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Not All Technology Is Good

Today's front page article in the Washington Post cries out, "Worship Goes Big-Screen and Hi-Fi, With Direct-Deposit Tithing".  The sub-title reads "Technology Raises Fears of a Lost Reverence".  

Since the advent of audio-visual capabilities which began simply by projecting bible texts and hymns of praise on large screens, there have been continuing evolutionary steps taken to make worship "more accessible" for any and all people.  The strategic placement of microphones and amplification of choir lofts and narthex spaces quickly led to infra-red sensors and headsets to make it possible for those with hearing difficulties sitting in the pews to participate.  Now officiants or leaders of worship and preachers may wear a wireless mike while celebrating the liturgy, reading the scriptures, and preaching The Word.  More so today, things have gone high-tech, state-of-the-art, with broadcast studios, lights, cameras, internet cafes and podcasts.  I do think that text-messaging the preacher via their cell phone to interject thoughts for the day's sermon is taking it a bit too far.  Please do not misunderstand me - I am not opposed to getting The Word out to the masses this way - technology is not a bad thing altogether.  However, it does beg the question of how those who worship "remotely", due to the inconvenience of time and space (the hour of the service itself or the commute required to arrive there on time) actually join together at the Lord's Table for eucharist.  No, most technological advancements are useful and welcome, but it should never be considered a substitute to being present before God as a community while we pray "Be present, be present, O Jesus, Our Great High Priest...".   

Where I do take severe umbrage is the thought that sacrificial giving through on-line capabilities of direct-deposit tithing is good and right to do.  Convenient, uh... yes.  But right, I do not think so.  Where does it say stewardship should be comfortable and easy.  That's not what I have ever heard or felt.  Lord help us if we ever have the conscious thought "I know I'm good with God this week because my deposit was processed last Thursday".  In my heart and my mind's eye, once I decide to offer thanksgiving back to God for the blessings he has bestowed upon me, the mechanics by which that offering is made is still very important.  An ACH Deposit from my account to God's, courtesy of the church where I worship, is cheap.  In fact, for me, it would be tainted.  I don't care for this technological advance.  I never have.  Given my former career where I spent more than half my life, there may be some who do not understand my ire here.  Oh well.  This is definitely one instance where not all technology is good.

For the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/24/AR2007092401853.html?hpid=moreheadlines

All things come of thee, O Lord.  And our own, have we given thee. Amen.       


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Ummm....guess what's under discussion?
The thought process is not to take away the mechanics, but to allow those for whom actually writing checks has become anathema to move their pledges into the 21st century *yeah, I really did just write that*. No one HAS to sign up for it. But it certainly would facilitate actually receiving the money on a regular basis from those unable/unwilling to attend every Sunday. August will be so much more reliable to the treasurer.
Just wanted to let you know...didn't cover this part after the meeting last night.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )