Taking Captive New Media for the Church

2010 Ligonier Conference


In this 24 minute session from the 2010 Ligonier National Conference, Burk Parsons, co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Florida and editor of Tabletalk magazine, encourages us to not completely put off new media because others use it for evil, but to consider how we may manage our online presence through biblical filters that will develop a positive kingdom focus for all of our web activity.




These 7 Filters can Help us Approach Media and Technology with a Kingdom Focus

  1. Strive to use new media to make the most of your time
  2. Strive to use new media to set your mind on heavenly things
  3. Strive to use new media to edify the Body of Christ
  4. Strive to use new media to maintain purity and unity in the church
  5. Strive to use new media to subdue the earth
  6. Strive to use new media to glorify God
  7. Strive to use new media for the Kingdom of God, and not your own personal empire 

Titus 1:7-8 (ESV)

7For an overseer,as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,8but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (ESV)

3For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,6being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Are you ever careless with your liberty? In what area do you have the greatest temptation to abuse your freedom?
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Where do see the cult of novelty most profoundly embraced? Why does this novelty have such an allure to our culture?
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Philippians 3:19 (ESV)

19Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Have you ever seen someone that was “so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good”? Why is this expression misleading?
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Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)

24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Are you edifying the body of Christ in the way you use social media? How so? If not, what do you need to change?
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Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)

Unity in the Body of Christ

1I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


When have you experienced the airing of a grievance online that had no place in that format? What damage did it do that could have been avoided if this grievance had been kept private?
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Matthew 5:29-30 (ESV)

29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Is there something in your life, a regular practice or a treasured media item, that you need to cut off and cast away?
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Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so thatthey may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Does your new media usage help you to glorify God, and does it help those around you to glorify God?
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Romans 11:36 (ESV)

36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Is your primary motivation behind your online presence the glory of God or is it self promotion and fame?
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In our use of social media and in our online presence, as in all of life, we must look to build up God’s kingdom and His glory. Don’t take this challenge lightly, but remember these seven filters every time you log on. Do every thing for the good of God’s church and His name. 



For more resources from Ligonier Ministries, or to plan a visit to an upcoming conference, visit their website www.ligonier.org.