Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Whole New World

Can't you just hear Peabo Bryson now? I was at a baptism where my church baptized a lot of people this past Sunday, and I thought and worried about new believers in this day of the church. I can't help transporting my culture to this new place, but I of course grew up in the Bible belt and living in more than just a cultural Christianity, I grew up in the church. Mom was the choir director and Dad was a deacon and sang in the choir. I grew up in Sunday School, watching Billy Graham films about the end of times, and hearing hellfire and brimstone sermons occasionally. I heard all the Bible stories and learned about quiet times and Scripture memorization and was grown in the faith by my mom and youth camps my entire life. And for all the youth that turn their backs on the church when they leave home, I was one of the success stories.
Which brings me back to why I was worried for people that are being baptized right now. Increasingly people are completely unchurched for their entire lives. No one has ever taken them to church. I would like to be one of their older and wiser Christian friends that helps them navigate the minefield that I went through when it was much safer. I mean, I was seven. How difficult could the world have been then? They are in their early 20s or older.
I may not be all that old, in years anyway, but I hope someone might need my wisdom. I'll be praying.
And I'll continue to influence the only one whose life I have any control over-Celia Grace. I read or heard all Christians used to live together in New Testament days. Now that would've been a church...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Different Use of Social Media

I hope I haven't titled this poorly. I just had an interesting experience today that I thought I might share. As many of you know if you read this blog, I've had a rough time here in Canada with being run off from the only job I could work here, getting sick, and my wife having to go back to work while I stay at home to take care of our child. Well, I posted some raw stuff not long after losing the job and some students got hold of that blog and decided to respond to it. In a really hateful manner. On Christmas Day. Well, that's what made today interesting.
I was in a queue for food this morning at the market when who should come up but that kid. The one that tracked me through someone's friend list on FaceBook just so he could send me a snarky, even hateful, FB message. And I'm standing right next to him. Does he feel self-conscious? Should he? Is it OK to say bad things from the anonymity of a computer that one wouldn't say in person? I say that it is.
It made me consider the humanity of social media. The people on my list really were my friends at other times in my life, as well as now. I mean, I like having a big list but all of these are people that I would actually speak to again.
I don't know what I'm trying to say. I didn't say anything to this guy. I mean, he's not a friend. What would Jesus or Paul have said to the people that deliberately tried to hurt them? In Jesus' case, abuse and kill him?
So maybe people communicate their true feelings when they can be anonymous. Not me though. I'm going to try to treat everybody in the right way. Hope I'm teaching somebody something. That's what I love doing the most.