Monday, July 20, 2009

facebook jesus

many of you know I don't face book...i have many reasons. one is that I barely have time to keep up with e-mails and stuff let alone all the things I hear posted on my wife's face page. two is i really find this whole phenomena a pursuit in triviality (don't even get me started about tweeting, i do not care that you had coffee for breakfast, or are wearing your favorite red shoes, or had to stop and go to the bathroom, seriously who really would care?). three i'm a fan of real f2f and lol. I value and enjoy being in the presence of flesh and blood human beings and responding in real time, live! finally, i think face book gives people the boldness to say things they shouldn't say, post pictures they shouldn't post, and talk about things they shouldn't talk about (has everyone forgotten that this is the world wide web and people can read what your are writing?). Anyway, this blog is not designed to rail againt face book (after all how hypocritical to blog? Who wants to read what I say anyway? Oh well...).

Someone asked me the other day if Jesus would have face booked or not. Very interesting question. First glance says "yes". I mean he loved people and called his followers friends. Can you imagine how many he would have had? And he had a lot to say and his tweets would be a lot more interesting ("just healed a blind guy", "guess what? Lazarus is alive again", "told the wind and waves to shut up - now back to my nap"). He could make a mass appeal to follow him. But as I thought about it...I don't think Jesus would dig facebook. Here are a few reasons why:
1. The whole deal behind Jesus is incarnation. There is no substitute for flesh and blood when dealing with humans and so God became man. God didn't facebook earth, he came to earth. And that incarnation I believe meets the deepest human need.
2. Jesus dealt with people one on one a lot and facebook really isn't that way. Jesus spoke to and taught the masses, but he tried to get away from the crowd too. He preferred one woman at the well, one blind man, one teacher of the law. These are the meetings he held face to face.
3. Jesus spoke with his actions as deeply as with his words. Can you imagine the seven quotes from the cross without his actually hanging there? They would be good words and all, but they just wouldn't carry the weight. If he had simply posted "father forgive them..." that wouldn't have done.

Well, I've got more, but my 2:30 apointment just showed up so I'm done.


Barry Cameron said...


Thanks for articulating my heart when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, etc. I like people “with skin on,” too, not the electronic version. It was great to see you at the NACC. I love your blog and am proud of what God is doing through you there at Eastview.


Mike Baker said...

thanks Barry, good to see you too. God bless the stuff he's doing through you. Hope to see you soon.

Tami D said...

You know I facebook but this last week visiting down there was an interesting experience. Most of my friends are on it so the time we usually use to catch up was unnecessary. I met a couple of my girls' boyfriends and since I was already facebook friends with them, it felt like we could skip the general getting-to-know you stuff. Both were strange.

On one hand, it made us have to go deeper in conversation rather than stay on the surface. On the other hand, sometimes it was awkward without the "build up" to more intimacy. I'm not exactly sure how I felt about both but it caught my attention--made me think a bit.

PS It was great to see you. Thanks for taking the time.

Nancy said...

You know I'm kind of a cyber fan... I love being able to connect with my friends and family no matter where they are (and it is so much faster than snail mail).

Jesus can be every where at once (blows the mind), so maybe the internet can be used for good (but I also know it is used for much evil too).

I have recently been connecting (via the internet) with a fellow poet who lives in Saudi Arabia (she is Muslim). I see tremendous opportunity to share God's eternal promise with her.

I guess it is like most things in today's world... caution, discretion, prayer for guidance.

As you know, I have written things right here on your blog that have been misinterpreted!!! So....

Janet said...

I once heard a sermon about "purpose". The message that I got from the sermon was "don't use things for a purpose for which they are not suited". (Don't try to cook a steak in a blender, for example. A blender blends fabulously, but if you try to cook a steak in it, the results will be messy, at best.)

Facebook and Twitter, used appropriately, can be wonderful tools. But that's all they are - tools. They can be misused, certainly, and the results of that misuse can be detrimental.

However, I would say that the misuse of social media reveals flaws in people, not necessarily flaws in the tools themselves. You can't fault a tool for not doing something for which it is not suited. It'd be like blaming the blender for the badly cooked steaks.

Social media can be a wonderful tool for exchanging information, connecting people who wouldn't normally be connected, and engaging those people in a meaningful community. However, I find it hard to believe that anyone would say that it is, or should be, a replacement for deep, meaningful, face to face, human contact.

I'm not sure that potential misuses of social media would cause Jesus to reject it. (People misuse the Bible all the time, and to great detriment, but I have a feeling that Jesus would still be a fan of the Bible today.) And I'm not sure that we should reject or denounce social media either. It does mean, however, that we have an even greater responsibility to engage the people around us in meaningful ways, both in person and through technology, so that they might experience TRUE relationship.

Steve said...

janet.. wow.. Rock on!!

Anonymous said...

I think it is hilarious that you posted this on a blog! A blog--such a face-to-face form of communication.

Mike Baker said...

Excellent point, which is why i mentioned the hypocrisy of it all in my blog:-)