Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Windows or Linux faith?

Alright, I've been a bad blogger.  It's been a few weeks with no update.  I've got several good excuses, but I'll save them for a later date.  I will share one of the bad excuses though, since it is providing some inspiration.  This post is being typed on my latest project, a Debian Linux box.  If you don't know, Linux is that other operating system, as opposed to the ever present Windows.  It comes in numerous flavors, or distributions, most of which are available for free.  In addition to the great price, it will run (acceptibly well) on hardware that runs screaming if you approach it with a Windows XP installation disk. This salvage box has a 300mhz Celeran cpu and 300 some odd meg of ram.
So why does it have a small user base?  Because we have gotten used to the point and click automation of Windows.  Remember the last time you had to update your Flash player for your favorite Facebook game?  It took three or four clicks, correct?  I've been trying to get Flash on this thing for several days nows, trying various packeges and finding there seems to be a bit of a hiccup in the process.  It is frustrating, but entertaining and educational at the same time. 
I find some parallels between this and faith.  Much faith in today's society is similar to that auto-pilot, not reallly knowing what's going under the hood, point and click Windows experience.  Bible literacy is down in the Church, and poll after poll says that Americans identify themselves as Christian, yet those same polls show attitudes and beliefs on things like morality, origins, absolute truths are not in line with the name.  We think it is enough to show up at church on Sunday, know a few verses, and we'll get into Heaven.  But much the way that many modern web warriors have never seen the inside of their computer tower or laptop, much of the current Body has a limited knowledge of how the faith they profess works, because they haven't bothered to pop the hood.  
This silly Linux thing doesn't do very much unless I tell it exactly what to do.  In order to tell it what to do, I have to know all the right commands, file paths, and programs.  Christianity doesn't work (provide the peace that passes understanding, lead us on the path God intends for us, get us to Heaven) unless we really understand the right directions (that we are to follow) and attitudes (humility, serventhood).  For Linux, there are stacks and stacks of documentation, included with the system, written up, and in groups of fellow users.  For Christianity, there is our main user manual, the Bible, lots of other documentation of varying accuracy and usabiltiy, and fellowship with other believers to help us with our questions, our hard times and our good times.  Neither one is easy, for both there is no auto-pilot, but it's a much better trip when you have a better idea exactly what is going on.

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