Posted by: JennyRain | February 1, 2010

Would Jesus use Facebook?

The short answer? I do not know – because I am not Jesus.

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog (all four of you 🙂 ), you know I never give short answers to anything, so here is my attempt at answering that question.

I have a lot to learn about this social-media revolution. When I am around the GenY consituents in the workplace, I am constantly reminded about how much I do not know (after all, it was me who – less than four years ago asked “What is an iPod?”)

So I approach this topic fully cognizant of the fact that:

1 – I am not Jesus

2 – I have a lot to learn about social media

But it remains an intriguing question for me for a variety of reasons.

1: Social media gets the message directly to the people who are interested and cuts out the middle-man.

Jesus seemed to like that approach too. We know that He was an itinerant preacher who left the synagogue (the established order) and went to speak directly to the people.

It’s not that Christ did not try and work within established communication vehicles – on the contrary, He tried again and again to begin His message in the synagogues, but was frequently kicked out (e.g., Luke 4.28-30).

Would Jesus use social media? Yes because it gets the message directly to the people.

2: Social media allows for a broader-base of virtual communication.

Jesus was about relationships. Though we see Him – at times – ministering to large crowds (John 6), We see Him more often talking to, touching, discipling, and healing people directly.

His Presence is transformative, He can work miracles, yet He most often exercises this power “up close and personal.” For instance, though He was “in the crowd,” Jesus often stopped to have personal, intimate conversations with people who were standing near Him…

Women in need of healing: Mark 5:21-43,

Zaccheus: Luke 19:1-10

Nicodemus: John 3.1-21

How often does social media allow us to have face-to-face conversations with others and learn about their real needs and struggles? In order to see a person eye-to-eye, we have to come out from the virtual world we exist in behind the computer screen.

Jesus was not virtual – He was real.

Would Jesus use social media? No because it is impersonal.

3: Social media allows us to get the message out instantaneously.

Jesus waited approximately thirty years to begin sharing His story. During that time, He was undoubtely around the same people that He eventually ministered to. He seemed not to be in any rush to share His story and at one point even told His mother, “my time has not yet come” (John 2:4)

Additionally, Jesus was the Creator of the Universe and undoubtedly had the ability to share His story with the entire known world of the first-century. I mean, God could have just boomed from heaven, “Hey world, it’s me, God. I’m here. I’m real.”

Then he could have thundered, or done some other miraculous thing to prove it. But Jesus did not do this. 

He took time to interact with people and get to know their hearts. He did not rush through His interactions with them. Jesus gave each person much more than 140 character-strings (John 4)

Would Jesus use social media? No because being intentional with His message is more important that His message being “instantaneously” delivered.

4: Social media is of the culture for the culture.

Our culture invented it, our culture maintains it, our culture promotes it and in turn, it is impacting our culture.

Jesus was counter-cultural.  He bucked the traditions of His time and angered a lot of people because of it. For example, Jesus admonishes us that…

If you want to lead, serve others (Luke 22:25-27)

Women are not second-class citizens (Luke 7:36-50)

Ah, the entire semon on the mount is counter-cultural (Matthew 5-7)

Social media is creative, no doubt. It is revolutionizing the established communication vehicles we have known for decades, similar to what Jesus did, and as a result, is impacting the culture we know.

I will concede that because of the creative revolution that social media are causing – a revolution similar to what Christ caused when He came to earth – there is a possibility that this “type” of communication vehicle would have been used by Christ. However, it probably only would have been used if Christ Himself were the inventor 🙂

Would Jesus use social media? Maybe.

As followers of Christ, we are asked to consider the efficacy of social media and other forms of communication in sharing our message.

One medium I have chosen to use is blogging to share my story, my heart, and my faith. This is a style of sharing my faith that works for me, and hopefully encourages others along the way.

I am not sure if Christ would use these types of social media to convey His message… it is something to consider and in doing so, it challenges me to consider what vehicles I can use, should use, to share my own faith journey.

Another question I am curious about is this: Would the apostle Paul have used social media?

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Responses

  1. What a fascinating post! I think you might be onto something here. 🙂 I’ve subscribed to your blog through Firefox RSS Feeder. Thanks!

    • Awesome – thank you 🙂 Love your blog… the pix are great on it 😉


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