Being Different #Digidisciple

Since September last year, The Church Sofa blog has been reading through Soul Survivor Bible in a Year reading plan. It didn’t seem that bad at first and then we got to the end of October. Maybe it was balancing life with a new born with life at work, but maybe the book of Leviticus didn’t help.

bible-one-year

Possibly because I was fairly sleepy at that time, and that’s its arguably quite a dry read, I guess I found Leviticus a bit of a struggle. If you also struggle with it, can I recommend this post by @lucymills, particularly the following section:

Culture is not an easy thing to explain and identify, however much we talk about it. Because we are immersed in it. We don’t just look at culture, we look through it. Culture is not merely a picture, it’s a lens.

Israel was called to look through a different lens. Not the one of the Egyptians. Nor the one of those who had lived in Canaan before them. The laws in Leviticus were so specific because they were reacting to something specific – something happening in one of those other cultures. Something that spoke of other practices and other gods. But Yahweh was different. Yahweh was not confined or hinged to one place or that. Yahweh was not like the other gods, bickering amongst themselves. Yahweh was holy – purely distinctive – and his people were to reflect that.

We’re called to be distinctive, but how are we meant to be distinctive with our activities online? I’m going to look at four different approaches.

Do you limit your access? A recent book from Tim Chester entitled “Will You Be My Facebook Friend?” (Amazon Link), seems to take a cautious approach to Social Media, and particularly Facebook. He raises concerns about Facebook’s effect on how people spend their time, present their own image, and its effect on their local relationships. As such he seems to suggest taking a cautious approach to time taken on social networking. Do you take a careful approach to how long you spend on Twitter / Facebook etc? Is there a difference between spending a lot of time on a site like Facebook, compared to GodTubeChristian Chirp, and Believers Space?

I don’t know what your news feeds are like, but I do occasionally see some quite strong images and ideas. Do you share positive and encouraging sayings and Bible passages to lighten other peoples lives?

I was struck by this article on churchmag the other day: “Can Christians Influence the Internet Culture?“, which quotes Wikipedia with:

In Internet culture, the 1% rule or the 90–9–1 principle (sometimes also presented as 89:10:1 ratio)[1] reflects a hypothesis that more people will lurk in a virtual community than will participate. This term is often used to refer to participation inequality in the context of the Internet.

The site itself includes a diagram that shows these sorts of figures quite simply, but the numbers make a good point. What if more Christians were actively engaged online in either conversations or creating content? Is there anything that the current creators of content can do to encourage more people to get involved? What if a mark of Christian distinctiveness online, was simply being involved?

I guess personally I try and follow this simple advice from #CNMAC12:

Share your life online. Someone may be better off because of it.

What simple guide lines do you have?

This post originally appeared on The Big Bible Website.

Top Ten Unpopular Online Opinions

Isn’t the internet great?

Because of the internet we have the opportunity to connect, and discuss various topics with various people around the world, via blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc. Normally things seem to tick by without too much hassle, but then, every now and then. Someone comes out and shares an opinion on something that seems to attract all manner of disgruntled characters performing the internet equivalent of screaming in that persons face. This sadly also applies to Christians online, getting upset about other opinions that other Christians have about “Christian” things.

Over the last two months the Church Sofa lads have kept their ear to the ground, and have compiled the following list of possibly the most wrong opinions out there:

  1. Harry Potter is *** **** ******.
  2. Abortion ** *** * ***** *** ***** *****.
  3. The *** is ** ****** of women.
  4. * am so ******** that ***** *** **.
  5. I am not comfortable with *** *********** but I think ***** ********** ** ** really.
  6. *** **** is a great *******.
  7. The General Synod did the ***** thing when they voted on women bishops.
  8. ***** ***** *** * ***** of time.
  9. The last ********* was *** * **********.
  10. Twilight is *** * ******* to ****.
Due to the risk of starting an all out internet war, we’ve decided to regulate ourselves a little bit and censor the above list.
The thing is, what do we do when we see an opinion online that we disagree with. Do we leave? Do we discuss / debate it? Or do we attack the person behind the comments, either directly or from the “tone” of what we’re saying?
How do we handle it when people have vastly different views to our own?
Do you have any tips for dealing with people angry at you online?
This post originally appeared on The Big Bible Website.

Internet blocking and why it will still not protect our children

Some of you may have seen mention of a campaign ran by Premier Christian Media and SaferMedia called “SafetyNet”, this is a campaign to call on the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service.

Ryan at crimperman.org has taken a look at the technical / practical side of this:

Why this won’t work

The campaign calls for ISPs to “block pornography” at “network level”, the consultation expands this into two options. Firstly a universal switch which enables or disables blocking (or “filtering” if you prefer) for the internet connection and secondly an array of questions which apparently will allow the parent to decide which types of content are permitted or not permitted through the same connection. The wording is phrased as if this filtering can be decided on a per user basis rather than a per connection basis but the type of filtering they are describing cannot be managed in that way. In brief the type of filtering they are proposing (regardless of which option is used) is unworkable and dangerous. I’ll focus on pornography here because that is the main thrust of the campaign but the same points can be applied to other content types. Here is why…

How do you define “pornography”?

You can’t (as the campaign does) try to get away with a dictionary definition because we are dealing with parents here who may well have their own idea of what is appropriate for their child to view. Limiting it to just ‘the explicit representation of sexual activity’ may not be enough. As an example if that were all that was being blocked I still would need to check what my 8 year old was stumbling across on Google images at which point the “protection” is not coming from the blocking but from me (as it does now). Additionally who decides what content fits into what categiry and what level of “risk” there is? One parent may consider it perfectly aceptable for their child to see say a scantily clad woman in a provactive pose, another may not and yet both would expect such a filtering service to met their needs. It can’t.

If you’re interested in this, I’d suggest reading the whole article over at crimperman.org

Weekly Roundup – The Internet Edition

Hello, and welcome to this weeks edition of the weekly roundup:

  • The Beaker Folk wonder what life would like if it looked like Facebook?
  • The Guardian takes a long look at not just the speed of broadband, but with comments like:

    “At which point, issues of straightforward ideology start to take over. A broadband connection could become “a universal right”, says the Lords committee chairman, Lord Inglewood. What kind of policy leaves out 10% of the country – the elderly, the poor, the underclass who raise so many fears and challenges? What about the rolling acres of rural Britain which need broadband and commerce to save them from depopulation? It’s the digital divide opening wide again. If TV’s true future is broadband, then whole communities may be excluded from great national moments. Cue topical Olympics reference. Cue, also, a much closer scrutiny of broadband’s fundamental benefits.”

    The Guardian also asks, where is the high speed society taking us?

  • theresurgence.com offers a guilt powered guide to being an excellent wife.
  • Jon Acuff looks at a subject VERY close to our hearts. Church Notice Boards, and asks are they the worst tool for evangelism ever?
  • Are you thinking about packing for university? Take time to read this from fusion; is it time to draw a line in the sand?
  • The Gonna Be Dad blog presents 101 Things to do when you’re bored on Maternity Leave
  • … and finally… remember Sixpence None The Richer? Here’s the song Radio from the new album called “Lost in Translation”:

More information on christianitytoday.com