18 Jul 2014
Where is God at with cutting-edge gadgets, innovation, and the sophistication of our modern world?
Technological Relevance in our modern world
It is always a gray line when discussing doing what the world does from a Biblical context. Scriptures can be quoted to suggest Christians should stay away from the activities of the world (Romans 12:1-2, John 15:19), but context needs to be considered. The particular context I am referring to here is the character of God seen throughout Scripture. He is w holistically-loving. He wants freedom for us to the point that He sacrificed His most prized possession for each of us. John 17:15 is a Scripture that continues to capture my waking thoughts. God wants us to live in freedom more then anything else. So this means we don’t do things that burden us, or others. On the other hand, the church has taken to technology in an exclusive way that is extra-biblical. Worship centers are filled with sensory innovations as to create an immersive worship experience, as if it is required to justify our use of *secular* technology inside the four walls of the church. But did God not create the elements and bring about revelations to individuals for the technologies to be there in the first place?
More Then Just “Doing it for God”
It’s a cliché I have heard quite a bit – “as if our whole lives are in a state of legalistic control by the Prince of Peace. “I’m skating for Jesus”, a pro-skater says, after emerging from a life of extravagant non-Jesus skating. It’s a plausible mindset to take on, at least on the surface… But what if, more then our passions sacrificed to God, our passions were to be lived out uninhibited by a contemporary sacrificial “God-repayment quota”. In fact, there is no way we can repay God for what He did for us. Is it really hard to believe we don’t have to offer God action-joined words of gratitude? What I am saying is simply this: God desires our heart, so we should live in freedom by doing what we love or are good at with all of our heart, and not just doing it “for Jesus”.
Driven by a Standard of Excellence
God is the Creator of all we see, as well as that which we don’t see. He is working even through those who have not submitted their lives to Him. He is apart of the creative process people go through, first because He created the minds of people in the first place, but also because ideas are the formed, they are found. When a person strives for excellence, they are tempted to submit to the competitive standard that has been reached, and no further. But real excellence, as the root word implies, is to excell, and continue to extend the threshold of that is the perimeter of innovation in that field. Excellence is ambition that reaches beyond where it is at. It is not a position to be arrived at, but a mindset to be functioning in. It is always growing, or it ceases to be excellence.
Distinction from Comparative Competition
It is true that the quality in the world is high, and while that is partially due to decades or centuries of exposure, people continue to push to threshold of quality. But in a world of competitive marketing, a new and emerging field will see a spike in ingenuity, and then groups and individuals with default to the minimum standard that has been set to find the interest of those in the market. While the economy has reached a level of sophistication, meeting the previously-defined minimum standard is not excelling, it is maintaining. And, according to one cliché, “if your not growing, your dying”. This is universal concept to physical fitness, intellectual stimulation, and relationship. It applys to our relationship with God. Freedom is a lifestyle, not a merit badge.
The Evangelism of Excellence
Let’s face it – quality is attractive. Things that are well done draw attention in droves. It’s not that other things are terrible, they don’t don’t measure up to those things we are done beautifully. I will watch a Steven Spielberg film before I watch something from “faith films”. It’s not that what they have done is terrible, but what is well done simply stands out. Truth be told, Christians are in the movie industry, but they are, by and large, submitting to the stipulations of those who are driven by nothing but money, prestige, a fear of insecurity, or another superficial mindset. It’s certainly true that money tends to be be present where a prior track-record is present, and the church really doesn’t have that. But, if excellence actually speaks louder then words, where is the innovating movements that are pushing the threshold of excellence to the next level, and if the sons and daughters of God are pushing it forward, where will innovation lead us to in the future?
Compositions of Hope
One undisputable fact in the Kingdom of God is that there is peace, there is love there is freedom – there is hope. It is a highly-desired commodity in a world of despairing people who are wearing masks of prestige, happiness, and money to stay above the tide. Frankly, freedom is dangerous. Freedom, like excellence, does not ever reach a “climax”, at least not the freedom promised by God. It is a lifestyle of constantly-shifting new exposures to more and more reality. God is still revealing more about who He is, and what He put into this elaborate world. As sons and daughters of God release the expression of the freedom they are living in by living out their passions through an objective standard of excellence that is respectable to anyone, it will attract people of all kinds. In fact though, not just non-Christians need to see a solid expression of excellence, and Christians are needing to be encouraged just like non-Christians are. That the beauty of the Kingdom right? The journey didn’t end at salvation – it was just the beginning…