The clergy and laity of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) must take advantage of information and community technology to accomplish the mission of the Church- which is the make disciples of all nations.
The General Secretary, Church of Nigeria, the Venerable Dr. Gershinen Paul Dajur, made the submission at a seminar entitled ‘‘Abuse of ICT: What is the Way Out’’, held on the margins of Day 2 of the Divine Commonwealth Conference.
He said technology is a tool that can be used to the glory of God, despite its abuse by many, the young and old alike. ‘‘ICT and Social Media are great blessings to the world, especially to the church and Christians as individual members. ‘‘As a communion, the Church of Nigeria is actively engaged with the ICT andSocial Media through the Television outfit, the Anglican Cable Network Nigeria (ACNN TV), Diocesan Media outfits in the different dioceses, and the different social media accounts of dioceses, parishes and other church agencies.
He also identified several platforms that have been created for Anglicans to connect, learn and share godly knowledge with one another on social media including the Anglican Clergy and Laity Forum (ACLF) on Facebook; Anglicans’ School of Anglicanism Via – Media; Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion Friends, among others.
On the abuse of ICT and social media, Venerable Dajur expressed concern that it had become notorious for the spreading of scam, malicious and fraudulent information and fake news. ‘‘ICT and social media have been abused as grounds for the promotion of evil lifestyles such as sexual immorality, nudity, pornography, drugs, child poaching, internet fraud (yahoo-yahoo), hacking, impersonation, cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cyber threat, virus attack, obscene, vulgar or abusive languages and the like,’’ he said.
He warned that addiction to ICT and social Media had eaten deep into the spiritual, social, psychological and economic wellbeing of many Christians, especially the youth, resulting in narcissism, pornography, gambling, gaming and disorders. On the way forward, the cleric admonished Christians to be ‘Ambassadors of Christ’ on ICT platforms and social media, cautioning users not to be spread malicious and fake news.
He also stressed the need for believers to understand ICT and social media well before engaging in it, warning against wasting valuable time online . ‘‘We must practice ICT and social media Sabbath. It is important to make critical evaluation of one’s use of time on ICT and Social Media: what gain comes to you when you are on Social Media? ‘‘Is there something beneficial you could have done if not because you have spent time on Social Media? ‘‘In actual fact, being on ICT and Social Media is directly or indirectly working for the owner of the platform without receiving any form of pay except for vain self-gratification (likes, loves, and thumb-ups and at best positive comments).
‘‘Remember, the more time you spent on Social Media, the more you are enriching the owners of the Social Media,’’ he said.