THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON EVANGELISM
The Internet is the 8th Wonder of the World. Some of my friends must have heard me say this before and it is an opinion that I hold to be true. I believe it can be placed on the same pedestal ranking, if not higher than the Pyramids of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus, Temple of Artemis, Colossus of Rhodes, Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (the 7 wonders of the world) that man has held in high admiration these past thousands of years.
If Adam was told of a day in human history where he could look at a piece of glass and talk to Eve wherever she was in Eden and have her talk back to him he would easily have thought it was another cunning suggestion of the sleazy deceiving serpent. But the Internet has made this possible through skyping on smartphones or computers.
Skype just like Facebook, twitter, instagram, whatsapp, snapchat, linkedin and all the other barrage of social media applications our modern era has embraced has come to stay and not just stay but has totally redefined our means of communication. A statistic I came across shows that 1 out of 4 couples in the US met their spouse on the Internet. And today most people ‘in love’
spend more virtual time together than physical time.
The Christian community has been experts at playing the bury your head in the sand duck game and has always been the slowest to catch up on emerging technologies. We were slow to the TV but thank God Oral Roberts embraced its use later on, we were slow to satellite television but thank God TBN and Pat Robertson of the 700 club embraced it and today they reach billions even in Islamic nations with the knowledge of the love of Christ. One scripture that helps me co-habit in this world while waiting for our eternal home above is Jesus’ words in John 17:15 that says “my prayer is not that you will take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One” this means after you get saved God still needs you on the earth and you better know how to use the earth’s instruments very well.
I have even heard some Christians argue that there is no such thing as Christian rap and that rap is a demonic movement. O really? If I told you the inventor of the phone was a Satanist does this mean you would look at your cell-phone with 6th sense suspicion? We must always learn to differentiate the act/art from the culture. Rap is born from a culture of music. Music is inherently good in itself but can have corrupt forms. It is like same way sex is good but it is bad when practised outside God’s word. I listen to a lot of Christian rap and the lyrics of Lecrae, Tedashii, KB, Andy Mineo, Flame, Trip Lee and the hosts of Christian brothers’ repping the kingdom (pun intended) are as spirit-filled as the words of a Pastor on Sunday morning. Moreover common sense suggests that a teenage boy hooked on to secular rap artists would have a vacuum that can be only replaced by another form of rap when he gets saved.
Despite Christian’s slow adaption, we all seemed to love the social media maybe it is because it is the technology that appeals the most to man’s natural self-seeking ego. Girls post Sunday dress pics and check back an hour later hoping to meet 50 likes. Guys post Messi vs. Ronaldo debates and hope to obliterate any enemy that thinks otherwise of their soccer hero.
But for now let us examine 3 social media Christian animals that you should desist from being in order to sensibly communicate the gospel to sinners and help strengthen the brethren.
1) The Bull – you see these ones post a picture of Jesus and write under ‘like this pics if you love Jesus and keep scrolling if you belong to Lucifer’ and all sorts of petty cajoling tactics. It makes a mockery of what it means to demonstrate your love for Christ, it goes against Christ’s culture of giving people a choice not a threat and its used by people oblivious of the fact that hackers started the gimmick to gather profile info of likers for possible spam messages later on.
2) The Lion – this Christian goes into every argument breathing fire and brimstone. He believes all sinners are the worst scum of the earth forgetting he was once one, he must be the last to comment on the post (James 1:19) and any sinner that argues with him is shown a hell condemning scripture and he must prove that his dad is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This type of social media Christian doesn’t know what it means to eat in the same house with Nicodemus and is the first to cast a stone on the condemned adulterer. Always remember that the same way you don’t share a Muslim’s or atheists’ religious view so also they don’t share yours. You must warn them of the upcoming danger but do it in love and pray that Christ would shine his light on their dark hearts. (2Tim 2:16).
3) The Chameleon – this Social media Christian’s wall or timeline is carnal from Monday to Saturday and spiritual on Sunday. He weakens the faith of baby Christians looking up to him and turns unbelievers away from Christ who watch his life as the bible they may never read. Remember when Christ bought you he paid your price in full and so you must show forth his glory in full in every aspect of your life (1 Cor 6:12).
THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHRISTIAN YOU SHOULD BE: A SNOVE (Snake + Dove)
Christ in Matt 10:16 tells us to be as wise as serpents but be as gentle as doves. The serpent is cunning in introducing his views, notices posts that show when a sinner is vulnerable and chips in the gospel and is led to what to post, when to post, if to add media content like videos and pictures to increase the weight of his words when posting. While the dove is gentle in arguments and comes out of them still white without blemish convincing the sinner.
I believe 1 Thess 2: 1–13 and 2 Tim 2: 23–26 explain more on all I have said from a Pauline view.
In conclusion we must recognize that man is a social animal who always wants to communicate and keep in touch and that social media is here to stay to satisfy that innate desire. Whether we should spend our energy strategizing on increasing the influence of Christ on social media is therefore a no-brainer as the average Twitter user spends at least 3 hours on it and Facebook user 1 hour both doing this 7 days a week.