Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thoughts on things that change and things that don't...

Mark Beeson is a preacher in Ohio who writes a blog that I follow. This week he made the following comments....

* In 2000, we sent 12 billion emails in a day. In 2010, we daily send 247 billion emails
* In 2000 there were 4 reality shows on TV. Today we have 320.
* In 2000, we sent 400,000 text messages. In 2010, we will send 4.5 billion.
* In 2000, we did 100 million Google searches a day. In 2010, we will do 2 billion searches every
* We performed 0 ITUNES downloads in 2000. There will be 10 billion ITUNE downloads in

The digital revolution has changed so much about our world. There is no real way to escape it. It does not mean that we have to succumb to all of the temptations and negative things that the digital revolution brings. But the truth is that our world now thrives on instant communication and information. It has changed our economy, politics, and ministry. We will never go back to the way it was.

I think about this in relation to preaching. There is so much more out there to study from, to listen to, and to read. Christian bookselling has become a mega business. Now, E-Books are actually outselling the "old fashioned" kind of books. ( I do not have an E-book reader yet.)

All this change unnerves me in some ways. I find myself captured by the technology of our day, but still drawn to the simple things. There is a tension there that I am continually trying to balance. I am uneasy when I think about the next 10 years, wondering what kind of effect technology will have on my kids and grandkids. Will be good or bad? The likely answer is the same as what we could summarize about the last decade. It will be both. Technology is a tool. It is not the end itself. It can be used for good. ( i.e. communication with family, friends, missionaries across the world and more) It can be used for bad. ( huge time waster, pornography, false blogging etc.)

I know alot of people who have such difficulty with the pace of change in our culture. I am with you. I would like things to stay the same, as long as I get to say how things will stay the same. Somethings I want to change, other things I don't. Some technology I love... ( Skype, my IPHONE, IPOD, computers, and so much more. ) Some technology I do not like.

Today, I was listening to John Ortberg, ( On my IPOD while walking... talk about technology... I would have never been able to listen to a preacher from SF on my phone 10 years ago!). Anyway, in a sermon last fall, he said the following.... "I want to begin with two foundational truths that we all need to remember. First, "God is God," and second, "I am not."

It was so simple... yet it stopped me in my tracks. I needed the reminder. I think we should remember that technology is not God. But it is influencing our culture to the point that the church needs to leverage that technology or it risks being left behind... at the starting line... with no hope of catching up.

We also should not take our eye off the ball. As much as some things change, alot of things will never change.
- Man needs an answer to His sin and separation from God.
- That answer is Jesus.
- Grace rules the kingdom of God.
-Transformation can not happen alone, but only with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still about a Cross, about a Savior, a loving God and a needed
response from mankind. ( you and me) .
-Salvation is still about faith, repentance, confession and baptism. It all fits together just as well
today as it did in the first century.

So when you think that everything is changing, would you remember what is not changing. Even in the church, we are constantly changing things...( They are called methods.) But the MESSAGE... that is another story. It does not change. The old time gospel message has been around for 2000 years and will be around until the day Jesus comes back.

So hang on friends... go with the change and technology... just remember that God is in control... and what is most important in life will never change.

Beeson closes his post out with these words from scripture.

"When God wanted to guarentee his promises, he gave his word- a rock solide guarentee- God can't break His word.And because His word can not change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives for God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It is a unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God. " Hebrews 6:17-20


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