THE REAL 10 COMMANDMENTS APPLIED TO SOCIAL MEDIA

An Important Question

A pastor friend stated “Facebook rule for disciples of Christ: Did it ever cross your mind that you can disagree with people and policies without name calling, losing your temper, or casting stones?”

This is a great question that anyone on any social media platform would do well to consider! It got me thinking about the 10 Commandments. I know there are a lot of “10 Commandments for Facebook” and “10 Commandments for Social Media.” I’m not talking about those. I mean the REAL 10 Commandments. How might they apply to social media and internet behavior in general?

We find the 10 commandments that God gave to Moses in Exodus 20:3 – 17. Let’s just dive in! It should be fun!

You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3) 

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 4 – 6)

Combining the first two commandments seems to be in order when thinking of internet behavior. In a world that seems to be overwhelmed with politics and conflict, we have to wonder who or what is being worshipped. Today, as I scrolled through, I see a lot of “Caesar worship.” As Professor Henry Burton described in 1912, worship of Roman Emperors was common in the ancient Roman Empire. This was nothing new as many other civilizations also viewed their monarch as a god.

In a modern context, political parties – and even individuals within those parties – seem to be revered above God. If you read through social media very long, you will find the infallibility of God seemingly being applied to political parties, individuals, and even particular viewpoints on specific issues.

Do we have the same passion and fervor for God and the things He instructed us to be passionate and fervent about?

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

This is a big one! Let me first say that I don’t believe “taking the Lord’s name in vain” has anything to do with language. By the way, there are plenty of verses in the Bible about those things (Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:4; James 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:16).

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Lord described His people as being “called by [His] name.” I personally believe this is what it means to “take the Lord’s name.” Let me ask a question. Does your taking the Lord’s name, CHRIST-ian, reflect Him?

Apostle Paul said we are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). In other words, we are Christ’s representatives. How are we representing Him on social media?

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8 – 11)

Many people don’t have time for church; that is, corporate worship. To be clear here regarding “Sabbath,” the Apostle Paul taught that the specific day of worship should not be a point of contention (Romans 14:5 – 6). The point is, worship needs to be a part of your week.

Check your screen time, and especially the social media portion, the next time you don’t have time to gather for corporate worship as instructed in Hebrews 10:25. Those errands you need to run Sunday morning could have probably been accomplished during the last Instagram binge.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Exodus 20:12)

Would your mom and dad be honored by your posts, comments, and replies. Just asking…

You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)

1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

The amount of hatred spread on social media is astounding. Enough said.

You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)

According to a Washington Times survey, Facebook is now cited in one-third of divorce filing. It is often in regard to infidelity. If you are married or even just in a relationship with someone, delete the comment, post, or message. Do not even respond. What grows in the heart will eventually be evident in your life (Matthew 5:27 – 28).  

You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)

Don’t scam people! Don’t scam people in ANY way. That also means if you are selling a $20 jacket that you ask $20 for it. Do not try to sell a $20 item for $50. You are trying to steal $30!

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

This one is so common it is almost laughable if it were not so serious. Bearing false witness – purporting things to be true when they are false. Many memes and articles online are false. Can you verify the information you are posting? Did you “witness” that information? If not, it is a “false witness.”

If you must post something because you cannot resist, at the very least, make sure it is true! And by the way, hardly any conspiracy theory ever has been verified. So there’s that…

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17)

Your “friends” might be posting photos of their new cars, new furniture, trip to Mexico, or expensive dinners. Could they being doing so to make others jealous? Maybe. As a Christian, do you take the bait?

I get amazed at how people vilify others’ success. In reality, what others have or get to do is none of my business. Envy is unbecoming of Christians. Remember, you are called by the name of Christ. Represent Him well!

 

So there’s my application of the 10 Commandments to social media behavior. What are your thoughts?