The Gospel, Joshua Harris, and Facebook
August 20, 2007, 11:55 am
Filed under: culture

So I was reading Joshua Harris’ blog late Saturday night. Joshua Harris is the senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Maryland. He is also the author of the famous but not necessarily popular book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I got to meet him personally at OIL 2006, when he was one of the main speakers. His latest blog entry was entitled “FACEBOOK SURVEY”, and it began :

Here’s the deal: last night, inspired by my friend (and I mean that in the real-life sense of the word), Kenneth Maresco, I signed up for a Facebook account. This is the first time I’ve ever tried one of the social-networking sites before and I’m pretty lost but enjoying the novelty of it all.

And he went on with some thoughts and questions about the whole phenomenon of Facebook. But his entry ended with :

Oh, one more quick thing. If you’re on Facebook, will you please, please, please be my friend? Thanks. I’m tired of being a friendless loser.

So guess what I did…I went onto Facebook, put his name into the search, eventually tracked him down, and Friend Requested him, thinking, “Wow…that would be great if I could connect with Joshua Harris…he’s famous…he’s an important person…etc.” On my friend request, I wrote, “I read your blog, and so I am Friend Requesting you. I met you at OIL a couple of years ago, and am a pastor in the Chicago area.”

Well, early Sunday morning before going to church, I happened to check my computer and there was a notification on my Facebook saying, “Reggie and Joshua Harris are now friends.” I must say, it got the day off to a pretty good start! But it got better…

Because in light of reading some books about the cross recently, I started thinking about Facebook, the Gospel, and the Cross. And God blessed me with the following thoughts :

1. A Friend Request is an invitation into relationship. Therefore, if you really think about it, the Cross is God’s Friend Request towards us. It is not just how we get saved, but it is His invitation to relationship with Him.
2. I was excited to Friend Request Joshua Harris because I thought it would be cool to be connected with a famous person. The Cross is a different in the sense that the Divine, the Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe is the one who gives the Friend Request (through the Cross) to little old (and sinful) me. The direction is opposite. I was “reaching up” to connect with Joshua Harris, so to speak. If I didn’t do that, there would have been no chance for relationship. He doesn’t know anything about me. The initiative was all mine. On the other hand, through the cross God reaches down to us. If He didn’t do that, there would have been no chance for relationship. The initiative was all His.

Thinking about all of this, I was greatly encouraged to think that through the Cross and through the Gospel, I am a friend of God. What an amazing truth to embrace!

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

For weeks I kept checking back on this blog to see if there were new posts. Glad you’re back. Tell Joshua I said hi.

Comment by Dy

sounds like a good illustration to use for people who are familiar with facebook. Jesus was good at using the familiar to help people “get” the gospel.

Comment by pk




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