“I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half,” he said in an AP story. “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.”According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of its members have either used or been faced with evidence from social networking sites in divorce cases in the last five years, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. A do-it-yourself divorce site in the UK has reported that one in five petitions it handles cited Facebook.
Let’s just say it: “People are getting divorced because of Facebook.”
It’s How You Use the Tool
I say that’s ridiculous. Fun fact: Facebook is neither good nor evil. It’s just a tool. It’s all about what you do with it. Let’s not condemn the entire tool because a few people don’t know how to use it.
It’s easier to live in extremes when there is confusion, and the church is really good at condemning things because they’re too hard to control: books, movies, television, the Internet, etc. What if we had abandoned those mediums because they were occupied by darkness? I shudder to think where we would be without being able to use those tools in today’s world. The church is called “light” for a reason. There have been some courageous, Bible-believing followers of Jesus who took a stand and demanded light in the dark places, and I’m thankful because now it’s our turn.
Facebook for Good
Here are some ways a tool like Facebook can be used for good:
- Be Real: Let your staff and team be the genuine people they are. Don’t use them as promotion robots. Release some control and let them use Facebook naturally.
- Remove Barriers: Connections through Facebook tend to break down barriers for people. I know several folks who attended a church already knowing several members. It really helps.
- Have Conversations: Everyone is busy, but there’s something about a Facebook conversation that most people make time for. Whether it’s four sentences back and forth or month long messages, it can all serve to shine a light in dark places.
- Evangelism: I think this is an obvious one, but there’s another layer. If you are living a compelling, God-honoring life through Facebook, people will reach out to you with faith questions. We don’t always have to do the pushing.
Author Danielle Hartland brings a great perspective to this issue. I believe Shakespeare was right when he said “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so”. You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’re interested in learning more…
- N.J. pastor: Thou shalt not Facebook (boston.com)
- Thou shalt not Facebook, says pastor who fears it is ruining the marriages of his congregation (dailymail.co.uk)
- -Thou Shall Not Use Facebook? (answersforthefaith.com)
- Should Your Church Increase Its Online Presence? (churchm.ag)