But because technology has changed doesn’t mean that the Gospel has changed. The challenge is to adjust our methods and ideas for reaching people with the Gospel.
When I was a child, we lived in a little three-room house — built by my dad — on a dirt road. I say three rooms — actually, divisions or partitions were made with the furniture. The upright grand piano backed up to the kitchen cabinet for one wall; a wardrobe formed the wall for the bedroom. There was no plumbing, no electricity and no telephone.
I was 10 years old when we got electricity and had real lights on our Christmas tree the first time. I was 12 when we got “running water,” and was 16 when we got our 10-party-line phone. Before that, access to a phone was in the Baker family’s home which sat on a hill overlooking the neighborhood named for them. When a call came for someone who lived on the two streets in Bakertown, someone at that house would walk to the edge of the yard and yell “Telephone!” and call out a name. In the evening, other communication reigned as neighbors could hear one another calling the family to dinner — “Bet-ty! (“-ty” was on a high note) Supper’s ready.”
Things were different. Milk was delivered and placed on the front porch. We hung out a card — with weights shown in the corners — for the ice man, who carried huge chunks of ice with his tongs and placed them in our ice box.
Entertainment was different. We “watched” radio, “seeing” such shows as “The Green Hornet,” “Gangbusters” and “The Lone Ranger.”
Travel was different. Until my dad got his first car — a 1929 Dodge in 1941 — we walked everywhere or “caught” the bus at the stop a mile or two from the community. And children in our neighborhood walked the two miles to school.
Doing the work of God was also different. I remember my dad conducting a revival at a country church with Aladdin lamps providing light for the services. Publicity came through visiting the community, knocking on doors, singing on the courthouse square and just plain “word-of-mouth.” Later this led to invitations to sing over the radio, an invention that came into greater use to spread the Gospel — before the advent of television in the ’50s.
Paul had the right concept. In his first epistle to the Corinthians, he said, “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law: To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Carl Sandburg wrote: “When God scooped up a handful of dust, spit on it, molded the shape of man, blew breath into it and told it to walk — that was a great day.”
You know what? God didn’t have to practice on making man — He knew exactly how he wanted to do that. And from the beginning of time, God has orchestrated the advancement of man for the sole purpose of his redemption through the offering of His Son, Jesus Christ. Everything that God has inspired man to do — He already knew exactly how it would work. Do you really think God had to wait on man to invent something, then learn how it was operated? Surely no one would have the audacity to suggest such a thing.
Do you think God looked at the world in the beginning of the computer age and said, “Hmmm. That looks like a pretty good thing. I might ought to learn to use the computer — maybe Bill Gates could teach me how to use it. It might be a good means to spreading My Word.”
Wrong! All knowledge is from God. I’m sure he knew all about electricity, cars, airplanes and microwave ovens — and yes, computers, before he even made man. Heaven is not behind in any technology and neither should Christians be behind when it comes to our work for Him. God has provided ways to reach every generation — from golden-agers to baby boomers; from the teens of the ’50s to the teens of the 21st century.
People are still people — and God is still the answer.