Thoughts on Communicating the Gospel using technology

As I was reflecting on some technology that was developed this past year, I am continually amazed and interested in what has been introduced to us.  I remember watching Star Trek with my dad.  He talked about how he always thought it would be so cool to have a flip communicator like they did.  It would be so cool to just flip something like that open and be able to communicate with anyone.  As a kid, I’m sure he never dreamed it would be possible to communicate with anyone like that.  Now, people have “flip communicators” and even more advanced communicators called cell phones!  I can slide my finger across the heat-sensitive touch screen of my iPhone and have virtually anyone literally at my fingertips.  I can call someone across the room, across town, or across the world.  I remember using my cell phone to call home from Liberia, Africa while I was away on a missions trip a few years ago.  I pressed a few buttons and then seconds later, I could hear the voices of my parents and hear dinner cooking in the background from almost half way around the world.  What we never dreamed possible, has become so commonplace to us that it does not even faze us.  It has changed the face of communication today.

The face of communication is constantly changing largely due to technology and its development and re-development.  We are pushed forward whether we like it or not.  Some people enjoy it and thrive on it; some people don’t like it; some people don’t really care.  But anyway you look at it, we are in the midst of a new culture that is being changed and influenced by the current technologies.

The church is being forced to take note of these changes and change how they communicate in order to reach the culture that they are a part of.  It would be easy for the body to just fall back on what they know and point out how the Bible talks about not conform to what the world is saying and doing.  But maybe the church needs not be so defensive and realize that it’s not about that.  God is alive and His word in the Bible is alive.  This means that the Bible’s principles of standards and ethics need to be applied to the life that we live and in the culture we are a part of.

Many times, people think being in the world but not of the world means that we need to avoid evil at all costs and to keep away from it.  Shining your light doesn’t go very far if all of your “lights” are staying together where they are comfortable.  They can be so much more effective by going into dark places and illuminating them.  I am not saying we should participate in what is going on in that dark place.  I am however saying we should be there to show contrast to the darkness.  We can still be in the world but not of the world.

How does all tie together?  I think the church is afraid of what they cannot see or understand.  They fear the darkness of sin and of the unknown because it is uncharted.  We know sin leads to death but we must be willing to stand in the darkness in order to stop those who are walking further into the darkness.  We also should not be fearful of the unknown.  Traditional methods are just that: tradition.  They may still work at times but there are new mediums for interpersonal communication.  These mediums need to first be understood and their power realized.  Then, they can be harnessed for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.  The early church stopped at nothing to communicate the gospel.  That same passion should motivate us today.  We have more channels available to us.  Let’s use them as effectively as we can.

Obviously, this is simply my opinion.  Feel free to comment or email me with your thoughts and opinion.  jason@jasoncastellente.com

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