Media and The Glory of God–Why I Have Facebook



I have always been skeptical about technology. Some have compared it to the young tiger that is very cute and cuddly, but when it grows up, it turns and eats you. While this certainly can be true about anything, I have come to reject this idea for several reasons. I would like to try and convince you that all sources of media use can be used for the glory of God, as well as to show you that men you and I admire and want to be like used the media of their day to spread the gospel. I guess you could call this “my defense of why I joined the static noise of Facebook”. Whenever I get a new gadget (an ipod), join a social network (facebook), I always make sure there is precision and purpose for what I do. Below are some thoughts for you to think about.

1. All Things are Under the Lordship of Christ

It is my theological conviction that all things are under the lordship of Christ. As Abraham Kuyper has said,

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”

Therefore, everything that is created is good, because it comes from a good Father; it is what man does with those resources that are bad. Christ rules over all things. That is the logical argument and conclusion Paul makes in Ephesians and Colossians. Not only is Christ Lord over everything, but as His ambassadors in His Kingdom under His rule, we have the authority and the calling to redeem and take back that which has been used for evil. Don’t despise the technology that is being polluted. Instead, show how to properly use them for the glory of God. You should be thinking Kingdom governance and oversight. Show how a citizen of God’s Kingdom stewards and manages properly resources He has made available. You are a manager of many resources that can be used as a tool. Redeem technology. If your excuse is, “Well, so many people have used it for ill” then for Christ’s and the gospel’s sake get out there and use it for good. Don’t let pagans use for evil the things your King has created. Show them how to use it properly.

2. Every Media Tool is a Vehicle to Spread the Gospel of Christ

Your main objection and the responsibility you have as a steward of God’s gifts is to use it for the purpose of spreading the gospel. To be honest, I am technologically illiterate . . . but I’m learning. More honestly, I used to be a puritan/fundamentalist (. . . well, I still am in many ways) when it came to anything new in technology. I only saw the evil in it. I saw ipods were only used to waste time listening to music that mushed your brain. And Facebook? Well, don’t get me started on Facebook.

But I have been convicted that we as believers have a unique opportunity to reach and evangelize the world . . . from our desk. Don’t get me wrong, this is not negating or excusing you from the responsibility to physically get in the presence of non-believers and preach the gospel. But while you are preaching, evangelizing, fellowshipping and spreading the gospel to your sphere of influence, you can also be impacting those around the world. You should be active in all types of media . . . no matter what your eschatology. Blogs. Facebook. Websites. The gospel of Christ can be used in any media. Picture these as an extension of your voice. When I use a microphone, it is acting as merely an extension of my voice to reach a larger group of people. Blogs, Facebook, ipods and websites can all be tools in which God uses as an extension of spreading the gospel. So the only question that remains is, “Why aren’t you involved?”

3. Everything You Own is for One Purpose Only . . .

Why have I chosen to spend X amount of dollars on a car? To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. That car is an extension of my legs. It takes me to Western Seminary where I listen to influential men who prepare me to prepare. Why do I own a home? To house my family and other weary sojourners who need refreshment. Why do I own an ipod? To listen to men that are present day Spurgeons. If I lived in Spurgeon’s day and was even 100 miles from him, I might not even know he exists. And how many people didn’t! Now, I can listen to Piper, Macarthur and Mark Driscoll all because of the gracious, good gift from God expressed in an ipod.

4. Spread the Gospel, Not Yourself

I can’t tell you how sick I am of updates on Facebook that tell me how great my friend’s mocha was, or what euphoric experience they had the other day. As Christians, our primary task is to spread the vision of Jesus Christ and His glory. Take a look at your facebook and answer this question:

Do your posts, updates, links, pictures and videos reflect the aroma of the spreading of Christ, or do you contribute to the world’s static chatter that numbs our minds to thinking after Christ?

Answer the question. Make the changes.

5. Those Before Us . . .

If Paul would have shunned the stadium, men of Athens would not have heard him. If Luther would have despised the printing press, no Reformation. Period. Because he took advantage of the media of the time, there was a Reformation that exploded throughout the world. If Billy Graham would have despised the microphone, the some odd million people would never have heard him. If Piper would have neglected the tape recorder, we would not have any of his sermons from the past.

6. Final Exhortations And Some Ideas

  • Redeem your ipod. Don’t just fill your 80 gig ipod with music, fill it with sermons! We live in a unique day and age where we can listen to a sermon given thousands of miles away, all while jogging! Redeem your ipod.
  • Start a blog. There is no greater way to influence a great amount of people than by blogging your opinions . . . but blog the opinions of the Apostles. Pick something you are passionate about in regards to the gospel—a need you see not being fulfilled—and begin to rally around you fellow enthusiasts for the cause of Christ
  • Start a Facebook. Spread the message of Jesus Christ. Don’t just tell your friends pointless updates, encourage them in the faith, challenge them in their beliefs, and call them to join you in the spreading of the gospel, not yourself.

What do you think? How and what do you see is the purpose of social networks like Facebook? According to what you’ve heard me say, how do you think they should be used and why.

Spread the gospel. Preach the Word. Get Facebook.


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5 Responses to “Media and The Glory of God–Why I Have Facebook”

  1. Trevor Akin Says:

    This is an excellent challenge. I think for many of my generation, the problem is not having a facebook or an ipod, but in using them for the glory of God. The example with Luther and Graham were right on. The problem isn’t our technology, it’s our lukewarm hearts.

    I would add one caution though in the social network sector. There is a lot of what the KJV might term “carousing” that goes on virtually in social networks. The advertisements on myspace, for example were a sufficient temptation for me that I had to shut mine down. The heavy amount of immorality can become a danger for some, since through social networks one can participate in it anonymously, and no one ever knows.

    So I think if someone is wanting to revolutionize their facebook use for the glory of God, bring a godly friend. You’ll double the profits and half the hazards.

  2. Chris Blackstone Says:

    I have a facebook, but I rarely check it because it’s just another separate, siloed web site that I have to check. I’m much more likely to twitter updates than to check info on Facebook.

    I do have a blog, but no amount of technical communication will replace personal interaction and that’s the part that we have to remember.

    Digital communication is less personal and less nuanced than personal interaction and I still wonder if you can truly establish a close relationship/friendship if the sum total of your interaction is digital.

    And I work at an Interactive Agency working with web sites for a living, so I’m no luddite, but all the talk about redeeming facebook/myspace/the internet/tv can somtimes seem, to me, a little Pollyana-ish.

  3. Adam Says:

    yes and amen Carey. And I’m glad to see you linked your posts here to automatically update on your facebook. 🙂

    It’s another avenue to spread truth, and as the Lord gives us avenues to develop real, face-to-face relationships with people – then our witness and influence in their lives for the sake of Christ will only have more opportunities and connect points to increase.

    Some will peer through the window of a friend, at us, wondering what a “serious Christian” is like – what his life is about, what he loves and talks about, what and how he thinks… And the distinction between the freedom that we have in Christ and the real purpose of our lives and the sincerity of our service to others will convict and challenge unbelievers to examine themselves and begin to “deal with God”.

    The Holy Spirit works through the Gospel and Word and witness of our lives, and in this day and age, there are means to connect and communicate that transcend our physical boundaries as you said so clearly.

    I have always viewed the social networking tools as part of modern day missions – moving into a potentially hostile/tempting environment to grab others from the flames, not namby pamby-ing around. Clear purpose and motivation… Not for the immature believer.

    And no, not all our eggs are in the virtual/technological baskets, but at least one is.

  4. Ashley Rogers Says:

    Excellent post! Convicting and inspiring… Thanks!

  5. Mark Henninger Says:

    Stewards of the living Word are “ready for our fellowship with God to be with words that are not less than they are for anyone else living!”

    Will you join us?

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