I have to admit I love the convenience of bible apps. They offer quick access to various translations and study tools. It’s so easy to pull out my smartphone throughout the day and get encouragement, instruction, comfort, guidance and revelation throughout the day. Sometimes if I’m in a stressful or contentious meeting, I will open a bible app to help my mind stay focused and to help me remain in the integrity and character of God.
There are some pastors who don’t like that convenience and accessibility in worship service. They like the personal discipline of bringing a bound bible to church. Sometimes they feel having cell phones and tablets out during worship service is a distraction. Some feel that people are texting or surfing the web during service. Some pastors are concerned with what would we do if technology fails (in case they can’t get a signal). Some pastors have a personal preference to hear pages turning.
I by no means think that bible apps should replace bound bibles, however I do think they are an excellent use of technology, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them in worship service.
The words in an electronic medium are no different from the words on a paper medium. They are no different than the words were on a parchment or papyrus medium. God’s words on your smart phone or tablet are no different than they were on a scroll or carved in stone. Whether the words were carved, written with a quill or typed…it’s still the word of God.
The word is the word, no matter where it’s recorded or who it was written.
I just want to remind those pastors who forbid bible apps in the worship services they oversee that…
Bound bibles were once technology too.
I wonder how many religious leaders complained about the use of scrolls instead of stone tablets. I wonder if how many religious leaders complained about the use of bound bibles after years of using scrolls.
Tablets of stone, parchment scrolls and sheets of papyrus mediums were examples utilizing the latest technology to provide newer and better options to record, share, read and study God’s word.
As I said, I by no means think that electronic bibles should by no means replace bound bibles…I have several, and there is no guarantee that the technology we enjoy today will last until Jesus returns.
Yes I feel pastors have a valid concern that there may not be a data signal available and the bible app may not work. So, I encourage everyone to have a bound bible on hand in worship service. As far as the distraction of a wandering mind texting or surfing is no different from a wondering mind doodling on a piece of paper, or figuring their bills or planning their meal after church.
I do want to encourage all pastors to allow their members feel comfortable using their various bible apps in worship service. From electricity to climate control to computers to the transportation we use to get to worship…technology has its place in church. Many churches have even embraced streaming their services live to make their worship available to the word without the cost of being on television.
So, pastors, please let them pull out their phones. What really matters is that everyone has access to the same word of God.
Remember, that God has spoken to His people in VARIOUS WAYS, yet His word remains the same…
Hebrews 1:1 (NKJV)
God, who at various times and IN VARIOUS WAYS spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,