Just this week I was alerted to the fact that the Christian world has again risen to the challenge to create something that removes us from the culture in which we find ourselves and move us into the Christian subculture. This time, we have given our creative juices towards creating something to compete with Facebook.
Yes, it is true and it is called Faithbook.
In the past, we have created WWJD bracelets, t-shirts and hats, GodTube and so much more. And don’t forget the Testamints (little breath mints with a Scripture verse on the paper). But now we have moved into competing with the most successful social network as of today, Facebook. And its mission statement is this – Faithbook is committed to one of the most useful Christian resources in existence.
As Kurt Willems points out, I also hope someone is not moved to create the GodBook (in place of the MacBook). And let’s hope we don’t come up with the Goddroid to replace the Android. Or wait, I am thinking a possible cha-ching here. Hmmm….
I remember my early days as a Christian. I wore all the Christian t-shirts. I was the hit of the day (at least to those who were creating a kind of Christian sub-culture, a Christian ghetto, though we did not realise it).
In my mind it was a way to make a public statement about following Christ and it was a way of evangelism. But what I didn’t realise was that I was becoming part of a Christian ghetto that closed ourselves off to the world more and more – via clothes, food, films, books, and just about everything else I could think of. But, while my heart is still completely devoted to following Jesus Christ, and hopefully I have grown more into such, I realise that all of these ‘Christian creations’ can create a bubble that does not allow for us to truly be the salt and light that Jesus says we are.
I am sure the motives and intentions were very noble in creating Faithbook. Matter of fact, I have no doubt about the motive. But, within the bigger picture, I do believe this contributes to cementing a mindset within Christians that says we must create a ‘Christian version’ of everything. Again, it all comes from a noble heart. But it becomes a barrier in continuing the mission of Jesus.
Sure, we need to instruct in how to faithfully deal with tv, movies, internet, video games, technology and a whole host of other things that will arise in the next few decades (just think of the possibilities!). But, whereas we are not called to be chameleons in the world, we are also not called to be musk-oxen.
As Dick Keyes points out in his book Chameleon Christianity, when a young or injured musk ox is in danger from predators, the other musk oxen will encircle it with their horns pointing outward. This is done as a protective measure against the dangerous intruders.
Do you see how this can relate to our approach to engaging with the world?
We protect from anything and everything we find in the world. But as we do so, again, we actually become counter-productive in walking out that which Jesus says we already are – salt and light.
So, while Facebook can be utilised in ungodly ways, Faithbook can also contribute to an overall mindset that is detrimental to the call of God.
Let’s walk out our call to godliness, holiness and Christ-likeness. But, at the same time, let us also walk out our call to engage with the world in which we live. This, too, is being God-like, Christ-like.
Faithbook hacked/abused/ridiculed by an overwhelming online assault in 3… 2… 1…
Seriously, this is just stupid. Haven’t these people heard of contextualisation? Why would Faithbook be any more useful to me than Facebook?
It is done from noble hearts. But the mindset needs to be challenged.
Are you on Facebook?
^^ Well said.
Yep, like all good Christians I am on Facebook. It’s great for keeping in touch with friends around Australia and the rest of the world. Most of my relatives are scattered across three different continents. 😀
Well hook a brother up. My FB link is on my About Me page on this blog.
Let’s keep creating the “Jesus Junk”. God forbid that any of us Christ followers is contaminated by “the world”.
hah, I did the shirt thing, too… it started almost as soon as I “got saved” and my youth pastor gave me a talking-to (in front of the whole youth group) for wearing a Metallica shirt. Shame gave me a lame wardrobe for many years.
Scott, your profile doesn’t give me the option of sending a message or a friend request.
Thank you so much for writing this! I shared it on my personal and bible study page…FACEbook that is 🙂
I also ordered Chameleon Christianity, and am looking forward to that read. Thanks again.
Thanks Grey. Chameleon Christianity is actually quite a short read – just over 100 pages. Nothing astounding, per se. But I liked the whole musk-oxen comparison. 🙂
Scott, I can only assume your privacy settings are in the way. I can see your profile but it doesn’t have an “invite” button or a “message” option. Try inviting me instead: http://www.facebook.com/burke.davej
Great thoughts, Scott! Hope it isn’t a cardinal sin to log in using Facebook to post this comment. LOL
OK Scott, we’re all good now. 😀
I heard an interesting perspective on why churches have often lagged behind cultural/technological shifts. Basically, it comes down to a stewardship issue. Most churches do not have fiscal resources to be on the cutting edge of technological change or see their purpose as being primarily for the entertainment of their audience. Obviously, this is changing. The advent of Faithbook evidences the pace of technological development: it’s getting faster and cheaper, which has caused many Christians and churches to rethink their purpose.
I agree that the ghettoization is not a healthy, missional perspective. I think that the pace of technological development merely revealed–rather than caused–our latent cultural blindspots.
what i am looking forward to, is the Church (notice the big C, meaning the world-wide Church) inventing and creating new things rather than expounding on already done ideas. 🙂