How to Grow Your Social Media Presence Among Ex-Fundies

social media

by John Ellis

The two lists that follows are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but they do express a growing concern of mine. In the two lists, I’m using the tag “ex-fundies” as shorthand and not necessarily as a pejorative. Several years ago, I wrote a few articles about “new legalists.”[1] My use of “ex-fundies” here is not a synonym with my past use of “new legalists.” Although, I am concerned that many of those who were raised in BJU-styled fundamentalism are in danger of moving into the “new legalist” camp. That concern is why I’m writing this.

Top 10 Things to Post to Grow Your Social Media Presence Among Ex-Fundies

10. U2 videos

9. Tim Keller retweets

8. Anti-Christian pop culture screeds

7. Articles explaining how a current, popular movie is an excellent articulation of true grace.

6. Anti-consumerism/materialism articles

5. Articles about the messiness of grace.

4. Memes about how Jesus wasn’t a Republican.

3. Bono talking about grace.

2. MLK quotes

1. Articles defending the use of alcohol by Christians.

Top 10 Things to Post to Shrink Your Social Media Presence Among Ex-Fundies

10. Anything pro-second amendment

9. Expressions about how much you enjoy Duck Dynasty.

8. Anything critical of President Obama

7. Warnings about Rachel Held Evans

6. The Great Commission

5. An exclusive soteriology

4. Anything about the reality of a God’s judgment (unless it’s directed at Republicans).

3. Articles defending a Biblical sexual ethic.

2. Anything anti-abortion

1. Calls for personal holiness.

As is evident, I think, the ten things on the first list are not wrong, in and of themselves. In fact, I have written about and shared many (if not all) of the things on the first list. The problem is that the final six things on the second list should be of first priority for those who are repenting of their sins and placing their faith in Jesus.[2] Sadly, as I’ve intimated, for many who were raised in fundamentalism but have discovered their “Christian liberty,” their liberty has become more important to them than obeying King Jesus. For example, I’m troubled by those who only post/talk about their liberty to drink alcohol but never bring up the fact that Christians are commanded to pursue personal holiness. Likewise, when professing Christians scold other Believers about caring for the least among us yet never say a word about the utter evil of abortion, I’m concerned.

I’m sure that some will retort that social media is a bad format for many of the things on my second list, specifically the last six. No, it’s not. Christians are called to be set apart from the world by being a light in darkness. Whether we like it or not, social media is one of the primary means with which we communicate today. In the same vein, social media is one of the primary means with which we stake out positions of identity. I want to be careful about drawing too thick of a line, but I believe that many of us need to prayerfully evaluate what we’re communicating with our social media accounts. I mean, let’s be honest, many of the things on the first list, while different from the second list, are making obvious world-view claims about the person posting. Why are some people ok with their Facebook friends knowing that they don’t believe that Jesus was a Republican, but they’re not ok with their Facebook friends knowing that they believe that Hell is real and that apart from faith in Jesus, people are going to spend eternity there?

Redeeming things is a popular nomenclature used to defend Christians’ engagement with a wide variety of activities. Sadly, many who use the phrase rarely, if ever, use their social media accounts for the purpose of seeing humans redeemed from their sins through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria

[1] New legalists are those who grew up in strict fundamentalism and have since rejected almost everything about their upbringing except the demand that others obey their rules and standards. New legalists have standards and rules, and you’d best adhere to them! New legalists also demonstrate a penchant for unfairly and uncharitably describing their past authority figures. To better understand, listen in to a group of new legalists talking about Bob Jones University. Or listen to them talking about Christians who believe that Jesus doesn’t want us to drink alcohol, to name one example of how some Christians pursue holiness. Talk about elevating secondary things to primary things; new legalists have almost perfected it.

[2] My pastor and I recently had a conversation about how diluted the word “Christian” has become. By no means do we believe that we should surrender the term. We do believe that it’s important to clarify what is meant by the word “Christian.” Hence my “those repenting of their sins and placing their faith in Jesus” in place of the word “Christian.”


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