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Ben Kwok

Ben is part of a church plant team establishing the Rouse Hill Church. He holds a Master of Divinity degree. Ben and his wife Diahanna live in Sydney, Australia with their four young children.

5 Comments

  1. avatar

    PJ

    Great subject Ben – agree with all your points.

    Would like to throw a few more into the mix – though as a ‘non-Facebooker’ I can’t speak from personal experience only from observation. I am not anti-Facebook, I believe it can be a great blessing for Christians and can be used to glorify the Lord.

    Just a few points of concern however –

    i) In II Thess 3 and I Tim 5 Paul addresses the problem of ‘busybodies’ in churches – I’ve often thought Facebook provides greater opportunity for this problem to arise than ever before – everyone can now know what everyone else is doing in their personal, family and church lives. Is it necessarily healthy? What do people think?

    ii) Double lives. This is an age old problem for Believers – and now that a Christian’s online life is a substantial part of their ‘conversation’ I wonder if it makes this problem even worse. It is easier than ever to maintain a public persona at church, school, work etc. and a private one online. The internet in general gives us miles more ‘private’ time and space in which to live, and I wonder what the effects of this will be, especially on young people.

    iii) Continual communication. Modern technologies mean that we never have to be out of contact – we never have to be alone with ourselves and our own thoughts. I can see a lot of negatives arising from this. What do you think?

    Thanks for the post – I’d love to see more on this subject…it is incredibly relevant to the Christian life in our time.

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  2. avatar

    Nanna

    There is also the potential problem of the virtual community becoming an easy substitute for real community like the church. It is in church that we can rub up against the people that rub us the wrong way that can help us rub off some of our sharp edges. On Facebook we can just ignore or defriend the people that generate friction in our lives. -George

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  3. avatar

    Jason Harris

    @PJ,

    On ii), I’ve found fb is a brilliant tool against double lives online because it is not anonymous and it includes your real life friends. Previous tools like forums often didn’t include these benefits.

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  4. avatar

    PJ

    @Jason,

    Point taken, though I have seen the fb pages of some teenagers and their parents/pastors/youth leaders would be shocked and disappointed if they were aware of the language used and photos that have been posted.

    As I understand fb – a user does have some control over who they allow into their circle and the level of access to their private material. This does create a private space for a person to communicate with others – in much the same way as an email or telephone account does – though the difference is the immediacy of the communication and the media that can be shared.

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  5. avatar

    Ben Kwok

    yes, I agree that fb is a boon for busybodies and it’s not a substitute for real community or personal meditation!

    As for double lives — I think the more a person expresses himself online, the more his heart can be revealed. (“out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”) FB is just another channel of communication, in that sense.

    Ministry-wise, it’s helpful to note how friends are faring via their online talk, as a supplement to face-to-face contact.

    Younger people are less concerned about privacy, despite warnings about “cyber safety.” I also think the ease of expressing oneself online 24/7 is a challenge against “keeping your heart with all diligence.”

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