Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Facebook or Small Town USA

Through various conversations with friends, I have been contemplating the place that Facebook should have in a Christian life. Although I admit I have no experience of Small Town, USA. I imagine that in a small town with less mobile societies, relationships with friends as well as enemies often last decades. I imagine walking to the market and bumping into an old flame and a high school buddy before getting past the milk case. I presume that such a lifestyle would be very beneficial for practicing the love of neighbors, especially enemies, since you couldn't get away from them. I also imagine a great benefit to bumping into old friends and having chats more frequently than in modern days, when old friends cover four different states and hundreds of miles.

Facebook captures some of this second benefit, since status updates are somewhat equivalent to bumping into someone at the store and chatting about life. But Facebook cannot capture that bumping into enemies effect, since I choose who I want to bump into. In short, Facebook "friends" are not people who force me to grow in the most challenging Christian path of loving my enemies. At least I can keep up with my friends.


BamaHippie said...

This is a really interesting thought. I have been thinking a lot about Facebook lately as well, because many of my friends from church - including my pastor and several folks my parents age - have suddenly begun sending me friend requests, and I've actually been uncomfortable adding some of them. Most of my friends on Facebook became my friends when I was out of the church, or have been my friends long enough to have known me then. I don't think I have anything to hide, but I feel uncomfortable all the same. What does that say about me, I've been thinking?

JimmyV said...

Discomfort seems natural, but the point should be that we were lost and are now found. We were dead and have been given new life in Christ. If we don't witness to the unchurched, what's the point of being Christian?