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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
Collective has kicked off its sermon series titled, Prophets of Comedy. It delves into the idea that comedians are modern day prophets. My job is to give my take on each sermon and featured comedic video. I promise to strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain my responses. I also promise to link the sermon video to the picture above... but we'll see how that goes.
Ben kicks off this week’s sermon by asking the questions: To what extent do you find yourself overindulging in technology? How have you experienced technology both connecting and disconnecting you from others?
Technology is a tricky creation. It’s sort of the comfort food and the thing clogging your arteries. Much like my religion, my technology and I have an estranged relationship. In this case I am impatient with it and queasy at the idea that I could be addicted to the scrolling, yet when I put it aside I find it creeping its way into my peripheral, begging for attention. I love the idea of sharing stories electronically and hitting greater audiences, only now I seem to be more inclined to read the words than to hear them in person. This is a call for concern.
Technology holds the promise of connecting us. Binding us together by the ability to share when in fact it is the thing that makes loneliness more palpable, social awareness less important, and face to face interaction more obsolete. One of the great points that Ben makes is that just because you have an avid technological existence filled with likes and tweets doesn't mean that you are not alone. Just like having God, religion, and spirituality doesn’t mean that you are not alone. This comparison both stung and opened my eyes to newfound perspective. I fully participate in the action of feeling hurt and seeking comfort in the figments of Instagram. And much like prophets, I idolize them. I idolize those that I do not know in order to obtain a fleeting comfort.
A clip from Pete Holmes is featured in this week’s sermon and he talks about the ability and wonder behind not knowing something. He says that there is so little time between not knowing and knowing that it all feels the same. The yearning for knowledge has been depleted somewhere on the road to knowing everything. Knowing all and being no more intelligent for it was clearly not the intent, but it’s where we’ve landed. Holmes’ argument hit close to home. As someone who is severely impatient by nature, the omniscient device I own burns a hole in my pocket. I thrive on instant gratification all the while realizing that it brings me no peace.
Ben mentions technology going hand in hand with religion. Both seeking routine, cultures, and even everlasting life. Technology may even be winning in some categories as people begin to successfully upload their consciousness to machines. An estimated five to six hours of our day is spent looking at a screen. These hours are not spent praying or meditating, they’re spent scrolling, searching, and posting. As we stare down at our phones we are committing the literal act of bowing down and worshiping.
One may argue that in terms of the all knowing and the all powerful, the name God may be interchangeable with Google. A loaded sentiment for sure, but as Ben says, God is not the only one judging anymore. We are on our social media accounts for anyone and everyone to see. And in the same way that we have constant online interaction, we are distancing ourselves from personal connection. Just as religion gives us belief and connection all the while providing a blanket of comfort that allows us to go against the very thing we believe.
Technology is a tricky creation. Religion is a tricky creation. I said earlier that I have an estranged relationship with both, but on further thought it may be them doing estranging. This problem is greater than just myself. When handled wrongly, technology and religion can estrange all of us. But its future is ours, it’s our creation, it is composed of us. It’s me and you and everyone we know.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.