Social Issues (Part 11): Social Media

Social Issues

Social media refers to the online networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that allow users to communicate with one another via text posts, photos, videos, and more. It is one of the more significant technological breakthroughs of our time.

Like other technological advances [previous lesson], social media is not good or bad in itself – it depends on how it is used and what our attitude is toward it. Some will avoid social media altogether, possibly even discouraging or condemning others for using it. Some will immerse themselves in social media to the point of excess and the detriment of their personal relationships, work responsibilities, and overall health.Continue Reading

Practicing the Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

Most people, religious or not, recognize the “golden rule” – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is based upon Jesus’ statement in our text above. We know the statement, but how do we put it into practice? Let us consider a few thoughts.Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 10): Technology

Social Issues

Technological advancements continue to be made all around us. Innovations in transportation, construction, medicine, warfare, communication and more have dramatically changed the lives of all.

Technology in itself is neither good or bad. We are to judge whether any given technological advancement is helpful or detrimental based upon two factors: (1) what the technology is helping us do and (2) what our attitude is toward the technology. If technology is helping us do something that is sinful, then it is wrong – not because the technology is bad, but because the behavior is. Attitudes toward technology can vary widely from those who reject nearly all modern conveniences (ex: the Amish) to those who eagerly and without consideration embrace every new technology that comes along.Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 9): Socialism

Social Issues

Socialism is the political ideology that a central, national government ought to oversee and control all aspects of the economy rather than leaving private businesses and individuals to conduct their business and affairs as they see fit. It is rooted in the notion that all property and wealth are to be shared and the national government is the entity which determines how they are to be shared. Of necessity, socialism demands a strong centralized government to be able to function in this way.

Those who argue in favor of socialism will often claim that it is the fairest way for a society to function economically and that it protects poorer citizens from oppression by wealthy individuals and big corporations. Many will even attempt to use the Bible in order to defend this idea (hence the reason why we are discussing it here). One alleged example of socialism that is commonly given is that of the early Christians who sold their property to share with those who were in need (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35).Continue Reading

Remember the Lawgiver

Moses and the Ten Commandments

After delivering the Israelites from Pharaoh and their bondage in Egypt, God gave them the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). These commandments served as a foundation for the rest of the law.

Yet in a sense, this foundation also had a foundation. The Ten Commandments provided the basis for the law, but the only reason the law mattered was because of the one who gave the law. So who was the lawgiver? That was God. They needed to understand this in order to appreciate the importance of the laws that were given. They were reminded of this in the “preface” to the Ten Commandments:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2).

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Social Issues (Part 8): Nationalism

Social Issues

Before we begin, we need to be careful how we talk about nationalism because different people may have different ideas in mind when they use the term. On a fundamental level, nationalism is the desire for a nation to gain and/or maintain sovereignty (the right to rule itself without being ruled by others). In this sense it is closely associated with patriotism. These are not wrong in themselves. However, a spirit of nationalism can be dangerous when taken to an extreme, especially when it is in support of an oppressive and wicked government.

Those who argue in favor of nationalism will appeal to the people’s common language, culture, history, etc., in order to promote national unity. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there are three potential dangers that could come from this: (1) a willingness to support a godless, tyrannical government/leader who is advancing the cause of the nation; (2) a willingness to rally around an immoral or unjust cause because it has been adopted by the nation as a whole; and (3) a willingness to blindly follow the direction of the leaders because of the belief that they must be doing God’s will (or that the nation as a whole can be called the people of God).Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 7): Atheism/Humanism

Social Issues

Atheism is the belief that there is no God. Humanism, which is related to atheism, is the philosophical ideology that values human reasoning over religion and superstition. Being opposed to religion, humanism embraces secularism.

Those who argue in favor of atheism will claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God. Those who embrace atheism and humanism believe that society is better off without religion. They believe that the universe came about by chance and that we are the product of evolution. Some atheists/humanists are indifferent toward religion while others are openly antagonistic toward “people of faith.”Continue Reading