Beware of False Prophets, By RCY
By Paul Miller
September 8, 2018
The Bible tells us to beware of false prophets. Search your heart, and can you truthfully say from the bottom of your heart that there is nothing wrong with smartphones and all that other modern technology? Are you just taking out of the Bible what you want and twisting it to how you want it?
Praying you will find the truth.
— RCY from NY
Paul Miller responds:
You are right, in the Bible it does tell us to beware of false prophets. There are many false prophets out there. Some tell us that we can become gods. Others tell us that Jesus is not God. Some say that we get to heaven by joining a church or following rules. However, if we want to know God’s truth, we must go to God’s Word and see what His Book really says.
There is nothing in the Bible specifically about smartphones or other modern technology, so we must then look at biblical principles and see what applies to modern technology. We certainly do not need modern technology to sin. We can sin without any technology at all. We can sin with a computer and without one. We can sin with a smartphone and without one. Certainly some modern technology makes it easier to sin, but it also makes it easier to do good, too.
This reminds me of the gun control debate. Some people blame guns for murder, although most people with guns do not kill others.
It is the same with smartphones. Some use them for sinful purposes, but many use them for good. I personally do not have a smartphone. I personally do not use much of the modern technology that many other people do, but that is a decision that I have made. I know many people who use modern technology to proclaim the truth of Jesus. I know missionaries who use that technology to reach people with the love of Jesus who would not be reached without it. It is not necessarily the technology that is evil, but the problem is the sin in our hearts.
Imagine this discussion in the 1400s about the invention of the printing press. Some might have seen it as a great thing, enabling the Scriptures to be printed much more inexpensively and quickly and reaching hundreds of thousands of people with God’s Word who might not have had it otherwise. However, some might have said, “Johann, how can you use that modern technology? Don’t you know that now many people will print bad things and will spread false doctrine more quickly?” It would not have been the printing press that was good or evil, but the hearts of the people using it.
Think of all the things that are made with modern technology: pens, computers, newspapers, generators, books, the material for our clothes, the things we buy at Walmart, and so much more. If we need a ride and call someone who answers his smartphone, is it wrong to accept a ride from that person? If our newspaper is printed with computers and modern technology, is it wrong to subscribe to the paper? If our baseballs and gloves are made with modern technology, is it wrong to have them? If the post office uses technology to deliver our mail, is it wrong to mail a letter?
Look how Jesus dealt with these things. The entire Sermon on the Mount was about the difference between outward actions and the condition of the heart. We do not have to use a smartphone to sin. Many people have sinned without smartphones. If we choose not to have smartphones, that is fine. However, it is probably more important to make sure that the inside is all cleaned up rather than trying to appear clean on the outside. That is what Jesus taught.
Let us then not make a legalistic list of things that are approved or not approved. Let us not condemn others who do not think exactly as we do in these things, but let us be sure that our hearts are right in God’s sight. We can follow all the rules and look good and pious to others, yet still have a filthy heart. Do we have new hearts, or are we trying to clean up the old one?
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
If you will be tempted by a smartphone or a magazine or a generator, then it might be good to avoid those things. However, let us each be sure that we are right with God ourselves. If someone lusts with a smartphone, he is just as guilty as the person who lusts without one. Maybe using a generator will tempt some to want more technology. Maybe riding in a van will cause some to want to drive a car. Maybe going to Walmart will cause all kinds of sinful thoughts and desires. Should we get rid of everything?
How good it would be for us to be victorious over sin through Jesus! The Amish Voice is not about trying to get people to buy or destroy smartphones, but about having hearts that have been changed by God and living for Him.
Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. . . . For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
(Romans 14:3-4, 9-12)
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