Monday, November 17, 2014

Put up or be quite

After my recent rant about 21st century evanglization, I started thinking about the using 21st century technology to reach a new audience.   It is easy to say to people "Go do something", without having to do something myself. So in that vein, I attempted to do something.

Today I am unveiling my first attempt at online theology.  On the Internet site Udemy, I have set up my first online religion course about catholic prayer.  This course is free.  I would like to do more course in the future (some free, some paid) depending on the depth of the course and the time it take to create a course.  For this first course I just tried to keep it simple with an introduction to prayer.  Future course planning may be more interactive and advanced as I grow more familiar with the technology and actually recording content.  I am hoping to be able to hit many theological aspects such as church history, systematic theology, moral theology and apologetics in the future.

I thought it wouldn't be fair for me to tell you go and evangelize.  Without me trying it first.

So without further talking  I offer my prayer course.  If you take the course please leave feed back and ratings.  (5 stars always appreciated.)  That way I can improve this course and future courses.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

21st century evangelisation (finding God in our Facebook)

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Mt. 28:18-20)

Jesus gave the Great Commission in the end of the Gospel to go out and preach his words.  But the bigger question is how do we do that in a world with noise and static.  How can the message of Jesus be spread when it is communication against more noise than it ever has.  Peter and the Apostels didn't have to compete against TV and the Internet.  They did have to fear being killed for their faith, which made their willingness to share the message all the more intriguing.  One might even listen more intently to them if they knew that these people were risking their life for a message.

Today in the United States we do not fear death or persecution for proclaiming the message of Christ.  But has this made us more complacent to spreading it or society more deaf to hearing it?  Sure we go to Church on Sunday, we may even do other ministries at the Church, we pray before meals but are we evangelizing in our lives by the means that we have.  I do not mean an in your face bible beating fire and brimstone off putting message in the streets.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:34-35)

The simple question is: Do people know that we are Christian by our love?  This is particularly true in our age of technology.  The modern day question could be rephrased: Do people know we are a follower of Christ by our Facebook posts?  Would someone know you are a Christian by your Twitter feed?  Is your faith represented in your Instagram?  Are you using Snap Chat for wholesome purposes or to do harm to others?   These are the questions that modern day Catholics have to ask themselves.

Finding God in our Facebook can be done in a Christian way.  No need to be condescending or judgmental but one needs to be firm in their beliefs in what is the truth.  I picture getting to heaven and St. Peter is at the door and he has your Internet history on his screen.  Some people would bow there head in shame.  It not just the dark side of the Internet but also the times that we look for celebrities to fall or just put too much credence in there opinions that send us the wrong direction.

The Internet can do a lot of good.  21st century evangelisation needs the Internet to reach all people so we can continue to follow the Great Commission of Christ 2000 years after it was given using the technology of our time to make the greatest difference in our world.