I suppose these are things I already knew. I just didn't know it was so bad. I'm still trying to process it all. It's come to light as I've been forced to deconstruct and understand traffic to this blog and the comments people are leaving. It's made my head spin and I'm trying to figure it out.
From May 6th until June 3rd I was blogging about our trip with Compassion International to Rwanda and Kenya, the poverty we saw, the deep needs we encountered, and the plight of hurting people. . . particularly children. I pondered our God-given responsibility to "the least of these." In response, I received some great notes of encouragement from people who were being challenged as we shared how we were challenged. Some - a handful - left thoughtful comments on the blog. Others even stepped up and sponsored children through Compassion International. Then, on June 4th I shifted gears and expressed some long held thoughts about the "reality" TV show Jon & Kate Plus 8. In response, 200 comments of all shapes, sizes, and flavors have already been posted. Some are nasty. Some are nice.
Ok. . . think about this for a minute. . . .several blogs on tremendous need in the world. One blog on a reality show about a family falling to pieces. The Africa blogs more or less fell through the cracks in terms of response. The other one. . . well, it's off the charts.
If you don't believe me, I've been checking the traffic for each of the blogs. The blogs on our Compassion trip generated an average of a couple hundred visitors a day. The blog (singular) on the Gosselin family has generated tens of thousands of visits. Yesterday alone 7,300 people logged on to read that blog.
So now my head is spinning as I'm trying to gather my thoughts, understand this all in light of our culture-at-large, and try to figure out what this says about who we are. As I've processed the terribly imbalanced traffic flow and wide variety of comments here's what I've been thinking - and asking - so far. . .
1. We're more interested in obsessing over celebrity than we are over the great needs of people in the world.
2. I remember hearing Tony Campolo talk about the dangers of money, sex, and power back when I was just out of college. We can add celebrity to that list. Tony was simply communicating Scriptural truths about the idols that destroy us. Like others in all times and all places, we're still not listening. We continue to bow down. We're killing ourselves. . . and we don't even know it. History repeats itself.
3. Biblical illiteracy is at epidemic proportions here in America. It's at epidemic proportions both inside and outside the walls of the church. We've created a "god" and a theology in our own image. Personal opinion oftentimes trumps God's Word.
4. Are people hearing solid Biblical theology and teaching in their churches?
5. Are people serious about integrating their faith into all of life? Have they even been challenged and equipped to do so?
6. Are people interested in thinking Christianly and critically about all of life? Have they even been challenged and equipped to do so?
7. When will we begin to understand that no, life is not about me?
8. When will get our eyes off of ourselves, realize how damaging divorce is to everyone involved (especially the kids), and do everything in our power to live out our marital vows?
9. When will we start to pay to attention to our Maker, His will, and His way? When will we realize that life is about living to the honor and glory of God?
10. What can a serious look at our history teach us about where we've failed in youth ministry? In other words, what have we done to contribute to where we're at as a culture?
I've found it all very troubling. I hope that each of us will take a long hard look at our world and our selves through the eyes of the postings, the comments, and the traffic. What does it tell you?