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The Christian and Social Media

online-social-mediaI am writing this post for the benefit of the people I pastor but of course, it will be read by others. Up front, I am warning you. This is a post from a Christian pastor that is aimed at followers of Christ regarding their treatment of others on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Consider yourself warned.

I am often appalled at the way Jesus people treat each other on social media. To be clear, some of them are my friends, both personally and socially. I even find myself falling victim to this trend at times. We say things to and about others we would never say to their face; hide behind a screen and make thinly veiled accusations and threats; write paragraphs of “pity party” ramblings designed to get others to feel sorry for us and say nice things about us; and attack those who hold differing opinions with memes and words that are entirely inappropriate for a believer.

May I just remind you that the teachings of Christ in Matthew 18 regarding those with whom we are in disagreement? The Bible says nothing about telling the whole world about it. The first step is face to face, “go to that person,” individual conversation. When we rant, vent, or accuse on social media, we have sinned. Even if they sinned first or differently, we have sinned and if I break one of the commands, I am guilty of all. How we respond on social media often puts “us” in the same class as “them”. We are all sinners.

Oh, and don’t get me started about the viciousness of the conversations, posts, and accusations against those whose political beliefs are not like mine! I will write more about that in a later post. For now, lets consider the admonition of I Timothy 2:2 to offer “requests, prayers, petitions, intercession, and thanksgiving” for everyone and specifically for “kings and all those in authority.” I don’t see much place in the teachings of Christ to disrespect our president or other elected leaders or to vilify their supporters who believe differently than we do.

Here is what I am saying: Let’s be salt and light with this great tool of social media rather than be hypocritical and live one way in the flesh and differently on line. Now, here is your assignment. Go encourage someone on your social media today. I would love to hear your opinion.

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