I’ve fallen out of love with Facebook.
And because Facebook is not my God or my neighbor, I’m free to look at it for what it is: a thing; a man-made thing; a thing bearing no divine image or breath; an inanimate thing that has no claim on me except that which I freely give it.
And so you see my dilemma as a Christian engaged with Facebook.
God has given his children dominion over everything. “Don’t draw back,” he says. “Move out into my entire world to heal it, bless it, comfort and care for it in my name. For the Spirit that is in you has overcome the spirit that is in the world. The work of Christ has freed and empowered you for this very purpose.”
Through the Son, the Father created an extended family, a holy body made up of many members, of which Christ is the Head. This new family shares one spiritual thread: that every person in the family, regardless of race, class, or tradition, is joined in body, mind, and soul to the life of Christ.
And now the Head leads his body – his children of every tribe and tongue – to live obedient, holy, and pleasing lives. Christ leads his body on earth as she suffers, and forgives, and takes up her cross, just as he did.
And so the purpose of the Body of Christ is to bless the world with our words and our actions until the final trumpet of God sounds. Those in the body and family of Christ follow our Head wherever he goes in the world; to live holy and purposeful lives in every nook and cranny of his creation. Even the nooks and crannies of Facebook?
Christians, then, are to be the fragrance of heaven everywhere they go. Citizens of heaven go with Christ to bring heaven’s welcome to everyone and everything. And Facebook, obviously, is part of western society’s ‘everything’ in 2018. Like it or not.
And so each time I post on social media there is a freedom to bless and renew and heal. There is freedom to forgive and build up. And there is also a temptation to tear down. To be independent and callous, thoughtless and contemptuous, arrogant and rude.
Each time I comment on a post or share it, there is a freedom to offer my own will or submit to the wisdom of heaven. Each online engagement there is the temptation to promote my own image and interests and forget my identity as a citizen of heaven.
As a Christian, I am a citizen of the kingdom of heaven first and foremost. I am a living stone set into the firm foundation of a living Christ who is striding through his world making everything new.
All that said. I have some thoughts for the person, like me, who has fallen out of love with Facebook.
1. Why do you access the FB platform? Are you trying to learn something? Teach something? Align yourself with something or someone? Are you trying to prove something is true? Are you hoping to connect with people you love? Are you trying to show courage and chutzpah and passion?
What is your aim? Sit quietly and be honest before your merciful God. Know thyself, and then post.
Heavenly Father. Where your Spirit is, I know there is true freedom. Please give me more of your light. Illuminate my hidden motivations and self-serving aims. Save me from my own self-righteousness and short-sightedness. Give me your courage and your heart so that I might bless. Amen.
2. What are you passing along? What do your likes, shares, and comments say to your brother, sister, or neighbor? Are you trying to be more spiritual than God? More merciful than God? More just than God?
Our Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Who do we have but you? Where would we go? Forgive our pride in thinking you need our help. Forgive our efforts to force and insist your kingdom come. Give us what we need to build up your kingdom with you as our Head. Amen.
3. There is no middle ground with God. Things are devoted to holiness or devoted to destruction. Is your time spent on social media devoted to holiness? Will it stand in the end? Will your minutes, carefully allotted from the God of the universe, accuse you of wasting this precious and singular life?
Dear Father. You see straight into my heart. You know my innermost being. Let your word and your spirit be a light to my path. Help me to know you as you want to be known. Keep me from temptation and harm. Help me to be brave as a citizen of heaven in this world that you love so much. Thank you for the work of Jesus and for the fellowship of your spirit. Amen.
Peace to all of you who wrestle with what to do with the thing of Facebook.
You are not alone.