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November 5, 2012

When you blog often enough, or are on social media, you find yourself living for the “likes” that can come your way.  I am always encouraged when somebody “likes” one of my posts.  I’ve pretty much been able to see that if you say things that people agree with you will get “liked”.  With that in mind, here goes:

  1. I disapprove of Hurricane Sandy.
  2. I like sunny, crisp fall days.
  3. I am tired of negative campaign ads and can’t wait for the election to be over.
  4. I think child abuse is horrible and ought to be stopped.
  5. I think we should end terror and violence and give peace a chance.
  6. I wish they could find a cure for breast cancer.
  7. I think Jesus is really awesome.
  8. I think babies are cute.

People have always been comfortable hanging out with others like themselves, with people they agree with, but with the advent “likes” this has become exponentially easier.  If you are saying something you can now begin to shape, consciously or unconsciously, your message to get you “liked.”  If you do more reading (or watching, or listening) you can gravitate to people you “like” easier than ever before.  Technology has given us an amazing new tool to quickly and easily allow us to herd ourselves into groups of people who agree with us.  PTL for the “like” button.

Or maybe not.  Maybe we are so busy circling the wagons that we are forgetting how to listen with thought, and engage with respect, those who differ with us.  And the circles keep getting smaller.  We Christians don’t just circle the wagons against a secular world, we circle them against other Christians who read the Bible a little differently than we do.  While this is far from a Christian distinctive I suppose it bothers me more because it is “in house.”

It takes deliberate effort to listen to people who say things we don’t like.  We benefit, or at least I hope we do, when we listen to both sides of a story.  This is why I read John Piper and his friends at the Desiring God blog and Ed Cyzewski on his In a Mirror Dimly blog.  It is why I follow both Denny Burk and Rachel Held Evans.  I also read Matt Apling’s blog The Church of No People and Ed Stetzer’s blog called, well, Ed Stetzer.  Once in a while, when I am feeling really daring, I read Hemant Mehta at his The Friendly Atheist blog.

There are times I feel I ought to put a disclaimer on this blog.  Something like “The opinions expressed here do not necessarily agree with those of my church, Trinity Community Church.”  Of course, if I did that I’d also have to say they also don’t always agree with my own opinions 24 hours later.  But then I think about my adult Sunday School class and realize that we actually do have some differing opinions and we still like each other; and we don’t even have to press the “like” button to show it, we can even say it to each other directly.

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From → Christianity

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