Proverbs 8:1–7 (ESV)
Does not wisdom call?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
“To you, O men, I call,
and my cry is to the children of man.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
O fools, learn sense.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right,
for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably wondering what Proverbs 8 has to do with Facebook. Hang with me a moment and we’ll get there!
For the record I’m not a big fan of social media. It seems overly narcissistic to me, and I don’t particularly like people knowing where I am and who I’m with at all times! However, I do use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (I still haven’t been able to figure out what Pinterest is even for, let alone how to use it). The reason I do this is because I believe Christians SHOULD be on social media networks, and I recently felt affirmed in this belief by one of my seminary professors when he pointed out this insight from the Proverbs 8 passage above.
Christians should be on Facebook because that’s where the people who need to hear our message are.
In the text above, wisdom is personified as a woman (gee, guys, maybe we should listen to our wives more!), and the Lady Wisdom goes out to proclaim her message. Notice where she goes to do this: (1) on the heights beside the way; (2) at the crossroads; (3) beside the gates in front of town; and (4) at the entrance of the portals. She doesn’t sit on her front porch waiting for people to come to her, she goes out to where the people are; she goes to where ideas are exchanged. This has been called the “marketplace of ideas.”
In ancient Israelite towns, the marketplace of ideas existed in places like entrances to the town, the main gates at the front where the elders of the community made decisions and judgments, crossroads where travelers passed each other on their way, and high places along the roads where people stopped to rest and eat. Lady Wisdom knew that’s where the people were, that’s where ideas were exchanged, that’s where she needed to be if her message was to be heard.
Now translate that into our time. What message needs to be heard more than the good news that Jesus Christ has purchased redemption for all who will repent and believe? We can sit in our churches waiting on people to come to us, or we can take a cue from Lady Wisdom and go out to our marketplace of ideas; to where the people are in our day. And… that’s social media. That’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and dozens of other sites popping up daily. Facebook alone has 1 billion users… what a mission field!
You may not like Facebook, but that doesn’t mean we should withdraw from where the people are. Instead of seeing Facebook as an annoyance; instead of being suspicious of everything new, why not use Facebook and other social media sites as a tool for encouraging people, sharing the love of Christ, spreading the Word of God, and proclaiming the greatest story and the best news to ever hit the “Timeline” of human history?
In my next post, I’ll talk about specific ways to use social media. What are some ways you use it to demonstrate the gospel?