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Sound-Byte Nation; Mini-Byte Minds

May 2, 2013

I no longer take surveys.  The choices are limited with no way to build bridges.  I’m frustrated by news because if you can’t say it in a sound-byte, you won’t be understood, and NO principle in contention can be related in a sound-byte.  So what becomes popular? Facebook, which at least allows comment discussions, and Twitter, which I have no idea about other than it’s Sound-Byte Central.

Facebook, even for people who would naturally be grace-filled, lends itself to contentious debate, because the shortness of the comments foster tone-misunderstanding.

One such debate was a political cartoon about Tebow being told to keep his faith to himself and Collins being praised for coming out of the closet.  One young man took exception to the cartoon, commenting on Collin’s bravery.  A good conversation was primed but instead he got slapped down and he responded that there are better things than complaining about stuff that shouldn’t surprise us.

I’m of two minds.  First, respectful conversation off an intriguing starter is a good idea, as is pointing out our societal hypocrisy, not to mention that the mainstream news no longer reports all the news.  Second, that if that young man had someone willing to converse, he would have held up his own, but because of the open nature of comments, shut-down kings can jump in.

What’s missing from our technology world is a forum for conversation, not debate.  Collins was brave, but in my opinion, inappropriate (much like Bob Dole, a former presidential candidate, shilling for ED).

And yet…

Our response to people who are not Christians who engage in “yucky” sins has not been mature or grace-filled in times past.  The Rainbow Movement has forced many of us to mature in our responses.  That’s not a bad thing.

We have several “rainbow” couples in our neighborhood.  They all contribute (more than I do), are good neighbors and otherwise decent folks.  They live by their convictions and not by anyone else’s, as they should.  I don’t need to agree with their convictions to show them respect.

The young man on the thread understands that; I wish I had at his age.  Perhaps he can lead some of his elders into the enlightenment his father (both of them) enjoy. (No he was not my son, though I think Ben’s responses were spot-on, too.)

It’s an interesting view, however, that Christians shouldn’t point out the flaws of society lived apart from God.  As long as we focus on conversation and not preaching, I think we should, with grace and respect.  It sure beats telling people what you had for lunch.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. dawn permalink
    May 3, 2013 1:14 am

    In an all Rainbow environment like Disney and in a no rainbow environment like my neighborhood (as few as I know) I keep hearing “I will lead them to repentance by my lovingkindness” and while that sounds like the Prodigal son parable of Christ at work it doesn’t mean keeping our mouth shut about what sin is, why it should offend God, and the whole ” no one can appreciate the good news without knowing the bad news”. The prodigal knew he wasn’t worth a slave when he came home. So silence about the hard truths is not loving. Yes, we earn the right to be heard by listening, asking, serving, praying, but if we are silent about the hard truths (tolerant being the buzzword) isn’t this cowardice at some point? My father, the most loving, gentle bull in the China Shop used to say “I’d rather offend someone into heaven than befriend them to Hell” I understand that “finger pointing” is not just counterproductive but countercultural and that conviction is the Spirit’s job, not mine, but there is a reason why Christ is a “rock of Offence” and you have to lead there too even if they “live by their convictions and do what is right in their own eyes”,
    Game on.

  2. May 3, 2013 7:56 pm

    I don’t think I disagree with anything in your post, Dawn. I just don’t think we should shout down someone willing to have a conversation. When the other side is doing the shouting, I think a kind word can have some impact. I’ve found that when people discover you’re willing to listen as well as shout that they’ll listen to what you have to say.

    Sometimes the barrier is the myth that “you have to agree with me to be tolerant.” No, I have to treat you like a human being even when I disagree with you.

    A fellow called me a bigot once. I said, “Why? Because I disagree with you?”
    “Yes!”
    “Then are you a bigot because you disagree with me?”
    “No, because I’m right and accepting while you’re wrong and rude!”
    “But I think I’m right and you’re not accepting me, which makes you a bigot.”
    “I’m not a bigot!”
    “Then neither am I. So maybe we can talk like reasoning adults.”
    “Uh. Okay, then.”

    An interesting conversation ensued.

    • Dawn permalink
      August 22, 2013 1:11 pm

      That was Matt commenting there, just FYI. I agreed with your sentiments. You cannot earn the right to be heard unless you have been willing to listen and understand. -Dawn

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