Before You Share

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Social Media has given us a platform to the world. It has given us all a projected voice and the Christian should be happy about that. We can use the tool to reach, invite and inform. Churches and individuals can provide windows that people can look in and see the activity and love of your Church family. The opportunity to reach thousands with the click of a button is unprecedented and something our Church predecessors would have undoubtedly loved to have had. What a powerful tool it can be but a thought comes to mind that both Winston Churchill and Spider-Man helped make popular: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Facebook has become inundated this week with posts about changes to privacy settings that you can avoid by reposting a status. It’s all a hoax. This same hoax seems to circulate around Facebook a couple of times a year. Inevitably hundreds of thousands of people fall for it- maybe some of you shared it. Most people shared it under the context of “just in case” and “better safe than sorry”. It’s most likely a case of no harm and no foul. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for all internet hoaxes.

Christ is the head of the Church (Colossians 1:18) and there is no Bible example or teaching for a pope. Galatians 1:8 says that even if the apostles or an angel brought a contrary gospel to the gospel of Christ that he would be accursed. We can use these and many other scriptures to refute the position of the pope. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of things circulating lately that have pulled the pope’s quotes way out of context, spliced video and used outright lies to have him say things that he didn’t actually say. Most of these were shared by members of the Lord’s church. This is just the latest of many deceptive things on the internet. Sitting presidents and politicians are nearly always popular subjects that people spread lies about without checking sources. Christians, we need to refute falsehoods with truth, not with lies of our own.

I’m no social media expert and I’ll be first in line to admit that I’ve had more than my fair share of “You shouldn’t have posted that” moments. That has typically come in the form of some comment that went through my head that should have stayed there. I don’t intend for this to come across as condescending in any way because I am not without fault but let me encourage all Christians to check our sources before we click that share button or send that e-mail. It may sound legitimate and it most likely will look legitimate (satire and sensationalized pieces are made with that in mind) but that doesn’t mean it is truthful. 1 Thessalonians 5 says for us to test all things and hold on to the good but reject all forms of evil. Spreading lies (even lies that we feel are a harm to evil) is a form of evil and we need to make sure we are not guilty of it. Not only is it wrong, it harms our influence. Outsiders then believe we will say anything to get our point across and we lose the ability to reach, invite and inform. So before we click share or forward or retweet, let’s spend a few minutes with Google or Snopes and test things to make sure they are true before we compromise our influence.

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