Technology Cannot Replace In-Person Fellowship between Christians
Technology is useful, but limited.
The technological advancements in our world are astounding, and the ways the Lord’s church can use technology are exciting.
For example, I’m writing this article while sitting at my house. I will schedule this article to be emailed and published at 5:00 AM. Over the next few days, people will be reached with my thoughts - some of you I know; some I don't know.
All of this is done at no cost to you or me, thanks to the improvements in our technology.
Thanks to so many free online tools being available to so many people, it has never been easier or cheaper to reach the masses with the Gospel of Christ. God has blessed us tremendously.
While technology has many benefits, it cannot replace everything. One of those things is the in-person fellowship between brothers and sisters in Christ.
This is actually shown several times in the New Testament.
Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. (2 John 12)
Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. (Romans 15:30-32)
I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, (2 Timothy 1:3-4)
John and Paul were using the technology of their time to reach people, but even they realized it didn’t replace the essential in-person fellowship of Christians. They had a desire to see their brethren face-to-face and to be with them so they might be refreshed together and filled with joy.
The importance of coming together in person and being together is to strengthen and encourage each other.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25).
It is a mistake to think that so long as we show up to church “every time the doors are open,” we have met the requirements of this passage.
The point of the passage is that Christians need to be together because they stir up love and good works in each other. Those who have “forsaken” or “abandoned” the assembling of the Christians are missing out on the encouragement we need to keep going.
I’m thankful for our advancements in technology. I’m thankful that many congregations have decided to live-stream their Bible classes and worship assemblies. These are beneficial to people who are sick, traveling, or unable to be there. But watching a live stream is not a replacement for actually being together with our brethren.
Let us use technology as much as we can for the glory of God and to take the Gospel into all the world (Mark 16:15-16).
But let’s also remember the limits of our technology.
A screen cannot replace in-person interaction and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
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