On the Way

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
~ Psalm 84:5

Saturday, November 27, 2010

encourage one another daily?

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?
I 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 monastics".

I do give thanks for the small ways in which I've experienced this with my 'nuclear' family, a weekly men's group and with some other friends.   I submit that Facebook and other sites can be a tool to enhance what should already be there with respect to friendships & community (but often is not).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If we agree that all interpersonal communication is mediated, it seems obvious that the more conduits the richer the communication. Hence, FB and other "virtual" experiences are meaningful, but ultimately impoverished by their lack of dimension. DH