Canada Combats Negative Side Effects of New Technology for Churches

01/04/14

Medicines solve problems, but also have unwanted side effects. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration tests new drugs to make sure they are safe, and that their side effects are not worse than the problems they are meant to cure.

Medical drugs are not the only things with surprising and unwanted side effects. When Henry Ford invented the assembly line to mass produce automotive vehicles, his goal, beside money for himself, was that ordinary working people could afford to own their own vehicles.

He probably never thought of the side effect on young couples who no longer had to court under the watchful eye of family. The couple could drive off in a car and within minutes be completely private to do whatever they wanted to do. Courting died and dating was born, as were babies to unprecedented numbers of pregnant brides.

More Surprising Negative Side Effects
Did the texting app developers foresee that texting while driving would one day top drunk driving in the number of traffic fatalities? What next MATD, Mothers Against Texting Drivers?

The inventors of ultrasound scans wanted to determine the health of unborn babies, but did they foresee that this would lead to the murder of millions of unborn girl babies by parents who prized sons over daughters.

At first incoming university students loved Facebook since they could get to know their fellow students and potential roommates on line during the summer. Did anyone anticipate the cyber bullying that would follow? Or the stalking? Or future employers seeing the pictures of drunk and naked applicants?

Churches Use and Control Technology
Many church goers now read their Bibles on their smart phones. But congregants following the Scripture passages on their phone, often check something else on line, like a Bible map, and from there read a relevant news items, and then go who knows where, totally losing the pastor’s message from God. Some churches now operate cell phone jammers during services.

And speaking of church, projecting the words of the hymn on a screen solves several problems. No need for new or growing congregations to buy expensive bound hymnbooks, introducing a new hymn to the congregation is easy, and new Christian songwriters can now easily put their music and lyrics before the Christian public.

ChristChurchCongregation4The negative side effect is the deplorable lack of musical and theological standards. Thousands of congregations all across North America now stand, and mostly listen, to a group perform music that is frequently unsingable by a congregation. Too often the lyrics are of dubious theological accuracy, and have little deep meaning, and yet they are mindlessly repeated, on and on, again and again, over and over, seemingly forever, with no end in sight, with as much spiritual value as the perpetually turning Tibetan prayer windmill wheel.

Canada Leads the Way
No one can see all the negative side effects of every new development. Happily, help is on the way. Canada is, once again, in the technological forefront in setting up a New Technology Administration (NTA) to test and check new technology, then publish warnings of potential problems, and recommend counter measures to mitigate the negative side effects.

What is even more encouraging is that the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) is taking similar action by setting up what amounts to a Hymn and Song Administration (HSA). They will be checking new worship songs for lyrics with sound theology and tunes congregations can actually sing. They will also deal with the current collection of songs.

Any worship team singing a non-HSA-approved worship song would do so at the peril of annoying and irritating the congregation. To prepare the unsuspecting congregation, a mandatory red flashing warning would appear on the opening screen.

You may want to write the EFC with your congratulations, but before you do, please check the date of this blog post.

1 thought on “Canada Combats Negative Side Effects of New Technology for Churches

  1. What a brilliant idea! And you almost had me call the EFC. I think red flags started appearing as soon as I read about the red flashing warning appearing on the opening screen. But it makes me think about my own worship experience. The more traditional hymns definitely are a lot more sound and meaningful than some of the more modern worship songs. I think the Gettys and Stuart Townend are a wonderful exception to this rule, however.

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