Summary: In part one of this series it compares a Christian's mentality to that of a desktop computer.
Desktop Computer Christians Part 1
Scriptures: Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Cor. 15:58
I was traveling in Southeast Kansas this past week and while driving on a long stretch of road I began thinking about how Christians can be like a desktop computer – yeah I know its weird, but it what I was thinking about. I thought about the first desktop computer that Nikki and I owned. It was a Radio Shack Color Computer and we purchased it in the mid 1980s. This computer had 64 kB of memory and could be expanded to 2 MB RAMs of memory. Yes, you heard me correctly, it could be expanded to 2 MB RAMs of memory. It did not have many of the bells and whistles of the modern desktop computers but it was better than the typewriter (with or without the carbon paper).
As I was thinking about the desktop computers my mind naturally went to the differences between a desktop and a laptop computer. My first laptop computer was given to me by the company I worked for back in 1992. Although the laptop was easily 3 inches thick and weighed 3 or 4 pounds, it surpassed my desktop computer. Both were extremely slow compared to today’s computer. I remember loading a Word Perfect software package on the laptop and it took a couple of hours to load it. The laptop represented an advancement over the desktop because of was more versatile which I will get to in my message next week.
This morning I want to you to focus on the desktop computer and my message is titled “Desktop Computer Christians.” As you may be wondering how in the world I will use a desktop computer to describe Christian thinking and I promise that when I am done you will not look at your desktop computer, if you own one, the same way again. So let’s begin with our foundational Scripture. Turn to Matthew 28:18-20. In these verses you will find what is often referred to as the “Great Commission” as Jesus gives His disciples (and us) our marching orders. It reads “And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) The charges for Christians are as follows; 1) to go out and make disciples of all nations; 2) baptizing new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and 3) teaching the people to observe His commandments. Although these are the things that all Christians should be doing in some form or another we have actually gotten away from this mission. The fact that we have gotten away from this mission reminds me of a desktop computer versus a laptop computer. Let me explain.
There are many things a person must take into consideration when they choose to purchase a desktop computer. The first and foremost consideration is where they will locate the computer within their home. (For this message I am bypassing all of considerations focused on the features you may want on the desktop.) Before a person buys a desktop computer, they go through their home and determine exactly where they will place the computer. Why is this so important? Well, you must place it in a location where it will have a source of electricity. If you’re planning to connect it to the internet with a router, you must also take this into consideration. The location must also be out of the way of traffic so people are not stumbling over you when you’re working on the computer. The point here is that where you place the desktop is an important decision because once you place it where you want it and connect all of the connections in place you will not be moving it. It is there to stay and because it is unmovable, when you need to use the computer you will go to that one location within your home to use it. You always know where to find it because it stays in one place. Nothing changes with its location so you always know where to find it.
Well there are Christians out there who has a desktop computer mentality as demonstrated by how they walk with Christ. First, they believe that “their” God can only be found in an “approved” location – “their” location. While they may understand that God is everywhere, then tend to feel closest to God when they can go to the place (the Church) where they know He supposedly resides. Because they know the “real” place where God resides, they do not accept all of these other religious teachings, regardless if they sound similar to what they believe. Because they know “exactly” where God is then it is obviously they know “exactly” what God believes. If someone does not believe what they believe then they cannot be of God – in a sense anyway. With this belief comes the idea that God will only speak to them through their pastor or someone within their denomination. You see, like the desktop computer has a designated place within the home and it does not change, God has a designated place with these Christians and His place does not change. Now here is where it begins to get interesting. Because God has a certain location were He can be found if any of their friends want to understand God in the way that they do, their friends must come to the place where God is – their Church. These Christians do not openly talk about their faith and their walk with God because that is something that is supposed to be done in the place where God resides by people who know Him best (the pastors and teachers.) Religious discussions should take place in a religious environment – the Church where God resides. When we need to use the desktop computer we go to the place in our home where the desktop computer resides. The same applies to God for those with a desktop computer mentality – when they need God they go to where they believe God is residing. They do not consider God residing in their hearts as part of their worship experience. Consider how this belief conflict with the Great Commission?