23 May 2007

Reflection on the Net and Meddling

I love the net. I love the way that it has enabled me to "meet" and learn from so many different people. And I think in many ways it has been a huge blessing. But it has its dark side.

No, I'm not referring to the porn etc. That's dark indeed. But I was thinking of another aspect of its darkness: the way that it invites all of us to be busybodies. Over on LQ there's a raging discussion about whether or not a service held in a town devastated by a tornado was "unionism" or not. Before the advent of the net, none of us would likely have heard about it. If the neighboring pastors and people perceived it as a problem, they would have spoken to the pastor involved and dealt with the matter face to face, no doubt discussing it in the Winkel and extending charity and rebuking error together. Instead, the whole thing is broadcast on the net and we sit back as spectators and pass our judgments. It's just wrong.

We should not forget that the holy Apostle wrote:

2 Th. 3:11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

Attend to our own work: to the tasks God has given us to do and not presume to have the leisure to be checking out someone else's work.

The net is great, but we should not let it become an excuse for us of meddling in the affairs of others. I remember reading Lewis did not read newspapers or watch TV much. Said it only made him feel guilty about things he could not remedy. Instead, he turned to neighbors God has actually placed at his doorstep and realized that God put them in his life to be the objects of his Christian charity. Rather than rendering our verdicts upon those who are far distant from us and giving our $.02 about every action that we hear someone has taken, let's focus on doing the work God has given US to do while it is still day. Who has the time to be a busybody? The night is coming when no one can work.


Kepler said...

So, what you're really saying is that unionism is okay?!


Great post.

wm cwirla said...

Amen and Amen!

This sort of internet meddling is a kind of theological porn. Like it's counterpart, it's best filtered out.

Peter said...

An excellent point, well expressed! Thank you. The so called 'information age' provides us with only a selective array of 'facts' about a situation, and removes those facts from their human context. The absence of a human face to address directly retards not only the impetus but the possibility of being humane in our response.

Face to face we would still need to uphold the objective truth, but we would have a far greater chance of doings so with genuine respect and care for the person we are addressing.

And far greater incentive. Particularly if they have a big dog! ;)

William Weedon said...

Thanks, all, for the kind remarks. I'm sure it is a sin I have not steered clear of myself. May God keep us all busy at the tasks that are actually before us!

Anonymous said...

To quote my pastor, "it's not that there's not more sin these days, it's just that the internet has allowed us to sin more efficiently!"

- Jeff

Anonymous said...

Maybe the good thing would be if Missouri stopped condemning unionism, if it chooses to practice it all the time.

Missouri is quick to condemn the "unionism" of the ELCA, etc., but always excuses itself.

CPA said...

Actually Kepler, what he's saying is he doesn't think internet porn is an important issue to talk about.


Another vote for "GREAT POST!"

Anonymous said...

Pr. Weedon,

So, your purpose in bringing it further to the public square was what???? Surely *not* to encourage more gossip and fan the flames of even more speculation?

William Weedon said...

Dear Anon,

The reason to bring it up was to comment that such things need to be addressed locally by the pastors and parishes that KNOW the people involved, rather than the second-guessing that takes place on the net.

Anonymous said...

Pr. Weedon,

Please forgive my 5:02 comment, I am sorry. It's just that LQ raises my bp to see Lutheran bretheren slugging it out so publicly so I try to stay away from that public slug-fest and only go to edifying sites such as Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
An ongoing discussion of the Book of Concord
and some of the more positive blogs by the chief participants at the BoC site. Your blog got me curious so I went over to LQ and it raised my bp.
Have a blessed Pentecost Sunday.