2 John 1:12 – Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
A few days ago I got back on Facebook.
To most people, that would be a non-event.
Not so for me.
I got off Facebook a few years ago. It was one of the accessories to the downfall of my marriage.
That isn’t to say I was Mr. Perfect on Facebook during this time. I wasn’t. Once my relationship started to go south, I spent some time trying to fix it, but once I realized that it was too far gone, I became very disrespectful. I was disrespectful of my now ex-wife and I became disrespectful of women in general.
I removed myself from Facebook to seek the Lord’s face and get back into the relationship with my First Love, Christ.
As time went by, I dated a couple women, finished seminary, started a company, and started ministries. Throughout all of it, everyone was telling me I should connect with them on Facebook or that I should promote it on Facebook or that I should simply “be” on Facebook.
I’m no stranger to social media. My Twitter account has 1,500 followers (@boyradd). My Instagram has become the way I take pictures and video now (@boyradd). And my blog is sent out to over 2,400 people weekly (Boyradd.wordpress.com). But Facebook always bugged me.
If you run a Google search of “Facebook destroying marriage relationships,” you get 6,240,000 hits. Every publication from Women’s Day to The Examiner, every online news source from ABC to FOX, and even people on Facebook have posted articles about how social media, and particularly Facebook, destroys marriages.
Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
I was a statistic of that.
As a Christian and graduate of seminary in church planting, we make our lives on statistics. How many people are coming to church? How many people are getting baptized, converted, marrying within the church, outside the church, how are tithes, and is the mortgage getting paid down adequately. Those are all the kinds of numbers pastors and church leaders can expect to read. Just look at the Acts 2 church! Imagine the church office manager having a line of 5,000 new members to add to the scroll!
But I hate being a statistic. And I hate that social media was a player in that.
Now, before I continue, I want to say that what both my ex-wife and myself did on and with social media was completely of our own doing. Satan simply placed the apple in front of us and we bit. For myself, that apple was in the form of disrespecting both her and God through the words I shared.
With the ministries that God has provided me recently, I needed to be on Facebook for mere communication purposes. So Monday night, after much prayer and through eyes filled with tears, I reinstated my account.
When I did that, I saw that everything from the past years all the way back to 2009, when I got on Facebook, was STILL THERE! Oh boy, what could I have posted back in 2009, 2010, and 2011? I am sure it was not all good.
And I was right.
Mimi helped me to go through my timeline back to 2009 and clean it up. There was one post in there where someone I know very well responded to one of my posts with something like, “You are a child of God, Fred, so you should act like it.”
She was right (thank you Ms. V! You are a beautiful, strong woman of God!)
Unfortunately, at that time, I just did not see that or understand that.
I was a Christian. But I was about as blind as one could be.
Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
I posted Bible verses, Christian music lyrics, and some of my own theological views. But I also posted coarse language, disrespectful words, and outright anger on my feed.
So Monday and Tuesday nights, I stayed up until 3AM reading every post and praying to God after most of them to forgive me for the words I had said. After asking forgiveness, I deleted what I found as a negative influence to the world and how it sees Christ.
But beyond that, I needed to apologize to one particular person.
No, I don’t have any hopes or desires to get back together with her. But I did need to apologize to her for some of the words I had posted on my Facebook at that time about what we were going through. Not the easiest thing I ever did, but necessary.
Now I am sure that I missed cleaning up some stuff. I really tried to catch everything I could, but with as much as I posted back then, I most likely missed a post or two.
Moving forward, my prayer is that everything that comes out of my mouth, my heart, my brain, and my from my hands will be edifying to the people of God and will be seen as light to lead those who don’t know Him to find Him.
And I am going to ask for your help. If you follow me on Facebook, please if you see something on there that does not glorify God, I pray that you will bring it to me privately so we can discuss it.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
My intention is that everything on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and my blog will bring glory and honor to my Lord and Savior.
On a final note, there will be a couple open pages set up for the ministries that God has laid on my heart. The first will be called CCF United and is geared toward young adults, 18-30. I’ve been leading our young adult ministry at church for a couple months now and we are just starting to break into the social media aspects as most everyone at their age has some form of social media.
The second page will be called Mission: Evangelism and is also going to be an open page. This page will be dedicated to the newly created CCF mission board. We will be looking to put together a catalog of amazing trips, fundraising ideas, and events. Our first event coming up will be a public showing of the God’s Not Dead movie on August 8th at 7 PM at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship. We will be asking a $5 donation to those who attend. We should be able to seat about 650 which means we should hopefully be able to, after paying for the license to show the movie and snacks, raise about $2,500 for missions around the world.
So Facebook to me is now a tool to move ministry forward. Similar to how I’ve been using this blog and my Twitter account. Just like LinkedIn is a tool to move my company forward. Facebook will be a ministry tool.
Nothing beats face to face interaction. And this tool will hopefully reach thousands so that face to face interaction and discussion about Christ can happen.
And my prayer is that God will use it to speak His awesomeness in your life.
Ephesians 5:8-12 – For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.