We received several excellent questions which we did not have the time to answer at our SCREENS equip night. Two of my favorite questions deal with the issue of the sufficiency of scripture and the use of technology.
“Does the Bible mention screens or technology, and if so what does it say?”
And my favorite,
“How would Jesus use his iPhone?”
While it may be a bit presumptuous to attempt an answer for the second question, in this post I hope to explain how the sufficiency of scripture provides general principles of wisdom which can be applied to our use of screens and technology. At Brookstone we believe that the Bible is sufficient for everything which God intended Scripture to be. In 2 Peter 1:3 we learn that through the power of the Holy Spirit everything we need "pertaining to life and godliness" has been provided to us through "the true knowledge of Him," that is Christ. The true knowledge of Christ is found in the Bible. In other words, God provided everything we need to know about how to live a godly life in the Bible. While the Bible will not sufficiently instruct you on how to set up your new iPhone, it will sufficiently provide you wisdom guiding your usage of that new device.
This is good news for us. Our understanding of biblical sufficiency teaches that all realities we face, all dilemmas we encounter, all decisions we make have sufficient guide in the pages of scripture. While God did not directly address modern technological issues related to smart devices in the Bible, He did provide us with sufficient directions in scripture to guide us to use such technology wisely and safely.
Consider these scriptural passages:
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
1 Peter 1:13-15, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”
Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”
Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
1 Corinthians 6:20, “For you have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body.”
2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
We know as disciples of Christ that should we desire to become like Jesus, to learn to think like Christ, we are completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit for our transformation. We will recognize transformation taking place when we read verses like the ones mentioned and understand how to apply them to something like the use of technology. For example, I believe we can safely say that scripture commands us to seek advice from godly influences about how to use our screens (Prv. 12:15). The Bible says that we should use our screens in a way that honors God and that anything we do with our devices must glorify Him (1 Pt. 1:13-15; 1 Cor. 6:20). This doesn't mean we can’t have fun with our technology, but it certainly limits the entertainment we might use our devices for. The Bible teaches that we should not allow our devices to consume us or become more important than pursuing a relationship with God (Matt 6:24; 33). In fact, should we fall into that trap we would find ourselves making an idol out of our device. Instead, we should allow the word of God to guide us into using our devices wisely. For example, allow the scriptures to help form questions you can ask of your technology.
Here are 5 biblically formed questions that will help you make a wise decision about using your devices:
1. What purpose does this device accomplish in my life?
2. What new solutions or problems will this device bring into my life?
3. What is this device doing in my heart? (Drawing me closer or further away from God?)
4. How might this device tend to distract me from my responsibilities?
5. What new stress or anxiety does the use of this device create in my life?
This was a follow-up post to our first Equip Night of 2019: Screens. Join us February 6th for our second night, Paralyzed, where we will discuss ways to overcome fear and anxiety and stress. More info and register here: http://www.brookstonechurch.org/paralyzed