Social Issues (Part 10): Technology

Social Issues

Technological advancements continue to be made all around us. Innovations in transportation, construction, medicine, warfare, communication and more have dramatically changed the lives of all.

Technology in itself is neither good or bad. We are to judge whether any given technological advancement is helpful or detrimental based upon two factors: (1) what the technology is helping us do and (2) what our attitude is toward the technology. If technology is helping us do something that is sinful, then it is wrong – not because the technology is bad, but because the behavior is. Attitudes toward technology can vary widely from those who reject nearly all modern conveniences (ex: the Amish) to those who eagerly and without consideration embrace every new technology that comes along.

Facts & Statistics

Email has replaced regular postal mail for many things. A 2015 report found that roughly 205.6 billion emails were sent and received worldwide per day.

E-readers have replaced printed books for many people. In 2017, there were 266 million ebooks sold in the United States.

Smart phones are able to function not just as phones, but also as music players, video players, newspapers, books, calendars, notebooks, calculators, maps, computers, and more.

Technological advancements continue to be made in robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, self-driving cars, and more.

Basic Bible Principles Relating to This

God is the Creator; therefore, man is creative – Man has been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). As God has created all things, man also creates. Throughout human history, man has been building things, creating art, writing, and making advancements in technology. So it is inevitable that our society will continue to progress technologically.

Advances in technology do not change our fundamental needs – No matter how advanced our civilization becomes, it will not change the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). As long as the earth stands, man will be in need of the salvation that comes through the forgiveness of sins in Christ. Just as the ancients were unable to build “a tower whose top [would] reach into heaven” (Genesis 11:4), modern man cannot discover some technological breakthrough that will send him to eternal life in heaven.

Advances in technology do not change our responsibility toward God – After exploring all that the world had to offer, the wise man reached the conclusion that our focus must be to “fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). No matter how much progress we make technologically (or otherwise), this purpose in life that the wise man described will never change.

Advances in technology should not cause us to become arrogant – We could begin to think that we are better than those who came before us. This happened with King Uzziah. After he advanced beyond previous kings, he became “proud” and “acted corruptly” (2 Chronicles 26:14-16). This arrogance, besides leading us directly into sin (as it did with Uzziah), could also make us think that we do not even need God. This was the problem with the church in Laodicea. The Lord described them as saying, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.” Yet He said they were “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” and were still in need of the blessings, purity, and guidance that the Lord provided (Revelation 3:17-18). We need to be on guard against anything that could lead to arrogance. Technology is just one potential pitfall in this area.

Bottom Line

Technology can be useful in this life, both for temporal pursuits and spiritual endeavors. But we need to be sure we exercise wisdom and humility as we seek to use technology in a way that is in harmony with our God-given responsibilities.


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Comments

  1. Idara Emmanuel says

    This is a nice piece…. Another important fact to be noted when it comes to technology is that, the intent of the inventor or creator should be known, in order for technology not to be abused.

    Thanks.

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