“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
I had been thinking of some of the thoughts in today’s post when I wrote my last one, about if it’s possible to be effective at making disciples online. Effective relationship involves being able to interact in person. If two people are sitting in front of a computer screen, talking to each other through Skype or Google+ Hangouts, this is a great form of communication between people who can be in different countries, but it’s limited in nature and scope. The Internet serves as a buffer or a filter, causing a few aspects of normal face to face interaction to be lost as a result.
You can’t live life together over the Internet.
One time, during a short-lived romantic relationship I was in, we would both video chat over Skype since we lived in different locations over one thousand miles apart. We lamented the idea of not being able to interact in person, and though we had a previous in-person friendship and history years earlier in which we were building on, we realized needed to meet in person again to see if the chemistry was the same in person as it was through emailing, and video chatting. Ultimately, she felt it was not, and the relationship never went anywhere. But I mention it only to say, from experience, nobody in their right mind is happy to only have a form of communication over the Internet when they want to be close to someone and know them better.
I have three mentor-like figures in my life I talk exclusively over Skype with, because I’m in Peru and two of them are both in America, and the other New Zealand. The use of technology for us to communicate helps bridge a gap that’s caused by a physical distance, but does not substitute for the ideal in-person interaction.
Media – A Filter
BusinessDictionary.com defines media as;
1. Communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data, or promotional messages are disseminated. Media includes every broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, billboards, direct mail, telephone, fax, and internet.
In Latin, it refers to a layer, an intervening means or instrument. It comes from the word “medium”, and literally implies something in between one thing and another. We use the word “intermediate” to describe something that’s between basic and advanced, or beginning and end –a pause during a movie is called an intermission, for example. Jesus Christ, is our mediator, between God and man. He came from the heavens, as God, and became a man and lived amongst us, and nobody else can effectively take the place of an advocate for man before God, the Father. He is effectively made the most perfect human who can approach God sinlessly, and provides a way for God to physically have entered the human race. Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God in the flesh, and that anybody who has seen Him, has in effect, seen the Father (John 6:46, 14:9). Nobody else can take this place for us between God and man, no human priest or pastor, contrary to whatever “spiritual covering” doctrine you may have been taught.
God Wants Immediate Access To Us–Nothing Else In The Way
We understand media in the sense that news or websites take information, and disseminate it for us and give it to us. It will be biased based on the media providing this information, and what version of this information they’ve purposed for us to receive. Immediate basically means with nothing else between two things. The God-Man Jesus Christ, brought heaven to earth, but filtered it perfectly for our understanding. The Holy Spirit comes and lives in the believer and communicates the mysteries of heaven and God to our spirits as we pray in the Spirit and read the written Word we’ve been provided.
Jesus also didn’t disciple through video conferencing. He showed the twelve and dwelled among them and with them, more ‘immediately’ than with the rest of the population of His day. Not only that, but He comes and lives inside us. You can’t get any more immediate than that.
This might sound blasphemous to some, but even the written Bible, is a type of media–a type of filter. It’s the written form of prophecies, history, letters, written by man. I’m not disparaging that the text is inspired, but it’s also meant to serve as an aid.
An aid to what?
Face to face communication with God and man. It gives us the boundaries of what God is like and Who He is and what He has done. But the real Word of God is the Man Christ Jesus.