(Everybody else gets to add “T” to words, so why can’t I?)
After the panel discussion on social media today, I heard grumbles of frustration from the audience. To be honest, I felt the same way. And I am sure some people were frustrated with me. But that happens when you ask a small group of people to try and define what something new means to a larger group of people. It was an interesting conversation and brought new topics to light, but it was certainly not authoritative and I don’t believe anyone on the panel pretended for it to be so.
There was (at least) one idea that rubbed me the wrong way: worship through Twitter and Facebook can be the same as worship in the presence of other Christians. I certainly do not wish to attack another person’s evolving perspective, since that is not how I would want to be treated. Still, I would like to share my evolving perspective. And I begin by asking “How did Abraham worship?”
This may seem odd if you are unfamiliar with the context (or maybe even if you are familiar). Abraham worshiped by taking his promised and beloved son to a distant hill to place him on an altar of true sacrifice (God never planned for Abraham to go through with the sacrifice and stopped Abraham just in time). That is worship. I repeat, that sacrifice and effort is worship. Can that be traded out for Twitter? When I think substitution I think of Christ being the substitute for us, not substituting the fellowship of the believers with Facebook.
This not to say people who are physically or even mentally unable to gather with other Christians are “evil.” But if we have the opportunity to fellowship with real human Christians and we choose Facebook instead, what does that say about us? (And what does it say about the people we would rather not interact with?) What are we missing out on and what are we withholding from others?
There are many other things I would love to talk about in detail from the panel, but that was the biggie for me. The question of quantity vs. quality may never be answered. Though, I do want to clarify that when I voted for quantity over quality, that was coming from the perspective that 1.) quality content is still out there, perhaps just harder to find, and 2.) in a democratic society, it is better for someone to have an imperfect voice than no voice at all.
So, that’s all beside the main point. And the main point for me is this: We can worship God wherever we are, but if Abraham and Christ were willing to worship in the sacrificial and difficult ways they did, shouldn’t we do more than click a mouse?