Saturday, August 19, 2006


The Nasty Bits

Remember how life was so simple not so long ago? I mean, life before you got on the Internet. Perhaps you had a PC, but it just stood there all alone without any connection to the outside world. Once the Internet started to become popular, you hopped right on the bandwagon. Why not? Since the advent of the Web in the mid-1990s, the Internet has offered an unparalleled selection of information and entertainment, much of it being absolutely free. Going online seemed like such a no-brainer...

...but then you started to find out about the Nasty Bits. You know, stuff like spam, viruses, spyware, phishing scams, etc.. Too bad that you got your education almost as soon as you hooked your PC up to its first modem, because it sure was a big hassle to reinstall everything from the ground up to get rid of that virus. Having learned that lesson, you went out and put anti-virus software on your PC, and that worked alright until you let the anti-virus signature subscription lapse, reopening the door to all sorts of new viruses. Next, you got that email from eBay that informed you that your account information needed verification. It directed you to visit a Web page that then prompted you for stuff such as your credit card number. Too bad that it wasn't eBay that sent you that email, but a nasty impersonator who'd just managed to trick you into handing over the keys to your credit line. Through these and other experiences, you've learned that the Internet is a lot like a rose bush: lots of pretty flowers, but oh those thorns!

And now, a word from our sponsor...

Do you suffer from anxiety or nerves? Do you sometimes find yourself bored, without anything to do to focus your attention? Do you find it difficult to count your calories, or to attract the opposite sex? Are you a young person who'd like to find a way to feel more grown-up? If your answer to any of these questions is "YES!", then perhaps our new product is just what you need! We call it, simply but modestly, "The Wonder Drug." It's a mild stimulant when you need one, but it's also a mild relaxant when you want to wind down during a hard day at work. It helps to quench those hunger pangs that make it so difficult for you to stick to that diet. It helps you to concentrate on the most painstaking of tasks, and it provides you with an excellent way to emulate the sex appeal of your favorite stars of the silver screen. Although The Wonder Drug can be somewhat uncomfortable to use at first (common side effects include coughing and nausea), if you stick to it, you will quickly find yourself accustomed to the wonderful benefits of this wonderful product. In fact, you will most likely find it difficult to do without...The Wonder Drug!

The Wonder Drug is available at drug stores and gas stations everywhere. Ask for it by name. If your salesman hasn't heard of The Wonder Drug, just ask for it by its old name: a pack of cigarettes.

And now, back to our program...

Sorry about the commercial interruption, but that's the price I pay for using a free blogging service. :-) Come to think of it, though, isn't The Wonder Drug a good example of an item that seems to have so many advantages BUT is chock-full of Nasty Bits that may shorten your life by years? What a pity that the thousands of (usually young) people who take up smoking every day are ignorant of the severity of the negative side-effects of their beloved habit?

Dear reader, the problem before us goes far beyond the inconvenient (Internet viruses, etc.) and the unhealthy (cigarette smoking). As a matter of fact, today's evangelical church is rife with teachings and movements that promise all sorts of wonderful benefits.

For instance, Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven movement promises both personal fulfillment and radical church growth. If half of what he promises is true, who wouldn't want to hop on his bandwagon? But what about the Nasty Bits? What about the formerly gospel-preaching churches that find themselves torn in two when the PDL program is introduced? What about the countless souls who attend PDL churches and assume that they are Christians because they made a decision, walked an aisle, or prayed a prayer? What of the compromises that are made to the clear and forthright preaching of the Gospel in order to not offend the seekers? Warren and his collegues obviously won't make mention of these Nasty Bits, but yet it's becoming all too obvious that evangelical movements such as PDL aren't as wonderfully peachy-keen as they claim to be.

So, let us beware of Wonder Drugs that promise nothing but good. Any product worth using or movement worth following will come with a frank admission of the difficult stuff: the cost. A medicine will tell you the side effects you may encounter while using it, and in the Gospel itself we find Christ and the Apostles warning us that there is a price to pay for believing on and following Christ. Although the benefits of The Wonder Drug aren't sufficient to outweigh its Nasty Bits, the side effects of many legitimate medications are worth enduring in order to reap the benefits they provide. Likewise, the Gospel is well worth following even though you and I are going to have to take up our respective crosses. To our sinful flesh, the Nasty Bits of the Gospel--denial of self, etc.--utterly pale in comparison to the innumerable benefits of that wonderful message. Whereas the Nasty Bits of the Internet require diligent caution and those of The Wonder Drug arguably warrant total abstinence, the thorns amidst the roses of the Gospel are well worth the pain and suffering they will inevitably provoke.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?