A few months back, I posted a "defense" of Facebook and social media, from the perspective that Internet and technology in general can be used for productive things....most notably, evangelism and discipleship. I shared about the girls who came to the Lord after discussing their questions and budding faith with me via Facebook chat. (I have an article coming out in the May/June issue of "Modern Reformation" magazine about how short-term missions can really count long-term in this age of online communications.)
Well, today, I would like to introduce you to one of the most visible downsides of "Facebook evangelism" - Facebook Jesus.
"Jesus Daily" is some sort of devotional Christian group, which posts status updates in the first person...as if coming personally from Jesus Christ. Probably half the Christians I know are subscribed (I "Liked" after seeing several of my "Albania Kids" subscribing, more out of curiosity than anything else. I do not rely on Facebook for spiritual edification or theological instruction, in case you are wondering.)
This "Jesus" seems big on "Friend suggesting" Himself to your Facebook friends. (Cringe). "Friend suggesting" Jesus seems to be symbolic of everything that's wrong with modern evangelism, in a manner of speaking.
A sampling of the "wisdom" coming from "Jesus" in the last few days:
YOU AND I CAN DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER! Remember when I promised you, "With God all things are possible"? Well I was serious. What problem do we need to work on today? Like or type Yes if you believe My Words.
DO YOU GIVE ME YOUR PROBLEMS TODAY? I'LL SOLVE THEM.(This demands some comment -- since when do we share the Gospel with people, promising that Jesus will solve all their problems?? This is a dangerous half-truth.)
I am significant in Christ!
I am a Citizen of Heaven!
I am free forever from condemnation!
I am free from any charge against me!
I am assured all things work together for good!
I cannot be separated from the love of God!
Write an "Amen" if you can or LIKE to agree!
All about "me", huh? Not that these statements are entirely untrue -- but they are man-centric rather than Christ-centered. We live not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify CHRIST. Like many modern "praise" songs, the object is self, rather than God.
I KNOW YOU MADE A MESS. I'M READY TO FIX IT.
Umm....this one needs no comment.
CHRIST is our BEST medicine!!! LIKE if you agree then read about Natural Cures from God's Pharmacy...PLEASE SHARE to bless others!(It then links to a site entitled "Natural Cures from God's Pharmacy".) Sounds like a late-night info-mercial.
ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE!!!A little context here would be helpful...does this mean that if I ask for a Porsche, I will receive it? Smacks of "Prosperity Gospel", does it not?
Moral of the story: if you want to hear from the Lord Jesus, open your Bible. You're probably not going to hear from Him on Facebook. Social media is a tool to be used wisely in sharing the Truth, but not by telling the masses soothing, positive words devoid of any context.