Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - Should Christians Support a TikTok Ban?

James Meehan - Should Christians Support a TikTok Ban?

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Get involved
    James Meehan - Should Christians Support a TikTok Ban?
TOPICS: Culture Makers, TikTok, Influence, Addiction

Kaitlyn Caffery: James, today on this episode, we are going to talk about the ever controversial matter of TikTok being banned forever.

James Meehan: Okay, wonderful.

Kaitlyn Caffery: There are actually some pretty serious conversations going on right now. In fact, TikTok's CEO testified in Congress this week about it getting banned, because this is like a government issue as well as like a family, parent, child issue, as well as other social media platforms trying to jump in on this thing and fight for their space. So when it comes to really complicated issues like this where there are multiple sides and perspectives and everybody has an opinion, how in the world do we navigate this as Christians?

James Meehan: Yeah, I mean, I think the first thing we have to remember is that opinions are kind of like armpits. Everybody has them and most of them stink.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Wow.

James Meehan: On difficult topics,

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yes.

James Meehan: Everybody's got a take.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's true.

James Meehan: And everybody's take is their take.

Kaitlyn Caffery: It's true.

James Meehan: And oftentimes their take is not actually consistent with what's good, true, helpful, beautiful, and uplifting.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: Because that's why as followers of Jesus, that's what we gotta remember first is that the loudest voices are very rarely the truest voices, that the people that are spending the most money to get their point across might have a strong financial incentive to spend all of this money, because they think it's a good return on their investment. And so I say all of that to say, I think that's the first thing we've gotta recognize is that each of these different groups that are trying to get TikTok canceled, are doing it because they have reasons that benefit them.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Sure.

James Meehan: The government is afraid that TikTok is harvesting US citizens' data and providing that to the Chinese government, and they're using it for not super great things. You've got other social media companies that are trying to take out TikTok, because TikTok owns such a large slice of the digital social media space, and they want that back.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: You've got parents who are genuinely concerned about the wellbeing, the mental health of their kids, because there's lots of studies that show, the more time you spend on social media, the lower your mental wellbeing actually becomes. So all of that is real, all of those different groups are making points that some are good, some maybe not so much.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Right.

James Meehan: For those of us who are followers of Jesus though, what we want to continually come back to is what's good,

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: What's true,

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: What's beautiful, and what brings people closer to Jesus.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Come on.

James Meehan: And so, how should we think about this? Well, if your world is falling apart because TikTok just might be banned, then maybe TikTok or social media entertainment has become an idol in your life that needs to be torn down.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: If other people's worlds are falling apart because of this and you're just kind of like laughing at them and making fun of them, then maybe you need to learn to have the same compassion for them that Jesus has had for so many of us.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: If you're just like, "Everybody's an idiot and I don't care about any of it," I don't know if that's the best posture either.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Retweet. I'm just kidding.

James Meehan: I think what I would encourage you to do is recognize the very real harm that can come from people being so sucked into this app. Because like, let's be honest, TikTok has mastered the attention grabbing formula.

Kaitlyn Caffery: So true.

James Meehan: It's like, you've experienced it late at night, two o'clock in the morning, you know you need to go to sleep, but the next TikTok video just pops up because they do that. They know how to get your attention. And you're like, "I need to go to sleep". But there's TikTok speaking to you from the corner, "Hey, you want some more..". Now I'm not saying that TikTok is an illegal drug, but I'm saying it has that same level of addictive effect. And so no matter what ends up happening in the external world, as followers of Jesus, we need to let him define what's going on in our internal world. And so what I would encourage you to do is have compassion for those whose worlds are falling apart.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: I would tear down the idol of TikTok if your world is falling apart.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: And no matter what, I would make sure that our focus is on Jesus. That He is the center of our lives. Because when He's the center, when He is our anchor, then no matter how many different opinions are being thrown out, we can stay grounded in what is good, what's true, and what's beautiful.

A recent study, speaking of government and studies and things like that....

Ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Something that we are finding...

Aliens, do they exist?

Oh my gosh. In Creede, Colorado, they do.

In Creede, Colorado, my favorite mining town.

I knew it. A study of young adults showed that 61% of people in Gen Z, prefer to watch TV or videos with subtitles on, even if it's in their native language. There's many different theories as to why this is true. But I think it's just really interesting to think about like, what is the thing that makes that so appealing to us? So speaking of social trends,

Ooh yes.

Another one is male influencers in their twenties on YouTube.

Okay, wow.

Trying to teach other young guys how to make a fortune.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

And so it's like...

Hustle culture!


I am not a male influencer in my twenties trying to make a fortune on YouTube.

Wow, thank you for being honest about that.

Thank, yeah.

I've worked really hard on releasing my aspirations in that area. Have you ever had a goal or dream to do that? Or where do you think that comes from?

I think it comes from the fact that people can be whoever they want to be on social media. They can present this version of themselves that may not actually line up with reality, but the people watching the videos can't be sure about it. And so what you get is these young guys that are, like, really confident and they speak with authority. And they've probably read some helpful books, they've learned from like actual financial experts, and they're just repeating the things that they've heard.


And because of the way YouTube and social media works, because they're probably good looking dudes that are like well dressed and well spoken, and they're saying what is mostly good stuff, they build an audience. And so they end up actually making money off of the audience.


And just repackaging other people's wisdom.


You know what? More power to you, gentlemen, like, that's the environment. You've taken advantage of it. But for us as viewers, as listeners, what I would encourage us to do is to actually look not just at what people say in their videos. but the life they've built.

Right, right.

I had people ask me years ago if I was gonna write a book, because I like to write stuff. I've learned a lot in my journey, and I've always said, "I'm not gonna write a book until at least I'm like 35".


Because like I'm still in my 20s, there's still so much life that I haven't lived yet. And so while I could share wisdom I've learned from other people, at this point, it feels inauthentic to build a platform off of somebody else's hard work. Come on somebody.

That's good.

And so what I wanna do is I wanna point people to those experts who don't just talk the talk but have actually walked the walk and been doing it for years.


And so what I would encourage you to do is if you are listening to some of these young dudes that are like good looking and all that kind of stuff is figure out who they learned their wisdom from and then go directly to the source. Because then you're gonna find, not just like the pretty up version of it, but the actual like hard-earned wisdom

That's good.

That's time tested. And the same thing can be said of just about any other area of life, whether it's finances, whether it's fitness, whether it's relationships, marriage, parenting, dating, all of that kind of stuff. Don't just go to the people that are the most charismatic. Look for the people who have actually put in the work.

Come on.

And have a time tested track record.

Come on.

That's where I think you'll find the best wisdom.

That's so good. That makes me kind of sit, go back to the first thing that we talked about with TikTok

And opinions

And opinions.


And armpits.

Yeah, 'cause these dudes are just smelling other people's armpits and then like pretending it's theirs.

There's a little tournament going on right now.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

March Madness.

Come on.

All things NCAA basketball. I am not a huge basketball fan normally.

How dare you.

But this tournament is so fun and exciting to watch. I'm not invested in any of the schools or anything like that, but I just enjoy the level of like competition, competitiveness, like energy hype that just surrounds this tournament.

That's incredible.

So I'm having a lot of fun watching it. Are you following anything particularly?

A couple things you need to know about me. First of all, basketball's the enemy 'cause I'm a wrestler. So the real March Madness happened a couple weeks ago down in Tulsa, Oklahoma, NCAA Wrestling Finals. I got to be there in person for the semi-finals.

Let's go.

Absolutely incredible. Like, being there in person was amazing. I'm sure it's kind of like, you know the difference when you watch a basketball game on TV versus you're there in person.

Right. But this is better 'cause it's wrestling. You may disagree, and that's totally okay, because opinions are like armpits. Everybody has 'em.

Everybody has...

'Cause mine stink. So if you are a basketball fan, let us know in the comments, who are you rooting for? What upset has most upset you? We'd love to hear your thoughts.


Okay, yep.

Lost to the smallest school in this tournament.

Come on. David and Goliath.

Like Furman. I don't even know. They haven't been in the tournament for like 43 years or something like that. But UVA is, I'm from Virginia, so you know was pulling for them. They're fun to follow. And they got beat by a little tiny school that I've never heard of in my entire life.

Isn't it amazing how God does that?


Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed". It's the smallest of all garden seeds, but when it gets planted in the ground, eventually it starts to grow to become this large tree with branches big enough for all the birds of the air to find their rest in. You might seem small. You might feel like you're insignificant, like you can't make a difference. But just like that little team upset UVA, God can use you to upset the wrong things in your community and make 'em right. Be a Culture Maker.

So James is cheering.

Not an armpit smeller. See y'all, have a great week.

Oh my gosh. So in this episode of "Culture Makers," we've talked about TikTok and opinions. We've talked about subtitles. We've talked about influencers, and we've talked a whole lot about armpits.


What do you need to know about all of this? Well, we will want you to know that you have the opportunity to do the work to figure out what is actually good, true, and beautiful and to make sure that that is what you are spreading in the world. Until next time, my friends, we love you and keep making culture. See you next time.
Are you Human?:*