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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:9-12
Facebook: Faith or Folly?
1. Social networking is by far the #1 way Americans use the Internet (23% of online time, with Facebook accounting for 85% of that).
2. 500 million worldwide subscribers; Face (FB) most popular way people network (communicate).
3. On FB people select “friends” (get connected): have you chosen to be God’s friend on FB? (Jno 15:14)
I. FACEBOOK: FAITH OR FOLLY?
A. Faith on Facebook, Matt 5:13-16; Acts 8:4.
1. Spread the gospel (daily Scripture readings, songs, prayers, links to worthy Bible study sites and topics, study groups, etc.
2. Mass distribution of gospel teaching; Gospel meeting invitations…
B. Folly on Facebook. Prov 15:21: “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly”.
1. A great deal of sin and danger exists on Facebook (1 Pet 5:8).
2. Christians are not immune to its temptations: Pride and arrogance, anger and hate, gossip and backbiting, immodesty and profanity – all these and more are seen and participated in on Facebook.
3. Much of FB chatter amounts to “thinking out loud”, cf. Prov 12:23.
4. You should know: Strangers are just a few mouse clicks away – Be wise! Prov 13:16
II. THE FOLLIES AND TEMPTATIONS OF FACEBOOK.
A. FB Gives False Sense of Freedom from Accountability, Rom 14:12.
1. Just “keeping it real” and that you are “just being yourself” – and “that’s always a good thing”; only if heart is right, Psa 19:14; Matt 12:34-35.
2. Idle words are not innocent, Matt 12:36-37. (Lazy, useless)
B. FB Offers an Apparent Removal of Moral Restraints, 2 Tim 2:22.
1. FB is an outlet for supposed freedom from the “bondage” of moral restraint (indulgence). Shows disrespect for God’s law, Prov 29:18.
2. Much on FB shows that moral restraint has already been removed:
3. Photos of Christians immodestly dressed provocatively display attitudes of worldliness, 1 Tim 2:9-10; 1 Jno 2:15.
a. Christians must deny worldly lusts, Tit 2:12. Godly motives, pure speech and decent photos.
b. Pattern of good works, not moral abandonment, Tit 2:6-8.
4. Zero tolerance for anyone posting offensive/sinful material on your wall. No exceptions. Delete the offensive postings and remove “friends” who refuse to be decent.
5. Guard your influence (1 Cor 15:33; Tit 2:6-8; 1 Pet 2:11-12).
C. FB Holds up Privacy to Public Display.
1. Commercial punch line: “I’ve got to go embarrass myself on FB”!
2. Given to impulse; to typing before thinking, cf. Prov 14:29.
a. Decency and decorum are replaced with rudeness.
b. Private and even shameful things are publicly exposed, Eph 5:12.
3. Sometimes better to spare your words! Prov 17:27-28; 25:9-10
D. FB is the Perfect Venue for Uncontrolled Tongues, Jas 3:5.
1. All kinds of hurtful words that disrupt, divide, destroy, Prov 12:18.
2. Gossip, backbiting, rumormongering, evil suspicions, Prov 11:13; 26:20 (1 Tim 6:4).
E. FB Lends itself to Mindless Chatter – and Worse, Prov 13:3; 18:21.
1. Public consumption: Words will harm or help. (Consequences)
2. If you ridicule someone you have become arrogant and unloving. If you post profanity and join in coarse joking you have lowered yourself to join the world in the sewer of vulgarity (Eph 4:29; 5:3-4). If you post rumors, malicious gossip and tale bearing you have left the land of brotherly love and crossed over into the land of bitterness and malice, Eph 4:31-32.
F. FB can Consume Your Time, Eph 5:16.
1. Nielsen study: “Americans spend a third their online time (36 percent) communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging.” (“What Americans Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity”)
2. Americans are networking more and producing less than ever!
3. Face to face communication vitally important, Prov 27:17.
G. FB makes it Easy to have Fellowship with those who Practice Sin, Eph 5:11.
1. Christians sin when they socialize with unrepentant brethren who have been withdrawn from due to their ongoing sin (1 Cor 5:4-5, 9-13; 2 Ths 3:6, 14-15).
2. We cannot have fellowship with those who go beyond the gospel of Christ (2 Jno 9-11; Rom 16:17). How can we on the one hand identify someone as a false teacher (due to his false teaching) and on the other hand be “friends” with him on Facebook?
H. A Word to Parents, Eph 6:4.
1. Know what your child is posting/reading on FB – public access.
2. Don’t be naïve; get the facts.
3. Forbid indiscriminate “friending”; monitor their contacts.
4. Such knowledge is vital to train them in the way they should go, Prov 22:6.
Is your involvement on Facebook an expression of faith or folly? Do not be drawn away from God on Facebook; Always live your faith, 2 Cor 5:7.