As this Reuters post explains, in 2012, Pope Benedict stated, “If God and moral values, the difference between good and evil, remain in darkness, then all other ‘lights’, that put such incredible technical feats within our reach, are not only progress but also dangers that put us and the world at risk.” I can see where he is coming from, however, I don’t agree with the Pope entirely. I think we are moving towards a reality where people rely more on technology instead of God, however, I don’t think it actually has anything to do with the technology itself. If we look throughout the Bible, we see the exact same patterns occur over and over again. People are faithful to God entirely, people start to wonder and question God’s goodness, people find something else to praise instead of God. It has been women, animals, organic objects, etc. you name it and humans have found a way to worship it. All of these things would be considered blessings of God, and so often we have the tendency to worship the blessing instead of the One who blessed us with it.
I think we often demonize technology; however, we have to realize two things:
1. Technology doesn’t possess the capability to be evil on its own, it’s people who use it in an evil way who make it evil.
2. Technology isn’t only smartphones and computers, technology also includes cars, roads, wells, tools, etc.
We don’t demonize roads or cars; they help us to live our daily lives. We also need wells to access water for drinking and for other daily tasks. Technology is necessary and is a great blessing, sometimes it’s even life-giving. We wouldn’t have access to modern medicine without technology – if you think of all the vastly different categories under the umbrella of technology, to say or believe it is evil outside of being directly correlated to God just wouldn’t be logical. I also think that even if a person isn’t intending to use something to glorify God, He will be glorified regardless, to not believe this would be putting God into a very small box.
The Church often demonizes technology even if they are considering its use in spreading the Gospel. However, nothing we do is original if God is the original creator. This would mean we could also apply this belief to all technology. We would not have created even the simplest of technology if God had not planted the idea or capabilities into the inventor, so He really is the initial inventor of all technology. If we really look at technology, it can also cause us to want to honor God even more. Ben Isaacs, a Senior at Greenville says “I think God intended for us to advance and create technology. Through more and more advanced inventions, we begin to see God’s creativity and intricacy even more through our creations.” As we begin to notice the intricacies of God, we will begin to recognize Him for who He is, which is something the Church should recognize and consider before rejecting technological advances.
Something to also consider, the Gospel would not be as worldwide as it is today without the use of technology, so the Church should definitely embrace technology with great fervor and excitement. Boats and planes were able to transport missionaries to remote locations that people wouldn’t have previously been able to access, for the sole purpose of providing aid and relaying the Gospel message, which is what we’re all called to do in the first place. Smartphones also can provide instant access to the Bible for those (Christian or not) who wish to read it. Worship music and sermons can be listened to from anywhere now. So, technology is providing access to God’s Message not only to those who are in remote, third-world locations, but also those who are in first world nations, both who are in need of the Message.
I have sometimes been guilty of questioning if technology is the source of negativity for our younger generations, both mine and those that come after me. However, as I look more closely at all technology can do, from the most basic tech all the way up to the handheld devices that can complete most tasks for us, I can see that it actually is a wonderful thing. We just need to ensure we are wielding the power it brings well, acknowledging that all good things are from God, so we need to treat it as such.