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Putting a 'Christian' Face on Facebook

With every new technological development, a time always comes to explore its effects on Christianity. The invention of the telephone made gossip a bigger concern than ever before. The Internet made pornography widely available and almost untraceable. So, what about social networking? How do we put a "Christian" face on Facebook?


First, we should watch our language. Admittedly, it is easier to write in "text speak," and most abbreviations present no problem. I use "LOL" as much as the next person, and if you want to "ROFL" (roll on the floor laughing), go for it. But words that are vulgar or take the Lord's name in vain — though shortened — are inappropriate and sinful.

Remember, status updates are equivalent to speaking to a friend face to face. I don't want to know that the "blankity-blank test" kicked your "blankity-blank." I sympathize with you and hope your test went better than you thought, but if I can fill in the blanks, so can everyone else. Also, signs (#, @, *, %, etc.) as substitutes for letters are just wrong. If you wouldn't say it to your grandmother, why would you say it on the Web?

And let's remember that gossip and slander are sinful behavior. You don't actually have to speak the words for them to be inappropriate. I have had discussions with Christians who contended that "It isn't wrong if I post it on Facebook (or Pleonast, GCK), because only a few of my select friends will see it!" Gossip is gossip, even when it occurs on a social network.


Second, we should be careful about the images we post. I love sharing pictures with friends and family who do not live nearby. That's what Facebook is all about — keeping in touch with those we can't see face-to-face. But sometimes we do things in the privacy of our homes that would be inappropriate in public — such as wearing certain clothes. If you want to sit in your family room in a tube top or swimsuit, fine — as long as you are not parading yourself around in public. However, if you choose to post a picture of yourself in that attire, you may as well be walking down Main Street. Would you want to bump into your preacher or elders dressed like that?

Images that actually show unchristian behavior are wrong on two fronts. First, they can ruin your reputation and destroy the example you are trying to set. Second, and more importantly, the behavior was unchristian even before the photo was taken. Should you even have been participating in that particular activity?

I've seen photos of Christians holding cups and I've wondered about the contents based on the scene and individuals around them. Were they drinking alcohol? I don't know, but the photos caused me to question it. By participating in the activities and posting pictures, you are proving that you are just like the others around you. Jesus taught that we must be in the world, but not a part of the world (John 17:14-16).

Inappropriate Posts from Friends

Finally, consider your profile. I enjoy finding old friends and reading their profiles to discover what they've been up to and what they are doing now. Does my best friend from High School still love the same things? Do we still have as much in common? The problem comes when we post or allow others to post inappropriate material on our wall.

Take time to examine the content on your profile carefully because it reflects on you. You may not have made that crude comment, but by allowing it to stay on your wall, you are condoning it. The same applies to comments made about your photos. I have asked friends to delete comments about photos on which I've been tagged because I didn't want to be associated with that kind of comment.

You have the power to delete anything on your profile. Exercise this power to make sure your profile shows who you truly are — a Christian, formed in the image of God, striving to live a Christ-like life.

Selected & Slightly Edited