By Julia Stark
If you are addicted to Facebook like I am or if you spend more than ten minutes on it, you most likely came across a new page entitled Asbury University Confessions.
The purpose of the Asbury University Confessions page was to create a place where students could confess anything ranging from school to everyday life. Posts varied from someone confessing about writing fanfiction to someone confessing about their sexual orientation. Do I agree with this? No, not really, but honestly I don’t really agree with a lot of things on Facebook. However, my objection is not toward the page but directed towards people who have commented on posted confessions.
There were comments that were positive and offered support. There were also comments tearing down the person who had submitted the confession. Quite frankly, I am disappointed in the way this whole thing was handled. The fact that this page was made and people were submitting secrets meant that these people were trying to find a way to cry out.
Maybe that is dramatic, but I don’t really think it is. Why doesn’t someone who is dealing with homosexuality come right out and say it? Most likely because the kind of responses they would receive would be rash and filled with judgment. I am not excusing myself from this kind of behavior either. If I had seen this page a few years ago, I would have most likely responded with, “Take this page down!” or filled each comment box with Bible verses against what the person was confessing.
My point is that these people weren’t confessing because they wanted to receive a sermon or list of Bible verses. What they were looking for was someone who cared enough to say, “Let me help you” or “I am praying for you.”
What really stuck a chord within me were the many posts asking for the page to be shut down. Why run from this? Is it really damaging for people to be honest? Where else are they going to be able to say these things? Why is our immediate response to sweep all of this under the rug?
I find that the student responses to this page were an example of how social issues are handled by the student body here at Asbury. Somebody who admits to struggles in chapel is received with open arms, but if someone mentions it in a regular setting they aren’t often received with such warmness. Many people on the Asbury Confessions page talked about feeling oppressed. Now I don’t want to speak for them, but I can understand how the feeling of oppression can be linked to them not being able to be fully open about their struggle.
If you listen to people talk and gossip, you can quickly catch on to what they really think about somebody’s struggles. Yes, there is the counseling center, which is fantastic, but as a church body we should be willing to address each other’s struggles and openly talk and pray about them.
But, I don’t agree with this kind of outlet. Facebook has a way of taking serious things and stupefying them. One minute there is a status laced with pain and the next Jerry is telling me he wants chicken tenders. Facebook desensitizes serious feelings and situations by lumping them together with “that’s what she said” comments and a list of what someone wants to eat for dinner.
So, I don’t think Facebook is going to find these people on the Asbury University Confessions page any peace. Even though the page can vanish overnight, the struggles people go through don’t vanish that quickly. The page is gone, but the problems are very real. People on campus are hurting because they can’t express what they are feeling. Instead of telling them not to come here if they feel oppressed, let’s offer a prayer and let them know we care, and hopefully they will find their peace and freedom in Christ.