Friday, November 12, 2010

Of Relevancy

"Relevant: having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent."


Years ago, a Sunday School teacher in our church took up a new cause: he declared we should all use only the King James version of the Bible. Just the original version, not any updated KJ Bibles, either. Everybody, all the time.

He got pretty obnoxious about it and after some weeks I asked him, "You're expecting even teenagers to read only the King James, at home, during their quiet time, alone?"

"Yes."

"But there are many difficult passages! They'd have to read it with a dictionary beside them."

"So where's the problem? Let them use a dictionary then."

Sigh.

And now often I see people online saying they've decided paper-and-pen letter writing, phone calls and actual same-room contact are the only forms of real communication. And how online technology has killed true, personal intimacy.

("Danger, danger, Will Robinson! In-the-box thinking!") :)

Actually, I'm writing more "letters" than ever. You should see the thousands of emails in my 'sent folder.' You probably have thousands in yours, too.

I grew-up in churches and around folks who always wished to move backward. New ideas and modern ways of doing things were never as good as the old ways and old days. So they just ignored anything unfamiliar and held onto their ancient methods.

That's how churches die, you know.

From the time I was 16 until I was 36 (or so) I wrote hundreds of pen-and-paper letters each year (sometimes more than 1,000). Honey, I was one passionate snail-mail correspondent. But at age 40 I went online, wrote hundreds of emails yearly, instead--and never glanced back.

Often I pray for relevancy.

Nobody will ever convince this modern world to return to old-fashioned letter writing (barring a historical-sized sabotage of all things computer-related). We're in this technological world too deep. Facebook and Twitter-style communication will thrive, probably evolving to something else in the future.

I've faced that. So what remains is for me to discover ways to stay relevant in other peoples' lives. To use email and Facebook (etc.) as the amazing tools of communication which they can be. God certainly isn't telling me to evolve backward in my communication, but rather, He asks me to move forward as He does. In Love. Real love is all about relevancy--it reaches and stretches so to care best for others. To 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do' if only to win a few of those Romans.

Relevancy always flows, always moves, always discovers new ways to adapt to others rather than making others adapt to it. And Love finds the most relevant way to share this one most vital message: Jesus loves me this I know.

What remains is for me to follow that Love. With relevance.



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If you enjoy old-fashioned pen and paper correspondence, more power to you! I do still mail the occasional letter, though I most often type them. Of course, letter-writing purists would cry foul about that, but then, those purists don't have to decipher my handwriting. :)



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"Anything is what I make of it."

5 comments:

Odie Langley said...

You are sooooooooo right Debra. There are many christians that believe we should only sing the old hymns and do it from the book. I personally prefer the projection screen, that way you are looking ahead and not down and there are so many wonderful praise songs that I love to sing. I still love a lot of the old familiar hymns but there is more. I also am a very impatient person and like instant gratification so if I correspond with someone I want a response in minutes, not days, especially if that person is in Helsinki Finland. About the bible version, I still love to quote verses I learned in the original King James but when I read it is usually the New King James. I really feel sorry for people that refuse to ever change anything.
Odie

Kim said...

When The Message Bible came out I thought I'd died and gone to heaven (ha!)
It was so refreshing, and FUN, to read the Bible and actually understand most of what I was reading.

Donetta said...

:)
just gotta love your spunk!
Your just a vibrant kind a woman.
Look at you pushing the envelope and you don't even use a stamp. Oh my!
What would the post delivery say.
Goodness you even did away with the envelop! How are we gunna keep the paper mills a rolling with people like you :) har har

emma said...

i think sometimes folks in the church spend a lot of time remembering the good old days and forgetting that Christ is relavent today..in changing times just as He was in the good old days.

As for the KJV only crowd, my dad, a Pastor for 20+ years said to someone, "Well if KJV was good enough for St Paul, then it is good enough for me." The person to whom he was speaking readily agreed...ummm....yeah...about that! LOL

As for letter writing, i SO love the romance of getting a real letter, there is just something about it that is so special. But i could not live without my email (ok, i could live....just would miss it terribly!)

Jan said...

When The Message Bible came out I thought I'd died and gone to heaven (ha!)
It was so refreshing, and FUN, to read the Bible and actually understand most of what I was reading.
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Oh I so agree with Kim. As a PK from the 50s I knew and still know a lot of KJ scripture but it is so refreshing to see it in the language of today.
I also was an avid letter writer. Not now...love computer connection.