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May 10, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Mark Ward Jr. continues a series entitled “Technology and Entertainment” with the first part of a message titled “How Can I Love My Neighbor Through Social Media” from Matthew 22:34-40.
The post 1247. How Can I Love My Neighbor Through Social Media, Pt. 1 appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.
Welcome to The Daily Platform or program preacher's sermons from travel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a series on how Christians should use technology and entertainment today will be hearing the first part of the message preached by Dr. Mark Moore Junior Dr. Steve Pettit will introduce him. It is our ally to have an Chapel today and tomorrow.
Dr. Mark Ward Mark graduated from Bob Jones University with his undergraduate degree in 2001. He went on to get his masters in his PhD in New Testament interpretation for many years he worked in the Bob Jones University press.
He also contributed to a number of books. One of them being the biblical worldview textbook. He went to work out and the state of Washington, and he works for what is known as faith life. If you have the logon's Bible study program that all comes out of faith life and today he is the editor of the Bible study magazine faith life's mission is to use technology to equip the church to grow in light of the Bible is one of the things we mentioned yesterday about seeking first God's kingdom and his righteousness. That's the way that we can use technology for God's glory. He is a member of cornerstone Baptist Church, where he serves as an assistant pastor Sunday school teacher, music director and occasional pulpit supply and so would you please give Dr. Mark Ward, a warm welcome as he comes to speak this morning's turn right to Matthew 2234 and some of the most familiar and important words of the New Testament's Matthew chapter 22 is little hard to find in the 1611 King James, but in honor of my documentary tonight and that's it. I'll be reading from Matthew 2234 but when the Pharisees had heard that he that is Jesus had put the Sadducees to silence they were gathered together, then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying master which is the great commandment in the law. Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it now shalt love thy neighbor as thyself on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. I do make it my aim to love my neighbor but sometimes they make it so hard. The most troubling and pressing question of the covert crisis for me as a Christian has been this. Why is it that so many Christians I do love people who share my doctrinal commitments and my love of Christ and his word. Why is it they trust voices I distrust on these political matters, and vice versa. When the big covert wave hit us. Why did we react so differently to it. I felt like Ray and Kyla Wren, who moments ago were standing facing each other, only to discover that there was a hidden crack between them. That is now widened into a chasm to member that seen it's already disturbing to be divided from fellow believers to my love or not to be, but it's even worse to feel like you don't know why you're divided I'm in a do my best still be nervous not to reveal what side I'm on, and I chasm in the major political disputes of the day that are dividing American Christians, masks, vaccines, church closures, worship restrictions, I think if I did I would split this room right down the middle. The people on the left of this center aisle. You are leftists, liberals, I can just tell by looking at you you read the New York Times you listen to NPR and you only listen on the left speakers in your car. You also practice sneering in the mirror every Tuesday morning. You are never Trumper's who couldn't decide whether to dress as David French or Ross doubt that Halloween for the eighth-graders here.
Those are prominent never Trumper's you got an extra covert vaccination in your other arm. Just because the moral superiority you enjoyed after the first dose felt so good you don't love your neighbors unless there to your left, don't deny it, and you people on the right you are right wing Fox News fanatics.
I can just tell by looking at you, you do your hair like Tucker Carlson and you can tell you are planning to have three girls and name the mall after Donald Trump's wives. I can just tell you.
Cannot wait to say Yvonne Marlowe Milani time for dinner you think masks have all been infected with COBIT by the World Health Organization which when written out in Chinese characters, spells Wuhan you think vaccines and lockdowns were invented by Communists and by King George III who wishes to bring America back under the tyrannical thumb of Great Britain so he could tax RT again you don't love your neighbors unless there to your right. Don't deny it. Okay you can deny I'm using hyperbole just to be clear, high schoolers, not unlike Jesus did a few times using some humor to the spec and the beam I'm trying to bring up issues that have divided American Christians while avoiding saying what I actually think, remember, you still don't know what side of the aisle. I'm on right in the center, but you do know that in the words of a pastor friend who wrote a book about social media. Recently, he said, I have never witnessed a time when professing Christians have been at such odds with one another. Evangelical writer Peter Weiner.
Just last week wrote a long article in the Atlantic titled the evangelical church is breaking apart. Now, I'm neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet but I do work for a for-profit business and I think he's right.
We have never needed to love our neighbors more than we do. Right now, during the series refresh kind of a back to basics course on various topics. Dr. Pettit actually asked me to talk about technology and social media.
And I'll bet you anything you are expecting a critique or at least a lament, but you're not gonna get either one. I actually asked my good friend Carrie McGonagle to pull some of his undergrad classes and I took tons of notes on what you said sure seems to me that at least Mr. McGonagle students already know what the downsides of social media are the hyper partisanship.
The echo chambers the time wasting the flaming the mobbing the canceling the pornography. The cat videos they named all the problems plus some I didn't think I was truly impressed. I'm honest and if you think you need more help on the dangers of social media. Make sure you listen to Dr. Pettit's message from yesterday and go and read an excellent book that I asked him to get copies of at the bookstore and he crouches the tech wise family highly highly recommended. So without minimizing or denying any of these dangers and I see them every day. I want to show in these two days how we can use social media technologies positively, constructively, to love our neighbors as ourselves, the way Jesus commanded. I have done a ton of writing for two large typical worldview textbooks put out by BG press. I believe strongly that everything in God's good creation is good before it's bad that Satan cannot create anything but can only bend and twist the good things God has already made out of their intended shape. I believe that technology is just a word we use for the tools for dominion over God's good creation that were invented after we were born. These tools or at least the potential for them were placed in creation by God so they are, along with the rest of creation CF and are created fallen and redeemable like all of God's good creation, social media technologies are fundamentally good but like all creation. They are twisted by the fall and like all creation, they can and will be brought under the Lordship of Christ. Every knee will bow even Mark Zuckerberg's what do social media technologies look like when they are unbent when they are placed under Christ's feet at his disposal when they are tools for me to love my God and to love my neighbor.
I want to spend these two days applying Jesus's love commands by answering just one narrow question. How can I love my neighbor as myself through social media technologies. I want to push hard on these words. Love your neighbor as yourself to help us work and pray to make this impossible. Second greatest commandment. Real today on your phone in mind that's over to do in an attempt to paint a picture of what it could look like if Christians love their neighbors as themselves through whatever social media technologies they use and I want to offer some counseling how to get there. How can you love your neighbor as yourself in a place full of haters. First, always use the hermeneutic of love social media technologies bring out disagreement you are going to face it.
When you do always interpret others words charitably according to the law of love that I read to you for Matthew 22 and the light of your Christian love will be evident in an often dark place, you will stand out.
It's really significant that Jesus included the two little words look at them in verse 39 the second great command is likened to the first, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. In other words, love your neighbor to the degree that you already presumably love yourself. Now I've spent a lot of time actually among the most careful students of the book of Matthew from past and present, and students of the theology of love. That's what I wrote my dissertation on and they were agreed on this interpretation that I just gave you some have attempted to make Jesus be saying we should love others more in ourselves but these attempts have failed. He really specifically paid. Love love for others to the standard of the self regard that everybody already has. I don't dismiss the very real pain of many suffering people but still I have to say that even those who commit suicide are showing supreme self regard, the ending of their pain is more important to them than the pain though cause for their loved ones.
Everybody loves himself or herself.
The Bible assumes that Jesus assumes it here. There is a degree to which this is good we have worth that God placed in us as image bearers and we shouldn't deny or diminish that worth even the God in whose image we are made loves his own pleasure he love certain things and hate certain other things as the Bible reveals those desires are good. I said I wrote my dissertation on love and I do really heavily from Jonathan Edwards one of our evangelical heroes in his famous series of sermons charity and its fruits on first Corinthian's 13 love chapter he said that love for others means wrapping up my neighbors good in my good. I also drew from CS Lewis's essay the weight of glory has had a huge impact on me. I beg you to read that essay.
It's free online. He pointed out that the virtue of love is not the same as unselfishness, as if the point of love is going without good things ourselves, rather than securing them for others. Know the point of love for neighbor is finding my joy in their joy Jesus unites your and my natural love for ourselves as individuals with our love for our neighbors so note that Jesus's command. I'm sorry primary Sunday school teachers does not go Jesus others you and that spells joy. It actually goes God first and your neighbors and you tied for second place I've always felt, though, that this second great commandment is an incredibly high bar. Have you thought about this love my neighbor as much as I love myself I do and I'm not kidding here. I sometimes feel I love my wife as much as I love myself when she smiles just so I feel that I love her as I bowed to do on our wedding day with the true love of delight, but so frequently my love isn't yours is stuck inside myself. It's stuck on myself.
My weak flesh does not permit my love to escape this little selfishness force field that was bequeathed to me and to you by Adam and Eve at the ball.
So during times of pitch disagreement among Christians over the politics of COBIT. I've had to work and pray hard to love those that I disagreed with in the Christian community. I've had to use the hermeneutic of love on their statements because that's what I hope they would do for me and I saw the Lord help me do this. I can't go into detail because the issues are still very much active and very personal but I can say the Lord I saw him place healthy pressure on me through my circumstances to avoid the partisan tribal lysing.
I was so tempted to give into to love my Christian neighbors as myself across the back, senile, and across the masking. I'll meant ascribing to them the best motives. I honestly could. Even when I felt they were horribly wrong.
I still had hard discussions with people I had conflict for church leadership me the political issues surrounding masks in the state of Washington could not be avoided or papered over. Everybody knew what you were doing it. Whether you're wearing one or not, but the hermeneutic of love made those arguments productive rather than explosive. Praise God does. I disagreed with in my circumstances also practiced the hermeneutic of love on my statements. One of my favorite Brits. Alasdair Roberts's writings, I recommend said recently that the extreme partisanship of the US context makes it almost impossible to have a rational conversation over COBIT but I saw a love the hermeneutic of love, make it possible now. A second way to love your neighbor as yourself through social media. Mind your own affairs, just listen to first Thessalonians 4 all actually read it and in the minimum to read a verse there before I get there.
I want to set it up a little bit by talking more about this love command. It's instructive that Jesus does not say love everyone, as you love yourself says right here verse 39 thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. He doesn't say love everyone, as if people I'll never meet in some obscure corner of Tierra del Fuego or Djibouti was my favorite country to say need to be just as much on my mind as my own kids. How could that be only God's love has that kind of powerful reach. No, Jesus says love your neighbor. I've spent some time among careful students of the Gospels and I ponder this myself for years on end.
What I've come to is that my neighbor is whomever God brings across my path and that includes some persons the inscrutable Facebook algorithms have delivered to my social media feet. There is a danger here, namely that I can so ensconced myself in my safe suburban enclave were my safe online echo chamber that I never run across the man whose robbed, beaten and left for dead at the side of the road. Don't do that.
No ensconced single out love for neighbor should drive you outward to follow the great commission and therefore to meet human needs of neighbors, you wouldn't admit otherwise but you still won't meet everyone you still end up being called to ignore most of the rest the people on the planet and love certain people you know like your roommates and I say love neighbor the one God is giving you or I could put it as Paul did in one of his letters to the Thessalonians.
The verse I said I'd read to you. First Thessalonians 411 this is what he said study to be quiet and to do your own business and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
I'll give you a little preview of what the documentary is about that phrase study to be quiet here in the King James version actually doesn't mean hit the books although I really wish sometimes my children would take a class and being quiet.
The King James translators they used an older Elizabethan sense of that word study, the one that we don't use anymore.
I call this a false friends in the King James version, a word that you don't know you don't know, and you'll hear a lot more about that if you come here my documentary tonight. What this word study meant in 1611 in a context like this one is aspire to make it your aim or ambition. So seek to make it your aim or ambition to be quiet and do your own business. In other words, mind your own affairs in love give attention to things the Lord has actually put on your plate. The neighbors he's actually given to you now. I think some people I can think of somebody to you graduates men and women by virtue of their gifts, and training in interest. I think they have a calling to be salt and light for Christ to strangers on social media. Speaking to a wider audience is their business. But verses like this when I read to you make me focus a lot of my social media use on keeping up relationships with my family and my friends in my church. The most important neighbors.
God is given me. I think verses like this in first Thessalonians also mean it has to be okay but some Christians choose to stay off social media altogether. But if you stay on mind your own affairs.
As the wise and terrible. Kevin DeYoung said on Twitter not long ago in our Internet age. It's easy to be overwhelmed with burdens that only God is meant to carry. I frequently tell my wife that I just don't want to know the bad news that she stumbled across on her social media feet. I can't do anything about it. I want to focus my love on my neighbor on those issues. I actually have done the work to room Col. good opinion on if it's a falling and ashamed to a person as proverb says to answer a matter before he hears it been positively speaking, if I really believe I can love my neighbor by speaking to a controversial matter publicly on social media. I better do some big time.
Hearing first do some reading.
Come to know really for sure what I'm talking about a Christian college is a fantastic place to lay a foundation for that kind of thing to start to gain that kind of knowledge that'll help you. Love your neighbor if you want to speak out for Christ on abortion say go read Scott clues in Dorf and master his approach and when you've got the maturity go read people on the other side. Read philosopher Ronald Dworkin with the Guttmacher Institute website here what abortion defenders are actually saying if you believe your call to address publicly some controversial issue and we certainly need Christians to do that then make it your own affair.
Even as even as a nonprofessional self-consciously make it your business driven by love to do enough homework to make you responsible on that topic. Now 1/3 way to love your neighbor as yourself on social media pick the best representatives of the other side.
In any debate represent your opponents at their best. It is extremely common in public debate today for people to engage in what's called, not picking they take the most extreme cueing on conspiracy theorist and say that he is the true representative of the Republican Party.
They take the most extreme leftist socialist commie vegan abortion Dr. and talk as if the whole Democratic Party is secretly all of those things as if there are no moderates on the other side of the aisle from me not picking is not love no matter what political party you tend to favor. Remember that Jesus did not just say love your neighbor as he said love your enemies. If you are a conservative you right wingers and you don't have a favorite liberal anyone across the political aisle from whom for whom you have some genuine admiration talk to me and I can suggest a few names. I am a social and a fiscal conservative in the very theologically conservative Christian because of my Bible and I explained this in the BJ press worldview textbooks. I believe that my job is to invest in the traditions and institutions that I'm handed working humbly for reform were necessary because the fall has touched every institution, including this one, despite our many sins.
There are countless good things in our nation's political history and in the history of the West. More generally, and there worth conserving. That's why I'm a conservative.
It was BJ use commitment to conserving a Christian kind of excellence in the Western classical tradition of art, music and theater, etc. that really attracted to me to the school as a teenager and I hope a ton of our high school guests will come to Bob Jones University to be conservatives of that very valuable tradition.
So I am speaking mainly to college students and one about to say high school students may not be ready for this, but I do think you should have a favorite liberal and I get a name and name Nick Kristof, a legendary journalist, the New York Times, not sure if you've ever heard of them. I think Nick Kristof is dead wrong on tons of stuff, not least and most importantly, Christ's resurrection would you hope write a whole article or to say he doesn't believe in, but I have more than a grudging respect for Nick Kristof and one of the big reasons I do is that I've seen him consistently over almost 20 years show that same respect to conservative Christians like me. I've also seen Nick Kristof really put his life on the line for hurting people like and are for in Cambodia and Tiananmen Square and now in his home state of Oregon where he's running for governor just left the times. After 37 years. Listen folks, the Bible does not require me to believe that Nick Kristof is doing good only for selfish reasons or that his support for abortion which is indeed a terribly heinous sin somehow invalidates every other good Nick Kristof this unbeliever.
This liberal has some virtues and strengths that I lack. Even if I disagree with his politics and frankly would not vote for him if I lived in Oregon precisely because of his abortion stance.
The Bible does not teach that all unbelievers are demons wholly and completely evil. It tells me that God's good image resides even in unbelievers that his common grace gives them good gifts, and that the effects of the fall of fact, even my own party or tribe and me personally it's a kind of Christian heresy, to act as if your political party is perfectly good and the other one is perfectly demonic and I fear that a lot of today's news makes a ton of money off of that very heresy.
Christians ought to be the ones who are able to cut through our countries. Many polarizations better than anyone else because we have a standard in God's word to which we can hold up all political ideas and parties and we have a command. Love your neighbor as yourself. Now we have problems in this country.
But I daresay, and I triple dog daresay that our problems are not as bad as Soviet Russia in the 1960s and 70s, and yet Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn helped take down with the most violent institutions in the world. The Soviet Gulag prison system without firing a shot by representing it at its best is brilliant move and a really great little book one day in the life of Ivan Denise of which was to depict the very best day in Ivan's life as a prisoner in the blog. Solzhenitsyn could easily have painted a large picture of Ivan's worst day because he invented the Glock he could even affect an average day, which was terrible enough but he would've left himself open to the charge of exaggeration, but by depicting the most successful day.
During Ivan's unjust internment the day when his meaningless work was actually rewarding and he got a tiny bit of extra food. Solzhenitsyn silenced critics.
Critics snuck damning truth, past the Soviet Premier and delivered an incredibly powerful rhetorical blow that reverberates to the state. The book is a glory Solzhenitsyn could do this because he had hold of a Christian truth which he put like this in his book the Glock archipelago. It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes, nor between political parties, but right through every human heart Bible Christians like us should reflect this simple, deeply biblical truth in everything we say online I all the time, and pulling punches.
I know I could land it would make my fans cheer because I know it would persuade people on the other side of the debate to distrust me.
I want to be more than fair.
I want to be David before he was king, refusing to kill Saul out of a sense of honor for the Lord's anointed. Even though Saul was on a mission to kill David. I want to be king Peter in Narnia who didn't kill King Miraz when he stumbled and about to the death even though he couldn't be gallantly stood back and let him get up I want to be re-pitching the mouse in Narnia who didn't hold a grudge against Eustis. You member this despite Eustis is really embarrassing abuse. But after Eustis's repentance was quick to become his dearest friend. If our political in even our theological ends justify our immoral means there is no God. God called the Israelites in specific circumstances after the iniquity of the Amorites was full to be his judicial agents to go kill Canaanites, but that's not our New Testament calling in all debates. I'm trying not just to win the debate but to win my opponents.
This demands that in love.
I give them a sense that I play fair, and that means interacting with the best representatives of the review Bible tells Pastor to be examples. So I just want to say this to you. You know what this looks like watch me come see my documentary, I want to treat my opponents in a very touchy debate over the King James version with as much grace and love as possible.
Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said they will know you by your love one another. You've been listening to a message preached by Dr. Mark Moore, Junior, who works for faith life makers of Lagos Bible software. Join us again tomorrow as we conclude the series technology and entertainment on The Daily Platform