Mobiles and Technology. Talk for Sunday 14th June 2015


 

Readings:- Proverbs 2 6-11   Ps 119 1-8 & 105-112    2 Peter 1 3-11   Luke 16 19-25

First What is technology?

1 – the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

2 – the application of this knowledge for practical ends.

  1. – the terminology of an art, science, etc.; technical nomenclature.
  2. – a scientific or industrial process, invention, method, or the like.
  3. – the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.

 

Technology (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, cunning of hand”; and -λογία, -logia[3]) is the collection of techniques, methods or processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, etc. or it can be embedded in machines, computers, devices and factories, which can be operated by individuals without detailed knowledge of the workings of such things.   

 

Technology is nearly everything we use in our daily life.

Chairs, clothes, cars, mugs, kettles and on and on.

 

It starts with early man using flint and comes through history to today’s mobiles and other technologies.

It covers everything we use in life, from clothes to transport to homes etc.

 

 

 

So how can it and does Technology fit with Biblical theology?

 

Well in Genesis we started out in a garden, in Revelation we end up in a city, that is a technological change.

 

 

Technology is used in the bible.

 

God improved the clothing technology Adam and Eve had.

Genesis 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

The serpent tempts Eve…

7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

20 Then the man-Adam-named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.[d] 21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

 

Noah was given technology by God [Gen 6-8] to built his ark, the first big ship!

The plans for the temple.

Tower of Babal bad use of technology [the ability to build] to glorify self [Gen 11]

 

Iron Chariots used by Israel’s enemies.

Bronze armour and weapons of Goliath   [1 Sam 17] David & Goliath [trust in God not tech, bronze]

Music, songs [psalms] different types of instruments.

 

Stephen Whiting* writes, Another example of technology as metaphor would be Ephesians 6 which talks about putting on the full armor of God. Each piece of armor describes a characteristic we are to model as Christians, and is used as an analogy of warfare technology. The Bible describes the LORD as a shield is in Psalm 3:3, “But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the one who lifts my head high.” Also in Hebrews 4:12 the Word of God is described as being sharper than a double edged sword. If the Bible uses technology as a metaphor for us to understand God better there must be at least some ways in which technology can be considered in a positive fashion.

 

Often Gods people complain they can not cope as they are out matched.

God tells them to trust him not the tech.

 

 

Intended or unintended consequences of Tech

 

1 Cor 6 :12

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”-but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.

10 : 31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

 

Its not that Technology is wrong or bad, its about our use of it.

We are not to allow the technology to control us, for us to become a slave to it.

That is important in church as well, we use projection, computers and instruments but do they help us worship or distract us?

 

The potter; molds the pot not the other way round.

We need to let God mold us and then we can use Tech in the proper way, rather than letting Tech mold us.

 

 

Isaiah 10 :15

But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?
Is the saw greater than the person who saws?
Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it?
Can a wooden cane walk by itself?

 

Tech use often has unintended consequences, effects that were not thought off.

These effects are often down to how they are used, but also to accidents.

 

God said that when a house was built with a flat roof it should have a fence round it to stop someone accidently falling off.

We need to think about safety.

 

 

Mobiles

In 2 John 1:12 John writes “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

 

We were created to be relational beings and that attribute seems to be best fulfilled when in direct contact with others not mediated via technology (paper and ink or Facebook, texting, and email).

 

That is not to say that other means aren’t any good, Paul writes to a lot of groups people when he can not get to them personally.

I think its about priority, am I just avoiding them or can I not get there.

We should want the best contact with others we can get and that should be the priority.

Tech should not get in the way of that.

 

 

 

Proverbs  2

6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.

 

Examples of wrong use.

Pushing a buggy with your belly  while carrying a bag and talking on the mobile

Using a mobile while driving

Bullying and spreading rumors

Using your tablet while with others.

 

these are all a lack of common sense, understanding and honesty.

Common sense is there to protect us and others.

Understanding of the needs of others.

Being honest to ourselves and others in how we treat them. What we say on social media should be what we will say to someone’s face and not hiding behind anonymity.

 

 

Putting Tech first

Stephen Whiting*  writes The Bible is replete with verses warning against idolatry (Exodus 20; Psalms 115:2, 8; Isaiah 40:18-20; 44:9-20). The impact of idolatry for Israel often resulted in slavery. While most individuals would not admit that they worship their cell phone, it seems clear that if a person from 1500 BC was transported to our time they would be intrigued by the idols that we carry on our belts or in our purses. In the book of Jonah, Jonah uses technology [a boat] to run from God (Jonah 1). God uses nature [a whale] to bring Jonah where He wanted him. Technology seems to have a proclivity to move us away from God while God’s creation tends to move us to worship Him, to be in awe of His majesty and His splendor.

 

Tower of Babel, put the technology above God.

How we use the Tech we have is important, the people here wanted to be like gods.

 

Many people,  the young in particular,  find that there self identify is tied up with how they are seen on social media.

God wants our identity to be with Him, that we will see ourselves as perfect and loved.

Our roots should be deep in Him.

Then we will know we are loved and who we are.

 

Tech should be about improving the lives of the whole community and bringing them back to the Lord,  not putting ourselves up high.

Mobiles have many good advantages, easy communication access to the Bible,  but can also be used to bully, intimidate, etc.

 

 

From our Luke reading

Technology should not stop us from seeing that others do not have what we have and us wanting more of it while ignoring those with out the basics is wrong.

Just because we can have everything doesn’t mean we should.

 

We need to think about those who make the things we have.

The fact that more people do not have all the things even the poorest of us in the west have.

Clean water, electricity, transport, hospitals, let alone the internet.

 

 

Our Peter reading

Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

We need to temper what we do with and how we use Tech with our morality, knowledge, self control, godliness, and love for others.

 

 

“If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase
in human misery.” -MICHAEL HARRINGTON, The Other America

 

We see in many Sci-Fi films how this can happen.

 

 

 

Idolatry – two masters

The bible points out often that it is what you put first in your life that counts.

You can not have two masters, Tech and God, or Tech and other things.

We are told to always put God first and our love of others next then all else will full into place.

 

We can see times in the bible where God’s people put technology ahead of trust in Him and how often it failed them.

 

Colossians 4 :5. talks of making Good use of time / opportunities.  Modern Tech allows us to contact with others in many ways but these should be deep contacts not just superficial.

 

so as I said in the News sheet piece

 

Do you like your tech?

How important is it in your life?

Does your faith in Jesus affect how you use it and what you do with it.

Some big questions, but ones we need to think about.

 

The main thing to hold on to,  is that as Christians,  Christ should come first,  then others,  then self.

Tech. can and does enable us to do many things,  but remember it comes and goes, however does it stop you from spending good quality time with other people.  Over the past few weeks our talks have spoken about how we were made to be in relationships.  has your technology use helped that or hindered it.

Does love of your technology stop you being physically with others listening to their real needs?

Proverbs 2 9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.

 

 

Spend some time asking Jesus where your priorities are and then ask for forgiveness if they have been in the wrong place.

*  Stephen Whiting
Bethel University  – Towards a Biblical View of Technology
Link Here to it

 

 

Ps 119 Lamp used to guide

1 Joyful are people of integrity,
    who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2 Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil,
    and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us
    to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
    reflect your decrees!
6 Then I will not be ashamed
    when I compare my life with your commands.
7 As I learn your righteous regulations,
    I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your decrees.
    Please don’t give up on me!

 

97 Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are my constant guide.
99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,
for I am always thinking of your laws.
100 I am even wiser than my elders,
for I have kept your commandments.
101 I have refused to walk on any evil path,
so that I may remain obedient to your word.
102 I haven’t turned away from your regulations,
for you have taught me well.
103 How sweet your words taste to me;
they are sweeter than honey.
104 Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.

 

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
    and a light for my path.
106 I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:
    I will obey your righteous regulations.
107 I have suffered much, O Lord;
    restore my life again as you promised.
108 Lord, accept my offering of praise,
    and teach me your regulations.
109 My life constantly hangs in the balance,
    but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
110 The wicked have set their traps for me,
    but I will not turn from your commandments.
111 Your laws are my treasure;
    they are my heart’s delight.
112 I am determined to keep your decrees
    to the very end.

 

 

Proverbs  2

6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.

9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.

 

2 Peter 1

3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

10 So, dear brothers and sisters,[c] work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

Luke 16

19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham.[e] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead.[f] There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

 

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