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Christian Social Media Sites: Good Idea or Bad?
I will acknowledge the truth that parents need a place for their children to learn, to engage, and to socialize that will not scar them or taint their innocence. I wouldn't want my kids listening to what I listen to or watching many of the films I watch. Since I am a P.I.T. (Parent in Training), my opinion might not be the most valid... but it is popular.
It all started when I left MySpace the first time in January 2006. I was sick and tired of the half-naked chicks everywhere via True ads. After some brief research, I found MyPraize, a Christian MySpace alternative. MyPraize is censored like there's no tomorrow. It's like youth camp and KLTY (boring Christian radio station) mixed together. Sorry, not interested. I set up an account, browsed around for 20 minutes, and then left (never to return).
My encounter with GodTube today was just the straw that broke this camel's back. Seriously? GodTube? Why is it that Christians are always mimicking secular ideas? Christian musicians make music that imitates the sounds of secular artists. Christian television is seriously sub par. And now we get a whole new wave of sub-parness injected into web culture.
Am I anti-Christian? Of course not. I am a Christian. But I find isolation to be every bit as unrealistic as atheism. Why not just post your videos on YouTube? Why not use Facebook or Virb if you want to avoid the advertisements? At least you won't only be online with Christians. My primary concern is this: beware of the bubble. It is the chief concern of American Christians to create protective bubbles in every sphere of life in which they can be "Christ-like" with each other but not have to encounter any of that nasty sin stuff.
Well, thanks but no thanks. From an adult non-parental viewpoint, I'd rather be relevant to the world than isolated from it. Now, when it comes to my children, I may sing a slightly different tune. Time will tell.
Want to know what kind of Christian resources I actually like? Why not!
BibleMap is a seriously cool site. Just type in the Bible book and chapter, and you will see where the action took place on a map of the Middle East. For all those times when the names and dates hold no significance to you, this helps you get a little more historical / human perspective of what was happening.
BibleGateway is my favorite site for reading the Bible. You get every possible translation for every verse in two dozen languages right at your fingertips, and the search function is easy to use.Â Search by book, chapter, and verse or by keyword.
EarlyChristianWritings is an excellent resource of writings from the early Church. It's sorted by date, which helps you to get a sense of the maturity and development of Christian thought over the first two and a half centuries after the birth of Christ.
There are hundreds more tools and sites out there. My general rule of thumb is this: if it's a useful tool, use it. If it's for isolating yourself from the rest of the world, don't waste your time.