Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg has been suggesting that Facebook could fill the gap in people’s lives left by the decline of churches, as well as other organisations: “A lot of people now need to find a sense of purpose and support somewhere else.”
Peter Ormerod‘s article in the Guardian gives an excellent critique of this proposition to which I would only add – the true Church is not driven by money or profit. Facebook made $10 billion in 2016 but followers of Christ are not concerned about building a bank balance. Instead we seek to share the greatest news of all time for free – Jesus died for sinners, that includes me and you, so that we might be able to enjoy life in all its fulness.
Peter, Paul and company were not motivated by garnering the most likes or creating the grooviest of memes, but were ready to die for what they believed would transform the world from darkness to light. God’s gospel declares to those who recognise their spiritual poverty: “release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind; to set free those who are oppressed; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour” (Luke 4:16-21).
The mission of Facebook – “to bring the world closer together”. Not quite the promise of salvation. Of course, social media is a great tool that does connect people and can help accomplish much good, but what is of much more importance is what motivates our hearts. Only Christ Jesus, working through His people (aka the Church) offers to perform the radical surgery that truly changes and redeems us.