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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called “Social Media: A Tool to Build and to Bulldoze,” noting the recently-exemplified power of social media both for good and for ill. Here is a bit from the post, specifically addressing the speed with which we obliterated the Confederate flag:
This week (!) we’re dismantling a centuries-old symbol of racist oppression. Hooray, us!
Really, that’s great, but what happens when the crowd-controlled bulldozer takes a turn toward something not as malignant?
What happens when the social media hivemind lets loose on something a bit closer to home for Christians?
We’ve already seen a taste of it with Indiana’s RFRA. Christian ethics surrounding sexuality are often viewed as offensive and are regularly equated with the racism of the mid-20th century. The Christian understanding that homosexuality is often called “bigotry,” which is the same word many are using to describe the motivations of Dylann Roof, the Charleston terrorist.
In the eyes of the world, the Christian sexual ethic and the Charleston massacre find their roots in the same river called “Bigotry.”
If the symbol of the Confederate flag is reviled for its association with racism and oppression, how long is it before the world views the cross in the same way?
Christians, we need to be kind on social media. We need to not get angry and rage-tweet as often as we do especially around controversial issues. We have the truth of the gospel, and we need to communicate like we care about its implications.
Plenty of my zealous brothers in Christ on social media advocate for causes I support in a way I cannot support. We need to love people enough to communicate truths with kindness and respect, even when people don’t earn it. This is gospel communication, is it not?
Believe it or not, Christians, we are still responsible to show the grace we’ve been shown to those who advocate for same-sex marriage.
Even on social media?
God’s Word is a sword—swinging it unwisely cuts off the ears of our hearers. We must wield the Scriptures and the truths within with wisdom and love so we might be heard.
Don’t expect people to hear you if you aren’t communicating in a way worth listening to.
A week ago today, I joined Austin Hill on his morning radio show on MyFaithRadio to talk about this topic.
Here is the clip:
What do you think? Are your social media experiences more positive or negative?