Summary: Genuine Christian fellowship must go beyond the superficiality of Facebook.
Rev. David Holwick
First Baptist Church
Ledgewood, New Jersey
October 10, 2010
FACEBOOK OR FELLOWSHIP? [transcript]
Please open your Bible to Hebrews Chapter 10, starting in Verse 23.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promise is faithful and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together the summer and the habit of doing but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.
Every Tuesday Celeste and I go to the movies because we have one of those CableVision promotion cards that allows us to get in for free. Half of Roxbury Township apparently has that same card so the theater is always packed to the rafters. But this last week we saw the current hit, "The Social Network," about the early history of Facebook. And some of you probably had no idea what Facebook is but not too many of you because around the world there are five hundred million members of Facebook. And I counted up my friend list on Facebook and fifty six of you are my friends. Most of my “friends” are very young, with a few older ones - the retirees don’t tend to be on that as much. I actually have two hundred and thirty-two friends altogether. About a third of them I have never met before, I have no idea who they are but I didn’t want to insult them when they asked to be my friend so they’re on my list. It’s interesting that according to the movie, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a hard time making friends himself. As a matter of fact by the end of the movie he has alienated the few that he has and he’s getting sued by most of them. But there’s an opening scene in which Zuckerberg is trying to date a girl from Boston University and it’s going downhill real fast and Celeste nudged me and said, “That’s our first date.” So I have much in common with this man except for his multi-billion-dollar net worth.
A lot of people have noticed that in a Facebook generation we know more and more people. We’ve got all these connections yet so much of it doesn’t seem to do us any personal good. So much of our relationships seem very superficial. And some people out there fall through the cracks completely. Back in November 1998 a landlord in Bonn, Germany, entered into an apartment because the guy had stopped paying his rent. The rent check had always gone to his bank and it was paid automatically but all of a sudden the bank said that account was closed now. So the landlord knocked on the door, got no answer, got a key and he went in and he found Wolfgang Dirks sitting in front of his television set. Or at least what was left of him - he was just a skeleton. His TV was in the “on” position, although it was no longer working, and Christmas lights were wrapped all around the apartment. And the landlord thought that was kind of unusual because it was the beginning of November, why does he have these up so early? Well, it turns out there was a TV Guide by his side dated December 5th, 1993, five years before they found his body. The police say that we can’t determine exactly when he died so they just took the date on that TV Guide and that’s what is listed on his death certificate. None of his neighbors had noticed or made any comment or sought him out and what I found interesting was this is not some ninety-year-old guy. He was forty-three years old! [Illustration #6338]