For the week of September 26, 2005

Some People Never Change
By: Bill Easum
The Time- The 16th Century
The Place- A monastery in Europe
The Setting – Two monks discussing the Gutenberg Bible

One monk says to the other one:

“I don’t think it will ever catch on. It is too hard to use. I find the old scrolls much easier to read. I can roll it out to sixteen feet two inches and know I’m at Isaiah 42. Why would anyone want to put up with a book?”

The Time – 1999
The Place – Somewhere in the mid-section of the U.S.
The Setting – Two long-term church members comparing reading a book to following a computer screen.

One member says to the other:

“I don’t think it will ever catch on. It’s too hard to read. I find it much easier to read a book than to read a computer screen. You can’t curl up with a computer like you can a good book.”

The Time – 2005
The Place – An online chat room
The Setting – Two people discussing whether or not community can be experienced online.

One not-too-cyber-savy-monkey says to the other:

“I can’t believe you go to Cyberchurch Community. Don’t you know that authentic community can never happen online? You’re kidding yourself. Just wait until you have a real need!”

Some things never change.

What we’re experiencing today is not much different from what older people in any age of radical discontinuity experienced – an intense dislike of change. Some people actually attend a certain church because they know it is the only place where nothing will ever change.

Why is this? The answer is simple – we are not head over heals in love with the mission of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that “perfect love casts out all fear.” But we are still fearful people.

We are learning that community does happen online with people we have never met. Just think what will happen when virtual reality, holographic imagery, and nonotech technology become embedded in the World Wide Web. Awesome.