the internet (and other drugs)

I’m just going to admit that I have a problem, here.  I realize the irony of this in that I’m posting it on the internet itself, but WordPress isn’t really the culprit as much as Tumblr or Facebook or any of the other mindless sites where you scroll and scroll and scroll until you realize that several hours of your time have suddenly disappeared.

But when my first thought is of a technological escapism and I beeline right to my computer, that’s bad.  That borders dangerously close to an obsession and smacks of the beginnings of an addict.  The more time I spend on these things, the less creative and thoughtful I become.  And that’s certainly an issue.

I realized yesterday that the Internet, when not used for checking important emails, researching information, looking up assignments, or thinking about things (mostly, WordPress falls here), is much like the soma of Brave New World, or like any other drug.

Soma makes you vacuously happy.

Soma makes you think of nothing.

Soma takes hours of your time and leaves you with nothing in return but lethargy and a deadened mind.

Soma prevents real thought.

Soma prevents you from becoming the sort of person who changes the world.

The Internet is soma.

So I can’t follow TV shows obsessivly or continue polluting my spirit with hours of the Internet that begin to weigh me down.  Because you can’t see life through a TV screen.  You can’t change the world or understand the eternal while constantly shackled to Tumblr or Facebook.  I shouldn’t waste what little life I have on nothing that really matters.  It’s draining me.  It’s taking my soul, little by little.  And I hadn’t done anything to stop it, because I’ve been too busy taking the freaking soma.

The Internet is the drug that steals your time, your individuality, your mind, and the things that matter.  I have to stop being a Delta and live.  And I’m going to need the help of my sin-and-death destroying Savior to do that.  I can’t do it on my own – I desperately need Him for everything in my life.  But I’m up for less Internet.

Tell me your thoughts!

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Read this: Any book.  Any classic that touches your soul.  And think.  And have an adventure.  Because I need to do all of the above.

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hell (and why the sermon was fantastic).

It’s not something that churches talk about much anymore, really.  Either they’re afraid to scare people off with fire and brimstone, or they don’t think that hell is something that important in today’s day and age.  Maybe they just don’t think about it much.  Or maybe they don’t believe in it at all.

This sermon, however, was fantastic.

I heard it at my church last Saturday, and I was rapt for the entire half hour to forty-five minutes.  Firstly, the pastor did in fact reference Brian Regan, worldviews, Aldous Huxley (post!), C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, and Jonathan Edwards.  There were so many of my favorite things that the people surrounding me chuckled every time I freaked out (which was often).

Secondly, it was presented with Biblical evidence and in a philosophical and intellectual way, showing us what hell really is: the trajectory of a self-centered soul into infinity until it loses all individuality and humanity.

I believe that there is a God, and he did send his Son to die for our law-breaking, and there is a heaven, and there is also a hell.  Talk to me about it sometime.  So without further ado:

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Read this: Reason for God, Tim Keller: http://timothykeller.com/books/the_reason_for_god/

brave new world

So I borrowed this book from a friend earlier in the summer, and after I read it, I had to write down a few connection points.  It’s an amazing book (although disturbing and sad), and it takes a look at a dystopian future where nobody cares to think for themselves anymore.  Instead of like Orwell’s 1984, where people are controlled through fear and tyranny, Brave New World offers a much more frightening view: this society gives people exactly what they want, making them so content and drilling thoughts into their minds so that they don’t have to think.

So my thoughts on a single scene in Brave New World:

John, “The Savage”, after witnessing the death (and subsequent reaction by society) of his mother, stumbles across a man handing out soma (a drug) to a group of Deltas, the more stupid of society (lowest save Epsilons).  He runs up to them and tries to stop them from taking the soma, throwing it out a window and shouting, “Freedom!  Don’t you want to be free?”  He was then gassed.

What I realized in this passage, while I was reading it, is that this is precisely what God – Jesus – did for us.  We are stupid, stupid Deltas, conditioned by this world.  We’re trapped by time, sin, and all of the other snares of this world and we’re apathetic, totally unable to see the entire picture.  We only see this life, not the greater purpose.

But Jesus stands outside of us all and looks at us.  He came into our world and spoke of freedom from our escapist soma of sin.  But we still did not see.  Like the Deltas, we converged on him and killed him, nailing our very Savior to a cross.  But this is where Brave New World changes and diverges from the real story.

John ends up falling and sinning and, unable to live with himself any longer, he takes his own life.  But John is no more than a human- he wasn’t the savior that the brave new world needed.

Jesus, fully God, never sinned, but rose again from the dead, shaking us from our horrifying apathy and harnessing our passions for His use.  Although we are a body, we aren’t merely unthinking cells in the world’s organism.  We are also individuals, built from the very beginning to be communal, forming lasting relationships with one another.  We are the very inverse of Brave New World, with its anti-individualistic mentality and discouragement from true love and friendship.  Love is everything that isn’t:  selfless, sacrificing, deep, and dangerous.

“I don’t want comfort.  I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness.”  -John, Brave New World

John relied on his own strength and ultimately failed, engulfed by the culture that he tried to escape.  We must rely on the One who is never weary or tired, and who is all powerful, to give us our strength.

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Read this:  Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (http://www.huxley.net/bnw/, http://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-World-Aldous-Huxley/dp/0060850523/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316409320&sr=8-1)
Romans 6:1-14 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%206&version=NIV)