Posting Peace

A BOOK REVIEW

I anxiously pause and read, then pause and read again, carefully trying to parse the verbiage, analyze the tone, determine the intent, decipher the meaning, and find a way forward through the ever-expanding social media battlefield. People attack, misinterpret, and spew hatred, death threats are made.

Why are we so angry online? Why are we so divided? Galatians 5 says to us: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other?”

Our response to a worldwide pandemic poignantly exemplified and exaggerated the most troubling aspects of our social media communication. While the world engaged in social distancing and at-home sheltering to stop the deadly spread of the covid-19 VIRUS, the most divisive aspects of social media communication went viral. Angry partisan divisiveness and wild, unfounded conspiracy theories spread and continue to spread rapidly through social media platforms.

Dr. Bursch suggests through the Christian faith ways we can approach social media, bring it into a way of reconciliation. Christ’s ministry was one of reconciliation. He suggests the following:

1. Pray: “Rejoice in the Lord always! Take time and remember that the ministry of Jesus is one of reconciliation, and we are called to follow Jesus!

2. Practice mindfulness: Take time to be mindful in posting, pause, be aware of what you are saying, how it will affect others.

3. Tear down the walls: Refuse segmentation. : You are not an algorithm. Remember we are Spirit-led children of God, let the Spirit of love lead.

4. Trend, trend, relational: Watch commenting on local trends, they come and go.

5.Build Relationships and not a following:  Build relationships on all levels, not staying in your tribes. Discuss, learn, argue, but do so in love.

6. Engage your prophetic imagination: Let your imagination proclaim a prophecy in which social media is a tool for the reconciling love of Jesus of Nazareth, one in which that love reaches beyond the computer screens to loving our neighbor in real life.

Reconciliation is the central theme of the Gospel! Make room for the presence of the Divine, however you experience the Divine and walk-in love and reconciliation of one another!

——————————————-

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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