Over the past week, we saw the President of the United States of America banned from social media platforms for posting comments interpreted as inciting violence. While no violence or incitation of it is justifiable, the social media giant Twitter chose to interpret seemingly innocuous statements by President Trump as glorifying violence. In his final incriminating tweet, President Trump expressed his intention to not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden. How such a statement glorifies violence is beyond me. Yet, Twitter found a way to interpret this statement as a call to violence in support of his own election, therefore providing them with a justification to finally shut down his account permanently.
What I find most disturbing is how this example demonstrates the power wielded by the tech giants to squash voices that express ideas opposing the narrative set forth by mainstream media. In recent history, especially over the past year, we’ve seen several examples of objective and factual statements being subjectively judged as a “threat” because they spread information that conflicts with the mainstream agenda of those in power. When a message by someone contradicts that which serves their interests, those who are in power take away the privilege of expressing those ideas and beliefs. More and more, we see that only the popular ideas and beliefs in the world may be expressed freely. Any voice that contradicts is threatened to be silenced, discredited, ridiculed, denounced, belittled, and otherwise rejected. Their terms are to conform or be canceled.
For Christians, what we saw happen to the President of the United States should be a wakeup call. But not in the way that our political positions are threatened – because we do not involve ourselves in the politics of this world. Rather, what we are witnessing is the power of the few determining what beliefs are acceptable to express. And that is a threat to true Christianity.
The Christian beliefs that we hold, which are founded in the Truth of God’s Word, will conflict more and more with the world we live in. If we express those truths out loud, do we really think that we will easily be heard? Do we really think that the platforms that provide a means of sharing ideas will tolerate God’s Truth? If we as a Church preach the gospel, as Christ commissioned us to do, the world will hate us for it! Jesus Christ states this clearly (compare John 15:18, John 17:14, Matthew 24:9). What we see now are the possible examples of how this hatred of God’s Truth will manifest. The prince of the power of the air, Satan (compare Ephesians 2:2), will do whatever he can to prevent the Truth from even being expressed, because it contradicts with his agenda to lead man to destruction.
Sadly, this world has chosen to exchange the plain truth of God for lies (compare Romans 1:24-25). Until Jesus Christ returns, lies will prevail in this world with growing intensity. Our job is to never fall prey to those lies. To protect ourselves, we need to love the Truth and never shrink away from upholding it. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). There is nothing that we can do to control the world we live in, but we can defend ourselves against its deceptive effects. If we continue to hold fast to God’s Truth with our whole heart, we will prevail against all other powers that threaten to extinguish it.