From the Stack

What could go wrong? Facebook wants to partner with churches

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This idea has disaster written all over it.

According to the New York Times, Facebook is seeking ways to partner with churches.

The social media giant, which is well known for cancelling people of faith for expressing “hateful” Bible-based messages about sexuality and traditional marriage, now wants to help churches “go further on Facebook.”


Hillsong, a megachurch in Atlanta, was the first to take the bait by livestreaming its services exclusively on Facebook. Christians who follow that congregation already know there is virtually no chance anyone will ever utter a true Bible-based message from that pulpit.

“They are teaching us, we are teaching them,” Pastor Sam Collier told the Times. “Together we are discovering what the future of the church could be on Facebook.”

He made that statement about the same time he admitted he signed a non-disclosure agreement with Facebook concerning the specifics of the agreement.

According to the Times, Facebook has been cultivating partnerships with a wide range of faith communities over the past few years, from individual congregations to large denominations, like the Assemblies of God and the Church of God in Christ.

The company aims to become the virtual home for religious community, and wants churches, mosques, synagogues and others to embed their religious life into its platform, from hosting worship services and socializing more casually to soliciting money, the article noted.

Apparently, that includes developing new products, such as audio and prayer sharing, aimed at faith groups.

Just be sure what’s being shared will not be offensive to anyone, including atheists!

“I just want people to know that Facebook is a place where, when they do feel discouraged or depressed or isolated, that they could go to Facebook and they could immediately connect with a group of people that care about them,” Nona Jones, the company’s director for global faith partnerships and a nondenominational minister, told the Times.

Aha! Now it makes sense.

It’s part of the New World Order where non-denominational ministers will be allowed to preach on topics like acceptance and tolerance for everyone. As long as churches stick to messages about being non-judgmental and avoid any mention of Biblical sin, this partnership could work.

But, what will happen if a church that built its entire program and following exclusively on Facebook dares to speak a word of Biblical truth?

Most conservatives and Christians know how that will pan out. The threat of being deplatformed for “hate speech” should be enough to keep “woke” churches on message. Even worse, some churches are working with Facebook to monetize their platform, which should be extremely effective in ensuring unapproved messages are never spoken.

But, not everyone is convinced this is a good idea. Surprisingly, the Times quoted someone who expressed a warning about privacy, especially when people are sharing some of their most intimate life details with their online spiritual communities.

The potential for Facebook to gather valuable user information creates “enormous” concerns, said Sarah Lane Ritchie, a lecturer in theology and science at the University of Edinburgh. The goals of businesses and worshiping communities are different, she said, and many congregations, often with older members, may not understand how they could be targeted with advertising or other messages based on their religious engagement, the story added.

Not just targeted with advertising, but flagged for posting or even liking the wrong things.

Partnering with tech companies and social media in an environment where people are fired and shunned as “non-persons” for simply expressing belief in traditional marriage or the idea God created man and woman; what could go wrong?

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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