Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Avoiding the Seven Demons

I've always been perplexed by the passage in Luke 11, where the Pharisees accuse Jesus of using the power of Satan to drive out evil spirits.

It's not so much Jesus's refutation that confuses me. In the discussion, he coins the phrase that Abraham Lincoln borrowed - a kingdom divided itself cannot stand - to show that Satan's forces can't survive if they war against each other. He then uses a parable about robbing a strong man's house to explain to that although our enemy has a formidable powers, he is easily bound and overtaken by his maker.

I'm good up to this point, but it gets a little trickier in the teaching moment afterward, when Jesus turns away from the immediate treatment of good vs. evil and begins directing criticism toward the Jews' unbelief.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We're Not Who We Think (or Say) We Are

Social media is a really convenient tool. Some say its magic is in the fact that it allows for transparency like never before. Politicians use Twitter to stay connected with their constituents. Parents can spy on their teenyboppers' online lives. Bosses can get a glimpse of their employees' true character out of the office.

While these are noble uses, I say the true advantage of these websites is their cloak-and-dagger aspect, the fact that we can hide our real selves behind the idealistic versions we post online.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Would Jesus Tweet?

Come, follow me.

In the age of Twitter, "following" someone has become as easy as the click of a button.

It wasn't so simple 2,000 years ago, when Jesus searched for his true disciples. He had no email newsletter, no Facebook page on which to post photos and updates. He didn't have a website where millions could convene virtually to download sermon podcasts or submit prayer requests.

His was a day when a teacher's shoe leather was his bandwidth, and his sphere of influence was as large as the area his feet could travel. His audience consisted of real people with skin on, seen eye to eye, not faceless Google bots or Web perusers.