For the body does not consist of one member but of many. – 1 Corinthians 12:14
So I’ll admit that I’ve failed at all of these posts on the epic failures of social media. That’s why I’m writing about them…it’s called progressive sanctification. Even yesterday I put the establishment mentality on virtual blast. It wasn’t anything that happened to me personally or my church…it was just things that I have watched happen over the last few weeks to other pastors who are trying to push their churches forward. I basically said that the establishment [mentality] needs to go to hell where it belong. I’ve since repented of my post, which is still up on Facebook because I have too much pride to delete it. I’ll write about the establishment mentality later.
Now that confession time is over, I want to talk about another social media fail: Virtual Relationships.
Recently John Mayer was interviewed by the Rolling Stone and he said something that was completely…hmmmm….how shall we say….disturbing? After being asked about relationships, and a girl who had turned him down for sex, He says, “…after that happens eight, nine times, I’d rather just go home and watch porn, good night. I’m serious.”1
Here’s a guy who’s had all of these beautiful women and at the end of the day would rather have sex with his computer before committing to a real relationship.
Now I know some of you are thinking: “Whoa…what does this have to do with me?”
This is, on a creepy scale, what virtual relationships looks like. When we would rather pretend to be someone we’re not, hiding behind a computer, rather than getting in a place of community where people actually know who we are. When we’d rather have virtual relationships than real relationships. We have to realize that God has called us to be in community with real people…not R2D2.
I understand this is difficult for some…trust me. But we can’t substitute real relationships for a cheap imitation of community.
Now, here’s the kicker…living in real life community requires us to stop pretending to be something we’re not. And WOW…when that happens…the beauty of the body of Christ is glorified. The Church cannot afford to be filled with people who are living pretentious lives rather than digging into the core issues of their being. You’re marriage is failing? So are other around you. You are struggling with sins? So are others around you. We have to create an environment that say’s “it’s okay to not be okay…it’s okay for us to be honest where we are in life.” Maybe that’s why people prefer virtual relationships over real relationships. It’s easier to pretend?
But it is extremely difficult to grow spiritually and mentally if we are living pretentious lives in a fantasy virtual world.
I recently started taking vitamins…because I’m over 30 now. Its only purpose is to supplement me…hence the name…vitamin supplements. I think social networking should only be a supplement to relationships…not the replacement of them. But I believe we’ve done the opposite…which is why we are bold on Facebook and hid from people.
Here’s the problem: We walk around and know everyone’s name when we actually don’t know anyone. This creates a massive amount of loneliness (despite the fact there are 7 billion people on planet Earth.)
The solution is this: Real community and real relationships takes time, energy and effort. And that’s what God is calling us in to…not virtual relationships. When we walk in real community we suddenly have people walking with us through the most difficult times of our lives…and they have their testimonies to help us through those difficult times…and just like that, the beauty of the body of Christ starts to function.
So go to church. (Just thought I’d throw that out there.) 😉 But Seriously…go and belong to a church that believes in cultivating relationships and that accepts people for who they are. Be a part of The Body [church] of many.