Part 2 of the Worldview Series
In the war of Bible vs. Social Media, who is winning?
The U.S. Surgeon General published a 2023 advisory on the harms of social media. In Social Media and Youth Mental Health, they report “an urgent public health issue” and a “significant” health challenge that “requires the nation’s immediate awareness and action.”
“Up to 95% of youth ages 13-17 report using a social media platform, with more than a third saying they use social media ‘almost constantly.'”
But we face a more significant health crisis. There is no harm greater than separation from Christ.
Many men will face a faith crisis at some point, whether it is their own or that of their wives or children. If you have walked through this, you know it is overwhelming and knee-buckling. The words “exvangelical” and “deconstructed” have become personal and devastating.
It may look like social media has the upper hand. It is a pervasive constant in our kids’ lives and our own. “As of 2021, 8th and 10th graders now spend an average of 3.5 hours per day on social media.” Do you think attending church a few times per week will combat that?
The Truth of the Word must be more pervasive in our lives. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:7
If kids can find everything the Church offers elsewhere, why should they stay?
What does it mean to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”? (Matthew 22:37-40) Modern-day understanding of faith, hope, and love deceives us into believing they are just feelings that worldly measures can reproduce.
TikTok readily promotes that they’re selling confidence, entertainment, joy, and community, according to their January article on the TikTok for Business site. Kids are buying what TikTok is selling. The Church isn’t selling, but we want them to buy into something—the Truth— which they can only find in one Person.
“Don’t let more children walk out the door without confronting them with the full weight of the law and the full freedom of the gospel.” (Yoder)
We talk about knowledge going from head to heart, but we should make a case that it goes the other way too. God gave us minds that we can know, understand, and ultimately love him with. Feelings change, but the object of our faith is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is Who we rely on, not an experience.
Teach them they can trust the Bible as God’s infallible Word.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
You can probably articulate why we can trust that the canon is God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible Word. Are you equipping others to believe the Bible and believe in the Bible? Here are some Hot Topics you can equip yourselves, your families, and other leaders on the trustworthiness of the Word.
Do They Know:
- Where the canon came from?
- How it was compiled, canonized, copied, and translated?
- How we know we have a reliable copy?
- What primary sources they can turn to for proof?
- “Textual criticism” and scholarly reconstruction of ancient writings, not just the Bible?
- How we know we have an accurate copy of the truth?
- Most, if not all, scholars (even non-believers) agree on the historical existence of Jesus?
- What elements of scripture we can rely on to show the events are real?
- How many reliable copies of early manuscripts there are?
- How details like the embarrassing stories of the disciples we read in the Gospels help determine reliability?
- What Jesus himself confirms about the Scriptures?
Hard Questions DO Have Answers
My boys had a Sunday School teacher in their middle school years who did an excellent job of engaging them in discussions on topics they might face. Bill is passionate about evangelism, and he introduced them to apologetics. Ben took to it so much that he and his “Battle Buddy,” Caleb, started their own podcast based on truths they were learning. They spoke with such thought leaders in apologetics as J. Warner Wallace and Frank Turek. The two boys faced a challenge as early as 7th grade with a teacher who was disparaging truths they had believed since their earliest memories. Now, they needed to know why they believed what they believed, and men like Bill in their Church had helped equip them to know.
Our kids will face opposition. It doesn’t take a social media influencer, although plenty of accounts and channels are dedicated to tearing down their faith and confidence in God’s Word.
God is not afraid of hard questions. He has answers. Rather than be intimidated by their questions or tell them they “just need to have faith,” how profitable is it be to be the first to engage them as they will surely be engaged by our culture, grapple with them in hard things, and lead them to truth in the Word?
You don’t have to be an expert on hard questions. Resources, even free ones, are abundant.
Start with a great study Bible:
For Someone Who Wants to Start Simple: More Than a Carpenter – Chapters 6 (“Are the Bible Records Reliable”) and 7 (“Who Would Die for a Lie?”)
Book List | Alisha Childers Recommendations on biblical reliability, general apologetics, apologetics for parents, kids, and teens, science and faith, sex/culture/ethics, historic Christianity/Christian history, and devotional/Christian living.
Equip Worldview Academy – by the Family Foundation to equip students and parents
Reasonable Faith – Allen Crostic has led workshops on Apologetics at our Noble Man Conferences.
Podcasts | Cross Examined – Frank Turek
Podcasts | Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace
Museum of the Bible Podcast – Discusses various topics relating to the history and the impact of the Bible.