Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Social Media Distorts Your Perception Of Reality


Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete (2 John 1:12)

I purposely do not participate on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Snapchat or any other social media.

Why?

Because it distorts your perception of reality (truth) and easily leads to narcissism (i.e., see here). As the article points out, " That’s not to say that everyone on social media is a narcissist, but it’s where these people tend to hang out."

I married a wonderful woman when I was 21. Back then, the norm was for adults to marry in their early twenties, and even late teens. Today, many adults are still single and living in their parent's basement well into their 30s and even 40s. I believe that a primary reason is because they are often cocooned in the fantasy world of social media and unable to establish meaningful relationships in the real world.

The vast majority of decisions we face in this fallen world are categorized as "nonessentials" as opposed to the "essentials". Distinguishing between those areas in our faith—those doctrines—which are central or “cardinal” doctrines, and those which are not so important is key. Evangelicals have traditionally believed that there are certain doctrines that form the core of the Christian faith. They are called “cardinal doctrines.” They are what we might call the sine qua non—the “without which, not”—of the Christian faith. In other words, there are certain doctrines that when denied, by definition, evidence a person does not have the basic core beliefs that must be present to some degree in the truly regenerate.

It’s clear in Scripture that some things are disputable and open to opinion, that not everything is crystal clear, i.e., Rom 14:1 (NIV). Why is it important that Christians be able to differentiate between an essential and non-essential in their faith (or maybe you believe everything is essential?) Because ...
  • It helps us determine when to draw a line in the sand or fall on our sword
  • It helps us decide when need to leave a church or part fellowship
  • It helps us prioritize in sharing the gospel with unbelievers
  • It solidifies the anchor of our faith
The essentials are defined by transcendent truth. The nonessentials are a matter of conscience (Rom 14). The essentials are characterized by orthodoxy while the nonessentials are characterized by grace. We must strive to maintain the tension between orthodoxy and grace. The distinction between essential and nonessential can be a fine line and sometimes challenging to draw. Draw our circles too tightly, and we slip into legalism. Draw our circles too wide, and we slip into liberalism. Either way, we lose the gospel.

Clearly, social media falls into the category of "nonessential". We are certainly free to participate if we so choose. But just because something is permitted does not mean it's healthy for us. God entrusts us with incredible responsibility. The vast majority of decisions we face in life fall into the category of nonessential - i.e., what to eat, what to wear, what movie to see, should I own a gun, can I buy a luxury car, should I buy or rent a house, where should I go to school, etc., etc. Part of our responsibility is to recognize those things that are permitted, but are detrimental to our health (physical, spiritual, mental) ... and to thus wisely refrain.

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up (1 Cor 10:23)

My advice to the overwhelming vast majority of people is to disengage from social media, wake up and come back into the real world. Truth (reality) can be a refreshing slap in the face.



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