Monday, August 27, 2007

For God so Loved the World (Wide-Web)

Why does the world hate Christians? Is it because of our narrow-minded stances on hot topic issues like abortion and gay marriage? No. Is it because we boldly proclaim that there is only one way to eternal life? Hardly. Is it because we elect public officials based solely on their views of the state of Israel and not their stances on education, health care, or the environment? Still, I say no. Then why? What else is there?

Well, I think I uncovered the reason today. While flipping through the pages of a Christian publication, I happened to notice a three page ad for a new website called… brace yourself… ThySpace. I could hardly believe it. Yet, I logged onto the world-wide-web and, well, this site really exists.

Before we grab pitchforks and torches, I am sure the creator has good intentions. Even still, I could choke him with his WWJD bracelet because he is making us look like idiots. Sure, it might seem like a good idea, much like Christian music, but before long you have to ask yourself when enough is enough. These types of things can get out of hand so quickly that before you know it, your listening to crap like Big Tent Revival and can’t tell the difference.

I hate this idea for many reasons but I will respect your time and only list three.

Number 1: I hate that some Christians think that it is okay, even witty, to steal something that the world has produced and “redeem” it. If I sit through another cutesy sermon series ripped from Hollywood or Must-See-TV I am going to throw up. I don’t care what the fall line up on ABC looks like, I don’t want my Jesus served to me by someone who is asking himself, “What eternal truths can we learn from Gray’s Anatomy?” For God’s sake, do you realize what we are doing? We are taking texts that are thousands of years old and naming them “the King of Queens (and Kings)”.

Number 2: I hate that we think MySpace needs redeeming in the first place. It is a perfectly good tool as it is. A computer program or a website cannot be Christian or non-Christian. Jesus did not die for a website. Therefore it cannot be redeemed. The creators of ThySpace say this about their site:

Christians across the globe will be invited to join and communicate with other Christians, Pastors, Youth Ministers, Churches, Bookstores, Organizations, Musicians, Professionals and Individuals enabling them to fellowship, network, collaborate and cultivate their ideas to glorify Jesus Christ.Visitors will be invited to create a free profile enabling them to join and participate in the ThySpace global community and help full fill the call of "The Great Commission". By showcasing each person’s unique talents and gifts; artists, bands, bookstores, ministries, organizations, etc... We can work together to spread the good news.

Does anyone else read that and wonder, “Why can’t you accomplish that on the real MySpace?” Why do we insist on running from the world to create our safe little worlds where no one says bad words, we are all encouraging, and Toby Mac is still a big rock star? I mean seriously, stop spending your time posting on GodTube and actually have a conversation with someone who doesn’t know Jesus.

Number 3: I hate ThySpace because my page layout is not big enough to get an American flag with Jesus fish stars centered and still have room for my Point of Grace concert pictures. Some people just don’t get it!


Brent O'Connor said...

Amen Brother preach it!

You make some excellent points. I do agree that we need to be an example in the real world and stop creating so many Christian bubbles. And it especially angers me that Christians blatantly copy websites like YouTube and MySpace and just rename them with names that mimic the origional names, like GodTube and ThySpace. I mean come on people, at least create something new that is at the very least inspired and has a new name, instead of coping it and giving it a name that resembles the original!

However, I wish there was a way to do it with out seeing all the F bombs and friend invites from bimbos that you get on YouTube and MySpace. Those are things that I can block out but they sure aren't things I wan kids in our youth group and church seeing and I sure wouldn't want my son to see 80% of what is on Youtube and Myspace.

TS Harrison said...

First off I like Big Tent Revival. Not every song of theirs, but their Open All Night album is great.
Second your sarcasm comes across as just bitter and cynical.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but your words come across with in an attacking and loveless way.
Be a little more careful with the log in your own eye, and give BTR's Open All Night a second chance.

Jacob Epperson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett Moore said...

Hello Eric, my name is Brett Moore. We have met before a while back. I interned with CIY a couple years ago. Anyway, I stumbled across your blog today and I must say that I dig your take on this issue.

It does go deeper than the website and it touches on an issue that I believe plagues the church... in particular, the American church. We have secluded ourselves so much that we have become a laughing stock to mainstream culture. By developing carbon copies of things like myspace with a "Christian" twist, we sacrifice the gift of creativity which God has not only made readily available, but which he desires us to practice. We have been created in His image and a very real and beautiful side of God is God as creator. You are right in saying that the website cannot be for or against God, it is simply a website. The people who utilize the tool are the ones who determine what happens next and the feel it will have. In a teaching by Mark Driscoll he says "as Christians, we are called to be innocent, not naive". This is where the liberation comes. We will never experience the fullness of the Gospel in ourselves, or in our communities unless we can understand this.

Thanks for your thoughts man.