Saturday, April 5, 2014

Give me that...new modern religion?


I like my iPad, don't get me wrong. I can visit with my away-from-home husband via FaceTime or Skype, I can grab recipes, map directions, read a book, use my PDF app to make notes no changes to our yearly school plan of attack, play educational games with the kids, take pictures and notes along our nature hikes, even blog. Yeah, I miss the boat on that one too often, but still...

We live in a day of 'gadgets'...no waiting for mail from the postman, we have instant texts, chats, email. No finger cramps from rotary desk phones...we've got 'smartphones' that do the dialing for you. With my iPad, I have a selection of Scriptural commentaries, text versions to compare, instant chapter/verse location, and more. I can access several resources, from searching Greek and Hebrew texts for word studies, find map views of noted locations both 'then and now', and I can have almost instant chats with others doing similar studies.


And of course, I can share my reading, my notes, and all with my Facebook buddies, my Google+ circle! even my Pinterest board. 

It's like the technology trifecta! 


So why go to a church where you're reading the same ancient books your great-grandma did? Or sing those old, tired 100-year-old hymns? Or take up a religious 'ceremony' that's been around for a couple thousand years? Why tote your Bible to church at all? The modern, new and improved church offers you PowerPoint sermons flashed across the mega tall walls around the sanctuary and apps for your tablet and iPad so you can sit in the other room altogether and follow along. You could just skip the fancy church building altogether and sign up to receive your church's blog feed, sermon archive, Pastor notes, and more right on that smartphone or iPod.


There are so many uses for our world of gadgets these days. The church would be foolish to not dip into that growing treasury and enlist these options in ways that might increase their membership rolls and tithe foundation. Given the popularity of all these gadgets in the every day lives of potential pew warming folks, you'd be short-sighted not to utilize the technology. 


And the kids. Let's not forget the kids. You can't expect them to carry bulky Bibles to church every week when they don't even carry books to school anymore. Life has shifted to tablet technology in almost every area...fast food orders are tapped out on tablets while you wait in line, your groceries are scanned and 'uploaded' to the checkout while you wait your turn to pay, schools are replacing textbooks and basic school supplies with iPads and other tablets, radios are becoming dinosaurs now that we have iPods, smartphones and televisions with apps like Tune-in, Pandora, iHeart, Slacker. Hospitals and doctors are tapping out notes, searching medical databases, producing prescription slips and more on iPads now. Paper is old-fashioned. 


So why not bring the Church up to par with the rest of the enlightened community? A lot of churches hand out iPads and other devices as you walk in. The weekly bulletin, music selections, the Scripture reading, the entire selection of passages to be preached, even the pastoral notations are all there. You can join the group in the sanctuary, you can sit in the nursery, or even go sit outside under a nice shady tree. The church service and all it's sparkle is right there in your hand and quite portable. For the nursery workers, it's perfect...it's a great ministry, but you 'miss out' on the service. Got a fussy child and need to leave the service so as not to disrupt anyone? Grab the iPad and you don't miss a thing. Have your own iPad and just can't make it to church this week? Log in at the church website and there it is, waiting for you to partake from home. Easy peasy.


                                                


But what about that old time religion with it's time consuming 'pauses' while the congregation flips thru from one reading to the next, it's collection of old time standard hymn choices, like The Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, Come Ye Sinners? Isn't there a place among all the 'latest and greatest' technology for the old time church meeting that shaped the lives and Walk of countless generations of deeply spiritual. God-fearing people before? 


Old time religion is a relic from the past according to so many modern churches. The modern church has needs the old time churches did not. Modern church needs to outshine the other church down the road, it needs to have these gadgets that are used in everyday life by it's members, it needs catchy modern tunes that imitate the popular music of the current day. If it stands against these things, gadget addicted folks will choose that other church, and there goes the growth of membership and committed tithes. Where once the draw was simply GOD and a desire to grow under His Word thru sound teaching of the Bible alone, there is now the draw of entertainment, comfort, and technology that people recognize. A Bible in the pulpit is old fashioned. You aren't going to keep the congregation 'happy' with a preacher who only shares Scripture. Who needs that these days? We have the whole of the Internet at our fingertips. We have the same 'original texts', topical dictionaries, volumes do commentaries and insights from the whole of the great preaching sources across the ages. We don't need a Bible in hand. In fact, one could argue that a mere Bible is outdated when we can instantly contrast and compare every available bible version with a quick tap of the fingers on a tablet screen. 


Honestly, the Church itself is just an outdated relic of a past generation. We can all be our own preacher and teacher thanks to the Internet and all it's resources.  Of course we will miss out on a few things that these modern churches have...like those triple hoo-ha latte drinks in the lobby, and the 10 foot letters with fancy highlighting as we follow along with the music. And there's that life-sized cartoon Moses painted on the hallway wall, pointing you down the hall to the children's area, complete with inflatable bouncy toys and candy. 


What did old time religion have that the modern church is greatly lacking? In a word, GOD. There are gods in the modern church, no denying that, but too many have collected 'versions' of Him, while turning far away from the One and True GOD himself. Those old time church meetings didn't need 'shiny technology' to draw people closer to God. They allowed for God to bring His People closer to Himself by simply being GOD.  As goes the church, so follows the world. Quaint, but maybe a bit off the real mark. These days, it's more true to reverse it...as goes the world, so follows the church. 

6 comments:

Stephanie Bateman said...

So well said!!!

GracefulMomto11 said...

Awesome! Loved it! Great words sister!

channonsworld.blogspot said...

I love the 'old ways', too. It is a small break from the regular hustle and bustle of screens. It also fosters a sense of unity when we are sharing hymn books and shaking hands, and enjoying each other as we worship the Lord! Great post :)

Greg and Donna said...

Amen! I like to take my leather covered, full of pages Bible to church ~ I do read the Bible on my kindle at home. d

Crystal @ Serving Joyfully said...

I completely agree! I stumbled upon your blog today looking for other Christian homesteaders. I enjoyed your article. I, too, long for that old time religion where God was enough and our churches weren't selling bells and whistles instead. Blessings to you.

Joyful Journey said...

Amen

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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