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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Internet Etiquette

Imagine a world that is steeped in make-believe. A world where words mean a variety of things with very little to actually anchor them. A world where "Reality is how you define it" and the same for morality. A world where "I read it on the Internet; it must be true." A world, in short, that believes itself to be firmly rooted in truth but wouldn't be able to pick it out in a lineup with the Marx brothers. That's our world.

When someone posted this quote from Lincoln, people repeated it throughout the Internet ... because so few were able to figure out that Lincoln predated the Internet.

When this picture of Steven Spielberg next to an animatronic dinosaur from his movie, Jurassic Park, Facebook exploded at the cruelty of a hunter killing one of the last dinosaurs.
We think we're pretty solid here, but, to tell the truth, we don't know what the gender of the blonde in the dress is, let alone the gender of the person we're happily chatting with on the Internet. Old? Young? Male? Female? Who knows? Because we're not really solid at all here. And then ... we engage in dialog. We pick up our favorite line of banter -- sex, politics, religion, whatever -- and begin a debate of all things ... without a clear understanding of words, morality, reality, or who we're even talking to. (Funny thing. Sometimes when we are sure who we're talking to we take them the wrong way because we're on the Internet, not face to face.)

No, Lincoln didn't comment on the Internet. No, Spielberg didn't shoot a dinosaur. But, as it turns out, the Bible does talk about Internet interactions. May I suggest a strategy for discussion on the Internet? No, not the Internet -- everywhere. No, not suggest -- offer God's perspective.
Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
Now, if you think about it, I think that would go a long way toward calming things down ... in all sorts of places. The fix? Oh, no, of course not. There will always be people that believe that you should not kill animals, but should "buy meat at the grocery store where no animals are hurt." And, let's face it, not everyone is going to be rational. Still, it's a start. Better, it's a command. That should make it worth the Christian's consideration.

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