12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
~ Hebrews 3:12-14
I've returned to
this passage time and time again while living in a culture, 21st
century America, where folks often are "bowling alone" as Robert Putnam
put it in his important sociological study. Are Facebook or other
social networking sites one way in which Christians can "encourage one
another daily"? Perhaps. But surely this is not enough! Where is the
dynamic, deep face to face fellowship and resultant joy which one can
see in Acts 2 and during many other times of Church History?
see encouraging signs of deep community or deep church (as Jim Belcher
calls it) among the Amish (for all their faults and fundamental
problems related to understanding culture properly) and the "new