Social Media – Good or Bad

Social Media – Good or Bad

All things in moderation…

April 5th, 2019

No, you’ll not find it there. “All things in moderation”; isn’t a passage of scripture. Many think it is, because it sounds like pretty solid thinking.  Along with “too much of a good thing”. But in reality, the origin of the phrase is thought to trace back to the days of the roman empire. At Delphi, there was a temple of Apollo there was an inscription on it that read, “mhden agan”. Translated today it would read, “nothing in excess”.

Even though you will not find this exact phrase in the Bible, some of this principle follows scriptural tenets.

Social media is something that has come about because of technology development over the last twenty years or so. The services that exist today were preceded by social gatherings based on various topics call chat rooms and before that by a service that provided topical discussions called IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

I’ll spare you the detail of how this worked, but the concept is the same from those early days and before going forward to today’s social media networks. Functionality has increased and perhaps in the process of enhancement some social aspect of the services has been suppressed but the function is still based on the premise that people enjoy sharing a common interest. Social Media provides a means of doing that without the commitment of personal investment to accomplish the contact. This may be its greatest flaw.

I’ve known many Christians who have become frustrated with social media and abandoned it for various reasons. This may or may not be helpful, it depends on several factors, including how you use it and how it affects you in particular.

Paul tells us…

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)

Social media is part of “All things”. But as Paul states that regardless of being capable of doing something doesn’t make doing it is helpful. The key is that regardless of what it is, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be dominated by any ‘thing’ or activity, with the exception to our commitment to God.

I became attracted to social media years ago as a source of technical knowledge that wasn’t readily available in libraries and printed materials. At least, not for free as they were on the internet with IRC chat rooms. My hobbies of amateur astronomy, woodworking, and telescope designing, and building relied a great deal on this medium to connect me with other amateurs as well as professionals, and academics.

I will admit that at the time my life wasn’t right with God and was dedicating too much time and energy to my passions. But the usefulness of the digital social connection was real and profound in my pursuit of my hobbies.

Later as the information age came to fruition and computers and smart devices became pervasive in our culture, I also found that social media networks like Facebook, were effective in allowing me to both reconnect with friends and family far away and maintain contact.

Today, social media has become a platform for me sharing God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

As I mentioned earlier, I know a good many who have shunned social media because they found it to be a cesspool of bitterness and insincerity. While that can be true of some interactions it isn’t true of all.

Jesus didn’t tuck himself away in a monastery or other refuge to minister to people. When He went to a specific location, it was the Synagogue where He could minster to those who had come on the pretense of worshiping God. Ironically, these places served better as a contrast to His teaching rather than a resource for its dissemination.

The Jewish Synagogues at the time were filled with corruption and legalistic attitudes pervaded the worship exercise. The Law of God had been augmented with supplemental laws and practices and the Synagogue was an implement of politics more than a house of worship.

But Jesus went there frequently.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.

Luke 4:16 (ESV)

He went there regularly because that was where the people; He sought to reach with His teaching, where they could be found.

Jesus also would constantly meet people where they were. The home of a tax collector who was the lowest of the low. A hillside where hundreds gathered to hear him. During His short three-year ministry if Jesus was anything, he was accessible.

But what you’ll notice about Jesus and His ministry is that Jesus was always Jesus. He was the counterpoint to the scribes and Pharisees. He challenged political thinking at the time as he responded to the taxation issues to Rome.

But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Matthew 5:39-41 (ESV)

So much of who Jesus was and what He did was radical for the times.

Social media is a tool. It can become a vice as well if we allow it to dominate us (1 Corinthians 6:1). But as a resource and a tool we can and should in our usage of social media present Jesus first and foremost. And yes, if it tends to dominate us, we must bring it under submission to the Will of Christ Jesus.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

Remember on social media, our interaction with others on the street, in our jobs, and in our leisure; “You are serving the Lord Christ.

Only Jesus!

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