*this is a guest post my friend Justin Wise. Go check him out after the read.
Christian ghettos. Sound funny? It shouldn’t. Christians are huge fans of ghettos. They are as inevitable as death and taxes.
When I say “ghetto” I mean a collective group of people located in a certain sector of society, usually based on cultural identifiers. While there are ghettos based on socioeconomic factors, there are also cultural ghettos.
Here’s a dirty little secret, Christians love hanging out in their own ghettos. Ghettos of their own making. Ghettos where they feel safe, warm and protected. Ghettos where no one else is allowed or would dare to go.
Here’s how Christian ghettos typically start:
Examples abound. Just look here. And here. And here. But one example that seems to be thriving as of late is the trend to form Christian ghettos on the social web. Little pockets in the social media world where Christians, and only Christians, would ever dare to go.
Case-in-point: Your Twitter “Following” list. Take a moment and scan through it briefly. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
What do you see? Do most of the bios of the people you’re following mention:
If so, chances are you live in a Christian ghetto.
Are the things mentioned above bad things to have on your Twitter profile? No. Of course not. But I would say it’s less-than-beneficial if these are the only voices you’re hearing in your social media world.
Here’s why: The social web allows you to connect with people that you never would normally. Stoners, lawyers, accountants, students, bakers, politicians, musicians, celebrities, weirdos, creeps and geniuses. They’re all on Twitter and they’re all ready to be listened to.
Same thing with Facebook.
Same thing with blogs.
Same thing with Flickr.
If you’re reading this post and you live in the Christian social media ghetto, my challenge to you today is to move out. Pack up your belongings, saddle up, and ride out. Get the heck out of Dodge, if you know what I’m sayin’. How do you do this? A few different ways:
We’ve lived in Christian ghettos too long. Let’s have the social web be a place where ghettos, at least for now, are really hard to make and inhabit. Let’s be a people who are interested in the lives of others‚Äìeven those people who aren’t like us. Not as a project. Not so we can “get them saved” (whatever that means). Not even so we can get them to come to our church. But simply because they bear the same image of God that you and I do.
As for me and my house, we’re moving out of the ghetto. What about you?