Uploading the Gospel!
The Potential, The Danger, The Challenge
Accompanied by Mark Copeland and Jon W. Quinn, I was involved in teaching a
class at the Florida College Lectures (near Tampa) early in February. Our
subject - USING THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY TO SPREAD THE WORD. The class room
was designed to hold 70, but we had over 100 each morning. This interests in
cyberspace prompted me to think about this great opportunity.
THE POTENTIAL. Only with some stretch of the imagination can we envision what may be ahead in the use of computer online technology. My first contact with this medium was my son's Vic 20, with a 600 baud modem and a cassette recorder for data storage. That was in the early 1980's. That son is now 24, is the manager of a software outlet, and does his work from a PC, fully loaded with a Pentium processor (he doesn't do math!). I started my own use of computers with an Apple IIe with 120K of RAM. I now have a Mac Performa 450, a 14.4 modem, a power CD, SyQuest Drive and closet full of docs. All of this I've experienced in less than twenty years. Where will we be in 2015? Quinn probably thinks I'll be in a high-tech, government supported care center for old preachers. Perhaps, but if I can still think and type I'll park my wheelchair in front of the latest Mac. And I hope I'll still be monitoring monthly downloads of Expository Files(*see below). The potential use of this medium to spread God's Word is staggering. Will the obligation of our stewardship compel us to use this medium?
THE DANGER. Every major step we take in the use of electronic technology will be accompanied by the danger of misuse. Already, there are porno promoters and child molesters attempting to use this medium for their ugly business. Cults and false teachers of every sort are racing up and down the information superhighway. And while there is a tremendous opportunity for self-publishing open on the Internet, this means there will be both good and bad material in circulation. Those of us with interests in a higher direction need to find our place in the use of this medium, and join with other good computer users to self-police cyberspace.
If we don't, guess who will? Can you envision weeks of Congressional hearings on the formation of statutes, laws and regulations for the information superhighway?
THE CHALLENGE is to upload the gospel! Preachers, take the best material you have and make it available on AOL, CompuServe and other locations. Search out those bulletin articles and sermon outlines with good, clear biblical content and take just a few moments to make it available. One thing we hope to do with the success of EF is, influence and encourage Christians to UPLOAD THE GOSPEL.
And, in all our efforts may we prayerfully and seriously give heed to what Paul wrote: "Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus," (2 Tim. 1:13). UPLOAD THE GOSPEL. Start today.
By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 2.3; March, 1995