This week I was thinking about how grateful I am for current technology, particularly the internet.
Granted sometimes it can be aggravating. For instance some of our church members may have noticed all the problems we were having last week with our church website (livingwordlutheran.net). After many phone calls, switching to new webhosting, and several hours of updates, I wasn't feeling too thankful or gracious in my thoughts about this topic. 😀
In spite of this, I realize that the technology of today allows us to share information easier and faster in ways that could never have been done years ago. I remember getting access to the internet for the first time around twenty-five years ago. Waiting on the phoneline though many beeps, buzzes, and other strange noises just to be able to send simple text messages. In historical terms, twenty years is less than the blink of an eye. Within the last twenty years, we have seen the rise of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, not to mention the smartphone which ties into all of these huge entities.
Also, this technology has allowed me to keep my job during this pandemic and work from home. Without the internet I would either be going to work everyday or unemployed during the last few months.
Not too many years ago, the concept of presenting a recorded video of a church service online was inconceivable and now it is common-place for even small churches with minimal expenditures.
We have vast amounts of information and entertainment at our fingertips. We can buy necessities (and plenty of unnecessary things) online to be delivered to our doorstep, We can communicate with family, friends, and coworkers individually or in groups. We can participate in events from the comforts of our own homes.
Technology has given Christianity a voice to reach a world-wide audience. Historically there have been advances for Christianity when there have been advances in technology. Not all Christian groups have reacted to it as have the Amish. In many cases the Church has been one of the first entities to adopt or profit from technologies.
There is no question that technology has given us untold blessings. But technology has also been used for monstrous destruction and human misery. This should alert us to the fact that technology, by itself, is not the means of salvation. Releasing the technology genie has caused our world to go out of control. The apocalyptic vision of some superdictator controlling humanity, using the incredible power of the computer or the atom, is no longer a laughing matter. The potential for deception through technology, coupled with the illegal use of technology, has also become a serious concern.
However, the gospel of Christ cannot only hold in check the destructive use of technology by its emphasis on loving others as ourselves, but also provides the antidote for selfish greed, which is behind our runaway buying habits. Jesus emphasized that the abundance of things does not produce happiness.
That power to transform individuals and nations is still available. The "Good News" Jesus brought is that the power to love others as ourselves is available to all, from the Creator. When we have that love, technology will be a blessing to all.