Netflix and Christians: Our Mutual Exploitation of Image Bearers

Paris Games Week 2017 : Day Three At Porte De Versailles In Paris

by John Ellis

A bikini carwash is located around the corner from our house; across the street from our son’s elementary school. I suspect that if I were to check, I would find that its prices are substantially higher than other carwashes. Customers are paying for the “privilege” of leering at almost-nude young women doing menial work, after all. Make no mistake, for many of the men who wait in line for that “privilege” (if not all), the work of washing their vehicle is merely an incidental part of their lustful experience at the carwash. Whenever I drive by it, I sadly ponder how one of Satan’s lies is convincing us that oppression and exploitation equals freedom.

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Love Your Enemies, Even on Social Media

fire
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.” James 3:6

by John Ellis

During a recent chapel service, Union Seminary called those in attendance to gather around a group of plants and, in their words, “we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.”

Predictably, the responses were swift, many, and mocking. Tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, and a host of other online vehicles took pot shots at the seminary’s actions. I took the opportunity to join the piling on, too. While reading Luke 6 this morning, specifically verses 27-31, though, my conscience was pricked. After pausing to prayerfully reflect, I determined that my words did not comport with Jesus’ command to love our enemies.

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Why I Left Facebook

facebookIn The Postmodern Condition, Jean-Francois Lyotard warned that as the age of technology progressed, society would experience a deepening conflation of information and knowledge. Thirty-six years later, information scrolls past people at almost immeasurable rates; those people, in turn, costume that information as knowledge and send it singing and dancing onto social media platforms that masquerade as curators of epistemic claims. Take this blog post, by way of a simple example; you may glean some information about me while reading, but that doesn’t mean that you know me.

It’s possible[1]that someone will take pull-quotes from this post and make claims about me, either good or bad, on their social media platforms[2]. But, those pull-quotes will most likely be ripped out of the context of me, of who I actually am. Anyone who interacts with those pull-quotes without ever having met me or had a conversation with me are running the risk of constructing opinions of me based on contexts and definitions of terms that don’t relate to me. In short, people have the opportunity to claim to know things about me when, in fact, all they may have is de-contextualized information. While that may not technically be why I deactivated my Facebook account, it definitely has skin in the game.

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