Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I began an online Bible study yesterday. A friend on Facebook had been recruiting for it but I didn't join her group. Instead, I looked over the available groups and chose one that seemed to fit my situation. I emailed the leader Sunday night, she confirmed me and Monday morning, I began receiving emails from not only her but also others in her group. In the next eight weeks, we'll cover Luke 17-24, a chapter a week.

It's primarily an accountability group, although rather impersonal. The notion of "accountability" isn't a big part of my religious practice. It's not anything that I feel I need.

Already I'm annoyed with the program. The leader's emails employ bright font colors - red, green, orange, blue, purple, olive, black, bold. Another participant has already asked her to tone it down. Her 14-line email "signature" (.sig for your old UNIX types) advertises her business as a Disney-exclusive travel agent and encourages a Facebook / Twitter following. Once I've seen that once, do I really need to see it each time? It's like, ok, duly noted. Next!

The program comes with free, downloadable worksheets for "doing" the study. It's 60 pages of
  1. Write out the verse(s)
  2. Observations
  3. Application
  4. Prayer to God
I don't need to spend printer ink / paper on that! However, one participant prints and writes out longhand her quiet time activity, scans it at work and emails the .pdf of her girly handwriting on GMG letterhead to be deciphered by all.

It's time consuming to read everyone's reflection on the passage. Emails arrive at all hours. Usually they go off on personal tangents. Frankly, my take on the passage, yes it has to do with forgiveness, but it also has to do with correcting a brother or sister. If we're really concerned about "Christian witness," then we'd want everyone who bears the name to be faithful. The prevailing mentality regarding forgiveness is "it's good for me to forgive others." Sure. But this pop psych makes me sick:

This is how to be no different from the world.

1 comment:

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

Very interesting. I noticed that the emphasis is on what's good for me - self-centered. How about forgiving because God asks us to in imitation of Christ?

I agree with you on the multi-colored emails, etc. I've never done a Bible study with anyone. Just piled up all my resources, commentaries, and translations and dug in. I'm not sure I could do a study with others like you are.