10 tips to being a better Christian witness on the internet

1. Don’t be mean.

Long before the Internet was invented Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I don’t know if the disconnect between Christ and Christians has gotten worse since the invention of the Internet or it has just become more apparent. Either way, Christians have earned a reputation on the Internet for being sarcastic, petty, condescending and spiteful (to say the least).

It’s mind boggling that this even has to be pointed out, but being mean isn’t going to convince anybody to join your group or accept your ideology. It’s going to accomplish the opposite. It’s going to build resentment for your group and close people’s minds to your message.

2. Know your theology.

Before the invention of the internet you might have been able to defend Christianity without going to seminary. However, with the amount of information freely available to anyone able to type a key word into a search engine, every 12 year old can argue on a doctoral degree. Then again, you never know who you’re talking to on the Internet. There are a lot of atheists who understand the Bible better than a lot of Christians. It doesn’t take many apologetic mistakes to destroy your witness. So if you’re going to profess your beliefs on an open forum, you’d better know what you’re talking about or you’re going to get torn to shreds and the only thing you’ll convince anybody of is that Christians don’t even understand their own religion.

On a side note, you shouldn’t be trying to convert people to an ideology you don’t fully understand yourself. You need to spend your free time doing your own studying and getting closer to God before you tell other people to.

3. Pick and choose your battles.

Non Christians don’t believe in Creationism. They do believe in evolution. They also believe that Creationism is a monument to illogical thinking. Regarless of what you believe, the reality is that harping on evolution is going to cause people to dismiss you almost immediately. Maybe the Bible says homosexuality is bad. Maybe it was taken out of context. It doesn’t matter. The reality is that a lot of people see gay rights as equivalent to women’s rights and anti-gay propaganda as the same as racist propaganda. Regardless of what you believe, the reality is that harping on homosexuals is going to cause people to dismiss you as a close-minded bigot almost immediately. And these issues are irrelevant to your purposes anyway. The most important message is love. So preach love and acceptance like Jesus did or you’re not worth listening to anyway.

4. Understand the difference between arguing the existence of God and the validity of the Bible as God’s word.

Even though there’s no difference to you, there is to everyone else. Proving the Bible is true would prove that God exists, but proving God exists wouldn’t necessarily prove the Bible is true. At any rate, you can’t prove God exists using the scientific method, which is the atheist’s measuring stick for truth. So theological debates about the existence of God are practically guaranteed to be a waste of time. Focus on studying and sharing the Bible instead, but don’t try to use the Bible as proof that God exists. Regardless of what you believe, it won’t work.

5. Don’t copy and paste huge articles.

This is the age of Twitter and 5 minute YouTube videos. The only thing that moves faster than life is information. Very few people read long articles. If you want to convince somebody of something you need to do it quickly and poignantly. Posting huge articles is a waste of everybody’s time. Plus, when somebody with a handle like “SilverSurferExtreme1989” posts a doctoral level essay it’s obvious that he plagiarized it. That means he doesn’t know enough to hold a conversation on his own, and he’s lying by passively taking credit for someone else’s work. For both reasons he’s not worth listening to.

6. Use proper grammar, and ditch the emoticons.

If your message isn’t valuable enough to express using proper grammar then people are going to assume it isn’t worth listening to. Also, if you fill your messages with funny little emoticons people are going to assume that your message is meant for children and not meant to be taken seriously by adults.

7. Don’t tell people they’re going to Hell.

Imagine if an atheist came up to you and shouted in your face, “IF YOU WON’T STOP BELIEVING IN GOD THEN FUCK YOU.” That might have even happened to you before. If it did, how did it make you feel? Did it change your mind or close it to their message? Because when you tell nonbelievers they’re going to Hell, all they hear is, “I represent a hateful ideology that you need to stay as far away from as possible.”

8. Don’t just bust into a forum or thread and shout, “The Bible is the word of God. Praise Jesus,” and leave it at that. Similarly, don’t just bust into a forum or thread and shout, “Your arguments are stupid. You’re all wrong. God is great,” and leave it at that.

While your enthusiasm and courage is bound to impress the choir, it does absolutely nothing for unbelievers. To them it just makes you look like a fanatic who has nothing of substance to relate. This kind of witnessing will only push people farther away.

9. If you don’t have an answer to a tough question, don’t tell people, “You just have to have faith.”

From their point of view, no, they don’t just have to have faith. From their point of view, you just have to have an answer. “You just have to have faith.” is code for, “I don’t know.” You may as well have just said, “There’s no point in listening to me because I don’t know what I’m talking about, and my ideology isn’t even important enough to me to take the time to understand.”

10. Don’t tell people to read the Bible or pray to God for answers.

If a Muslim told you to read the Koran or pray to Allah, would that convert you? No. Absolutely, positively not. Non Christians aren’t going to go to the Bible or God for answers. They’re going to go to you. It’s your responsibility to provide them with guidance. If you need to tell people to read the Bible or pray to God you may as well just tell them, “There’s no point in listening to me because I don’t know what I’m talking about, and my ideology isn’t even important enough to me to take the time to understand.”

However you felt about this post, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:

The Bible is mythology

Christianity is bad for you and society

Churches and Christian Culture


13 responses to “10 tips to being a better Christian witness on the internet

  • Polly Whittle

    Praise God, I am not here to have a theological debate. The religious leaders in the time of Jesus tried to do that with him. I am not here to know theology, I am here to try to know our Lord Jesus Christ. You know I don’t believe in telling people they are going to Hell. But what I do believe is that some people are called to warn people to repent of their sins. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We are a net work here to help one another. Lets be a net work of people that forgive and let go. Remember, people will hurt us and be human even when they are Christians. We are over comers through Christ. Hold on and don’t let go of your walk with Christ. I was told once that the one who hurts you is the one who is hurting the most. May we bless each other and know the Love of Jesus. Saint Faustina was given these words ” Jesus, I Trust, In You” by God. God Bless. .

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  • Ashley S.

    Also Wise Sloth quite the comedian you are you couldn’t have picked a worse translation than the NIV next to paraphrased its like nails on a chalkboard. I want to learn Aramaic and Hebrew so that i can get the best understanding but thats probably moot

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  • Ashley S.

    Also I would like to say before I begin my, no doubt, lengthy investigation that people tend to have a distorted view of God. He is Loving but He is also holy. People find it hard to handle how He has chose to deal with sin and evil in the world. There has been so much preaching on the God is Love idea that not many has thought to balance it out with God is Holy, His character never changes He is the same today and forever, he does not tolerate nor will he ever tolerate sin, Thats a hard pill to swallow especially now bc tolerance is become the most preached theme now. These are very hard issues but they are issues its hard to understand God if you are only listening to people. I am confident some things will never be understood in this life. But debunking the bible is going to be as trivial as debunking/explaining or proving Love. What about prophetic dreams that have actually happened. Or out of body experiences. Or the fact that we have a conscience, why do humans have a conscience. Some things aren’t so easy to prove and explain but with some looking into, you start to understand more.

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  • Ashley S.

    Some time ago I read a study about Oil. They were saying, interesting to me, oil is comprised of decayed matter, lots of dead stuff, if you will, on top of lots of dead stuff. They also pointed out where the largest known oil “reserve” (per say) is and how very near it is to the supposed site of the garden of eden. I have read and watched alot of info about these stories that we are all so familiar with but i don’t want to throw anything out there without being able to link you to my sources so I may need some time if you are patient enough.

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  • Ashley S.

    W.s. i have to be honest, i will probably not read this entire “book” of statements and opinions. It is just too much material. What I can say though is that you are being extremely prejudice which is okay of course but not accurate either. You can say anything really and it will apply to some people but no all of them, I think an outsiders opinion is important. We are supposed to be a light in the world so if we are missing something we should be aware of it. As a Christian I am not close minded and i do look into “science” to understand the world around me. But it’s hard because there are so many gaps and mysteries that popular edu. doesn’t publicize but it doesn’t matter. It seems like we are forced to memorize a small group of peoples ideas. Not, this research shows this to be possible but this research shows this to be possible also, why can’t we have that honesty about research. it to me seems close minded also which is fine except they only point out what needs to be changed about Christians, why?
    I’ll also say that eventually i think man will figure it out, how everything happened and the processes that took place. It will be sound and much more logical than the mess of mis-info they claim to know now. We are extremely intelligent beings, I know we can figure it out. But b/c Im christian i will still think “Oh that’s how HE did it” LOL.

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  • Ashley S.

    This was interesting to read, as a Christian. I agree with you mostly. Christians need to be wiser, more loving, and more devoted to what we believe in. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, the Bible I go by most likely has them I just can’t remember so many pages of information but i do know a lot of it. I would like to mention the Bible is not just a book it’s a compilation of about 66 books. If I ask you a question about anything really that you know as fact you will answer me using a source, which will most likely be a book or an intelligent person, maybe they wrote a book and you heard the information and it was sound. You know where I am going with this. So you really cant say, with benefit, to a Christian-don’t use the bible to answer me this or that. What would you prefer? Some other book, written by some other person? So I should trust that you are wise enough to know which person is more intelligent? The reason people turn to theory is because they don’t understand the Bible, the reason other people turn to the Bible is because theory doesn’t make sense to them. I just don’t understand why Christians are the group that has to sit back and be quiet. Is Christianity really that offensive? Why because people suck at it? Oh well people suck. I’ve seen gay parades and believe me it was strange. And to me, most of them suck at being gay. If you are a guy and you like guys why would you be attracted to a guy that acts and dresses like a girl? and so on. I don’t think Christians are the only ones that need to take a deep look inside and think about what they’re showing the rest of the world that’s all I’m saying, which of course is just another opinion…

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    • wise sloth

      Thank you for the comment. This will give you a more complete understanding of my opinion on Christianity:

      Like

  • Tigerhawk

    Sometimes religion, faith, and all similar things is just one more way people have to hide their true selves from the world and themselves. Religion in and of itself is alright in that it has no effect positive or negative. But when people become involved is where it really gets messed up because everyone’s differing inerpretations are given sanction. So in the example of Chirstianity we are told that there is an invisible man who is immortal and all powerful who watches everything everybody does all the time. He as a list of 10 things he doesnt want you to do and if you break those laws, he has a special place filled with fire and smoke where you will burn in unendting torment and pain for all of eternity… But he loves you!
    And lately he needs money, have you noticed that this all powerful being needs money so His servants can do His work… So powerful, so intelligent but he can’t handle money.

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  • loisanne67

    I totally agree. I live in the “Bible Belt”. Everyone and their dog are “Christians”. They only requirement needed is to just “believe in God”. I’m pretty sure there are many of them that have never read the Bible and probably never even been to church.

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    • twhaan

      I used to be a Christian. Even then I was exasperated by the lack of effort put forth by my fellow Christians.

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      • loisanne67

        I used to be one too. My family are still Christians…my brother being a pastor of a church. But I’ve read and experienced too much to believe in a “god” as most religions preach. It seems so ridiculous to me now.

        By the way, I really love reading your blog. I’m so glad I came across it. I hope you don’t mind that I posted the link to it on FB. I kinda doubt anyone paid much attention to it though…LOL.

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