It’s Just Facebook

Posted on January 7, 2009 · Posted in Communication, Facebook, Worldview

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ESV  Romans 6:4

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. NIV  Romans 6:4

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.  ESV Colossians 2:8

There is a tendency to follow the world’s lead and see life as a mixture of the profound and the mundane – to contrast the exciting, meaningful, fun parts of life with the normal, dull, daily grind parts of life. For many this is the contrast between "chilling" or "hanging out" and doing something that really matters. Facebook falls into the hanging out category. It’s no big deal, just something to do when there is nothing to do. With the advent of 3G phone networks, you can update your Facebook status anytime using your mobile phone. So, while you are standing in line at the store, you can let the rest of civilization know that you are standing in line at the store. In this context, Facebook becomes a way to make the mundane a little more tolerable, a little less boring. But is this the way that God wants you to think about life—that large chunks of life are meant to be trivial? Sadly, it is uncommon to think of hanging out in terms of glorifying God.

Seeing parts of life as mundane is the kind of thinking that Colossians 2:8 describes as "empty deceit." You see, you can be taken in by the trivial as easily as by the profound. If you buy in to the belief that parts of life are trivial, of no real value, then you have been taken captive just as surely as if you were to believe that the story line of The Da Vinci Code is true. Your life, all of it, was purchased by the death of Christ so that you could live a new life—not just some of the time, but all of the time. Is it wrong to relax or take a break after a full day’s work? Not necessarily. But even then, it is good to remember that rest is given to us by God. He made our bodies to need rest and relaxation. But just as Christians should view love, money, or philosophy differently than the world does, we should also view relaxation and hanging out differently . Jesus died to give new life to his people—all of the time. The apostle Paul says it this way in Colossians 4:5:

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ESV

The NIV translates the last phrase of this verse “make the most of every opportunity.” The Facebook community puts you squarely in the path of many who are outside the faith. This surely is neither trivial nor mundane. You have opportunities to make use of your Facebook time to enhance the reputation of Christ. Simple comments will do – ones that remind your friends that God is more involved in life than we can ever imagine. Facebook time can be used to see if a friend seems to need encouragement. It can be used to observe how others are thinking so that you can pray for them or contact them. You can even point out unbiblical Facebook comments to your children, much as the father in Proverbs 7 makes the most of the opportunity when he observes a young man being seduced. Spiritual warfare is real. The most dangerous enemy tactic is the one we don’t see coming. The enemy is adept at ensnaring God’s people with weapons that appear to be harmless.

So it is easy to think hey, it’s just Facebook, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that all of life is to be lived for the glory and honor of God. If there are moments when you just kick back and don’t think about anything but what seems cool to you at the moment, you are missing the real value of life and putting yourself in harm’s way at the same time. The call of folly, like the call of wisdom, roams in the streets, in homes and in the best places in town. Those who are simple will not be able to distinguish between the two. Facebook can encourage you to b self-centered, to write and talk about yourself and to be caught up with yourself. Or you can use Facebook time to be different, to view other people differently. You don’t have to preach sermons in order to bring glory to God. Your status updates can include thoughts about the way life really is. For example – you could post something like this:

Life is not a spectator sport – it is war.

This is short. It is pithy. It is true. It may even provide some opportunities to say what is behind it. So, do your social networking realizing that since you belong to Christ, your networking involves his reputation as well as your own. Make the most of the opportunity.

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