Dr. Michael Youssef Outlines a Model for Social Media Use
May 24, 2021
ATLANTA —Regardless of religious beliefs, most everyone would agree thatsocial media is driving us crazy as Dr. Michael Youssef suggests in his recently released book, “Hope for This Present Crisis: The Seven-Step Path to Restoring a World Gone Mad.”
While different religions may not agree on the root cause, “As Bible-believing Christians, we know that Satan’s influence on the world is real and pervasive,” Youssef writes. “Satan is the god of this age—and Satan is the god of social media.”
Dr. Youssef’s book, “Hope for This Present Crisis,” provides a sane and balanced look at a world that has gone mad by all accounts. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become lions’ dens of cruelty and personal destruction. A 2020 Business Insider India article reports that Facebook alone reported more than 20 million child sexual abuse images in 2020, more than any other company.
So, what is the answer, then?
“Should we shun Facebook and Twitter—have nothing to do with them because Satan is using these platforms for destructive purposes?” asks Dr. Youssef. “No. There is hardly a human institution in existence that Satan does not exploit for his own ends.”
Dr. Youssef likens social media with an enemy-held territory, along with other institutions in our society including public schools and universities, news media and entertainment, and government.
“That doesn’t mean we surrender the schools, the media, the government, and social media to the enemy,” says Dr. Youssef. “It means we must invade these enemy-held territories and plant the banner of Christ on those territories.
“What I’m suggesting is a risky proposition. Social media is a bad neighborhood where cruel and angry people hang out. The cancel culture is alive and well on social media. Wherever Satan rules, there is danger—and Satan rules social media.”
Dr. Youssef outlines the way, discerning a special ministry for those called to perform it. A ministry that involves changing minds and hearts on social media. He dubs it “becoming a gladiator for the Lord,” and describes it this way: “Becoming a gladiator for the Lord on social media is not for everybody. If you decide to witness publicly for Christ on social media, you can expect to be hated, attacked, mocked, and persecuted. Before you venture into that lawless region of the internet, you need to make sure God has called you for that mission. You need to make sure the Holy Spirit has gifted you for that purpose. You need to make sure you have put on the whole armor of God so that you can withstand the fiery darts of the enemy. You need to make sure you have a heart full of God’s love for ungodly people and a deep desire to lead them to Christ.”
Dr. Youssef is not merely suggesting that people share a Christian meme or retweet a Bible verse, though they can undoubtedly have an impact for Christ. What Dr. Youssef is suggesting is a more direct engagement, but not in a worldly, hostile way.
“I’m suggesting that God might be calling you to engage with non-Christians on social media the same way the apostle Paul engaged with the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill in Athens in Acts 17. I’m suggesting that God might be able to use your witness and your spiritual gifts to change minds and hearts on social media.”
This ministry is not for everyone, Dr. Youssef cautions, offering a stark warning and word of caution to those who tend to argue bitterly and respond angrily, or who may have a desire to treat others as spiritual opponents who need to be put in their place: “You should stay away from social media. You’ll do more harm than good for the kingdom of God.”
Instead, he outlines the qualities needed for those who seek to engage in this manner: “If you can be patient and kind when people insult you and mistreat you, if you can communicate the love and humility of Jesus even amid conflict and disagreement—then the Lord may be calling you to be His ambassador via the internet,” says Dr. Youssef.
Dr. Youssef leaves us with these words of hope: “If you are sure of God’s calling, then go into battle confidently and fearlessly. Remember, Jesus knocked Satan’s teeth out at the cross. Satan cannot bite or devour the believer—but he can still create a lot of havoc with his roar. Our adversary is working through people who hate Christ, but God still works through believers like you to love these enemies of Christ into His kingdom.”
Dr. Michael Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. He founded The Church of The Apostles which was the launching pad for Leading The Way’s international ministry. Dr. Youssef has authored more than 40 books, including popular titles like “Jesus, Jihad and Peace” and “Saving Christianity?”
Dr. Youssef is the host of the popular TV and radio broadcast Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, which airs more than 13,000 times every week across six continents in 26 languages—reaching audiences in nearly every major city in the world. His programs attract tens of millions of viewers weekly in the U.S. on major TV networks, including TBN, Daystar, Fox Business, Lifetime, GOD TV, CTN, NRB TV, and more.
Equipped with a keen understanding of the Bible, the Middle East, sociological trends in the Western world, and popular Christian worldview issues, Dr. Youssef is a sought-after voice whose expertise is regularly requested on both secular and Christian media, including Huckabee, Fox & Friends, Eric Metaxas, The Hugh Hewitt Show, The Christian Post, Fox News, Hannity, Glenn Beck, The 700 Club, and more. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and ten grandchildren.
“Hope for This Present Crisis” is published by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma House.
To interview Dr. Michael Youssef and to receive a review copy of “Hope for This Present Crisis,” contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.