The Periodic Musings of Matt Davis

January 27, 2010

I admit it, I heart Facebook

Filed under: Uncategorized — kcillini77 @ 3:00 am

I was a Facebook holdout for a long time.  I figured it would pretty much be an endless barage of updates like, “eating a hamburger now”, “sitting on the runway”, or “just got off the pot – do not go in there.”  And there is a lot of that.

But since becoming a convert, there is one aspect of Facebook that fascinates me.  People can choose to be as open or closed as they want to be, but whether you are a sharer or a lurker a lot of walls come down on Facebook.  Specifically I’m talking about our tendency in “real life” to compartmentalize our friends and acquaintances.  I have work friends, relatives, church friends, drinkin’ buddies, and people that I watch Illini games with, neighbors, and acquaintances.  Usually, our relationship is defined on what we have in common.  And that’s fine.

But on Facebook, friends are friends (even if they’re really acquaintances).  When I post my theological musings, my work friends and Illini buddies see that too.  When I post my beer geek stuff my church friends see that too.  If you want to share, you share with all.  You can’t really hide who you are unless you decide just not to post.

I for one think that’s great.  I know that I may post something that some (or most) of my friends will ignore.  I might post something that they don’t care about.  Maybe they just ignore me some or most of the time.  But if they choose to read it they know more about who I really am than they would otherwise.  Sure, there’s a risk that it may lead them to make unfair or incorrect assumptions about me.  But mostly I like the fact that they know more about where I’m coming from and vice versa.  They probably think I’m weirder than they used to, but that just means they know the truth.  And truth is good.

January 17, 2010

Think you know MLK?

Filed under: American Church, Morality — Tags: , , — kcillini77 @ 11:08 pm

I grew up, to a degree, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.  I went to school with black kids and kids of other religions, and I never really thought that was weird.  I knew we looked different.  I picked up on cultural differences.  But we were friends and didn’t know much about the world that existed less than 20 years before us.

Every year we would hear a few snippets about MLK.  We would see clips of his, “I have a dream” speach.  He seemed pretty cool.

But we didn’t get it.

I have never heard a friend or acquaintance ridicule the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.  But I have heard little whispers:  You know he was an adulturer, right?  He was associated with the Communists, wasn’t he?  He picked Jesse Jackson to succeed him… and so on.  No one is “against” MLK and his vision, but many today seem more intent on pointing out his flaws than on listening to what he really said.

And so, I invite you to do this little exercise:

Read this short letter, written to King on April 12, 1963 from some concerned white clergymen.

Then read his response, Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Sure, King had flaws, like we all do.  But he had a true vision for human dignity, and was equipped by the Gospel of Christ.  Read his words.  Get to know him a little better today.

January 6, 2010

Still a hypocrite

Filed under: Confession — Tags: , , — kcillini77 @ 4:08 am

In theory, I…

…care about the homeless.

…think the Gospel is the remedy for those who are perishing and want it to be proclaimed.

…would love to spend time with elderly people in a nursing home.

…want to be a shoulder to cry on for the grieving.

…can’t wait to help you move that furniture.

…think it would be a valuable use of my time to hold the hand of an AIDS patient

…consider others better than myself.

In practice, I…

…will watch a game with you as long as you don’t block the TV and don’t root for the other team.

…would love to drink a beer with you as long as it’s not that American macro lager swill.

…want you to stop your jabbering about things that don’t interest me and pay attention to my eloquent thoughts.

…want to be fed and comfortable, and if you take care of those needs quickly I might consider tossing you a tip.

God, have mercy on me!!!

January 3, 2010

Are we saving the planet or worshipping it?

Filed under: Environmentalism — Tags: , , — kcillini77 @ 11:22 pm

“Our Great Mother does not take sides; She protects only the balance of life.” – Quote from Avatar.

My wife and I recently went to see Avatar in 3D.  It was the first movie we’d been to in about 7 or 8 months, and it cost us $30.  But we got free babysitting, so we went.  The visuals were amazing and I’m glad I had the experience.  But I had a hard time ignoring the environmental propaganda rampant in the film.  The premise of the movie is that the Earth has been ravaged by humans, and in the pursuit of more precious resources the U.S. Marines are apparently traveling to another planet to take their natural resources by force.  “We have killed our Mother,” and our species is ready to kill another planet.  But fortunately we are foiled by a consortium of the planet’s natives (who love and worship their Mother) and some likeminded earthlings.

Listen, I am all for the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). We are stewards of the planet God’s given us, and it makes no sense to waste our resources.  I support curbside recycling programs, and am a strong supporter of the glass recycling program started by some of the principals at Boulevard (Ripple Glass).  I’m not convinced that we are on the brink of losing countries to floodwaters, but I think moving away from fossil fuels as much as possible is a great thing.  So I am firmly in the camp of trying to avoid needless waste and harm in our environment.

But it seems to me that those who seem to have the biggest voice in the green movement aren’t coming at it from the mindset of being a steward of God-given resources.  Listening to some of the extreme voices, the view of our relationship with the earth more closely resembles a parasitic than a symbiotic one.  If all was as it should be we wouldn’t even be here – we are an accident of evolution and are in many respects simply a drain on the Earth.  Hence, we are Her subjects and should defer to Her in all instances.  That, my friends, is worship.  It is placing the Earth in a position of God, and it is idolatry.  It is in clear contrast with the God of the Bible who claims to have made us in His image.  The self-loathing put forward by the extreme elements of environmentalism is not healthy, and we need to recognize that it is being fed to us.  It was a little over the top in Avatar, but I see it more subtlely elsewhere.

I was watching an episode of Handy Manny on the Disney channel with my son the other day.  Manny was asked to build a bike path around a lake, and when he surveyed the land he was to build it on he saw a turtle digging a hole to lay its eggs.  Manny was concerned that when the eggs hatched the baby turtles wouldn’t be able to make it to the lake if the bike path was in the way.  Moving the path the other direction was out of the question, of course, because he would have to cut down a couple of trees, which would also be wrong.  So, they decided to build a bridge (over land) so that the turtles could reach the lake safely (and then promptly be eaten by predators, but that wasn’t addressed).  It’s a cute little story and no one wants to intentionally kill turtles (unless they’re making a tasty soup).  But in practicality a bridge would be a huge cost on the taxpayers for the sake of saving a few turtles.  Kids don’t know that, but when they have these nice little stories embedded in their brains over time, it’s not farfetched to see them strapping themselves to a tree at some point in the future.

I’m not banning Handy Manny or the Disney Channel.  I won’t refuse to see any more James Cameron movies.  I just think that as we consume media, we need to think about the implications.  The Earth needs our attention, but it doesn’t need our worship.

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