No, em, I'm back, I think...yep, hey, here I am...just needed to recommit this space to God and will now obey the bloggers' commandments.

No, I will keep up a bit of a dialogue here. I've spent the last few hours reading up about 'virtual incarnation'.

I found these two quotes interesting:

Krish Kandiah, executive director of Churches in Mission has said that “In the ever-changing information age, what we need is wisdom for life, and God communicates wisdom to our culture through the Bible on every issue from social justice to social networking.”

Mark Meynell, senior associate minister for All Souls Church, Langham Place has said: “The internet is merely the latest step in the evolution of human communication — and so like any other new medium, it presents us with huge opportunities as well as challenges."

What I have decided to do is re-commit this blog to God. Kandiah explains how God communicates his wisdom here too and it just might be that I cut myself off from what he is telling me through you all, if I stop interacting here. Meynell also speaks of the challenges it presents and I think that I have experienced some of those of late. What I need to do is listen perhaps a little more carefully to all those voices in the cyber-community and work out which are helping me transform for the better and which are just making me want to bash my head against a brick wall. I will therefore stop reading the stuff which attacks fresh expressions of Church unfairly. The Mission-Shaped Church paper by the C of E explains how 'We have allowed our culture and the Church to drift apart, without our noticing.' So, we are to engage with our culture and rather than simply bemoan the ways in which it is not God-honouring, we are to encourage people to see how God is at work within its brokenness, redeeming it. I will stop reading the sort of stuff which is overly angry about postmodernism without being pro-active, and I will be a little more selective about what I expose myself to.

I am encouraged by the Church of England's Mission paper because I feel very called to try to do my part to make Christianity something to be lived out from within our 21st century culture, without the harping back to some lost golden age - for those days are gone and we have to work from within what we have now:

'If the decline of the Church is ultimately caused neither by the irrelevance of Jesus, nor by the indifference of the community, but by the Church’s failure to respond fast enough to an evolving culture, to a changing spiritual climate, and to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,then that decline can be addressed by the repentance of the Church. For true repentance involves turning around and living in a new way in the future. A diocese or parish, which, out of repentance, grows a new relevance to the contemporary world, may also grow in numbers and
strength, because the Spirit of Jesus has been released to do his work.'Bob Jackson, Hope for the Church, Church House Publishing, 2002, p. 32.

I will also be more careful that the things that I say are to God's glory and do not just become my rants about the imperfections of a fallible institution, of which I am very much a fallible member. I will also respect the Sabbath as regards blogging because I have been overly-prolific and must be careful not to make an idol out of my blog.

So there you go - I shut up for twenty-four hours - which, quite honestly, for me, is pretty remarkable! I was seriously deluded to think I could shut-up for 8 weeks!! God knows me a lot better than I know myself. Perhaps if I didn't find him so fascinating and the Spirit-empowered Church that was born of a result of his Son's incarnation and resurrection, I might be able to go and do something quite different instead. It's all his fault ;)

More particularly, considering that I am presenting on internet evangelism for Bap and what God and Christians, which doesn't always amount to the same thing ;-), are up to on the web, I had better not give up now.

So there you go - that woman who splurges and spills and regularly posts has not gone into hibernation after-all - you should be so lucky!

So I post for my own good the ten commandments for bloggers and aim to stick to them. The ones which I am particularly mindful of are 2 and 4.

1 You shall not put your blog before your integrity

2 You shall not make an idol of your blog

3 You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin

4 Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog

5 Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes

6 You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings

7 You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind

8 You shall not steal another person's content

9 You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger

10 You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content


Anonymous said...

glad you've re thought the absence!
I'd add 2 more to your list ( which I know takes it away from being Ten, but hey Twelve is good too!)

11) always integrate your everyday life with your thinking for they are not separate, and indeed need each other in cyberspace as much as anywhere else. ( aka Let people see you, not just your ideas)

12) do not be afraid of reading stuff that stretches scares or angers you, but learn what to let go of and what to engage with. ( this is otherwise known as Ange's "not everything needs a response" rule!)
everyone is different, but I've learnt *I* can't ( in that it's not right for me to) shield myself from stuff out there I disagree with, but I can teach myself how to respond (internally or in type) and to allow stuff to expand the edges of my thinking and refine my own opinions.

Hope all that doesn't sound too preachy:-) - don't set yourself brick boundaries - allow some fluidity and learn where the soft edges are for you.

Happy journeying

Rachel said...

Thank you Ange and thanks for seeing me through my 'tantrum'.


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions