Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Should you bite the apple?

Technology is evil...?

With all due respect, I dont buy that premise. I hear that kind of thinking all the time in christianized circles. A kind of rockwellish nostalgia for a time when we were chomping on wheat stalks, sawing logs and sending smoke signals or hoping pigeons would return.

I am thankful for the advancement of technology.

Especially when I am sitting in a CAT scan or taking meds to alleviate personal suffering. I am grateful for the ability to argue a point from the other side of the world with a few taps on a keyboard. I rejoice about the possibilities when I almost daily communicate with various missionaries in very remote or distant fields and see the ongoing encouragement, finance and empowerment that comes because of quick response and sharing. I am blessed when because of the internet I can preach a message, post it after the service and a soldier in Afghanistan can download it and be strengthened in his faith during a dangerous season in his life. I get jacked up when I am reconnected with a friend from high-school because of myspace and find out he was living right down the street from me and he ends up coming to my church for First Fridays and we are reunited after 15+ years!

And speaking of spiritual growth...because of tech, I download the best ministries around, get in-depth teaching, preaching and bible study material that I can listen to anywhere, anytime and for free most of the time. As a pastor I have been liberated from the four walls a church and the mindset that keeps you there and get out of the "study prison". I have been set free from sitting in a room as a pastor and hoping people will come to me. I have been given a gift through tech, the ability to be with the people again in a new ways and especially by just being present. I can now counsel from anywhere at anytime too. My presence can be accessible by my phone in my pocket. I am not hidden away in religious tower somewhere with a cloak of privacy and an aura of unavailability...I can be talked to, contacted and found.

My study goes with me now. I can sit for hours helping our refugees with appointments with doctors and state stuff and be perfectly content as I study, write, read, listen or watch from my laptop or ipod. I've got a hundred thousand books that are in my hand. I can access the greatest literature of all time with a few searches, I can amass a library of the concordances, language helps and classics for free. I have free roam in the greatest minds and hearts of the christian church. I can order books that would never find their way into my city. I can make friends across the seas and end up in their living-rooms or churches ministering the word of God. On and on it goes...

Can I find evil too...yes, but most of the evil I find bubbles up out of my own wicked heart, all my actions after that stem from that root.

Man can turn anything into evil...God had to write laws to instruct man that humping his pooch is wrong, for heavens sake!


Anonymous said...

I hope you didn't think I was being critical of you on the iPhone post. Just pointing out that gadgets are a personal weakness that I struggle with.

And the pooch comment almost made me snot myself. :-)

Anonymous said...

You should have been there when he used the exact same wording in a sermon not long ago...
that's one of the things that makes Eric special.

Matt said...

I think it's great that all this communication is made possible by technology, but I still think there is a line when it becomes idolatry. It's also good to compare our reality to the ones that most of the others in the world lives in, not that we have to feel bad or beat ourselves, but it helps me keep my life in check constantly. I was more joking than anything but it's real and I know it's true for me.

Unknown said...

I agree there is a line. But no one can lay that line down for anyone else but themselves.