Every now and then, Facebook pops up a suggestion that I should join a Christian group called ‘Lets find a million Christians on Facebook‘ or ‘Jesus has the most fans‘ or words to that effect. The latest spin on this is a Facebook group trying to get ensure that a Christian artist is number one at Easter. Mouse has the story here. But are these groups worth the effort?
The implication is that if lots of people sign up to a Facebook group, or download a single, then it says something positive about the Gospel, but does it?
I think that we have to question whether demonstrating that something is popular makes any comment regarding its value. Pornography, in one form or another, is one of the most popular uses of the Internet, does this mean that pornography is good because millions of people look at it? Of course not. Popularity has never been a good guide to moral issues. Getting a million people to sign up to a Christian group in Facebook proves nothing more than there are a million people signed up to the group.Some will be sincere, others will sign up for a laugh, and most people will sign up and then forget they did!
In case you are interested, Michael Jackson currently has the most fans on Facebook.
There is another issue that I have with these sorts of groups: what happens if they fail in their aim? Currently the group ‘I bet Jesus can break the record for the most fans on Facebook‘ has less than a twentieth of the number of fans that Michael Jackson has. It doesn’t even have 10% of the fan base that Starbucks has. Does this mean that Jesus is less important or influential than a troubled singer and a vendor of caffeine? No it doesn’t. But if the group doesn’t grow substantially, then the founder is going to look rather silly and sadly, this will reflect on Jesus.
To be honest, I’ve got no objections to people buying Christian records or joining Christian Facebook groups; I’ve done both myself. But when we start to invest these things with an eternal significance, I believe we are on dangerous ground. In the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus with popularity and cultural power without spiritual authority. Jesus resisted that temptation, and today we should resist falling into it on his behalf.
Our call is to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God; we demonstrate the truth of our message through love, obedience, humility, just and truth. If we have those things, we don’t really need Facebook groups to show that the Gospel is real. And if we don’t have them, then all of the Facebook groups or number one singles in the world, won’t convince our generation of the truth of the Gospel.
Oh, by the way, the Eddie and Sue Arthur Supporting Bible Translation Facebook page has 60 fans (only five and a half million to go before we catch up to Coca-Cola).