Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The 10 Commandments in light of Facebook...

I thought this was good so I wanted to share a portion with each of you. It's was posted by the Ligonier Ministries Blog - thanks Jason D. for pointing this out to me:

First, has it become a god to us? When God commands that we have no other god’s before Him He doesn’t mean ranked higher than Him, but rather He means in His presence. If Facebook is too needful for you, you may need to stop. Second, has it become a graven image? Have you confused its reality with real reality? Do you really think you have 200 friends? Third, have you taken the Lord’s name in vain? That is, have you, in weaker moments, put a bad face publicly on your Christian witness? Are you laughing at your old sins with that old buddy from college or high school?

Fourth, is Facebook giving me the peace of the Lord, or agitating me? (And please note the very real difference between that peace that passes understanding and that “peace” we receive when we feed a habit, when we get a fix.) Am I jumpy when I don’t get to log on? Am I more keyed up after I’ve logged off? Fifth, am I honoring those in authority over me? Wives, are you failing to honor your husbands because you’re too busy reading about your friends? Children, are you failing to honor your parents because you’re too busy sending flair?

Sixth, is this technology honoring to life? The cyberworld can be a barren wasteland, not because it is filled with pornography and gambling, but because it isn’t real, because it is Gnostic. Seventh, are you loving your spouse on Facebook? Is the rush of nostalgia from finding long lost friends encouraging you to be dissatisfied? Are you secretly looking for that old girlfriend? Are you already caught up in adultery simply by wishing you could be sixteen again? Or do you not know that Facebook can all too easily devolve into relational pornography? The allure of porn is that you think you can have the joys of the sexual union without having to have a real relationship with a real person. The allure of Facebook is much the same. Eighth, are you stealing from your employer by not giving a full days work because you are moonlighting at Farmville, or as a Mafia Don? Or, simply because you are spending your hours at work at play?

Ninth, are you lying? That is, is the you you present on Facebook the real you? This technology has an insidious capacity to both hide reality and fool us into thinking we are both showing and seeing it. Why are our updates all about our victories- I just made cookies for the family; My son just hit the game winning home run; rather than our failures- I just shouted at my little girl; I left my computer on the airplane and it’s gone? Keep a particularly close eye on this one. And tenth, is Facebook encouraging contentment or resentment? Are you coveting your neighbor’s friend count? Are you jealous of how many “likes” there are for his posts compared to yours? And are you content with the real life you are shutting out while hunched over your keyboard?

Please don’t misunderstand this little thought experiment. I suspect we could walk through the Ten Commandments in light of our church, and find many of the same temptations. That doesn’t mean you should stay away from church. It does mean we ought to be deliberate enough to know what we are doing, and why we are doing it. And deliberate begins by affirming that our own hearts are not just desperately wicked, but deceitful as well. We don’t need to protect our privacy. We need instead to expose our sins to the light, the light of Scripture that we might repent and believe, that His face might shine upon us.

26 comments:

No Place Like Home.... said...

Thanks for posting this. Real food for thought, and raises a lot of issues I hadn't realised.

DarrinB said...

ahhhh yes this is such a great reminder!!! At times one can think that other things are idols and not things such as facebook, twitter, internet, etc. Thanks Trish for this article as I reposted on my facebook account.

Darrin B

ExPatMatt said...

Wow,

Whoever wrote this has some serious issues that they should seek counseling for.

Cheers,

Fish with Trish said...

ExPatMatt, nope. Just a normal Christian who has light and lives in the light and not in darkness.

ExPatMatt said...

Sigh.

Ok, here we go.

"First, has it become a god to us? When God commands that we have no other god’s before Him He doesn’t mean ranked higher than Him, but rather He means in His presence. If Facebook is too needful for you, you may need to stop."

Needing to use a computer program in order to stay in touch with people is not the same as worshiping some other god rather than the God of the Bible. Fail.

"Second, has it become a graven image? Have you confused its reality with real reality? Do you really think you have 200 friends?"

This is not what the second commandment is about. Fail.

"Third, have you taken the Lord’s name in vain? That is, have you, in weaker moments, put a bad face publicly on your Christian witness? Are you laughing at your old sins with that old buddy from college or high school?"

Being mean is not taking the Lord's name in vain. Fail.

"Fourth, is Facebook giving me the peace of the Lord, or agitating me? Am I jumpy when I don’t get to log on? Am I more keyed up after I’ve logged off?"

This has nothing to do with keeping the Sabbath. Fail.

Cont...

ExPatMatt said...

Cont...

"Fifth, am I honoring those in authority over me? Wives, are you failing to honor your husbands because you’re too busy reading about your friends? Children, are you failing to honor your parents because you’re too busy sending flair?"

Misogynistic much? Kids keeping in touch with their friends? Oh noes! Fail.

"Sixth, is this technology honoring to life? The cyberworld can be a barren wasteland, not because it is filled with pornography and gambling, but because it isn’t real, because it is Gnostic."

Erm, what? Is gnostic meaning 'to know'? Is knowledge bad now? THe internet is only 'filled with pornography and gambling' if that's what you're searching for...
(and what does this have to do with the 6th?) Fail.

"Seventh, are you loving your spouse on Facebook? Is the rush of nostalgia from finding long lost friends encouraging you to be dissatisfied? Are you secretly looking for that old girlfriend? Are you already caught up in adultery simply by wishing you could be sixteen again? Or do you not know that Facebook can all too easily devolve into relational pornography? The allure of porn is that you think you can have the joys of the sexual union without having to have a real relationship with a real person. The allure of Facebook is much the same."

MASSIVE paragraph about porn and lust; quite telling methinks. Oh, and wishing you were 16 does not equal adultery. Fail.

Cont...

ExPatMatt said...

Cont...

"Eighth, are you stealing from your employer by not giving a full days work because you are moonlighting at Farmville, or as a Mafia Don? Or, simply because you are spending your hours at work at play?"

This is actually quite sensible. Pass.

"Ninth, are you lying? That is, is the you you present on Facebook the real you? This technology has an insidious capacity to both hide reality and fool us into thinking we are both showing and seeing it. Why are our updates all about our victories- I just made cookies for the family; My son just hit the game winning home run; rather than our failures- I just shouted at my little girl; I left my computer on the airplane and it’s gone? Keep a particularly close eye on this one."

Also, fairly sensible. Pass.

"And tenth, is Facebook encouraging contentment or resentment? Are you coveting your neighbor’s friend count? Are you jealous of how many “likes” there are for his posts compared to yours? And are you content with the real life you are shutting out while hunched over your keyboard?"

'Are you coveting your neighbour's friend count?' Really? Couldn't think of anything that meant something for this one. No score.

So that's 8 fails out of ten and with a massive focus on pornography too. Is this really such a big problem amongst Christians? Because most of the atheists I know manage to use the internet in moderation and live perfectly normal lives without descending into a debauched cyber-world of pornography and gambling.

Odd.

Fish with Trish said...

"Needing to use a computer program in order to stay in touch with people is not the same as worshiping some other god rather than the God of the Bible."

Aren't you an atheist? How can you answer for what it means to worship God? Or what it means to not worship Him? I thought in your mind He doesn't exist? How do you account for what he requires? How do you know what God demands, what worship is or what it is not?

According to the Christian worldview, anything in our heart, mind, soul or strength that has a greater place above the Lord or we esteem more than Him has become a god. Sometimes a good indicator of what has become a god is to look at where you spend most of our time. And evaluate what you live for, long for, crave, etc. But of course this post is directed to the believer who has been born of God and not the atheist who is darkened in their understanding. Sorry.

bassicallymike said...

Thanks Trish,

Although Matt is obviously SMRT in the ways of this world, he does show just how well Paul nailed it in Romans chapters 1-3.

It makes me incredibly sad to read their responses, especiallly when they attempt to take us to school on God and His requirements. So much knowledge, so little Biblical wisdom.

They "sigh" because we don't, in their eyes, get it. We "sigh" because they are going to get it, if they don't repent before it is too late.(no scare tactic intended)

I do pray and trust a Sovereign God for their salvation, hoping they are not "vessels fit for destruction".

Azou said...

Mike, you're welcome to discuss the matter further on the SMRT forums. We welcome everyone and are a very laid-back community.

ExPatMatt said...

Mike,

Please clue me in to how Paul 'nailed it' in Romans 1-3 and how it pertains to my critique of this Facebook baloney.

I mean, if you're not actually going to respond to what I wrote it's the least you could do.

And, as Azou said, please feel free to join us at wearesmrt(dot)com for a chat.

Cheers,

bassicallymike said...

Matt, you mainly have attempted to “suppress the truth”.

There are others but I’m not going to go through a point by point refutation of your post since Paul also nailed it in 1 Cor. 2:14 when he said The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.


We have no basis for a serious spiritual discussion. Beyond calling you to faith and repentance, anything else would be merely an intellectual exercise. Your obvious obstinacy towards a post admonishing us as Christians to guard our minds would seem to indicate your continued militancy (not conducive to repentance) toward God and His standards.

Azou said...

So, in essence, fingers in ears and a lot of "lalalaIcanthearyou" is what I'm getting.

Ever consider the possibility that the Bible says those things to keep you sheltered from dissenting opinions?

bassicallymike said...

Azou, it is difficult, but not impossible, to care for your eternal soul and yet recognize that as purveyors of doubt you are doing Satan's bidding.


Satan said to Eve,“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” and then “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Look what listening to dissenting opinion accomplished for Eve. It is more than just dissenting opinion, it is sowing seeds of doubt.(As Satan did in the garden) We are to be building up faith, not cultivating doubt, as juvenile as that may seem.

BathTub said...

Of course it wasn't Satan in Genesis, that's a retcon.

And The Serpent wasn't lying.

ExPatMatt said...

It seems like you (both) are saying that I, as an atheist, am unable to critique internal inconsistencies or just downright oddness in Christianity.

That is rather cult-ish behaviour, if you ask me.

Trish,

"Aren't you an atheist? How can you answer for what it means to worship God? Or what it means to not worship Him? I thought in your mind He doesn't exist? How do you account for what he requires? How do you know what God demands, what worship is or what it is not?"

Just because I don't believe it, doesn't mean I can't read the Bible. It's fairly clear what 'worshiping other gods' meant at the time and it is clearly very different from spending a lot of time utilizing a social networking software to keep in touch with friends.

"Sometimes a good indicator of what has become a god is to look at where you spend most of our time. And evaluate what you live for, long for, crave, etc."

I would guess that you spend more time sleeping than you do worshiping God. Does that mean that you worship the false god of sleep?

"But of course this post is directed to the believer who has been born of God and not the atheist who is darkened in their understanding. Sorry."

If a believer truly is 'born of God' why do they need to be told not break the 10 Commandments? Shouldn't that be pretty much par for the course for one who has been washed int he blood of the Lamb?

Mike,

I said nothing against God and His standards, I was merely pointing out what I found odd about this essay.

No biggie.

Azou said...

Mike, you're just proving my point. Instead of coming up with well-reasoned arguments, you're conditioned to be untrusting of "non-believers" and have a closed mind. I mean, you're accusing of being in league with a demon. Don't you think someone is making you be a little more paranoid than normal?

For all you know, you're being duped but cannot defend yourself against it because you've been locked into a mental prison. I'm not saying I'm necessarily right, but to shut out ANY dissenters should set off some warning bells.

bassicallymike said...

Azou,
You act as if I was never where you are now. I was once in unbelief. I once was blind but now I see, by the Grace of God.

I would never, could never go back to that state again. I know what it means to walk and live in the light and have experienced God's Spirit at work in me through many trials.

As Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" As Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life," As Solomon said, " There is nothing new under the sun".

So you really don't have anything new. I don't either, the message remains the same, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Fish with Trish said...

I am playing fair.

"When deciding which comments to publish, we TYPICALLY use the following guidelines (NOTE: THESE RULES CAN BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)"

BathTub said...

wrong post?

Fish with Trish said...

Yep, wrong post. Thanks for catching that. I've added it to the other post.

Azou said...

So you fully admit to being close-minded. I guess there's really nothing to discuss if others will do their thinking for you.

bassicallymike said...

Azou, LOL, nice try with the close-minded routine.

The reason we do not have anything to discuss has less to do with me being close-minded and has everything to do with the fact that you are in your sins and happy to be there.

Again, as Jesus said,"repent and believe in the gospel.”

callieg said...

~Fast Food Evangelism~
My husband and I cried like babies. That is the love of Christ being revealed.

Stormbringer said...

I always find a couple of things here both amusing and fascinating. First, that people who choose to disbelieve in God are automatically "smarter" than the millions of people in the world who believe in God. Second, that people who disbelieve in God will lecture Christians, when they haven't the slightest idea of what they're saying. To quote a famous philosopher that is more fitting for their intellectual level, "D'oh!"

BathTub said...

I'm always amazed at how bitter and angry people apparently touched by the transformative power of Christ's love are.
Constantly whining about the meany atheists, constantly accusing others of things and never backing them up, faking posts from others, and so on... it's really a wonder why we don't rush to emulate those wonderful Christians.