No More Secrets

Paul Vander Klay

December 2, 2010

Facebook isn't inherently evil. It is a voluntary disclosure of information. Luke 12:2,3, I think, is a warning about how we conduct ourselves. Even though I think no one is watching, someone may be, or an action done in secret may cause a whole series of events to unfurl which may destroy my spiritual life and/or those around me. (think cheating on a spouse as an example).
Although the case can be made for news skewing, etc. The Bible can also be used as an example. Think of all the cults and false teaching, and evil, that have arisen out of misinterpretation of it's passages. Without the Holy Spirit as our Divine Translator, so to speak, we are open to all sorts of interpretations which may or may not be downright wrong.
If we don't seek a "divine translator" to filter all the lies and half truths we are fed hourly, we leave ourselves open to all sorts of things which may destroy us outright in a single action or cause an erosion which will end the same way.
"G-d's refusal of full disclosure", as you put it, is a model for constantly seeking the His will. Yes, we are given commandments which are hard to misinterpret - but we are not told what career we should seek, who we should marry, how many children to have, how big of a house is appropriate. These are things that are revealed in His time.
Phillipians 4:8,9 seems to answer your question. If more people followed it there would be a whole lot less to filter and since they don't, it gives me, as a christian and as an individual, a practical way of knowing which information to seek.

December 2, 2010

don't you think that all the leaders of the 'cults and false teachings' felt 'called' or 'guided' by the holy spirit [or similar 'divine translator']? of course they did. i don't anybody purposely distorts truth in order to start a cult for their own sake. most honestly believe they possess a deeper truth that has been bequeathed to them and that it is their duty to profess this truth.

simply by saying that everyone should 'seek a divine translator' won't really help anything. i think that the problem is that we all seek this 'divine translator' and think that our personal revelation of truth is right and that others perception of truth are simply wrong [because my translator is divine, who can argue...]

i think the brand of hyper-individuality marketed to us all is what is behind facebook, the unique 'divine' translations, and the need to possess all 'information' -- at once -- without context.

combat that multi-billion industry [marketing] and you will go along way to restoring community, spiritual health, and physical well-being.

and - i think you [paul] are spot on when you say that "Part of our thirst for knowledge and disclosure is our lust for mastery." humanity and humility should go hand in hand. part of humility is not needing to knowing all the answers.

just my two cents.

December 2, 2010

"Part of our thirst for knowledge and disclosure is our lust for mastery. In that way our quest for information reveals an idolatry in our hearts."

I think this statement is dead-on. The Information Age has empowered us with knowledge but it also corrupts us into imagining that we have the full scope of reality under our control. Very insightful post. Thanks Paul!

William Harris
December 2, 2010

I probably look at this more psychological than anything else. It seems we are torn between the desire to know the other -- a position of power -- and also that desire to be known. We eat, but also want to be found out ("where are you?" as a call of Grace). With all the difficulty we have about our own literal nakedness, is it any wonder we have difficulties with openness in society?

December 2, 2010

No, I don't agree. Because somewhere down the line cults, etc. veer way from G-d's precepts and cannot HONESTLY square what they do with scripture.
John 14:21 and Matthew 7:7-21

December 3, 2010

I couldn't disagree with your first paragraph more. The world is rife with hucksters and charlatans using religion in all forms to further themselves and their pocketbooks. Galations 1:1-10 speaks of new Christians being swayed away from true belief by those perverting the Gospel.

As to your second paragraph: Deuteronomy 4:29 and Isaiah 66:1-3. Christianity has never been about "personal revelation" but Divine revelation. Matthew 7:7-21.


"He should, however, beg leave to remind the conductors of the press of their duty to apply to themselves a maxim which they never neglected to urge on the consideration of government —" that the possession of great power necessarily implies great responsibility."
Thomas C. Hansard ,1817 - British Parliament

Now, I suppose, all of us in regards to our lives on the internet, need to be so reminded.

Ty Woznek
December 3, 2010

The Bible also teaches prudence and not communicating all that could be said. Secrecy is a natural outgrowth of prudence. The passages regarding secrecy focus attention on the One who brings all things into the open.

The larger problem with the secrecy discussion is how much is NOT revealed. People can get upset without having the full picture, and even worse an understanding of the context of the where the data originated.

People can reveal truth from a motive of injustice, malice and/or slander, and hide under the guise of revealing truth. How, then, does this injustice get corrected?

December 3, 2010

Wow - great post. And closely related to what we were discussing in the office the day of the WikiLeaks infobomb.
I would say that any answer to this question has to be "timely" as opposed to "timeless." Which way we lean between privacy and disclosure needs to be in relation to what is happening in our world or our neighborhood. I'd have to say that my gut feels as though governments have been trending toward unhealthy secret-keeping in the last 40-50 years and I'd like to see a fair bit more transparency. Where personal information has leaned toward TMI in a big way and things like identity theft tell us we're paying a high price for that kind of indiscretion.

Beyond that however, I love your thoughts on how this relates to God and Christ. Having and keeping secrets is obviously a part of the way He operates so we can't conclude that secrets are "bad" in some generic way. Your comment that knowledge is power seems to be right on target. We long for control and information is a way to get there.

Well Spoken.

December 8, 2010

The prophecy of Luke 12: 2-3, the "voice of full disclosure," suggests revelation of all secrets, with the assumption that the agent doing the exposure is godly, if not God himself. What is troubling about the wikileaks, Facebook stalking by HR or school officials, and the relentless pursuit by the paparazzi is that the disclosures are done as much for power, embarassment, control, notoriety, and financial gain as much as for any notion of truth. It's one thing to be convinced, persuaded, encouraged to air one's dirty laundry in public, with appropriate consequences and hopefully positive results in mind; it's completely another thing to have, if you will, a "home invasion" with drawers rifled and closets raided, laundry-baskets overturned, with all the contents dumped out on the lawn for the public's viewing.

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