Facebook is one’s personal realm that is open to the public. Not long ago I saw a brother’s lament about how a member of the congregation where he served was openly flaunting his sinful activity with a picture (or pictures) on Facebook (FB). He inquired of others about how best to deal with that. This is new territory to me, so an answer I could not quickly give. I would, however, like to share with you a word of caution.

Facebook is personal

FB is a means to communicate information that is personal; what you want to write or what you want to show on FB is strictly your prerogative. Since it is personal and you are free to express yourself as you wish, others can’t stop you; in fact, there might even be some encouragement from your friends toward this end. When you do this, however, others are invited to post their comments to those things you say and show – even those comments you don’t like. Remember, it is also public.

Facebook is public

It is a social community website where people who are “friends” are able to see what other “friends” post (including all things you say and pictures you show). If one is connected to “friends” of a like mind, then those of like mind will see it. I have over 400 “friends” on FB, with the vast majority being connected with the Lord’s church. Some of my “friends” are members of a denomination; I am also connected with my family and people I have known from earlier years. I have dropped about five, maybe ten people from my “friends” list because of crassness, vulgarity, or other reasons. Those things I post I either want all to see it or my remarks are harmless enough that it matters not whether it is seen.

Facebook is a tool

I use FB not only as a social community website, but also as a tool. I am able to spread news around that I think is important. While I generally stay away from politics, I don’t stay away from things pertaining to biblical matters. As with any tool, a misused tool used can be harmful to the user. You, who are Christian, have an obligation to remember that what you post will be seen by others. When you post, you not only want others to see it, but you are also inviting others to respond to what you posted. A personal thought or image on a public community website will get you exactly that.

Remember whose name you carry: you carry your own name, your parents’ name, and, above all, the Lord’s name. Surely you don’t want to soil any of them – do you? RT

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