11 Oct 2018
Anything interesting in your Facebook “news feed”? Did you get a tweet today that changed your life? A truly moving picture on Instagram? Maybe not. Social media—has it become a new form of devotion for you, something you spend a lot of your life watching? Is it really why you have to have the latest iPhone?
We seem to have a new circulatory system in our bodies today with all the social media feeds. Yet, it seems to be as unsatisfactory as its predecessor’s television and radio. There’s no satisfaction in reading it, hearing it, or feeding it. There is no safety from its all pervasiveness; no acceptance and love there without lingering doubts and hesitancy. Remember the first time you misunderstood an e-mail or text response from a loved one? How quickly our minds now question the truth and sincerity in what we read. Important too: there is no true spiritual growth in social media. There’s more lie than verity in this land of “socialdom”.
It’s worth asking ourselves for the umpteenth time what are we looking for in life. The human race, this includes all flavors of folk, rarely talk about their desperate need for unity among all our diversity. Social media seems especially good at encouraging divisiveness even vengeful behavior; the Faith offers something quite different. The true Faith is loving in essence—charitable, tolerant, and caring of others. It’s a great adjustor of behavior, thinking, and feeling toward others.
Another great desire in humanity is order. The word is misused to mean some set of forced restrictions and behavior; however, for the Church, order comes with a right set of life priorities for its members and a purposeful recognition of God’s direction and guidance so that we can better serve others. The true Faith is Scripture based: it gets its compass points not from GPS but from absolutes of God’s love and will.
The world seems to be growing ever more divided and dissected today. It is hard to find coherence in the truncated picture we get from social media. The Gospel is the glue we need to bring our fragmented lives and values together again into something we can be proud of. The Anglican Faith offers that uniquely--without boastfulness, arrogance, or bigotry.
Bias, hatefulness, and wrongful admiration is what social media and other entertainment outlets have to offer. A false consensus reality is being created where no one and nothing can be respected unless it’s on the right television show and is not the butt of late-night comedians. The Anglican Faith would rather come down on the side of compassion, thankfulness, yes even sorrow for our shortcomings, and above all the beauty of worshipping God with our greatest strivings.
We are more easily bored than ever. When more television channels were first created beyond the three networks we were sure that there would be a great delight in diversity. Not so: the lament was simply “nothing is on”—still. Now we have the internet, social media galore, and surely variety, variety, variety. Nope. Nothing is still on. Still. And we have no hope of ever crawling out of our boredom. But the Church’s Gospel message is new, as fresh as the day Jesus gave it to us. Above all, it has the power to revitalize and refresh our dreary lives with a new world consensus, a new dream of acceptance, love, security, and spiritual growth. No sneering news reporter, comedian, or politico can touch it. Of course, all Christians have weaknesses which the media gleefully and glaringly points out. Their flaws are a cause of sadness, but we do not lose hope and do not lose faith because of individual human weaknesses. The Gospel tells us why. We daily strive to be better and stop and help those we encounter on the path. There is truly nothing sold in social media that compares to the meaningfulness the Lord has planted at the core of our being. When the faithful close their eyes in prayer today--what do you suppose is in their “news feed”? We would love to share.