PC-USA 2018-10-02 - Judgement on High (Tech)

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Nowadays, cellphones are necessities for most people, especially for those living or driving alone. But on some occasions, they can become dangers. There are more and more laws prohibiting texting while driving,and rightfully so. But some of those laws are draconian. For example, in our state, a phone cannot even be touching one’s body. So where are men supposed to keep theirs, since they don’t carry purses and now cannot use their pockets? My mother had a saying, “Americans take every good idea and carry it too far.” But as far as our spiritual lives, there is nothing at all inherently evil in cellphones, computers, laptops or any digital equipment. For most of us, high tech advancements make life a lot easier, chores faster and thus they free up more time to spend with family and friends. In a minute, we can give money to help hurricane victims. Many of us carry our Bibles via our cellphone apps. Our pastor has teased that I can find his passages even faster than he can. When I first used my Bible app, I was a pioneer; however, I find that now, people of all ages are finding how convenient and helpful these apps can be - not to mention easier on the back, than carrying a big, heavy Bible. Some missions agencies uses digital tablets to spread the word of God in underserved countries; solar power is especially helpful in areas where people can't afford batteries. When a family member is sick in a hospital, on our Smartphones, we can quietly send updates to families without disturbing resting patients or their families. When there is a prayer need, churches can immediately notify members via text. Our church provides a loving, caring support system via texting. It is less intrusive than a phone call, and sometimes more reliable. In 60 seconds, we can find a song to order for a church service. It is not up to us to judge each other’s hearts on this; it is between us and God. I think that the Apostle Paul’s guidance applies here:

Romans 14:4-8 (Berean Literal Bible)
Who are you, judging another’s servant? To the own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to uphold him. For indeed one judges a day to be above another day, but one judges every day alike. Let each be fully assured in the own mind. The one regarding the day, regards it to the Lord;a the one eating, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one not eating, does not eat to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For both if we should live, we live to the Lord; and if we should die, we die to the Lord. Therefore both if we should live and if we should die, we are the Lord’s.

Of course, like ANYTHING else, technical devices may be used for evil. But, personally, I have seen more sinful behavior perpetrated by the critics of cellphones, through presumptuous judgment and arrogance, than by tech users themselves. I will share just a few examples with which I am familiar. In one church, a choir member was fussed at by a fellow singer, for having their cellphone on during practice, although the phone user was actually trying to help everyone at church, by monitoring a very dangerous storm. There was an actual tornado WARNING at that time! I have heard people say, with noses stuck up in the air, “I leave my phone at home. I don’t bring it to church.” I have even heard of one church attender who grabbed someone’s phone, and threw it across the sanctuary. I have always wondered if they bothered to see if the person was using it to follow along in a Bible app.

Whether related to technology use, music choice or any other things that are a matter of preference, before we assume the worst about someone, it would behoove us to pray for that person, to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to leave the judgment where it belongs - with God.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser


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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

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