What to consider before posting scriptures on social media.

By Khutso Mokgehle

Prior social media, preaching and the sharing the gospel publicly was limited to pastors and evangelists. 

I remember the train evangelists on my way to school. Their message was the same, they pointed us to Christ and no one else. It was a beautiful era.

These days, sharing the gospel and scriptures can be done by anyone and everyone on social media, this is great! The bible encourages us to make use of every opportunity (Col 4:5) and besides, we were all given the Great Commission; "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.(Matt 28:19-20)

Social media has indeed made it possible for many people to hear the gospel because many Christians are sharing the gospel online, and therefore the impact is bigger (or is it?). 

As exciting as this is, it has also proven to be detrimental to the gospel and the true doctrine since anyone with a smart phone and data can post anything they want to say. Who is monitoring this? No one! But the question should be "How does God feel about this?"

I was reading the story of Job for the past two weeks and I realise that God is concerned about His representation. If you decide that you want to speak on behalf of God, you better know Him, His standards and His ways. If not, rather not say anything. 

 Job was a man who was careful to please the Lord. The Bible tells us that he would offer sacrifices on behalf of his children after they met as siblings just in case, they might have offended God. Yes, Job was that careful. Job had made a covenant with his eyes not to look at a woman lustfully. He would not turn away people who needed help from him. 

His righteousness caught God's attention but guess who else was interested in Job, Satan! Job was wealthy, had sons and beautiful daughters. It happened that Satan asked God to allow him to take away Job's wealth, children and health to prove that Job was righteous because he has life on a silver platter. Granted! God allowed it and Job lost it all.

Job's three friends came to see him actually to comfort him (how nice). The bible tells us that for seven days and nights, none of his friends said anything to Job, his situation was so heartbreaking. They should have kept the silence actually, because when they started to talk, they messed up.

Eliphaz and Bildad took turns to tell Job that there was no way these calamities would have fallen on him unless he has sinned. Job insists that he has not sinned against God. This is a long conversation, back and forth of repetitive statements, Eliphaz and Bildad insisting that Job had sinned and Job claiming that he is innocent. 

At face value, his friends had a point. If you look at books like Deuteronomy, Numbers and Leviticus, you will realise that God would allow calamities to befall people due to disobedience and rebellion. However, as you proceed reading the book of Job, you realise that God was not impressed with how the two friends represented Him:

After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 
Job 42:7

Boom! Eliphaz sounded like someone who was defending God. Why is God not impressed. 

Simple, Eliphaz and his friends failed to inquire from God yet decided to speak on His behalf. 

The lesson here is don't be haste to talk on God behalf unless He has given you a message. Our attempts to defend God at times are futile or even worse, have an adverse effect on the Gospel of Christ. That is why the Bible warned us:

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James 3:1

Teachers of the Word will be judged strictly! This should scare each and every one of us who decide to embark on a journey of teaching anyone even on social media and this is simply because if you ever write a misleading post that causes someone to derail from the Way, you will be accountable for that soul. 

  1. How many followers do you have? 
  2. How influential are you? 
  3. What is your message? 
  4. Is it what God wants you to say?
  5. How does it edify the readers? 

These are questions you need to ask yourself and give an honest answer as God will judge you strictly based on what you teach. 

Instead of shying away from spreading the Gospel, let us be inspired to seek the face of God even more, so that we can always hear from Him what He would like us to say and how to say it. The labourers are few indeed, but the harvest is plenty, therefore, the more Christian influencers we have on social media, the more people will get to know Christ, let us ensure that we do not mislead anyone.