October 7, 2021

Redeeming Social Media

Article by: Larah Roberts

Communications Director

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).

Social Media: A cross between a family reunion and a dumpster fire. Online environments connect us to people, places, and news within a moment’s notice. However, the downside is that a two-minute scroll can leave you feeling an abundance of joy over a family welcoming a new baby to being quickly consumed with anger at the state of the world and its devastation.

How can something so useful also be so frustrating? For believers, the most important question is, can social media be redeemed for the gospel? Absolutely!

Travel back in time with me to your 6th-grade history class. The teacher begins a discussion on the great expansion of the American West. Part of this economic growth can be attributed to one of the first lines of mobile communication, the Pony Express. This form of communication involved riders who would travel across mountains and plains to deliver letters written to those hundreds of miles away. Soon after the use of modern communication was born.

The communication era birthed the printing press, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, and the development of radio waves and television screens. These inventions led to the twenty-first century modern Information Age that introduced us to the World Wide Web, the Internet.

With this brief history of communication let’s remember that Colossians 1:16 tells us God created ALL things. If God created all things, we know that there is nothing, other than sin, he did not create. Therefore, God created and ordained all forms of communication, including social media, to be used for good and for his glory.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Satan will attempt to corrupt and derail God’s good plan for us. We see it happen in the garden, in Abraham’s lying, King David’s adultery, Peter’s denial, and in our lives today. Take a glimpse at the table below to see how this same rhythm is played out in mass communication.

Communication 

Used for Good 

Twisted for Evil

Telephone

News & Conversations spread faster

Addiction to a device that now can access harmful information and images

The Radio

Broadcasting the gospel

Lyrics glorifying evil, unethical radio programs

Television

Produced visual broadcasting, church services, etc. 

Movies with false messages or ungodly content, violent video games, etc. 

Internet

Global communication, sharing, and planning to further the gospel message

Porn, dark crime, fake news, etc. 

 

I believe social media could be labeled under all three columns, as it has become a major form of communication in our day. Over a month ago, through the use of social media, we knew within moments how to pray for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Sadly, each day there are people behind a device brewing hate and creating barriers. This happens not only between strangers but fellow believers in the Church as well. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are to be salt and light in the world of social media, therefore these things must not be so of us.

How do we redeem social media? Simple…be distinct people. 

    • We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession (1 Peter 2:9a), but is that how your “social friends” (and strangers) would describe you after you post or comment online?

 

    • We are called to proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9b). Does your feed display someone characterized by darkness or one who is called into the light?

 

    • Will you stir up controversy over issues with little to no eternal value or will you stir up those to good works (Hebrews 10:24)?

 

  • When the world fills your lost friends’ social media feeds with despair and defeat, do you post something that stops their scrolling and offers them the “reason for the hope” that is in you (1 Peter 3:15)? … And just as a note, the end of that verse says, “…do it with gentleness and respect” 😉 .

The world is watching, friends, and since we know neither the day nor the hour Christ is returning (Matthew 24:36). Let us then ask God to redeem our social media accounts to be used for his glory so that more and more may come to know him.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).

Social Media: A cross between a family reunion and a dumpster fire. Online environments connect us to people, places, and news within a moment’s notice. However, the downside is that a two-minute scroll can leave you feeling an abundance of joy over a family welcoming a new baby to being quickly consumed with anger at the state of the world and its devastation.

How can something so useful also be so frustrating? For believers, the most important question is, can social media be redeemed for the gospel? Absolutely!

Travel back in time with me to your 6th-grade history class. The teacher begins a discussion on the great expansion of the American West. Part of this economic growth can be attributed to one of the first lines of mobile communication, the Pony Express. This form of communication involved riders who would travel across mountains and plains to deliver letters written to those hundreds of miles away. Soon after the use of modern communication was born.

The communication era birthed the printing press, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, and the development of radio waves and television screens. These inventions led to the twenty-first century modern Information Age that introduced us to the World Wide Web, the Internet.

With this brief history of communication let’s remember that Colossians 1:16 tells us God created ALL things. So, if God created all things, we know that there is nothing, other than sin, he did not create. Therefore, God created and ordained all forms of communication, including social media, to be used for good and for his glory.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Satan will attempt to corrupt and derail God’s good plan for us. We see it happen in the garden, in Abraham’s lying, King David’s adultery, Peter’s denial, and in our lives today. Take a glimpse at the table below to see how this same rhythm is played out in mass communication.

  Used for Good  Twisted for Evil
Telephone News & Conversations spread faster Addiction to a device that now can access harmful information and images
The Radio Broadcasting the gospel Lyrics glorifying evil, unethical radio programs
Television Produced visual broadcasting, church services, etc.  Movies with false messages or ungodly content, violent video games, etc. 
Internet Global communication, sharing, and planning to further the gospel message Porn, dark crime, fake news, etc. 

I believe social media could be labeled under all three columns, as it has become a major form of communication in our day. Over a month ago, through the use of social media, we knew within moments how to pray for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Sadly, each day there are people behind a device brewing hate and creating barriers. This happens not only between strangers but fellow believers in the Church as well. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are to be salt and light in the world of social media, therefore these things must not be so of us.

How do we redeem social media? Simple…be distinct people. 

    • We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession (1 Peter 2:9a), but is that how your “social friends” (and strangers) would describe you after you post or comment online?

 

    • We are called to proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9b). Does your feed display someone characterized by darkness or one who is called into the light?

 

    • Will you stir up controversy over issues with little to no eternal value or will you stir up those to good works (Hebrews 10:24)?

 

  • When the world fills your lost friends’ social media feeds with despair and defeat, do you post something that stops their scrolling and offers them the “reason for the hope” that is in you (1 Peter 3:15)? Also, the end of that verse says, “…do it with gentleness and respect” 😉 .

The world is watching, friends, and since we know neither the day nor the hour Christ is returning (Matthew 24:36). Let us then ask God to redeem our social media accounts to be used for his glory so that more and more may come to know him.

Larah Roberts

Larah Roberts

Communications Director

Larah (said like Sarah with an L), serves as the Communications Director and loves getting to tell stories of what God is doing at Parkwood through graphic, web and social media design. She’s is married to her college sweetheart, Collin, and they can be found chasing after their three kiddos. Larah is a fan of naps, reading, friendship and dreams of diy’ing an old bus into schoolie one day.