Welcome to Mount Vernon Grace Community Church
Praise Prayer Worship
Come and Worship With Us
18350 Hopewell Road, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
Pastor Roger Tickle: (740) 668-8695 - e-mail: email@example.com
Elder Richard Schwartz: (740) 501-4051 - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elder Rob Chandler: (614) 580-6471
Sunday Service: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Supervised nursery is available during Sunday morning service.
Wednesday Night Bible Study: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Pastor Roger and Melodee Tickle
Isa. 1:18 Come let us reason together… Are we really getting smarter or are we being programmed to think differently?
OK, I admit it. I am upper middle aged. My world view comes from a pre computer pre cell phone era. We only had 3 channels on the television to choose from and we had to get out of our chair to change the channel. You had to dial a number on the telephone. Which, incidentally, we had to wait till we were at home to receive or make a call and if we weren’t home when you called then we just had to wait till we saw each other to talk. (Novel idea)
Rob and Laura Petrie slept in separate beds, Ward Clever went to work every morning and June was a ‘stay at home mom’. The worst language you heard was ‘golly gee’ and The Lone Ranger rode a white horse and always beat the bad guy without ever drawing blood. Good triumphed over evil and we knew the difference between the two.
The technological age has ushered in a whole new way of thinking about and viewing society. Are we smarter or were they? It all depends on what smart means.
If we were to take a test from the eighteen hundreds we would probably struggle. If you were able to give a test from today to a student back then they would struggle. They weren’t necessarily smarter, knowledge was different. They had to know how to work problems out in their head or on paper we have to know how to work a calculator. They had to be able to spell a word from memory; we have to know where the spell check button is. If you can at least get close to the correct spelling you should never have a misspelled word.
What would a bible drill look like today? IPODS and cell phones held high in the air. “Ready, Ezekiel 23:10! GO!” The winner is the one that has the best bible app and can punch a keypad the quickest. (As I am typing this I noticed the abbreviation for application, app, is now a word) You don’t have to know the order of the books of the bible any more. You don’t even need to know if it is New or Old Testament, and it amazes me how many don’t.
Once again I admit it, I am old school. I am evolving though. I text message and e-mail more now and I use the internet (some) to study. (I still have an aversion to face book and glorified internet chat rooms. This may come as a shock but I really don’t care what you had for dinner last night or how romantic your spouse was with you or how many times little Jonnie peed in his potty. The thing I hate the most is the tangles I have to help unravel or the broken pieces I have to help pick up after someone has had an internet affair which amounts to no more than a fairy tale that we want to live out in real time and they walk away from their marriage to the proverbial greener grass only to find the grass was the same on either side of the fence and If I would have continued eating in my own yard I would have learned to find satisfaction in my own grass. But I digress.)
Is all the above mentioned away of dumbing us down or just changing the way we think. Are we smarter today or just programmed differently?
In Isaiah 1 the prophet opens his dialog with a very sober review of the state if things in Israel. (Take a couple moments to read it.) They are in rebellion against God. And because of that they are oppressed, diseased, enslaved, full of moral decline, etc… Isaiah has a request in verse 18; “Come let us reason together…” They are in the state they are in because their way of thinking had been changed. They no longer used reason to make decisions. [Reason = In common and popular discourse, reason denotes that power by which we distinguish truth from falsehood, and right from wrong, and by which we are enabled to combine means for the attainment of particular ends. The ability to reason is one of the many attributes that sets us apart from the animal world.]
Israel had lost their capacity to reason and therefore their world view became distorted and twisted. They are offered an option. Reason this thing out and conclude what the truth is and which decision is going to be to your advantage in the long run or continue living in the lust of the moment and pay a high price.
Does this have anything to do with modern technology? I think it has everything to do with technology and how we have been programmed to use it. I think it has reshaped the way we think and respond to situations, moral and other. Has it dumbed us down? Yes; in that we are too easily influenced in directions we would have never considered, as Christians, in years past. In this high tech world we live in, we have access to instant gratification in almost any area of life you can think of. From materialism to spiritual, sexual, or relational it is all at our finger tips with the touch of an ‘enter key’. How many of us really reason anymore? (See definition above) How many of us weigh out the long term consequences of a decision I am making today that will fill some immediate lust or desire. Even more important how many of us take into consideration the impact my decision will have on other people? Do we think about how our decisions will affect future generations? Or have I been programmed to think in the moment?
Rob and Laura Petrie slept in separate beds on the sit-com ‘The Dick Van Dike show’ because there was still ‘reason’ being used concerning the sanctity of the marriage bed and it was still personal and taboo to share it publically. Have we been reprogrammed or do we still use reason to discern those types of things? Are we smarter for it? Are future generations better off because of it? Do we care?
A passage I have used frequently because of its relevance to a society that has rebelled against God and chose feeling over reason for its mode of operation is II Timothy 3:1-5. Paul tells Pastor Tim that a time is coming when “men are going to be lovers of their own selves”; then he goes on to explain what that will look like. (You can read it for yourself.) Paul tells Timothy in verse 7 they are “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Today we would call them progressives or enlightened, maybe technologically advanced. They are ever learning, book smart; unable to reason or discern the truth from falsehood or right from wrong.
The answer in Isaiah or Timothy is to repent. Isa.1:18-20 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. II Tim.3:12-17 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution…
I am not opposed to technology but it seems to be taking control of us. Don’t let it take away your ability to reason. Use technology, but use it to for the good of God’s purpose in your life and the life of others. Once you lose your grasp on reason it is a slippery slope that is hard to ascend again. Here are some things we can do to keep a grip: (1) Read the Bible often. (2) Pray fervently. (3) Fellowship with mature believers frequently. (4) Use reason (as defined above) rather than feeling or emotion to make decisions.
What if your life were to end today? Are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?
If you are not certain about the answer to that question, then please listen to what God says in His word.
The Bible teaches that you need to understand and believe four things in order to have a home in heaven:
1. You have sinned against God.
2. There is a penalty for sin.
3. Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again, victorious over sin, Hell and the grave.
4. Jesus is willing and able to save you from your sin penalty.