Social Media & the Gospel
Paul DeanDr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
- 2019 Nov 13
Everybody’s on social media these days. Well, not everybody. It just seems that way, and that impression is owing to the nature of social media itself. Social media platforms enable people to connect with others all over the world, and they enable them to do so instantly. It’s social media that’s given rise to immediate news, fake news, and viral news. Of course, we’re all aware of such. But let’s think a little about these things.
Certain happenings are blown out of proportion via social media. Problems are made out to be larger than they are. False information is spread, and in other instances issues are created that really weren’t issues at all. There’s a power in social media. For the most part, there are groups who utilize social media to get their message out or connect with one another. At the same time, those same dynamics serve to divide people and groups as well. Identity politics, a culture of victimization, and intersectionality, to name a few, are new but common forces at work in our society. The melting pot is no more, and as a nation we’ve embraced the ultimate tribalism, though the ones who’ve done so would deny such for themselves and accuse others of the same. This ultimate tribalism with it’s rapid rise is owing to the connectivity they have via social media.
Now, rather than sounding the alarm so to speak, and we should do that, we should see our situation as a tremendous opportunity for the gospel. Only one force actually breaks down barriers and truly brings diverse people together – the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And by way of principle and the resulting ripple effects, there’s only one worldview that will enable a culture comprised of so many diverse subcultures to maintain societal unity: the Christian worldview. Multiculturalism divides. Identity politics divides. Intersectionality divides. And more than that, these and all other worldviews not only divide, but they favor forced compliance when allowed. We’re already hearing calls to eliminate free speech and freedom of religion in America. But the gospel, by contrast, is not forceful; it’s not coercive. Rather, the gospel is persuasive. It’s the gospel that says there is salvation, and that Christ is the only way of salvation, because He is, but the non-coercive nature of the gospel is that which allows for freedom of any kind in civil society. It is that message and it’s power that can spread through, among other platforms, social media. We need to redeem social media for the redemption of individuals – and our culture as a whole.
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.