Saturday, January 21, 2023

Christians in an Online World

By: Melanie Moore

We live in the age of internet trolls, cyberbullying, artificial intelligence, and online filters. These words are all relatively new as we see culture and language shaped by technology. Much of what is real life is often hidden behind anonymous profiles or computer-generated filters and masks.

How are Christians to live in this world?

Should we join in the online arguments, declaring our opinions and righting the wrongs of the world by participating in online debates?

Should we shine a spotlight on ourselves and create a platform to announce our views to the world?

Should we turn it all off and go completely offline?

What is the right answer?

This is something that I've been wrestling with in the last few years. I love the community and social feel of blogging, Facebook, Instagram, etc. However, there is a dark, negative side that can often be discouraging. What is the right thing to do? What would God want us to do with social media and how we interact online?

I believe that the way we are to interact online would be exactly as we should interact "in real life" -- we must seek to reflect and honor God in all we do. Do our interactions online reflect and honor God? Do readers see our reply to an online debate and think, "Wow, this person must be a Christian based on the way they replied"? Please understand that as Christians we are not called to have zero opinions or thoughts. Of course not! Jesus was quite outspoken on his beliefs which taught others.

However, we must be sure that our presence in the lives of others -- whether online or in real life -- is reflective of God and points others to the love of Christ.

So, whatever we say or do today, whether online or offline, may we do it with the love of Christ and in a way that continually honors Him with our words, thoughts, and actions.

I would love to hear your thoughts -- what is the best way for us as Christians to navigate this online world? Do you feel yourself pulled away from being online or do you consider social media to be an online platform for encouraging and ministering to others? Please share your thoughts!

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