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Busy today with ministry.

I thought I take the time to let people know if you haven’t known already we have a Twitter Account and Facebook page to help you keep up to date with our posts.  We also feature other resources and daily John Frame Quotes Mondays through Saturdays, among other things.

 

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Its important to apply our Christian worldview in evaluating how we and others use technology.  While the Bible does not talk about facebook, twitter, IPAD and fast internet, the Bible does talk about the human condition and human condition has not changed: we are still sinners in need of God’s grace.

I saw this earlier this afternoon from Yahoo news of a Study that People Hate Happy Couples on Facebook.  Here’s excerpt from the piece:

On Facebook, the divide between happy couples and everyone else is more complicated than you may have thought.

People who post often about their fulfilling, committed relationships are the least liked on Facebook, according to a survey conducted for a new book titled The Science of Relationships.

In the study, researchers created fake Facebook profiles that included profile pictures with partners, public “in a relationship” statuses, and posts with varying levels of detail about how much they loved or lusted after their significant others. Other profiles offered no sign of a relationship at all.

Then 100 participants were asked to judge the fictional Facebook profiles — first on how committed the people seemed to be to their significant others and second how much they liked the people depicted in the profiles. Though participants overwhelmingly agreed that those who were very vocal about their relationships on Facebook were likely satisfied and committed, it was that same group of people — the relationship oversharers — who were the least liked.

As one of the authors of the study, Haverford Col/5*lege social psychologist Dr. Benjamin Le, put it: “When it comes to relationship disclosure on Facebook, there can be too much of a good thing.”

So, next time you feel the need to congratulate yourself on a 15-year anniversary, or post a relfie (yes, that’s short for “relationship selfie”; I know), consider the consequences. You may be unconditionally loved by your partner, but the digital masses might not share those tender feelings.

I think we can learn some lessons from the above.  I want to approach this issue biblically, theologically and pastorally.

First, we shouldn’t be surprised when people in relationship are happy.  Think of Song of Solomon in the Bible.

Secondly, there’s nothing wrong in of itself of being joyful in a relationship.  This is especially true of Christians equally yoke in a relationship and walking in the Lord.  I do think Christians in relationships that follow God’s principle will seem “happy” (joy in the Lord to be exact).

Thirdly, I think a couple’s “relationship” to their facebook account often reveal a couple’s heart motivation; there is nothing wrong in of itself declaring they are in a relationship or signs of affections between couples.  One should also be concern of the opposite extreme in which a married couple’s facebook does not indicate that they are married or in love with each other at all.  We must ask: what is a couple’s heart motivation in their statuses, pictures and updates?  Sometimes one can have an unhealthy need for attention: their joy, identity and essentially their functional god is their relationship or the guy or girl they are with.  In this situation, the Christian world view calls this idolatry and whatever is one’s functional god (besides the God of the Bible) is sin against God; it will also eventually disappoint the idolater since only the living God can truly satisfy us.

Fourthly, the line between the second point and the third point can be tricky.   The line in the sand might not be clear but that doesn’t mean one can’t spot obvious symptoms: the couples only post about the relationship, they posts things that are well, TMI (too much information), etc.  It is wise to practice routine spiritual introspection of one’s social media’s activity.  This also calls for charity and graciousness among those who have concerns.

Fifthly, I’m surprised at how the Yahoo article addressed ONLY those who are happy in a relationship.  (Who the “you” in the last paragraph is, is very telling).   I think there’s a big elephant in the room that the author forgotten: there’s people out there hating on the couple.  Biblically, what are we to make of people hating happy couples?  Can this hate be jealously?  After all, the people here don’t know who these couples are, but just from appearances they already hate them.  Is this hatred for something these people have?  If this is the case, this jealously is a sin.  It is a sin called coveteousness.  Note one of the Ten Commandments prohibit coveteousness:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)

It’s not that facebook itself is sinful; it’s the heart that is.  Stumbling upon a happy couple on one’s facebook feed reveal what’s already in the heart: a desire to have something one doesn’t have.  It’s not just the desire to have something someone else have that’s a sin–after all, it is commendable when we see an example of moral virtue in someone and we work on emulating them in our own lives.  A desire becomes covetousness when we want to have what others have and are willing to sin in our desire to have it (hate, gossip, slander, etc) or we want to have what we are prohibited to have (say, lust over one of the couples).

It’s probably shameful and embarrassing to admit that one is jealous and being covetous.   But the Bible says its important to confess our sins and to confess it to God:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

This cleansing of our righteousness is possible because Jesus Christ died for our sins.  Repent from your sins and trust (have faith) in Him as your Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of your sins.

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And Then There's This How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture

Get it on Amazon

I am reviewing this book from the standpoint of a Christian worldview though the book is not Christian. This is a book about the internet and internet sensation, what today people refer to as something “going viral.” The author was the founder of “Flash Mob” and his account of how it began, his planning and reflection was an unexpected part of the book–and I think this alone is worth reading the book! What I took away from this book is the fact that things on the internet can come and go at a much more vicious cycle than in other past culture–one can overnight be an instant celebrity mentioned as a household name and searched on google by millions of individuals in a manner of hours, only to have people forget about you just weeks later, as the internet moves on to other “nanostories.” At the time of this writing, I wonder if a few years from now people will know of Susan Boyle of “Britain Got Talent” fame and Charles Ramsey who freed Amanda Berry (or even in a few weeks!). The book reminded me of the theme from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible about “vanity” and how everything moving on and fade like a mist which accurately capture our internet viral age. Even one’s legacy is something one can’t control especially in the viral culture since events and individuals can easily get imposed upon with a story or spin online to fit a larger narrative something the author discusses. The book also talks about how this viral culture on the internet has allowed a level playing field of regular people to blog and become a celebrity of sorts in their own rights, and also individuals to be pundits whom in the day of traditional media would have not been able to make an impact of hundreds and thousands of people. Think of blogs. Think of twitter. Sometimes the mainstream media end up covering the news of what’s going online on social media! And no doubt this very review online is an example of that. Very interesting work. The author is quite insightful, witty and makes you reflect about the age we live in. I highly recommend this work–and I don’t want to take away from this work, but this book got me thinking about “The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion” by Tim Challies which is an attempt at a Christian theology of technology.

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Well we are now on facebook…go ahead and like our page!

The link is as follows: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Veritas-Domain/152595018216108?fref=ts

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This is quite good actually

For those of you with Facebook, this is actually funny, and good too

[HT: Defending Contending]

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I have to say, there is something that strikes me about the Social networking site of Facebook that gives me a bittersweet emotion

Being on facebook, you are once again connected to people from the past…and several things never ceases to suprise me even though I should know better…

1.) It makes me realize time has gone by so fast, and our life is shorter than I thought it can be…when the little girl you taught in VBS suddenly is old enough to have a facebook and requested you to be her friend, when you see pictures of the seven and eight year old boys you use to tutor and help with their homework are now high school graduates, when what was once a troubling young boy has been in the Marines for some time now…my, time is flying and I know it when I’m suprised at people growing up! Then there are other ways you know that time has been ticking away quickly…pictures of people you know, and they have changed physically…the wrinkles kicking in, the weight gained on their tummy and waist, the bald spot, the once young stud now unshaven and beaten down…the motherly stern expression of what was once a young smiling face…and I can’t help but to stop looking at the laptop for a little bit, go outside and help my dad bring in the cans he collected from work because his leg is ailing and I notice the incredible amount of white hair my once strong dad now has…the change is occuring in reality not just online and it’s sobering.  So I can’t help but to grieve and realize that it’s about people’s salvation which is the MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT MANNER…

2.)As I said, facebook also makes me realize so little in life really matter in the long run…or even within the lapse of a few year’s run.  There are some people in high school who was so above you, they were so cool, and now they requested you to be their friend…what happened all those years, I thought I didn’t exist in their book (but not for their facebook apparently)?  Suddenly you get a message of how r u doing? “Dude, your pics of you with the Marines are cool!” Since when did they find a Jesus Freak that they themselves were too cool for, now cool?  You find on facebook, the ones who were living the fast life in the World are now burned out…no more crisp clothes for the club, no more “Too Fast, Too Furious” status…burned out by the world.  You go on facebook and you chuckle at the pictures of guys fronting like their tough.  Some people never grow up.  Yet, where am I in life?  I also need to grow up in the LORD and in my character and living life as a GODLY MAN…

3.) Then facebook breaks your heart.  You learn that people has changed.  The info page now reveals the girl who use to go to your Christian club is now “Very Liberal”.  Apostasy.  He’s now an atheist.  She’s divorce, but the husband is still in Iraq. What happened, he was planning to go to the ministry and she seem like such a supporting wife??? Then there is the guy who become of all things, a Catholic and an OPUS DEI one.  The couple who you thought was going to marry…are no longer together.  Oh, and why is that other guy getting drunk? I’m sure readers can identify with the thoughts going through my head at times, “What was that status all about?”, or “Dude, this guy need to chill with the cussing on my friend’s page, what happen to him?”  And the things that really get to me is when you see people in a relationship that’s not healthy, right or godly…and those pictures needed to deleted…and the people who’s sin goes before them and you ended up having to remove them from facebook.  And I mean guy’s profiles too.

4.) Then there are those amazing facebook moments…the guy from WAY, WAY BACK is now your friend after so many years…people that have a hard time returning your calls, well, they respond faster now on facebook…then there’s the incredible unimaginable joy of encountering those guys you went to Iraq with…or the Marine whom you went through Boot Camp, Marine Combat Training and Radio School with…you wondered what happened to him, whether he’s dead or alive and how many times he might have went to Iraq and when was he in Iraq???  The joy of seeing some of those you use to interact with on Xanga…but now it’s no longer the same as on the heyday of Xanga…the kid whom you have invested in at one time or another, you get to know where they are at in life…the brother in Christ who grew up reading your xanga and is now in the military serving our country and determined to live out the FAITH and see you as a role model…some long lost youngster who use to go to your church, message you apologetics question…seeing the one whom you use to worry about subtle hostility against the faith, is now growing in Christ and concern for things biblical…the message from someone who should know better of how they ought to live, asking you for prayer…seeing young people excited about theology and growing in Christ…

Facebook has a way of reminding you that when people leave your life, that doesn’t mean they no longer exist…they continue on living…continue on walking and talking, tweeting, status updatting and commenting…either on the Wide Road of Destruction or the narrow Road that leads to eternal life…a glimpse of their precious life on the Wide Road of the World Wide Web…

You realize how little you know somebody when they present a front in your presence, or act shy…and you realize that people’s fruit is sometimes shockenly revealed so openly…on facebook.

And you realize that you have no control over it, but you wish for a change, for it to be different and you realize even more what having a Sovereign God means…that you ought to Pray, to the one who can change people’s heart and mind…and you have to live for Jesus,

Even on Facebook.

It surely has made me more compassionate, more loving, more kind to people…even the guy you purchase water from…and perhaps share the GOSPEL WITH…

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