Thinking Out Loud

July 1, 2012

To The Church at Tumblr, Write…

While I’m not claiming a “Thus saith the Lord” on this, if you want to read it in the style of Revelation 2 and 3, that’s fine…

To the church at Tumblr,

I read your blogs. I’ve been reading them for several years, and feel I know your hearts. You are in your teens or are twenty-somethings, and you have a lot of faith awareness and passion for Christ that I wish I’d had at your age. I love the microblog posts; the short statements of encouragement, the scripture verses, the worship song lyrics. The graphics on your blogs are so well done and really drive home the various captions.

But Tumblr can be a very dark place. The people who follow you and the people you follow are a somewhat diverse collection. That’s not a bad thing. Too often those of us who have been on this journey for awhile tend to hang out with our own tribe, at the expense of reaching out or even understanding the meaning of missional. You live out your faith in the marketplace: high schools, colleges, coffee bars, workplaces, clubs; and that’s great as long as you can keep a grip on what it means to be in the world but not of the world.

For some of you, I see that’s a challenge. Jesus doesn’t mind if you slip up as much as he minds if you pretend to be something that you’re not. So if you’re posting Christian graphics and song lyrics in one post, but then posting stuff that’s more worldly, fleshy, edgy in the next post, you run the risk of confusing everybody else about what this whole Christ-following thing really means.

Where I see the greatest potential for compromise is in matters of language and sexuality. You’re part of a culture that doesn’t believe that a word, in of itself, can be wrong or bad, so you no longer have anything that distinguishes you from everybody else.

NLT Col 4:6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

You’re also part of a dominant culture that has no issues with premarital sex; where the question, “What’s the big deal about virginity?” is commonly asked. So the way people are dressed in photos, the general attitude toward sex, and confession of your behavior is again, often no different.

CEB I Peter 2:12 Live honorably among the unbelievers. Today, they defame you, as if you were doing evil. But in the day when God visits to judge they will glorify him, because they have observed your honorable deeds.

I love you guys. I fully intend to keep following your writing. And this certainly doesn’t apply to all of you. But I want to see you keeping a Holy Distance between yourselves and the broader culture.

Message Romans 12:1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

You’ve been given a great platform on Tumblr that literally allows you to reach the world with your posting. Work hard to be all that God requires of you and there is no limit on how you might change your world.

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