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

© 2022 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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Once again I have found something on Facebook that I just had to repost.

“Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!” My father yelled at me. “Can’t you do anything right? “Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle. “I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving. “My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts…. dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him? Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon .. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess .The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone. My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain .Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, “I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article…”I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. “Can you tell me about him?” The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. “He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.” He gestured helplessly .As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. “You mean you’re going to kill him?” “Ma’am,” he said gently, “that’s our policy. We don’t have room for every unclaimed dog.” I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. “I’ll take him,” I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. “Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!” I said excitedly. Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. “If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don’t want it” Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. “You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!” Dad ignored me. “Did you hear me, Dad?” I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw…Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad ‘s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne ‘s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad’s bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad’s peace of mind. The morning of Dad’s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” “I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel,” he said. For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article… Cheyenne’s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter… his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father… and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

Have you ever had a tough decision to make? One that was important, maybe even critical, and you wanted to be sure you were making the best possible decision?

Well, I’m in that position again. It has been one week since the last heart episode and I’m not working. It’s looking like I won’t be doing any physical work for quite some time, if ever. Social Security covers the rent but that’s about all. So I have to decide what I’m going to do.

Of course there are legitimate work from home options. And I’m looking into some of these but something (Someone?) keeps drawing me back to the original plan that I had when I first started this WordPress journey ten years ago.

I have no doubt that I should be writing. It burns in my bones. Almost every day I see something and say, “I could write a blog about that.” Well, why don’t I? Because I have a wife to feed and bills to pay.

Should I combine my longing to teach and write with my need for an income? Probably, but will we survive during the long period of time it takes for a blog site to begin generating a livable income? I don’t know. And I’m afraid.

I know. We were not given a spirit of fear, but the fear is there nonetheless. It’s a reality. We’ve been homeless before and it’s not a pleasant experience. Nor one that I desire to repeat.

So, short of the heavens opening up and a myriad of angels telling me what to do, I’m still at a loss for answers. Maybe you can help?

I’m not asking for money or pledges of money. I can go to a number of apps that will place ads on my site and I can get sponsors. The question is, will I still have a readership if I do this? Most ad apps require a base or minimum number of hits per week. Right now I don’t even have that minimum. So I need your help. Will you subscribe to and read my posts and tell others about them? The more hits my site receives the better.

If you have suggestions on what subjects you want to see, that’s awesome too. I’m looking into two options for now. One, I want to do some old fashioned, verse by verse Bible study. We seem to have drifted away from this and I believe that in this time of spiritual and social upheaval studying God’s Word is crucial.

I’m also thinking about blogging about current political and social issues. Not as a complainer but to look at what’s happening from a Biblical, Christian viewpoint. WWJD? Remember this? What Would Jesus Do?

So what are your thoughts? If you would be willing to pledge your readership and help in spreading the word, comment below or on my Facebook page.

Also, if you do choose to help financially, you can click the link below. No amount is to small. I love you all. Have a truely blessed day in Jesus’ name.