I’m out of town on a surfing trip this week taking advantage of my time off due to unemployment. So I’m cleaning out the draft folder and posting what I consider to be Charlie’s Church of Christ b-sides. Every band writes songs that aren’t amazing enough to put on the record, yet still shouldn’t be tossed out. These posts are like that. Hopefully you don’t think they’re “f-sides.” Please note I won’t have regular internet access and won’t be replying to comments until later in the week.
On my five month road trip across the U.S. a few years back I would select the church I’d attend (in whatever town I was camping in) by who had the coolest website. That cool website usually meant I was walking into a slick auditorium with high grade lighting constantly changing as they showed funny video productions during announcements. It meant I didn’t visit any Lutheran churches. I’d leave the church impressed by how advanced they were.
Christians are historically late bloomers when it comes to keeping up with culture. However lately we’ve embraced technology. I think it’s because being hi-tech helps Christianity feel cool and hip so we finally don’t feel like a dusty, archaic dark ages religion.
It worked on me. If we convince a non-Christian to come to church we’re proud to show off our gadgets and show that we’re not like those medieval churches with robes, hymnals and gray hairs. It took a while to catch up but here we are baby!
I think technology helps us, humanity, feel powerful – even invincible. It gives us a sense of security and confidence – that we can do whatever we want and overcome whatever obstacle no matter how tall. And while we’ve achieved much and come quite far the fact remains we are small. Even worse, we always be.
Without the earth we sit upon we’d have none of the materials to fashion this technology we love. And, as we are painfully aware of recently, we are at the mercy of this very same earth.
I’m not saying technology is bad. It’d be hilarious if that was what I’m saying, since I am typing this. I grew up right near the Amish, but I’m not advocating for a simple life. I’m just saying we in all of our fancy digital lives it would do us good to remember we’re still playing with the same stuff we’re made of – dirt.
At some point no matter how much you’ve rebelled you slowly realize you’re starting to sound just like your parents. It’s eternally annoying. I’m there now. I feel like the fundamentalists I came from. It seems like our love affair with technology is just another idol we’ve constructed to make us feel better about ourselves.
And why are idols so dangerous? They work. They food us, convincingly. We fall for it hard. And they’re super easy, a lot less complex than that pesky God.
What do you think about the church’s recent love affair with technology? And if you’re going to rant about using technology as a tool then say something about that we’re not expecting!