Overcoming a Splintering Culture
Paul DeanDr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
- 2019 Nov 17
Human beings have always been divided. It’s because of human sin of course. But people are more divided than ever in our culture, and there are a multitude of forces contributing to that situation. Things like hate groups, race-baiters, those who have embraced critical theory in one form or another, and sadly, those who are merely influenced by such groups because they have no critical thinking skills of their own. They are part of the herd and they simply follow.
One of the dynamics that contributes not only to the herd but also to its enlargement and proliferation throughout our culture is the rise of numerous social media platforms. There’s an interesting paradox in that context. One would think that social media would allow persons of all stripes to interact with one another in a productive exchange of ideas. However, just the opposite has occurred. Certainly, people who identify in particular ways connect with others who identify in those same ways, yet they do not interact with news, persons, or ideas outside of their own group. The result is an increasing division in our culture and animosity toward those who are not part of our group. Our culture is splintering in ways it’s not done so before and the result can only be described as cataclysmic.
There’s a sense in which the splintering aided by the instantaneous and widespread connectivity of social media culture demonstrates the power of social media itself. Not only can individuals connect easily but groups can organize effortlessly as well. Too often, they organize for evil.
But, there is good news. Social media technology is one of those cultural goods that Christians can redeem. It’s one of those social goods that we can utilize for the advance of the gospel if we would only see its power and organize for the cause of Christ as opposed to merely utilizing those platforms for personal connection with others, or in far too many cases, for narcissistic self-aggrandizement. We need to be reminded t’s not about us; it’s about Christ and his kingdom. It’s about others.
No one would deny that there are Christian ministries utilizing social media in an effective way for the gospel. But we need to get this right at an individual level as well as a para-church level. Somehow, someway individual Christians need to see the power of social media, organize, and take personal responsibility for unified gospel proliferation. May we begin to think more and more along these lines, and may God grant us wisdom to engage. In the end, it’s the gospel that overcomes, and we want to be part of that.
Dr. Dean and Christi Johnson invite you to learn more about God, His world, and yourself. Listen to their podcast, True Worldview, and find other helpful resources there as well.