Facebook and Twitter can be fantastic tools for communication, encouragement, laughter, playing Farmville, posting pictures of your cute dog “Eloise”, and general rollicking goodness. But, like every good gift, there can also be a dark side to social media. An unhelpful side. A sinful side. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you post something on Facebook or Twitter.
Russell D. Moore:
I suppose I should see some irony in some of the more vindictive journalistic pieces slinking out since the death of Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson. It’s not that I mind these articles focusing on Colson’s Watergate crimes and his rather nasty political persona prior to conversion; Colson emphasized that too. More problematic is the smug undercurrent that somehow Colson’s life in ministry to criminals was somehow just some sort of “cover-up” for who he “really” was: a dirty trickster for whom everything was politics. Even as they bury the hatchet-man, some journalists just can’t bury the hatchet. And, as they center everything on Watergate, they demonstrate that Nixon wasn’t the only one with an Enemies List.
Perhaps the greatest dilemma of the pastor – or any Christian leader – is the danger of hypocrisy. By this I mean that, unlike other professionals, we as ministers are expected to proclaim God’s goodness and to provide encouragement at all times. We are always pointing people toward God in one way or another, in order to show them his worth and beauty. That’s the essence of our ministry. But seldom will our hearts be in a condition to say such a thing with complete integrity, since our own hearts are often in need of encouragement, gospel centeredness, and genuine gladness. Thus, we have two choices: either we have to guard our hearts continually in order to practice what we are preaching, or we live bifurcated lives of outward ministry and inward gloominess.
A classic sign of a beginning songwriter is the rulebreaker attitude: “Rules? I don’t need rules! I’m an artist!” Of course you’re an artist – that’s why you need rules! There’s all kinds of time in your life to be creative, play outside the box, colour outside the lines but the ones who are truly successful at this are the ones who know the rules of songwriting and push the boundaries within the boundaries.