If you notice in Friendster there is this ‘Popular searches in my network’ on the home page, listing 10 most popular searches. In my network, the top searches are related to astrology, love, fashion, and even sex. Often, out of 10 items, more than half of them are related to sex. I observe that these searches are not much different in others’ network. Neither do these searches change much everyday.
Lately, every time I log on to Friendster, I have been typing ‘Cornelius van Til’ on the web search box. But until today, ‘Cornelius van Til’ still did not appear in the list. Well, I guess this is a pathetic thing to do. Even if I log on to Friendster every day, thousands others in my network are typing other things in their search boxes, and therefore it is unlikely if what I am doing will make any difference. But is there a better way?
What are listed in the popular searches reflect the interests of the majority of the users, if not all of them. And I must say that those are dangerous things, which can lead many of us into danger–those who may not be interested, but are led into it nevertheless. When we see a term like ‘rape video’ in the list, sometimes our curiosity are aroused, and so we click on that, and before we regret it we find that it is too late. We have seen it, and that image will linger in our minds, perhaps for the whole of our life time. Is there anything good about it? The fact that everyone of us are able to feel guilt shows that our conscience knows that it is no good. Even if all of us are in total depravity or morally corrupted, we are not without hope. Even if sin penetrates into all our being, the still, small voice–the God-given revelation in us–judges us.
The Bible says, “Flee from temptations.” The truth is that we are so weak. If we try to resist temptations, we may not win. They are not meant to be resisted, but to be fled from. Jesus also taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” Some of us would say, though, “Lead us not into temptation, for we can lead ourselves into it.” The point is that, we need not fight the battle against temptations in order to win; we need only flee from it, and this is winning. We don’t have to fight unnecessary battle.
We may argue that sources of temptations are rampant nowadays–not only from Friendster, but also from the internet, magazines, television, movies, advertisements; they are everywhere. But if we take a careful look, actually the situation has not really changed from the past. The modes may be different, but the temptations have been always rampant. There is no excuse to sin.
So how do we face temptation? Don’t face it; flee from it. But how if I log on to Friendster and can’t help seeing those ‘dangerous’ popular searches? Well, perhaps you might want to help me typing ‘Cornelius van Til’ in the search box and hope that people’s curiosity will be led to a safe place. Anybody wants to volunteer?