Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Social media has been overflowing with articles about the imminent release of the pornographic film “50 Shades of Grey.” More articles than we can list here have highlighted the source book’s links to relational damage, disorders, destruction, abuse. And some have gone beyond sounding the warning to giving an empathetic but honest response, like this wonderful response from Annie Edwards: freedom meets pleasure

This loving response by caring adults to the huge media hype is calling attention in new ways to sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, and abuse of power. Anyone interested in truth does not have to look far to discover the science behind the damage that normalizing a film like this will do to individual’s ability to have healthy relationships but also the harm that viewing a film that links sexuality and violence can do to the developing brain of a teen or young adult. I am grateful to all those who are loving their neighbor by speaking out.

But the apparent popularity of this dangerous tripe in book form tells me that people have a love hunger. This must be more than middle age women wanting to be in “the in group.” I think it speaks to a hunger across the ages for something more than people have. People wonder if there is more to love. Here is an opportunity for those who know to point to what love is.

Love Is the Greatest.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. #FightTheNewDrug EndSexualExploitation.Org

Rapture theology has been a hot topic in the United States for almost 200 years!  That’s a long time for a person, a short time in church history.

If you knew me, you would know that for more than twenty years I have been explaining to young people that the doctrine of the rapture is new in church history, is fairly localized in its popularity, and is not specifically taught in Scripture.   You might have heard me raise the question whether those who are “left behind” in Luke 17 are the wicked or the righteous.

But when this remake of the movie “Left Behind” got close to release, here is what has been bouncing around in my mind. Why are we so worked up about this movie? Why is there a race in social media for many Christians to debunk this movie? Why is it suddenly important not to be “left behind” in our public denunciations?

Will this be a good movie?  I don’t honestly know.  And I’ve discovered people have a lot of criteria for deciding what makes or doesn’t make a good movie. Here are a few I’ve heard.

  • It made me cry
  • It made me laugh
  • It made me feel something
  • It didn’t have any sex in it
  • It didn’t have violence
  • It didn’t have more than 5 swear words in it.
  • It had a good story
  • It had great special effects
  • The acting was believable
  • I heard it was good

Personally, I’m a worldview guy.  It’s the worldview of a movie that matters to me more than anything else.  That means I’m going to love movies like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy or “Its a Wonderful Life” but be troubled by the message of  impactful movies like “Meet Joe Black” or “Saving Private Ryan.”   (I can hear the comments beginning already!)   I may be inspired and encouraged, but I don’t expect hobbits to give me  a treatise on redemption or look to a young boy to teach me about heaven.

I don’t happen to agree with the theology of the movie, Left Behind.  But I feel no need to denounce it.  I was positively influenced as a young boy to wrestle with the condition of my soul by a similar movie called “A Thief in the Night.”  As I look around me today, what really has me thinking is….what is the worldview of Christians that would rather race to publicly denounce a movie than engage in thoughtful conversation around a potential cultural event about end times and sin and a returning Savior?  Who is our audience?  Do we think that our theological purity proclaimed on social media is going to create an atmosphere of mutual respect, genuine seeking for truth and thoughtful dialogue?  Or do we care?

Are we just so anxious to be right that we don’t care who gets “left behind!?!”

I thought about titling this “You’re Nothing but a Hypocrite” 8.3, but I can’t blame any of this on Eugene Peterson. These are my social media insights from the last couple of days. Your news feed may be different than mine. THe first four are pretty sad. The 5th is a gift.

1. The issue of gay marriage being a significant social media discussion topic is driven by the news. Almost to a person, everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon to show they have something to say.

2. Very few people are offering their own insights, but are parroting the memes, the cliches, the sound bites and the cutting remarks of others.

3. Most of those using Scripture are using it not to bring light and salt, but for memes, cliches, and clever (read cutting or combative) remarks.

4. Many, many of those over age 35 are either not engaged with the topic (at least in this setting) or are rushing to a cause with weapons drawn.

5. Many of those under age 35 are reacting to what they see as a choice for compassion and fairness vs a stance of hypocrisy. Specifically, I have heard/read young people over and over calling out the church for her silence on divorce and on gossip as proof of her hypocrisy on the gay marriage issue.

If you have read my earlier blogs on hypocrisy, what do you think? I’m not interested in this forum for a discussion on the rightness or wrongness of gay marriage or for political posturing. But as a first step….instead of trying to correct the minds of those we disagree with, should we thank the young people who are calling many of us out for our hypocrisy and receive their indictment as a gift?

Thanks for being patient. I’m thoroughly submerged in the busiest time of my year.  Thankful for the invention of coffee.  You know, one of the politically correct addictions.    I take it intravenously during the month of Feb every year!

However, coffee is not my only PC addiction.  I’m a texter.  I never did like talking on the phone and wholeheartedly embraced texting when it came along.  Recently though, there has been a resurgence of interest in the issue of dopamine’s role in addiction as it relates to texting and social media.  Here is a recent article from Buffalo Grove, IL:

But this is not a new issue. As you can easily see by using Google, mulitple articles like this one from Slate have been around for at least four years.

After reading the above article from Buffalo Grove, I had a conversation with one of my children.  Some highlights:

I read an interesting article on teen addiction to texting and social media.  Did you know that a third of teenagers send 3,000 texts a month?   Did you know that I checked with our carrier yesterday and you sent over 11,000 texts last month?”  A pretty good conversation ensued.  And then  this…

Dad, would you like me to bring up Diet Pepsi now or wait until another conversation?”

Why don’t you go ahead and bring it up  now?”

Studies show that it makes your organs fat….one day yours are going to explode.   And it kills brain cells.   (Pause…wait for it) Which is probably why you believed that article!”

The research on dopamine seems to indicate that almost anything can become an addiction.  And some of the research seems to indicate that the access to use of technology may become one of the most destructive and debilitating of all.  It seems to me that there are some obvious questions:

  • Why are some addictions considered okay – Coffee, facebook, texting, foods, television shows etc – and others not?
  • How is addiction impacting our culture, our education, our families and the church?

And even

  • What is it about us that makes us susceptible to addiction?  (I don’t believe the answer is purely biological)

But there are also some more challenging questions?

  • How do we raise kids to function in this world without falling prey?
  • How do we raise ourselves?
  • What boundaries, habits, postures, and commitments are you making to guard against dopamine’s influence, to keep your habits and decisions governed by choice and your mind fresh and clear?
  • What role does/could Romans 12:2 (Scripture memory?) have in all of this?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.