Christians love playing the “blame the media” game.
Not long ago, we might have had a legitimate claim that our reputation was bad because the media was against us. That’s not the case anymore.
Oh sure, the media in general may still think negatively about Christians, if they think about us at all. But the days of blaming someone else for our bad press are gone.
Do you know why Christians have a bad reputation today? It’s not because of CNN. It’s because of our own Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and YouTube videos!
Every day, we confirm people’s worst suspicions about us. There’s no one left to blame but ourselves.
Some Christians really act like jerks.
No, I’m not going to qualify that sentence by changing it to “some so-called Christians really act like jerks.” I’m talking about actual Christians. People who have a relationships with Jesus, read their Bible, go to church, share their faith and love their neighbor.
Then they get online and reinforce all the worst stereotypes about Christians as self-righteous, ignorant, out-of-touch jerks.
Pastors On Social Media
You know why so many Christians act like jerks online? Because they’re following the example of their pastor. (If that stings a little, sorry/not sorry.)
So why would I say something like that? Two reasons.
First, this blog is read by a lot of pastors, and someone who loves us has to tell us the truth about it.
Second, we have enormous influence over our fellow believers. Probably more than we should. Yet many of us seem to forget about that influence when we get online.
We’ll pray, study and edit our Sunday sermon, as we should. But when we get online we’ll shoot our mouth off without a second thought. Yet most pastors will reach more people with an offhand remark on our Facebook page than in our Sunday sermon. It’s a massive megaphone that we treat far too casually.
I regularly find myself appalled by the online behavior of pastors who are wonderful, gracious people IRL (in real life).
Social media is our public face. It’s like a massive magnifying mirror that reflects and amplifies everything we do and say. Especially our flaws. We have to stop using it to work out personal, political and theological vendettas.
Social Media – A Double-Edged Sword
The gatekeepers are gone. With social media there’s no one filtering the information.