Everyone is tweeting these days. The White House, Dr. Jack Schaap, Dr. Paul Chappell, Dr. Eric Capaci, and many, many others are tweeting. The odds are that your favorite ministry or preacher probably has a Twitter account. In this post you will not hear any blasting of people or ministries. What you will read is should ministries tweet?
Before we answer the question allow me to lay a foundation. Allow me to ask a different question. Should teenagers or young people tweet? My answer to this is a simple, no. Let me show you why. When talking about Twitter we should keep in mind that it is a social networking site. Let’s see somethings on general social networking sites.
The Inherent Dangers of Social Networking Sites
- Our teens can be wasting valuable time.
- Our teens can start relationships with people whom we do not know and whom we would not want them to know.
- Our teens can and will be tempted to say things online that they would never say face-to-face.
- Our teens can be solicited by on-line predators.
- Our teens can have their privacy invaded.
- Our teens can continue relationships with old friends that they may need to be separated from.
- Our teens can find themselves entering a whole new “dark” world of temptations, which they may find very difficult to navigate.
Allow me to point out something related to the last point above. Bro. Esposito gave a perfect illustration in a message about social networking. He mentioned that a preacher friend invited him to join Twitter because a national known preacher had a Twitter account. Bro. Esposito joined and forgot about his account. A few days later he received an e-mail saying that someone was following him. He was very suspicious, but clicked through to see who it was. He found out that it was a young woman scantily dressed. He immediately deleted his account not wanting the temptation to click through anyone similar to this young woman.
The sad fact is that “people you follow do not have to follow you or give you permission to follow them. You just sign up and start following them. It’s a bit like stalking.” Let’s say you get a message that someone is following you and you don’t know them. There is always the temptation to click through to see exactly who it is. There is always a possibility that this person posts pornographic links or other unacceptable links. With the advent of tiny urls and the like, you would never know what the site was until the website loaded up. In summary, pornography and raunchy material can be easier to stumble upon in twitter then most places on the web.
Since it is very dangerous for young people to have a Twitter account. Should ministries or preachers tweet? As humans we always look for ways to justify our actions. How many parents have had to confront their children about something and the excuse was “they were doing it.” I wonder how many people made a foolish decision or sinful choice and justified it because someone they knew who was respected did it.
We should also remember that what leaders do in moderation today their followers will do in excess tomorrow. Is it possible that we might, by using a social networking site for good and godly purposes become a stumbling block for the next generation who may not have the character to control the inherent dangers of the site?
Should ministries or preachers tweet?
We should all prayerfully consider whether or not God would have us to be tweeting!
(This article is also posted at Pacific Publications.)