In this week’s newsletter, Michelle Murray has posted a note about social media, and asks for your help. I thought I would mention three further thoughts on that.
First, Facebook is a private company, that has developed a power to sway communications in our country, to an unprecedented degree. And this week, we learned (from Veritas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzhu0NPx6UI) that Facebook regularly decides whether to show or hide your comments or posts to/from others, according to their own pre-determined desires. In a very real sense, they already know what “you” are going to say, and they are ready to show it to others, or not, according to their sensibilities – not yours. This means that we should not consider Facebook a trustworthy partner for our communications as a church body. They are not a neutral means of communication.
Having said this, secondly, this does not mean we ignore Facebook altogether. And this is where you come in. While we should not rely on Facebook, we can still engage with others using Facebook, knowing the rules of the game, and not being surprised by them. As a church we should not depend on Facebook, but we can still “rob the Egyptians”, by liking and forwarding posts from our church, especially when it is via direct message, from you to a friend. So will you help out this way? When you read a quote, or an article, or a sermon quote, or anything else from our church – will you engage in it in some way?
I said there were three things. All of this shows that there is still no substitute for inviting that neighbor down the street over for dinner. Be the kind of neighbor who gets invited over for a beer. Don’t ever forget: in the Old Testament, the sins of the nations were contagious to God’s people. But in the New Testament, it’s the holiness of Jesus that’s contagious to the nations. No censor at Facebook can ultimately thwart the viral load of His goodness. And that’s in you, Christian, by His Spirit. So invite, have the beer, talk, tell jokes, and tell about Him.