I will be coming back to my series on epistemology later this week.
*****At least in the top five all time most read of all of my posts was one I wrote in 2009, titled, "Why To Delete a Facebook Account." When I look at the blog stats, it is still very often one of the most read posts for the day or the week. I don't think I've written about social networking since (you can listen to a sermon on it by Dave Mallinak from the 2014 Word of Truth Conference). Especially among fundamentalists or independent Baptists or separatists and even conservative evangelicals there is a wide range of opinion about social networking. When I say "wide range," I mean that this post might get very different and contradictory reactions. Some will really identify with what I'm writing and others might hate it. I have found with the 2009 post that there is both strong agreement and hostile opposition.
A lot of younger people think that older folk like myself just don't get it. Perhaps nothing seems more inane than explaining how you do "get it" to someone who says you don't. It dawns on you pretty quickly that it wasn't an argument. It was intended to shut down the conversation.
More than ever I see a rejection of the elderly or older generations by millennials. Maybe it is just generational to make fun of the previous generations and to see yours as superior to the older ones. The silent generation or boomers more than gen x, millennials, or gen y see danger in social networking. Some have succumbed either to look like they do "get it" or to submit to their only available or offered connection. In 2004 Zuckerberg foresaw bookoo bucks in the perceived weakness of people, not for trying to help the world be a better place. Facebook succeeds off the worst traits of humanity. It's underlying philosophy and very design discourages godliness. While cultural indicators trend downward, facebook stock rises.
What I have said about social networking is that it is possible to have a good "page," but that the massive difficulty of having one likely outweighs any benefit. Is active social networking compatible with complete obedience to scripture? Does the capability exist for social networking without sinning? I'm not sure. It is unlikely. Those are not even the best questions though. Facebook itself does far more damage than good to the degree that involvement encourages more facebook, which one can guarantee will cause even more damage. That is code for stumbling block.
I've noticed that people who judge social networking are stalkers, lurkers, and trolls. That's intended, it seems, to shut you up and sit you down, where you might stay in your diminished physical condition. Also, if you treat social networking like it might be the real world, you aren't getting the point. It seems that social networking is an opportunity to sin without accountability. You are not really sinning. You are only virtually sinning. Social networking provides cover or deniability for sinning. It is somehow removed from you as some kind of technological scapegoat. It is perfect for postmodernism, where everyone's truth is his or her truth. These are people who treat real life like it is a simulation, so surely social networking is a simulation.
I just signed up for an instagram account. Instagram is not really the friend of the desktop or laptop computer. I couldn't get started with instagram on my regular computer without further research. It is simple for the mobile device, which encourages the mobile device, which appears to me a soul sucking vortex for young people. I digress. I use my tablet almost exclusively for sermon notes, as a means of replacing paper and ink cartridges. Very seldom, I check email on it while traveling. I have added instagram to its purpose.
Based on what I've written in this post, it would seem that my instagram account could not be good. It will serve to encourage more instagram. I'm open to that criticism. My page is public. I'm not hiding here. It has my full name and my picture. It will keep one posting, because that is required to comment. It's been up for a day and I still have no followers, am not following anyone, and have had zero likes or comments. That is tell tale already.
The only point of my instagram account is to add my opinion to other instagram accounts. Yes, I hear the screaming and see the eye rolling. I don't count either reaction though, because it's only virtual anyway. You don't get it. I don't want to sit by without comment on what I see as brainless damaging social networking (I wanted my title to appear in the post). I'm not going to step into the matrix of facebook. However, instagram looks like it can be managed. Only an arm and a leg are affixed to the glue like substance spun with silicon.
My comments on instagram will be a light not hid under a bushel. I won't comment on everything I don't like, but I will comment. I will add perspective with a comment. I will praise with a comment. All of it will be light though. Most of it will be scripture, actual verses quoted. I don't plan on posting another picture on my own account. I'm not going to accept all followers (even though there will be nothing to follow), and I will follow only family members and church members with private accounts. I will solely exist for the sake of commenting. Maybe I'll come back later with a post to report all the times I have been blocked or deleted.
I want just to talk about instagram at this juncture. What is it that I see that I don't like, that I believe is unscriptural? I'm going to enumerate and then briefly elaborate not in any order.
1. Unbiblical Content in a Photo or Photo Description or Hashtag
Whatever is in the picture is on limits. If there is immodesty, you own it. If there is ungodly behavior, you own it. If there is a violation of gender distinction, you own it. If there is some expression of unfaithfulness to God's Word, you own it. Get rid of it.
2 Chronicles 19:2, "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD."
Psalm 101:3-4, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person."
Amos 5:15, "Hate the evil, and love the good."
Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other."
Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
2. Worthless Content
There is content that is worthless. Worthless is also evil, but I'm differentiating it as having no edifying purpose. Probably it's just selfish, narcissistic, a "selfie." It is self promotion, which is evil. I'm going to call it worthless though.
Psalm 119:37, "Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity."3. Lack of Positive, Aggressive, Real Christian Testimony, i.e., Lack of Love for God Shown
Proverbs 30:8, "Remove far from me vanity and lies."
1 Corinthians 10:23, "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."
1 Corinthians 14:26, "Let all things be done unto edifying."
The Bible should be all over a Christian's social networking. It should be a regular mention. It isn't something they have to try to do. It is who they are.
Matthew 5:15, "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house."4. Allowed Unbiblical and Worthless Comments without Rebuke
Matthew 12:34, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
2 Timothy 2:4, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
God is not this way. We should not be this way. The reproval of unbiblical comments will not be likely welcomed by the one commenting, but it will start him or her on her way to the gospel. Christ is the end of the law, but the law comes first. Everyone who believes the gospel starts with the confrontation of his or her sin. This is all over both the Old and New Testaments. It is an application of holiness and the doctrine of separation. I'll put two though.
Proverbs 19:25, "Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware."5. Attachments to Ungodly People through the Comment Section, Aiding and Abetting the Enemy
1 Timothy 6:5, "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
It seems that some professing Christians want commentary from unbelievers. They love that kind of praise of men. They say what will impress the ungodly for the kudos of the ungodly. It's not right. By doing so, they aid and abet the enemy. People should be asked if they are right with God. They should be confronted for their unbelief by believers. What is the point of developing a following of unbelievers in a comment section or in your followers? You'll find yourself trying to impress unbelievers, when you should be thinking about the pleasing of God.
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."Men should not be accepting the flattery of the strange woman, including in social networking. It's wrong.
1 Peter 3:12, "the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
Proverbs 5:3, "For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil."I've noticed that social networking is a way for men to collect their admirers. They lack in confidence in Jesus Christ, so they allow for women to flatter them with their acceptance.
Proverbs 6:24, "To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman."
Proverbs 7:5, "That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words."
Pandering is a kind of lie. People live a lie in these social networking situations, because they portray their lives in a way of their choosing. It isn't reality. It is pandering to a particular group of people to give them a false impression. I'm quite sure that the degree of social networking corresponds to the lack of confidence of the individual. He compensates with his social networking. He puffs himself up with his account. He uses other people as props as part of the impression he or she is making.
I'm going to be using my instagram as a means, part time of course, for calling out brainless damaging social networking.