In my previous post, I discussed some of the ways Social Media reflects the fallenness of the man and his satanic rebellion against God. The following are some questions I ask myself and ways I’m still learning to utilize Social Media. I would love to hear from you!
- recommend those you think do it well,
- tell me where you think I’ve gone wrong,
- or add some other tips or questions worth asking on this subject.
How do we engage social media both critically and Christianly? Some thoughts:
Flee immorality–Social Media, like every other aspect of human culture, is a mixed bag, exhibiting both the aspects of God’s good creation and the fall. There is a bunch of cliffs and jagged rocks on which you can be dashed. The Biblical response to those that are immoral or pornographic is to run away!!! Pornography is irredeemable and dangerous! Pornography redefines humanity is several dangerous ways: it redefines sexual expression, it redefines marriage and adultery, it redefines maleness and femaleness. Furthermore, its inherently oppressive to those who perform it and those who view it. Pornography can destroy you! Flee it! Trust in the power of the Gospel to redeem you from it and deliver you from its grasps. Look to Jesus and he will bring you through this. If you are currently trapped in this lifestyle, talk to your parents, an elder, your BFL teacher, talk to me. You can also read Porn-Again Christian written by Mark Driscoll. Ask your parents to install a content filter on your Internet, like Safe-Eyes, or install a content app on your browser, like ProCon Latte for Firefox.
Social Media is public speech! As already stated, communication is best when it is receptor-oriented. This means always keep in mind who may see your blog, tweets, posts or comments. And remember, Communication Principle: Communicators always have multiple audiences. I try to keep in the mind the following set of people:
- My wife
- My athiest friend
- My homosexual friends and relatives
- My other lost friends, especially from high school and back home
- My fellow Christians, neighbors and other friends
Social media is also a way to express yourself and have fun, but nobody wants to befriend somebody who talks only about themselves, and there are things that should be kept private.
As a Christian, you should work to build trust by being open, accepting and inquisitive about others worldviews. Let you speech be seasoned with salt, let it give grace to those who hear. Truthful, honest, humble, wise. The Bible talks a lot about how to speak. Having this character in your speech will give you opportunities for the gospel to be heard!!! You can preach all you want, but it’s not communication until it is heard.
How do we create social media that bring glory to God and serve humanity?
- I’ll intentionally leave this question unanswered. Leave comments below!
Should Christians use only “Christian” social media?
I’ll give some positive examples and a negative. Positively, I appreciate apps like Logos and Youversion. Online Bibles and reference materials are extremely handy, especially as a resource to refer people to truth. Furthermore, Youversion in particular offers online reading plans and Bible discussion communities. Certainly not a replacement for the church, but a good auxiliary. Other good Christian resources are blogs. Certainly, not every blog is equal, and its not always easy to discern what blogs are best but good ones stand out. I think of Al Mohler’s blog, as one example among many.
Negatively, let’s look at God Tube. As with most Christian alternatives, they are dialed down technically and artistically. God Tube even lacks the great community aspects created by YouTube. While you won’t have any objectionably pornographic content on God Tube, you may have objectionable theological content. But worst of all, the problem with God Tube, and some (not all) other Christian alternative media is that it sequesters truth. In other words, it takes Truth and puts it into a corner. Christianity, though, is not private truth; it’s not a private religion. The Gospel is both public and universal. It permeates everything and speaks to everyone. Our Social Media and usage of the same should reflect the nature of the gospel as much as possible.
How am I still learning to do this?
(meaning I still struggle am learning from trial and error).
- Be careful about what I say about myself. This includes refraining as much as possible from bragging about something I’ve done, or will do. Or even sharing honors I’ve received or whatnot. I struggle with pride. I battle it. So I’m sensitive to self-promotion online.
- Always respect others and try to find something others have said you can embrace, even if you disagree sharply with them. Augustine famously quipped 1500 years ago (again short enough for a tweet): “Egyptian gold is still gold.”
- Have fun! Without being known for silliness or shallowness, enjoy the experience of Social Media.
- Respond to as many people as you can when they post on your wall or comment on your post; don’t leave people hanging. What you don’t like, they won’t like to receive either!
- Apologize when you mess up. Remember social media is public speech, so apologies should also be public.
- Engage culture strategically! Be articulate, be well read, read the news, comment on the news (keep in mind that propaganda always stinks, even moreso online). You have the opportunity to pursue truth in the public square . . . this means you can bring people the gospel, in gospel centered ways.
- Finally, remember, nothing replaces real, face-to-face relationships. Watch you time and don’t waste your life online. In other words, be wise!