Perhaps it was inevitable despite its being entirely unnecessary.. .but it did happen..
the “Christian alternative to Twitter.” It’s called ChristianChirp.
Within minutes of its launch, ChristianChirp featured profiles by both @Jesus and @Satan as well as the likes of @ImholierthanU and @WTF. It wasn’t long before monitors began deleting posts by certain users and then blocking those users altogether…
I echo the sentiment of many who collectively wondered aloud what the point was of creating such a thing in the first place. Most of the answers to this line of questioning generally ran along the lines of “it’s good to have a place where our values are accepted and celebrated instead of rejected” (as opposed to Twitter, where christian values are very clearly monitored and excluded) Or “thanks for making a social network for christians” (as opposed to the way Facebook is targeted at Janists and Sufis).
The misled and misleading idea underlying all of this is that God is present to and in only the places His people have prepared for Him. Places christians feel safe gathering and talking about Him. Of course, in light of the smallness of the ‘christian marketplace’ this paints a picture of a god who is not in or present to very much of the world in which we live or at least finds most of our environments too unsavory to dwell in; in case you haven’t noticed, Christ has not been active on his Friendster profile for about 2 years.
“It’s not that big a deal; Just let it go, man.”
I disagree (with the imaginary detractor.. funny how quickly straw horses fall over). I believe that this is another symptom of the very sickness that is rotting christianity from the inside.
The desire among the christian faithful for products and services like ChristianChip stands in direct opposition to the Incarnation (a relatively important concept in christian thought) and the life of Jesus in general; both of which propose that God is pleased to dwell among His people and that “His people” are seldom those whom religious power-centers identify as His people. But maybe there is something about the lack of such a belief that is revealed in the creation of these controlled environments…
It seems to me that it ends up being about control: so long as our environment is safe, we don’t have to risk finding out if all this stuff about the power of God and the resurrection is real… Nothing of what we believe about life has to come into contact with or be tested by the larger culture. The belief (or the hope) that Jesus can change/transform the world around me comes at the risk of being exposed to that larger culture; the avoidance of agendas or values contrary or other than those representative of Christ and His Kingdom belies a fear that Christ and His Kingdom can’t handle the pressure.
This is not a matter of simply disassociating myself from a distasteful or embarrassing part of my family.. This is saying that what I know of Jesus is not represented (much less encapsulated) by what the christian marketplace finds sellable. And before someone else says it.. I know these aren’t new thoughts or novel; they are, as I see them, important enough to repeat ad nauseum until the din of chaos produced by the multitude of false gods the christian market produces has some counterbalance… because the bottom line for me is this:
-I believe “the heavens proclaim the Glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His Hands” (psalm 19)
-I believe “the earth is the LORD’s and everything in it” (psalm 24)
-I believe in the power of God to change lives and I believe that power extends far beyond the confines of christianity
-I believe the beauty of God is revealed in the larger culture (see: The Beatles, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Rothko, Picasso, Dostoevsky) which is why culture is not optional and must be engaged by those who seek the face of God rather than avoided.
-I believe these things because my life has been changed by the power of God through Jesus when He connected with me outside the boundary lines drawn by religious culture which is where He continues to meet me.