This is the age of the smart phone. When I saw the first smart phone from Apple, it was so great that I wanted shout out “this was revolutionary!”. This technology combined the functionality of computer, phone, Walkman, and electronic notebook into one device. This technology has continuously progressed and I wonder how this technology will be used in the future. But the downside of using this technology is that it will continually ruin our abilities and we have to continuously make an effort to overcome this side effect.
As part of making this effort, I strongly urge you to stop using smart phones during the worship service and during the bible studies. There are bible apps available to make it very convenient to use. You do not have to carry around thick and heavy bible anymore and you can find the verse you are looking for in a few key strokes without having to turn over pages in the bible. You can even open an app to write memos during the sermon while reading the bible verses at the same time. I agree with you on the convenience of using these smart phones.
But there are several worrisome points that come with this convenience. First, when we start using these devices, we will stop carrying bibles all together, which in turn lead people to stop buying bibles all together. This will eventually lead people to not reading the bible at all. It may be different for different persons, but for the convenience of being able to easily find bible verses, many will stop reading the bible all together.
Another point is that when you are reading the bible on the smart phone, you will not be able to stop reading text messages or news articles that will be pushed to your phone by the newspapers, and this will lead to you doing something else during the worship service. I am already hearing here and there that there are many people who appear to be doing something else during the worship service. In our church, there are many new Christians and when they notice that a mature Christian is looking at his phone during the worship service, it could lead to a misunderstanding even if that person was reading the bible. This will not help the new Christians learn the proper attitude for the worship service.
There are many young members who seem unable to put down their phones, holding and playing with their phones in their hand during the worship service. Then when messages come through their eyes are attracted to them. It is an addiction. We have to fight against this addiction. I found that I was receiving mail no matter what the time was and I was feeling pressure to open the phone to look at the mail. So I removed the mail function from my phone. Even if I was to look at the mail, I could not reply right away and probably would need my computer for most of the replies anyway.
No matter how convenient the smart phone is, the habit of reading the paper bible marked with our handprint is a tradition that we need to keep precious. Many churches have eliminated offering baskets, but we are still using these during the worship service. This is because it is a precious tradition for us to physically come to the front of our God to make our offering. So, I earnestly plea for you to bring your bibles during worship service and bible studies and do not take out your phones.
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