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“Test, Test, Can you hear me, now?”

When I began corresponding with missionaries, it would often take three months and longer to receive a reply. Today, beyond my comprehension, technology has advanced to the point that contact with some of the most remote places on earth can be achieved in a flash. Keep in mind those messages and photographs can literally travel around the world. Sadly, some of our precious brothers andsisters, serving Christ in dangerous and meager situations, view our American excesses via Facebook, and such. Are we being wise, “Selfie”, consumed by daily posting a laundry list of personal details that may provide too much information for our brothers and sisters around the world? The following articles are intended as a loving caution – “a word to the wise will be sufficient” – unless you are not – wise, that is!  


THE MENACE OF TECHNOLOGY
Dr. Don Williams


Have you ever wondered how we survived without computers, modems, fax machines, DVD’s, CD players, cell phones or the internet? If the computer does not respond within a few seconds then it must be a dinosaur, and so it had better be upgraded to the latest model. If you ask a student to use a typewriter to do an assignment in the average high school today, he may look at you as if you are from the dark ages. Technology has certainly become an intricate part to our everyday lives, and frankly, we have grown to rely heavily upon it (i.e. cell phones, automobiles, electricity, airplanes, radio, computers).
 

TECHNOLOGY CAN BE A BLESSING
 

There is no question as to the benefits of modern technology. There are so many wonderful tools available today to make the work of the Lord more efficient. With the use of fax machines, internet and electronic mail, Christians can immediately get important information to each other. It is so much simpler now to print and publish Gospel literature. Those who go to serve the Lord in foreign fields no longer have to spend months at sea. Instead of traveling long, weary miles by foot, we can now jump in a vehicle and be at our destination in a short period of time.
 

TECHNOLOGY CANNOT REPLACE THE HOLY SPIRIT
 

If the Apostle Paul accomplished all that he did without cars, airplanes, computers, audio-visuals or telephones, imagine what more he could have done with our modern technology. In the days of the Apostles, the church was growing rapidly. Countless numbers of souls were being saved and lives were being completely changed in the midst of persecution. Their world was being turned upside down by the power and furtherance of the Gospel. This was occurring without technology. Today we have the technology and the means to reach masses of people through the printed page, radio, television, and the internet, and yet wickedness and evil around us is only increasing. All the tools and technology in the world cannot replace the work of the Holy Spirit. During the days of the Apostles and at other times in church history, there were great Holy Spirit engendered revivals and it is exciting to read about them. But what about today?
 

TECHNOLOGY CAN BE A WEIGHT
 

Has modern technology with all of its benefits, replaced the work of the Holy Spirit? Have we become so enamored with all these tools that we cannot hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit? In Hebrews l2:1, we are admonished to lay aside every weight that will hinder us from running the race that has been set before us. Could it be that our modern technology has become a great weight in our pilgrimage?
We need to face the sad fact that stereos, radios, computers, televisions, DVD’s, iPods, game stations, cell phones and all manner of other gadgets and gizmos are taking priority over fervent prayer, serious Bible study, earnest soul winning, prayer meetings, church services, and any other Spiritual endeavors, and we wonder why there is little or no  revival. It would be asking too much for the average believer today to give up some of his favorite filth on television and replace it with earnest prayer or some other service of God. It is appalling to think of the amount of time Christians are spending on the social networking services so readily available through the internet such as blog sites, Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. Are these time-consuming things producing profitable and God-pleasing results or are they encouraging disrespect, foolishness and tale bearing?
Another sad commentary of our day is the amount of saved young men and older men who are falling prey to pornography on the internet to their spiritual defeat and ruin. It seems that many have become addicted to texting one another to the neglect of what is going on around them. Pastors are having to deal with people texting during church services! How our Lord must be grieved with this untoward generation of His people who are setting their affections on these temporal, earthly things instead of on things above.
We may speculate that the Apostle Paul would never have passed up the opportunity to play the latest Video game or watch the latest movie. Obviously, we know that is not true, and yet so many believers in our day are practicing such things, and do not see the negative influence and control these things have on them. It is noteworthy to consider that the great revival experienced during the Great Awakening in the early days of our nation occurred before the advent of electricity, television, or cars!
 

NO SUCH THING AS INSTANT SANCTIFICATION
 

Modern technology has produced such a fast-paced society that even many sincere Christians do not slow down to meditate and contemplate on God and His Word. There must be time each day when all the technology is shut down and we get alone with God.
This includes shutting off the computer, Christian radio, DVD player, iPod, stereo or television. It must be a time of total quietness and solitude for the indwelling Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. Some believers have surrounded themselves with “noise” from the time they get up in the morning until they fall asleep at night. They either have the radio, stereo, or television blaring somewhere. They are so accustomed to all this “noise” and activity that they would not know how to handle regular times of total quietness alone with God.
Meditation, Bible memorization, and prayer, are too often being replaced with beautiful Christian music on the stereo or radio, but there is a time each day when even the good music needs to be shut off. Listening to good music is not necessarily wrong, but it does not require thinking. Bible study, memorization, and prayer, demand total concentration. Unfortunately, we have become lazy-minded with these modern tools. The great Bible commentators of the past did not have radios, DVDs, computers, iPods, email or the internet to side track them, and they put their entire focus and concentration into the study of the Scriptures.
Nothing can take the place of that personal quiet time with the Lord. The great missionaries and Christian servants of the past may not have had our modern conveniences, but they knew God and His Word intimately, and it showed!
 -Copied Hephzibah Happenings, August 2009 

THE NEGATIVES OF “SOCIAL NETWORKING”

A religious magazine with which this writer does not doctrinally concur recently featured an article on “social networking,” in which it presented several multiple aspects of this communications field from both a so-called negative and positive aspect. While the “negatives” were portrayed as potential “challenges” rather than strictly harmful consequences, the F. D. editor thought they were so valid, that he is delineating them from that negative viewpoint.

l. Internet Addictions: “Pornography” is listed as “the most common and dangerous potential addiction.” Other dangers denunciated were “Facebook games, gambling, and many more addictions.”
2. Less contact with family members: The article author believes that “people on social networks feel that they socialize enough on the internet” and thus tend to “reduce the time they spend socializing offline, particularly with family members. As a result, they become less interested in family life and tend to lose contact.”
3. Feelings of loneliness and depression: “Research shows that people who are spending more time on the internet are more depressed and lonely. They lost sight of living in the real world.”
4. Less active in social life: “People who spend more time on the internet lose the will to get out and actively socialize.”
5. Exposure to sexually explicit material: “Sexually explicit material can be found everywhere on the internet. Even accessing a simple Web site for information, whether it be for work or general research, exposes you to endless sex advertising popups.”
 6. Online victimization: Piracy is one example of online victimization. Hackers can also do a lot of harm to Internet users.
7. Fluidity of the virtual identity: Via the internet, “people can present themselves in an entirely different way from what they are really like by using a false identity.”
This writer concurs with all these “consequences” or “challenges” as they were called in the actual article. Yours truly uses the e-mail only [not Facebook, Twitter, etc.!] for quick needed business/personal items, but does not invest his time idly discussing his latest feelings and sentiments on frivolous time-wasting chat. For friendly communication, he prefers a live phone call, and/or with good personal friends who are nearby, just a friendly visit!

Much of the wasted time spent on Facebook, Twitter, etc., even e-mail, could be more profitably invested in activities that produce wholesome results: emotionally, mentally and time-wise. As a general rule, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are not positive time redeemers-Eph. 5:16. Obviously, the above remarks are not intended as anti-time relaxation rules, but simply as constructive suggestions for wise time usage. Excerpts taken from Ministry, Jan. 2014 via The Fundamentalist Digest.