What Would Jesus Do . . . With Facebook?


Michael Horton wrote another one of his gems, “Would Jesus Have a Facebook Page?”, in the White Horse Inn blog. He cites a recent report written by Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Church Outreach Takes on a New Technical Touch,” in which she says:

Technology should ultimately be an enhancement, not a replacement, for gathering in person for worship, discussion, debate and service to others, Drew Goodmanson says. Goodmanson is chief executive officer of Monk Development, which helps churches use the Internet to fulfill their missions. He appreciates that “you can have a digital Bible in the palm of your hand or connect with others in prayer any time anywhere.” Nevertheless, Goodmanson says, “Jesus would not have a Facebook page. He wouldn’t be stopping in an Internet café to update his status.”

Horton argues that Christ and his church is not a virtual community, but one that has real people gathering in real places, worshipping and discussing, weeping and laughing, meeting and planning together, and sharing and communing together in the sacraments. The church is not done through Google, Skype, or Facebook. Horton continues:

Jesus doesn’t have a Facebook page. He doesn’t “friend” and “unfriend” at the click of a button. He doesn’t offer anonymous advice. Although of him it could be uniquely said that he is unique, he is not obsessed with expressing his uniqueness but delights in forming a fellowship of forgiven sinners around his hard-won victory.

Facebook Seminary
It is not only the gathering of the church that cannot be done in “the cloud.” Theological education, as well, is not a virtual affair, in which one reads books, makes “friends” in Facebook, and participates in online theological discussions with these “friends.” Who knows who these “friends” are? Are they members in good standing of a church? If so, what kind of church? What views do they hold? What books are they reading? I was once a member of a Filipino pastors’ group, but it turned out to be an eclectic group of liberals, Pentecostals, mystics, and self-proclaimed wannabes.

So often, these Facebook Seminary classes formulate their doctrines by consensus, not unlike how “Bible studies” come to conclusions by committee, often a committee of the uninformed. Some often come up with “new insights,” but “new insights” are almost always recycled heresies.

Not saying that Internet technology is all bad. But even with all of its benefits, be also forewarned of its many dangers.


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