By Greg Garrett, July 15, 2013
Yours are the tweets through which love touches this world,
Yours are the posts through which the Gospel is shared,
Yours are the updates through which hope is revealed.
Christ has no online presence but yours,
No blog, no Facebook page but yours. ~ Meredith Gould
I don’t hang around at bars, strip joints or casinos. I do spend a lot of time on the internet and some folks seem to think that’s worse. I could gamble, have an affair or conspire against the government on-line. I can’t drink or do drugs online but I imagine someone somewhere is working on that. Just as I don’t gamble, hang around strip clubs or conspire in the “real world” I don’t do it on the internet.
I don’t use filters. I’m not against them I just haven’t found any that really work for me, but they are available. Most of my posts and tweets are transmissions of my blog, the subject of which is Jesus, or comments about sports and picking on my friends and family. Some folks are afraid of the internet and I suppose they have had experiences that prove that fear. I find that through it I am able to share, encourage and “preach” seven days a week. No “real world” churches I know can do that. None would let me do that.
Am I exposed to ideas with which I disagree, some of them even labelled, “Christian” and images that I find offense? Absolutely. Some folks had problems when Jesus hung around with sinners, including tax collectors and prostitutes. They were called Pharisees. Is the internet dangerous? Yes. So is the “real world.” Nevertheless, Jesus told us to “go.” That means to leave the confines of the safe places and go where the darkness is. We have to bring the light, in fact that’s our mission. If we are concerned that we will be taken over by the darkness, we probably need a little more Jesus. If we suddenly find ourselves off the path, the delete and backspace keys are right there.
To those who are afraid they will be tempted, fouled or tainted, that’s what the Holy Spirit is for. I don’t find I’m tempted to have an affair or gamble on-line. That may be because I have a great wife and not a lot of money. I have to admit that I am often tempted to waste time. That’s the biggest danger for me. I have to be on constant guard against that. Some people think that spending the first hours of each day putting together a blog about Jesus is a waste of time. I’m okay with that.
As the end draws near more and more lost will be spending time online. The mission field is growing. There are dangers, but isn’t the mission worth it?
My wife is also online. She sees all my posts. She doesn’t always agree, but at least she knows what I’m up to. I keep in mind she’s watching and I guess that helps keep me straight and her prayers and critiques are helpful too.
Be brave, go with a trusted friend, but go and be blessed.