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Ask Pastor Adrienne: Has God friended Facebook?

Adrienne Greene More Content Now
Posted: Aug. 1, 2019 10:00 am

Q: Dear Pastor,
How do you think God feels about Facebook?

A: Whether we like it or not, Facebook is now an integral part of our daily experience. They call it “social media” of course, but from what I’ve seen (including the many folks I’ve counseled regarding its damaging affects) the Facebook society is not social. It’s a dangerous public forum in terms of the foot-in-mouth disorder, for one; and two, it’s a gossip-mill on steroids. Not to mention the fact that Facebook never forgets. Indeed, those annoying histories programmed to pop up unannounced that contain photos, sentiments and attitudes posted years ago are definitely not helpful. The Apostle Paul said emphatically, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14, NASB). Sometimes we must move away from the things we were thinking and saying in years past in order to remain strong in the new, improved seasons God has brought us to.

Clearly, I’m not God, so I can’t decidedly say what he is feeling when it comes to Facebook. Further, the Bible doesn’t mention Facebook, just like it doesn’t mention “abortion” “genocide” or “transvestite,” for example. But the scriptures clearly address these issues in its depth of understanding of the human condition and its capacity toward sin. There are numerous scriptural guidelines regarding anything that has to do with relationships with other people that translate to Facebook decorum: “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, CSB). “But I say to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, NASB). “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip” (Proverbs 20:19).

The above smattering of scriptures addresses Facebook sins by the bushel, yet only scratches the surface of the deep darkness that is contained within its activities and participants’ agendas. Just like anything else in the world, it may be used to help or to harm. The same technology you use to welcome your new grandchild a thousand miles away may be crafted by others to launch terrorist attacks or sell abducted teens into the sex trade. We are all aware of this, so caution is the continued word to the wise - and we do need a caution reminder against the hypnotic, faux-community that is Facebook. We’re drawn to it.

I defer to the words of Jesus and to the attributes of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said this, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16, KJV). In other words, God’s people are to be smart as they navigate the world’s venues. Be discerning about the new tools, better options and easier way of doing things that the world confidently places at our doorstep and asks us to join in. Jesus knows what we face as Christians who live in this present world, so on that note, he does know about Facebook. Yet he asks us to monitor how many hours of our lives the Facebook community gets to have, what we engage in and to whom we divulge our private details. He then asks us to be kind when we use social media; causing no harm to others regardless of what they’re saying, doing or posting.

In concert with Jesus’ helpful advice, the Holy Spirit has a list of qualities we freely enjoy when we become saved. Chief among them (at least in my world) is self-control. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23). The Holy Spirit asks us to employ our God-given character trait of self-control whenever we interact with the world. Restraint is the idea.

Whatever God thinks about Facebook, I know this: he is watching and hoping we honor him with it.
Adrienne Greene pastors two Christian churches in southeastern Indiana. Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Please send your inquiries to: heavenchasepub@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030.

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