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April 3, 2009 / beidson

Virtual Voices & Moral Choices: Seeing Your Laptop As A Rooftop

There are but two ways to walk in life: the way of wisdom and the way of folly.  At any given time, you are either a wise person or alaptop fool, and the evidence will be abundantly clear to others who know better.  Either you will love wisdom and hate folly, or surrender to folly and abandon wisdom.  You cannot serve two masters.

Proverbs reveals to us two voices which continually cry out to us from the highest places, from the rooftops surrounding us.  Both cry out, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”  To those that lack sense, they beckon allegiance.  Like two beautiful women alluring those who pass by, they say, “I have something to offer you.”  But Proverbs 9 tells us their invitations are different:Wisdom offers real, living bread that gives life; Folly offers stolen bread that leads to death.  All who pass by will listen to one voice or the other.  Everyone will live or die in the way of Wisdom or Folly.

Most of you reading this own a computer, and probably use it regularly, if not much of the working day.  And with this ownership you have surely heard the voices of Wisdom and Folly crying out to you from your processor: Listen to me; dine with me; live with me.  Virtual reality offers to us a world of possibilities, both to be wise and to be foolish.  With every click for the glory of God comes an invitation to rebel against his authority.  With every search engine result for good comes one for evil.  With every good effort to obey the Lord in the trivial things comes the temptation to deviate to the right or to the left, even if just a step.  Our laptops are rooftops upon which the voices of Wisdom and Folly cry out to us, “I will give you life.”

But as with every temptation, we must resolutely set our face to “Jerusalem” to endure the cross with Jesus.  He has not called us to a death which exempts internet activity.  The voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord,” is calling also from our computer screens, “Make his paths straight.”  The voice which tempted Christ in the wilderness is tempting us now at our fingertips, “If you are really a son of God . . .”  And with Christ we must seek our vindication, not in a powerful display of signs and wonders, but in the firm confidence we have that our God is able to deliver us from evil, that his Word to us is sure and able.  We are not able to turn stones into bread, but how often are we tempted to turn a virtual image into an idol, to make for ourselves high places on our laptops?  We might not be standing on a mountain, but from cyber space we can see all the kingdoms of this world, and if we do not watch our hearts, we will reach for them, like fools chasing after Folly, who do not know that it will cost them their lives.

Your computer is more than a machine.  It is a voice crying in the wilderness; it is a woman on a rooftop.  The only question is, Do you hear Wisdom or Folly?

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