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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Facebook in Churches

2 Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
Ephesians 5:4, "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."

Romans 12:2a, "And be not conformed to this world:"
There is a trend in churches to increasingly rely on Facebook as a means of communication.  Communication, not just to communicate with the outside world, but for communication within the church.

Many churches are using private Facebook groups in order to arrange church events.  Events such as sermon details, bible study details, who is attending, when are they attending, where they are attending, and leading on from this, to arrange social gatherings.  In effect, Facebook is being used as the tool to communcate, arrange worship, and fellowship with church members.

Why Is Using Facebook as the means of Fellowship amongst Church members wrong?

Facebook is a tool of the world.  Regardless of the good intents one might have with Facebook, the reality is that Facebook offers the opportunity to easily and conveniently;
- Gossip about others
- Pry into others business (profile surfing)
- Adultery: looking for ex partners
- Fornication: looking through photos of 'cute guys' or 'hot girls'
- Bullying: We are to love others as ourselves (Mark 12:31)
- Covetousness and Jealousy: Comparing to Others
These temptations exist in the world, but accessing this information anywhere, about anyone, from your phone or your computer at any time increases the opportunity to participate in these things, to sin.

As much as we have a choice, being born again; spiritual, but still with the carnal flesh.  The simplest way not to sin, is to avoid the temptation.

As much as alcoholics wouldn't hold an AA meeting in a bar, a sinner shouldn't look to spend time in an environment where sin is easily accessed, unless it is purely to evangelize the lost.

Facebook named in 1/3 of Divorces

If you dislike being marriage, then log on to Facebook.

The social network was implicated in a third of all divorce filings last year, according to Divorce-Online, a survey by a British legal service.

In the old days, tracking down an old flame or love interest could take weeks and require investigative legwork.

Now an affair is just a click away and the consequences -- what happens online, cannot be erased from online -- can be permanent and devastating.

"Social networking has become the primary tool for communication and is taking over from text and e-mail in my opinion," a Divorce-Online spokesperson said in a statement. "If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex then the easiest place to do it. " 
(Source)
I
n the past, if one wished to track down an old flame, it would involve extensive investigation, and might even have been impossible.  With today's technology, Facebook, old flames are just a click away.  Adultery is just a photo away, fornication just an electronic IM (Instant Message) away.

I myself have been contacted by a woman I used to live with, when I used to have a Facebook account (I used to live with a partner outwith marriage before I was saved).  The lady in question had now married.  The conversation was moving towards romantic feelings, and I had to ask her, 'Where is your husband?'

There are times when people feel weak, vulnerable.  In the past, to act on these weaknesses, whether they be sexual weaknesses, or emotional, it would have involved much more effort, often so much effort that one would instead ride out the weaknesses.  With access to Facebook, one can post their weaknesses for the whole world to see, or one can give into sexual temptation by 'checking out' that persons profile.

Maintaining Some Mystique

In relationships, maintaining a certain element of mystique about oneself is healthy.  Facebook removes this barrier.  We get to see sides of each other which cross the line of healthy relationships, and move to over familiarity.  Aspects of each others character become more pronounced, people are seen in different lights, which are not always the best.

Conversations on Facebook are mainly trivial, frivolous and light.  A Christian should be cautious about engaging in too much of this type of chit chat,
Ephesians 5:4, "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."
God wants us to laugh, to joke, these things are a gift and a blessing, but when they are appropriate and in their place.  It is not right that our conversation should consist of foolish talking as it's sole or main purpose.

In the words of Dr Jack Hyles,
The word "filthiness" in this passage means "shameful." The term "foolish talking" comes from the Greek word "moros" which means "silly" or "comic." The word "jesting" comes from a word that was used concerning the quick movement of apes and people. It means "quick talk" or "chitchat." The word "convenient" means "properly timed. " This means that we should be appropriate with our humor, our jesting and our chitchat. It does not teach that we are never to be humorous, folksy or casually humorous in our talk. It means that such talk is to be properly timed, which should be in good taste and should be limited. God wants us to laugh. He certainly is not opposed to a funny story that is appropriate.

Conclusion

Facebook opens a doorway of convenience to problems in life.  The sin of gossip, adultery, fornication becomes easily accessable.  Desiring other peoples lives, holidays, things, which is jealousy.  Covetousness become easy, and personal dissatisfaction, with competition, increases.  Divorce mentions Facebook in 1/3 of cases.  Conversations become foolish and trivial, as the purpose of the conversation itself, rather than as an appropriate means to an end.

Anyone, especially a Christian should be cautious about engaging Facebook, because it makes the world accessable and even palatable.  Even if one is not committing the sin, gossip, strife, arguments, affairs are commonplace, we're surrounded by it.  We are to be separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and He will receive us, 2 Corinthians 6:17, 
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”

Using Facebook as communication amongst the Brothers and Sisters in Christ

With all these concerns, a church must be wise about using Facebook as the means to communicate church activities with members of the church.  Many churches are using private groups to arrange worship and fellowship activities.  Facebook encourages us to become part of the world.  A church should be wise, when it considers encouraging a Christian to be in the midst of worldly things, in order to be spiritual (ie, in order to be a part of the church.)

Such a gateway to being spritual, that is, through the world, in order to be a part of the church, to Bible study, to fellowship with other believers, is not obtained by having to conform to the world, Romans 12:2a, 
“And be not conformed to this world:“

To be a part of the world to advance the spiritual is a contradition, and encourages carnal and backslidden behavior for the born again believer.

The problem is not limited to Facebook, but also to other forms of electronic communication.  Those with instant messaging facilities, and pictures, cause the greatest temptations.
2 Corinthians 10:4, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)”
 




22nd April 2018

 

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