“The Internet Is My Religion”

There’s a lot of stuff out there vying for our attention. None of it’s more worth of it than this. (Thanks to Buzz Dixon for pointing me toward this.)

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Don Rappe

    “I have faith in people; I believe in God; the internet is my religion.” OK, that’s thought provoking.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Right?

    • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

      Well someday the interent will be gone (burned by fire) and then what? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The video was good, what a story of God’s grace and mercy in this mans life. I didn’t agree with his statements that “together we are the creator” (becuase we’re not) and the “internet is my religion”, but besides these two points, a very powerful message. I agree the interent can be a wonderful tool, but when someone actually considers it their “religion” it has gone too far.

  • http://NotThisGirl.com Sarah

    “God is just what happens when humanity gets connected. Humanity connected is God.” Living and serving with that thought in my heart… what a gift.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Yeah, what a quote. That’s the one that jumped out and pounded me in the chest.

  • Suz

    He gets it. I know several fundies who won’t have the internet in their homes, because, “It’s evil!” Bullshit! It’s a tool. The good or evil is in how it’s used! Jim Gilliam’s story illustrates just a tiny fraction of the good that can come from a tool that connects humans to each other! The “American Dream” of the idealized nuclear family – mom, dad, 2.3 kids and a dog – is isolating us from each other and killing vital connections. The internet give us NEW connections, the opportunity to expand our “families,” and redefine them, if we so choose.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      That’s how it’s been with me. I HAVE made a family here — right, sister Suz?

      • Suz

        :)

  • http://gaychristiangeek.blogspot.com Rainicorn

    Thanks for this, John. I’ve been thinking and reading a lot lately about how Christian living is defined not by espousing “traditional family values” or by refusing to engage with your ideological opponents or by any other Pharisaical hypocrisy currently trumpeted by mainstream Christianity, but by (and only by) connecting with, helping, and serving other people. Now I’m having lots of thoughts about the many different ways modern technology can facilitate this. I’m also reminded of Richard Beck’s recent series on “The Angel of the iPhone”, especially this post.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Beautifully said, Rain.

  • http://www.jimreader.net Jim Reader

    “God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good, and is no sillier than any other theology.”

    – Robert Heinlein

    I have no problem with this young man’s theology – but then again I describe myself as an exceedingly left-wing, exceedingly liberal Christian.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/ Ric Booth

    I saw this first over on jesus needs new pr blog.

    I think by “the internet is my religion” his point is the internet is his community. His temple. His church. I mean, it used to be that the temple (and then also the church) was your community connection center. It would usually be physically centralized in a town. It was the hub. But it was still just a place to come together.

    For many, that place is now the internet. But the central human connection hub concept has not changed. I think before the next mega-church breaks ground they might think over how we humans connect here in the 21st century. How do we do community today?

    My 2 cents.

  • http://sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    This is a good reminder of why I have ORGAN DONOR emblazoned on my driver’s licence. My family knows my wishes should something happen to me, as does my fiance’ who actually went through watching a family member go through liver transplant (unfortunately, it didn’t take), but he knows how important that is.

    I remember some old story I read in one of those cheesy little personal devotional pamphlets they give out in churches. I forget what the town’s name was, but it was about some town in Europe during World War II that had a Jesus statue at its center. After a bombing raid, the statue was damaged – the hands got blown off. The pastor of the little town’s church decided it should be left that way because “We are the hands of Christ.” I don’t know if the story is true or not, but that doesn’t matter – the lesson is the same.

    I don’t know if I’ve really saved anyone’s life through the Internet, but I remember an online/AIM friend telling me that I’d encouraged her out of suicide. Then, she did the same for me.

  • Christy

    This is a great story of God’s grace and how community can be an agent of God’s grace. Like Brian, though, I don’t agree with the statement “together we are the creator.” That sounds too much like we’re putting our faith in people rather than God. I consider myself a liberal Christian, but that’s too much into the new age stuff for me. God is separate from people, but God uses us to do his will and be creators on Earth.

    • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

      For the record, that Christy up there isn’t me.

      This is me, though. And I’d like to add that God is not separate from people. God dwells in and among us, right here, right now.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Although he has an excellent point about the Internet and community in the authentic religious sense (as Mr. Booth pointed out), I’d have to agree with Christy: We are not the Creator, ex nihilo, but shapers (for we are many, as we are not unified in will but often trying to shape things contrary to one another) of what already is there. We can participate in the divine—or the diabolical—and surely God works through us, but it is not so simple as that we in aggregate are God. Of course, God as we know him has none other image than our own, and it is wise not to neglect to see the divine image in others. Yet until man solves the problems of the suffering he himself creates, let him not glorify himself as God; while there are yet those without sufficient food or medical care, let us not vainly expend resources on whatever towers of Babel we pursue just so as we might raise ourselves up to His level.


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