In the 21st century, every Christian has a duty to use the new media technologies available to them to preach the Gospel on a daily basis. In the past, the Great Commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations …” (Mat. 28:19,20) meant literally to physically go into all areas of the world, establish churches and make disciples. Of course, not everyone could be a missionary, but the church was commanded to raise up ministers and send missionaries to the ends of the earth. Each of us is commanded to go. If we are not called to be a missionary in our own country and our own city, then our job is to go to the nations and preach. The Great Commission isn’t only for apostles or “super-Christians,” it’s for every Christian.
With the advent of the printing press in the 1400s, we saw an explosion of missionary work and reformation of doctrine and culture. It became the duty of the Christian to learn to read so that the Gospel could be studied and understood without a mediator. This “Puritan hope” that the Kingdom of God would fill the whole world led to a universal literacy in colonial America, when less than one-third of Europeans were literate only a few decades before.
The availability of inexpensive personal computers in the 1990s then brought the power of publishing the printed word to the average person. The editor of Predvestnik, Alexei Salapatov, often spoke of how the Russian language Forerunner went into regions of the former USSR where no missionary had yet been. People devoured the message of this publication. It passed from hand to hand and copies were kept until they were literally “read into dust.” If you haven’t seen the new videos I posted on the Russian Forerunner, you should check them out.
But think of how the Internet has changed all this. While not every person in the world has a computer and high speed internet access, it is becoming more common even in third world countries. Within a short period of time, a simple hand held computer with wireless phone and Internet access will become as common and inexpensive as a cell phone. Apple will introduce the iPhone this summer and it will likely revolutionize the world of media once again.
Every American Christian who has been given great wealth compared to the rest of the world needs to be computer savvy and painstakingly learn to publish web pages, blogs and edit digital video. Again this technology has been put to greatest use in America. Christians need to realize that the reason we are the wealthiest nation in the world is not because of the industry of Bill Gates, but the fact that we are living off the accrued capital made from the resources given to the Puritans about 400 years ago. God has made us rich for a reason – not merely to give our children the latest version of Play Station – but to use these new computer resources to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
If you have a computer, a camcorder and live in an area where high speed internet access is available, God expects you to use it to His glory and not merely for your own edification and entertainment. If you don’t already do this, consider using Blogger.com or Myspace.com to start your own blog. If you own a camcorder, you can easily create a short Bible teaching and upload it to YouTube.com. The cool thing about these secondary publishing services is that you no longer need to know too much about web publishing or even have your own domain name or server. But I encourage Christians to maintain their own websites as well. For some it is a big learning curve, but I liken it to the Puritans who had to learn to read and teach their children in the 1600s.
As in the parable of the talents, God is going to reward or punish us in the ratio to whom “much was given.” And we American Christians have been given very much.
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