Saturday, October 04, 2014

Disappearing up our own selfie

What with the woman who married herself, and Stephen Fry declaring that his drug use affected nobody but himself, the first week of October 2014 may mark the point at which our culture disappeared up its own selfie in pursuit of individualistic self-love.

Fans of the Royal family used to be content with a handshake when they passed by in the crowd, but yesterday the Queen's trip in Northern Ireland showed that now nothing less than a selfie will suffice

I'm preaching in the morning on the 60 or so 'one another' sayings in the New Testament, and struggling with the limitations of the English language. So much of it is written to 'you' - which, reading the Bible on my own, in my own room, in my own time, in my own way, naturally must be the singular form. Not so. As the Texan Bible reveals, most of it is written to 'Y'all', the plural 'you', it is instructions to a community, to be read, understood and applied in community.

Maybe this is why we talk about rights so much, because we no longer think relationally. A right is something owed to an individual, and is regulated by law. We need them, but for normal personal relationships to be conducted on this basis shows that those relationships have broken down. To the early church, resorting to law to settle issues was a serious failure, because the gold standard was to sort things out in relationship.

Among church members now, most of our lives are lived apart from one another, so it's naturally to think individualistically when applying the Bible to our lives, in contrast with the communal spirit of Acts 2 (daily meeting together, eating, learning and sharing life). So both our culture, and the structure of our lives, make it hard to hear the Bible saying what it is really saying.

What happens when a selfie culture reads an ussie Bible?


  1. nice one...
    but do you know what the queen takes when she takes a selfie... a onesie

  2. Maybe this is why we talk about rights so much, because we no longer think relationally

    Tripe. We talk about rights because we can't trust dogcollars to be honest.

  3. The desire I meet among many people for us to be honest and less hypocritical about sexuality is not driven by an individualistic "my rights against ours" agenda, but genuine concern for the health of our Anglican community in the face of Jesus extensive teaching about the leaven of the Pharisees. It's very much communitarian in its motives and aims.