Originally written January 28, 2019
One of my goals for 2019 is to be more purposeful with my online presence (particularly through facebook and twitter). In the past my posts were focused more on making people laugh or sharing experiences from the mission field, but now they revolve around three things.
- Share my burden for the people of Barrouallie, SVG
- Encourage and uplift Believers with Scripture
- and defend a Scriptural worldview online
That last part is the most difficult because when you take a stand for what the Bible teaches on controversial subjects, people disagree with you. And of course that also means they will challenge your beliefs..
Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten involved in some conversations about manhood, and abortion with friends who definitely disagree with my views. Thankfully they were gracious (didn’t attack me) and relied on strong arguments instead of just emotion. However there’s no doubt in my mind I will eventually be attacked for sharing a Christian view online
If that’s true then why take that stand at all?
Because those online conversations make you stronger…..
Sadly many Christians are surrounded by people who agree with their views on everything. The problem with this is you never really learn how to defend your beliefs in a humble, or gracious way (that doesn’t attack the other person instead of the issue). These kind of conversations, both online and in person, make us stop and think seriously about WHY we believe certain things.
Of course Christians shouldn’t fully embrace the world and compromise their beliefs…however isolating ourselves from other worldviews has a great danger as well.
The online conversations I have had recently (along with others) have also taught me some important lessons about communicating effectively through social media.
- Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is log off, and study the subject more
- Make sure you know EXACTLY what the person is saying…we can very easily put words in other peoples mouths
- When you get too personally involved (its making you angry) take a break
- Bring the conversation back to Scripture
- Understand what the conversation is REALLY about
- And ask lots of questions instead of making lots of statements
This doesn’t mean these kinds of conversations aren’t frustrating (they are!) but they also make us much sharper…
(added March 30, 2022) Of course these conversations can also create serious problems!
- Often these Facebook posts can get totally out of hand
- It becomes communication focused on proving the other person wrong instead of understanding their point of view
- There will always be “trolls” who enjoy being critical of your post
- And these online conversations become pointless because nobody will change each others mind
that doesn’t change the fact that surrounding yourself with those who hold to a different view makes your own beliefs stronger.