[Papercut Press Publishing]1998-11-30 - RoboCup and the Christian Life

1 Thess. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

On Friday in Singapore there was an unheralded event. The first RoboCup took place. Dr. Hiroaki Kitano has begun plans to create robots that will eventually play soccer against the reigning World Cup champions. This was the first such robot on robot "test" world cups. Kitano thinks that it will take at least 50 years to develop robots that are good enough to compete with human players.

Robots and mechanized innovations have been replacing men and women on the work force for some time. The assembly line and such things that robots can do have become more and more important to us as technology becomes more and more advanced. But as we become more and more advanced and as these innovations are included more and more in our culture, let us not forget that some things robots can never do for us. They can not commune with God for us. It is good for us to remember that only we can fellowship with God for ourselves. One day last week the news reported that, on that day alone, Bill Gates had made 2.88 Billion dollars on the stock market. But no matter how much he or anyone is worth, none can pay, beg, hope, or teach anyone to commune with God for them. We must do this ourselves or it will not be done. Communion with God is personal and individual, only you can fellowship with God. (Hebrews 2:10-13, 1 Cor. 5:18, 19, 1 John 3:1-3)

  1. Robots, or others can not pray for us. There will, I am sure, one day be prayers that a talking doll can say for us, but these are no prayers. There are many who miss out on intimate friendship with God because they fail to utilize the best tool given us to commune with Him, namely prayer. (Matt. 6:6, Psalm 66:16-20, Phil. 4:-7)
  2. Robots can not fellowship for us or with us. As we walk in the light (1 John 1:7) we fellowship with one another. There is no substitute for fellowship. We cannot have fellowship unless we fellowship.

In the end we can say that the Christian life can't be lived vicariously. No matter where you are or have been in your spiritual journey only you can commune, pray, or fellowship. Only you can grow in your walk with God. The best ways to grow in your walk are those given to us in God's Word such as, hearing the Word of God preached, prayer, study of the Scriptures and the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. May the Lord lead us all to a more disciplined and diligent use and a better understanding of these appointed means of grace.

"The Christian's armour decays two ways: either by violent battery, when the Christian is overcome by temptation to sin; or else by neglecting to furbish and scour it with the use of those means which are as oil to keep it clean and bright." William Gurnall

Soli Deo Gloria,