was safe in what he posted on his Facebook page. Only his friends could see his post defending biblical teaching of marriage and sexual ethics. In his second year of a Master’s degree in social work, Ngole shared his Christian understanding of what God says about marriage and homosexuality.
Someone, who could only be one of his Friends on Facebook, brought his post to the attention of the Sheffield faculty. The thought that one of their students accepted the Word of God over the word of man was horrifying. A committee quickly convened and decided that Ngole should no longer be part of the University of Sheffield. They stated that his personal views, which were expressed on his own time on his own Facebook page open to only his Friends, ‘may have caused offence to some individuals” and he had “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”
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Ngole has obtained the help of the Christian Legal Center to fight the university’s actions. In a letter released by Ngole through the CLC, he states in part:
“The way that I have been treated raises very serious issues about the way students in English universities are being censored in their views and beliefs.”
“If the personal statements of students on their own social media pages, and amongst their own ‘friends’ are now to be used to judge whether they are ‘fit and proper people’ to serve in professions such as law, medicine, teaching and social work, then very serious questions need to be asked about the freedoms in the UK.”
This is another incident where a school or employer takes discriminatory action against a student or employ for something they did, said or posted on their own personal time away from school or workplace.
I personally know of a number of people here in the US that have faced similar kinds of actions from schools and employers due to what they have said or done on their own time or for their Christian faith. After Steve Austin received his PhD from Penn State and left the university, some in the school tried to retract Austin’s doctorate when they learned that he was a Christian young-earth creationist. A friend of mine who I cannot name said that his first day in geology class at the University of Kentucky, the professor, who also happened to be his advisor, told the students that any Christian young-earth creationists should leave the university as they have no place there nor will they be allowed to graduate with a geology degree from UK.
There have been numerous reports here in the US where a high school student has been disciplined by their school for something they posted on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. Some of their posts had nothing to do with the school or faculty, but were views that differed from those of the school administration and faculty.
The one thing that all of these instances have in common is that the person expressing their views were either supporting the Christian faith or patriotic issues like the Second Amendment and American patriotism. We now live in a society, here and abroad, where Christianity and patriotism are openly persecuted and reviled. Only those who live a perverted lifestyle and despise their country are accepted by modern society.
Therefore, be careful what you post, even if only your Friends have access to what you say. I’m not saying to not post about your Christian faith, but be ready for the ramifications and what may happen when you do. As for myself, I turn to Matthew 16:24-26 which states:
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’”