Social Media (2)

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See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019

Social Media (2)

Sermon by  Thomas Thornhill Jr


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Sunday, August 18, 2019 am

Lights in a Dark World (28)
Examples in Every Area – Social Media (2)

     As we continue to examine our influence in every area of our lives, we want to continue to notice how social media has an impact on us.   Last week we began this by defining social media as creating social interaction through electronic means.   What this usually means is we join some network like Facebook and gather friends that we share portions (and some times way too much) of our lives with them and the world.     We also noted that Facebook has nearly 2.5 billion users worldwide, which is very close to them number of ALL professed believers in Jesus as the Savior. At a communities summit in 2017, Mark Zuckerberg compared Facebook to churches and Little League teams in its quest to bring communities together. He also noted on that occasion, that while churches, Little League teams and other community organizations are declining in numbers, people need somewhere to go. His mission is for Facebook to bring the world closer together.[1]   Some have seen this as his desire that one day Facebook will replace churches in people’s lives.[2]   While I would not go that far (yet), I do believe many see it as their social outlet in place of seeking God.

We also addressed some of the problems and good associated with social media. Remember, it is morally neutral, which means it is not the fact that you use it – but HOW you use it. It is here to stay and thus we need to be alert from a Biblical standpoint about how we use social media. We noted that whatever you post is permanent and may be used against you in the future. It also has the potential to inflate one’s ego and waste inordinate amounts of time, among other things.  This morning, I would like for us to notice some rules to consider as we use social media in our lives.

I.   Rules to consider when engaged in social media*[3]

  1. Choose your friends carefully.   NOT a contradiction to above point, where we noted friends can give false impressions of your reality, but the point is who you WANT and OUGHT to be. If your online “friends” hinder that by posting bad things , damage your reputation, etc.   You need to either remove them as friends or get off social media.   Ephesians 5:11 – have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness…
    Whose your circle of friends online?
    (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:33)   Do we have more Christians than non-Christians as our friends?   Who do we interact with more AND WHY?
  2. What are you showing the world is your priority?   Is politics your god?   Some constitutional right? Some hobby? Or is God your priority? Matthew 6:33, Galatians 6:14, 2:20, etc.
  3. Does our interaction show that we are striving to build up God’s people?
  4. Will it promote unity or cause unnecessary division?   1 Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1-3.   I am grieved when I see how Christians will use social media to drive wedges between brethren (either intentional or unintentional).   This happens with political issues, hot button topics and moral issues, and even doctrinal issues.
  5. Does it show love for one another, your enemies and God? Matthew 5:44-45, 22:37-39 – we know we are to love all men.   And that love is not just a passive thought – it is ACTION.   We SHOW our love by our actions.   1 John 3:18 – we love in deed and truth.
  6. Does it promote healthy and excellent thinking? Philippians 4:8.   Do our posts promote these types of qualities.     Is it kind or does it tear down?   Again love is described as kind – 1 Corinthians 13:4
  7. Does it show godly wisdom? Or foolishness? James 3:17
    g. our humor – is it in good taste? Is there sinful innuendo, or humiliating others?
  8. IF a post deals with something sinful, is a godly solution presented?
    Paul in his letters continually gave solutions – cf. immorality in your midst – withdraw and deal with the sinning brother (1 Corinthians 5:1-8). Galatians 2:11ff.
  9. Is it completely truthful?   The Bible is clear about liars – Revelation 21:8, Ephesians 4:25 – HAVE YOU VERIFIED IT? Is it innuendo? There’s a lot of lies being spread on the internet, often to make people who pass it on look foolish.   We should always be truthful. When we share a link that is a lie, even though we may be ignorant, we are still promoting a lie. INEVESTIGATE!
    We need to think about this doctrinally as well.   There are many denominational concepts put forth in memes that sound good, but when you think about them, they are promoting error.   Or maybe, they come from a website promoting error.
  10. Where do the links lead to? Related to the previous one.   1 Timothy 5:22 – don’t partake in other people’s sins.     Investigate what you are sharing – before you share something KNOW THE SOURCE? What is IT promoting? Is the funny and truthful meme from a website that promotes filth and just happened to post ONE THING that wasn’t?
  11. Am I addicted to social media?     look at your online activity.   Is it something that is constantly in your hands and on your mind? Could you go a week without social media? 1 Corinthians 6:12 – even with lawful things, I will not be brought under the power of any.
  12. Is it wasting my time?   We are be wise in the use of our time – Ephesians 5:16.   It can be very easy to turn something good into a drain of this valuable resource. Don’t let it happen.
  13. Am I promoting sinful activity? – immodesty, vulgarity, profanity, lust, where I should not be, and where I am not (e.g. worshipping God), etc.     Ephesians 5:3-7 – “let it not even be named among you…”
    Consider sinful language – which is much more than profanity.   It can lies, gossip, hateful speech, insults, ugly disputes, etc.     Ephesians 4:29, Matthew 15:18-19 – remember that what you say reflects what is in your heart.   What is it say?
  14. What is my attitude? Attitude is almost always a reflection of who we really are.   There are so many ungodly attitude that show themselves on social media.
    1. Am I diplomatic and gracious with my speech?   Colossians 4:6. Does it show respect for others? Do I show love and humility
    2. Or am I continually murmuring and criticizing others – 2 Corinthians 12:20 – Paul’s fear when he came to these brethren.
      James 3:13-16 describes the wisdom of this world as sensual.
      Ephesians 4:31 calls for us to put away bitterness, anger, etc.
  15. Are we seeking to draw people to God and saving souls? 2 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 – all things, to all men.
  16. OR are we seeking to draw more attention to ourselves?   This brings us back to where we began this study?   Philippians 2:3-4.

II.  Using social media for good

  1. Take a break from it – if you really want to learn how addicted you are, take a break.   I will not be brought under the power of any – 1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23
  2. Let your light so shine (Matthew 5:14-16) – Don’t be ashamed of Him, even on social media.
  3. Use it to reach others – to bring them to Christ. Is there someone that might be a good prospect on your “friends” list?   Use it to promote Christ (though the gospel and the Lord’s church, etc.). Find ways, get creative, to teach others.
    Statistics show that social media is one of the best ways to REACH others with your message. That is why we have a Facebook page (@roseavenuecofc), and a website (www.roseavenue.org).
  4. Use it to encourage others – let people know you are concerned about them.   Be truthful – if you say you are praying for them, make sure you are.

Social media is a part of life and can be used for great good.     But realize it is also a tool of the world – don’t use it as the world does. Use it to let your like shine in the MIDST of this dark world.   Think about it.

[1] https://religionnews.com/2017/06/28/how-facebook-is-like-church-according-to-founder-mark-zuckerberg/

[2] https://www.faithwire.com/2017/06/27/mark-zuckerberg-speaks-of-future-in-which-facebook-replaces-churches/

[3] Some of these rules come from various sources, including a recent post by Doy Moyer, in which he listed 12 things to consider before you post or share something on the internet.