Church Life

Body Life 101: To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Our theme on the blog for this month is Body Life 101, so I’m addressing those who claim to be, and live as, members of the Body of Christ.  I’m addressing those who claim to live by the indwelling-Life of Christ together with other saints (or, at least, claim to be learning to live by the indwelling-Life of Christ together with other saints).  I am addressing saints being built together with other saints by, through, and unto the Lord.

What is body life?  Is it not doing life together under the Headship of Jesus Christ?  There are lots of folks who do life together in lots of ways, but body life is unique in that Christ is the source of that life.  It’s His life, it’s His body.  In body life, we are learning to live by the indwelling-Life of Christ together.

In the body, I have an unlimited well of resources.  In the body, I have wisdom and experience from which I can draw that I won’t find anywhere else in the world.  In the body, I have Christ.  In the world, I have everything not Christ.  If this is true, why would I take deep theological questions, or personal spiritual struggles, or even glorious unveiled mysteries outside the body?  Why would I take it to the world, first?  Particularly, why would I take it to social media, especially before taking it to the body?

Why, if we have the body, which is the Bride of Christ, the spiritual house of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, do we take to social media to discuss spiritual things on it instead?  Why are we, as members of the Lord’s body, quick to expose the Lord to open judgement and ridicule on the web, but we won’t ask our brothers and sisters for discernment?  Why are we so eager to tweet or update our social status with spiritual questions or insights, when we haven’t even asked our brothers and sisters?  Why do we throw our secrets and treasures of our Lord out to the masses like pearls before swine?  Why, then, do we get upset when the swine trample our pearls, or the opposite, and enjoy watching the world wide web burn with our spiritual cleverness? Why do we open God and His purpose up for debate among pagans?  Why do we try to give people answers to questions they are not asking?

Now, before gettin’ all…

I-Love-Lucy-Awkward-face-Reaction-Gif…Walk with me…

If, by the Lord’s life, you use social media, then more power to ya.  If you use social media to communicate with other members in the Body, then more power to ya.  In other words, I don’t think social media is inherently bad or wrong, nor do I think you are bad or wrong if you use it.  I use social media.  I simply wonder, in the context of body life, if we’re using it correctly when we try to describe spiritual things to soulish people, particularly people with which we aren’t being built together, when we won’t do it with the people with which we claim to have body life.

What if, since we are a part of a body of believers, one corporate man, we shared our thoughts or questions with our brothers and sisters before posting them to social media?  What if, instead of using social media as a sounding board for my pet doctrine or belief about Jesus, I engaged with the body with which I’m being built together first?  Particularly if I’m searching or young in my walk with the Lord?  Why should my spiritual family find out about my questions or struggles or insights from social media?  Are we not doing body life together?  Would I not have ample opportunity to discuss with the body face to face before dishing to the web on Facebook?

What if I’m reading books/listening to podcasts/reading blogs that are shaping my theology, and I just post whatever is standing out to me?  Not a bad idea, right?  But what if what I’m feeding myself is false, and I post it anyway?  How many others will hear or read that and follow suit?  And how will I know if it’s true or false?  By bringing it to the body.

I am a part of the body, Christ’s image on the earth today.  Whatever I say on social media has eternal/heavenly/spiritual ramifications.  Wouldn’t I want to get the thoughts of saints who I know and love and who know and love me and are consumed with God’s wishdream rather than the willy-nilly opinions of Joe and Jane World?  Or Reverend Religion?

Can the Lord correct me through the body even if I put it out there on social media?  Yes.  But now it’s a public thing for all to see.  Will I be humble enough to receive correction in such a public manner?  Even when I wasn’t humble enough to submit those thoughts to my brothers and sisters before posting it?  If I will only share my thoughts via social media, and not in corporate meetings or even one on one with other saints, then the Lord will respond in kind.  He will speak to me where I’m listening, and if I’m listening on social media instead of in the safety of His Family, then He’ll speak to me on social media.  (And then there’s the question as to why I’d go to Facebook or Twitter instead of my brothers and sisters in the first place.)

But what if what I want to share is the truth?  Then it will be confirmed and affirmed through the saints!  And I can post with confidence.

With regards to meeting with the body, I wouldn’t share just any old thing.  So why, as a member of the Body of Christ, would I post things to social media without the mind of Christ?  I wouldn’t share in a meeting with other saints without first spending time with the Lord and other saints, so why would social media be any different?  I’m sharing for all the world to see!  I would think I would want to be most careful about that.  But maybe that’s just me.

Dear saint, please consider these thoughts.  Are you a part of a body?  Do you have body life with other saints?  Are you more willing to post to social media before talking with your brothers and sisters in Christ?  Before you start to post some spiritual question or heavenly reality for all the world to scrutinize, consider the body of Christ.  Share your thoughts with your spiritual family.  Is this something that another brother or sister could help to refine?  If you’re off, then the Lord has a chance to lovingly bring you back to center.  If you’re on, then you can discern if you’re supposed to post it.  If you are, then you can post it, and trust the Lord with the results.

Now, hold up…ff1245be9c99f2df6584f19b1ffd4ac8

Hear me, saints: I’m not saying you should never use social media.  I’m not saying you need to run every little thing you post to social media by the saints.  I’m not telling you have to do that.  That would be religion, law.  I am asking you to consider the Lord and His Church.  You are a part of the body; you have the glorious privilege to partake in body life.  You represent Jesus Christ.  Submit to your brothers and sisters the way Jesus submits to the Father.  If you are going to post spiritual things and ask spiritual questions, then take it to the body first.  Use the body of Christ before using social media.  Consider running it past the Lord and His saints – the ones with whom you’re being built together.  I am asking you to consider this.  As the Body of Christ, let us consider the Head.


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6 Comment

  1. Reply
    mark
    November 1, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Good word, brother. Unfortunately, many Christians…

    1) would be cast as a heretic in the “church” if they ever questioned something outside the official statement of faith. (Speaking of traditional, denominational type churches.)

    2) live completely independent lives from other believers and do not have relationships where they talk about deep spiritual things.

    3) do not exist in a fellowship (organic or otherwise) in which questions/fears/doubts/etc can be walked out in a safe atmosphere.

    4) are not willing to submit their view to another believer(s) so that the Lord can confirm or correct them. Many believers cannot stand to be adjusted by others in their thinking and practical walking out of life in Christ.

    I agree with you. But the obstacles I mention above are pervasive in my experience. I long for body life in which questions can be safely explored and submitted to each other in Christ.

    Another obstacle is that Christianity has largely been converted into an intellectual religion and gets hung up more on matters of the head than the heart. This has caused a fear among many Christians of anything “spiritual”. Thus, many have turned to spiritual guides outside of Christianity to fill the gap. It’s sad that many do not see Christians as credible guides (rightly so in many cases) on matters of the highest importance.
    mark recently posted…Monday Meditation 011: Do you hide from God?My Profile

    1. Reply
      R.C. Babione
      November 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      Yeah, brother, those obstacles are plentiful. When I submitted this post to those saints directly around me for discernment and refinement, one of the responses I received questioned how many people actually fit the category I was framing. You and I both know that in the grand scale of things, that number is very, very minuscule. However, the theme for this month is Body Life, so I tried to speak directly to those experiencing body life and those who hope or plan to experience body life in the future. I’ve been sitting on this post for over a year, and the Lord has refined it through other saints to get to what has been presented here. So, I’m trusting He has purpose in it for His gain in whatever way or ways that may be. I really appreciate your thoughts, bro.

      1. Reply
        mark
        November 4, 2016 at 7:09 am

        I agree with your post 100%. I guess my lament came from the realization that even in the body life you are talking about, this is a very difficult path (in my experience). We still need more of Christ in and among us so that His house would be a safe place to share and explore questions, doubts, ideas, etc. Using social media is the easy path. I would dare say it’s the cowards way out in at least some cases. Working through these things in body life is hard, but man, there’s gold there.
        mark recently posted…Monday Meditations 009: Build HopeMy Profile

        1. Reply
          R.C. Babione
          November 4, 2016 at 7:29 am

          Yes and amen! The only thing I might amend is “We still need to choose more of Christ in and among us so that His house would be a safe place to share and explore questions, doubts, ideas, etc.”
          Plus, you just tied this post in nicely with Bridget’s on the Discomfort Zone. 🙂

  2. Reply
    Donna Batty
    November 1, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Great post brother, and a great comment by Mark too. I think we must learn, only by really learning and knowing Christ Himself first, how to bring every matter and desire, every thought and doctrine, into submission to the Lord, to weigh up in His wisdom what should be done with it, if anything. And of-course, there is more of His wisdom found amongst the body of believers than hanging out there in the breeze on our own. Sadly, many are hanging out there on their own, seeking the freedom of speech and expression but lacking the authentic body life of Christ in whom is found safety and wisdom. But for those of us who are blessed to be part of an authentic expression of Christ by way of true body life, submitting all these things to one another to seek the Lord’s mercy, in my opinion, is part of body life itself. A great post RC and a great word of exhortation. 🙂
    Donna Batty recently posted…Bread and Wine: A New EbookMy Profile

    1. Reply
      R.C. Babione
      November 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you, sister Donna. 🙂 And yes, for those in body life, this is a part of body life.

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