Monday, May 9, 2011

Christian Separatism

This is not a topic I normally would blog about, but Stuart James over at EChurch blog drew my attention to it.

Apparently there are alternative "Christian" social networking sites. I had never heard of such a thing nor can I guess why we would want one. There are three that Stuart points out.

The first is called MyBlab. Already I don't like it and I have only seen the name, which, by the way, means "Be Linked As Believers." For lack of a better description I can only describe it as a cheap ripoff of facebook. Many of the people that are on MyBlab seem to be aspiring artists of some type.

The second is "Christian Chirp" which is a Christian form of Twitter where one can "chirp" to your friends. This is even more of a blatant ripoff than MyBlab. At least the people at MyBlab had the good sense to come up with a name, no matter how poor, that did not sound like so close to the original.

The third is GodTube. This is a site where you can watch worship and preaching videos all day long, one after another. I am now convinced that there is a hell.

My question (besides why would anyone want to make a cheap version of the real thing) is why do we need these? What is it about facebook and Twitter that sends Christians to start their own exclusive social networking site? I could possibly see the case for GodTube since YouTube can sometimes contain some nasty surprises. But at least call it something other than GodTube. But with FaceBook and Twitter you choose your friends, which also means you can control the content.

It seems that Christians spend more time running away from the "world" rather than engaging it.

What do you think? What is the attraction of some of these sites for Christians?

5 comments:

  1. Dr. John, I agree that many evangelicals seem to want to separate themselves from the "world." And, it is usually done poorly. As a musician I have been embarrassed at much of the poor quality writing and producing that has been foisted on people over the years. It seems that Christians either have no taste or are so adamant about not being tainted by the world that they will buy into anything as long as it is "christian." There was a day when the church was the place where the absolute best was offered to God in arts, music, literature, etc. Also, whatever happened to be in the world, just not of the world?

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  2. This has been a thorn in my side since I was in middle school. I wrote a blog post about it called "Songs in G Tuning" http://ryangear.com/2010/08/31/some-guitar-songs-in-g-tuning/

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  3. I remember back in the 80's when Christian bands were promoted based on what secular band they sounded like. "You'll love Stryper because they sound like Winger!" I hated that and for that reason ignored most Christian rock. I figured if I liked Rush and Yes I should just listen to Rush and Yes. And the fact was, Rush and Yes were 20 times better than the Christian alternatives. So, if you appreciated talent you had no choice.

    Of course, then I found the Swirling Eddies and I wondered why more Christian musicians couldn't be like them ...

    I wonder if part of our problem is we know deep down that we're supposed to be separate from the world, but we still want to be like the world - we want to enjoy the fruits of the world. And, so, enterprising folks feed us 'safe' versions of Egypt's delights and we get some guilt free pop. We get to be kinda hip, we have our favorite rapper, our own video site, our own TV station, our own radio stations and our own sanctified 140 character posting service. We want to live just like everyone else, when really we're supposed to be showing everyone else how to live.

    It's embarrassing.

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  4. I think I know why folks do it. These are sites that are like the fellowship hall of your church. You go there to spend time with people who already believe, not hide from the world but to spend time enjoying conversation with other believers, supporting each other, praying with and for one another without fear of offending others or being attacked for your beliefs. To find healthier content that does not have to be weeded through and to avoid temptation.

    I can't speak for the lack of originality but if the 80's music example is looked at as a pre-cursor to today's Christian music, which is very good for the most part, it had to start somewhere ....

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  5. There is no way to fulfill the Great Commission and stay away from the world. We need to be more focused on witnessing salvation and less on dispensing it.

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