The more we engage in social media, the more we are exposed to new things. This is a wonderful benefit of a connected world—we can understand and talk to people from various cultures and countries all around the world! It can make people nicer and more understanding, let us know the vastness of the world that God has created, and teach us a deeper value of each and every human life.
But there’s also one downside to being on social media: the urge to compromise Christianity to fit in. That’s not to say this is a new experience. In school, in the workplace, wherever you are, humans tend to have a desire to fit in and discard whatever makes them uncool or different. And the feeling can be doubled when we’re in such a public platform, where people’s judgments and harassment can be increased tenfold. The public shame alone if we “step out of line” can seem paralyzing. And that is scary when, if we do Christianity right, we’re going to be different. Those aren’t my words, they come from Jesus.
John 15:18-23 says this: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of My name, for they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father as well.”
Paul reiterates this in 1 Corinthians 1:18 when he writes: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Christians are called to be different. We are called to be the salt and the light. We are called to be “in the world but not of it.” We only put salt on something if we want it to be more flavorful or have a different taste. Just like when you put a light in a dark room, it’s going to stand out. But when we try to blend into the crowd, we might become ashamed of these very characteristics. We don’t want to seem foolish. We don’t want to be hated.
We want to be loved, admired, respected—and sometimes, especially on social media, we just want to be popular.
So we come to the conundrum of, we want to blend in, but Christians stand out. It’s a crossroads: and a lot of the time, people choose to blend in. We say things that other people are saying so that nobody thinks we’re weird for not believing the same way everyone else does. We start to doubt or disregard parts of the Bible that are no longer seen as mainstream. We struggle to post anything that might make people realize that we’re Christians. In essence, our witness online just...disappears. Our salt has lost its flavor, our light has been hidden, and we’ve fallen into the trap of thinking the Gospel in its full, unedited glory is foolishness. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “culture war” thrown around online, and it’s a real thing. And the fact that we want to hide in order to get more “likes” is why we’re losing it.
There’s a strong wave of Christian rappers right now helmed by the likes of Lecrae, Tedashii, Gawvi, and more that refer to themselves as “116 Clique.” They derive their name from Romans 1:16, where Paul boldly declares: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” These rappers are boldly declaring how different God has made their lives, and how they won’t hide their light or their mission. If we live a life of compromise, the most we can ever do is blend in, become another voice lost in the vacuum online. It’s only when we truly stand out that we can shine for God, to be bold, to be different, to go into all the world and make disciples in Jesus’s name (Matthew 28:19-20). When we stand up for Christ, slowly we’ll start to see that the Gospel isn’t foolishness. We’ll start to love it because it truly is the power of God. It’s a treasure, a gift that God has given us, and, like in the Parable of the Talents, it’s our job to share it with absolutely everyone we encounter. It’s our job to show Jesus, to show how His great power has saved us, changed us, and made us born again!
Learn more about the power of God to save souls here.
Hannah Carter is a small-town girl with a blog called, 'The Introverted Mermaid'. She is an aspiring author with a love for fictional characters. Most importantly, she loves Jesus and telling the world about Him. Follow her on Instagram @introvertedmermaid3