As one cell phone user to another, and one who has been known to use the potty, I have had to learn and practice what I write below. Verily, if the shoe fittest, wearith it thou.
On Cell Phones in church (and yes, that includes other electronic devices)
We have experienced a major transition as to the medium by which information is transmitted. In my lifetime, one of the primary ways important news came to everyone was printed on cheap paper. So cheap that within hours after it was delivered to our door, we used that paper with its oh-so-important news to wrap fish guts in or line the parakeet cage.
Today, important news comes to us on a $1,000 device we carry with us everywhere, including to bed, to church, and yes, to the potty. No fish guts or bird cage for our iPhone. That same device immediately provides us our Bibles, our important calendar, important Disney movies, important banking, important health regimen, important cat videos, important four French onion soup recipes, and instructions on how to start WWIII, which, of course, is very important.
The same medium we now read God’s Word on Sundays is the same medium to play the latest electronic game and the same medium to check the score of the NFL playoff game. While the padre preaches, you can google in 30 seconds what John MacArthur says about what the preacher is taking 20 minutes to say.
Dads and moms, I heard from a teacher some of your children are having trouble ‘needing’ their phones during Sunday school. That includes at least one five-year-old. I suspect googling John MacArthur was not the need.
Here’s our word of the day: Distraction. This modern medium in all its marvelous, mysterious, multifaceted, algorithmic, pixelated, instantaneousness lends itself to be a medium of distraction.
Don’t get me wrong. there’s nothing new under the sun. Ancients confessed their clay tablets as being gizmos of diversion. Throughout the Bible we read admonishments to apply minds, concentrate, meditate. That implies there were distractions. Uber smart smartphones just happen to be a common means to distract us in our day.
So let me get to the point: If your phone is a means of distraction at church, leave it home. Husbands/Dads, let us lead by example. If necessary, bring a print Bible, bring a notebook to take notes. Lovingly I tell you, your good looking and above average kids do not need their phones in church.
On potty runs in church
I have no idea what folks at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount did with Jr. who was being potty trained. I do know Dawn and I had to teach our potty-trained children (and ourselves) they were to go potty before the church service started. Nine out ten nine-year-olds will convince you a sermon with three points puts undue pressure on their bladder. And four-point sermons are known by all six year old children to threaten deadly dehydration.
Whatever age category we are in, let’s do our best to use the facilities before the service. Let’s honor our time of worship by coming prepared and not distract others in the church service.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things… – Philippians 4:8