Sunday, January 10, 2010

facebook theology (it's baaaack!)

OK, having addressed the 'ethics' of posting this, I have rescued 'facebook theology' from the recycle bin and am offering it back up for your perusal...

------------------------------------

Even though facebook consists of short (and often trivial) snippets, I think you can learn a lot about people by what they post. Case in point: M (I will use first initial only) is someone my family knew when he lived in our city. He now lives in a different state and tunes pianos for a living. Many of his status updates have to do with pianos, but lots of them refer to how much he loves God, his church, etc. Of course that wouldn't be a problem, but some of his status updates lead one to seriously question if M "practices what he preaches".

The other day David (and then Christina) found one of M's status updates particularly troublesome, and challenged him on it. (J, a friend of M whom we don't know, jumped in to defend M.) It's a little bit long, but interesting. Read on!

M tuned for a homeless shelter today. Needless to say, I kept a close eye on my tool bag while I worked.

David
Yeah, I remember Jesus was always really wary of the poor too.

J
David, there's no problem with a little caution when it comes to expensive tuning tools. "Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Mathew 10:16 (as spoken by the aforementioned Jesus)

David
J, I don't have a problem with people being protective of expensive possessions. But, criminalizing the status of the poor is something Jesus would never have done and I think it's immoral. See the entire New Testament.

M
I guess I should've left my HP ipaq lying on the piano while I went to the bathroom. After all, I would NEVER think it may end up missing after I returned. Oh, and by the way, since Jesus is all knowing, and we are not, I am sure He would know before hand if it was safe to leave his stuff.

Sorry dude, my status comment was not criminalizing the poor.

Besides several staff members told me to take my stuff with me if I left for a moment, and they even had someone guard the piano. Maybe that's criminalizing. Let me know and I'll give you their number and you can tell them that that's something Jesus would never have done and that it's immoral.

J
Admit it, M. Although you thought you were posting something interesting about your day, the authority of the entire New Testament (with David's help) has exposed your darkly immoral prejudices.

M
I know it! I guess I am not without sin.....

Christina
Hmm, no, your status comment was absolutely criminalizing the poor. You assumed that based on the fact that they are poor, they will likely steal your things. That is pretty much the definition of criminalizing, which you need to recognize. And maybe you're right, maybe they would have stolen your stuff. However, as a general rule, it is probably wise to keep track of your belongings in public because ANYONE might be tempted to take your things, regardless of their socioeconomic status. At the very least, you should take responsibility for your offensive and prejudicial attitude. I do not expect you to be "without sin", but because you are someone who is constantly touting their love for Jesus on the internet, to see such a lack of compassion for poor people, many of whom live in a deep state of desperation and despair, is hypocritical at best.

J
Christina, you and David are MFEO! I don't think you guys are concerned that M harbored these feelings of wariness. I think you are peeved that he expressed them publicly. There is a term for this kind of cognitive dissonance whereby we harshly judge others for giving voice to perfectly reasonable thoughts: Political Correctness. I, too have worked with people that minister to the homeless. They are full of compassion and the love of Jesus yet understand their clientele better than anyone. Their admonition to M came from experience.

M
. . . what J said. And Christina, you are wrong, I was not criminalizing the poor.

Christina
J: Nope, I am indeed concerned that M harbored these feelings of wariness for reasons that I have already clearly outlined.

M: You either do not understand the definition of criminalization, or you are in an unfortunate state of denial. Either way, there is no point in me continuing this hopeless discussion.


M
Best thought you've had...

------------------------------

And I'm cutting it off there. M and J had more to say, but their comments were almost entirely just personal, character attacks on David and Christina.

Soooo, if you've hung with this so far...
Christina and David do not regularly attend a church. And if they perceive that many church-goers have attitudes like M's (and J's), why should they want to?!

I find the M's and J's of the world frustrating to say the least. What is YOUR take on this?

33 comments:

Mompriest said...

I think M and J have logs in their eyes...and David and Christina have good hearts

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I think I would be just as wary on a commuter train full of business execs as a homeless shelter . . . although I must admit that this discussion has made me wonder if I myself have such uncharitable feelings toward the poor.

Rodger said...

This just makes me sad. The fact that I see the same thing all the time adds a *sigh* to my sadness.

Diane said...

I've gotten stuff stolen from my in my office at church. I think it's necessary to exercise caution, but not to say you are doing it only in poor communities.

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John

PS: Sorry if this was posted in the wrong section. I could not find the good one!

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My name is Peter and I am from Stirling. I have the other day discovered this forum and I like it very much.
I am a bit shy so I will not write much about myself but maybe when I will get more confortable, you will get to know me better!
My main hobbies are astrology and watching movies. I also love outdoor activites but the temperature has been bad for the last days or so here |.

I was wondering if anyone else here is from the united Kingdom too?

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Cya!
:)

Peter

PS: I apologize if this was posted in the wrong section. I could not find the right one!