A few days ago I decided to watch the Kony 2012 video that has been showing up on everywhere on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (If you have not seen it, click here to watch it before you take the time to read my thoughts). I enjoyed the filmed and walked away with very mixed emotions. Instead of blogging right away I decided to wait a few days and let my mind process the film and the whole Kony 2012 movement all together. Because of the mixed emotions I have for the Kony 2012 film and movement, I am going to share my initial thoughts on here.
1. Kony 2012 shows the power of social media and how we can use it for good. The film made it clear that social media was the main hub for growing the Kony 2012 movement. The video alone was making waves on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter the day it was posted. Kony 2012 shows us that social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can be used to harness a world-wide movement for something good.
2. Kony 2012 shows us that young adults will rally around a cause. This movement should teach us something important-young adults and this younger generation is not apathetic. They are looking for a cause to fight for and something to rally together for. The question is-what are we telling them to fight for? Social justice? Freedom? Poverty? These are all good things, but these are not the things that will truly change the world. This leads me to my third thought about Kony 2012.
3. Kony 2012 is not the Gospel. I’m not saying that we should not join movements such as Kony 2012, but we shouldn’t allow these movements to take the place of evangelism and rallying around the Gospel. My fear is that social justice, such as Kony 2012, are becoming a substitute for the Gospel. For example, I believe we should raise money for clean drinking water for those in third world countries. But providing just clean drinking water is not going to truly bring change. Yes, they will live a bit longer and maybe be more healthy, but they will die and spend an eternity without God. We must provide them with clean water in order to share the life changing truth of the Gospel with them. Social action should be done for the opportunity to intro the real message-the Gospel of Jesus! Rich Yauger makes the point about Kony 2012 not being the Gospel like this:
Social action and justice-driven activity is NOT the Gospel. Those who receive salvation are not always those with the most banners flying. Tons of people will climb aboard the Kony Express and never know the love of Jesus and the power of His forgiveness. Likewise, tons of people will love and follow Jesus, and not participate in the KONY 2012 campaign. I know that seems harsh and I’m not at all saying that social issues don’t matter or that Joseph Kony should be left alone. Of course not. But we need to understand that you can love Jesus, watch the KONY 2012 video and choose to not sign the petition. You can know nothing of Joseph Kony and still be welcomed into the family of God, the forgiveness He offers, and the eternity He has prepared. I’ve seen the enemy use campaigns exactly like this to drive wedges between Christians because some feel passionately about a particular issue while others don’t.
I hope I am not coming across too critical or negative about the Kony 2012 movement. I believe in justice and believe we should seek to see it in our world, but we will never see it happen apart from the Gospel. Once you have seen the movie, take some time and pray. Don’t jump on the Kony 2012 bandwagon without first taking some time and allowing all the details and facts to sink in. If you feel the desire to be apart of Kony 2012, by all means go for it and have passion for it! But if not, it is not the end of the world. Make sharing and promoting the Gospel something that is a part of your life, not just when a new movements pops up on your Facebook timeline or Twitter feed.
Here is the link to the video: Kony 2012 video on YouTube
Here are some other great thoughts on Kony 2012:
Rich Yauger’s guest post about Kony 2012 on MoreThanDodgeball.com
Tim Challies thoughts on Kony 2012
Vernon Burger thoughts on Kony 2012