SOCIAL MEDIA: THE CHALLENGE OF A STABLE IDENTITY (IN CHRIST) AND EVANGELISM

Posted: November 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

Needless to reiterate, but pertinent at this point to state, is the fact that I have been actively online for over thirteen years. Constantly engaging (in and out) with the cyberspace. This is not stated to mean that it is so long a time, but we cannot deny that with such time online come lots of experiences. These experiences have been both negative and positive alike. They write upon the lifespan of one’s psycho-sexual, psychological, intellectual, spiritual and social development.

The first lie that every young person has been fed is the “fact” that we cannot be or live apart the general media, especially the social media. Availability for use does not necessitate actual use. When this is balanced, it becomes important. This then leads to the challenge when one interacts with the general media.

One basic challenge that has constantly plugs its head out in my everyday use of the cyberspace is that of retaining my identity while online! This can be viewed in two dimensions: first is the challenge of remaining the believer that you are deep from within while you are online or secondly, assuming a status of “Believer-ship” that you are not to give others an impression of you.

This is a battle fought by young Believers who network on the internet, both the faithful and the only religious Christians. Young people are constantly influenced by the forces on the cyberspace to conform to a certain lifestyle that is not originally theirs. This influence continually opens us up to large chunks of information and broad groups of people who carry diverse ideologies and philosophies that are strange to the kingdom. You scroll, looking through your timelines reading posts, messages from people who you have links to. You are tagged to one post/picture/video or the other. You are mentioned on one issue or another. Your are poked messaged or shared a link. It goes on and on and on, daily. And you life begins to revolve around a pattern: scroll, click, like, comment, share; add, follow, tweet, mention; post, update, add…like that. It doesn’t seem to be a problem from the surface but it builds a motor-behaviour that takes you farther than you subscribed for. Addiction!

Out there are Christian youngsters, who change their Identities online. These include their names, and other bio-data just to become convenient to do one evil or the other. Some hide under this guise to have sex chats, access pornographic content, and or initiate others into this vain venture. Passionate to understand and explore their sexuality while growing up in perhaps a society or family that doesn’t speak about such, many are forced under such aliases online in order to do evil. As a result, the church is filled with active youths who are under the devils bondage. Our young people need help and the church must step in to help them. For all is not well!

Just like the active literal persecution against the church today, there is a psychological and intellectual persecution directed towards the body of Christ. Most of these other forms of persecution are carried out via the instrument of social and general media; even the print media. Strange ideas like atheism, karma, universality of religion; even the new age religion, the centrality of man and so many others are examples of intellectual war been raged upon and against the belief of Salvation in and through Jesus alone. On the other hand, alien doctrines like one must not wait for marriage before sex; nothing like fornication & masturbation is not a problem; sin is relative and only what you define it to be; there is no hell fire, how can a loving God do such; and many others are actually many psychological persecution the church is facing in other to make cold the knees of saints. All these are being advanced over the media, proposed via movies we watch and made appealing to our minds and consciences in the cyberspace. By now we should already know young people are receiving invitations online to join strange fraternities which turn out to teach New Age beliefs, wizardry, free-mindedness and a lot.  

All these and directed towards influencing and changing the lifestyle of the Believer, towards neutralizing and contaminating our faith. But would this evil prevail?

 

For the God-chaser Social-networker, the social media is only a tool and not the rule. It becomes to him or her, a platform for doing good. The limitless tentacles, widespread reach and efficiency of the instrument of media gives it a uniqueness to become undeniably an effective tool for Christian evangelism. Believer-Networkers can first achieve this by simply living the God-live even online. In this way, employing the use of the tools giving by facebook, twitter, whatsapp, BBM, 2go and other platforms to advance the purpose of the kingdom online. Do not belittle the power your words, post, updates, or any information you pass online. You will be amazed the impact it makes on those who use them. Let all be exhorting to those who hear and see them.

Instead of ideal chats and fruitless surfing, we must begin to wisely engage in internet evangelism. All social Networks are dialogue and relationship based which makes it effective for sharing our perspective which is faith-based online. It is not to be viewed as pulpit to preach, rather as a platform to conveniently startup and convey issues regarding our faith in an acceptable manner. We can easily comment, share links to posts, videos, etc that will engage people in the area of interest as regards God’s perspective. We can also reach out to people in countries where open evangelism is banded, via the social media…starting up chats at points of interest leading to issues of salvation. Lastly, we must realize that we have been blessed with the most effective tool yet, to reach the World.

In all:

10 God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

                               Ephesians 2. MSG

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