Social Media And Following Jesus
I. Our Current Situation
For many of us, the surrounding culture is far different from the one where we grew up. Globalization has led to a 24-hour news cycle that never stops, connecting our world in mere seconds. This newly found environment that can cultivate cooperation and unity like never before can also enable toxicity like this world has never seen. This leads me to ask the question, “How do we maneuver the potential pitfalls of technology while also obeying the commission of Jesus?” Do we ignore culture and function as if nothing has changed? Do we develop black and white lists of the “Acceptable” and “Unacceptable” to serve as guardrails to protect our hearts and keep our minds pure? Or maybe, we just avoid technology altogether? Although there is wisdom in guardrails and as Christians we should fight for holiness and purity, a neglect to leverage technology for God’s purposes would be one of our greatest failures.
II. A Possible Solution
I’ve long believed that anything can be used for God’s glory. That there is nothing inherently bad in-and-of itself. However, as the progeny of Adam, we have a knack for taking good gifts from a good Father and perverting them into something awful that they were never meant to be. Our culture’s best example of this is sex. This good gift from God, when used under the parameters that God says is good and holy is a beautiful thing, but think for a moment of the many ways we have perverted this gift by using it outside of God’s boundaries: adultery, rape, incest, pornography, prostitution…all examples of our endless ability to pervert good gifts. Does this mean we should avoid sex altogether? There are a few billion people that would have a problem with that. Instead, we use the gifts God provides in a manner He allows and for the purposes He has designed (1 Corinthians 10:31). Following this plan always leads to His glory and our good.
But let’s be honest, nearly every step of innovation that the the American church has adopted has been met by resistance. I remember reading how some within the Christian community lost their minds when Billy Graham began using television as a tool to reach people for Jesus. Christians debated could this technology be used in negative ways? That answer is a resounding YES! But could this technology also used as a tool for God’s glory? Millions of people impacted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades are proof that it could and that it was successful.
In 2004, the foundation for social media technology was laid when Facebook was born. Since then this technology has become a regular part of our lives with many of us spending 50 minutes per day scrolling, liking, posting, and ranting. Facebook is just one example of a technology that is neither good nor bad, but indifferently provides the possibility for furthering God’s mission, “to seek and to save the lost”(Luke19:10).There is no escaping that our physically diverse world is commonly broken. Click To Tweet
There is no escaping that our physically diverse world is commonly broken. People all over the globe deal with similar problems with darkness having zero borders. But as darkness reaches far and wide so does the love of God. In His plan of redemption, He put on flesh and lived amongst us, died amongst us, and resurrected after atoning for the sin amongst us. When the followers of Christ were asked, “How do we respond to this message?” they responded, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” In Acts 2, we see men and women radically transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, and subsequently leveraged everything in their possession to lead others to do the same. Jesus spoke of His followers’ potential influence this way:
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Often when we think of salt we think of the shaker we use to make our food taste better; but in the refrigerator-less world that Jesus walked, salt was the main tool utilized to preserve food. As followers of Christ, we aren’t called to run from the brokenness, avoid it, or pretend like it doesn’t exist. What Scripture does call us to do is be “salt and light” to the world around us by stewarding the gifts we’ve been given to bring hope and life to people who are far from God.
So tomorrow, before you let the rant expose your heart, or the #fakenews you share give insight into your political leanings and racial biases, ask yourselves this,”Am I using this gift in a way that would glorify God or provide sin a platform?” I pray you will make Jesus famous and use the normal, common, everyday things such as technology to do so.
I pray this helps you grow in your love for Jesus, His Church, and His mission.