Sunday, May 15, was Internet Evangelism Day. I’m not really sure when it started or for that matter what it even means but I’m pretty sure I didn’t take part in it. And believe me, I’m embarrassed. I mean, what nerve do I have to actually go to church on INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY instead of going to every chatroom and message board on the World Wide Web to evangelize my head off. Shame on me. And shame on you if you did the same. Does God really want us to be a part of a local community of believers? Of course not. We’re supposed to be alone, in our bathrobes, debating with trolls on Reddit about the literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3.
If you haven’t picked up on my satire yet, well…I was being a little satirical. Don’t get me wrong, evangelizing is a top priority for Christians; maybe second only to a relationship with our Lord. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. There are still a few things the Christian community has yet to figure out and the Internet is one of them. When the World Wide Web first became accessible to the public, there were endless possibilities to how much information we could digest and regurgitate. Many Christians saw this as a great avenue to spread the gospel as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28. But here’s the thing about the Internet: yes, it is a good way to get the message of the gospel out to the public, but with that freedom to spread information comes everyone else’s freedom to spread their information. So you get every counter-cultural belief and psuedo-gospel that anyone is crazy enough to come up with. So what happens is the truth that sets men free becomes choked and drowned out by everything opposing it. The Internet is not kind to singular-minded thinking.
There was a phrase that Jesus said quite a few times that I think we could take to heart in our evangelism, Internet or otherwise: “He who has ears let him hear.” The Pharisees had ears but they didn’t have EARS. In contrast, the disciples had ears but they also had EARS. The point is everyone has ears but not everyone has EARS. I hope that cleared everything up. Look, some people only use their ears as facial decorations and a place to hang their sunglasses. Others actually use them to listen. Who do you like evangelizing to: the atheist on 4chan who has his mind already made up or the Indonesian villager who wants to hear the truth so bad he can’t stand it? Both need to hear the gospel and both should hear the gospel but one has ears and the other doesn’t. Look, I didn’t make the rules. God said there will be people who reject him. Our responsibility as Christians is to propagate the gospel. If someone rejects Christ and wants to debate it…move on, you’ve sewn the seed. The gospel is not up for debate. Some Christians mistake evangelism with debate and that can be very costly. There are many subjects that are debatable, such as the age of the earth, but the gospel is not one of them. It is a pillar of our faith, a non-negotiable.
Internet evangelism is not bad, impersonal, but not bad. It is better to be relational with the person you’re witnessing to. That way they can get a glimpse of what the Holy Spirit actually looks like in a Christian and how God’s words have changed your life.
But if you must get your Internet fix, here are 3 good ways to evangelize on the Information Superhighway.
# 3: You’ve been Church Roll’d
You may or may not know about the infamous Internet meme, Rick Rolling, but basically someone links some important documents or files to a particular hyperlink. Well instead of taking them to the files, it takes them to a music video of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.
How about instead of linking to a Rick Astley video, we link to a great Christian music video or a great sermon.
Click here for a good example.
Warning: Do not click link. It’s a Rick Roll.
# 2: Biblical Leet Speak
Leet Speak, otherwise known as hacker language, has been around ever since there were computers to be hacked in to. It’s where we get such colloquial terms like pwned and roflcopter. It can work for Scripture too.
N teh be66!~~!~6 God cre8ed teh Hvn & ur+#. Genesis 1:1
That verse is teh roxxor!1!
#1: Church Sign Generators
Probably the greatest religious Internet meme known to mankind. You can get a lot of messages on a church sign.
I tend to agree.