Technology and the Ecclesia
While there are potential pitfalls, let us explore how we can harness technology to enhance our spiritual journey and spread the light of God’s Word.
Today I stand before you to shed light on a topic that has become an integral part of our lives: technology. In this rapidly advancing world, where innovation is transforming the way we live, work, and communicate, it is crucial for us, as Christadelphians, to understand and appreciate the benefits that technology brings. While there are potential pitfalls, let us explore how we can harness technology to enhance our spiritual journey and spread the light of God’s Word.
One of the remarkable advantages of technology is its ability to connect people across vast distances. In our interconnected world, we can communicate with brothers and sisters in Christadelphian communities worldwide, instantly sharing our experiences, prayers, and encouragement. Through video calls, online forums, and social media platforms, we can extend the reach of our fellowship, fostering a sense of unity and support beyond physical boundaries.
Let us not forget the power of technology in disseminating the gospel. With the advent of the Internet, we have witnessed an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to a global audience with the Word of God. Websites, podcasts, and online publications enable us to share Bible studies, sermons, and teachings, ensuring that the message of salvation can reach corners of the world previously untouched by our physical presence.
Technology has provided us with a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. Through online libraries, educational resources, and digital study tools, we can deepen our understanding of Scripture and explore biblical truths with greater efficiency. The availability of commentaries, concordances, and translations allows us to delve into the Word of God, strengthening our faith and equipping us for the challenges we face.
Additionally, advancements in technology have granted us access to historical and archaeological discoveries, enriching our comprehension of biblical events and contexts. We can explore virtual tours of ancient sites, examine digitized manuscripts, and engage in scholarly discussions, enhancing our appreciation for the Scriptures and enabling us to defend our beliefs with confidence.
While we must be cautious not to let technology dominate our lives, we can leverage it to better steward the resources entrusted to us. Energy-efficient technologies, sustainable practices, and environmentally conscious solutions align with our responsibility to care for God’s creation. By utilizing technology wisely, we can reduce waste, conserve resources, and strive for a more sustainable future.
Moreover, technology has revolutionized the way we manage time and resources. From digital calendars and productivity tools to online collaboration platforms, we can optimize our efforts and dedicate more time to serving others and advancing God’s Kingdom. By embracing technology’s efficiency, we can free ourselves from menial tasks and focus on fulfilling our purpose as ambassadors of Christ.
Let us remember that technology, like any tool, is neither inherently good nor evil. Its value lies in how we choose to utilize it. May we approach technology with wisdom, guided by the Holy Spirit, as we strive to bring glory to God and shine His light in a world that increasingly relies on technology. Amen.
However, we must not overlook the potential dangers and pitfalls tech presents. As followers of Christ, we are called to be discerning and wise in our choices, mindful of the spiritual and moral implications of the technologies we embrace.
Advancements in technology often outpace the moral compass of society. In this digital age, we are bombarded with content that can be morally compromising and even destructive to our souls. Pornography, violence, and materialistic ideologies are easily accessible, posing significant challenges to our spiritual well-being.
As followers of Christ, we must actively guard our hearts and minds, filtering our media consumption and embracing discernment. Let us hold fast to the words of Philippians 4:8 (NIV),
Technology, when misused, can become an idol in our lives. The pursuit of the latest gadgets, the constant need for virtual validation, and the obsession with digital fame can lead us away from our true purpose—glorifying God. Let us not allow our possessions or online personas to take precedence over our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Instead, may we use technology as a tool for His glory, to spread His message, and to serve others in love.
As Christadelphians, we are called to engage with the world while remaining grounded in our faith. Technology, when embraced with discernment, can be a powerful tool for fulfilling our mission. Through communication and connectivity, we can strengthen our global fellowship, spreading love and support to brothers and sisters worldwide. By accessing knowledge and understanding, we can deepen our understanding of God’s Word and share its life-transforming message more effectively. Finally, by embracing stewardship and efficiency, we can optimize our resources and dedicate ourselves more fully to God’s work.
And let us remember that technology itself is not inherently evil, but rather it is the way in which we engage with it that can lead to peril. By approaching technology with wisdom, discernment, and a Christ-centered perspective, we can harness its potential for good while safeguarding ourselves from its perils. May we prioritize our spiritual growth, foster genuine relationships, and remain steadfast in our commitment to Christ. Let us pray for God’s guidance and strength in navigating the digital age with wisdom, so that we may shine as lights in the world, reflecting the love and truth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Real Exhortation
Now, the exhortation I just gave on technology may be a first for Christadelphians. Not because the topic is on technology, which I am sure others have delved into, but a first because it was written entirely by Artificial Intelligence (AI). That’s right, I didn’t write a word of it until this point. I used ChatGPT and asked it to do the following:
First, “From a Christadelphian perspective, write an exhortation on the benefits of technology” and then, “From a Christadelphian perspective, write an exhortation on the perils of technology.” I then merged those two into today’s exhortation.
I intended to see if the ultimate technological advancement in today’s age would be capable of using algorithms to accurately express what I think about the use of technology, at the same time, including a slant from our beliefs. I did notice a lack of Bible quotations to support the comments. There was excessive use of the passive voice. And some words were not part of my usual vocabulary. But, overall, it was pretty spot-on when it comes to outlining the advantages and disadvantages of tech and how we use it to:
Increase our knowledge of God’s Word, as we see in Romans 15:4 (NKJV) “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Spread the knowledge of God’s Word, as commanded in Mark 16:15 (ESV), “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Uncover the pitfalls of misinformation and disinformation that can come from technology. We read in 2 Peter 2:1 (ESV), “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”
Be responsible for ensuring what AI writes is correct. If used alone for exhortations and Bible classes, it may lead to the laziness of scholarship. We still need to study the passages and look for insights and wisdom. It should never replace (only supplement) our personal study. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11 NKJV).
We all have heard about lots of technology phobias, going back to radio and TV. Each time, we have found a way to use the new technology for good to promote the gospel. The Internet, for example, was touted as a terrible new technology that would destroy our young people. Some of that may be true, but we have been able to use it to proclaim the gospel in unprecedented ways around the entire world. So, the premise is certainly correct; we need to harness it for good.
Whichever way you fall on the overall use of tech, whether it’s computers, tablets, phones, Internet or AI, I believe that (as with most things) it’s all about moderation and intent, as our ChatGPT overlords have pointed out. But this concept goes far beyond just the use of technology; it can also be a part of anything in our lives. 1 Corinthians 9:25: “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.”
I sometimes wonder how people of the Bible age would view us and the various technological advances at our fingertips. Would they be appalled at how tech has caused us to drift away from the Word of God and the message of Jesus Christ? Or would they be impressed at how quickly we can disseminate the Word to people worldwide and spread the Good News of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ? I do know they would want us here, at the Memorial Table, each week, remembering our Lord in the same manner they did.
Jonathan Schwieger, Jr.,
Pittsburgh Ecclesia, PA