Summary: Part four focuses on the no-computer Christian.
Desktop Computer Christians Part 4
The No-Computer Christians
This morning I will conclude my series on “Desktop Computer Christians.” Part four of this series is titled “No-Computer Christians.”
As you recall from parts one through three of this series, the primary difference between a desktop computer Christian and the laptop or tablet computer Christian is the laptop/tablet computer Christian’s ability to fulfill the commission that Jesus has called all of us to – to go out and make disciples of all nations. The desktop computer Christians do not make God an active part of their everyday life and keep Him assigned to Sundays and/or other religious services/places. They do not strive to be able to know enough about God’s word as that is something that should be left for those who are actually “called” into ministry work. The laptop and tablet computer Christian has a different perspective on how God interacts with Christians. They believe that God is active on a daily basis with all of His children versus only those called into ministry work. They believe it is their responsibility to not only know God but more important, to represent Him to the world. They are not ashamed of Him and thus do not believe that Christians should only interact with God on Sundays. One of the limitations of the tablet computer Christian as compared to the desktop and laptop computer Christian are the severe, sometimes non-biblical restrictions they place on individuals desiring to be a Christian. Those restrictions which are very similar to how the Pharisees lived during Christ days often causes the converts to not walk in the freedom that Christ gave us. They also cause some “potential” converts to reject Christ all together as they cannot meet the demands and/or imposed restrictions that are required in order to be considered a Christian. Unlike the tablet computer Christian, the no-computer Christians operate without the restrictions of the tablet computer Christian. These Christians generally believe what they have learned about God and but also place importance on what they experience with Him. Their life is about knowledge and experience on a very personal level. Let me share a few facts with you.
I. Benefits of No Computer
In 2005 a computer hardware company did a study and found that 24% of Americans did not own a computer or other cellular device. In 2010 another study confirmed that 30% of Americans do not access the internet either at home or at any other location. They have no desire for a computer or for the vast amount of information that can be accessed from the internet. While this may seem strange to those of us who access the internet daily, for these individuals their lives exist just fine without that need. People without computers and the internet tend to spend more time personally interacting with people versus all of those electronic messages that are so popular now. I believe that some of them would actually find it offensive to receive a personal communication by text message or an email when they are accustomed to that “personal/live” touch. The advantages that we see with electronics are not what they see and in some cases they see them as a great disadvantage.
For example, the traditional Amish communities do not use computers or many other electronic “things” that we consider to be necessities of living. There are now about 200,000 Old Order Amish living in more than 200 settlements in the United States and Canada; the largest communities are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. The Amish (sometimes called Amish Mennonites) are members of an Anabaptist Christian denomination who are especially known for their separation from society; for living in isolated Amish communities; for the rejection of most modern technology; and for their distinctly conservative dress. (Interesting is the name “Anabaptist” which means to “re-baptize over and over.” This term was given to an earlier Christian “movement” during the Reformation era who believed and taught that infant baptism was not scriptural and that a person should be baptized only after they have been taught about Christ and have freely chosen to accept Him as their Savior. It was not an “endearing” term as most people during that time believed in and practiced infant baptism.)
The Amish are averse to any technology which in their opinion weakens the family structure. The conveniences that the rest of us take for granted such as electricity, television, automobiles, and telephones are considered to be a temptation that could cause vanity, create inequality, or lead the Amish away from their close-knit community and, as such, are not encouraged or accepted in most orders. Most Amish cultivate their fields with horse-drawn machinery, live in houses without electricity, and get around in horse-drawn buggies. It is common for Amish communities to allow the use of telephones, but not in the home. Instead, several Amish families will share a telephone in a wooden structure between farms. Electricity is sometimes used in certain situations, such as electric fences for cattle, flashing electric lights on buggies, and heating homes. Windmills are often used as a source of naturally generated electric power in such instances. They believe in the importance of individual Bible study and the necessity of living a life free of sin after adult baptism. The Amish are primarily set apart from other Mennonites in their great emphasis on the values of humility, family, community, and separation from the world.