The Information Highway and the Christian (B)
Advances in digital technology produced the science of computing, which resulted in the explosion of information and made it available worldwide. The age of the Information Highway had arrived! In the previous issue of this periodical, the negative aspects of the Information Highway were discussed e.g. stress, anxiety, distortion of truth, mental confusion and brain overload, leading to distortion of spiritual values. In view of these negative effects, we Christians have to defend ourselves against the deleterious effects of the Information Highway.
The problem is how we defend ourselves against the creeping and undesirable influence of the flood of information, released continuously and ever-changing, aiming to attract our attention and occupy our consciousness. The defence can only be at the personal level.
Yes, we live in society and want to be informed. We need to face any information objectively, so we can subject it to our own spiritual criteria, and particularly the eternal will of God.
The events that happen in the world, unfortunately most of them sad and at times heart-renting, should not lead one to despair. The Christian knows that God governs the world. It is immaterial that the great and powerful of the world are deciding the fate of smaller countries, and the wealthy are dictating the quality of life of the people of impoverished and weak nations. We know that in the end, the will of God will prevail. Not that we remain indifferent, but we do not allow ourselves to despair, though we are saddened and pray about these.
The devout Christian does not accept any information passively. He intervenes with his prayers and his virtuous character. He resists that which others take as self-evident, and does not follow the behaviour of those influenced by news items. The action of the Church in Greece is a powerful example. The Church feeds and offers various types of help to thousands of people, to the extent that the Government depends on the Church to sustain the life and hope of those that suffer. So, news of unfortunate events or views that are contrary to Christian values, become for the devout person a stimulus for prayer, works of love, personal repentance, and even self assessment as to his responsibility for the present state of the world.
This must be the way of our life as Christians. Christ said: “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Mat 6:21). We cannot be dependent on listening to news and information every hour. If that happens, then our treasure is in this world, and not in heaven. Such an attitude will smother the Gospel and destroy the Christian message in our hearts, as well as the spiritual life that brings us closer to God. A newspaper (in Greek: εφημερίδα, – εφ = οn, ημερίδα = daily) has interest only for a day. The Gospel of Christ is eternal!
When we live our life with true faith, we do not live apart from the world. We do not become slaves to the flood of information around us, nor do we allow it to dictate our decisions, or the direction of our life.
Source: April–May 2015 Lychnos Edition