The problem with our society is not lack of information (as we saw in the last post), it is lack of moral fiber. We have way more information than we can integrate…so we trust bucket loads of information with no way to assimilate it into our worldview. Why? We have no anchor that holds within the veil of naivete.

Some more juicy quotes from Neil Postman, German Informatics Society, 11 Oct 90, Stuttgart

“[George Orwell] remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we
believe in the authority of our science, no matter what…

The world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact – whether actual or imagined – that will surprise us for very long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world
which would make the fact appear as an unacceptable contradiction. We
believe because there is no reason not to believe. No social, political, historical, metaphysical, logical or spiritual reason…

The point is that, in a world without spiritual or intellectual order, nothing is unbelievable; nothing is predictable, and therefore, nothing comes as a particular surprise…

There is no consistent, integrated conception of the world which serves as the foundation on which our edifice of belief rests. And therefore, in a sense, we are more naive than those of the Middle Ages, and more frightened, for we
can be made to believe almost anything…”

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Your Father Who Sees Your Real (not contrived) Status

I recently came across a witty, but hauntingly truthful sentence from Will Ferrell. He said, “May your life one day be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook.”

Why haunting, because it rings with a lot of truth to it. Too many folks have abdicated real life for the fantasy of cyber fellowship. Media is not ethical in nature; how it is utilized determines the ethics behind social media. Therefore, it is foolish to condemn all social media because it is social media. Merely because someone uses Facebook for unsavory ends does not mean that the medium is, itself, unsavory.

I fear people have not thoughtfully engaged in how to capitalize and use the medium (just like we have used radio, television, and the telephone) as a means to spread the glory of God’s fame. However, there are many of us who have swerved off-kilter to the other side of unthoughtfulness. I am reminded about Jesus’ admonition to his disciples that they be careful not to practice their righteousness in order to receive men’s praise (Matthew 6). If we were able to peel back the layers of various Facebook posts or tweets, we might find that our lives are more boring and less connected that we would like to imagine.

More than anything this is merely a caution, not a rebuke (unless, that is, you find that you are guilty). Do you find an insatiable desire to post your latest picture of yourself smiling broadly with your BFF at the trendy restaurant? Maybe your desire isn’t insatiable. Perhaps it’s merely a matter of course. You have so wedded your life to the cyber-world you can’t imagine actually engaging flesh and blood without pixelating them. It is is a sad state of affairs when we constantly glance at the floor (checking for the latest update) rather than look our companion in the eyes.

Let’s be careful to have integrity on the world-wide web. Is that dinner you had at Applebee’s really the “most awesome of salads I have ever eaten”? Is that trip with your friends “better than any trip I have had in my existence”? What are the other 999 friends of yours to think who took a trip of a similar value just last week with you?

Yes, be careful. God knows your true status and he is patiently waiting for you to rest in that status.

Religious Lethargy

Some may see this video and think “lethargy” is the wrong word. You may see this and think fervor, ecstasy, ridiculousnous, stupidity, or hedonism is the correct word. About the end of this video I began crying in the middle of a Starbucks – nothing too crazy, but my anger turned to pity and fear.

I am so glad that there are people who desire to make encounters with God emotionally-charged. I wish there were more churches that sought to affect the emotions at least a little bit. So many congregations will view this video and have an allergic reaction so that they will never have any kind of excitement in their services. I will post later as to what are some problems with this, that I see. For now, just view it and leave your impressions in the comments section:

You Spin Me Right Round Jesus


Free Church Database

I came across a free church database system today. You can use it to track your church’s attendance, giving, etc. It actually looks like a it may be decent tool, and the “free” part is particularly good for smaller churches with the need, but not the finances. (My church bought a new database system a couple years ago, and we paid a ridiculous amount of money for something that probably does about the same thing.)

If anybody puts this to use, drop us a comment and let us know if it’s any good – www.churchmetrics.com.