Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Internet and "safe" Sin

Sin always deals and trades in lies. That's just the nature of the beast - to promise something that looks wonderful but give pain, isolation, and death instead. The affair sounds like a good idea. . . but ends in pain, isolation, and the death of God given blessings. The extra wealth from the cruel dealings seems wonderful - but then there is pain and worry and payback... and then isolation and death.

This is something that we know - especially we of the Christian faith. We know that sin is inherently dangerous. But then there is the Internet. The internet gives a new twist on the lying nature of sin - the Internet promises "safe" sin.

Why is internet porn so popular? It's "safe". You don't even have to leave a store with a brown paper bag -- just you on your own where no one knows. It's "safe" - it eliminates the potential for embarrassment... or at least that's how the temptation goes. It's still porn with its own negative consequences... and that "safe" feeling emboldens the sin until one does something utterly stupid and gives up the game -- and then there is great and huge embarrassment. Walking out of a store in a brown paper bag is nothing compared to being escorted out of work in hand-cuffs... something that happens because of the "safe" sin on the internet.

Or consider comments in blogs and internet discussions. The internet can be a great tool for communication -- but it also gives the illusion of "safe" sin. You can say things to a person who is miles and miles away that you would never say to their face. You can be antagonistic and cruel - as harsh as the most abusive person... but it's "safe" - they won't be able to come back at you. And suddenly, you start thinking in harsher, crueler terms.

And of course, this says nothing of remaining anonymous - If you remain hidden, or just live behind an internet moniker where no one knows who you "really" are - you think it's "safe" to just unload on people, to lambaste, to rail against them. And it's "safe" - they can't really get back at you.

The only problem is it's not safe -- you train yourself with your actions, with what you say -- and your "safe" approach is just teaching, reinforcing in your mind that anyone who disagrees with you ought to be lambasted -- and you will grow in bitterness, discontentment, and cruelty. And the attitudes you think you can safely vent begin to shape not just your "venting" time but even the hours when the computer is off and you are away.

Sin always leads to pain, isolation, and death... even if you think it's "safe" because its just at a keyboard.

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