Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#226 Giving up Facebook for Lent



In recent years a large part of Christian culture has made a dogleg towards the reformed tradition. This is particularly common among Christians who were raised evangelical. (The traditional evangelical non-observance of Lent is pointlessly pontificated here.) For not being raised with the ancient church calendar, or maybe because of it, they really get into its traditions. An obvious way to fast is from social media, and they certainly seem to enjoy telling you about it.

41 comments:

betsy said...

Ouch.

Orthodox Prankster said...

Reformed.

Catholic, bitches!

Orthodox Prankster said...

okay, it was supposed to say the word "spits" in between two brackets, but apparently that's some type of html. Similar to this...

Reformed. [spits]

And it wasn't a reply to the last commenter.

I guess I'm also giving up knowing how to use the internets for lent. #mennonite

Patricia said...

Evangelical Culture:

I don't always observe Lent, but when I do, I give up facebook.

Karla said...

CC at its best - Doing Things and Avoiding Relationship.

Anonymous said...

I was raised as a southern baptist, and I never learned what any of the events mean like "pentecost", "advent", "epiphany". The only thing that was observed was Easter and Christmas.

stephy said...

Anonymous, me too. I waxed on about that here.

http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/2010/02/128-not-observing-lent.html

Anonymous said...

Oh thanks for the link Steph,
and the weird thing about it is, the knowledge never sticks with me. I will wonder, "what the heck does pentecost mean" - and I will look it up. A year later I've completely forgotten again. It is deliberately being rejected by my brain.

Nelson

Tony D said...

Wow. Evangelicals don't do Pentecost? That's so weird...without Pentecost there'd be no New Testament, since that's when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, and without the inspiration of the H.S. their writings would've been just so much human speculation. Huh.

Mon said...

Interestingly enough, our favorite model Christian Culture representative, Pastor Steven Furtick, just updated his website/twitter:

"Lent seems to be an appropriate time for an extended Twitter break for me. I'll plan to be back around Easter. Peace!"

(...don't ask why looked at his website. Let's chalk it up to a twisted fascination.)

Anonymous said...

I've always thought of 'giving things up for Lent' as being New Years Resolutions for the weak-willed and/or noncommittal: why try to make an effort for a whole freakin' year when you could get brownie points for doing the same thing for 1/12 the time?

Analyst said...

"... without the inspiration of the [Holy Spirit] their writings would've been just so much human speculation."

People still think the apostles wrote the gospels? Too weird!

Tony D. said...

"People still think the apostles wrote the gospels? Too weird!"

Well, I assume most Evangelicals do (to the extent that they think about it at all - - I think many of them don't really think about the fact that the Bible had to actually be, like, written and compiled by someone). If they didn't believe that, they wouldn't be Evangelicals, right? They'd be mainline Protestants, liberal Catholics or non-Christians.

Analyst said...

True. In fact most people don't think at all, they merely repeat things they've heard from others (a point made by H L Mencken).

However one would think that even the dullest would wonder how complex documents in Greek came to be written by illiterate fishermen who spoke Aramaic.

Tony D said...

Well, that's an oversimplification. They were surrounded by Greek speakers in that part of the Empire and would have had to speak Greek when they travelled on their missionary journeys. Even "illiterate fishermen" can learn a lot in the 20 to 50 years between Christ's earthly ministry and the time the NT documents were written.

"Blessed art You O Christ Our God

You have revealed the fishermen as most wise

By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit

Through them You drew the world into Your net

O Lover of Man, Glory to You!"

- Troparion of Pentecost

Analyst said...

"They were surrounded by Greek speakers in that part of the Empire and would have had to speak Greek when they travelled on their missionary journeys."

Assuming they ever existed of course -- let alone that they were ever 'missionaries'. And the gospels were written long after the supposed Jesus lived and died - at least 100 years -- or much more.

"The first historical mention of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, was made by the Christian Father, St. Irenaeus, about the year 190 A.D. The only earlier mention of any of the Gospels was made by Theopholis of Antioch, who mentioned the Gospel of John in 180 A.D."

Hmmm, Harry Potter is more believable.

Tony D said...

Ah, another person who gets his church history from Dan Brown novels. Time to stop feeding the troll. Bye!

Analyst said...

Many a good delusion is spoiled by a few facts.

Theresa said...

My husband gave up facebook for Lent!

Another Sarah said...

Evangelicals don't do Pentecost? But most of the evangelical Christians I know belong to churches that are technically Pentecostal churches so Pentecostals don't do Pentecost??

That is definitely unexpected, especially considering "speaking in tongues", which seems to be very popular among evangelical-christians-who-wind-up-in-documentaries-about-evangelical-Christianity, comes out of the events of Pentecost.

Oh and the word Pentecost looks weird if you stare at it long enough.

Anonymous said...

I gave up face book for lent, as well as some other things that weren't productive to my relationships with God or others. I think giving up a virtual world which breeds false intimacy and produces shallow relationships, is probably for the best for evangelicals;now they can stop theolojizzing over the internet and learn how to be in a relationship.

Anonymous said...

Wow a christian using porn euphemisms. Disturbing yet predictable.

Anonymous said...

True ecuminical spirit.

Brian Jones said...

My good friend's Facebook just disappeared one day last spring. Gone. Found out later she gave it up for lent. Never heard of that. Now I notice that happening all the time. I wish a few of my Fundie friends would do this for, like, a decade.

Katrina, Bible Games Blogger said...

You know, I seriously thought about giving up Facebook for Lent, but then I realized that I can’t—if I want to keep my job, that is! So instead, I went with one of the other sacrifices that I tend to give up each year—liquor (not that I drink all that much), chocolate, or potato chips. This year? I’m trying to give up good old chocolate. Wish me luck!

Vegemight said...

"I've always thought of 'giving things up for Lent' as being New Years Resolutions for the weak-willed and/or noncommittal: why try to make an effort for a whole freakin' year when you could get brownie points for doing the same thing for 1/12 the time?"

I used to think that too, until it was explained to me by a friend who gave up tea for Lent. It wasn't about giving up a vice or a sin (something that ought to be given up altogether). Rather, it was giving up something routine and pleasant...by disrupting her routine, every time she had an impulse to drink tea (which was a lot), her mental/emotional reaction was to think about why she wasn't drinking it, to reflect on Christ, and spend some moments in prayer and worship.

I also had a long-lost and formerly very dear friend who gave up FB for lent...she made an exception to accept the request and get my email address.

Nelson said...

Vegemight - I too wanted to make a response to the "weak-willed and/or noncomittal" post. I basically wanted to say the same thing that you did; i.e., the idea is to suspend an indulgence instead of discontinuing a sin.
But you wrote it so much better than I could have!

Tony D. said...

Choosing to "discontiune a sin" for Lent would be a serious missing of the point - - we ought to be striving for that every moment!

Vegemighty said...

Yes, that's exactly what we were saying.

Laura said...

What I don't get is why the focus of Lent is so much more about "giving something up" than about DOING something good every day.

The main problem with our generation is we don't want to accomplish anything that requires actual effort. You can create a wonderful habit in 40 days!

Nelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mon said...

You know what I think Christian Culture won't give up for lent: American Idol.

Anonymous said...

Or referring to anyone who disagrees with them as a "hater".

Anonymous said...

The amusing thing is that Calvinist Reformers (at least in N. Europe) eschewed the High Catholic Holy Days and instead worshiped God on the 52 Holy Days he instituted.

Anonymous said...

You know... there is so much I see on a regular basis that I hope hope hope you will address in future posts! I love this blog and find it so comforting someone else sees the exact same things I do...

Mon said...

@Anonymous

Dit-to! This blog has been a saving grace in commiseration since I stumbled across it around 2008-09 while googling "Why do Christians love Coldplay?" Lo and behold: Post #3! I was thrilled to see I wasn't the only one who made that connection.

DRIVEBYPATRIOT said...

We're beginning to see why "jews" had such a great interest in controlling as much of the internet as they do. For the same reason they want dictatorial control over conventional media: Primarily to censor the truth about their connection to communism, atheism, and the destruction of EVERY CHRISTIAN NATION ON EARTH. Google, Facebook, MSN, and Yahoo are all deleting the accounts of REAL CHRISTIANS and REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS who spread this truth. In related news ...

AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS, read how the "jews" who control the American government - and presidency - have conspired to bankrupt you: http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/government/judicial_and_courts/news.php?q=1337005683

REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS, why are these traitors and enemy combatants still walking around free? https://tinyurl.com/JewsAmericasWorstEnemies

" ...there will be no recovery until the problem of Judaism is dealt with." http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/history/zionism/news.php?q=1253054602

Josef Stalin's real last name was "Dugashvilli" which means "son of a Jew" in Georgian. WHY DID SO MANY JUDEO-COMMUNISTS CHANGE THEIR "JEWISH" NAMES? Or is that obvious?
http://gblt.webs.com/Enemy_Control.htm

It's no coincidence that both "Jews" and communism are dedicated to ruling THE ENTIRE WORLD, they're synonymous, they always have been. http://tinyurl.com/JewsFoundedCommunismPeriod

JDM929 said...

I grew up in an area that is heavily Christian Reformed, some Reformed Church. I went to a private Christian school until 7th grade. I knew a few Catholic people in high school, but I never noticed them doing the ash thing or heard them talking about lent. I don't know if I've even heard of Lent until I went to college.

I did go to a large evangelical or pentecostal church until age 20, and they never mentioned it, much less followed it.

JDM929 said...

On the issue of who wrote the Gospels, the church I went to never mentioned the controversy about who wrote them. I remember several times where they say from the podium when X wrote his gospel or something to that effect. The most they gave was the Gospels weren't written soon after the events they described. I remember feeling insulted that this type of thing was never mentioned in the church.

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Anonymous said...

Lent because one month out of the year Jesus cares what we eat.