In the Christian jargon, there is a term called “progressive revelation”. In IVCF’s basis of faith, there is a clause that states that God is sovereign in revelation:
What we know about Him and His will is not the result of human research but of His revealing. God reveals Himself through the Scriptures, especially in the person of Jesus, and also in some measure through nature and conscience, etc.. But in all these things he reveals only what he has chosen to let us know. We are dependent upon Him not only to reveal Himself but also to open the eyes of our understanding to grasp such truth.
Simply stated, God has a monopoly when it comes to information about Him, which cannot be unearthed or discovered by men, unless first revealed to men. We also cannot invent such information.
One may say that God is so-and-so. While another may say something that is entirely contrary regarding the same God. By virtue of truth, either one of them could be right, or both of them could be wrong. To give a simpler illustration, one may say that my weight is 120lbs, another, 150lbs, but both of them could be wrong. Sadly though, that is how most people view God. Like some infinitely modifiable MMORPG character that can be tweaked to their taste and experiences.
So, what does this have to do with Facebook? Well, Facebook is similar to progressive revelation. Think about it, we have a monopoly over what we display: what profile picture, personal information, who we accept as friends, etc. Some people’s Facebook pages display only their name, and sometimes, not even their true name. Others display even the most intricate, minute-by-minute updates of what everybody else might consider as “not for public consumption.”
So, what lessons can we get from this parallelisms?
- The prospect of God being a liar aside, God himself is the primary source of reliable firsthand information about Himself; His character, attributes, desires, commands and will.
- Much in the same way that we display personal information and ‘links’ that would help others know us (blogs, personal sites, contact information), God has revealed Himself to us through His word (read: the Bible), which tells us that His final revelation to us is through His son, Jesus. Whatever the Bible says, and whatever Jesus says, therefore, is firsthand information that we have about him (think of it as God’s blog).
- Usually, a person’s Facebook page discloses more information when that person is viewed by a friend. A popular local Catholic Charismatic magazine once used an illustration of “accepting God’s friend request”, or something similar. God wants us to be friends with Him in a personal relationship that will allow us to know Him more.
Continuing from point number 3 above:
God does not just send a “friend request”, it is more than just that. God is sending each human being ever to walk the face of the earth a “Lordship” request. A request that requires not a simple click of the mouse on the “accept button”, but rather, a click first on the heart’s “repent” button, that requires a 180-degree turn from sin and everything else that God has “revealed” to be things that He does not “like”, and then clicking on the “i totally submit and agree with all my heart, soul, mind and strength” button on the Covenant End-User Lifetime Agreement.
Sadly, I have neither the power of photoshop or the time right now to put some illustrations, and I have to report to work soon. Hopefully I can discuss some more on part 2…