Sky Links, 8-17-19

Nine Ways to Make Social Media More Christian

-Karen Swallow Prior

1. TREAT PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE ACTUAL PEOPLE. BECAUSE THEY ARE.

All the subsequent guidelines follow from this one. In many ways, social media is like a dinner party. When it’s not, it’s usually because people don’t treat others the way they would if those others were standing next to them in the same room. Our interactions on social media should be no different than they would be in person.

At a large social gathering, people mix and mingle. Chatting with strangers is not only allowed but also welcome. Yet even in a large gathering, one doesn’t enter into a circle of people, shout something obnoxious, and then dart out the nearest door.

If you choose to break into an ongoing conversation (which is certainly encouraged at parties and on social media), begin courteously and end courteously. Don’t tweet and run.

Of course, even the pleasantest parties can attract rude guests. Sometimes the politest way to deal with a boor is to ignore him and steer the conversation elsewhere with other guests. The same is true on social media. Don’t, as the saying goes, feed the trolls. It only encourages their boorishness.

Speaking of boorishness, don’t say anything on social media or say anything in any other way than you would face-to-face.

A Conversation with Kay Warren
-Signposts with Russell Moore

In this conversation, we talk about mental illness, loss, and the way that Kay processed the grief of losing her son, Matthew, to suicide. I hope that our conversation can be an encouragement to those in the midst of loss or those ministering to the grieving.

The Question Is God, the Answer Is Jesus
-Michael Spencer (with Mike Mercer)

When a discussion starts about God, the Christian is not faced with the same choices as other people.

Most people can go wherever they want in the discussion. They can talk about “God as I understand him” or “my higher power” or “my church says that God….” and so on. Really, the choices are practically infinite.

The Christian, on the other hand, must immediately think about Jesus. Jesus from the pages of scripture. Jesus the light, the revealer, the image of the invisible. Jesus in his own words, in the Gospels and in the totality of scripture.

Jesus reveals God, and from there, the discussion can go on.

What could have helped Marty Sampson’s faith
-Michael Frost wonders if more disciple makers are needed

In our information-drunk, effectiveness-addicted culture, finding genuine truth happens through the life-tested skill of gathering what is needed to sustain faith without killing faith in the gathering. We need elders, mothers, and abbots to help us.

We need flinty truth-tellers, men and women of deep faith, who haven’t stopped asking their cranky questions, and who give us permission to ask and ask and ask until we too have found genuine truth. Otherwise, we end up with the kind of brittle faith that Marty Sampson is now shedding.

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