Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Supremacy of Face to Face Conversation

Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
2 John 12

Technology and time have created more distance in personal communication even as they have made messages and contact with others ubiquitous. This is true in every form of communication since the advent of the paper and stylus and the written word. John knew that though this letter could be encouraging, nothing would beat a personal visit and face to face conversation.

But today, in the 21st century, speedy communication now rules most "conversations". We have the "instant message" and the cellphone text message where even spelling and grammar barely exist for the urgency of the medium of the messenger's choice. All the focus is on the messenger, and not so much the message. I consider these things as necessary evils. They are bottom dwelling scum-suckers in the food chain of communication. Above them is the concept of e-mail or the Facebook status... but just barely above them. These are also fast forms of communication... fast, but hard to see if they are friendly.

Voice communication is better because intonation can help determine what is being said. But without body language and eye contact, meaning is inevitably lost. Sometimes it is a big deal these days to call rather than e-mail or text. What a sacrifice!

The best way to know what is really meant is to talk face to face. This is what John loved. And it took sacrifice and months of travel, but his plan was to do so. The gospel and true Christian fellowship was worth the investment of face to face talking. It always is. This is why Christians should congregate together. That is why no blog, no on-line "community", no e-mail distribution list, and no group text chat can replace the real fellowship of believers in the church. Let's not lose that!

- Posted with my iPad. The Apple Kool-Aide tastes fine.

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