HOW SOME CHRISTIANS STILL VIEW,
CONNECT, AND INTERACT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Three categories of Christians characters on social media
A must read if you’re interested in the mandate of the kingdom beyond today’s religious walls.
by Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
I am sure by now we all must have come to this conclusion, that the social media has become a powerful, effective platform of the convergence of thoughts, ideologies, experiences, grace and wisdom that can immensely enhance our corporate identity and mandate as members of the body of Christ
A platform for accelerated integration
Since the beginning of the restoration of God’s divine, redemptive program on the day of Pentecost over 2000 years ago, the social media has stood out to be the most powerful, single apostolic tool, given to the church to facilitate and accelerate the mandate of reformation and reintegration of the body of Christ, for the single fact that it allows us to source and resource each other’s grace, wisdom, gifts, and spiritual experiences beyond the religious border and walls of men. The social media has by far brought equalization of information, knowledge and resource for personal and corporate human development, and the list goes on.
After the scattering and confusion of human language and its false system of unity structure. epitomized through the Tower of Babel, the ideological culture behind the internet and social media technology has turned out to become an important part of human convergence and its socioeconomic lifestyle, that has become almost non-avoidable part of life. Our lives, families, work, business and even spirituality are all interconnected to today’s 21st century social media culture.
Unfortunately, many are still skeptical about its use, in terms of what they define as the ultimate end result of the eschatological prophetic expectation and manifestation of the internet and the social media. The reality is, almost everything we own and use from a material point, are vulnerable to human government, and in fact, carries a fingerprint of an international, global political influence that we cannot completely avoid.
Right from the way we use our phones, to our banking system, all the way to how our social identity is captured in schools, malls, and recreation facilities, are all tools for the state to track and know our preference better. Thus, to argue non-usage of the social media will make us safer or be protected from the powers that be is a total lie.
But the point is, if we can just lift our eyes beyond the narrow prophetic expectation that has sought to limit the intention of the mandate of the Father’s redemptive program, we will begin to appreciate that the social media is merely a tool given just as past seasons and generations were also given tools that facilitate the development and advancement of the agenda of the kingdom.
How we understand and utilize this tool is paramount to the heart of the Father and those given the spiritual responsibility to guard and manage this tool before the next unveiling season of God for creation emerges.
I’ll like to speak through this note, some points I have noticed, and I feel I should carefully highlight them as we press further into our mandate for the 21st century, even as the concept of social media become more and more part of our spiritual interaction.
Reexamining the philosophy of our connection
Just as there are those we will naturally connect to in conversations, there those who may not be that fortunate in our preference of what we term as like. We struggle to connect with some individuals not necessarily because what they are saying is incorrect or irrelevant, it’s just something about the stronghold of the prideful, fallen, adamic nature in our personalities that makes us think or feel we connect better with some people, and disconnect with others.
Please hear me well, I am not referring here to those individuals who go out of their way to attack our character and grace without personally knowing who we are, such individuals, regardless of who they are, or what they represent must be confronted, and be politely asked to leave our space for the sake of our own peace.
I am referring here to people who see things differently, after all, we all see things differently, and the reality is, only in the matured character, nature and culture of the kingdom life, can we all see things through the ascended, prophetic view lens of Christ who fills all things.
A presumptive, repulsive, character, attitude is increasingly playing out on social media platforms today amongst Christians, to the degree that it’s beginning to threaten the apostolic integration of the emerging ecclesia, and I am greatly concerned about this negative trend even as we enter the new spiritual season.
The fact that we usually don’t know or have the historic background of individuals we connect to on social media, even if we may have been informed about them, should better inform us to be more careful and cautious on how we think, see, and respond to what we read on people’s social timeline.
We don’t have to always agree with everything we see, or read on others page and timeline, yet, it is critically important how we respond in our disagreement with what we read. Disrespecting and being rude to people because we don’t agree with their view, culture, doctrine, and even theology is the lowest form of immaturity, particularly, if we claim to be a follower of Christ, and worse still, to be a leader who is representing the body of Christ.
It is highly critical we remind ourselves often that we are engaging with people and not robots on social media; yes, people we may never have met nor have naturally contacted are those we seek to befriend and interact with on social media.
Therefore, your approach should be that of a person with a keen, wisdom and desire to want to learn and understand where the ideological background that informs such individuals and their [writings] post comes from, so your comments and inputs can be more constructive, precise, and complementary, if need be, than to just merely seek to dismiss what you read due to your lack of a broadened knowledge, insight, and understanding.
The social media is all about interaction; the way we interact therefore, should be highly defined by wisdom, sobriety, and matured understanding. One of the laws of effective engagement with social media, indeed also the law of human relations, is to never assume or presume about any person or subject.
In other words, you must be highly informed, willing to listen, with a well-balanced emotional intelligence to engage in conversation, regardless of how complex the nature of the subject matter of discussion may seem. What we see, write, or say in response to what we read, carries real time, spiritual and emotional energy that may better enhance our lives and assignment, or keep us critical, negative and disconnected and ultimately isolate us in our potential relationships.
I have in the past written extensively about the importance and impact of social media in relating to the concept of the kingdom of God, and I think I should repost some of these important articles to refresh our minds. It’s amazing how our unseen, individual character attitudes, beliefs, preferences, ideologies, insecurities, exposures, ignorance and maturity are all displayed on social media today without us knowing it. The social media platform, for many is a place the can post and say whatever they feel like saying without a sense of sensitivity to divine direction.
To them, it’s a place where they confront others, especially, those they avoid, or are afraid to debate and engage in real time conversation. The social media is not and should never be a place to score point or try to judge others. It’s really unfortunate that many who use the social media space, still do not fully understand the power of the platform in the transformation of others because they haven’t realized the power of human character and the impact of words.
Your words, or post is the very extension of your life and spirituality. Your word goes before you, and words carry every last essence of your person and personality. Your words cannot betray you, but you can absolutely betray your own words by your act of duality. I have been on Facebook since 2007, and by the grace of God, I’ve been able to maintain my presence by representing the gospel of the kingdom.
Today, I have more people following me and what we represent on Twitter and WordPress than Facebook, yet, I have chosen to maintain my presence on Facebook because I believe this is the desire of the Lord until he speaks otherwise. We move only by the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit and not by how we feel.
I have said this before, please, permit me to say it again, the social media is a powerful platform not just to connect with each other, but to effectively advance the mandate of the kingdom, and this is a game changer for the advancement of ministry.
Yet, it is critical we get this clear, the kingdom of God just like that of the powers of darkness gets to be advanced through human vessels. If representatives of the kingdom of God don’t have the pure, refined knowledge and maturity of how to connect and interact with others who may not necessarily belong to their constituents, within the broader scope of the ecclesia’s community, how can we then advance the kingdom of God in an integrated manner if we have a wrong attitude of response on social media?
Attitudes and response
Many of us who claim to be representing the kingdom completely lack the values and culture of the kingdom, and this is even now played out on social media that requires we urgently address it. I see these types of responses on social media which I think we should give a thought, so that we are not driven by a wrong spirit when responding to people’s post or comments.
There are posts and comments we are naturally drawn to, and often times, we agree with what has been said. Yet, there are other posts and comments we see, and we immediately scroll through to the next page, because what is being said is regarded by us as irrelevant. Such posts, takes nothing, nor had to us in terms of energy or value.
There are other posts, however, that when we see their titles or captions, we get agitated, defensive, critical, and in fact, we immediately react to such post and writings without processing our thoughts. We allow our imbalance, sometimes, immature emotions drive our action, in a very negative, reactional mode.
This third kind of attitude is poorly birth out of several reasons that are often presumptive and misconstrued. I have tried to highlight some of the reasons for this kind of response which are;
A. You assume the you know better
B. You feel the point or matter raised is misrepresenting
C. You assume the post is a directly or indirect challenge to your personality, or to the constituent you represent, and so you, react.
D. You don’t like the tone in which the post comes across to you.
E. You assume the person addressing the subject matter is not a qualified authority on the subject.
F. You feel you are an authority who have some good knowledge about the content or subject matter in the post, but what you read seem to be challenging your benched marked knowledge by a greater, elevated understanding, and that of course, makes you feel out of control, and instead of you seeking in humility to learn, you rather choose to react to the post and the writer in a very negative manner
G. You just don’t like the person even though you’ve never met the individual before. Something in you just don’t like the person or his or her personality. Basically, you’re being prejudiced, and this is an anti-Christ spirit by definition.
Meeting people on social media, and engaging with them in a polite, constructive manner demands we first remove from our thought and intention, every form of prejudice and stereotype attitude, formed within the mindset of our subconscious, particularly as followers of Christ and members of the household of faith.
As men and women whose values of existence differ from that of the world system, our culture and outlook to life should never be that which seeks to break down others and the mandate of the kingdom. The only thing we are called to destroy, is the works of darkness and not our brothers and sisters. We must learn to consciously follower the nature character of Christ in all we say and do.
Let’s stop running with a message that is yet to be truly formed in us, and if we do, that will be known as hypocrisy. A blind, judgmental attitude without clearly understanding of the content and context of what you’re reading, or that is being communicated through other means, is a clear reflection of gross childishness.
It’s time to be the light of the world, even on social media. We must stand for truth and defend the cause of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and his kingdom, with faith, sobriety, fairness and boldness without apology. We must never give in to religious and unholy compromise. Yet, we must never show rudeness to others, particularly, those who are non-followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light so shine that men may see and give glory to your heavenly Father who knows and sees all things.
The pathway of maturity
Allowing ourselves the opportunity to develop and know more about others culture, identity and even values, is a beautiful gesture that will further build and enhance our strategy of communication and integration.
There’s a world out there that is far bigger than what we assume we know and understand. A matured person always seeks first to be quite to learn and add to his or her knowledge by listening to others spiritual ideology and experience.
Sometimes, being quiet does not mean you’re ignorant, it simply means that you are seeking as a matured person, to learn more from others experience, particularly, if they are speaking on a subject that interest you, or maybe they are speaking from a perspective that seem a bit strange and different from the default environmental view lens perception you are accustomed to, which often happen in the Body of Christ due to various reason.
If you’ve not truly learnt the wisdom within the principle of being quiet with a strong, keen, observational attitude that pays close attention to details, particularly about people, places, and events, there’s the likelihood that you will always jump into false, negative conclusions.
Let’s be part of those building the kingdom of God through the lives of others.