Monday, July 14, 2008

The Hypocrisy Of Cyberspace

Hello All,

I have been musing for some time about this concept. Then I read Blythe's blog the other day where she posted something similar to what I am about to write. (She also wrote a blog article that has brought tremendous peace to our family in particular here. Thank you Blythe!!)

Hypocrisy. It is a concept as old as time itself. The thought that one person can act one way in front of certain people and another when assuming a role on the internet. It's interesting to me, especially as I see it effecting or exposing Christians. We expect duplicity from the world, but while it might be naivete to assume otherwise, we still don't expect to see it from the Christian.

Part of the problem is the continued belief in our mind that automatically separates the secular from the sacred. Christians go to Church and put on the face, which is exactly where the word "hypocrite" comes from, and then leave and return to their "other life," where a whole other set of much more loose regulations, apply.

The privacy of the internet (ironically, the death of privacy) exacerbates this problem. People can strike out at safe distances with their vitriolic bitterness and feel that they are justified for the sake of their self-expression. However, what does that self-expression betray?

The truth is that we have one life. And that one life is on display at all times, in all places. What does that one life communicate to all that are watching?

I kept thinking about this and then read a story this week about a young lady who was a representative of her state in the recent Miss Universe pageant. She was photographed in private with her friends, displaying some very poor behavior. The world responded typically with it's celebration of her poor behavior and loved the story of her self-exposure (nothing nude or pornographic, by the way.), noting that this was not the way a young woman, representing her state, should act in private. The story prompted a response from someone in authority from this girl's state. I read the letter in it's entirety, but this paragraph really stuck out to me.

"Title holders will be reminded that they are public figures and role models whose lives will be scrutinized, especially by those who take pleasure in exposing imperfections, however slight. (Girl in question) will not be the last young person whose clowning behaviors will give the wrong impression to people who do not know her. We can only work toward ensuring that the attention these pictures have generated will be a cautionary tale for all of the title holders in our organization."

I thought that this was a profound way to say that we represent something bigger than ourselves at all times. How much more...those who represent and hold the title "Christian?"

I feel like this drum has been beaten, and will likely need to be beaten again and again, but I am reaching out to a generation who are especially susceptible to that in this blog entry. If I only had your Blogger, Facebook, or Myspace account, what would it say about your relationship with Jesus Christ and His power and influence over the life that He is living through you?

This is not say that you will blog every entry about the Gospel per se! It's not a bad idea and if you are because the Lord has laid that on your heart, then by all means, go for it! But what I am saying is this: Is the Gospel so forefront in your mind, that it changes everything you write?

When you get confused and befuddled, will there be hope in Christ in your "cybervoice?"

When you are angry at the world, will you show how you surrender that emotion to Christ?

When you are tempted to lash out at another person, will you demonstrate how Christ's grace allows you to let love cover a multitude of sins?

I pray that you will. I pray that I will for the sake of Christ's reputation.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez


Carrie Marie said...

This particular drum needs to keep on beating.

Patty said...

Thank you so much for your comments. I have been having many circular conversations with people on this very subject and was beginning to think my family and I stood alone on this. Even though some people see myspace and other networking sites as evil, I see them as a blessing to give us an insight into how our youth are living and thinking. I feel sad that we who should be trying to guide these youth are either choosing not to acknowledge what's going on, become a part of the hypocrisy, or rationalize and actually join the false doctrine.
Sorry for the long response. This is a subject I'm a little passionate about. Anyway, thanks for the blog. It really blessed me.
Keep on drumming drummer boy =D.

Frank Morgan said...

really good. and very true.

jordan sabolick said...

this post hit the spot.

if you only knew i how much i look up to you frank.