Panem et Circenses

I want everybody to know that my sermon on Sunday was not an indictment on technology, but of the problems with the un-reflective use of the same.  It is interesting that anytime you begin to talk about the downside of our interaction with technology, people automatically think that it is a blanket condemnation.  Part of that, I think, is a larger cultural narrative that usually goes down that path.  It is a familiar story arc that people are used to.  Terminator, The Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, and the classic Mary Shelly story are all cautionary tales of our creation (read "tech") turning against the creator (read "us".)  But anyone who knows me knows I love technology, and its ability to be cretive and make connections in ways unimaginable before.  


My point was, with technology and life, a lack of reflection leads to a kind of sleep walking existence that is more like being entertained to death, than really living.  The strategy of pacification of the populace by "bread and circuses" was wildly successful by the Romans who were the first to distract their population from their wretched existence.  It is no less successful today.  Gadgets, celebrities, big time sports (yes, even football) are very effective means of distracting us from boring and complex problems like poverty, war, the environment, and sustainability.  The key to resisting the "bread and circuses" effect is to, like Paul urges us in Romans 13 and Ephesians 5, is to wake up, realize we were created for more than to just wander our way through life, and to join God where he is at work.