Church services are being streamed live on your computers and mobile devices, breaking the barrier of location. You can now follow your favourite preachers and other Christian pages and get motivated every day of the week and, not only on Sundays. Fellowshipping with other believers online has also become so easy. There is also that amazing feeling you experience when you realise that, that cool lady or guy is also a Christian and is using his/her platform to evangelise. Facebook has, indeed, brought us together.
Wait, those are the advantages of Facebook to the Christian. So what about the other side of it? How do you react when someone openly describes the Christian as senseless and Christianity as their opium of the masses and nothing more? Being the staunch follower of Christ as you are, with all the testimonies you’ve experienced, what should be your reaction when someone blatantly insults you, your faith or pastor and the church? This post seeks to address some of these challenges:
- Learn to Remain Silent
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues – Proverbs 17: 28
Nobody has ever gotten into trouble by ignoring hateful comments about their Christian faith on Facebook. If the critic has ever experienced the goodness of the Lord, they wouldn’t be posting that (bear that in mind). A way to draw the attention of that poster is not an argument in their comment box. If the person is a personal friend, please send a message through their inbox or talk about it when you meet physically. If you hardly know the poster, just say a word of prayer for them and the Holy Spirit will do His part.
- Remain Loyal
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings – Hosea 6:6
Occasionally, it becomes tempting to blame the Christian for some of the unwarranted posts and comments about our faith. This is because some of us put up posts which attract comments from the critics. Would you openly insult your spouse or best friend on Facebook because of a disagreement? So why would you come and discuss an unpleasant experience you had in a church or with your church member or pastor on Facebook? What reactions are you seeking from your followers? Is it sympathy, empathy or insults? Or you want to hear, “Oh, those Christians, they are all pretenders?”
I am not saying you should remain silent about unpleasant experiences but please find the appropriate channels to get your concerns addressed. Not everyone on social media sides with us, don’t put us in a vulnerable position.
- Read, Think through before you Share or React to a Post
Wise people think before they act – Proverbs 13:16a
Do you sometimes get the impression people just share posts because every one is sharing them? Or they are liking a post because their friends are liking it? You are a member of a church, have fasted for 40 Days and have taken part in the church’s main event. You are excited because you have broken through. The next day, someone questions the whole activity of your church because of his personal experiences. His post is trending and people are crucifying Christians and, you like and share that post on your wall. Oh sister, why? Do you understand the implications of your actions? Do you support his actions or you want more people to see his posts and criticise the church more? Please read carefully, think through before you take certain actions on Facebook.
- Church leader, Sensitise members on how to manage issues and crises
“Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. – Ezekiel 38:7
How do you expect your members to act, particularly, on social media when your church is having issues or facing some crises? The church, like any organisation, should have written procedures on how their members should react when such issues crop up. Should they openly put up posts to stand by the pastor or join in arguments or remain silent? This should be clearly communicated to members to curtail some of the unwarranted comments from the Facebook Community.
- Think before you post
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15
We all have opinions about our churches and how we wished things would go, but, before you put such posts up on social media, ask yourself what you seek to gain. Is it support or popularity or you want people to criticise the church that provides you with spiritual nourishment. Whenever you are tempted to post on social media, please note that not everybody is a friend in that community. You are either making the church popular or unpopular with your posts.
Do you agree with the points above? Is there any etiquette you think Christians should adopt on Facebook, which hasn’t been listed above? Do share with us.