Posted by: baptistthinker | June 23, 2010

An Experiment With Technology

Lately, I’ve felt the Lord moving my heart, telling me to rethink my use of technology. My computer, my iPod, my iPad, my cell phone, my CD’s, my internet use, my podcasts, all those things. Not necessarily that these things are inherently wrong, but that maybe my use of these things is idolatrous to one extent or the other.
What is idolatry? Idolatry is the worship of creation over the creator. Idolatry is putting anything before God. Idolatry is letting these things that will perish get between you and your relationship with Christ.
So I’m thinking that an experiment is in order. One that is different, from any other that I’ve performed. From July 1st, to July 31st, I am going to exercise more discernment in my use of technology. It’s not that I’m necessarily using technology in a manner that is inherently wicked and evil. But perhaps I should use it in a way that is better. I looked through my music files, and through my podcasts. The podcasts that I listen to most frequently, are not the Christian podcasts. The music that I listen to the most is not the Christian music. The websites that I am most likely to frequent are not Christian websites. The books that I have been reading lately are mostly by secular authors.
So, during the month of July, I think that I will try something different. I will listen only to Christian podcasts. I will listen to only Christian music(this one may be more difficult, because I can’t stand most modern Christian music, and I don’t want to spend a whole bunch of money buying a lot of hymns). On Sundays, I will take a day of rest from the internet. When I go to read a news story, the first websites I go to will not be Fox or CNN or ABC. I will look at Christian news sites, like the Christian Post or Baptist Press(although the Baptist Press site is down for me more often than not). I think perhaps I will spend more time reading my Bible, and the recent additions that I have made to my Christian library that I haven’t got around to reading yet. And maybe, just maybe, I will turn the radio off for a portion of the time that I’m driving in the car. Perhaps I will spend a day fasting from media interaction and praying, asking God to cleanse my mind and purify my heart. I’ve even thought about giving my nice, shiny, new computer away at times.
As I have thought about this tonight, I have wondered, “what will my life be like, if I spend a whole month without any secular media input?” Now I’m not saying that secular media is inherently wrong, some of it is quite fine for a Christian to utilize. That’s where we exercise discernment. A steady diet of the wrong material however, can have devastating effects on one’s spiritual walk. Where will my mind be focused after a full month of a diet that is focused on things that are not secular? Will I be as concerned then, as I am now, with things like politics, or American Exceptionalism? How will I react to the latest news story? Will I find secular music to be as entertaining and worth listening to as I do now? How will my life change? I think it will be an interesting journey. I will blog my way through this journey, and I hope that you will follow as I embark on this experiment.

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Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ReformedFundy, ReformedFundy. ReformedFundy said: A new experiment with technology, for me, as a Christian. Please read. http://tinyurl.com/278lajh […]

  2. I suppose the result will depend on what the deepest desire of your heart is, if it’s an, “As the Lord wills, I’m going to revel in the privilege of spending my time in the company of the great Lover of my soul and not fritter it away on lesser things”; or if it’s a matter of avoiding the things you really like because you consider them to be unworthy. If anything, it will likely expose the content of your heart to you – a great exercise for any of us to send us back to the cross and to re-examine the tendency our hearts always have toward legalism. It’s good to set our minds on things above, rather than the things of this earth, Paul even mentioned something about that. But it’s also worthwhile to remember the admonition of James and even Jesus Himself regarding the matter of holding to what we say we’re going to do and careless words falling to the ground, because in this as in all things in life, we are called to continually reflect the character of our Redeemer.

    I find that reading the news -secular or special-interest – drives me deeper into the arms of my Savior because the mindset in much of what passes for news grieves me and because frankly most of what passes for news is actually just gossip. It is clear that we have a world filled with people who are living for themselves and trying to make a world that is safe for their sin and it comes out so clearly through both types of media outlets. Genuine Christians are people of the truth, and there’s not much truth floating around out there. And so it’s good to think Biblically about the things around us and take all these things to His throne.

    Hopefully, though, as you go through this month, your heart will be so turned to a place of hungering and thirsting for righteousness that this entry seems to speak of a beginning of, that your eyes will be turned from the kind of introspection that would blog through a month without secular technology to see how it goes – and more toward one that lives to exalt the beauty and glory of the One who the Holy Spirit turns our eyes upon. After all, as Spurgeon said so eloquently,

    It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.

    And as the old song goes —

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    In Christ –
    Barbara

  3. […] This post was Twitted by rjhayton […]

  4. I’m excited to follow this over the next month. I’ll post a link to this on my blog. Several years ago I started to recognize that secular music (which is what I mostly listened to in the car) tended to stoke emotions in me that worked opposite many of the virtues of a mature Christian mind. So much secular music appeals to emotions and impulses that we don’t really need more ammunition for, like pride, anger, romantic desire (and lust), vanity, sarcasm, etc. When I’m trying to cultivate a peaceful, contented heart and learn gentleness and self-control, these things aren’t helping.

    I started trying to switch to Christian music every time the songs on the secular stations weren’t ones I particularly liked. After a while, I found myself lingering on the Christian music stations even though there might be something I liked on a secular station. I started to realize that my attitude was changing, and that I felt more enjoyment of God and less irritability. Now I actually stay on the Christian stations virtually all the time because the benefits of filling my mind with worship and Scriptural messages so outweigh anything I might enjoy on another station. And interestingly, I have found I like the Christian music much more now than I used to. I appreciate it in ways I didn’t before because the message affects me so positively.

    I appreciate your emphasis that secular music and secular media aren’t necessarily wrong to use. I think that’s really important to keep in mind – there’s no reason I can’t listen to some of my secular favorites if I want to. Thinking otherwise would lead to a legalism that focused on genres and mediums instead of on the worthiness of the content. Instead, there is a cost-benefit analysis involved, and even music that isn’t sinful itself may be far less rewarding than something that focuses your soul on refreshment in Christ. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful.”

    Thank you for experimenting with this and for inviting us along to observe! I’ll be praying for your experiences.

  5. Thank you. I’m looking forward to this, but wondering how long I’ll actually be able to go at times. I’ve started getting some things together to work on reading, preparing to study a couple books of the Bible, getting sermons downloaded for my iPod, etc. I really am praying for God to do something different in my life during this month as I focus more on Him and less on my wants and desires.

  6. […] posted a blog post a few days ago, regarding an experiment I am planning to do in the month of July, where I will be […]


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