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A Christian Netizen Manifesto

Much has been written about the evils of social media. A recent Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, opened many eyes to what is going on behind the curtain at Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. And yet, most of us continue to read, post, and share with great fervor, often behaving like crusaders attempting to reclaim some sort of holy land. So how should Christians approach social media? Does the Bible have anything to say about hashtags, memes and selfies?

Tweet Unto Others…

Scripture may not offer specific commands about these elements of online interaction, but it has a lot to say about treating each other with love and respect. Hebrews 12:14,15 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Also, a similar command is given by Paul in Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

I personally know brothers and sisters who exhibit the peace of Christ when face-to-face, but are transformed into monsters when they interact with others online. And yes, to be honest, I have experienced such a transformation myself. Consider praying first, then post later. Even better, if your post might possibly be offensive to someone, run it by someone you trust (maybe your spouse, or a mentor).

We have a tendency to view the digital world as less real than the physical world, but the way we treat others online truly reflects what’s in our heart, and we need to guard ourselves. As James says, the tongue is “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8), so we must be careful when posting and responding to others.

Go Therefore on Pinterest…

Technology itself is not evil, and in fact, social media presents some of the most incredible opportunities in history for sharing the good news of Christ with those who would never have a chance to hear it. Create International has played a large role in recent years helping spark social media campaigns in closed access countries that have resulted in many coming to faith in Christ. Simple Facebook ads are used to find seekers within a people group who can be directed to a contextualized evangelistic film in their own culture and language, with teams available to connect directly with those interested in the message.

“Social media presents some of the most incredible opportunities in history for sharing the good news of Christ with those who would never have a chance to hear it.”

There is so much that individuals can do to spread the good news online. Seeker-friendly websites like jesus.net are available to share with your friends who are looking for answers. Have you befriended any Muslims? If they show interest in spiritual things, send them the Kalimatulah website link where they can learn more about what the Injil (Gospel) has to say.

You Are the Light of the Metaverse…

Finally, I will leave you with my take on the Beatitudes, contextualized for an online world…

Blessed are the poor in Facebook friends, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who are flamed, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the unliked, for they are loved by their heavenly father.

Blessed are those who don’t hunger and thirst for followers, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are those who show restraint in their replies, for restraint shall be shown to them.

Blessed are those who check their sources before posting, for they shall not embarrass themselves.

Blessed are the online peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are you when others revile you online and post all kinds of evil against you, and you don’t fight back with unkind words. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great, here on earth and in heaven.

- Dave H.

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