The Brave New Facebook World

Raj Gupta

It is astonishing to think that, in less than 10 years, there are over 1 billion users of Facebook. This represents 1 in 7 people in the world. I am one of the many who enjoys the ‘interaction’ that Facebook allows. It is not for deep conversation, but I now have many shallow connections with people I would otherwise have no contact with. Letting people know about events and one’s own significant moments is facilitated. There are many benefits.

However, and particularly in more recent times, I have become more acutely aware of the dangers.

Philippians talks about being ‘blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world’ (Phil 2:15, HCSB). A significant part of the motivation is seeing people come to know Jesus, and this is one place where the process is initiated purely through the quality of someone’s life.

What I found fascinating is that the particular method of being pure and blameless is to ‘do everything without grumbling and arguing ….’ (Phil 2:14, HCSB). Out of all of the areas that could have been highlighted, these are chosen.

This makes me return to Facebook.  For, at least in my observation (perhaps it is just my particular ‘friends’), whereas Facebook may have begun as a social connector, it is now increasingly being used to grumble. It may be about politicians, friends, events or something else. The point remains the same – Facebook, and other social media, can become a grumblefest.

Why am I talking about this in a post about ministry thinking? Because Philippians envisages and exhorts that one way in which people are converted is as Christians ‘shine like stars’ in a crooked and depraved world. Ephesians says to speak both truthfully and ‘only what is good for the building up of someone in need’ (Ephesians 4:25,29).

Sometimes, Facebook posts from Christians seem more like they come from a crooked and depraved world than hearts that desire to shine like stars in world, so that others would know Jesus.

The challenge: how are you going on Facebook?




Feature photo: Max_B