It is hypocritical when ministers in traditional churches marginalize ministers with ministries that are primarily based on social media platforms. I won’t even discuss the fact that many traditional churches also have social media outreach, or, that social media based ministries usually have lower operating budget requirements so the ministers are usually more focused on preaching the gospel instead of reaching for people’s money. And lest not forget that before social media, there was televangelism… If you are still reading this, great, I hope you make it through to the end.
The hypocrisy I am inspired to highlight is how the apostle Paul is definitely credited with either personally writing or dictating 13 of the 27 Books of what we call the New Testament. Much of Paul’s writings serve as the foundation to establish doctrine that governs how churches should be run. Among the 13 Books (which are epistles or letters) that Paul wrote, 4 are referred to as the “Prison Epistles”. Paul’s letters to the church at Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and his personal letter to Philemon, were all written while Paul was in prison. I have heard several ministers with “brick and mortar” churches refer to ministers with social media ministries with derogatory terms such as “Facebook prophets”. Based on that logic, they are marginalizing the apostle Paul’s ministry, even though they preach from his “Prison Epistles”, because he could be considered a “prison apostle”. However, Paul’s calling was not diminished by his location or circumstances. Paul was still an apostle of Christ whether he was preaching in a synagogue or one of the church homes, or in prison.
Paul initially preached to the Jews, but when they rejected the gospel of Christ Jesus, he turned to preaching to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46). By the way, the rejection actually redirected the apostle towards fulfilling his calling from the Lord (Acts 9:15). Similarly, there are many minsters whose ministries are primarily based on social media because they were shut down and/or put out of traditional churches, but the Lord would not allow anyone to silence their voices. The Lord places His ministers where they can reach His intended audience, just like how the prophet Daniel was taken into exile, away from the temple, and positioned to minister to king Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2). But back to Paul, can you imagine if there were an apostle today who was in prison and was using Facebook to spread the gospel of Jesus, the Christ?
Sadly, many controlling ministers, who have long told congregants to not even visit other churches, are now telling congregants to stay off social media. Yet, that brings up another example of ministerial hypocrisy. How can ministers of traditional churches tell people to stay off social media, but their church has a social media presence? Jesus gave a warning about being aware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). The Pharisees generally added to the Word of God by ‘…teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ ~ Jesus (Matthew 15:9 KJV) The Lord also spoke about the leaven of the Sadducees. They excluded or ignored (supernatural) things from the Word of God that contradicted their personal beliefs (Acts 23:8). Some ministers speak out against “Facebook prophets” because they don’t believe prophets exist nowadays. And some ministers who believe there are prophets today, say the Lord would not have His prophets sending out messages on social media. Oh really?! But here is an excerpt of a prophetic letter from a very well known prophet in the Bible. By the way, a letter back then could be construed as an email, text, or Facebook post today:
“Now these are the Words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon… ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.’” ~ Jeremiah 29:1, 4-6 (KJV)
Have you ever noticed that much of the record of Jesus’s ministry took place outside of the temple and synagogues, yet most of His persecution came from within the religious establishment? And, please, do not mistake this for an attack against the traditional church and a defense for all social media ministries. There are many ministries, both traditional and on social media, that should get shut down, especially those ran by ministers the Lord never called or sent and their doctrine shows it. I won’t even get started on the ministers of traditional churches who have television ministries, many of whom constantly solicit funds while claiming if they did not get a certain amount by a specified date that they would have to shut their television ministries down. The apostle Paul did not belong in prison, but many traditional and social media “ministers” do.
In closing, lest not forget, “My brethren, be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” ~ James 3:1 (KJV) Repent, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” ~ 1 Peter 4:17-18 (KJV)