As we set up our ministry, we wanted to find ways to promote what we do, to reach out to more and more people. In today's society, what better way to do this than through social media! So, we set up accounts on different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (Note: We have made a commitment to never have an account on Snapchat) And with a social media presence, as minimal as it is, we have opened ourselves up to attacks. This is something we expected since we are dealing with purity and teaching people to live purely for Christ.
The other day, we started to get a lot of re-tweets and likes on a couple of our posts. This surprised and excited us at first. But then I noticed a post that seemed to start the whole thing off. We are a small ministry that is growing and this is very minor, especially compared to the attacks larger and more known ministries probably face over and over. Even as small as this was, it has shown us a few things which is only going to help us grow and help more and more people as we move forward.
First, the "attack"! Once our notifications started dinging every few seconds, I started looking into some of the accounts that were re-tweeting or liking our posts. I found one that had take a screen shot of our home Twitter page and posted it with the following quote, "rt if you could break the soul of the person running this acct."
For those of you who are not familiar with Twitter, let me explain the "rt" part. On Twitter, when you post something, it is called a "tweet." If you want to post something that someone else posted, you can re-tweet it. That is where "rt" comes from. This person was asking people to re-tweet a post. I am not sure if this person wanted people to re-post his post or a post from our account. Either way, we started getting notifications of people liking and re-posting our posts. From it, we have been able to get a glimpse into to society of the online personalities. Below are a few of our take from this experience.
People are sheep
It took one person to post something and then numerous others who followed. What I noticed from the different accounts I checked out was that they tend to post the same things. If Johnny posts something or shares something, then so does Billy, Bobby, Betty and Carol. If Billy posts something, then so do the others. From the frequency of the posts, I doubt that they take any time to look into what they are posting. This is common across the board for people in general. We see that in the political, race and immigration issues that tend to be hot topics. It is important for anyone to look into a topic or article or account before posting anything about it to make sure that you first understand what you are posting, second, that you agree to it and finally that it is factual.
The enemy is aggressive
We have a very small following on Twitter. At the time of the above screen shot, you can see we only had 23 followers. Two of those are me and Jenna. In order for this person to find us, they had to search. The saying goes, if you are looking for trouble, you will find it every time. There is something to say for someone who searches out the opposing view in order to be further educated on an issue and to make sure they know and believe their own view. There is something to say about someone who is searching for information purposes. But, to search out something only to do harm is destructive and is only meant to tear down. The post, as you can see, is very aggressive and negative. Praise God that we know the only One who could break or even destroy our soul yet He desired to save our souls instead.
Social media gives a false sense of power
We all can fall for this point. We can think that our point, our post or comment is so important that everyone needs to read it and believe it. The person who posted this comment feels that they have a power to get others to do what he wanted them to do... which many did. He also felt that someone would have the power to break someone's soul. Posts on social media should be used for informational purposes only. Informing people of what you are eating, what your kid is doing right now, or even what you think on a certain subject is all fine. But when you try to use this false sense of power to get others to hate or tear down someone else, then you are misusing something that could be a great tool.
We must keep our focus on our goal
We know that we are teaching a message that goes directly against most of what the world wants. We know there will be opposition and that sometimes that opposition won't be of the "nice" kind. If someone has opposing views, we enjoy conversing with them in order to share facts. However, there are those who want to get their viewpoint out there no matter what without considering anything about the other "side." Our goal is educating, cultivating and motivating people to live a pure life. All we can do is provide facts and tools, show people how to use them and the be available to help guide them as they choose to live a life of purity. We can't make them choose it. We can't control them in anyway. We are here to equip them and support them. And whether they choose to apply what we teach or go against what we teach, we are here to love them.
James tells us to, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of you faith produces steadfastness." This trial may be minimal, but it will still have the same affect; producing steadfastness. We know that we are to continue our message of purity. And because of the attempted attack, we are stronger, more of our tweets have been shared than ever before and we have a few new followers. God is moving, even in the little things. We will focus on His truth.
It seems today that everything is revolving around secrecy. Now don’t get me wrong. I love secrets that involve surprises! Birthdays, Christmas, family adventures or planned dates with my husband, the idea of sharing time, or gifts and being blessed by someone I love is the best. More and more today we see ways where we can lead a more private life, which is in and of itself quite the misnomer since we are an online culture. It is very easy to look up details about peoples’ lives, plus most of what we do on our phones, computers and tablet electronics is location aware and “someone” knows where we are at all times.
In our home, we take precautions against temptation and sin. We believe that by keeping things in the light there is no room for darkness. Darkness can be thought of as secrets, or sin. In the dark, and in secrecy is where we can easily find a lot of trouble.
Given all the work we do online, I get excited to see new options for my internet browser, Mozilla Firefox. It’s great to make my online experience as streamlined and ad free as possible.
This time, however, I was totally bummed! All three of the new add-ons tout the specialty of secrecy, hiding your tracks and leaving no trail of where you have been. I am sure that there are some really great reasons to have these features on your computer, however, to me what this speaks of is, “Do whatever you want on your computer, and no one will ever no.” Not only is this dangerous for my children, but it is a pathway to destruction for my household and my marriage.
The first is the “Forget button” This ad-on allows you to remove your browsing history and erase website information of sites that you visit if you don’t want others to see.
The second is the new search engine called Duck Duck Go, used like Google or Yahoo browsers. This secret browser allows you to search with no history or tracking stating, “Find what you’re looking for, your way.” I’m not sure what all they think we are looking for that we wouldn’t want others to know we have found. All this spells to me is T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!!
The third one is a private window for you to go online with no history. The browser claims to not record where you have been so no one else can see it.
As individuals, we are charged with keeping track of our own lives and purity. As parents, there is the additional responsibility of protecting our children. This doesn’t always mean keeping yourself or your kids completely sheltered from the mess, as much as it means to be educated in how to walk through all the muck and know how to stay the course of the pure life.
Staying informed in our families is the best medicine for success. Keep things in the light, from the use of social media formats, locations of where they are used and now more than ever, what it is that we are looking for and watching. You can protect your family today by implementing good habits and open lines of communication. These apps are a “no go” for the Crenshaw household. We have nothing to hide and no reason to keep such secrets from one another, or for our kids to think that it is safe to live in secret.
For more information or to know more about Rob and Jenna Crenshaw, check out the site or contact us today!
Rob and Jenna Crenshaw are founders of Crossroads Club