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Granted – there is no verse which tells us, “Go forth and conquer the Internet.” There is no verse which says, “Go ye into the Twitter and facebook and preach the Gospel.” However, if we look at the spread of God’s Word through history, we will see the evolution of the Gospel. Of course, the Holy Spirit of God knew the Internet would come. But when the Spirit of God superintended the holy men of old, God could not convey the concept of the Internet to them. In fact, The Lord told John not to write of some of the things he saw. Did John see the internet? I don’t know. I do know John, Paul, and the others, would have had no frame of reference to use to describe the Internet, if they saw it. Of course, these penmen of the Bible could also never have understood the concept of the movable press, the radio, the television, the computer or the Internet. Since there is no direct mention of the Internet in the Word of God, should we just ignore the internet? Consider the question this way: because the movable press was, at one time, new technology, should we ignore it? In both cases, the answer is a resounding no. Just as we rely upon the printed Word of God, we must also embrace technology as a tool to spread the Gospel of Christ.

The Past

Over the last century, we have witnessed technology evolve faster and further than our fathers could ever have imagined. Likewise, we cannot imagine where technology will evolve in the next century.  When radio arrived on the scene, the majority of our brethren in fundamentalism cried against it. When moving pictures arrived, preachers likewise preached against it Similarly, fundamentalists have cried out against the Internet.  Yes, each one of these technologies are heavily used for evil purposes.  In fact, a great deal of profit from pornography has been made through each one of these technologies. Does that mean we ignore the technology? No.

Genesis 50:20 (KJV)  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

If you recall, Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. They wanted Joseph dead. However, God worked through the brother’s evil actions to do good. No, we shouldn’t sin to spread the Gospel, but using technology is not a sin.

The Internet

Many people have a misconception of what the internet really is.  Some still think of the Internet as a mysterious beast which will come into your home and steal your children. This is not true.  The internet is a means of communication. Nothing more.  However, through this means of communication, we can access any form of media imaginable. We can read, listen to, or watch anything ranging from great preachers of the past to pop-culture idols to pornography.  Yes, the internet is a tool which can be used for evil. However, just as Joseph’s brothers conspired evil against him, God used them as tools to do a good thing. The internet is a tool God can use for good. As fundamentalists, we must embrace the internet, understanding that it is a dangerous tool.

Social Media

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are little more than a means of communication.  Two hundred years ago, if you wanted the latest news, you could not turn on the television and watch your favorite news channel. If you wanted the latest news, you went to the town square and listened to the town crier. If you needed to purchase something, you found a vendor in the town square. If you were interested in politics, you went to the town square.  Somewhere near the twon square, you could find a church. It is likely that a preacher would be standing in the town square proclaiming the Word of God to the people.  Somewhere near the town square, you could find a bar or a pub. Of course, if you were immoral, and wanted to commit some immorality, you could also find that at the town square.

Today, the town square is not a popular gathering place.  When we need a product, we go to a store, or we buy it online. Many of our communications are through the internet. Almost everyone born after 1990 gets all of their news and most of their entertainment from the Internet. In fact, many millennials are not using broadcast media at all.  No radio. No television as we understand it. Does this mean we should move our churches to the Internet, too? Of course not! But, we must acknowledge the Internet for the modern town square that it is.  We cannot fear the modern town square, we must embrace it. We should never neglect the pulpit, but we must adjust our focus. We must devote at least some of our resources to an internet ministry.

People Are Searching

Do you know of anyone who was saved as a result of so-called “random chance” which led them to read a tract? If you pass out one-hundred tracts, it is likely fewer than one tract of that one hundred will actually be read. The same random chance which could lead someone to read your tract can also lead someone to a random website.  As a matter of fact, the at the time of this article, the phrase “how to get saved” averaged, on a daily basis, in the 23rd percentile of all searches.  While that does not seem very high, remember that Google handles billions of searches per hour. When a lonely soul searches for salvation at four in the morning, will they find your church’s site or will they stumble into the Mormon or Jehovah’s Witnesses website? Do not be fooled – and are both well=designed, well=marketed websites which certainly get a lot of traffic.

The Future

Just as Paul could never have imagined a computer network we call the internet, we cannot imagine where technology will lead us. The only question is: will we embrace it, or will we let the cults and perverts use this tool for their purposes.

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In a small southern town, in the middle of the Bible Belt, you would think a church would be welcome.  Where, as the media claims, the citizens cling to their God, their guns and their Bible, you would think the free exercise of religion, as promised in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, would be a priority. Perhaps the majority of us do believe the free exercise of our religious beliefs is a priority, but it seems as though a few people on the City Council of Gaffney, SC do not.

In 2017, the city of Gaffney voted 3-2 to revise their zoning ordinances. Existing churches were unaffected. However, new churches, or moving existing churches was completely prohibited.  This was not a prohibition on any non-profit or civic organization — just churches.

On February 11, 2019, the city council met with citizens and lawyers from the American Center for Law and Justice.  After their meeting, city council has agreed to allow new churches to form within the city limits.

However, the city still imposes limits on the free exercise of religion. One example of this is the city’s prohibition on street preachers.  To preach on a street corner in Gaffney, SC, you must obtain a permit through an appeal before the city council.

Friends, this is an assault on our Constitutional freedom. More importantly, this is evidence of the world’s hatred need for Christ.

John 15:18-19 (KJV) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

When we, as Christians, face opposition such as this, we must remember that we are not pioneers.  We are not the first to face such opposition. The world, and Satan, oppose us only because we are taking a stand for Jesus.  So, when we face opposition, we must brace ourselves against the resistance and press on. The punishment bore for us is far greater than any opposition we face today.