Facebook now includes icons for homosexual and lesbian couples in its relationship options. Some brethren are abandoning the service because of it. Apparently, they consider their presence on the service as crossing the line between being in the world and being of it, or approving of it. I invited one of them to TFR.
• Facebook seems to have become a more visual medium of late. More people post images, photos, and graphics. At least, my “friends” do. What about yours? Not sure why this trend has taken off. Maybe from influence from Pinterest. Or a general preference in our age for images over text, started in the 20th Century by television. A hard challenge for the gospel, this trend. (Remember our first step to salvation: hear?)
• Twitter is tightening up third-party access to its service, certainly within its right, but raising the wall to protect its proprietary model. Most recently, it has cut off LinkedIn.com from posting to its service. I like Friendica‘s approach: the Internet is our social media. Remains to be seen if commercialism will allow such ideas any elbow room. (Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
• Meanwhile, Google continues to skew search results, most recently by muzzling firearms retailers. They’re making it harder for you to find a gun online. Of course, this is not their first foray into socio-political filters. I’ve pretty well abandoned it for other good services like Duck Duck Go and StartPage.com. Remember: you got options.
• All of this is background for serving the Lord on the Internet. Where are the trends? In what direction are developments moving? How can Christians be effective on the web? Those who strive to tame the Internet beast for evangelism and edification want to have a bit of understanding of how it works. A tall task, but part of it.
A lot of people practice what I call “Google Christianity”. They browse the Bible like they browse the internet, picking and choosing what sites they like and rejecting those they don’t like. I was once talking to one fellow about his soul. I asked him how he expected to get to heaven if he refused to obey the gospel. He replied, “I’m going through the same door as the thief on the cross.” I’ve heard it often before. Let me tell you something folks, you are going to be sadly disappointed if you think you’re going to be saved as the thief was. It is a cop-out for disobedience. If you don’t want to do what Jesus commands, then be honest enough to say so. The thief would have done whatever Jesus commanded, had he been able. But he was nailed to a cross. He confessed. He did what he could. The only resemb¬lance between the thief and the one wanting to be saved like him is: both are thieves. The one on the cross gave up his stealing; the other is tries to steal salvation. This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess
We started Sunday school in the Taubaté church this afternoon. For now, it’s a 30-minute period of teaching not very distinguished from our worship, no interval. In July, we’re going through the evangelistic Bible course (BCC-type) the church is going to use.
I preached this morning in SJCampos on evangelism, with a couple of true stories. Base text, Luke 9:57-62. The chapter opens with the limited commission, sending of the Twelve. It ends with another sending, “as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (v. 60).
Lots of people traveling, out of state, even out of country. July is the second vacation month for a lot of people. January, in summer time, is the big one.
Google is getting ready to roll out its social media site. Similar to Facebook. They’re giving out a few invites before the public release. I got in today. Looks interesting, if you like Google. They have a video chat. And Facebook, not one to fall behind, will launch a Skype chat for its members this week.
Meanwhile, I’ve been experimenting with live audio and video podcasts. In Portugese for now. Who knows but I might try it in English as well.
I say I’m a writer, because I don’t have a face for TV (video) nor a voice for radio (audio). But somebody probably thinks I don’t get the words down very well on the screen, either. Let’s see, I can still be a reader, right?
NEW SEARCH FEATURE. The title is suggestive. The service pulls together many of Google’s offerings in a different kind of search. Try it out. Our experiment was with “Christ” and “church.” You might find something of use to you in this new service.
MAVERICKS? Hugh Fulford has out a new News and Views ezine this morning, but it’s not yet on his new blog. Apparently, it’s not being updated simultaneously, but we might hope to see it shortly. Today’s topic is “Corralling the Churches of Christ.” Deals with some people’s efforts to shut up the churches in the denominational pen. Worth your time.
FERVENT PRAYER. Don Ruhl’s devotional yesterday morning was on prayer. Can we have too much emphasis on prayer? He encourages us to pray like Nehemiah.
FAMILY DEVOS. It appears that Joshua Pappas is providing a regular family devotional thought to the brethren at Highland Heights in Smyrna, Tenn. For families that may need a nudge, it seems to be a good move. Is the family devotional going the way of the dinosaurs? If it is, that might be contributing to problems in the church, do you think?