I worked through the following with my family two weeks ago, and so I thought I would make it available for others. Your contributions and improvements are always welcome! A PDF is available here.
Greenfield Family Computer Use
The following are biblical principles and practical application of using the computer, especially with regard to things such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other similar social networks. Practical points and applications are subject to change at our discretion. 🙂
1. Initial Thoughts
1) This is a privilege, not a right
2) There are dangers and opportunities
3) As exposure to the world and unbiblical thinking can and will influence us, we must saturate our minds with God’s Word and have a vibrant relationship with him (i.e. be Spirit-led)
4) What follows touches mainly on social networking, but there are times when I “bleed over” into general use of the internet and other forms of amusement and entertainment
1) Remember the power of speech, James 3:2-12
2) Your communication reveals what’s in your heart.
Matt 12:34 “the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”
3) Our communication should—
a. Be edifying
Eph 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear”
b. Be gracious
Col 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt”
c. Never be unchristian
Eph 5:4 “there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks”
Col 3:8 “put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth”
4) You become like your friends.
Prov 22:24-25 “Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself”
1 Cor 15:33 “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’”
2 Cor 6:14-17 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers…therefore come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord, and do not touch what is unclean”
5) What you think on affects you.
Phil 4:8-9 “8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
6) Never trust yourself.
Rom 7:18 “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh”
7) Remember the lion.
1 Pet 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
8) Always be ready to pray.
1 Pet 4:7 “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer”
9) Don’t be conformed to the world but be transformed.
Rom 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
10) Always have a ministry mindset.
a. Lost – help them trust in Christ
b. Christians – help them grow more like Christ
11) Make the most of the limited time God has given you, Eph 5:16; Col 4:5
12) Compare the quality, intimacy, and depth of your relationship with “friends” with that of your Creator and Savior
13) The internet (like the telephone or even letter-writing) is can be a helpful tool, but like so many other things can easily become a snare, stumbling block, or idol. Beware!
Are you “on the alert” for the Lord’s return (Mark 13:33-37; “alert and sober,” 1 Thess 5:6), or would you have to admit that you are more alert to emails, posts, updates, etc.?
14) Given the deceptiveness of our sin nature, the utter depravity of the world, the eternal significance of our souls, and the need to glorify God and please Christ, can we really be too careful about this?
1) Never “say” anything on the web that you would not want plastered on every billboard in the world—it is called the worldwide web, after all!
So, use the “billboard” test – if you think, “I’m not sure if I’d want that seen everywhere,” then you shouldn’t hit the “send,” “submit,” “comment,” or “post” button
2) I will need your password for all social networking, as well as be in your “network” of friends. Occasionally I may “look over your shoulder.”
3) All computer use must be in a public location. As well, you must pay $2 a month to cover the cost for our filtering and accountability software (Covenant Eyes). Covenant Eyes will send me a weekly report of what sites you visit and give a “grade” for each one
Rom 13:14 “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts”
4) At any time your computer privileges may be “put on hold” (the old fashioned word is “grounded”)
Matt 5:29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell”
5) Given the absolute necessity of a close walk with the Lord, I would like to have weekly talks with each of you to see what you’re reading in Scripture, what you’re praying about, your sermon notes, and will occasionally ask you to read a book (gasp!).
6) As this is a privilege, it necessarily does not come before responsibilities (especially items in #6, as well as cleaning your room, chores, homework, etc.)
You may think “Dad’s gone overboard again!” I hope that’s not the case; I hope that my concern is for the health of your soul (perhaps even its destiny) and for the Cause of Christ! IOW, I love you, Jesus Christ, and desire to see God’s will known and fulfilled.
Looks great. I think I am going to check out the Covenant Eyes program. How long have you used it and how satisfied are you with it?