Did you ever read a book that you could not forget? Such is the case for me with a fiction story that had a plausible plot. The hero of the book worked for the federal government on their main computers in Washington D.C. He gave one of the computers the task of bringing peace to the earth. It determined that the only way to accomplish this task would be for it to take over the world. It began to hypnotize many key people so that they would obey its commands. Country by country succumbed to its power. After multiple struggles, the story's hero was able to overcome the computer.
The remembrance of this story came to my mind as I read Jonathan Cahn's word called "The Rise of the Machine Master" in his August devotional. He reminds us that America has been in the process of paganization for the last 60 years and that one of the main characteristics of this culture is the worship of idols. He defines idol worship as worshipping our own creations. The prophet Isaiah describes what this looked like in his day: "Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made." (Isiah 2:8)
The apostle Paul used the Greek word "techne" when he spoke to the people in Athens, Greece, about their idols. (Acts 17:16-34) This is the word from which we derive the word "technology." Is it not technology that we serve today? We are being "mastered" through our I phones, computers, and I pads. I notice how many of our teenagers lack social skills. Could it be because they have been taken over by technology? Jonathan Cahn suggests that when we serve idols (technology) we become like what we serve, and they become more human. Psalm 115 warns of this: "But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands...Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them." (Verses 4 and 8)
A recent subject of frequent discussion is that of artificial intelligence. Here we have computers taking over the function of thinking or being able to simulate human intelligence to perform tasks or solve problems. Because computers can analyze large amounts of data in a short period of time, they can make decisions like the human brain, but in shorter periods of time. Scientists have warned that artificial intelligence is a dangerous technology. The question is being asked: "Could this lead to the destruction of humanity?" God forbid!
We must become aware of the idols that we serve so that we can break the bondage that they place us in. Christ came to the earth to bring us freedom and set us free from these bondages. Remember, whatever consumes our thinking will become more powerful in our lives. Let's be sure to use our time wisely and take the advice of Paul when he says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things...and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9 - NKJV)
Joan E. Mathias