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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I Believe…

  1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. (2 Timothy 3.15-17)
  2. There is one God, evident as three separate persons, yet divinely one. (Deut. 6.4)
  3. Man is born into sin, lives in sin, and will die in sin unless he accepts Jesus as his savior. (Romans 5.12, 6.23)
  4. Jesus died so that man can be saved. It is a gift of God, not something man earned. (Romans 6.23, 10.13)
  5. There are two ordinances of the Church that Jesus commanded His followers to observe.
    1. Water baptism. (Matthew 28.19)
    2. The Lord’s Supper or Communion. (Luke 22.19)
  6. In the filling and indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a separate act of God. (Acts 2.4)
  7. Believers are to witness and make disciples. (Matthew 28.19)
  8. In healing of the body, mind and spirit. Jesus suffered that we might be made whole. (Isaiah 53.5,
  9. That Jesus will return again for His followers. That believers will be raised from the dead and those alive at His return will be taken up to heaven. (1Thes. 4.16)
  10. That those who refuse to accept Jesus are condemned to an eternity in a literal hell. God has not condemned them, but by their refusal of Jesus they have condemned themselves. (Luke 16. 19-31, John 3.18)
  11. In the promise of a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells. (2Peter 3.13)

Thoughts on life

My daughter is taking a class on ethics. Some of the questions she was asked to comment on were about life, murder and abortion. Below are the questions and her answers.

Is killing in defense of the innocent sometimes morally justifiable? Use examples to illustrate your answer.

Oh, I believe so. In our text for example, Mary (Thiroux/Krasemann pgs.186-187), was defending herself against a rapist who wasn’t going to stop trying to hurt her.  It is also justifiable to kill defending someone other than yourself.  My example? If one or both of my children were being attacked and I knew that there was no other way; yeah; that person would go down.  Although, using a mother may not be the best example.  Very few mothers wouldn’t defend their children regardless of the consequences.  Still, if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed an obvious crime against someone, child or adult, I could not just walk away, or watch.  I would do everything in my power to help, even if it meant taking a human life.  I know this makes me sound like I don’t have an issue killing.  I really do. I would do everything I possibly could to avoid it; but I would if I absolutely had to.

What about abortion? Are there any justifiable exceptions for abortion? Why or why not?

Absolutely not, in any way, shape, or form is abortion acceptable.   I have heard, I think, possible “reasons” why, and I still don’t think it’s okay.  Yes, I have been sexually assaulted; as a child, and as a teen, and there was a risk of pregnancy.  There is still no reason.  There is adoption.  There are so many people out there who cannot have children naturally, but want nothing more than to raise a child.  And there is biological proof, by doctors and scientists alike that have said that life begins at conception.  The fetes’ (which, by the way is Latin for baby) heart starts beating and pumping vital blood at five weeks of development.  The amniotic sac is present at four weeks of development.

Most women don’t even know that they’re pregnant until the fourth or fifth week!

http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-5-weeks_1094.bc

And when lives are at stake, such as the child’s, or the mothers, the answer is still the same.  Care needs to be taken when the pregnancy turns high risk.  There are so many technological advances now, that no one needs to terminate a pregnancy due to health.

How does mercy death differ from mercy killing? Is one more morally acceptable than another? Why or why not?

“The important distinction between mercy killing and mercy death is that mercy killing is involuntary, or does not involve the patient’s permission or request, whereas mercy death is voluntary and done with the permission of the patient and usually at his or her request”(Thiroux/ Krasemann, pg.209).

If I had to choose, which I guess here I do, I would have to say mercy death is the more moral of the two.  I really don’t agree with either, because the Bible clearly states, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, NIV, Zondervan Publishing House, 1984, by International Bible Society), but it also states that we should, “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32, Zondervan Publishing House, 1984, by International Bible Society).  And to me, just standing by and watching someone just lie there on the bed suffering, with no hope of recovery is just wrong.  But then again, going back to the God factor, there may not be any hope for human intervention, but God can do anything, and it’s really not our place to decide who lives and who dies; that God’s.  This is a situation that I’m lucky to not have experienced yet, but I’ve been with people who have, and seen the pain they go through; the absolute helplessness.  It’s a horrible, awful experience that I hope to never go through.

Christians in name only

WorldNetDaily commentator Dave Welch did a fantastic job on his article. (Link to article)

Many will insist that we all have the right to practice Christianity as our conscience dictates. Wrong. We have the privilege of living out a faith based on absolute truth as given to us by the Author and Finisher of that faith without error or omission in His written word. If we want to invent our own religion, we are “free” to do so, “free” to reap the consequences and “free” to call it anything we want – but Christianity.”

There are many who have exercised this right to invent their own religions. Unfortunately they often call it Christianity. We see this in their beliefs and actions. I am unqualified to judge a person’s heart. Only God can do that. I can see their behavior and I can read the Bible. When the Bible calls certain behaviors “sin” and even goes on to say that they are “detestable to God”, I have no choice but to assume that people who willingly and openly commit these sins are not actually Christians, no matter what they claim. They may be saved, they may have had a “born again” experience (John 3.3) and be going to heaven, but they are not followers of Christ. That is what the word Christian means, you know.

To call your self a Christian means that you have given yourself completely over to Him. Throughout the New Testament the writers make the call for an all or nothing commitment. To be a Christian, from their point of view, was to become wholly devoted. All of Jesus’ followers were total followers. They were not perfect. They made mistakes, but they were committed to Him. To be anything less is to make a mockery of the name Christian.

Jesus gave more than any one of us could ever give. He didn’t have to die. He was God in the flesh; perfect. He was the very Word of God become flesh. He died to take our place. He suffered more than we can ever imagine. His cry “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” speaks more than we can understand. Jesus was God in the flesh! God, being holy, cannot have any part in sin. Jesus took the sins of man on His shoulders as a substitute for us. Put it together and you begin to get a glimpse of what Jesus went through because of His love for you. Can you not at least give Him your complete devotion?

© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

Thank you for your support of this ministry. Please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this blog and if you feel led, your financial gifts are truly appreciated.

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