I’ve been musing and pondering about the blessings and curses of technology among Christians. There’s so much to love in terms of media, communication, sharing of information, and generally crossing geographic boundaries easily. I benefit from hearing what others are saying, teaching in various conferences, music and worship from every corner of the globe. Youtube, Facebook, blogs, DVD’s, Bluetooth, I can’t keep up with it all. But underneath the surface I am troubled. I hear people talking about not needing church, just gathering as friends, or in little clusters, or moving from event to event….. What troubles me is that the gathering of information, downloading inspiring songs, perhaps some teaching, and chewing on it next to a computer screen is a very poor substitute for relationships. It’s well and good for all of us to have freedom and independence, but I notice among many that I have tracked with in our community over the past twenty years that an alarming immaturity pervades Christians who have been around for a long time. It’s still all about ‘me’ and the ability to endure hardship or respond to personal; challenge is often quite frankly infantile. We just move on to another church…. or whatever will meet my ‘perceived need’.
You see my problem is that I believe our so-called freedom is a cute way for us to avoid growing up or pressing in. Community and relationships are a crucial component of Christian and spiritual growth – iron sharpening iron is not as simple as marshmellow brushing up against cotton wool. I believe there is a desperate need for people to re-commit to local churches where they get involved and stop running away from the challenges that arise ‘in them’ when they are confronted with the need to endure, be patients, sacrifice, love undconditionally, suck it up (to us a biblical prase :-))…. By all means use the technology to inspire… but also let it bear fruit in the quality and integrity of our lives lived in real time with imperfect people who are also in a process of being made new, and whole… like we are. It is important to ‘not neglect meeting together’, to break Bread, and to worship with the same passion we might bring to a great sports event. I’m tired of whining Christians who are so pampered that the diapers they wear cause a stink in the nostrils of those who would like to know Jesus but may not want to befriend them….. What do you think? Or am I out to lunch?