Please allow me to begin by stating very emphatically that I am not opposed to technology and as a pastor, I rely very heavily on Bible programs to assist in preparing sermons — it’s incredible to have access to any verse of Scripture simply by typing a single word into a computer.
With this being said, I am also seeing a trend that I find to be very troubling: More and more people are ditching the Book version of the Word of God altogether and replacing it with a cell phone app. Being someone who has the Bible on my cell phone, I recognize the value in opening my phone and immediately being able to immerse myself in Scripture anytime and anywhere; however, as of late, I have found myself making a conscious effort to hang on to and use my Bible, and here’s why:
So I can Have Something to Pass Down to My Grandchildren
My grandmother was never a wealthy woman — she was a poor Appalachian Mountain woman who just so happened to know the God of Heaven. She was a prayer warrior who could shake the very foundation’s of Glory when the need arose. When she died, I was 16 and there really wasn’t very much of an inheritance to be gotten; however, one thing that I was able to walk away from her house holding that sad afternoon was her personal Bible.
The pages are yellow, brittle, and stained with tears of sadness as well as joy. Each handwritten note in the margins and each tattered page is a living example of the faith of a woman who saturated her family in prayer and Scriptures. When I found myself going through the doubtful and restless years of my early-twenties, it was her Bible that provided encouragement and help to me. As someone who is now a pastor, I’m grateful beyond words that she had a tangible Bible that made its way into my hands.
Now that I’m older, I don’t want to rob my grandchildren of this very same blessing by limiting my Bible reading and note taking to a cell phone app; knowing that within the next 6 months to a year I will have a totally new cell phone and everything will be lost.
The Testimony of Reading My Bible
None of us should ever read our Bible for the purpose of having people look at us; religious pride is one of the greatest hindrances to national revival. With this being said, believers have also been commanded to have the Word of God posted to their houses and gates, as a testimony to those passing by as to whose side we’re on.
When I finish my cheeseburger in a crowded lunchroom and reach into my pocket and pull out my cell phone to finish reading the final chapter of Ezekiel, I am absolutely no different from anyone else in that restaurant — I am just another person with his head buried into a cell phone, oblivious of the entire world around him.
However, when I reach back and pull out a pocket Bible, nothing too large or overbearing, but a simple pocket Bible, what I am doing is making a public profession. I am saying to a world that is moving farther away from Scriptures with each passing day that “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1.16).
I don’t desire to be just another person with his head buried in a phone, I desire to be a witness and a testimony to the God of Heaven that there is still a remnant that is unashamed.
Also, when I’m at home and my children are playing in the living room floor while I’m sitting above them on the couch, I happen to believe that it’ll send a far more powerful message to them seeing my face immersed in that old black book than them seeing me looking at my cell phone.
“Let not then your good be evil spoken of:” – Romans 14.16
Because I Don’t Take My Cell Phone Into Church
Once upon a time, all of us lived reckless and hardcore lives: we’d go to the corner store without even taking a cell phone! Now, those days are a faint memory and it seems that most people would rather separate a limb than they would their phone — even if only for a few minutes.
According to a 2017 article published by the NY Post, Americans check their phone on average once every 12 minutes, while a study by Asurion found that the average person struggles to go little more than 10 minutes without checking their phone.
As much as I’d love to claim a false self-righteousness and pretend that I do not fall into this group, the truth is that I’m ashamed to admit this is probably accurate concerning me as well. Therefore, I refuse to bring my cell phone into a church service. There have been times that I have forgotten this, but there’s something that just doesn’t feel right about bringing in a cell phone into church.
If I can’t give God a single hour of the week without suffering separation anxiety from a device, then something is terribly wrong with me both spiritually and mentally. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to someone who may have a sick family member at home and that cell phone may be their only lifeline, but by and large, it would do all of us well to leave the cell phone in the car and bring an actual Bible into the church service — getting distracted by a cell phone in church will have a person checking Facebook, Instagram, texting or doing a million other things, whereas, getting distracted by their Bible while in church will simply lead them to reading another passage of Scripture while the preacher is speaking… not a bad way to get distracted if you ask me!
Bottom line — Let’s not kid ourselves that a cell phone app is even close to being the same as a tangible Bible that can be used as a testimony and handed down for generations.
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