Technology and the Bible

Anyone who knows me knows that I like science and science fiction. Maybe it’s the draw of the utopian societies or maybe it’s the technology. I don’t know why but I have always been drawn to sci-fi. I love reading and watching videos about our most recent achievements in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and technology.

I am also a Christian. I love Jesus with all of my heart and long for the day when I will dwell forever with

Privative technology

the Master. But how do these two parts of my being mesh? Or do they? Some believe that we should live as simply as possible to the point that they abstain from using any technology developed beyond a certain point. Personally I disagree with this. If you are going to take that perspective then you need to abandon ALL technology including primitive tools such as flint knives and cut animal hides as clothing.

We think of technology from our modern perspective. Computers are considered tech but butter knives and spoons aren’t. But actually any tool from a simple stone picked up as a hammer is a form of technology. And we see these tools used throughout the Bible both for good and for evil.

So how should a Christian deal with technology? There are as many answers as there are people answering. Everyone has an opinion and since this is my blog, I’ll give you mine. Please keep in mind that this is just my opinion.

I’m sure that by now you have guessed that I like technology, but it is actually a pretty complex issue. I’m going to bypass any tech that is used for or was created for war or evil. I’m also going to skip simple tools and basic electric devices such as toasters and gas ranges. Although without these our lives would be vastly different.

So let’s look at some of the tech we have available today and some of what the future holds.

Computers are probably the first thing many people will think of when you talk about technology. Without computers there would not be any modern, advanced technology. Computers are really nothing new. Manual computing devices have been around long before electricity was a common tool. At around 1620 an English minister invented the slide rule. With this device he was able to perform complex mathematical calculations very quickly. A device called The Antikythera mechanism was discovered around 1900 and it dated back to before the time of Jesus! But the oldest computer that I could find was the abacus. This device, still used by many Chinese, was may have been used by the Babylonians as early as 2400BC!

5MB compared to 32GB

While these aren’t what we would call computers today, they certainly were the beginnings. Modern electronic computers were developed in the 1950’s and since then have progressed dramatically. The picture on the left is an IBM 5 MB hard drive. They didn’t sell them but would lease them for $28,000 per month. The picture on the right are two 32 GB drives purchased for $12 apiece.  

We’ve all seen the pictures of the first Apple computer – made with a WOOD frame! This is the same company that now makes the iPad and smart watches.

Well, that was a great history lesson, but what about its relation to Christianity? No technology, in and of itself, is inherently evil except that it was thought of and invented by fallen man. I’m including even nuclear bombs. The bombs can’t think. They don’t know that they are about to wipe out an entire city. Those who decide to deploy those devices are the ones who may or may not be evil, not the bombs. A screwdriver isn’t evil even if an evil person uses it to stab someone.

I use my computer to write and post blogs. I have a wonderful program called e-Sword that has a ton of Bible translations in many languages. Most of are familiar with Blue Letter Bible phone apps. I’m 66 years old and went to collage without computers. I wrote term papers and did research by hand in an actual library with paper books. I had to show up in class to get credit and hand in paper test sheets. It wasn’t hard because it was all I knew. Of course my “friends” in sci-fi novels had computers and online classes, but I’ve never had a problem separating reality from fiction.

I had planned on putting in several paragraphs here about robots. Not industrial machines that build cars but humanoid robots or androids. I just watched a documentary on YouTube about Gemma Chan had an android made in her image that was so convincing that it fooled reporters who were interviewing the robot. They actually thought they were talking to Gemma not a chat-bot. It was eye-opening. So I’m going to hold off on giving you my opinion of androids. Since this isn’t the 24 century and not all androids are like Data I’m not sure what I think. I hadn’t realized that out androids were at that level yet. Sophia may have been granted honorary citizenship in Saudi Arabia but you would never mistake it for a living person. Yet the Gemma robot did just that. I have to process that for awhile before I decide what I think about it.

The images below are all androids (human-like robots)

© 2022 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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The Faces of hunger

Have you ever been hungry? I’m not talking about missing a meal every now and then and I’m not talking about planned fasts. Have you ever been unable to provide a meal when you wanted?

Worse than this, have you even been in the position that you could not provide a meal for your children? No money, no hope and no resources?

What do you do when your child tells you that they are hungry and you literally have nothing to give them? When you don’t even have a place to live? Or a safe place to sleep.

I’m calling this post the faces of hunger but I could call it the faces of homelessness. The pictures I’m posting are all Americans. They may be in your city or town. These children and single moms didn’t ask for this. They don’t want to be living on the street. The fortunate ones have a car as their home, but that’s not good enough.

You see, I’ve been there myself. I know what it’s like to have to tell your children that there’s nothing to eat. I know what it’s like to see your wife crying in frustration and despair. I know what it’s like to have to beg. It’s not a pleasant experience.

Yes, some people choose this way of life. These are not the people I’m talking about. How about the single parents whose partners are gone? How about the parents who have mental issues? Maybe they made some bad choices in the past and now they are living with the consequences. We all have made poor choices from time to time. Some worse than others.

How about the families that just aren’t making enough money? They have to choose between rent, utilities and food.

Looking at this picture you have to ask how anyone can live like this? No one should ever have to and these are the lucky ones. They have a roof!

It is estimated that there are over 209 million adults in America. Can you imagine if half of these people were to give just one dollar to help this situation? ONE DOLLAR. That would be nearly $105,000,000 toward the hunger crisis in America.

There are programs that can help. The government has welfare programs and churches have shelters and

feeding programs. But what about you? Are you a Christian? A follower of Jesus? Remember, Jesus took compassion on the crowd and fed them because they missed one meal! How can we not feel compassion for these who live beside us? The Pharisees asked Jesus who they should consider their neighbors. We have literal neighbors who are hungry and we do nothing to ease the pain. How can we, as Christians, just sit and let them go hungry?

There are places where you can donate food, money and your time. Donating you time is vital. Food banks and shelters need volunteer help so they can stretch their food dollars to feed more families. Every dollar they pay toward wages is money not going to food. Homeless shelters also need your help, physically and financially. Look up places near you. I know they are there. We often ignore these facilities until we need them, but they are there. I’m going to list a few but these are by no means the only ones. Do your own research. Some of these are Christian organizations and some are secular. There are also local shelters and foodbanks that you can find with a quick internet search. Your church may also have a benevolence fund or organizations that they sponsor and/or support.

Feeding America

Meals For Good

The Hunger Project

Feed The Children

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Prayer – WHY?

Prayer is effective

Why should I bother to pray? Why should you bother to pray? As the title of this blog says, prayer is effective.  It works. But first let’s back up a bit and ask another question. What is prayer? Before we can be convinced that prayer works we need to know what prayer is and how to pray. Maybe I should have done this blog before the series on The Lord’s Prayer but we can catch up.

So, what is prayer? The dictionary lists prayer as a noun and defines it as “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” Asking for help or thanking Him for His help are certainly two aspects of prayer that the Bible tells us to practice. But prayer is so much more than this.

God is our Father and we should talk to Him as we would our earthly fathers. I told this to someone many years ago and very quickly was told that his earthly father wasn’t someone that anyone would want to talk to. I know, some of us don’t have a good relationship with our earthly fathers for various reasons. I was actually in that same position myself so I understand. But our Heavenly Father is GOOD! We need to talk to Him frequently just as we would talk to any loved one. Cultivate the habit of prayer. One way to do this is to realize that every thought, word and deed is in His view. God sees and knows all about us, so why not address all of our thoughts toward Him? (This is also a good way to help keep your thoughts from straying into area they should not stray.) Live a life of prayer! 1Thessalonians 5:16 says, “pray without ceasing.” I believe this can be done as we begin to understand that through the Holy Spirit God lives in us and He knows what we think and feel.

He also understands. Jesus was born an infant, became a toddler, a teenager and a young adult just like all of us. He lived with peer pressure, changing hormones and adolescence. Yes, Jesus is (was) God, but He was also fully man. And Jesus prayed! In fact, He prayer a lot. Jesus believed that prayer worked and He modeled that belief for us.

One thing that Jesus made very clear was that prayer was not like rubbing a magic lamp to get whatever you wanted. He said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.” (John 15:7 GNB) Notice that He said “if you remain in me AND MY WORDS REMAIN IN YOU…” Living a life of prayer as I described above will help us to keep His words in us. We cannot expect that Jesus will make us millionaires and help us to live a life of frivolous debauchery. While some believers are blessed with finances it is their gifting to finance the kingdom work. They live a life of prayer and it shows. (Here I need to say that not all who call themselves Christians are actually true believers. They live a material life seeking money and fame and they use Jesus name in vain. “By their fruits you will know them”.)

Remaining in Jesus words isn’t that hard. Spend time reading the Bible and praying. Your efforts will be rewarded. If you are sincere Jesus will guide your readings, give you insight and understanding. So talk to the Father today. You don’t need fancy words or formats any more than you would need to talk to your earthly dad. God WANTS to hear from you and you NEED to talk to Him.

I will continue this study on prayer but don’t wait for that. So start praying and reading the Bible now. Most people find that as they spend more time talking to God that they will find more meaning and richness in the Word. God speaks to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit will certainly direct you to the readings you need.

© 2022 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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