Meme me. Social media has changed the way we look at the world. Christians should be taking note of the changing landscape around them. Social media offers us a chance to connect with those we may not have been able to in the past. But it also presents some unique challenges for evangelism. One of the biggest challenges is the emergence of memes.
What’s in a Meme?
If you are not familiar with what I’m talking about, a meme is in essence a picture with a message displayed on it in writing. Most are meant to be humorous, but some carry a more serious message. They are a quick way to make a point or get people thinking.
So, what’s the big deal? Why care that memes are taking over social media? Because they are often used to make arguments against the Christian worldview. Christians can be left scratching their heads trying to offer up a good response to a meme that doesn’t seem quite right to them. Unsure how to respond, many Christians chose to remain silent rather than engage.
The problem with a meme is that it can assert a point rather quickly, but without any justification. Just one quick line can often appear to be a good argument. It gets even more appealing if the meme agrees with your preexisting notions on a particular subject. It can be the equivalent of a one line put down.
An even bigger problem is that answering certain objections presented in a meme can take some time. A yes or no response doesn’t quite fit the bill here. You want to give a substantive response, but in doing so, may lose your audience.
Memes are not great arguments in general. And I don’t want to make it seem like all atheist objections are shallow or easy to defeat. There are some very bright atheists out there that make a robust case for their worldview. But, just as with the Christian worldview, their arguments aren’t done justice in a simple meme. They require deeper thought and analysis.
To be honest, I hadn’t given much thought to responding to memes. But then I began to notice other apologists taking a creative path in dealing with them. Tim Barnett at Stand to Reason was doing his “Red Pen Logic” responses for a while. He would use a red pen and mark up memes showing their logical fallacies.
The kicker was seeing a short video with Christian philosopher William Lane Craig responding to a few memes. At that point, I figured it would be worth investing some time into responding to certain meme’s I had seen. I already responded to one last week, and decided to continue on with a series.
In the series I’ll show what the basic problem is with the argument being presented, and then offer a quick response or question to ask the person that posted the meme. I want to make sure you the reader clearly understands the problems with the meme, but also offer a succinct response that won’t get overlooked by the audience.
If you have a meme that you’d like us to look at and respond to, go ahead and send it in. We’ll be happy to look at it and offer a response. Who knows? It might even get selected to be used in a full article!
Have you ever been stumped by a meme and weren’t sure how to respond?
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