Not wanting to write this article, I have tried to stuff it in the back of my memory bank, but it keeps recycling to the front. I have wanted only to write about the kingdom of God’s grace, the goodness and the glory of our God, and Father. My leadings by His Holy Spirit are as quoted in Isaiah 50:4, “Morning by morning He wakens my ear to hear, as those who are taught; that we may speak a word to the weary.” This is one of those mornings.
So as I begin, it is with the prayer that it will serve as an encouragement for us all who live in this new world of technology. When I say “new world” I an not referring to the “new heavens and new earth” that is prepared for us as God’s children, but the world that has so changed in this one generation that it seems like a totally different world than the one in which I grew up.
Please hang in here with me, while I try to keep this to a minimum. In this world of technology we are trained to scan as quickly as possible what is before our eyes. If it doesn’t jump out at us and grab us and hold us in its grip and convince us that we need it, we quickly move on. If you don’t have time to absorb this whole article, please bookmark it and come back to it, and for the related articles.
We could write a book on idolatry ~ the idolatry of frivolity, of biology, even of theology, but our main concern is the great hold that technology has taken on the world. This is to such a degree, and in so short a time, that it behooves us to take a closer look at this phenomenon that has taken place.
The systems of the world are now ruled and governed digitally. There is no way to get around it. Even people who do not have computers have cell phones. Everyone is dependent on technology in some way, even without knowing it. The world is totally immersed, beyond the point that I can even express it. “The web” is a true description of the internet; I have been caught in it many times.
We have a world of information at our finger tips, a fulfillment of Satan’s promises to Eve ~ that we can be our own gods.
We continue to encounter the changes that have taken place. In calling Apple and AT&T last week, I was talking to the robots that say that they “are able to understand full sentences.” They were typing what I was saying, yet not understanding what I needed. The first time I was not getting any help so I hung up, then realized that I had to learn how to deal with these robots. Getting upset with them is no different than getting upset with a real person. The second time I learned that you have to confuse the robot, so that they will connect you to a human representative.
Jerry and I went to the library yesterday. From the front of the library we could hear the woman from the back who was leading a very young children’s story time. She was keeping the introduction lively (no wonder our children are hyper). Then she asked them, “What is technology?”
In a discussion with the librarian, who was hearing the same things, she related a recent news item about robots that could replace those of our family members who have died, so that we could still talk to them when they are gone.
All this has led me to think of the Old Testament description of idols.
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” Psalm 115:4-8
Those idols, made by human hands, could not speak, see, hear or move. Now robots make them and they can speak, hear and move, and they are becoming our gods, engaging our minds, our hearts, our money, our devotion.
Technology is making our culture an automated society. Our devices are our friends, the implements in which we put our trust. They are small enough that we take them everywhere we go. Many would be lost without them.
“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” Jonah 2:8
According to this reference, here is the greatest concern: In an automated society (even as Amazon is introducing a grocery store for those who need to quickly shop without having to deal with people) we are giving up the beauty of communication with other human beings. We are inventing devices that satisfy the human desires, devices that entertain us and inform us, but that cannot love or be loved. We are replacing that which is eternal through a relationship with God and other members of His family, with devices that continually have to be replaced. We are being conformed to, and teaching our children to depend on, technology. Our lives are centered on our devices, devices that can become the instruments of our vices.
Twenty years ago when Jerry and I built this house and moved here, my prayers were answered as I asked that he would be willing to leave our TV behind. My addiction to television and the understanding of its influence on me is a means of understanding the influence of technology. Television was just the beginning, and another subject I won’t get into here.
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. “1 John 5:21
Two things I would like to leave with you, and from your own thoughts and prayers I ask for your comments.
First: We must, as God’s people step back and view our world through the lens of His Word. We must pray in the Spirit, and with understanding of the world in which we have to live. He has put us here, and by His light, brought us from the darkness into His light, for a purpose. We must perceive from His view how to live free from the idolatry and to teach our children how to live in obedience of faith as heirs of the kingdom of God, and pilgrims here on earth. Let us observe our children’s patterns now, and how they will look as adults. Will they act like robots or will they have learned the steadfast love of our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and be able to teach their children?
Second: We must learn how to deal with the fast pace of technology by the wisdom and knowledge of God, and to lead our children in this culture according to His will.
Just as the industrial revolution changed the way everybody lived, and set forward a new era, we must see technology for what it is, and pray to our heavenly Father for guidance through this new faze. Eventually, the battle will be won in the heavenly places. He has not given us this culture to allow it to rule over us, but that we may be able to use it wisely to promote His kingdom and for Him to receive the glory.
Dear Father, keep us, by the power of your Holy Spirit, and speak to us through your Word. Give us the wisdom of Christ our Lord through whom we have new hearts and new life. Make us your light in the darkness of this world. Enable us to use our resources for your kingdom and your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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