Earley: What would Jesus do with the Internet?

A minister had run out of time to prepare for a sudden funeral. Using the latest technology, he went to his computer and found the funeral service he had used last, did a “search and replace,” had the computer put in the name of the newly deceased, “Edna,” as a replacement for the woman in the previous funeral, “Mary.” Everything went fine until they came to the Apostles’ Creed, wherein the minister confessed that Jesus was born of the Virgin Edna.

Approximately 3.2 billion people use the internet. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 200 billion emails and 3 billion Google searches would have to wait if the internet goes down for a day. In 2005, broadband internet had a maximum speed of 2 megabits per second. In 2015, 100 Mbps download speeds are available in many parts of the country.

Would Jesus use the internet? He might, if it glorified God. The problem is much of the internet does not glorify God. On the positive side, there is a world of information, entertainment, communication and adventure. Through web sites, emails and social media, we can communicate with countless people. That communication can include very creative ways to share the gospel. God’s amazing world is opened up to us in a way unimagined by those who developed it in the 1960s as an experiment by the U.S. military.

We are also all too aware of the dark and evil world of the internet. Accidentally (or intentionally) type the wrong key words into Google and your monitor will be splashed with an array of web sites, pictures and videos that focus on pornography, promiscuity, hatred, satanism, terrorism, torture and every other conceivable evil humanity has ever imagined.

Would Jesus use the internet? Probably, but in a very limited sense. Again, if it glorified God. I also think one of His teachings today would be “The Parable of the Rich Fool” (Luke 12:13-21 modernized). He might tell it something like this.

And he told them this parable: “The computer technology business of a tech-savvy man yielded riches beyond his wildest imagination. He was often preoccupied with how he could earn more, employ more and expand into new markets. His wife and his children missed him so much, but he told them over and over, “This is all for you. We can travel more, have more, do more and experience the good life. One day I will retire, and we will live the good life together.” The years passed, the children grew up, and the wife spent many nights in bed alone.

The mansion was quiet at 1 a.m. as the man pored over computer generated numbers and reports from all over the world. He had built an empire, where he could influence the lives of millions of people and make a real difference in the world. He could control everything, except his health. Suddenly, a pain in his chest was overwhelming. At 3 a.m., his wife found him dead in his chair.

People came from all over the world to mourn his death, and say nice things about him. Statues were built in his honor. He had a giant tombstone with lots of flattering words engraved on it. Then Jesus came to visit and said, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)

What do you think? Would Jesus use the internet? How much time do you spend each day on the internet? Take time tomorrow to calculate exactly how long you have been online. Do you spend any time in the dark world of the internet? How do you stop that? Is it possible that you don’t need it at all? Have you ever gone a day without getting online? Try it one day and spend the extra time reading your Bible and praying. It will have a huge impact on how you use the internet.

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous columns, see www.lagrangepres.com.