The Internet is an incredibly powerful technology. Information can be sought and accessed locally, globally, and all points in between in a matter of seconds. Such power at our fingertips is made possible by an ingenious method of networking computers. With appropriate networking software and hardware, any computer can be linked into the network.
The Church uses the Internet to “get the Word out.” Many fellowships, like ours, and countless other Christian ministries have a web page to rapidly and broadly communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Live worship services at a “wired” local church can be viewed from any linked computer in the world! Audio and written messages can be shared on a global basis. Vast Bible study resources are available to all who have links into the Internet technology.
The world also uses the Internet to conduct its business. Corporations enter new markets and create new distribution channels with electronic commerce, which is enabled by these links. News services quickly broadcast news with these links. Governments distribute and collect information and revenues via these links. Individuals can “chat” quickly and quietly with family, friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers about any topic in the wide-open world of the Internet.
The Internet truly is a powerful technology. But as with everything else that has been touched by man, it has been corrupted.
The concept of network marketing has taken on a whole new dimension with the Internet. We have come to call unwanted links to our computers as “spam” (I wonder how the manufacturers of that food product feel about being equated with “garbage”!). Worse yet are invasive “viruses” that maliciously access computer links to corrupt the technological health of our computers and the integrity of the information stored there. Even more offensive is the widespread, brazen access of computer links by the pornography industry to fan the inferno of man’s lust.
To protect the integrity of the computer links of the Internet, “anti-virus” software has been created to break and prevent undesirable links being established with our computers.
Another network is far more powerful than the Internet. The Church, the Body of Christ, is a living, world-changing organism (Acts 17:1-7). The Head of the Body is the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23, Col 1:12-18) and every born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:3-8) is linked into the Body (Eph 5:30, Eph 4:11-16, 2 Cor 6:14-16). The Body of Christ is empowered by the Spirit of God (Acts 2, 1 John 4:4) and encouraged, comforted, and strengthened by the Word of God (1 Cor 14:3-4). We are ministered to by The Head and minister to each other instantly, at the speed of thought, and through prayer.
And just like the Internet and everything else touched by man, the Body of Christ has been corrupted. Sin adversely affects the working of the Body of Christ in the world (Matt 5:13, Rom 8:6-8). The Body is infected with deceitful links of false teachers and lies from the father of lies (John 8:42-44, 2 John 1:7), whose fervent desire is to sever the Body from the Head (1 Peter 5:8).