What can the Bible teach us about engaging in the digital world? Perhaps more than you think…
Here are seven biblical reasons why YOU should be engaging online:
1. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We are commanded to make disciples of all nations. Did you know that if Facebook was a country it would be the largest nation on earth? The digital world is too big to ignore, if we are to follow the Great Commission we need to be making disciples online.
2. You are the Salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13)“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
In ancient times salt was used to flavour, preserve and purify. It was so valuable it was even used to pay wages. By being a part of the digital world Christians are able to be ‘salt’ in a space that desperately needs godly flavour and purity.
3. Let your light shine (Matthew 5:14-16)
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The Bible calls us to live our Christian lives before others. People are meant to look at us and learn something about God from how we live. This has to apply in the digital world. It may be easier to hide our faith online, but if people don’t meet God through our presence we are hiding our light under a basket.
4. All people...by all means (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
The Gospel is not constrained by culture, language or mode of delivery. We cannot refuse to engage digitally because St Paul, the greatest evangelist in Church history, shows us that we are to use ‘all means’ if we truly have a heart to reach ‘all people’.
5. Tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:15)
“While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him”
Some people feel the digital world is too murky for Christians to engage with. We do need to be wise in who we connect with online, but ‘it is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick’. We are called to associate with non-Christians, otherwise how will they ever hear or see the Gospel?
6. Be a good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
“But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.”
We are called to love our neighbours and are shown that the answer to the question ‘who is my neighbour’ is often surprising. To be a good Samaritan we need to firstly be in the same place as the person who needs help and secondly be willing to stop and give that help. If there are no Christians on the ‘digital roads’ how can we love our neighbours there? Who will be there to have mercy on the unfortunate?
7. Being one in fellowship (1 Thess 5:11 and John 17:21)“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Some people see digital fellowship as a threat to authentic fellowship, however rightly used digital can enhance existing relationships, create new ones and allow us to experience life together in ways previously unimaginable. Through digital we can ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn’ and just be ‘church’ in new ways.