Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19–20) 「我亲爱的弟兄们，这是你们所知道的。但你们各人要快快地听，慢慢地说，慢慢地动怒，因为人的怒气并不成就神的义。」（雅各书1:19-20）
圣经从未明确提及互联网或社交媒体账户，但这并不意味着圣经没有针对这方面的教导1。事实上，圣经针对我们的言语与我们的邻舍有许多教导，而社交媒体同时涉及这两方面的问题。因此，简略地思想一下圣经对我们使用社交媒体的教导会很有益处。 The Bible never explicitly mentions the internet or social media accounts. But that’s not to say the Bible doesn’t speak to these issues. It does. Scripture has much to say about our words and our neighbors, and social media deals with both of these. It is therefore useful to linger for a few moments on some of the ways that Scripture speaks to our usage of social media.
科技的角色 THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
首先，要有甄别地使用科技，这一点很重要。科技本身——互联网、电脑、智能手机等等——在本质上并无对错。鉴于科技既能用于作恶、也能用于行善，我们可以在这个意义上将科技视为是中性的。从积极方面看，谁不曾从圣经在线讨论中受过益？谁又不曾传播过有益处的讲道、播客或视频讲座？科技手段能够成为基督徒生活与神国拓展的宝贵助力。 To begin, it’s important to use technology with discernment. Technology itself—the internet, computers, smart phones, and so forth—is neither inherently right nor inherently wrong. Technology can be thought of as neutral in the sense that it can be used for evil or for good. To focus on the positive: Who has not benefited from an online discussion about the Bible, or streamed a helpful sermon, podcast, or video lecture? The tools of technology can be great assets in the Christian life and in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
然而，这并不意味着所有科技都是中性的。某些科技便旨在将我们往不符合圣经的方向拖拽。我个人的看法是，大型社交媒体平台往往就是如此。尽管这些平台当然也有其积极意义——例如能够加速传播重要新闻（和代祷事项！），或与远方亲友保持联系——但公司在设计这些平台时，首先考虑的是自身利益。这些平台专门提供沉浸式体验，并奖励那些紧盯屏幕不放的人。想想看，某些应用自带“打卡”功能，以激励用户每天使用、一天也不落下。这些应用有“安息日”功能吗？这些平台战略性地发布不断增加的通知，为要保证用户尽可能频繁地查看应用或网站。上述设计特点旨在将用户套牢，好让他们常常光顾、需求更多（即使我们已很清楚，事与愿违，自己光顾得实在太多了）。 That is not, however, to say that all technologies are neutral. Some are designed to pull us in unbiblical directions. My own view is that the big social media platforms lean this way. Though there are clearly positive possibilities with these platforms—such as the ability to speed the spread important news (and prayer requests!) or keep in touch with loved ones who are far away—these platforms are designed first of all with the interests of the owners of the platforms in mind. They are designed to be immersive and to reward those who look away for the least amount of time. Think, for example, of the “streaks” that some apps build in to reward users for not missing any days. Do these have a Sabbath feature? These platforms release notifications in strategic increments to keep users checking the apps or websites as frequently as possible. These design features are meant to hook the users and keep them coming back for more (even when already we do so more than we would like to).
THE SLOPE OF SOCIAL MEDIA 社交媒体的滑坡效应
因此，我的预设是——我承认有些人可能不同意——大部分社交媒体并非“中性”，而是倾向于使人偏离圣经的原则。至少，社交媒体容易助长自我放纵的习性。 My premise, therefore—one with which I recognize some may disagree—is that much of social media is not “neutral” but is designed in such a way that it tilts the slope away from biblical principles. At the very least, social media can easily exacerbate our tendencies toward self-indulgence.
社交媒体突出我们的观点，并且鼓励在线的辩论——通常为简短、碎片式的对话，缺乏深度。但社交媒体火得快、凉得也快，早先的对话很快就会过时，所以博主们知道自己必须蹭热点，否则就没人看了。这些科技在设定上都不鼓励人们更耐心和细心。 Social media highlights our opinions and encourages online debates—typically short, staccato conversations—that don’t favor complexity. Yet social media is a perishable format, in which older conversations expire and commenters know they must strike while the iron’s hot or risk irrelevance. These technologies are not designed to reward patience and nuance.
同时，社交媒体平台也鼓励我们只展示自己生活中最令人羡慕的形象。这很容易滋生自恋，也对浏览这些内容的人有害。我们中多少人曾因网上的攀比而自惭形秽？况且，假如我们诚实坦白，有多少人只会发布那些经过精心挑选与编辑、却不反映真实情况的照片？我们充满粉饰的照片会对他人造成何种影响？发帖时，我们是再为他人着想，还是更关心自己收到多少“点赞”和“留言”？爱邻舍的心又体现在何处？ Social media platforms also encourage us to show only the most enviable images of our own lives. These can easily breed narcissism, and can also be damaging to those who read or view them. How many of us have felt inadequate by comparing ourselves to others online? And, if we’re honest, how many of us post only select, edited pictures that don’t give the whole story? What is the effect on others of our own, whitewashed photos? Do we think of others when we post, or are we more concerned with how many “likes” and “comments” we receive? Where is the love for neighbor in this approach?
我仍然相信社交媒体可以被妥善使用，但自恋和骄傲是很真实的危险，我们必须时刻加以防范。 I remain convinced that social media technologies can be used well, but narcissism and pride are real dangers, and must be guarded against at every turn.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND QUICK SPEECH 社交媒体与“快快地说”
社交媒体鼓励人们立即行动，这与圣经中关于我们应如何说话的原则并不相符。使徒雅各基于旧约智慧文学，教导我们要「 慢慢地说」。很明显，社交媒体并不鼓励或奖赏这样的耐心。Twitter这样的平台往往会奖励那些“快快地说”的人，但雅各教导我们要「快快地听」。社交媒体鼓励我们畅所欲言，圣经却教导我们倾听为先、不要急于表达。当然，我们也可以使用社交媒体来倾听他人，不过我们有意地如此行，而且我们通常会比较容易去倾听同一阵营的声音。这是社交媒体公认的危险之一：创造线上封地，然后沦为回音室。 Social media’s encouragement of immediate action fits uneasily with biblical principles for how we speak. Building on Old Testament wisdom literature, the apostle James instructs us to be slow to speak. To state the obvious, this sort of patience is not encouraged or rewarded in social media. Whereas platforms like Twitter tend to reward those who are quick to speak, James instructs us to be quick to listen. Whereas social media encourages us to speak our minds now; Scripture teaches us to listen first, and not to be too eager to speak. To be sure, we can use social media to listen to others, though we must be intentional in so doing, and it’s typically easier to listen more closely to those who are like ourselves. This is one of the recognized dangers of social media: creating our own online fiefdoms that become echo chambers.
雅各的教导强调了话语的重要性，这也适用于我们的线上写作。「多言多语难免有过，禁止嘴唇是有智慧的。」（箴10:19）我们不仅要慢慢地说，也要「慢慢地动怒」——在雅各的逻辑中，这两项看起来是互相关联的。我们很容易带着愤怒说话或写作，所以避免轻率的言语和推文如此重要。网络的沃土滋生了许多不必要的争论，我们也应多加小心（参 提前3:3；提后2:24）。 James’s teaching underscores the importance of our words—which also applies to what we write online. Where words are many, transgressions are many, but the wise will restrain their lips (Prov. 10:19). Not only must we be slow to speak, but we must be slow to anger; these seem to be related in James’s logic. It is easy to speak or write in anger, which is why it is so important that we refrain from rash speaking and posting. We also need to be aware of needless controversies, which find fertile soil online (see 1 Tim 3:3; 2 Tim. 2:24).
SOCIAL MEDIA AND OUR NEIGHBORS 社交媒体与我们的邻舍
社交媒体也往往鼓励自我吹嘘。然而圣经警告我们不要自夸，而要别人夸奖我们（箴27:2）。“凡尔赛”（Humblebragging）这个词源自社交媒体，现已流传甚广，足以列入现代词典。你肯定听过这类话术：“Y认为我配得上X，笔者深表荣幸。”“抱怨型凡学”则更为刺耳，例如：“今天签售了那么多书，手酸死了呢。” Social media also tends to encourage self-promotion. Yet Scripture warns us not to honor ourselves, but to let others praise us (Prov. 27:2). “Humblebragging” is a term that owes its origin to social media, and has become commonplace enough to warrant an entry into modern dictionaries. You know how it goes, “Honored to be considered as worthy of X by Y.” Even more dissonant is the “complaining” humblebrag. For example, “My hand is incredibly sore today from having to sign so many books!”
我毫不怀疑，有些场合下，我们可以纪念重要事件或公开表达感谢。但是这类帖子多少次是被用于自我宣传？同样地，尽管社交媒体并未要求我们以这种方式使用它，但围绕社交媒体使用的文化让我们极易自我吹嘘，甚至在基督徒圈内也不能免俗。 I don’t doubt that there can be places for noting important events and expressing thanks publicly. But how often are these sorts of posts used as means to promote ourselves? Again, social media does not require we use it in this way, but the culture surrounding the use of social media makes it easy to promote ourselves—even in Christian circles.
与此相反，我们必须考虑自己的帖子（包括文字和图片）对他人有何影响。雅各谈到「 要爱人如己」的律法（雅2:8）时也提到了这一点，他是在引用耶稣有关第二大诫命的教导（见利19:18）。我并不认为对社交媒体的使用存在一刀切的标准，但我们的首要目的不应是自吹自擂。相反，我们应利用这些平台，造就他人（见弗4:29）、荣耀基督（见林前10:31）。 Instead, we must think about how our posts (both words and photos) will affect others. James also mentions this, when he speaks of the royal law to love your neighbor as yourself (James 2:8)—a reference to Jesus’s teaching about the second great commandment (see Lev. 19:18). I’m not suggesting that there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to how social media must be used, but our primary goal of our use of social media should not be self-promotion. Instead, we should use the platforms as opportunities to encourage others (see Eph. 4:29) and promote the honor of Christ (see 1 Cor. 10:31).
实话实说，我不确定“凡尔赛”能否达到上述目的。 If I’m honest, I’m not sure how often humblebragging succeeds in doing this.
妥善使用社交媒体 USING SOCIAL MEDIA WELL
首先得澄清，我不是在论证要 “不惜一切代价避免使用社交媒体”，我是在说，当今最为流行的那些社交平台，其功效往往偏离圣经伦理，而正是这些伦理告诉我们应如何与他人交往、如何使用语言。我在《过好每一天》（Every Day Matters）中也有相关论证，即社交媒体提供的消遣也许并不值得我们花费时间。如果确实如此，那么最明智的行动方案就是避免使用。但如果社交媒体起到了积极作用，使我们多结果子，那么花费时间就是值得的。每个人都必须自行权衡利弊。不过，我们都明白网络消遣导致的摸鱼是怎么一回事。即使我们并未因此分心，我们也要思考：在网上论坛花费时间是否值得？例如，就某个争议话题在Facebook上发表一篇研究透彻、细致入微的文章，这有何回报？人们会耐着性子仔细阅读吗？还是随便浏览一下就跳过了？帖子（或许极短）的保质期，值得你努力吗？或许吧，但或许推荐论及各种那些主题的材料书籍能帮你更有效利用时间。 To be clear, I am not arguing that social media must be avoided at all costs. But I am suggesting that the functionality of the most popular platforms tend to be slanted away from the biblical ethics of how we engage one another and how we use our words. And, as I argued in Every Day Matters, it is quite possible that the distraction of social media is not worth our time. If that’s true, then the wisest course of action is to avoid it. But if social media serves a positive role and allows us to be more fruitful, then it is worth it. Each person must weigh that choice. But we all know what it’s like to be less productive because of online distractions. Even if we’re not distracted, we have to ask whether the investment of time into online forums is worth it. For example, what is the payoff for a well-researched and nuanced post on Facebook arguing about a controversial issue? Will people read it with care and nuance? Or will they scan it and keep scrolling? Will its (perhaps short) shelf-life be worth the effort? It might be. But it might be a better use of your time to point others to published materials on various topics.
妥善使用社交媒体需要极大的努力和智慧。我们必须有意识地关注自己花在其中的时间，考虑自己行为对他人的影响，并有策略性地使用这些工具，以达到积极目的。改写一下约翰·欧文的名言：“我们必须战略性地使用社交媒体，否则社交媒体将使用我们。” Engaging social media well requires great diligence and wisdom. We must be intentional about our time there, consider how our actions affect others, and use the tools strategically for positive ends. To adapt a famous quote from John Owen: We must be using social media strategically, or social media will be using us.
我自己会较少发帖，并避免对热点问题作出快速回应。通常，我会直接推荐以前写过的内容，让人们去别处阅读，以期增加人们对圣经的认识和忠诚度。同样地，我发现社交媒体作为工具十分有用，某些书籍、文章和其他有益的资料，如果我没有通过社交媒体发现它们，可能就此错过。其他人则更频繁地使用社交媒体，方式也与我不同——其中许多人用智慧行事，方法得当。无论以何种方式接触上述平台，圣经的规范适用于我们所有人，尽管如何实际应用需要因地制宜。 Engaging social media well requires great diligence and wisdom. We must be intentional about our time there, consider how our actions affect others, and use the tools strategically for positive ends. To adapt a famous quote from John Owen: We must be using social media strategically, or social media will be using us.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND UNION WITH CHRIST 社交媒体和“与基督联合”
最后，我们使用社交媒体的方式并不能从我们与基督的联合当中抽象出来，因为基督本身就体现了圣经的智慧。他不急于动怒，「被骂不还口」。相反，「将自己交托那按公义审判人的主。」（彼前2:22-23）与基督联合意味着通过祂的话语与祂联合（见约15:7；西3:16）。我们心里要充满富有恩典、基督一般的话语，以致开口——或发帖时，它们就满溢而出（见太12:34）。 Finally, how we use social media is not abstracted from our union with Christ. For Christ himself embodied biblical wisdom. He was not quick to anger, and when reviled, he did not revile in return. Instead, he entrusted himself to his Father who judges all things righteously (1 Pet. 2:22–23). To be united to Christ means to be united to him by his word (see John 15:7; Col. 3:16). Our hearts should be so filled with gracious, Christlike words that they overflow from our hearts when we speak—or post (see Matt. 12:34).
更重要的是，我们必须记住，我们的言语不是永生之道——基督的话才是（约6:68）。归根结底，只有将人引向救主时，我们的言语才如救主般佳美。为什么不利用社交媒体，尽可能多地引人归主呢？谁知道呢？或许在网上，我们不完美的言语也能激发与约翰福音中撒玛利亚人相似的回应： Even more significantly, we must remember that our words are not the source of eternal life—Christ’s words are (John 6:68). In the end, our words are only as good as the Savior they point others to. Why not use social media to point as many to Christ as possible? Who knows? Maybe our imperfect, online words will somehow yield a response that mirrors that of the Samaritans in Gospel of John:
「那城里有好些撒玛利亚人信了耶稣，因为那妇人作见证说：“他将我素来所行的一切事都给我说出来了。”于是撒玛利亚人来见耶稣，求他在他们那里住下，他便在那里住了两天。因耶稣的话，信的人就更多了，便对妇人说：“现在我们信，不是因为你的话，是我们亲自听见了，知道这真是救世主。” 」（约翰福音4:39-42） Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39–42)
这位世界的救主能够使用一切事物，包括祂子民在网络中的言论，吸引万人归向自己（约12:32）。 This Savior of the world can use all things, including the words of his people on the worldwide web, to draw all people to himself (see John 12:32).
因此，让我们努力，善用科技带来的便利来造就他人、引人归主。这才是明智之举。 Let us therefore endeavor to use the gifts of technology for building others up and for pointing them to Christ. That’s a wise move.