Christian Social Media Sites: Good Idea or Bad?

GodTube video site

I will acknowledge the truth that parents need a place for their children to learn, to engage, and to socialize that will not scar them or taint their innocence. I wouldn’t want my kids listening to what I listen to or watching many of the films I watch. Since I am a P.I.T. (Parent in Training), my opinion might not be the most valid… but it is popular.

It all started when I left MySpace the first time in January 2006. I was sick and tired of the half-naked chicks everywhere via True ads. After some brief research, I found MyPraize, a Christian MySpace alternative. MyPraize is censored like there’s no tomorrow. It’s like youth camp and KLTY (boring Christian radio station) mixed together. Sorry, not interested. I set up an account, browsed around for 20 minutes, and then left (never to return).

My encounter with GodTube today was just the straw that broke this camel’s back. Seriously? GodTube? Why is it that Christians are always mimicking secular ideas? Christian musicians make music that imitates the sounds of secular artists. Christian television is seriously sub par. And now we get a whole new wave of sub-parness injected into web culture.

Am I anti-Christian? Of course not. I am a Christian. But I find isolation to be every bit as unrealistic as atheism. Why not just post your videos on YouTube? Why not use Facebook or Virb if you want to avoid the advertisements? At least you won’t only be online with Christians. My primary concern is this: beware of the bubble. It is the chief concern of American Christians to create protective bubbles in every sphere of life in which they can be “Christ-like” with each other but not have to encounter any of that nasty sin stuff.

Well, thanks but no thanks. From an adult non-parental viewpoint, I’d rather be relevant to the world than isolated from it. Now, when it comes to my children, I may sing a slightly different tune. Time will tell.

Want to know what kind of Christian resources I actually like? Why not!

BibleMap is a seriously cool site. Just type in the Bible book and chapter, and you will see where the action took place on a map of the Middle East. For all those times when the names and dates hold no significance to you, this helps you get a little more historical / human perspective of what was happening.

BibleGateway is my favorite site for reading the Bible. You get every possible translation for every verse in two dozen languages right at your fingertips, and the search function is easy to use. Search by book, chapter, and verse or by keyword.

EarlyChristianWritings is an excellent resource of writings from the early Church. It’s sorted by date, which helps you to get a sense of the maturity and development of Christian thought over the first two and a half centuries after the birth of Christ.

There are hundreds more tools and sites out there. My general rule of thumb is this: if it’s a useful tool, use it. If it’s for isolating yourself from the rest of the world, don’t waste your time.

About the author

Daniel

Proclaimer of God's goodness. Daniel is an idealist reconnecting with God's purpose thru soil, compost, & changing seasons. It's his personal mission to savor sacred moments displayed thru Creation. #INFP

7 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Okay, I have to backtrack just a little. I spent a few minutes yesterday on GodTube, and I came across a brief video clip of John Eldredge. I enjoy experiencing the conceptual thread that joins each book to the next.

    I should acknowledge that GodTube isn’t a waste. I just prefer Christians exposing their talents, thoughts, and gifts out there in the real world, not in a safe protected zone. Then again, if you wanted video clips from sermons, authors, dramas, etc., it is somewhat convenient and easier to search if the entire site is thematic.

  • Daniel – I basically agree with you. As a parent, I _DO_ think it is important to protect your children so they are not exposed to things they are not yet mature enough to appreciate or ignore.

    The trick is to loosen restrictions in sync with their readiness. But with a toddler, that is a ways off for me.

    That said, couldn’t the GodSearch site could just be an alternate search system that indexed Christian-themed content on YouTube, GoogleVid, and others? Hosting video is quite an undertaking, and not having it hosted on Youtube restricts its audience.

  • Thanks, Russ. Looking back, this topic is really a two-parter at least. One issue is social media / online entertainment for children, which focuses entirely on one segment of the user population. The second issue focuses on the creator/distributor of content.

    Each warrants its own discussion, although the two will be inextricably linked due to the fact that at some point their paths converge online (and the question remains, “where online?”). If you have further thoughts on one of the two points, feel free to comment and we can cover both in more detail.

  • I think the current social media really is lacking in regards to Christianity and religion in general. I made a comment on Digg using a reference to God, and the comment received tons of negative votes. Tons of atheists hang out there apparently…hmm could be a good place to evangelize if you so choose.
    Hey, do you know of any Christian social media sites where you could do an online Bible study?

  • Adam, I haven’t kept up with the latest in Christian social media. I’m not personally interested in the concept. While I can see where some people will find value there, I prescribe more to the notion that we shouldn’t isolate faith from culture. I’d rather discuss faith and pop culture in the same places.

    Granted, you’ll find a watered down version of all discussions unless you create a niche, but I’ve been unimpressed by Christian sites and Christian topical discussions.

  • There’s a difference between sheltering a child which many Christian parents do, which doesn’t prepare them for the real-world, never teaches them how to accept others, and can really damage a kid.

    But sites like MyPraize and GodTube weren’t created for those purposes. Many people are helped, mentored and made whole again on these types of sites. Sure you may not know anybody, but I do.

    Also, as stated by a previous commenter, it’s important as a parent to make sure your kids aren’t in harm, or dangers way. Why can’t this exist on the internet as well? We as Christian have a church service were we gather… why can’t we do it online?

    You wouldn’t suggest having a church service every week at a Ozzy Osborn concert would you? Not that you couldn’t do some soul saving there lol… But the fact is, Christian sites serve a purpose, as a Christian I would hope others would HELP build up the body instead of tear it down in blog posts 😉

  • It’s not tearing down the body to say that every type of Christian arts, entertainment, and media to hit the mainstream has been subpar in quality.

    It’s not that GodTube or Mypraize are necessarily poor quality, but they are imitations.

    I am unapologetically a Christian. But Christians are lazy. They are not innovators. They do not transform culture. They mimic culture. Until you can go to a secular music store and you can find artists you like because they “sound like” some Christian artist, no argument to the contrary will hold sway with me.

    I don’t want a Christian Korn. I don’t want a Christian Pearl Jam or Good Charlotte, Kenny Chesney, or T-Pain. I don’t want imitators. I want innovators. I refuse to contribute to the subpar culture, hence I am an outsider. That’s fine with me. If nothing else, I have salvaged my artistic reputation by not associating with grade B quality.

    I could go on a tangent about why Christian art and culture is subpar, and perhaps I will soon. But I am not tearing down the Body of Christ by being honest. If professional artists and developers can’t bear the criticism, MAKE A BETTER PRODUCT!!!! Don’t ask every Christian to love or not criticize your work just because it’s “Christian”. No sooner can I write my random thoughts for a college-level English paper and get an A+ (okay, maybe I did once). But what right do I have to tell the English professor, “Don’t tear me down with that bad grade! I wrote it in English!” As though that gets me off the hook.

    “Be EXCELLENT at what is good. Be innocent of evil.” Show me the excellent in any Christian art form or media expression and I will applaud with hands and heart.

By Daniel

Your sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.