A Difference Between
A Computer and Television?
Concerning Christian Convictions
DON’T THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER!
By Bill Burket
Some good brethren see the computer as evil, like television. Let me tell you the BIG difference; I can sit at my computer and reach my arms around the entire world with the message of Jesus redeeming love and the transforming grace of God that saves. Tell me, can a man do that sitting in front of his TV? It is perhaps one of the greatest tools for education and learning since the printing press was invented. We know the dangers of the computer and urge every Christian to use all the safeguards available for YOU and your children. You can make it safe for your family and even make it a tool for evangelism from your home to around the world.
It’s true to say that people do have access to THE black pits of hell on the computer … BUT that brings up another thing about a computer that you cannot do with a TV in your home if you have children. As a parent you can install a program on your computer with a password that blocks out all undesirable sites you don’t want your children to access even when you are not home or in the room to monitor them. You can’t do that with a TV. A computer can be made to be used only for wholesome and educational purposes, which you cannot do with a TV.
The church is equipped with all of it’s needed powers through the Holy Spirit and He is all sufficient for our task of winning the world to Christ. We don’t need the computer, high tech or anything to be a witness for the Lord in this world. We have been given the very mind of God in the gift of His Word and the Spirit of God literally baptizes us with supernatural gifts and divine enablement to convince the gainsayers. These are the resources God has provided to empower the church. We know we don’t need anything else! But the Spirit of God uses mundane things to become extensions of the His Word and His Spirit.
Brethren, we ourselves are extensions of Christ’s ministry, and then other things in our hands to become extensions of our ministry.
And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. Exodus 4:2. Moses and Aaron both had rods they used to perform miracles. Moses was an extension of God, and the rod was an extension of Moses. God used both Moses AND his rod! BUT, Did God need those rods? Wasn’t the power of the Spirit sufficient without the rods? Then why the rods? I AM NOT TRYING TO MAKE THE POINT THAT ALMOST ANYTHING CAN BE USED FOR GOOD OR BAD. THAT IS AN OLD WORN OUT ARGUMENT THAT DOESN’T HOLD WATER.
The point I’m making is that THE POWER OF GOD DID NOT NEED THE RODS TO DIVIDE THE RED SEA OR TO RELEASE TORRENTS OF WATER FOR A MULTITUDE OF MORE THAN TWO MILLION HEBREWS STUCK OUT ON THE DESERT, and the cattle. It was indeed the power of God that divided the Red Sea! not the rod!
There are many things used by men to glorify God other than His Word and His Spirit! For example, we have bibles printed with beautiful gilded gold edges, references in the margins, study notes and concordance, all printed on a modern printing press. So the printing press becomes a medium in the hands of good men to multiply the Word of God in the languages of the nations! That same press may be used to produce billions of dollars worth of pornography. But I will gladly receive a King James Bible not asking what other things might be printed on that same press.
Consider the modern translations of the Bible from different “original” Greek texts. Scholars have popularized the absurd idea that “Older is better.” Implying that the older the MS the more accurate it is (?) and faithful to the original. The only thing that can make that premise valid is if we had the originals to compare the fragments with – but we do Not have them. The high sounding idea that older is better is a bit of splendid intellectual idiocy! So, even the perfectly good Word of God has been corrupted in the hands of men.
There are many imperfect man made things in this world that God uses to reach the world with the gospel of redemption. I’m not going to say that printing presses are bad, but use them to print sound literature and reach millions with it. I may add that many of the Christian printing publishers print outlandish modern translations on the same presses that print the preserved KJV Bibles.
I fly to several nations a year preaching and teaching the Word of God. Jet travel is wonderful, but like the printing press it is being wonderfully used to carry the gospel to the nations in these closing hours of Grace.
My point, again, is that God does use other things as extensions of the Word of God and the power of His Spirit and as mediums of propagation and as tools of evangelism. When you condemn something because some people use it for evil then you need to rethink it and remember that everything that touches a man’s hands, no matter how good it is, he manages to corrupt it.
If you are reading these lines I am NOT asking you to change your conviction about the computer. You should keep your personal conviction if they are based solidly on moral facts or the principles of purity which you believe violate your Biblical convictions. Keep your convictions! BUT . . . allow your brother or sister to have their convictions also. It may be that the use of a computer is essential to their work or even their ministry. We know there have been solid conversions to Christ through the computer. Over the years I have had numbers of people write me and thank me for the truth that turned them to the truth of Biblical separation and holiness of life. We may reject another brother’s convictions, but don’t reject the brother.
I have authored 9 books and booklets. All but impossible without a computer to do all the composition on including grammatical and spelling programs that automatically correct your writing as your typing. The computer is one of the most productive tools that technology has put in th hands of writers, artists and about every other industry. My first book took several months to compile and have ready for the printers. But the books I compiled with a printer reduced that to a few short weeks of time. I also have over fifty years of notes stored on the hard drive of my computer and a backup archive with all of my decades of ministry and work saved there to insure I won’t lose it.
Haven’t we all discovered that what one Christian may not allow, another may not feel a moral danger of? A brother may be very strict about a tie thinking it vain and worldly while another may not. One brother thinks it’s quite alright to go to a restaurant after the morning service and then another may think it is a violation of the Lord’s Day. I belong to the latter but I am not going to condemn or dis-fellowship the brother who does violate my strong feelings about the fourth commandment.
The computer is a devilish instrument if you are weak or carnal. But if you hate sin with a perfect hatred then it’s not going to tempt you any more than you would be tempted to jog down the middle of the Interstate. But, even though the filth computer users have access to has no appeal to any godly person who is a friend of God, I have a blocking program on my computer that blocks any filth to further eliminate it from appearing on my computer. But the main reason I have it on my computer is to make it impossible for anyone to accuse me falsely. My computer is simply not capable of being naughty!
We can make the argument that a rod, like anything else can be used to inflict pain or hurt on others as well as be used of God as a symbol of God’s authority vested in Moses and Aaron. But the more important fact is that God used a rod when He didn’t need it, His miracles to perform!
The computer has three powerful resources
that can be used for God’s work:
One secret to living above sin is to cultivate a perfect hatred of sin.
Another secret to avoid computer problems is to install a screening program on your browser.
1. PROPAGATION: As I stated at the top of this discourse, We must stop and think what a powerful thing the computer is to reach every soul with access to a computer – which now ranges into the hundreds of millions in every nation of the world and increases daily! It passes over borders, over mountain summits and across oceans to reach into every town and hamlet with the message of God’s Son, Jesus. When I am abroad I often just refer people I am talking to my web site, www.actsion.com. If they visit this site they are met with the story of the cross on the front page entitled CRUCIFIXION! Then they have a wealth of material explaining the message of the Bible. It’s more than book, it’s a whole library of the truth contained in God’s Word! While I am sleeping every night people from over the world are visiting my web. There is no other way a person, a single person, can get access to billions of people from his own home. I have often wondered that if Paul the apostle was alive today. would he have a web site. The man who said, I am all things to all men; would he have a web site reaching it’s arms around the world with his message? I lean heavily on a yes.
2. COMMUNICATION: Communication is essential to function efficiently. The computer has infinite means of communication now. I have a program that cost 12 dollars to sign up and then all of my calls to any phone in USA and Canada from my computer are free! Then you have the Hotmail and Yahoo Messenger service that allows you to call from computer to computer with a CAM (camera) to view each other while talking. I use the phone service because I can call any mobile phone or land phone free. The best I have found after trying most of them is Voipraider.com that you can download free. Pay a one time installation fee of 15 dollars and then you can make free calls anywhere in Canada or the USA or to most nations in the world including Europe and China FREE! This means we have instant communication to do the King’s business! Then you have email which is also free if you have Internet access. This allows us to write each other. I just finished making up my Spring itinerary this week. It normally costs me hundreds of dollars on that month’s phone bill, but now it’s all free and that money has been freed for mission projects.
3. INFORMATION: We are living in “The Information Age.” Since the Internet has become available to everyone through the Personal computer (PC) it means I can get on the Internet and make a search on any word or subject and immediately have a list of sites I can visit – sometimes millions of “hits” I can visit and get information from. The program, Answers.com allows you to hold down the Alt key on any word in any text and click on your mouse and a window comes up with the meaning or information on that word or name, or chemical – whatever! You can ask about headaches or Bible characters and always have more sources of information than you can possibly read. Do you want to know about Mohammad’s early life? That he was epileptic and received visions while having seizures of epilepsy? That he married a girl of seven years old when he was 52 when his wife died? Most good Bible programs today have a library included making Bible facts available to us instantly. But there is information we sometimes need that the bible does not provide and when you are speaking on a subject you need to have a good information to speak knowledgeably. My study habits have changed dramatically in the last 30 years! Since we entered the computer age this is called The Information Age. The greatest and most powerful Bible software I have ever had on my computer for Bible study is a free download from e-sword.com. I use it daily building my website, preparing my notes and making in depth Bible studies.
Sorry to tell you, but the TV does not have any of these qualities – only the computer has these qualities to help us evangelize. Propagation? Yes, it can be used for that but it’s only available to large rich churches usually propagating a false gospel of prosperity and sensualism. Then 80% of the junk coming over the TV isn’t fit for hogs to watch. Communication? Yes, but it’s one way communication and the popular unelected politics of liberalism sees to it that the content is controlled to control your thinking. You can get multiple views on a given subject on a computer and then you can reply and contact the source and talk back. Not on TV. Information? TV is controlled almost entirely by globalists and liberals. You can visit many different sites and find those who deal more in truth and reality than in the fantasies of a one world government. Yes, there’s a lot of information coming over the TV but most of it by liberals and amoralists. You have nothing to say about what the producers put out. On a computer I can choose my sources of information.
That is the difference between computers and television.