The Speck in Your Brother’s iPhone

The buzz in my little corner of the blogosphere about the iphone has been interesting. Here are several of the most recent posts from my blogroll, both pro and con, about purchasing an iphone:

Bill Kinnon says, “What future moth-eaten and rust-potentialed things do I cling to? God help me!”

Bob Hyatt got one. He says, “I’m a weak, weak man and Steve Jobs totally owns me.”

Helen did too. She says, “It’s interesting what people will pay for…”

Brant Hansen puts it on his list of Totally Awesome Things I’m Not Going to Buy!

Sean Palmer confesses, “all of my sermons and talk about consumerism and the American culture of lust and excess have blown up in my face.”

According to “overly critical idealistic uncool hippie blogger” Shaun Groves, “The iPhone does what our current pieces of plastic and circuitry do, only it’s newer and different…and cool.”

New technology isn’t something I lust after. In fact, I only got my first cell phone around Christmas. I think it’s a Razr. My kids say it has a camera and a voicemail thing, but I don’t know how to use them yet. Obviously, I have no need for more technology since I am not using the technology I already have.

I think if we are honest, we each have at least one area of indulgence that would be tough to defend in the face of world poverty. When it comes to consumerism and where we draw the line on purchases, I don’t think we can draw that line for someone else.

Personally, I have plenty of my own logs to deal with. In fact, I can’t even see your speck.

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16 thoughts on “The Speck in Your Brother’s iPhone

  1. ahem … just don’t let anyone see my fabric stash. guilty as charged!

    Oh … I’m still lusting after that o-so-cool-piece of technology ….

  2. James Lileks blogger and columnist (or columnist and blogger) made a movie about the unveiling of the iPhone at the Mall of America
    (see iPhone Day: The Movie at http://www.buzz.mn/
    scroll down to 06/29/2007)

  3. Normally I’d agree, but I dunno. So many of the Emerging types go on and about this stuff and really hurt their credibility. I know we all have our things, but you can only preach and preach about poverty so much and then go all orgasmo about a gadget that you plunked down 600 bucks (2000+ with the plan to run it)for.

    I’m still on the fence though about it. I may post something myself once I land on a side.

  4. You just had to mention that we all have areas of indulgence that would be tough to defend didn’t you? If eating too many doughnuts were against the law, I’d be in jail ;)

  5. David’s comment made me laugh.

    I won’t get one (for a long while, anyway), but I think they’re amazing. I happened to drive by a shopping center that was selling them the day they came out…there was a line with about 30 people in it…and the wildest thing I saw was a sign that said, “Space in line for sale: $300”

    Unbelievable…now THAT’S capitalism if I’ve ever seen it!

    p.s. Learn to use your camera, Grace! You’ll be glad when you least expect it…

  6. I’m a lurker here (read and never post) but I’ve gotta speak out on this. I just don’t see how spending the cash on this is Kingdom values. Whether or not I have an inconsistency in my life with this statement doesn’t negate (or prove) the validity of it. As it goes, I’d welcome anyone to look at my spending habits and tell me I’m a hypocrite. I wrote a post on this on my own blog and when I finally caved and talked about my spending habits the only thing I heard was crickets.
    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that for me to say purchasing this phone is wrong I am committing the same sin the Pharisee committed? Except they were condemning someone’s soul, whereas I am asking how purchasing it is in line with “Kingdom Values.”
    Have we really come to the point where we can’t say anything is wrong?

  7. sonja,
    Well, most of us have something, although fabric might be fairly unique.

    inheritor,
    I watched the video. I was surprised that the distribution was fairly orderly. The doughnut thing, that’s between you and the Holy Spirit. ;)

    david,
    Should I explain? LOL.

    rich,
    For some reason I was thinking that you had already written about this. In fact, I looked for your post but didn’t find it. It is an interesting topic to think about.

    I could easily get on my high horse about this because it is something I would never buy. However, I might find myself guilty if the spotlight were shined elsewhere (even though I am fairly frugal).

    I appreciate Sean Palmer’s perspective (linked above). Since he preaches often about consumerism and excess, he chose not to buy one, in spite of the fact that he wants one.

    I don’t think we can declare that as a moral law that must apply to everyone though. I’m afraid an established gestapo for defining and judging consumerism would be a mess.

    paul,
    Coveting thy neighbors iphone? lol

    robin,
    The kids use the camera…
    “Don’t point that thing at me!”
    and it gets turned on accidentally..
    “How do you shut this thing off?!”
    It seems to be a video camera.

    Part of the problem is that I don’t know what to do once I get a picture on there. Dang new technology. Okay…I’m smart, I can do this, even though I’m old.

    amber,
    So you read Graham Cooke also. I like the set of little books. BTW, I didn’t read as much when my kids were little.

    curious wanderer,
    I looked for your blog, but couldn’t find a link.

    I appreciate your perspective, and no, I am certainly not saying you are a Pharisee. What I am saying is that I (just me) won’t make a judgment concerning someone else’s purchases.

    I can and should, like you, examine my spending habits and attempt to live according to the kingdom values and conviction of my heart.

    Personally, I value simplicity, however, I don’t see that I can make that a law that others must follow. On the other hand, there are people who live self-sacrifically to a degree that is difficult for me to fathom.

    My point is that I personally am unwilling to say what is right or wrong concerning another person’s purchases.

    Thanks for de-lurking to make a comment. It was nice to meet you.

  8. My husband bought me the iphone for my birthday, because he wanted me to have a phone that could receive e-mails from him and send them back to him while he’s travelling.

    And this was a good time to rethink our family cell-phone strategy, now our children are going out more and more without us and we like to have a way to get in touch with them. We needed one more cell-phone than we currently had.

    You’re so right about world poverty – my life is full of things I can’t defend in the face of it. Including my iphone.

  9. Helen,
    It’s interesting how this particular gadget has become a moral issue. Happy Birthday and enjoy your gift!

    Thanks j and/or t!

  10. Grace, Yes. I love GC. He did a conference (not much into those, but for GC we made an acceptation) at our sending church. (When we thought we would plant a traditional church…that sounds so funny now) and so much of what he says strikes a deep chord. I know I am enjoying the little phase with our kids..it goes way too quick! Peace to you, and ohhh I don’t have an iphone. I just gave into the ipod a year ago so I will hold off on all other indulgences for awhile.

  11. Grace, I think you are right. The moment you say it is wrong to own or buy something – you have put up a hoop for all to jump through to be OK with God.

    He only told one guy to give all he owned to the poor. There were many more rich around him. There had to be a reason for that.

    We just need to give as God says to give. All or a bit. When he says it. Anything else will lead to legalism.

    Former Leader

  12. amber,
    We make a conference exception for GCooke also.

    just me,
    That’s it. It has to be a heart issue rather than a rule of performance.

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