Category Archives: community

Look before you… Entertainment

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There is something about physical harm and pain that reminds us to look before we… leap. Why? Because we leaped one too many times without looking and our brain has trained us not to do that again. That’s the way our brains work. And our brains work well. That is, at least, for a lot of things. However, our brains may work against us when it comes to others things.

We sit down and watch a cute, funny dog video on YouTube and that’s fine; no pain. Actually, we quite enjoy it. Our brains do not tell us: Look before you… watch. So, we don’t. We don’t consider what we watch or how often we watch because, after all, we like it.

Plus, entertainment is everything.[1] But, is it? Or, should it be? We would do well to consider this question as (likely) the most entertained people in all of history.[2]

What is “entertainment”? What does that word mean? It has been defined in this way: “the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.” So, entertainment gives us pleasure, enjoyment, and diversion; especially by a performance of some kind. For instance, I was entertained at NitroCircus when Travis Pastrana did a double backflip on a dirt bike.

To quote someone from a different arena, it would have been fitting for Pastrana to scream out:

“Are you not entertained?! Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?!”

There is a danger that people will die in entertaining us but is there also a danger for us as we are endlessly entertained?

Neil Postman wrote in 1985 about the danger of, as his book title says, Amusing Ourselves to Death, and that was before public internet, let alone social media and the smart phone. It is not an understatement to say that we are likely to amuse ourselves to death. There are serious health risks for us when all we care about is entertainment. There is the further danger that we’re not living and loving as we should. We’re liable to amuse ourselves until death, and never do anything worthwhile with the time we’ve been given.

Continue reading


Philemon: A Case Study of New Life in Christ (Part 2)

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What do we learn about Onesimus?
Paul calls Onesimus his child, as he often does with converts, especially, it seems, those whom he had a special connection with through discipleship (cf. 1 Cor. 4:14-15; 2 Cor. 6:13; Gal. 4:19; Phil. 2:22; 1 Tim. 1:2).

Onesimus, had a common slave name, his name meant “useful.” Paul makes a pun here. He basically says, Useful was useless to you Philemon but now he is useful to both you and me (v. 11).

So, how was “Useful” previously useless? What did he do that explains the remark from Paul? He ran away from his master Philemon and likely stole money from him to pay for his voyage and new life. He used to be useless but not now, now Paul says, he is indeed useful.

We have already seen that Paul used a term of endearment by saying Onesimus was Paul’s child. However, Paul does not stop there. Paul says, in sending Onesimus back to Philemon, he is sending his very heart (v. 12). Paul has a deep bond with Onesimus, he has been helpful to Paul (the old man!) in prison. As Paul says, “I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel” (v. 13). So, Paul is making the case that Onesimus, though once deemed useless, is indeed useful both to Paul and Philemon.

Onesimus, proves his new usefulness, as we’ve seen, by helping Paul. But not only that, he is repentant. He is willing to go back to Philemon his master, a bold step. In that day, slaves could be branded with the letter “F” for fugitive or “T” for thief (if they had a “gracious” master). Other masters may have their slave executed, perhaps even on a cross. There was a near contemporary of Philemon, a very wealthy slave owner, that was killed by a slave so in order to punish the slave and make an example all of the man’s slaves were killed; all four hundred of them (Hughes, p. 161-62). In fact, in Martin Hengel’s book Crucifixion there is a chapter titled “the ‘slaves’ punishment,” and in this chapter he tells about one occasion after a slave rebellion where there were six thousand slaves crucified (p. 55). Continue reading


Philemon: A Case Study of New Life in Christ (Part 1)

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We see in Paul’s letter to the Colossians[1] that Christians are to put on the new self with new practices, new characteristics. And Paul tells us about the unprecedented unification and reconciliation that happens in Christ between all sorts of different people. Paul says, “there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11 cf. 1 Cor. 12:13-14; Gal. 3:26-27).

But will this really work?! Paul is talking all this big talk but can it ever be practiced. He says, here there is neither slave nor free, and yet there truly were slaves and freemen. There really were Greeks and Jews. There were and are people that are in the world and see the world in all sorts of different ways. How can they be united? Is it really possible? And if so, how?! Continue reading


Slavery and its defeat

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At the time of the writing of the New Testament, in the Roman Empire, there were essentially three classes of people: The rich, the slaves (about half the population), and freemen. These “freemen” were free in that they were not owned by anyone, yet they often went hungry because of their “freedom.” Whereas, slaves sometimes had good masters and sometimes had bad masters.

Slavery in Rome was not what it was like in America 150 years ago.

“In Paul’s day, slavery was not based on race. Additionally, slaves had any number of duties and responsibilities, ranging from farming, mining, and milling to cooking, teaching, and managing. Furthermore, slaves were not infrequently freed from the shackles of slavery (a process known as manumission).

There is no mistaking the fact, however, that slavery in the Greco-Roman world was degrading, dehumanizing, and downright disgusting. Taken together, slaves were perceived and treated as property and were frequently subject to unimaginable punishments based on their maters’ malevolent whims. Indeed, Roman historian Cassius Dio tells of an especially cruel slave owner, Vedius Pollio, who had slaves who displeased him thrown into a pool of flesh-eating eels.”[1]

So, what was slavery’s defeat? Harriet Beecher Stowe said:

“The Christian master was directed to receive his Christianized slave, ‘NOT now as a slave, but above a slave, a brother beloved [Philemon 16];’ and, as in all these other cases, nothing was said to him about the barbarous powers which the Roman law gave him, since it was perfectly understood that he could not at the same time treat him as a brother beloved and as a slave in the sense of [unconstitutional] Roman law.

When, therefore, the question is asked, why did not the apostles seek the abolition of slavery, we answer, they did seek it. They sought it by the safest, shortest, and most direct course which could possibly have been adopted.”[2]

Paul’s system founded on Jesus the Christ—Jesus who came to serve and not be served—subverts any form of human oppression.[3] So, we see Paul lays the necessary groundwork for the emancipation proclamation. The gospel has changed the basic structure of the way Paul looks at the world and it should change the way we see the world as well. Continue reading


How we live as exiles…

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The Bible teaches us that we, as Christians, are exiles (1 Pet. 1:1, 17; 2:11; Phil. 3:20; Heb. 13:14). That is, we as Christians are separated from our true country. This is a biblical reality and more and more becoming an empirical reality. For instance, Newsweek has said, “Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population” (cf. U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious“). 

America has been postmodern and now we’re told America is post-Christian. But it’s not surprising. And it’s actually ok because this is not our home. We are “exiles” (1 Pet. 1:1, 17) and so we shouldn’t expect to have a nice cushy Christian majority (not that a Christian majority is wrong). We function, as the early church functioned, from the margins, not from the center.

Also, notice that Peter doesn’t tell us to wage war to ensure that we are the “moral majority.” No. Peter says, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:11-12 see also 1 Cor. 5:9-13).

It’s actually Christian’s morality that Peter is concerned with. Peter doesn’t say watch out for the world’s morality (and Peter lived under Roman control). No. He says, watch out for your own morality. Wage war against your soul. We are called to live our lives “constructively embedded within society while not being enslaved to all of its norms and ideals” (Lee Beach, The Church in Exile, 183). Continue reading


A few thoughts on loving our neighbors…

house_myn6tufuGod is a missionary God. God sent prophet after prophet and even sent His own Son (cf. Matt. 21:33ff). And now Jesus the Son is sending us into the world (Jn. 17:18). The task was dangerous for the prophets and deathly for Jesus. We shouldn’t expect anything less (Christians are the most persecuted group in the world). We were sent into the world, not a Christian conclave. And we were sent into the world not to win the world over to our side but to love the world, to love our neighbor. To implore the world on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20). 

We are not to hide in Christian castles, build castles, or lob missiles at the outside world from our castle. The commission from Christ did not include a castle, it included sacrificial—boots on the ground—compassion. God showed His love for us through the amazingly tangible incarnation and cross. There is a sense in which we too can give love flesh.

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The Church & Social Responsibility

C.H. Spurgeon said, “Nothing but the Gospel can sweep away social evil… The Gospel is the great broom with which to cleanse the filthiness of the city; nothing else will avail.”[1] Spurgeon experienced the truth of that statement in his city and Scripture attests of its truth over and over again.

Look at Acts 19:18-20 for a prime example of the social change that took place because of the gospel. Also look how faith changed Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). He no longer defrauded people but restored fourfold those whom he had defrauded. He also gave half of his belongings to the poor. It should therefore not be our first goal to enact political and social change but spiritual change that takes place through the receiving of the gospel.[2]

If the gospel is truly received social change will follow. I do not believe in the social gospel[3] but the gospel will inevitably bear fruit in the social realm. The gospel is necessarily social; that is, it has unavoidable implications on society. As Carl F. H. Henry has said, “A globe-changing passion certainly characterized the early church… A Christianity without a passion to turn the world upside down is not reflective of apostolic Christianity.”[4] We must show and tell the gospel if there is to be a full and effective presentation.

The Lausanne Committee accurately said this of Christian social responsibility:

“We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.”[5]

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[1] C. H. Spurgeon, the soul winner, 247.

[2] Thomas r. Schreiner says, “Jesus did not call for political revolution; he trusted in the power of the word of God (mark 4:28) and focused on the need of the nation to repent and turn to God… what will change society is individuals turning from their sin and committing themselves wholly to God” (Schreiner, new testament theology, 52-53). However, that is not to say that political involvement is wrong (mark 6:14-20; matt. 14:1-12; acts 16:35-39; 24:25; 1 Tim. 2:1-4) only that we should not set our hopes on it. The gospel is the power to salvation and therefore the power to change (cf. Rom. 1:16; 1 cor. 6:9-11). Note, however, that john the baptizer was martyred like many other Christians, for biblically informed political convictions (I think of Bonheoffer and Martin Luther King Jr. Notice, also that they gave their life and did not take life). 

[3] The social gospel movement was a movement started by Walter Rauschenbusch in the early 1900s. It emphases social justice over and against the gospel and has a defective view of the kingdom of God (among other things). Contra the social gospel movement the kingdom of God, though ushered in by Christ’s coming, does not find its fulfillment until Jesus brings it down from heaven. However, in revolting against the social gospel we should not be guilty of revolting against the Christian social imperative (see carl f. H. Henry, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism, 22)

We don’t bring in the Kingdom, God does (cf. Rev. 21:1-2; dan. 2:44-45).

However much we try or even succeed in our responsibility to secure greater economic justice, Christians can look beyond this world, with all its tribulations and inequities, to the restoration of all things at Christ’s return (acts 3:21). Our faith is not pinned or limited to humanity’s capacity to share generously; for it is only at the second coming that our full humanness will be restored. This does not mean that we cease our efforts to improve this world however. On the contrary, it is because we cherish the vision of completed humanness in the end that we must all the more promote human dignity today (www.lausanne.org).

[4] Henry, The Uneasy Conscience Of Modern Fundamentalism, 16.

[5] http://www.lausanne.org (italics mine). See: Acts 17:26, 31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Prov. 13:31; Ps. 45:7; Gen. 1:26, 27; James. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27, 35; James. 2:14-26; Jn. 3:3, 5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; 2 Cor. 3:18; James. 2:20.


Gospel Friendships

In the army there is a thing called a “battle buddy,” or at least at Basic Combat Training, there is. A “battle buddy” is someone that is always around you; someone you’re always helping and receiving help from.

At Basic Training you do everything with your battle buddy, and if you don’t you get in trouble. You do pushups together, you make sure your uniform is right, you… do everything together. My first battle body could do like 170 pushups in two minutes, he was a beast. He did MMA previously. However, there was still stuff he needed help with. And there was certainly a lot he could teach me.

We all need a “battle buddy.” They drill this into new recruits heads because you can’t fight a war on your own. You have to have people cover your back. You have to have people around to help you. And this is no less the case when it comes to our lives. We have an enemy that is out to get us. We need gospel friendships to help us in the fight.

There are a lot of things that we can rally around. People can become friends because they like Pokémon or for any number of reasons. We could become friends because…

There is something that makes us friends that goes beyond hanging out and beyond Pokémon. So, what makes us friends ultimately?

The Gospel Makes Us Friends

Paul [with Timothy] writes “to all the saints in Christ Jesus…” (Phil. 1:1). Paul is writing to “the saints” and they are the ones who are his friends. The gospel makes us saints and gives us friendships that Pokémon, sports, and where we live cannot. What does it mean to be saints?

Saint means “holy one.” So how can you be a saint, a holy one, set apart from sin? Are you holy by yourself? No! We are sinful by ourselves. Left to ourselves, we are stuck in sin. We do not receive grace from God; we receive punishment. We do not receive peace from God; we receive war and wrath. Look at the verse, it says “saints in Christ Jesus.” It doesn’t say, “We’re saints in ourselves.”

We are made saints, holy, and receive peace with God through placing our faith in Jesus. Jesus was holy and never did anything wrong and yet He died in our place. The gospel is the “great exchange”: Jesus takes our sin upon Himself and dies the death we deserved and He gives us His righteousness and we get eternal life as we don’t deserve, and this all comes through faith in Jesus. That’s the gospel. And the gospel unites us. It makes us friends. Paul wrote to “the saints.”

Saints, those who believe in the gospel and treasure Jesus Christ, have something beyond this world that unites them.

Christ befriends us and because Christ befriends us we are all friends through Him. We, through Christ’s work, have God as our Father. We’re family! We all have the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit connects us.

The gospel makes us friends.

And notice who Paul wrote to: people at Philippi; a lot of different people. Some of whom were not considered “cool.” Maybe Paul was a book nerd, we know he read and wrote a lot; or maybe he was into sports, he does talk quite a bit about them. Whatever the case, there were people in Philippi that he would not naturally get along with. There were Gentiles in Philippi and Paul was a Jew.[1]

But, it was the gospel that made them friends. It is the gospel that makes us friends. So, let’s be friends because of the gospel. Jesus has shown us love and reached down to us so let’s show each other love, no matter how hard it may seem.

So, we’ve talked about what makes us friends so now let’s talk about characteristics of gospel friendships.

Gospel Friends Are…

Thankful (Phil. 1:3-4)

Paul thanks God for his friends. That is, Paul does not take his friends for granted. He appreciates them. And we see he thanks not just them for being his friends but he knows whom it is that gave them to him, God; and so Paul thanks God for his friends.

So, we as gospel friends should be thankful for each other. We should thank God for each other. And through that, we see that we should also appreciate each other. We shouldn’t take each other for granted.

Partners (Phi. 1:5)

We see here that Paul is not just thankful for his friends but thankful for them because they are partners together. And not just partners for anything, but “partners in the gospel.” So, a huge characteristic of gospel friendships is that they care about the gospel and the gospel going forward. They don’t just have a partnership or friendship formed around Pokémon or whatever but formed around the gospel.

Later on, Paul talks about “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (v. 27).[2] Gospel friends are intentional and even “strive” together for the advance of the gospel. Our friendships are not to be shallow. They are to be about the life changing and eternal truth of the gospel.

Encouraging (Phil. 1:6)

Gospel friends have a healthy and encouraging outlook with each other that’s grounded in the gospel. Gospel friends realize that the world is fallen and we will hurt each other and sometimes friends will sadly talk behind your back but gospel friends realize that God is working on His saints. So gospel friends are realistic but hopeful.

So gospel friends don’t give up on each other… they encourage.

Faithful (Phil. 1:7)

Paul’s friends were with him and for him even through his imprisonment.

Jesus, our Savior and also our ultimate example, is reliable. He is with us through thick and thin. All other friends will finally fail but Jesus never does. However, we are called to be like Jesus. We want to be a reliable friend even when it is hard for us or unpopular.

It was popular for the Philippians to be friends with Paul and help him. It was actually likely dangerous, but they remained faithful friends. Let’s also remain reliable and faithful friends. Let’s love like Jesus loves. And be there for others, like Jesus is there for us.

Affectionate (Phil. 1:8)

Paul said, “I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” This verse is quite amazing. In what way does Paul “yearn,” in what way is Paul affectionate? Does his affection or love change depending on how cool, fun, or nice his friends are? No!

It says “with the affection of Christ.” What is the “the affection of Christ” and was it easily killed? Jesus’ affection took Him to the cross and He died before His affection did. He died because His affection would not. #truelove

That’s the kind of love and affection that we are called to. We are to love like Jesus. We are to die before our love does. Let’s love like that!

Caring (Phil. 1:9-11)

As friends, we are to care for each other and want what’s best for each other.

What can be hard, however, is actually knowing how to best care for each other. Paul helps us here. He shows us what it really means to care. It means that we don’t merely care about external issues. It is actually not even about being concerned with our friend’s physical wellbeing. It goes beyond that.

Being gospel friends means caring about each other’s spiritual well-being… That’s what we see in these verses. That is what is most important.

Conclusion

We’ve seen that the gospel makes us friends and we’ve seen some characteristics of what it means to be gospel friends. Now, let’s purpose to live as gospel friends by the power of the Holy Spirit in light of the gospel.

Gospel Friendship in Philippians

1:5 “partnership in the gospel”
1:7 “partakers with me of grace”
1:14-19 “through your prayers’
1:27 “striving side by side for the faith”
2:22 “served with me in the gospel”
2:25 “my brother, and fellow worker, and fellow soldier”
3:17 “join in imitating me”
4:3 “labored side by side with me”
4:15 “partnership with me in giving and receiving”

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[1] “Paul’s friends were made up of a pretty diverse group of individuals—a former slave, a doctor, both Jews and Gentiles, etc.” (Adam Holland, Friendship Redeemed: How the Gospel Changes Friendships to Something Greater, 70-71).

[2] “The heart of true fellowship… is self-sacrificing conformity to a shared vision… Christian fellowship, then, is self-sacrificing conformity to the gospel. There may be overtones of warmth and intimacy, but the heart of the matter is this shared vision of what is of transcendent importance, a vision that calls forth our commitment” (D. A. Carson, Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians, 16).Go


All-Gender Bathrooms, Prosperity, Love, & the Question of Kingdom

Our discussion here should not be limited to bathrooms. It’s not just a problem of bathroom signs and who comes in those bathroom doors. The problem is not just political. If we leave it there we miss the heart of the issue and we fail to care about hearts.

It’s a matter of concern for people and prosperity. It’s a matter of love. And yes it’s a matter of truth. But I feel and fear that the latter has received the emphasis. And it sounds kind of like a noisy gong. 

Prosperity

How is this issue related to prosperity? As we think about all-gender restrooms we need to consider the matter from the perspective of love for neighbor and not just moralism or concern for ourselves or even our kids. We need to look at Jesus as the standard of how we interact with people. We should desire to represent Him in this conversation. Not the Andy Griffith Show.

We should have a concern for our neighbors, whether monogamous, transgender, all-gender, because they are fellow human beings created in the image of God. And we don’t want them to miss out on the good design that God gave. 

Thus the issue at hand is an issue of prosperity. How do humans prosper and flourish? How and what were we created for? What leads to our ultimate prosperity? What is our ultimate good?

Obviously, what blurs the issue is many believe we weren’t created and we thus have no ultimate purpose. Yet, if God did say in the beginning “it is good” and intends the world to function in a certain way then we shouldn’t want others to miss out on the good God intended even as we realize the world is broken (physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.). If, however, many of our neighbors our right, if God is not there and He is silent, then it doesn’t matter. Let us eat and drink, let us gloat and indulge in gluttony, let us define our own identity, let us do what we want for tomorrow we die.

But, if as I believe, God did create the world in a certain way, to function according to to certain physical and moral laws then this conversation matters. It matters not just for me, my family, and those that have my same worldview. It matters for all people. It is a matter of being inlined with the laws of the universe, ever as much as we must account for the laws of gravity. 

Yet, if we are Christians having this conversations with others, no matter who those others are, we must not be prideful. We must have the conversation in humility and love. We must have it knowing that all of creation groans with longing for redemption. We are all broken. We all struggle (Rosaria Butterfield’s words are helpful).

Love and Concern for People

As we think of and discuss this issue we shouldn’t do it detached from real people. Real people that have real struggles. We should not demonize other people, no matter who those people are. I don’t think Jesus would have done that even if they were putting up new signs on the restrooms at schools. I think Jesus would have seen the masses as blind sheep without a shepherd.

My reading of Scripture leads me to think Jesus would have loved and reached out in love to all people even transgender people (cf. Matt. 23:37). What people still need today is a shepherd, the Shepherd. A loving Shepherd that will lead His sheep to truth. 

We must imitate the Good Shepherd. We must love our neighbors even as we disagree with our neighbors. We must be motivated out of love and not out of fear.

How can we who have been loved so much not reach out with love to others?! Are we in a position to judge? Have we removed our log when we reach for another’s speck (cf. Matt. 7:1-6)?

The Kingdom Question

“Hypothetically” if a certain potitical leader did things that didn’t line up with biblical morality and said things like “What is truth?” I don’t think Jesus would have lambasted the political establishment. I think He would have remembered and perhaps reminded us that as Christians our Kingdom is not here. We should not expect it to be (cf. Jn. 18:33ff).

Are you thinking more about the Andy Griffith Show and what our world should be like? Or are you looking at Jesus and what He acted like? Are you expecting to build your kingdom here or are you looking to Christ’s coming Kingdom?*

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*Of course, we should not have an uninvolved escapist mentality. We should hold to our biblically informed views (see Politics?). 


The Megalomania of Mass Media

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Through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (and remember MySpace?) we have a world essentially created in our image. It’s nice. But it also feeds our narcissistic souls.[i] We like what we want and we want what we like; and if you, a certain political agenda, a religious view, or a video, a picture, or an advertisement (the most difficult thing to avoid in our cyber-haven) gets in my way I have the right, without reproach, to scroll on by.

Media brings a form of megalomania but it can also be a monster to meaning. It destroys meaning by stripping it of its context and by placing weighty things into too close a proximity to funny dog videos. When posts about politics, pantiliners, and poodles all show up in our (raging and undirected directed) “stream” then we might be taking in not a stream but a torrent of incoherent information.

It seems that social media has great potential to create an anti-intellectual ivory tower. That is, it distances us from people and what is really going on and allows us to make unsubstantiated comments that haven’t truly been contemplated. If we don’t take in the protein and exercise of hard thought we’re going to be weak. If we feed on what’s frail and fruitless, we will be frail and fruitless.

Tweets and feeds won’t feed us. And we cannot understand politics in sixty-second-sound-bits. Racial reconciliation isn’t and can’t be reconciled, let alone understood, when we merely rely on social media; instead of deep, patient, embodied, social change.

Violence and vengeance, bullying and bad behavior, won’t be solved by ads alone; even if the words are backed by a famous actor, artist, or athlete (that ironically likely undercuts the very thing they’re supposedly trying to communicate).

Further, social media may fool us, but it won’t fill us. We may enjoy Instagram but we weren’t there, we aren’t now, or we didn’t receive enough “stars” (or whatever) to fill out our significance.

The “word” “tweet” is fitting for Twitter because although I myself have a Twitter the whole thing is not congruent. When sentences and phrases are sheared of their context they have about as much meaning as a bird tweeting. So when we “tweet” we may be performing a type of onomatopoeia (an onomatopoeia is a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the source of the sound that it describes). That is to say, to tweet is to not say anything; or, at least, anything that is human in an extended rational sense.

As humans we can hear more than “tweet, tweet, tweet.” We can take in and bask in beautiful poetry or follow powerful prose. We can be “intoxicated” in beautiful ways literarily, but not so much if we stick w/ texting & tweeting.

Thankfully Chopin and Beethoven’s media wasn’t a kazoo and a triangle, that media would have greatly hindered them. Could it be that our media is hurting and hindering us? Maybe sometimes we need to even focus on a medium. Maybe even pick up a pencil and paper, put away distractions, and put something powerful and substantial down. Something outside of us, beyond us, and not about us. Maybe it’s time to read a book and get off Facebook.

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[i] In the picture above by Caravaggio (1571-1610), Narcissus gazes at his own reflection and in a similar way we gaze into our computers, phones, and tablets. We narcissistically gaze at our profiles and our worlds that we have created in our image. Could we meet the same fate as Narcissus? Could we drown in a stream of information and technology? 


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