Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Christians and social media

Published:Saturday | December 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

It's the digital age and the use of social media and the Internet is growing exponentially in popularity especially among young people, including Christians. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp are just some of the social media platforms being used as a means of communication and for sharing ideas, but how far can Christians go with their use of social media?

Reverend Warren Simpson of the Miracle Temple Ministries in May Pen explained that Christians refer to persons who are Christ-like and so if they are Christ-centred persons, whatever medium is being used to communicate Christ-likeness should bring positivity. "To the pure, all things are pure and if we're Christians, our thoughts should be pure. So if I'm going to use social media, I'm going to use it to communicate things that are pure and righteous. The Bible says if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away and all things have been made new. So what we should be communicating is the newness as it relates to the salvation of the newness we have found with Christ."

Simpson agreed that social media can be distracting and some Christians who are not mature, get caught up in its use, not knowing how to use it for the benefit of purity. Sometimes they get caught up in terms of what they view or sometimes what they forward or what they share. Sometimes Christians get caught in the sensationalism of social media. However, Christians should use the social media to show that they are pure in their thoughts and don't get caught up in the sensationalism. It is declared that we are in the world, but not a part of the world," he told Family and Religion.

He also touched on the issue of hypocrisy and persons venting on social media. The reverend, instead, advised Christians to guard against hypocrisy and confront the person face-to-face and deal with the issue in a mature way.

"I'm not saying we should not be involved in social media, but what we should do is use it wisely to get across the message of purity. Our target group is the young people who are big on the use of social media so we need to get with it and parade with the message of righteousness and salvation to them and use it to our advantage, not to run away from it. Christians, Christ-like people, should be on social media to help to influence the righteousness of this nation.

Simpson, who has been in ministry for 22 years, said if something pops up that does not represent righteousness, then simply move on. "Christians need to have a focus and know what is it that we use social media for. For a Christian who does not have a plan around righteousness, one bad message doesn't mean you are to sign off, because, to me, the devil just got a victory, because that will hinder you from communicating righteousness to the world. Regardless of the bad experiences that we have, we should always remember that Christ shed his blood for us and one bad message on social media should not separate us from the righteousness of God," he declared.