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January 13, 2017, 6:20 PM

Can a Christian have Facebook - WWJP


I'm not sure how long the term WWJD has been around, but I remember it being the church popular thing to wear and say about the time I got into Jr. High School. It may have been around long before that, but I wasn't aware of it until that stage of my life. For me, WWJD was an awesome way to think about life in Jr. High. The whole concept was, when you are making a decision you were supposed to ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” and then act accordingly. The biggest problem for me (and probably most smart-mouthed Jr. High boys) was that I forgot to ask myself WWJD until after I had made the decision. And once your actions or words are out there, they can never truly be taken back. 

The same principle should be true with Social Media. When we use social media, we should always ask ourselves: “What Would Jesus Post?” and then post accordingly. As we study Ephesians, we are going to develop the idea of living in light of our relationship with Jesus. That has an impact on the way we use social media and what types of social media we use. If we are a Christian is real life, our virtual life should reflect that as well. I think that plays out in a few ways:

1. Fake News and Other Garbage Posts: Fake News has been a hot topic in the elections and news media these days. But, I haven't really been able to determine from them what Fake News really is or isn't. But, I'll define it this way: Anything that is so opinion biased that it leaves the realm of fact based writing. Posting these types of things hurt your credibility, which hurts your testimony. Fake News happens on both sides of the political spectrum, but it also happens in the religious realm. Often with a story so perfectly timed that it can't be true, and it is followed up by a repost this or you don't love Jesus tag. 

2. Having Different Standards Online than in Real Life: The truth is, Christians have had a hard time with this issue long before the internet came about. Whither it is buying your daughter a one-piece swimsuit for church events and a bikini for regular lake outings (because if the preacher sees her in a bikini then he will tell God on us?), or having a list of words that are necessary to say at work to get the job done but you can't say at church or in front of the preacher (because that preacher sure is a tattle tale), we Christians have always had the habit of having two sets of standards for life. 

When it comes to social media; I have witnessed nice, kind, and well reasoned Christians lose their minds and identities online. People will repost vulgar stuff that they would never approve of in real life. I've seen people who are nice and reasonable become internet bullies who pick fights and stop at nothing to win debates and prove a point online. I've seen honest people dive into gossip, slander, and name calling online. All of which is a departure from our identity in Christ. The worst case that I have seen was a Mega-Church Pastor who was fired a few years ago. There were many contributing factors, part of which was that it was found out that he had engaged in Internet Bullying and really mean online activity with some of his church members under an assumed name. 

What you post in the virtual world has an impact on life in the real world, and that is where we will pick up next week. 


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