Why did I make this web site? Did I just want a spotlight on myself? Was I looking for a way to promote all my interests, or show off?
There are two reasons why I created this web site, and I want to share them with you so you understand my intentions.
- An alternative to social media
- A place to post uncensored content
An alternative to social media – Some time ago my wife and I decided to boycott most forms of social media. And surprisingly to many, the world did not end. In fact, we find ourselves relieved in many ways.
We found that social media can be destructive in our lives for a few reasons. One for example is that it is very time consuming. It is easy for one to dedicate more time to social media than is healthy, at which point it becomes an idol.
Social media also makes it easy to connect with people that we really should not be connecting with. For example, using social media, it becomes possible for people who we removed from our lives to find us. Now if one of those people ran into us by chance on the street, we might say a friendly hello and exchange pleasantries, but to exchange phone numbers and intentionally reconnect later would be considered by most to be unhealthy. Well, social media such as Facebook makes that sort of re-connection too easy, and many often fall into such a trap.
Social media can also result in a false image of reality. Living life through social media is not at all like living life in the real world. It encourages us to present a false image of ourselves to the world, and we tend to receive a false image of the world from everybody else’s projections as well. This leaves people who are totally engulfed in social media less able to navigate the real world social scenarios in a healthy way.
Lastly, social media promotes self centeredness. It becomes less about socializing, and more about self. One can spend much of their time and concern on their profiles, their image, and how many people “like” or “retweet” their posts. People can get so very caught up on how “popular” they are in this false social world that the social element of “social” media becomes ironic, due to the fact that the whole system has been turned inward on “self”. It becomes more of a platform for self then it is a platform for socializing.
I have had people tell me that they use social media as a ministry, to which I say that if this is true, then this is great. But I would also warn you that you are just as likely to fall into these traps, even though your intentions (or at least your expression of them) seem good enough.
How do you know if you have fallen into these traps? I know of people who have two personalities on social media. Maybe you have two profiles, one for a certain group where you are a bit more cleaned up, and another profile for the real you who you want to promote to another group. Is there anything on your social media that you have to hide from anybody? This is just one symptom that you have fallen into this trap.
A place to post uncensored content – When I first started preaching, I never thought I would one day have to worry about a church I trusted one day trying to impose censorship on my message.
I once preached a sermon, and the message was attacked by somebody in the congregation. The content of the message was not the problem, but somebody was convicted by something in a message, and they attacked the message instead of the sin in their life. The message did not contain anything meant to offend this person, and I had no way of knowing it would.
This person would not come to me to discuss feelings, and went to the senior pastor who I was filling in for with their complaints. The person insisted that I make a public apology, and that my message be either taken off the web site, or that the part they did not like be redacted. The senior pastor did not agree that this was warranted, and like the rest of the congregation, expressed the message was appropriate and convicting in all the right ways sound doctrine should be. But this person would not relent and continued to protest, and while alone in their feelings, the drama was enough to make the pastor instruct me to remove the sermon from their web site. When it became clear to the pastor that meeting this demand still would not satisfy the person, the pastor decided the message will remain posted, so the message is still available on that churches site for anyone to hear.
It was at this time that I realized I needed a place where I could post content under my exclusive control, just in case the enemy wanted to attack my messages again, so that an outside interest could not influence the promotion of the message. Now all of my messages, my wife’s devotionals, the questions I have answered to writers, and my professional interests can all be displayed in one place without risk of censorship.