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January 7, 2017, 7:45 PM

Can a Christian have Social Media?

Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and many many others, are a brand new phenomenon. They have been touted as both great and evil. They have been used for both good and bad. They may be both the future and downfall of civilized society. In my lifetime, and especially in my time as a minister, I have witnessed social media move from the fringes of society to the center of daily life. When anything becomes the popular norm, I think that it is good to ask the question of: “How do I navigate this as a Christian?”

In my time in ministry I have had to address many situations involving social media.  Pictures that shouldn't be taken, much less seen by the whole world wide web. Statements that shouldn't be made. People harassing, hounding, and all together being a stalker. Feelings hurt and relationships broken by things people post. In many ways I've grown to loath Facebook and the like. But, I have also found myself defending social media to many. Touting its convince and usefulness. Highlighting the way it has connected the world and given a voice to the common man. There is no doubt in my mind that the Apostle Paul would have loved Twitter and Facebook. 

With one stroke of the key board you can get your message out to the entire world, but is that good or bad?  I would say that perhaps it depends on what your message is. The world has not seen an invention this powerful and revolutionary since the printing press. Social media has become the public square of our day and the future. So, is that good or bad? And, how do I navigate the land mine of social media as a Christian? The next few weeks, we will search hard for those answers. 

There are a couple of scripture passages that come to mind when I think about social media. One is 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, and the other is Philippians 4:8-9. 

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 is dealing with a complex social issue that Christians are not sure how to handle. In reference to that issue, Paul writes: “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. This is good advice for any situation in life, but is especially helpful when it comes to complex social issues unique to our day and time. I heard a preacher say it this way, “Don't ask if it is ok, rather ask if it is wise.” If we ask “Is it ok for a Christian to be on Social Media?” then we ask the wrong question. Instead, we should seek out how to wisely navigate life in a complex and dangerous world where everyone now has a voice. Then we should seek to use our voice to be helpful, build up, and seek the good of our neighbor. 

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