Saturday, October 03, 2009

Unreality Alert: You are Like None of the Apostles

Facebook, whose virtues are becoming increasingly dubious to me, features various quizzes to determine what other person you are: "What dead rock star are you?", and so on. It recently eclipsed all sanity and propriety with a game called, "What Apostle are you?"

These questions trade on the pseudo-participatory phantasms of popular culture. It is like "air guitar." You don't play, but pretend--to stir a feeling. So, what person "are you"? None of them, of course--and nothing like any of them; but we like the fleeting feeling of association (I suppose).

But consider the apostolic question. Who among us, in God's name, even approaches the faith, courage, and cross-bearing virtues of any of the Apostles?! The best church planter or missionary is a pale shadow of the Apostles Paul or Peter, for example. Yes, the Apostles were flawed (consider Peter's initial unwillingness to associate with Christian gentiles--Acts 10), but their submission to Christ, their embracing of suffering for the Cross of Jesus Christ and the furtherance of his kingdom puts all of us, I wager, to deep shame.

I challenge you with what Paul challenged his readers with: Follow Paul as Paul follows Christ. If we do, then there will be no more idiotic and blasphemous Facebook trivia about Apostles.


pgepps said...

I think you're overstating this one. It's silly wording to say "which Apostle are you?" You make a good point about the reverence due our great examples in Christ. Nonetheless, it is *not* properly blasphemous to speak glibly of the Apostles, and you risk reducing serious matters to tongue-in-cheek rhetorical devices when you speak so.

Unknown said...

Mister Groothuis,
we translated your article for a dutch christian newswebsite. It has 6000 visitors a day.

you can find the translated article her:


Rik Bokelman
the Netherlands

ChrisB said...

I've decided how I'm going to approach facebook.

My "friends" will be actual friends or at least people whom I want to keep tabs on. That makes it an easy way to communicate with lots of friends and family all at once (e.g., my niece's recent hospital visit was posted and then passed on by dozens of friends and relatives very quickly).

Basically, it's a short cut for email.

Did you know you can keep your friends' games from appearing on your wall? I silence all of them.