The Christian and Technology
generation has seen an explosion of technological advancements unequaled in
human history. Within fifty years we have gone from…
dial-up telephones, black and white televisions with “rabbit ear” antennas, and
computers that would fill a room…
devices that fit in your hand with more capability than all of those older
In some ways the challenges posed by these advances
is nothing new. The same moral issues we face now have been around since the
beginning. But, in other ways, there are some new challenges that come from the
use, capability, and dangers of such devices that we as Christians must
consider if we are to be pleasing to God.
do I mean by Technology? Many things such as 1) cell-phones and
smart-phones; 2) computers and touch-pads; 3) video games, and controllers; 4)
televisions (big-screen, hi-def, 3D), blue-ray, DVDs, Net-flix, You-tube, and
cable television; 5) audio devices, such as mp3 players, i-pods, etc. All of
these things fall into what we could call technology.
I. Great Opportunities.
A. For Study and
There are Bible study tools that can do in minutes what it would have taken
years to do in the past. Now in services, it is quite common for people to pull
out a smart-phone to look up a Scripture.
There are studies, and publications, and articles, and online sermons (audio
and text) that would have cost a fortune in the past.
People separated by hundreds and thousands of miles can communicate instantly.
Opportunities to teach people are more convenient than ever before—if only we
choose to use these tools to glorify God. (2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:15-16).
B. For Encouragement
So called “social media” provides ways in which we can stay in touch with one
another without being intrusive.
Phone calls, text-messages, e-mails, Facebook postings can allow Christians to
encourage brethren who are down, watch for discouragement, offer a positive
influence, and show love for one another. (Rom. 12:15-16; Phil 2:4).
C. For Positive
There are literally millions of resources available to watch, listen to, read,
and interact with that can offer positive, godly influences to help shape good
attitudes, positive behaviors, and wholesome character. Rom. 12:9 – “Abhor what
is evil, cling to what is good.”
Christians can produce and publish on the internet materials that can counter
the wicked influences of media and culture. You don’t have to have great
resources and lots of money. A camera, a computer, a word-processor, can offer
great tools to help others. (Matt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:14-15).
D. For Time Saving.
When my father was preaching when I was a little boy, he used a teaching tool
that was common in his day—bed sheet charts. A bed sheet (or cloth sheet) was
hung up on a stand to visibly show the sermon points he wanted to present.
Preparation of such charts took hours. You had to buy the cloth, carefully
write the text by hand. Purchase markers or paints and hope you didn’t make a
mistake or run out of ink.
Now, while it still takes time to write a sermon, when it is finished, you can
“cut and paste” the outline of a sermon into a PowerPoint file and produce an
image easier to see, in only minutes.
Letters, articles, class preparation, Bible study, can all be done in a
fraction of the time it used to take—allowing Christians to do more study and
teaching, if they will choose to do it. (Eph. 5:15-17).
II. Great Dangers.
technology can save time, it can also consume time.
feel like we always have to have our computer or smart-phone with us. We become
“glued” to these devices and sometimes become oblivious to the world around us.
may devote hours to texting, Facebook, Twitter, You-tube, video games,
television shows, or movies—but then we find no time for serving God, our
family, or others. (Rom. 13:11-12).
technology can present positive influences it also can expose us to some of the
most wicked and evil influences we can imagine.
television, the internet, DVDs, and music can expose Christians to images, and
language, and actions that in the past could only be found in the dark and
wicked environments of the ungodly.
only crude and sensual kinds of influences, but even the influence of false
religion, intellectual challenges to faith, and the negative influence of a
godless and unbelieving world can be poured into our minds through technology
in ways never dreamed of in the past. (1 Cor. 15:33-34; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
is a curious phenomenon that is resulting from the flood of modern technology
which Christians probably never even anticipated.
anonymity that can sometimes result from technology can allow people to do
things they wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise.
messages, e-mails, or postings, may use language we wouldn’t ever say if
talking to someone directly, but people will type rude responses to people, or
offer angry thoughtless comments for the whole world to see.
may be sent, or videos posted of actions that are shameful—imagining that no
one will ever see them, but how many stories have we heard on the news of
celebrities shamed by such things? (Col. 3:22-24; 2 Cor. 8:21).
very technology that can give us instant information, can also pose
distractions. The smart-phone we can use to look up a Bible verse, can also
tell us the score in that game that is going on during services. Is that really
what we ought to be doing when it is time to worship God?
addition to actions that are immoral or speech that is rude and unkind,
attitudes and actions fostered by technology can include discontentment,
ingratitude, and a constant hunger for something new and different.
about the power that companies have over us! We scrimp and save and go in debt
to get that latest version of a game, or a device—a new television, computer,
smart-phone, or touch pad. Then two months down the line there is a new feature
added. Everyone has it. It can do so much more. How can you get by without it?
we scrimp and save and go in debt to get it, until the next version comes
is one thing if we are talking about things, but does this ever spill over into
other areas of our life? Do we start to view our mate this way? Are we only
going to be happy with something new and different? Do we start to see the
church this way? Are we no longer content with the simple “old paths” of the
gospel, and find ourselves craving something new and different? This attitude
can be very dangerous! (Heb. 13:5-6).
religious group known as the Amish took a position years ago in which they
chose to essentially freeze their own culture at a set stage of
technology in order to foster contentment and avoid negative influences. To
this day they drive horse drawn buggies, have no televisions, telephones, or
radios, and avoid most conveniences of modern life. We might admire some things
about this choice, but must recognize that in doing this they not only cut-off
their ability to influence the world around them, but set down rules God did
not bind upon man.
We cannot totally “come out of” the
world or we lose our ability to influence the world, but we must make certain that
we do not allow the world, and the “things of the world”—whether we are talking
about people, or the flashy, fascinating, devices they create to control us.