The Ultimate Medium

Some Christians seem to be up in arms against other Christian believers who are opting not to watch Beauty and the Beast because of it’s openly homosexual sub-plot line. Very often, their argument is founded on the question ‘Why are some Christians are boycotting and condemning this movie when they supposedly watch {insert movie with other questionable content here}’ as if other popular movies are somehow the standard for Biblical Christian morality. But they aren’t the standard. Christ is. (ref. Eph. 4:13)

And so my question is, ‘Why are we, as Christians, watching any shows, movies, or media with questionable content?‘ Do they have redeeming content with which we are encouraged spiritually? Do they contain some sort of edification with which we can draw closer to Christ? Or maybe they too contain stumbling blocks, glorification of sin, embraces of anti-Biblical sentiments, and subtle corrosion to the Christian conscience. Why are we filling our minds with sensual music, sexual innuendos, graphic violence, and mind numbing hatred and ultimate glorification of all worldly pursuits? (ref. Phil. 4:8)

We can’t expect the world to act according to Christ for the same reason we can’t expect Disney to embrace the Biblical Christian’s worldview. So why do we fill our minds with the world’s religion through their ultimate mediums: entertainment & media? (ref. Romans 12:2)

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Brexit: No Immoral vs. Moral Sides

by Ben Ditzel
‘In terms of world-view, this is a question that does not have any easy answer and thus we must have sympathy for our friends in Great Britain who are going to the polls today. People of good will and sound conviction may differ in terms of their votes and also in their terms of understanding what that vote will mean.’
That was how Albert Mohler described the scenario in his news podcast, The Briefing, yesterday before the results of the EU Referendum came through. I will also follow this by saying that although I may have political opinions and viewpoints, they’re less than nothing compared to my premier allegiance to Jesus Christ alone which is my end-all ‘world-view’. Any reference to political unity only refers to topics which do not go against Biblical mandates and principles. (Rom. 13:21, Acts 5:29).
Let me begin by echoing Albert Mohler’s words and stating there is no good vs. evil answer. There doesn’t not seem to be a moral vs. immoral here. As many know, I have always thought one day we could live in the UK as I have a marital connection to the EU. However, despite that desire, I did a large amount of in-depth research and since I never form opinions based on political parties but rather on informed facts, I had to research very carefully the roots and history of the EU in comparison to where it stands today. And that research is exactly what led me to the belief that the European Union is a broken and potentially damaging system. Though it may provide a few perks to some, I believe it has been holding back potentially more thriving nations for the sake of a few others who seem to show no ambition to thrive to a common standard themselves. I liken it to an educational common core ideal which is also broken and a potentially destructive system. Other issues that contributed to my decision include the absence of a fair representation of Great Britain. Al Mohler describes a fair amount in his podcast.
Granted, the United Kingdom’s economy will be a rocky road now that this has passed. This decision will require a lot of follow through and hard work. But it will also require unity. Sadly, so often today, a new venture’s difficult journey is crippled by an opposition’s bitter protest and, instead of working together in the venture, they block it at every turn, causing it to fail.
As exiting Prime Minister David Cameron said, ‘The British people have made a choice. That not only needs to be respected — but those on the losing side of the argument, myself included, should help to make it work.’ That is how a nation succeeds in something of this magnitude. If an opposition group blocks the procedures enacted in the coming months and years, resulting in a failed system, the blame will fall, not on the referendum voting results, but instead on any embittered opposition group who were unable to truly support their country and instead chose to destroy it in favour of their own agenda through protests, violence, and insubordination.
To be expected, the economic markets will shudder as we have already seen, many countries will need reassurance, but above all, the British people must join together in hard work to bring this new chapter in British history about successfully.
Always: Soli Deo Gloria

The Evening Editorial

How America’s Diet of Current Events Has Shifted
By Ben Ditzel

In an election year, it truly is fascinating to see where people seek out their news and how that correlates with or reflects in their choices, viewpoints, and political leanings. For decades, the primary news sources consisted of the major networks and newspapers. So why are so many new sources like Huffington Post, Breitbart, BuzzFeed, and Slate making their way into the ‘journalistic news’ category instead of remaining in the editorials section of the generic media conglomeration? Because, despite popular assumption, that is exactly what these ‘sources’ are: editorials; not news.

downloadSource: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/10/21/lets-rank-the-media-from-liberal-to-conservative-based-on-their-audiences/

And, following suite, the three major US networks, many newspaper organisations, and cable news networks are now rushing along the same route, perhaps in the name of higher ratings, and ditching the journalistic reporting format for the viewer’s choice in televised editorial tabloids. The most rapid period of change in this standard has been seen in the past 15-20 years and yet through it all, one thing hasn’t changed. The average viewer still processes each story as Gospel truth instead of the persuasive opinion segments that they have become.

As seen in the Washington Post diagram, as of 2014, the moderately far left leaning Colbert Report & Daily Show programmes were actually what some viewers classified as their ‘news source’. No joke here. Now, two years later, those ‘news sources’ have since been replicated by numerous others of identical format and intended audience. But in an entertainment obsessed society, many have seen this as a medium to convey subliminal assertions that easily sink right into the unblinking eye of the subject. All this, as per the graph’s research, from TV entertainment shows that are specifically geared to appeal most to audiences that are about as far left leaning as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are far right leaning. No, this isn’t some sort of trashy conspiracy theory. It has been well noted that a viewer’s vigilance is rarely lower than when watching comedy or sitcom programmes (which is what these are) and maybe, just maybe, that is why certain noted political figures have appeared on some of these shows in order to light-heartedly teach acceptance of a viewpoint and laugh off or scorn even the mere thought of the opposing mindset. Thus the viewer will arise after the show’s conclusion not yet realising that he or she now looks with an ever increasing distaste or irritation at any viewpoint in opposition to the one subtly relayed in the programme. Over time, the mockery and harsh laughter seem to equate themselves to the newly frowned upon opposition which is now considered foolish, antiquated, or just plain stupid. The seed has successfully been planted.

One source that was surprising to see on the list: Google News. This is not one single news source but rather claims to provide an evenly distributed compilation of all sources, categorised by story. And yet the graph portrayed Google News’ intended audience being somewhat left leaning which might give cause to the increasing difficulty to get conservative outlets to appear in the feed.

And finally FOX News, the agency that so many, particularly on the left, enjoy to berate by classifying it as a lame choice, fake news, or other such cop-outs was, in fact, found to be far closer to the centre of the spectrum than many give it credit for. In fact, judging from the study, if one is looking for an unbiased source as their basis for credibility, FOX News would be more reliable than NPR, The Guardian, Huffington Post, or even The Colbert Report.

But perhaps today’s ‘intellectuals’ are not looking for an unbiased source.

———

Works Cited

Maraniss, David, and Robert Samuels. “Ranking the Media from Liberal to Conservative, Based on Their Audiences.” Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Speaking the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

by Ben Ditzel

An increasingly popular social trend is emerging today which is mistakenly categorised as Christianity by some but is in fact ripping the Christian church apart like never before and defining the differences between genuine Bible believers and cultural Christians at an alarming rate. This trend is attempting to neutralise the gap between social tolerance and the concrete distinction between good and evil described in the Word of God. In a desire to merge with cultural norms and political agendas, many have left the inerrant Scripture for a chopped up book of religious convenience.

But, ‘do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) To commit any sin with an unrepentant heart, to delight in one’s sin, even to celebrate the sins of others is to oppose God and defy His Word. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. (Hebrews 10:26) We are commanded to preach the Gospel to all people. Evangelisation includes clearly stating the fact that everyone is a sinner from birth without the ability to do anything good by themselves. This requires a clear knowledge of the division between right and wrong and is vital in the evangelising of the unbeliever. Without the realisation of their sin and need for a Saviour, they will be without Christ’s forgiveness. To attempt evangelisation with an ‘edited’ version of God’s Word in order to avoid offence is deceitful and gives the unredeemed heart a false sense of security. The Gospel is offensive and foolishness to the unredeemed. (1 Peter 2:7-8) Not telling others of the dangers of sin and its magnitude on their eternal destiny involves omitting parts of God’s infallible Word at a very severe cost to not only others whom we come in contact with, but ourselves as well. Do we truly believe that on the day of judgement, God will not turn to us then and ask us why we left out portions of His inspired word? We know that 2 Corinthians says, ‘we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.’

Dave Harvey speaks of the ministry of reconciliation between a sinner and God in his book, When Sinners Say I Do.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5 that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. It is reconciliation between a sinner and God, and between a sinner and the one(s) sinned against. This is a ministry not only to God’s enemies for their salvation, but (…) to God’s sin-struggling children for their ongoing growth and relationship to him. To whomever we may be ministering reconciliation, God literally makes his appeals through us (1 Corinthians 5:17-21). (Dave Harvey, “When Sinners Say I Do”) 2

Therefore, in order to effectively evangelise the lost, we must be honest with them and show them God’s Word which plainly states His will for our life here on earth, which is to magnify and bring glory to Him. Sin is sin and homosexuality, murder, theft, pride, adultery, and all other sins are all sin in God’s eyes. We can’t have a clear message and sense of urgency if we are distorting His order, His commandments, and His desire for our lives, say nothing of seeking the world’s approval simultaneously.

Though the work of conviction is the job of the Holy Spirit, evangelists of Christ are commanded to tell those to whom we are evangelising that they have sinned and come short of the glory of God, which is the requirement that He has set for everyone. (Romans 3:23) So many today have been told to love and believe in themselves to the point that they have become their own god and forgotten that their sins of lying, theft, coveting, homosexuality, as well as all the sins forbidden by Christ are indeed sins against God!

Homosexuality has been singled out so much in recent years because it’s the only sin listed in Scripture that many democratic ‘free world’ governments have already or are beginning to forbid as being classified as such. Today’s culture is demanding immoral behaviour to be accepted as normal and we are seeing Christians and non-Christians alike who are rushing to support that acceptance without regard for what the Word of God has to say. Somehow through warped and inaccurate theology, many people from all circles attempt to ambiguate the Word of God by the well-known shellfish or multi-cloth type arguments, trying to confirm the theoretical hypocrisy of these ‘fundamentalists’ only to end up proving their own ignorance of the big picture of God’s Word.

However, God’s standard for sin encompasses everything ranging from ‘the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.’ (1 Tim 1:10) The apostle Paul has very specific mandates for handling false converts and professing believers whose sin is corrupting the church. John MacArthur expounds on Paul’s directive.

To the church at Ephesus (Paul) wrote, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). Our Christian responsibility goes beyond abstaining from the “deeds of darkness.” We are also called to expose them. To ignore evil is to encourage it, and to keep quiet about it is to help promote it. The verb translated as “expose” (from elegchō) can also carry the idea of reproof, correction, punishment, or discipline. We are to confront sin with intolerance. (John MacArthur, “When Silence is Sinful”) 1

And there are times when we must openly call others out for their sin. As we know, rioting in the streets or picketing out front of businesses or events isn’t the way that God has called us to oppose sin. However, on the flip side, failing to speak out against and oppose sin directly conflicts with obedience to God. (Eph. 5:11) As John MacArthur says in his article, When Silence is Sinful, ‘Believers are to expose the works of darkness with whatever legitimate, Biblical means necessary. Love that does not openly expose and oppose sin is not biblical love. Love not only “does not act unbecomingly” but it “does not rejoice in unrighteousness” wherever it might be found (1 Corinthians 13:5–6).’

And even if you aren’t celebrating sin with parades and parties, many Christians do not confront sin as evil because they do not take it seriously. They laugh and joke about unadulterated and rampant sinful behaviour through media and conversation.

Some Christians recognize the sinfulness of those things and would likely never participate in them; but they enjoy them vicariously. In so doing, they not only fail to be an influence against evil but are instead influenced by it—contaminated to the extent that they think and talk about it without exposing and rebuking it– even to the point of rebuking others who do speak out against it. (John MacArthur, “When Silence is Sinful“) 1

So how should those who claim Christ as their Saviour respond to sin? We must respond to displays of sin in the world as well as our own sins with utter disgust. Our attitude toward it must be one of zero acceptance and no excusing. (Colossians 3:5-6) Accompanied with the sin must be an attitude of repentance in our own lives and reproof of and in the lives of those who proclaim Christ as Lord. (1 John 1:7-9) Embracing others sins such as homosexual lifestyles (they should just be happy), lying (it’s just a little white lie), and so on is not the pattern for a Christian lifestyle and must not ever, under any circumstances, be ignored within the Christian church. (Galatians 5:19-21) Such blindness will damage the body of Christ and lead many away from inerrant Scripture and the true God to follow a false god of their own making. (Matthew 18:15-17) To be true evangelists for Christ, we must recognise sin for sin and never ever come to tolerate something that our Lord hates just to win the fleeting approval of this fallen world.


1  MacArthur, John. When Silence Is Sinful. Grace to You, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 July 2015.

2 Harvey, David T. “The Surgeon, the Scalpel, and the Spouse in Sin.” When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage. Wapwallopen: Shepherd, 2007. 117. Print.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Please Let Down Your Guard

Ben Ditzel

It is shocking to see the rate at which media agencies such as NPR, MSNBC, CNN, The Huffington Post, and other progressive outlet’s ‘news’ tabloids are saturating themselves into the populous to turn them against common sense morals and tried and true policies. It is frustrating for the clear headed individual to think of all the people who are growing up as submissive subjects with one mind: the perfect tool for an oppressive and corrupt government.

Granted, conservative media occasionally has an angle as well, but unlike the conservative’s argumentative bias, the liberal media employs a tactic that makes those who disagree with their agenda as universally despised and antiquated delinquents who need to be silenced at all costs and their livelihood and personal reputation utterly destroyed. This derisive mindset is accepted and embraced because the media subtly advocates and enforces its normalcy on its blinded citizens through news, literature, events, programmes, and even music, movies, and TV shows! Getting force fed through the ‘tube’ is one of the most aggressive, yet subtle ways that today’s entertainment addicted consumers are being ‘educated’.

One of the most popular methods is to subtly inform their ignorantly willing subjects that people who speak in the way this blog is written are weird and close-minded haters. Once the citizens can laugh at and join with what the industry wants to make out as seemingly everyone else in degrading the conservative viewpoint, the media can then open the feeding tube wider and pour even more indoctrination into willing brains in the form of everything from late night comedy to anti-Christian demonstrations against those whose faith prohibits them from embracing an inverted sense of morality and truth. This is the way the media is converting the masses.
‘One generation processed. Next, please!’

Can the Christian Prove God Scientifically?

by Ben Ditzel

For centuries, the question of the Christian God’s existence has been debated by religious and non-religious alike. Philosophers such as Descartes have said that the existence of a compassionate God is reasonably essential for the reality of the mind to be important. Immanuel Kant argued that the existence of God can be inferred from the existence of good on earth. However, those in opposition to God’s existence have suggested that God, who is claimed to be all good, cannot exist for the very reason that there is evil in creation. With two strong arguments from numerous intellectuals throughout history, one can add a third viewpoint and state that it is impossible to prove God’s existence or non-existence apart from faith, namely the Christian faith as stated in the Christian’s Bible Hebrews 11, referenced in the forthcoming argument. For this argument, let me duly state that all Christians are human, but not all humans are Christians. My reference to humans therefore encompasses the Christian human and non-Christian human alike. My allusions to humans reflect society as we know it minus any faith factors. My allusions to Christians reflect society as we know it with an additional faith founded on the Bible. My allusions to the said God refer to the Christian God, Jehovah (יהוה).

All humans, including those of the Christian persuasion, are capable of proving claims pertaining only to sensible perception and the maths, in other words, that which is perceivable through science. This is made clear by our senses, which are able to confirm only the existence of things that we feel and see. One is able to prove that the wind exists because it can be felt and one can visibly see the effects of the wind in the sky and on earth. One is able to prove that rocks exist only because one is able to see and feel them. The sciences are able to analyse and break down the rocks and define their origin and composition.

The human is unable to prove that which is invisible from the perception of the sciences. There is nothing that can be scientifically proven that is not able to be experienced by the perceptions of human. The human’s rationality, logic, pure intellect, and knowledge prohibit the scientifically invisible to be perceived and proved through the senses. Such a proof would give reason to believe that that which is said to be scientifically invisible is actually scientifically visible because of the very fact that it is able to be perceived and proved.

The claim of God’s existence is not a claim pertaining to sensible perception, nor is it a claim pertaining to the maths. God, as He is known to human, is not something to be experienced visibly by all men. God is not able to be felt or experienced by any one of human’s five senses, namely sight, hearing, taste, smell, or touch. God is invisible. God has historically been known as the invisible One. He has been said to be a driving Force or the Invisible Creator. Even those who refute the existence of God through any means still define the said idea of a God as invisible and imperceptible.

The Christian persuasion’s Bible states that human faith is the only evidence which proves things which are invisible in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, verse 1. ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ (Author Unknown) Christians, as a whole, believe in the infallibility of the Bible and, that being the case, one can reasonably claim that Christians cannot prove the existence of God through science if the said faith is the prerequisite for the evidence of that which they cannot see, namely God. Again, Hebrews has this to say. ‘And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.’ (Author Unknown) The Apostle John quotes Jesus the Christ as saying, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ (Apostle John) These references give Christian reasoning for belief in things which have not been seen or things which cannot be perceived by the senses.

Faith does not pertain to sensible perception or the maths. It is entirely different in that it is a system of beliefs that are not necessarily tangible to those without the said faith. Faith is based on spiritual knowledge rather than scientific proof. The very word faith came from Latin’s fidem which means to have a trust.  But though the invisible God is claimed to be known only through the Christian faith, many Christians promote a need to prove scientifically that God exists in order to refute their opposition. They use such Scriptures such as Psalm 19:1 as a backing for proof of science and God being intimately linked. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.’ (King David) Some Christians simply quote Psalm 14:1 when opposition arises. ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”’ (King David)  A very popular claim of humanity who are in favour of God’s existence is that human’s basic morality must prove that a God exists. But what definition of morality do they claim comes from God and therefore proves His existence? It is universally known that there are numerous versions of morality worldwide, each one potentially vastly different from the other. So, since this is the case, which one morality standard came from God? The very essence of God commands one concrete and solid reality or standard. Therefore, it is clear that if there is more than one standard of morality, this supposed morality can exist without God.

Unlike the wind, which has effects that can be seen and proved, that which is often attributed to God, cannot be proven to be related to God or the existence thereof simply because the attributes and effects of God can certainly be attributed to something else such as evolutionary theories and other Godless systems of thought and knowledge. However, some philosophers feel that with a universe so vast and detailed, there must have been a designer, namely God. Roger Jones says on his website Philosophy.org.uk, ‘If you found a clock and examined the mechanism within it, you would probably think that this intricate mechanism was not the outcome of mere chance, that it had been designed. Now look at the universe; is it possible that such an intricate mechanism, from the orbits of planets round the sun to the cells in your fingernails could all have happened by chance? Surely, this enormously complex mechanism has been designed, and the being that designed it must be God’ (Jones) To echo Jones, but in challenge, surely, human is able to comprise great schemes at the expense of numerous ancient traditions of thought in order to develop an arrangement of beliefs that elude to routes around the said God that justify certain processes and outcomes. Such a belief, as that belief in a deity such as God, must therefore rely solely on faith, which is, in the Christian claim, the evidence of things not seen. Since faith is not universally acknowledged as a perceiving sense of mankind and since faith is not universally acknowledged as a factor for proof of a thing existing or not existing, God cannot be proved by a non-perception, namely faith. So, one must conclude that that which cannot be perceived by the senses cannot be proved scientifically, therefore, proving the existence of God through the sciences is not possible in the Christian persuasion.

Some claim that man is able to prove that which is not pertaining to the maths and sensible perception. These will claim that transmissions such as infrared, gamma rays, radio waves, and other visibly unperceivable occurrences are unable to be detected neither by the human senses nor by the maths. Their error is that these visibly unperceivable occurrences are in actuality visible with certain scientific instruments. Therefore these visibly unperceivable occurrences are quite visible with the right tools and are able to be proven since they are still pertaining to the sensible perception of humans in the sciences.

Premise 1. All humans, including those of the Christian persuasion, are capable of proving claims pertaining only to sensible perception and the maths.
Premise 2. The claim of God’s existence is not a claim pertaining to sensible perception, nor is it a claim pertaining to the maths.
Premise 3. God is invisible.
Premise 5. Furthermore, the Christian persuasion’s Bible states that human faith is the only evidence which proves things which are invisible.
Premise 4. Faith does not pertain to sensible perception or the maths.
Conclusion. Therefore, proving the existence of God through the sciences is not possible in the Christian persuasion.

In conclusion, it is claimed that the existence of God is not something that can or needs to be proved through the sciences by Christian humans.

Works Cited

Author Unknown. “Hebrews 11:1.” The Holy Bible. New York: American Bible Society,

1962. Print.

“Hebrews 11:6.” The Holy Bible. New York: American Bible Society, 1962. Print.

‘King’ David. “Psalm 19:1.” The Holy Bible. New York: American Bible Society,

1962. Print.

“Psalm 14:1.” The Holy Bible. New York: American Bible Society,

1962. Print.

‘The Apostle’ John. “John 20:29.” The Holy Bible. New York: American Bible Society,

1962. Print.

Jones, Roger. “Philosophy and the Proof of God’s Existence.” Philosophy and the Proof of

God’s Existence. N.p., 2008. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Technology & The Christian World: Are They Compatible?

by Ben Ditzel

In the Biblical New Testament, Christians are told to do all things to the glory of God. Through discussing about certain behaviours in people, Paul widens the spectrum to ‘all things’ in the final passage of the admonishment. ‘So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’ (1 Cor. 10:31). ImageIn today’s culture, many Christians, rooted in tradition and fear of the unknown, have grown to an adverse perspective of all technology and resent everything it represents. They firmly clutch onto their paper and ink Bibles, their notebook paper and pen, and hide in a dark room, angry at the advancing world. However, this technology, like almost everything known to man today, can be used to harm or help. It can be used for evil or good.

Technology, in and of itself, is no more evil than the Gutenberg printing press that scores of traditional Christians in its day, shouted in anger over, for fear it would make oral traditions die and enable peasant Christians to damn themselves with misinterpretations of the newly mass-printed Bibles. But, with everything, there is a moderation factor; a point at which, for Christians, God still comes first at all times. Arthur Boers, in his book Living Into Focus, has this to say about technology in today’s lifestyle. ‘Though some have opted to “live off the grid” and find the lifestyle rewarding, my point is not that we should abandon contemporary technology and naively take on previous hardships and all become — using familiar biblical terminology — “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” Nor do I believe we should pine after the “good old days”’ (16). He goes on to define that he desires that Christians ought not to openly embrace all forms of technology either. Rather, there ought to be a searching out and discernment as to which new thing is profitable and which has no edification value. (16-17)

Many Christian ascetics, when trying to find a Scripture that will prove their point that God’s people should smite ‘these modern gadgets’, use Daniel 12:4 as an intriguing reference. ‘But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.’ However, in The MacArthur Study Bible, Pastor John MacArthur has this to say about this reference which lays their claims to ruin. ‘“Go back and forth”…refers to the movement of a person searching for something. In the tribulation, people will search for answers to the devastation and discover increased knowledge through Daniel’s preserved book’ (1223). So, it seems that this increased wisdom that so many claim to be such advancements as the internet, smartphones, or even the increased number of books by way of the printing press is not speaking about technology at all. Rather it speaks of the knowledge found in the book of Daniel that is revealed when the prophecies begin to be fulfilled.  John E. Goldingay’s Word Biblical Commentary on Daniel expresses much the same view. ‘Daniel is to “close up” and “seal” (the book): the expressions suggest not merely conserving them but withholding them. This is confirmed by the next words: because they are withheld, “many will hurry to and fro,” unable to find a word from God’ (309). So, where does this fear of technology stem from? Where do Christians back up their ignorant claims that the newest piece of technology will adversely ruin a traditional or cultural standard that has been around for centuries? Apart from the occasional Amish styled Christian or the believer who simply will not have any of today’s conveniences because he learned how to do things the proper way, there is a possible explanation for why many followers of Christ have a fear of modern advancement in lifestyles. In Nicholas Carr’s Is Google Making Us Stupid? he relates how, historically, there have been other events that contemporaries of that time felt were tragic.

‘In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the dialogue’s characters, “cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.” And because they would be able to “receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,” they would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.” They would be “filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.” (Carr)

History has proven to us that Socrates was in error in his conception of how forgetfulness would occur. However, it is up to the individual to decide whether writing has filled them with the conceit of wisdom or not.

Richard Seed, a physicist in Illinois, made national headlines when, in 1998, he asserted that he was going to experiment more with human cloning and social repercussions associated with it. David Noble accounts the story in his book The Religion of Technology.

‘Entirely ignored in all the clamour, however, was the religious rationale at the core of Seed’s defiant declaration, which in his view, placed his project above social concerns. “God made man in his own image,” Seed explained in a January 7th interview on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. “God intended for man to become one with God. We are going to become one with God. We are going to have almost as much knowledge and almost as much power as God. Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming “‘one with God.”’’ (vii)

So perhaps there is some rhyme and reason to this nervousness that is causing God’s people to bite their nails whenever the technology report comes on the television.

Sadly, Richard Seed is not alone in his arrogant and blasphemous declarations and views. Numerous scientists and companies have signed onto this mad rush for what seems to be only that of a race to achieve the accomplishments that only God can attain.  In the book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 15-17 say regarding the end times, ‘And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.’ In his commentary on Revelation, John MacArthur again writes, ‘The false prophet will animate the image of Antichrist so that it gives the appearance of being alive. With today’s amazing special effects technology and robotics, that is not out of the realm of possibility’ (62). And again in Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, he writes regarding this mark, ‘It is made a qualification for buying and selling, as well as for places of profit and trust, that they oblige themselves to use all their interest, power, and endeavour, to forward the dominion of the beast, which is meant by receiving his mark. To make an image to the beast, whose deadly wound was healed, would be to give form and power to his worship, or to require obedience to his commands. To worship the image of the beast, implies being subject to those things which stamp the character of the picture, and render it the image of the beast’ (5431).

Also, there are several movies that portray the fear that may arise out of the technological advancements. In J.M. van der Laan’s article, he looks at two specific movies, The Terminator and The Matrix in order to analyse people’s feelings towards technology. He writes, ‘Over the years, many movies have presented on-screen a struggle between machines and human beings. Typically, the machines have come to rule and threaten the existence of humanity. They must be conquered to ensure the survival of and to secure the freedom of the human race’ (31). Moreover, in the movie I, Robot, actor Will Smith portrays a man living in the not too distant future where robots have taken over the daily tasks of life and made everything a lot easier, or so it would seem, for man. The climax of the movie is when Smith’s character realises that the robots have not only been programmed to perform tasks beyond the extraordinary, but they are developing within themselves emotions and the ability to make choices based on their own rationale. Chaos ensues as robots swarm the earth. But, is this possible? Is this even something that Christians should be concerned about? It would seem that, to be honest, the argument of technology advancing to the point where humans are in danger is not the actual problem. What Christians today are facing is a problem with Godly morality, not human survival. So, what are Christians to do? How are they to react in such a time as this with technologies being developed faster than thought and new abilities being granted to man daily?

As a technology consumer, the line between being efficient and using technology to save time and be productive and the temptation to overuse technology and become overly absorbed in it has been a constant battle. On one hand, there are benefits to the advancement of technology. Professor Anna Yu of Azusa Pacific University relates how technology affects her life. ‘I use technology to communicate with other Christians, receive church meeting announcements and prayer requests, schedule church activities, access online hymns, read the Bible and read other forms of Christian literature. It’s easy to see ways in which technology facilitates my life as a Christian. However, it’s harder to know whether it, in and of itself, impacts my life as a Christian.’ In John P. Ruane’s Christianity and Historicity: Faith and the World, he says, ‘Technology now makes it possible for all men to share in the benefits of education and medicine, better housing and working conditions, benefits that were formerly the privileges of a minority’ (754). In addition, it is often the case that the latest and greatest app will make life that much easier in what needs to be done. On the other hand of the dilemma, it is easy to become addicted or heavily involved in a device or programme that is simply not beneficial or edifying. Scripture is very clear, time and again, that Christians are to be wise and always be checking themselves and testing to see if their actions are glorifying to God. In 1 Peter 2:16, it is written, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God” (The MacArthur Study Bible 1912). So, perhaps Arthur Boers is right. There are certainly what seem to be morally harmless technologies such as microwaves, electric lights, and digital watches. But there are also neutral technologies. These are inventions that can be used by the consumer for either good or bad. For instance, the new iPhone 5S smartphone that was released earlier this year is excessively popular worldwide. This smartphone not only provides the ability to call your friends and relatives as a telephone device, but also text message them, email, and browse the internet through numerous apps and the web browser. Once the internet is in the hands of every individual, a moralistic issue arises.

So, what actions are fitting for a follower of Christ and what is not? Some pretty simple decisions are in the form of fraud, pornography, and copyright infringement. However, other problems are not so easy. Revelation talks about the mark of the beast being something everyone must have in order to buy or sell. Some people have attributed this mark to an app such as Isis, Google Wallet, or some sort of Near Field Communication paying system. Should Christians risk it and stay on top of the latest and greatest? What about social spheres such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter? How long is too long to spend on these time consuming programmes built to share an individual’s life? A question of moralism comes up when these smartphones become something of an idol in the user’s hands. An app called Snapchat even allows people to send photographs to one another that they only can view for a certain number of seconds before it is forever erased. This simply leaves the gate wide open for stumbling blocks in the Christian life. Sending inappropriate photos, spreading gossip, taking illegal images, and even wasting countless hours with immature interactions are just a few of the problems that can come from such a service.

Therefore, it is imperative that individuals be knowledgeable about the spiritual dangers of these devices and the responsibility that comes with the use of technology. If users of technology know how to use them appropriately and have taken measures to limit their personal temptations, whatever they may be, they could use technology for good and stay away from the evils that can arise. Professor Yu recommends, ‘I would encourage anyone to use technology as a resource to pursue and explore his or her faith, for anything from research of pressing questions, to sharing of testimonies, fellowship, and encouragement.’ Technology has given way for a wider audience to the Gospel message. Hence, Christians should seek to use this method to enhance the Kingdom of God, by spreading the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the World Wide Web. And whatever believers do using technology, they must “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor.10:31).


 

Works Cited

 

Boers, Arthur P. Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions. Grand Rapids,

MI: Brazos, 2012. 16-17. Print.

Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” theatlantic.com. The Atlantic, Web. 27 Oct. 2013.

Goldingay, John. Daniel. Dallas, TX: Word, 1989. 309. Print.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary On the Whole Bible.: Intervarsity Pr, 2004. 5431.

Print.

MacArthur, John. Revelation 12-22. Chicago, IL: Moody, 2000. 62. Print.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. Nashville: Nelson Bibles,

2006. 1223. Print.

Noble, David F. Introduction. The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of

Invention. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1997. vii. Print.

Ruane, John P. “Christianity and Historicity: Faith and the World.” Philippine Studies: Historical and

Ethnographic Viewpoints 12.4 (1964): 751-755.

Van Der Laan, J. M. “Machines and Human Beings in the Movies.” Bulletin of Science, Technology &

Society 26.1 (2006): 31-37. Print.