IS FACEBOOK FROM THE PIT OF HELL?

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBMB

FacebookThumbsI was recently talking with a pastor and the conversation migrated to social media. It didn’t take long to understand his perspective. 

“Facebook is straight from the pit of hell,” he said. “All it does is cause problems.”

He’s not the only person who feels that way, and it isn’t a new conversation. I remember years ago being told the same thing about television. My argument then is the same as it is with social media. The medium itself is neither good nor evil. It is the created content that determines if either has any redeeming value.  [Read more…]

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EC MEDIA POLICY INCLUDES SOCIAL MEDIA

Baptist Press

social-media-balloons-handsNASHVILLE — The Executive Committee has voted to update its media policy, prompted by the proliferation and ease of use of social media.

In addition to news media, the policy now encompasses any individuals in attendance at EC meetings, including Executive Committee members themselves.

The new policy received a unanimous vote Sept. 20 during the EC’s two-day meeting in Nashville. [Read more…]

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REWARDS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ‘INCALCULABLE’

By Marty Duren
Social Media Strategy Manager, Lifeway

Marty Duren

Marty Duren

When Facebook’s membership grew beyond that of a few colleges and universities across America, millions of people piled on. A common refrain from those days was the formerly unwatched student who’s status, “Ugh. My mom’s on Facebook,” indicated a perceived loss of freedom.

It wasn’t long before pastors and other leaders began to warn about flirtation and the role Facebook (and eventually all social media) might play in harming marriage. A story was passed around claiming a certain percentage of divorce filings mentioned Facebook as a problem. One pastor forbade the members of his staff from having social media accounts.

Of course we should always be concerned about the potential abuse of any technology but we should remember Moses didn’t receive “You shall not commit adultery” because of Classmates.com, and David didn’t spy on Bathsheba on Periscope. [Read more…]

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STUDENTS USE VARIETY OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Three ministers comment on use of social media by students and needed responses

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160505students-social-media1BRENTWOOD — Update to everyone older than teens — students using social media to express themselves and relate to others is as natural to them as breathing, agreed three Tennessee Baptist ministers who relate to students.

For those who need an update on social media, one follows —

Instagram, which features photos more than text, is currently a popular form of social media among students. Twitter is also popular because unlike Facebook the user can better control the people they want to communicate with and it doesn’t have so many ads. Facebook is still used by students, but not as much as their parents, the ministers agreed. [Read more…]

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BULLHORNS AND TRUTH: A LAYMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

By Jon Duncan
Layman, Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville

Jon Duncan

Jon Duncan

Having been around children as an educator for close to 20 years now, I remain fascinated at their inability to separate fact from fiction.  More fascinating still is the unwillingness of adults to do the same. In children, this inability is biologically involuntary, cognitive limitation. In adults, this unwillingness is a voluntary, self-imposed limitation. Why let facts get in the way of a strong opinion, right? Regardless of the type of cognitive limitation — voluntary in adults or involuntary in children — the end result is the same: flawed reasoning, which leads to inaccurate, often irrelevant opinions. [Read more…]

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LIKE IT OR NOT, YOU ARE WHAT YOU POST

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBC

Chris Turner

Chris Turner

It can take a lifetime to build a stellar reputation. It only takes a single “tweet” to destroy it.

That, in a nutshell, is the dark side of social media, especially for ministers (but true of everyone). Many still find it unbelievable that social media has that kind of influence, but social media is like nitroglycerin: useful when handled with care but terminal if jostled the wrong way.

Here’s an example. Justine Sacco was the senior director of corporate communications at a large New York company. While on a layover in London, she posted this Tweet: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” [Read more…]

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SOCIAL MEDIA BENEFITS PASTORS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Todd Stinnett

Todd Stinnett

BRENTWOOD — Social media, particularly Facebook, has become a popular tool for pastors in recent years.

“I think the most effective use of social media for pastors is Facebook,” observed Todd Stinnett, pastor of Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville.

He observed that while Instagram and Twitter are probably more effective in reaching younger people, Facebook “is a great way to reach the parents of those young people in our churches,” he said.

Additionally, “many of our senior saints have become more tech-savvy and have learned to use Facebook effectively,” Stinnett said. [Read more…]

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SHOULD PASTORS SHARE THEIR VIEWS WITH THE MEDIA?

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBC

Chris Turner

Chris Turner

You know the adage, “Whenever you get two Baptists together you always have three (or more) opinions.” And I know this is hard to fathom, but preachers can sometimes be, well, opinionated. Almost all of them see the world through the lens of a biblical worldview so it is difficult to look at the culture around them and not express their view as it relates to God’s Word. However, the question is: Should they?

The answer is no — and yes. It’s complicated. First, let’s recognize that not every opinion a pastor expresses flows forth from the fount of Scripture. Pastors, opinions and the media can have all the makings of a chemistry experiment gone bad. There is more than one example of pastors saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. And let’s face it. It only takes seconds for something possibly taken out of context to go viral in this age of social media saturation.

However, more and more pastors and church members are being asked by media to comment on social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. Am I advocating suppressing a prophetic word to a culture that needs salt and light? Of course not. As Christians we are called to proclaim the gospel to a decaying world. However, what I am saying is that pastors — and all Christians for that matter — must exercise biblical instruction when it comes to communicating, especially when the media is involved. Remember, “Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.”

Here are four tips all Christians would do well to consider if asked by the media to participate in an interview or if simply engaging in a public conversation. [Read more…]

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