I was just making a post in another area when this thought hit me, that I feel enslaved by technology. I want to disconnect everything but find I cannot for fear of being isolated. does this make sense? People come to our home when we invite them for dinner or lunch and yet it does not seem that anyone just stops by anymore for the sake of friendship. When we do get together with family and friends no one actually has discussions, references are to funny utube videos, or a movie, or some recent sporting game mostly they just sit around looking at their phone, texting one another while the person they are texting is in the room.
In the last two years I have not had more that 3 or 4 meaningful conversations with anyone under 30 years of age unless I am teaching and a question comes up. How is that we can be so "connected" and yet so isolated? I go to church and (I love our church and pastor and our church family) it seems when the last amen is said everyone over 40 disappears we have a large congregation for a city of twenty thousand. I get the feeling something is wrong but I can't put my finger on it. We grow by 20 people per year, we have soul winning and special days, we are often told we are one of the friendliest churches in our area. Our pastor is a tremendous preacher and teacher and yet with all these positives. I do not sense the same corporate power of God today I sensed 40 years ago.
I believe that technology is always calling for our attention right now and consequently we never have the time to get alone with God for a couple of hours, to dwell on what God wants to speak to us about one on one, to read the scriptures for an hour instead of reading a couple of verses and a 300 word devotion so we can get back to our friends who never come by to spend an afternoon or evening talking about the Lord.
I saw a picture on Facebook a few days ago that kind of summed up todays understanding of God and salvation. The caption stated "yep I am on my way to heaven, I clicked "like" on a picture and typed Amen!" I am not sure if people under 40 truly understand what "true fellowship" is? I am not complaining per se just wondering how old I really am. I realize I cannot go back 40 years but should I have to go back if we are a New Testament church?
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
I Timothy 3 states that one of the qualifications of a, "bishop," is to be," the husband of one wife." In 2016, does that relate sole to the pastor of a local church or does that apply to those on the pastoral staff such as, "youth pastors/ directors?"
Second question I would have, as Baptists , what does the Bible have to say on the process of finding a wife. What would you say to a marriage minded young man who believes he's called to ministry on this topic of finding a wife. I also would ask because, as someone who is a first generation Christian, this is not something I have really been able to gain solid Biblical counsel on, so few are willing to touch it as its controversial, dating/ courtship, etc.If you were a youth pastor, college/ singles ministry director working with someone who didn't exactly come up in the Christian school/ Bible college/ Baptist church to pursue what I have heard preached many times as, "the second greatest blessing after salvation?"
I ask this because, in the evangelical world, such as boundless.org (Focus on the Family) and other sites, men are being shamed for not dating, etc extended adulthood, I believe Cary Schmidt wrote a book on this topic of extended adolescence. And with the trends of co-habitating, homosexual "marriage," fornication, divorce, single parenthood on the rise, etc. Census showed a while back that singles are now a majority of this country, how can we as the church, not only defend the institution of marriage, the family, and the home for those who already have it, but help young people who desire those things to get ready for those thing and provide them opportunities to meet, mingle, and serve and serve others with one another?
Not trying to cause controversy, but these are things that, as a young man having a burden to work with young people, how could I be a help to them in this area, and also some practical principles in godly communication, etc. that would benefit my own life as well. I appreciate all the wisdom I've found on this site, that's why I've been asking these complex questions like I have. Thank you brothers and sisters.
By Baptist Girl
Life is ineffably lonely without having our friends around us. It's even impossible to live without one, and if I knew someone who has none at all perhaps I would readily offer my friendship. I'm convinced God designed life to be about being friends with people, and that He Himself has friends amongst us. I believe friendships are essential to living.
We have a handful of answers to the question "What is a real friend?". I bet we can come up with the funniest to the most profound definition of a real friend, and still think we can't really describe one. When someone is a real friend, we just know it, feel it and experience it.
In the Bible, a friend is characterised as someone who loves you at all times (Proverbs 17:17) and whose wounds are faithful (Proverbs 27:6). The first verse speak about a friend indeed---a person who loves you every moment of your life, no matter what happens, even if you change or fall, and despite the difference in time and distance. The second verse tells how comforting it is to have somebody---a friend---who desires what's best for you, even to the point of hurting or causing you pain at times. It's true, real friends won't comfort you with lies and they will tell you what you need to hear and know.
Love, trust, honesty, loyalty and communication are indispensable to nurturing a friendship and making it last for a lifetime. From being friends, people become foes when they lack one or two of these things. We've heard of so many people who became strangers to each other because they gave in to hatred, betrayed trust, spoke lies or kept secrets, turned their backs from friendship and remained distant or silent for a period of time. For friendship to grow and stay strong through years, friends must remain as close as they can be, share each other's ups and downs, give time to listen to what must be said, do things together, respect personal differences and learn to stay true to each other even in trying times.
In times of distress and afflictions, real friends are there to comfort and buoy you up in the most thoughtful ways. During happy moments, they share your joys and make you even more blissful. At times you must be alone, they value your solitude and patiently wait for the time you bid them to finally sit beside you. In every decision you make, their advice is wise and encouraging---they won't let you take the wrong path. They accept you for who you really are, overlook your imperfections, know your worth, like what you do, examine your intentions and cause you to become a better individual.
What is life without real friends? I don't know. What and where am I without God-given companions? I can't tell. All I know is that I'm so blessed having them around me. I'm so grateful I have real friends.
~ Me, 11 March, 2012
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