Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Where does the earth end?

Question of the day (the day was yesterday) by premiership thinker and youth worker Mark: Where is the end of the earth?

The command for Jesus' disciples to spread the gospel is clear at the end of Matthew (28:19) and the destination is 'all nations.' Steve Chalke points out in his book Intelligent Church that this really means 'all tribes' because the Greek word is ethnos. Acts 1:8 adds the 'ends of the earth' phrase.

'So,' says Mark, 'given that cyberspace has now become so real that some people only inhabit it and not the real world - they have their key relationships there, they buy and sell virtual property there and only break out to open the door to the grocery deliverer - is it a place we should be spreading the gospel? Should we grow a church in cyberspace? '

This spun our heads a bit. How could we know the worth of a real gospel in a virtual world? Have you really converted an avatar or is it just pretend?

As ever the answer is also in the Bible. Jesus' sower (Mark 4 and other references) is indiscriminate with the good seed. Almost wreckless. The results are mysterious. One in four of the scatterings bears fruit and boy is the fruit massive (30, 60 and 100 fold).

We do need to scatter some seed in the virtual world and we do not need to worry about the results.


thebluefish said...

good questions!

Chris Ward said...

I think those 4 parables in Marks gospel have helped me more than anything to understand what I should be doing. Whilst figuring out what they meant in a homegroup, a friend of mine said something like "Imagine each of us has a massive basket of seeds. It would be awful to turn up on the last day with said basket still full and explain to Jesus that we couldn't work out the best place to sow them so we, ... erm ... " Horrendously, I could imagine that too clearly.

Caroline Too said...

Sometimes I think that the 'ends of the earth' are those friends of mine who I think are least likely to respond to the story of Jesus, I need to sow seed near them as well..

sometimes that end of the earth is scarier than a geographic one.