Tuesday, February 28, 2012
How Will Technology Affect the Church?
In 2011 the Christian world celebrated the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. The publication of this volume made the Bible available to the common people who could read and gave everyone access to its instructions and judgments. They no longer needed a preacher or teacher to interpret it for them. The Roman Catholic Church looked at this as dangerous. If the people could read the Bible they may not need the preacher or the Church. That was not the way history records the following events. People still needed formal, congregational worship and the insistent reminder from the preacher that their sins were both formidable and forgivable.
On CNN’s Belief Blog roll, Lisa Miller, the former Christian writer for Newsweek, asked this question, “Will technology bring down the church as we know it today?” Andy Braner answered the question with, “No.” He stated that the access to the Bible on an iPod or Smart Phone did not replace the people who worship together and share in the blessings of the church congregation.
While it is true that you can get a sermon from almost any source, phone, TV, radio, video, etc., until you share that experience with other people in personal contact, you have not experienced the full measure of being part of the Body of Christ.
I doubt the football teams worried about the loss of an audience in the bleachers when their games were broadcast on TV. Well, maybe they did. For a while games were not broadcast within 100 or 150 miles of the stadium because they did not want to give people the option of staying home to watch. I don’t think they do that anymore. I think the true fan enjoys the hoopla and excitement of attending the game in person too much to let convenience steal the show.
This is true of the church too. Participation in the activity is so much more than watching TV or reading a text on the iPod or listening to a recording. It’s like the difference between seeing a picture of the Matterhorn and climbing its heights. Is it more fun to watch a snowball fight or get snow down your shirt?
I think Lisa Miller has missed the point, but most of the observers of church behavior miss it too. You don’t really understand until you join in the fun or challenge or struggle. Look for another post on this subject. I'm not through yet.
Read Lisa Miller's article here http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/15/my-take-how-technology-could-bring-down-the-church/
Read Andy Braner's response here