The Perils and Promise of Social Media – Collin Hansen

The Perils and Promise of Social Media by Collin Hansen | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

 

The above Tabletalk article was also part of my Sunday-before-church reading diet. Hansen had some excellent points about the necessity of the church for our modern, isolationist age with its social media cravings. I believe you will benefit from his words. Again, I will quote just a small part; read the rest at the link above.

 

We walk on a foundation of individualism and suck in the air of postmodernism, thick with the heavy dew of multiculturalism. Absent today are the ties that bind. Never before has a generation so desperately needed the local church, the communion of saints, to help them follow Jesus. God has been faithful to preserve this place of authentic community in our culture. The Word says we have a duty, responsibility, and obligation to our neighbors, especially those in the household of faith (Luke 10:29–37; 1 Tim. 5:8). We may yearn for the freedom to express ourselves with the aid of social media, but we’re not truly free unless we’re responsible to a community. That’s what the apostle Paul taught in Galatians 5:13. Freed from sin by Christ through His death and resurrection, we’re free to love one another. The church affords us the opportunity to love and serve in a way social media never will.

I respect church leaders who abstain from social media. Yet I see no reason we should neglect the remarkable possibilities for teaching and leadership offered by instant, unrestricted communication to willing audiences. Still, I expect over the long term that tweets, status updates, and blog posts will pale in influence compared to our everyday, tangible pursuit of holiness and love with the support of our local church.

The Puritan (Reformed) Sabbath

As noted here before, this month’s Tabletalk is devoted to the subject of the Christian Sabbath. While presenting four different views, the one which represents most closely my own view and that of traditional Reformed teaching is the one presented by Dr.Joseph Pipa, Jr., president and professor systematic and historical theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His article is entitled “The Puritan Sabbath”. Pipa does a nice job of laying out the reasons for the on-going duty to keep a day of rest as NT believers, grounding this duty in God’s work of creation and redemption. Toward the end of his article, in connection with the idea of God “sanctifying” the sabbath day, he writes this:

How then should Christians apply this sanctification to the seventh day? Does the Bible require Christians to observe one day in seven, or are all days equal? Is Sunday to be observed according to the commandment or are Christians free to spend the day as they please, as long as they worship? They may reasonably assume that in the same way that God has set aside certain things for His special use and service, He set aside the seventh day for the special purpose of worship and service. This is not to deny that the other six days are holy and are to be used for God’s glory; Christians are to glorify God in all of life. However, He established the seventh day as a holy day, set apart for special purposes.

By blessing and sanctifying the day, God communicated to Adam and Eve, and through the Scripture to all mankind, the principle of Sabbath-keeping. Christians are to treat as holy what God declares to be holy, concluding that the observation of one day out of seven is a perpetually binding moral obligation because of this creation ordinance.

The New Testament demonstrates that God changed the day from the seventh to the first day of the week (Col.2:16-17; Acts 20:6-7; I Cor.16:1; Rev.1:10). Although God has changed the day, the obligation and privilege remain.

Hence, the Sabbath commandment is but the extension and application of the creation ordinance. As the moral responsibilities of marriage and work remain, the moral responsibility of keeping holy one day in seven remains.

 

There are certainly other Biblical grounds that one could make, specifically to ground our NT duty in the work of Christ, but I appreciated Pipa’s article. I could not find a link to the entire article on Ligonier’s website, so you will have to get the issue yourself. Or read his book, The Lord’s Day, available at the Ligonier store at a discounted price.