Facebook, the Church, and Reality
I really appreciate Russell Moore's ministry. I had the privilege of serving as his producer on many of the radio broadcasts he did when filling in for Albert Mohler on "The Albert Mohler Program."And the thing I appreciated most about our "Moore Shows" (other than the bumper music) was the way Dr. Moore so naturally took a secular news story and applied it to the church. Indeed, rare is the person who can see something going on the culture and draw out an important lesson for the church.
Today I noticed Dr. Moore picking up on a Slate.com article titled "The Anti-Social Network" (I saw this, ironically, on Facebook). Moore suggests the church has some lessons to learn from the way Facebook may actually be perpetuating people's sadness. (According to the Slate article, Facebook does this by only, or at least largely, accentuating the positive in people's lives making those that are suffering feel deeply alone. In other words, as people log in to Facebook they see so much virtual happiness, that they become "vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Jonses.")
So what does the church need to do in the face of so much virtual "chipperness"? More suggests,
Nobody is as happy as he seems on Facebook. And no one is as "spiritual" as he seems in what we deem as "spiritual" enough for Christian worship. Maybe what we need in our churches is more tears, more failure, more confession of sin, more prayers of desperation that are too deep for words.
Yes. For in doing so we model more accurately reality rather than leave people in, what is oftentimes, the unreality of Facebook. And by doing this we have the opportunity to bring the gospel to bear on people's suffering so that real joy and peace in Christ is experienced.
Be sure to read Moore's whole post here.
Originally published January 28, 2011.