Thoughts On Social Media

20150219_125822I will eventually find an old blog post I wrote years ago about “Web Church” and perhaps re-post it.

The gist of that blog was simply that I don’t think any sort of social media exchange- even to the point of live chat or Skype (even with webcam) can fully replace face-to-face relationships.

In short, unless you can get a more full picture of who someone is, even chat with their closest peeps some, it can be quite a shell-game as to who they -really- are in daily life.

Even face-to-face people lie, or simply wear protective “masks”. So when one can hide behind a firewall, type or send pics, video, audio and simply words out to an international audience, some of whom have little to no discernment… or at times, even deep interest in truth, you get my point: web church and mere web relationships have their loose threads and at times, fully propagandizing (posing, not truthfulness) possibilities.

But on to today’s post 🙂

I’m pretty constant in reading news, checking out friends and other’s sites, Facebook and Twitter, etc., online. I mostly do so daily.

Same as via any medium of communication, slowing down, taking care for what one says, reads, posts or responds to is likely more important than we often think about or consider.

So much is pulp, not worth the time. Some tweets, posts or blogs are quite funny and can lighten your day. Some is pure rubbish and unfit for consumption. Then you have the adverts.

Sometimes one learns about serious pain, misery (prayer time!) or super-cool stuff like marriage, babies being born, birthdays and celebratory stuff via social media. Like anything, social media is a mixed bag of good, not-good, truth and fable.

Then what pops into my little pea-brain is this (stay with me, it may seem out of nowhere for a bit):

Colossians 2.17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body/substance belongs to Christ.


shade caused by the interception of light

image cast by an object and representing the form of that object

sketch, outline


the body both of men or animals

a (large or small) number of men closely united into one society, or family,
a social, ethical, mystical body

in the NT of the church

that which casts a shadow as distinguished from the shadow itself

–Which comes from a root word which means:

to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health

to save in the technical biblical sense

Years ago we heard a Bible teaching titled “Shadow or Substance”. Certainly, Paul in his writing to the Christian church is in context, saying “rules and regs. don’t provide what only the Risen Christ Himself can, does and will if you will trust Him”.

So many peeps get snared thinking this or that ritual will “fix” them… or conversely (and just as shallow) that if they do their best to -not- participate in X, Y or Z form/ritual, they then escape the lack of Christ they have decided such will condemn them to.

Big point: God is ALL about relationship. He sent God the Son in human form (there is “form”, “body”, “substance” for you!) and the third Person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit was then sent to fill, empower, Comfort and indeed convict us. He calls us to be part of His family, the “body of Christ” as it’s often called in the New Testament.

As we seek Him in faith, and do the messy, imperfect work of close and closer fellowship with Him and His people (“the church”) we find substance, not mere shadow or form. John (1 John chapter 1) talks about our following Him and then walking in the light together. Light, not shadow. Substance, not mere form.

So you have Paul’s solid teaching that Jesus -plus nothing- is sufficient.

You also must wrestle with the fact that Jesus as well as Paul- indeed taught… “doctrine”, certainly had patterns of doing as He walked the earth. So it is not merely and fully “who cares about sound teaching” as some say… “because it’s ALL about relationship”. It’s also about honest, authentic, relationship based on Him, indeed what HE thinks and says (Bible time!) and how HE teaches us by the Holy Spirit via the Gospels, Book of Acts, Paul and other’s letters in the New Testament.

In other words it’s both/and.

There is both nearness and distance between ourselves and God, between ourselves and one another.

Both in social media and our relationship (or lack of one) with God and others, these things ring true. You may experience shadow or substance with Him, with others, online or offline.

If we think in terms of marriage- you can be distant though communicating all the time (by not communicating in love OR truthfully, or keeping conversation shallow or simply one-sided), or you can share love, truth, depth and intimacy in a marriage.

I am convinced face-to-face is best with the caveats I’ve already mentioned here.

No air-brushing photos, no pretense.

And maybe that’s why many choose social media over face-to-face. Maybe we think we’re better people, or more “safe” at such a distance. Maybe we think we’re more “in control”, but of course anyone can say (type) anything at any time.

Indeed, in Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness even the devil quotes scripture.

So we have both blessing and curse in social media.

Sometimes it’s massively anti-social… here comes another election cycle for example!

Things to consider.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn



  1. Good points to consider Glenn – I hate to say admit it but social media is about the only way I can connect with people who I look up to. It’s got it’s downs and people post all kinds of bizarre stuff, certainly makes me more transparent to others when they see what I like, comment on, etc. But I get updates and interactions who unknowingly speak love and life to me even though we may have never met F2F or others I have been blessed to have made acquaintance but are in another geography. I’d love to have those deep F2F relationships that used to be around like in the old days. These days it seems people don’t have time for deep one on ones as busyness has overwhelmed them and we wax colder with the distance the develops in the nearness. Just some ramblings, not sure it contributes LOL

    1. Thanks Jim, yes, you’re right I think and yes, mobile generation, job changes, illness, etc., there are many reasons the Web and social media can and is a good thing. Again, it’s both/and. -Glenn

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