Apr 20, 2013

Facebook Behavior in Ancient Times

So I was reading the book of Philemon in the Bible, it's short, you can read it over half a cup of coffee, and I began to see it as an Ancient-Times' Facebook transaction, if they had Facebook.  And this interested me.

A lot of people have a patrician attitude about Facebook.  With a derisive posture, they disparage both the authors and the content of so many status updates, throwing out the baby with the bath water.   Facebook is an amazing force that when employed with intention gives you the steering wheel to causality, something Aristotle termed "proper causation," a philosophy of cause and effect that has been studied heartily.  So quit complaining about what you nobly term the stupid use of Facebook and see if you are creative enough to use Facebook for causality.

I digress.

I was reading Philemon and found Paul, imprisoned, an old man writing a Facebook status to Philemon, a Christian who was holding church in his house.  (verses 1 and 2)

Paul wrote on Philemon's wall and tagged Apphia, Archippus and the church's Facebook page to thank them for their work and love and to recommend they receive the run-away slave Onesimus back as he had changed and become a Christian under Paul's teaching.

As T.D. Jakes describes, Onesimus had to get away to get better. Paul says Onesimus was once useless to Philemon, but now is useful. (verse 11)  Now he can go back to Philemon because he's operating from a place of strength - the new and improved Onesimus -- the slave that found liberty.

Paul adds in his status update on Philemon's wall, "If Onesimus slips up, if he does anything wrong, charge it to my account -- hold me responsible."   This status update was a love letter granting freedom.  T.D. Jakes compares it to God's love letter -- the Word that became flesh in Jesus Christ:
"The love letter that liberated us from bondage, from fear, from low self-esteem -- the letter says you are useful even though you have been abused.  The letter says you are not a slave, but a son.  The letter pleads to people who hold you hostage to who you used to be, it pleads for the possibility for change and the gift of transformation."
Through faith in Jesus, one becomes a son rather than a slave.  One becomes useful instead of useless.  And if one does something wrong, Jesus tells God "charge that to me."

Going back to the Facebook analogy, we find in verse 23 that Epaphras leaves a comment on Paul's post on Philemon's wall and Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke all "like" Epaphras' comment.

Very cool.
You and I?
We're not that different from these guys.

Now go out and use your Facebook for good.  Quit despising others for how they choose to use Facebook.   Put on your rose colored Google Goggles and change the world, you can reach the world much easier than Paul did in Ancient Times.

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