This past week on my Social Media feed I saw that…:
- Charles Stanley, long time pastor of First Baptist in Atlanta, had passed away.
- It’s good to make those baptized write out their testimony (one video had a lady saying once baptized she was leading a group of angels to protect animals all over the world and in another video a guy said he was “a piece of doo doo”—he didn’t say doo doo—and that’s why he wanted to get baptized).
- The General Superintendents released a very brief memo regarding doctrines and what is considered essential.
- A lot of Nazarenes didn’t like the memo from the GSs.
- Those who lean toward left were up in arms predicting the demise of the denomination; those on the far right made posters about lines in the sand with bad guys and good guys pictured; and those in the middle were mostly silent or vowed to get off social media because of the garbage spewed from both (all) sides.
- Someone wrote a few lies about me on social media (that’s always a pleasant surprise… well, maybe “pleasant” isn’t the correct word).
- A bunch of my friends had birthdays. I sent greetings their way.
- Generally, I side on the fence that says social media is an unscrupulous, vile, mostly horrible place (see above statements of the Nazarene firestorm regarding the GS memo and the one regarding lies concerning yours truly), then I saw a post comparing social media to the old town square. Items are discussed. People have opinions. Back and forth is good they said. I don’t think the argument convinced me. I still think that social media is the bane of my existence, but it did make me think.
- A friend gave an update on her cancer journey. I prayed then and there for her and her family.
- Other friends had parties and baby showers and proms pictures and trips to fun places.
- The GS’s posted a “clarifying statement” regarding their first memo. It was better than the two-sentence memo.
- Some people liked it. Some people didn’t. More blah, blah, blah ensued.
- A lot of churches had pictures of their services or people getting baptized or pastoral renewal reviews successfully completed.
- A lady from Central Church posted how she was watching the service in Wuhan, China. (Yeah, that Wuhan… I know, crazy).
- It was Just another crazy week in the Nazarene social media world.
My conclusion, social media, like other forms of media, is a tool. It can be used for good or evil. It can make you smile, cry or cringe. For holiness folks, like we claim to be, it can reveal our hearts. Let’s make sure that in all things “our activities should be life giving and affirming and should seek to uplift all persons.” Those words bold and italicized are the very last words of the Manual before the index. The very last “Amen,” if you will. It’s as if we needed one last reminder that as holiness people we need to act like it in all areas of life—including social media.