Facebook, Netflix, and Others With God Complexes

WORDS FROM W.W. September 21, 2011

It is a common occurrence in our culture that when something gets popular it teeters on the edge of unreasonable. The escalator has been taken to the “exalted floor” of the mall. Quite often many of us get taken with it, or perhaps a better way of saying it in hindsight is “got taken.”
New ideas spark new ways of seeing the world, but sometimes the new ideas come to a point where they believe that are the new deities, above questioning and inspection.
Netflix got that idea a few months ago when they raised their monthly membership by up to 60%. In other words, they were saying “We’re awesome! You can’t live without us! Here’s what you’re going to pay, so deal with it!” When my trash company raises it’s fees by $5.00 every three months I can deal with it. When milk prices jump a quarter I can deal with it. But when a “lay around time” activity thinks my life will not be complete unless I chalk up more money so they can increase their corporate profits, I jump off the escalator.
Just to clarify, I’ve never been a member of Netflix, but the tactics and entitlement seem to be filtering down into our cultural systems more and more.
There’s a difference between leading new initiatives and bleeding constituents.
Like the $62 a seat Nuggets tickets I bought at a silent auction last year for $25 a piece, and then I discover that our seats are at a certain place in the arena where the shot clock on our end of the court obscured our ability to see the basket at the other end of the court. I think I’ll just cough up $10 and go to the Air Force game. Believe me, there are no obstructed view seats there.
Or that mega social media giant “Facebook”, which recently made changes because they just wanted to, and people can’t get along without them…so there! Facebook now determines, in a social networking kind of way, who your most important friends are, and who aren’t that necessary. I don’t understand it, but, of course, I don;t understand Farmville either. When it comes to social networking I’m more like Abraham, “going not knowing.”
I remember hearing a presentation by Tony Campolo years ago about the principalities and powers that oppress people and destroy lives. Campolo at that time was focused on oppressive governmental systems and Gulf-Western, which raised sugar cane in the Dominican Republic. I remember him talking about an orphanage his organization was running in Haiti because of horrific poverty situations that caused me to weep. He would quote Colossians 2:14-15: “…having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he (Christ) took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” The Cross of Christ showed the tendencies of our culture for what it is- drunk with power, ADD in their concern for the have-nots, selectively tuned-in to the problems of their customer base.
Could it be that the principalities and powers of today are those institutions, corporations, and even individuals who think the world revolves around them; and that you and me can’t survive without them?
Let’s bring it home to the church! As a community of faith I hope we never enter that area called “entitled.” That is, a church that is an expression of the “living Christ” isn’t beyond reach. It never thinks that the community is privileged to have us, even though the community is better because of what we’re about. It’s not a people of privilege, but rather a people privileged to live out the call.
As a people of faith there needs to be an owning up, an acknowledgment that even though we are the community of the living Christ, people have been living without us.
Netflix learned that they weren’t as high and mighty and a necessity as they thought they were. Facebook may find out the same thing (Anybody remember “MySpace”?) The church, the messengers of hope for the one true God, will be more and more vital as it proclaims who the one true God is!

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One Comment on “Facebook, Netflix, and Others With God Complexes”

  1. Pasture Bill Says:

    Paster Bill, It seems like people who’s agenda is to take advantage buy risining prices of what ever they want even rais the price as high as they want and dosen’t care.


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