Introduction and Complaint
“The Internet is of the DEVIL!”
The internet, social media and game systems get a bad rap these days among viewpoints like of Christians, elderly, conservatives (in reference to values, not politics), and anyone who simply doesn’t understand these platforms. Last year was a wake up call or revelation of a conviction and new passion; this new found purpose is the message of how the internet, social media and gaming systems are just as much a mission field as any foreign country. The key factor is people.
Technology/electronics have become essential in this fast paced, ever growing techie world. Even some of the poorest countries in the world are beginning to rely on technology. Tech isn’t just for the youngsters anymore either. I remember when Facebook was exclusively for college students and you had to have a college email address in order to register with the site. Boy have things changed! Parents make Facebook pages for their newborns! Side note, you may want to rethink giving your kids a Facebook. Survey says young people are not using Facebook as much these days and the social media giant is struggling to keep an audience. Social media is not the only culprit blamed for the downfall of society. That’s just one example of how Facebook has changed faces since the early days of the social media giant.
The internet in general has been labeled as evil, a weapon of the Devil and other various negative connotations. The internet is indeed a tool, weapon and resource. Both good and evil have the opportunity to use it. Pornograpghy has invaded homes, businesses and relationships leaving a destructive path hard to clean up. People become suddenly brave while confronting another person creating a lifestyle of cyber-bullying. People air out their own dirty laundry for the world to see. Parents complain about their kids, spouses teardown their mates and youth display their bodies as billboards. I think you get the picture. The internet can be used horrifically, causing irreversible consequences.
Game systems such as the Playstation and Xbox is another platform of technology that gets smeared as evil as well. They are viewed as a waste of time, money and is blamed for the violence of society. Perspective is everything. From my experience and observations there is more than meets the eye when it comes down to diagnosing the root issue with violent people and video games barely scratches the surface.
With all that said, there isn’t much to argue about. Everything mentioned above are viewpoints people hold and I respect those opinions up until things or people are demonized for using internet, social media and games. A weapon isn’t deadly until someone uses it for destruction, in the same breath that weapon can be used for protection, advancement and combating the enemy. The Scripture also reminds in Ephesians that we do not fight against people, but the enemy. I also do not believe we as Christians should create our own subculture and literally demonize anything and anyone who disagrees with our values, opinions, passions or lifestyles. If I am not mistaken the people who were impacted the greatest by Jesus while he was on earth was when he was in society and culture; not by looking at people on the other side of the fence pointing fingers at what is wrong with society. He got his hands dirty, dined with the outcasts and most despised people on earth.
Pointing fingers, passing judgement and playing the blame game is the easiest and most cowardly approach to apparently solving the problem. It simply does not solve anything. It is OK to evaluate, strategize and brainstorm ideas from those observations; but you must put those complaints to good use. Otherwise you’re simply feeding the fire of negativity, gossip and friendly fire. People are involved and when is the last time someone’s life was changed for the good when being demonized, torn down or excommunicated?
Transitioning into how the internet, social media and gaming as a mission field, I want to make it clear that I do not discredit any foreign/domestic mission work. I have grown up in the church and I have a passion for missions! Missionaries are some of my favorite people and I admire the work they all do. But I think we have compartmentalized missions and what the mission field is defined as. A friend of mine recently summed up what a mission field is and he said “Where you are so is The Lord.” I like that perspective because it keeps in mind that we are to go to all the corners of the earth, just as The Great Commission commands. All would include where you are and where you go. I have also seen churches post signs above doorway exits, “Now Entering the Mission Field.” I love that sign because it speaks truth. The mission is carried with us, meaning no matter where we are or what we are doing, we are to be a witness and Christ’s representative. Think about it, what does WWW mean? World Wide Web. The mission field is at your fingertips.
This concludes part one of this article series. At this point I am not sure how many series there will be. But this is a subject worth talking about, diving deeper into and munching on a little bit. Stay tuned for Part Two as we discuss where we go from here?
Hopefully this article thus far has been an encouragement to you and challenges you to always keep in mind that we are to share God’s love and it can be done in all sorts of ways. Even the internet.
Now read – Part 2 of the series – The Cyberbully