Defenders of the Gospel in the Age of Social Media

By Tacoi Bell

The beautiful thing about the twenty-first century is that we are more connected than ever. Technologies like Zoom, Google Meet, and FaceTime, as well as social media channels allow us to keep up with friends and strangers both near and far. Suddenly, the world doesn’t seem so big after all.

This ability to reach more people than we had been able to before comes with a certain level of responsibility that we don’t always consider. We now have the ability to share the causes that we are passionate about with significantly more people than we could have before the digital age. The internet is a loud place, and we are constantly inundated with information from multiple sources. It can be difficult to sift through what is real and genuine and what is false and divisive. 

Sadly, the gospel is not exempt from these heated online debates. Gospel preachers, teachers, ministers, and theologians alike take place in these very public discussions concerning the Bible. And the results of these discussions can be detrimental to the body of Christ at-large.

Learning the Gospel

Proverbs 25:2 tells us that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is the honor of kings to search out the matter (KJV). Learning and deep revelation from God can, at times, feel like a special time of treasure seeking. God can speak to us plainly, but more often his messages are shrouded in mysteries and told in parables. The beauty of it all is that God trusts us to seek him more to learn what he is saying. 

We learn about God by spending time in his Word, learning how he speaks, praying, and even fasting. These spiritual practices help us die to our flesh until we find ourselves completely submitted to his will and what he wants to say to us. Learning the gospel involves spending time with the text itself and seeking God for the rest.

A person is holding an open Bible with highlights throughout

Defending the Gospel

The Gospel of Matthew makes mention of scribes several times. Different Bible translations change the word scribe to teachers of the law. Those scribes existed in both the Old and New Testament, their functions are different between the two. New Testament scribes were responsible for learning about the Old Testament laws and communicating those laws to the people, helping to clear up any discrepancies concerning questions about the law. While this was necessary for understanding the times in which the laws were originally written, the scribes of the New Testament placed unnecessary yokes around the necks of the people. Jesus knew this when he began his earthly ministry and issued a hearty rebuke to the teachers of the law as well as the Pharisees in Matthew 23. 

In some regard, social media outlets like X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook become battlegrounds for scribe-like behavior. In our passion to defend the gospel and spread truth, we don’t recognize that we are placing unnecessary, unattainable yokes around the necks of people and discouraging new converts to the faith. Please understand, the Bible is worth defending. It is worth interpreting correctly. However, correcting faulty thinking can be done in a way that does not cause others to regard us who are in the faith in a negative way.

Ephesians 6:15 tells us that the shoes on our feet should serve as the gospel of peace. In order to share the gospel peacefully, we should understand it as well our responsibility to share Jesus in a way that makes this walk appealing to others. We can know what we believe, know what is true and right, but we must take care in how we express this. God doesn’t need us to defend  him in a grandiose way; he can defend his Word himself. 

Featured photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash; in-text photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

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