Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The state of the church and 3D pastors

Pastor Tony Morgan (right) next
to a holographic figure.
3D pastors. Who would've thought?

If the only job of a pastor was to preach, then perhaps this would be fine. However, a pastor must be a shepherd! That is the meaning of the word!

Holograms do not shepherd! In fact, technology is the death of the church! Why do I say this?

It has become way too easy for people to use only technology to make up their daily spiritual diet. Christians no longer come together as the people of God, because the over-use of technology has sent a message of total individualism to the church, making the local church a nuisance to our every day lives. Suddenly, we are more interested in what Tom, Dick and Harriet from across the big, blue pond have to say. Pastors have become irrelevant to modern Christians, because they can simply switch on the TV, or stream a video of a sermon via the internet, preached by a pastor that we will never get into contact with.

There is no longer a need to go to church. In fact, I was shocked speechless at a Biblical Worldview Seminar recently, when a married couple told me that they felt so good about themselves and their "freedom" in Christ since they decided to no longer attend church. They get all their spiritual "nutrition" via technology! I suppose that is why they are more concerned about fluoride in water and toothpastes, and aspartame in fizzy drinks than the people of God.

A church where shepherding, mentoring, true discipling is not practiced, is a failing church. Christianity is not about a sermon, although true preaching is at the heart of the church getting together. No, Christianity is about the gospel of Christ, and how it has changed us, and made a bunch of pagans into the one true people of God! How can we even claim to be the people of God if we do not want to gather with the people of God to worship and hear the preaching of God's word. A true Christian will love the people of God. We cannot say we love God and not want to get together with the people God elected in His divine love!

The problem with modern technology in the church, is that much of it becomes a distraction. It makes attending church more like attending a movie! It becomes important that the entertaining factor is high all the time. The church is literally entertaining itself to death!

Technology in itself is not bad or evil. However, its use can have effects that we do not always think about when something new comes onto the market. Much of it is faddish, and it doesn't help the preaching of God's Word at all. It can distract, and "wow," to the extent that the message of the gospel is lost in the bright lights, flashing images and loud noise.

Do we trust our preaching of the gospel so little, that we need to "wow" people in order to draw them? This is truly foolish! The Bible does not tell us that if we lift up technology that Christ will draw all kinds of people to Himself. We have to preach Christ, for it is the message of the gospel that will draw people. What did Paul write?
"For we are not ashamed of our technology, for the clever use of technology is the power of God for salvation to everyone who sees and hears our very entertaining techno messages."
I bet you know that that is not what Paul wrote. Rather, he wrote:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." (Rom 1:16)
We are to preach the gospel with clarity and not with distractions. For it is not entertainment that draws the ungodly, but God Himself! (Jn 6:44)

So, will holographic pastors add to the preaching of the gospel or distract from it? In the long run, what effects will this have on the church? What message do you preach subliminally when using your new technology?

In the end, it all hinges on how the technology affects the message of the gospel. Technology is not worth it, if it negatively affects the message of the gospel!

HT: Dan Phillips

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