The ancient libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum are a faded memory to our current “screen-age” society. Perhaps all printed material is destined for the same. Paper books took a tumble in 2007 when Amazon’s Kindle was released. The stacks of daily papers at corner newsstands; the early morning paper routes hosting a thousand kids on bicycles; and the rush to read the front page seems to have withered in light of 24-hour cable news and instant computer updates. Gutenberg has certainly lost his place in this “cut & paste” digital age.
There is so much information available today that it boggles the mind. If you want sports, there are thousands of in-depth stories of all your favorite athletes and teams. If you are interested in ecology, market trends, candle making, or the recent flood that afflicted India, the information is there. It’s all there, pressing for your attention with pictures and descriptions. Day and night the news is always “breaking.”
I submit that there is something at work here that goes beyond information overload. It is the not so subtle attempt to squeeze your thoughts into a world of disbelief and confusion. There is a work at play that is stealing your time, attention, and passion away from the things of God. We know that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” and is currently at work in the “children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). However, the next verse lends itself to our days. Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
News, information, sports, instruction, etc., are all considered “conversation.” Could it be that the enemy of our soul desires to occupy the thoughts and conversations of our lives through this nonstop media blitz? Would the enemy grant us a physical presence in the church as long as our minds are consumed with outside information?
Information controls our concern. We are outraged about government officials, crime, public school curriculum, and more. Nevertheless, maybe our outrage is misplaced. Perhaps our passion is being spent in the wrong place. When was the last time we felt the sting of unreached lost souls? Where is our hunger for prayer? How long has it been since we turned off the “news” and worked on reaching people with the Gospel?
I tell you that news is probably not news at all. It’s a diversion from our purpose. It is a rerouting of the Great Commission. Christians are watching television instead of looking for His return. Members are tuned into favorite websites, Facebook, Instagram, Words With Friends, and video games. There simply is no time to witness, read the scripture, and pray. I say, that while we have limited time, we must not have limited passion.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole